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Have you ever felt like everything was going wrong you had no idea what to do? On this episode, we celebrate 3 million podcast downloads by opening up about the times when it looked like we weren’t going to make it. We look back on our journey to accomplishing this podcast milestone, and talk about how we overcame 5 specific setbacks we’ve encountered as a company over the years. We highlight the lessons that we learned that allowed us to keep going even when it looked like there was no way forward. In this real and honest episode, we share the difficult times we’ve been though as the Asian Efficiency team, and we share what helped us bounce back so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes we did.

Cheat Sheet

  • Celebrating 3 million downloads! [2:11]
  • The setbacks that the Asian Efficiency team has had along the way [5:45]
  • The real reason we decided to launch the podcast in the first place [9:05]
  • Why Thanh initially thought the podcast was a bad idea [10:24]
  • Lessons we learned from launching the podcast without a clear vision or plan [17:23]
  • Things to avoid if you’re looking to start a blog or a podcast [20:56]
  • The staff shake-ups that have changed the face of the podcast and company (and how we overcame them) [25:02]
  • Brooks’s take on company changes from the perspective of a listener [31:17]
  • What to do about the things in life that you can’t plan for [34:47]
  • How to deal with personnel changes as a CEO or entrepreneur [37:36]
  • How our team finally figured out how to make the podcast profitable [43:44]
  • How we overcame early discouraging results with the podcast (and also with a few of our products) [51:53]
  • The things we do to mitigate risk and setbacks before they happen [54:25]
  • How to deal with a work emergency when one arises and use a post-mortem process to make things better in the future [59:55]
  • Why it’s beneficial to iterate your products in public [1:04:04]
  • How to use critical feedback to make your company even better [1:07:21]


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Last Updated: April 2, 2024

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Asian Efficiency Team

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  1. Thank you Thanh, Mike and Brooks. Whatever you guys do are meaningful to me so please keep going. On my part I will spread the word on the wonderful work all of you doing in the Asian Efficiency.

  2. Thanks Asian Efficiency Team for those podcasts. And I confirm I’m waiting every mondai for the new episode! It has to remain weekly (I would eventually accept a short break for summer holidays or Christmas ;-) )
    You are amazing guys. Just continue this way!

  3. I think I missed the mark for the free book but hey a good comment for a job well done is worth it anyways! Great show guys :) Love the topic of resilience!

  4. Love you guys I have listen to many podcast over the years and your show is the only one I actually look forward to new episodes, it’s like Christmas every time. I would love a book as well :)

  5. I’m I one of the first five? Would love to get a hold Cal Newport’s book as well! Love your show, keep them coming!

  6. Hey Guys great episode so far. I would love a copy of Cal Newport’s so good they can’t ignore you! Thanks

  7. Love the podcast! I’ve listen to every episode since the beginning! Congrats on 3 million downloads! You guys deserve it! Thank you for making me more productive!

  8. Thanks for the great content on your podcast. I appreciate when books are linked in the show notes because its an easy way to find the book referenced in the show. Looking forward to learning more!


  9. Am I one of the first 5 for a book?
    Would love a print copy of Cal Newport’s book – have it as an audio book…

    Great show guys!

  10. I found this show right after I graduated from college and it has helped me find the best ways to keep me going and finding real solutions to achieving my goals. Keep it up and here’s to another 3 million podcast downloads

  11. OK, I’m a newbie. I discovered you after adopting GTD about a year ago. I’ve recommended you and David Allens podcast.

    I’m like listening to today’s download 7/3 and wanted to be one of the first five responders to qualify for deep work but have no idea if this is the right place to comment.

    Love you guys!!!!!

  12. Hey! This podcast is incredible! Consistently excellent, actionable content that legitimately makes a day to day difference. Thanks! 😀

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