Michael Kuang of Syphon Fitness: “Find happiness first — If you’re not happy within yourself, nothing externally will make you happy”

Find happiness first — If you’re not happy within yourself; nothing externally will make you happy. Sure, more money and success can bring some joy. But, it may not always last, and it may lead to wanting more and more in which you’ll never be happy because you are always chasing to obtain something you don’t have.

I had the pleasure to interview Michael Kuang. Michael is the Founder & CEO of Syphon Fitness. Made in Taiwan, raised in Texas, now enjoying life in South Florida. I spent 11 years in the corporate world doing accounting, and now passionately and successfully running a business in the Health/ Wellness industry.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

I was able to find purpose and worth after many years of being miserable and depressed. The shift happened by taking a leap of faith and starting my own business.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

The most exciting thing since starting my business is that it makes me see who I am. Strengths, weaknesses, purpose, and fears all show up. It also makes you prioritize things in your life. You find what is important to you and what you can let go. The most important part of this journey has been finding myself. I was stuck in a rut and pretty lost with not a single idea of what to do. Not sure where I’d be if it weren’t for starting my business and sticking it out through the hardships.

So how exactly does your company help people?

I work with people dealing with chronic injury and pain as well as specific health issues. In doing so, I help them find a better quality of life both physically and mentally.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Started as a Personal Trainer and focused more on Corrective Exercise. Eventually began teaching Yoga, and then studied to be a Yoga Therapist. Now using all that education and experience with clients.

I think what makes it unique is that I’ve had my share of injuries and setbacks, so I am compassionate towards clients that come to me for their challenges. I was thrown out of a van that flipped eight times. I suffered a concussion and had some strain in my neck and lower back. I had a hard time staying injury free, as I got into an active lifestyle. This made me want to figure out what I could do for relief. As I started working with more and more clients, I saw a need for helping with injury and pain. Thus, the interest in Corrective Exercise and Yoga becoming my main focus. I think the accident happened so that I could find this path.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

There was a woman who I dated when I was about 25. She was nine years older than me and had her own business. At the time I was miserable in my Accounting job, and she had encouraged me to look into doing something I may enjoy and find more purpose in. Soon after that, I started working on getting certified as a Personal Trainer. She was exactly the person I needed in my life at that time. Although we moved on from the relationship, I’m still grateful for the time we dated.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I get to help people every day who are seeking wellness in their life. I’ve created individualized routines that allow for people to connect with their bodies and help rejuvenate their mind. Some conditions I’ve worked with are Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s/Dementia, Post Cardiac Surgery, and different injuries throughout the body. So a lot of times, I’m there with people who may be suffering a great deal. Looking at it now, it feels great knowing I’m able to help in their journey through challenging times.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Find happiness first-If you’re not happy within yourself; nothing externally will make you happy. Sure, more money and success can bring some joy. But, it may not always last, and it may lead to wanting more and more in which you’ll never be happy because you are always chasing to obtain something you don’t have.
  2. Make time for yourself-Burnout is not healthy; stress is even worse! Get that massage, go for that walk, go to the beach or pool, get in a workout or take a yoga class. Do something that does not work. That break will help you disconnect for a bit and recharge. Being busy is not a badge of honor. In fact, it is more damaging than anything else. I’d rather be productive, than busy.
  3. Things come with time-You have to have patience, you can’t expect to build a successful business in a short time. Keep your focus on the day to day and allow the business to grow organically. With time comes a solid foundation and a sense of stability. A big bang can be flashy and exciting, but remember that it took millions of years for water to carve the Grand Canyon.
  4. Don’t let fear control you-We all feel scared starting a business; those who make it are the ones who don’t allow the fear to set in. Acknowledge it if you need to, but find a way to let it subside so that you can focus on what you’re passionate about. Act out of passion and love; you can’t go wrong that way.
  5. Build a good relationship with money-Money can be your friend if you know how to treat it. Money helps your business grow and allows you to enjoy things. Treat it poorly, and it can lead to a pit of despair. Understand what you are worth! This was a big lesson for me. Set your prices at a level that you feel adequate with your time and experience. If you don’t feel worthy of that big client, you won’t get it.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?

Dali Lama or Thich Nhat Hanh-Buddhism has helped me find a different path in life. Having learned gratitude, compassion, and the act of letting go has helped define who I am as a person today.