필립 리 (Philippe Lee), 성공적인 멀티미디어 기업 대표
Q. Self introduction
A. My name is Philippe Lee. I was born and raised in France. I am the son of a scientist who, back in the early 60's, was the first Korean to earn a Phd in Marine Biology from the renowned "Institut Pasteur" in Paris and a loving mother who dedicated her entire life to support our family. My life was shaped by my parents choice to follow a fascinating international path. Thanks to them, I also spent 5 years of my childhood in Africa where my father led a scientific research program for the United Nations.
Later my family and I returned to France where I attended high school and graduated college in Economics and Sociology. In 1986, I went back to Korea to learn about my roots and I also worked at the Korea Herald, the Olympic Games Committee and I taught French at Ewha University and in other languages institutes in Seoul.
Later I moved to Japan and then Switzerland to attend a Grad School specialized in Hotel Management in order to pursue a career filled with travels and multi tasking challenges. I worked in several countries (France, Norway, Switzerland, US,…) and at properties including the Ritz Hotel in Paris, the first St. Regis Hotel in New York, The Tides Hotel in Miami and other beautiful hotels in Seattle and San Francisco.
Later I successfully operated my own multimedia company for close to 15 years (www.jspvisuals.com and www.jspstage.com), during which I was often published in national magazines for my photography work; I also catered to major cosmetic companies such as Benefit Cosmetics, Sephora and H2O+ by creating visuals for them. Recently I relocated to sunny Southern California and made it my home. Here I have started a men's denim fashion company, occasionally model to keep life more fun and I also launched an agency bridging Korean and European men's facial care innovative products with the US. As a citizen of the world, I speak several languages: my mother tongue is French; I feel and express my feelings in Korean after 22 years of marriage with a wonderful Korean lady; I do business in English; I also speak Spanish and I read Portuguese, Italian and German.
Q. Any memorable episodes when you were young
A. Every time my family moved to another continent: new life, new culture, new friends, new schools, new neighborhoods, new challenges, new homes, new career paths… My father was an incurable optimist and he always taught my brothers and I to be excited by changes that life brings and by new challenges. His teachings have remained deep in me: to this day, I still live the same way and teach my children the same values.
Q. The motives/mentors/episodes to get the career
A. In a chronological order: my own parents, an art teacher in high school, my first Taekwondo Master in my teens, 2 amazing businessmen I met back in my 20's in Korea, my one and only Female boss in Seattle who was so compassionate, young kids that I have seen maturing and succeeding in Silicon Valley,… and most importantly my Wife who always gives me the best advices, trusts me and supports me.
Q. How do you like your job?
A. In all honesty, I actually dislike "working" if it means being the slave to especially repetitive, small and daily tasks. The parts that I really enjoy are dreaming, creating, materializing and launching concepts. Then I delegate the rest.
Q. What are important things for your life?
A. My wife, my kids, my health (physical and mental equally) and trustful friends.
Q. Most unforgettable happiest moments in your life?, Any obstacles? How did you overcome?
A. My life is made of so many of these beautiful moments. Some are small and others are bigger but they make the various milestones that shape one's life journey. To name a few: these were my first dates in my teens, my first pay check after a long and tough summer working part time, the day I decided what to study and my career path, my trip back to Motherland Korea and learning about my true roots, my studies in gorgeous Switzerland, my first real job, the first time I saw my Wife, the day I proposed Her, the day I married Her, the births of my children, every time I cook successfully a new French recipe for my family, the setup of my companies and every time I step out of a medical office or a gym, knowing that I am strong and healthy as I am now 53 years old. As for obstacles, I consider that I have had the same ups and down's as anyone else but overall, my life has been so much easier compared to my parents who suffered 2 wars, poverty, the kidnapping of their own fathers in front of their eyes, etc… As a result, I can't think of anything even half as tough and my life is therefore a blessing and the result of all their sacrifices.
Q. Your hobbies when you have time? Your own methods to get rid of any stress?
A. Practicing sports (martial arts and swimming essentially). I am addicted to exercising and to pushing my body to the limits. When doing so, I am able to completely empty my mind, escape from all concerns, re-energize, re-shift and multiply my energy for any next chapters. Also I enjoy traveling, listening to classic music (requiems and adagios are my favorites), crafting and cooking.
Q. What is your dream, and how you put efforts on it?
A. My ultimate dream is to take one entire year off and to travel around the world with my family. In the meantime, I am preparing a business where my entire family can be invested and I am also gathering information on the most fascinating places to visit and enjoy all over the world.
Q. Any advises for young generations who wants to have a same career like you, any comments to the readers?
A. So many great advices have already been given by much smarter people before me. All I can do is base my words on my own experiences. If I had to do it all again, I would stick to my real passions sooner in life and perhaps pursue a more artistic career in order to become, who knows…, a sculptor, a composer, an actor, a heavy metal band singer, a fashion designer, a car designer,…? I also think that it is important to wake up and go to bed without any regret and this comes from a balance between what needs to be done and never, never neglecting family and health (mental and physical). In this overly virtual day and age, It is also key to surround ourselves with only good, authentic and smart people in marriage and friendships and to value them!