I believe life happens in seasons.

High seasons. Low seasons. Stormy seasons. Peaceful seasons. Waiting seasons. Harvest seasons. There’s no defined number or type of seasons (depends on the individual), and there’s no better or worse (although some will be more enjoyable than others).

I’ve started to see life less through the prism of white/black, good/bad, success/failure. Instead, I’ve started to see life more as a learning journey. My only responsibility is to remain curious, observe, and learn in every season.

For the past 8–9 months, I’ve been in a stormy season. It’s been one of the most difficult seasons…


Who is the last Asian-American to impact culture?

I’ll give you a minute. You’ll actually probably need 50 mins.

The best answer I could up with was: Jeremy Lin and Linsanity, Alexander Wang taking over fashion world, and the guy from the zombie TV show (no clue about his name so maybe this doesn’t count).

The fact of the matter is people who have Asian ethnic background constitute a major % of the U.S. population. Asians (as a group) are some of the highest income earners, college graduates, and achievers in our country. …


Making the jump to start Panacea was the scariest decision I’ve ever made.

Fear is one of the most complex things and if we’re not mindful, it can become debilitating.

I realized that I needed to face the fear. Evaluate it. Quantify it. Stare it right down. Remove it from the equation so I could make the best decision for my career.

These three exercises were incredibly valuable:

Who am I inspired by?

  1. I created a list of my biggest role models, inspirations, and heroes.
  2. After putting this list together, I identified common qualities among them.
  3. What I discovered is…


Panacea started from an innocent conversation in January 2016.

Slowly but surely, this idea grew into something more tangible — meeting with Korean skincare manufacturers, finalizing a founding team, creating an advisory team, developing the first phase of skincare products, raising capital from F&F and angel investors, finalizing a launch strategy.

This journey has been 1.5 years in the making. And it’s surreal that we’ve made it here because we’ve endured more than our fair share of challenges and setbacks. There’s been too many “Oh shit, what are we going to do?” moments to count.

BUT, we made it ……


For the past 5 months, I’ve been sending an AM text message to my closest F&F as motivation to start their day with momentum.

While these messages are intended to help others, it’s amazing how they serve as a self-reminder to hold myself accountable.

Last Friday, I sent out the following text:

Happy Friday! If it’s not a “FUCK YES,” then it’s a “NO.”

Our time is money — the things we spend it on and the people we spend it with. Learning to say no is a reflection of how we value ourselves. Let’s treat ourselves with integrity.

Admittedly, the ability to say NO has been one of my core weaknesses. At heart, I’m a people pleaser. I want to be liked. And over the years, I’ve conditioned my mind to think: if I say “NO” to someone, then he/she won’t like me (as I write this out, I realize how crazy this sounds).

After sending out the above text, I was confronted with a challenging situation for Panacea that would test my ability to say NO —…


One of the most utilized and least understood words in the workplace is empowerment. It’s the buzziest of all buzzwords. What does empowerment mean?

Empowerment: the authority given to someone to do something.

Every manager talks about his/her desire to empower the team. Not only do most managers fail to empower their teams, but even worse, many managers are the biggest impediment to their team’s ability to do something.

I’ve noticed that the inability to empower others is prevalent among founders (especially first-time founders). Not to make excuses for founders, but this makes sense. In the beginning, you do everything…


I don’t say this lightly — meditation has transformed my life. I started meditating two years ago, and it’s the single-most important aspect of my day.

If I were to NOT meditate on a given day, then that day would be fucked. Period. There’s days where I don’t have time to do my normal AM routine, but I always find time to do an abbreviated meditation because it’s essential.

Meditation has a lot of stigma around it. Before I started meditating, I was skeptical. …


Before we dive into the details of influencer marketing strategy, let’s align on what it means.

Simply put, influencer marketing is “the action of promoting and selling products or services through people (influencers) who have the capacity to have an effect on the character of a brand.”

An influencer is someone who “has the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something. An influencer is someone who has established a level of influence with his or her given community.”

Influencer marketing is a relatively new concept that came into prominence with the advent…


I remember interviewing with a startup in 2012.

Side note: This was my first interview with a startup. I was so nervous that I was sweating through my dress shirt and suit jacket (btw, who the fuck wears a dress shirt and suit jacket to a startup interview? … smh).

I digress — I was interviewing with this startup and asked the Founder (s/o Jordan Michaels!) what his biggest learning was as an entrepreneur. He shared something that has stuck with me over the years:

“Starting a company is like a roller coaster. The highs are really high. The lows are really low. …


Biggest challenge we faced: Making the “right” decision.

There’s a misconception that great leaders are the smartest people — they make the right decision every time.

When it comes to decision making, the difference between a good leader and a great leader is one’s ability to make decisions with conviction. The ability to make decisions with conviction does not come from knowing what the “right” decision is every time. Rather, the ability to make decisions with conviction comes from trusting their and their team’s ability to course correct and ensure that any decision made turns out right.

Over the past…

Terry Lee

Co-Founder + CEO of Panacea | The story we tell ourselves is the same story we tell the world.

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