'The UP Lab' Interview: Motivation & Positive Creation!

     The UP Lab is a blogging website brought to you by a young digital marketing professional, David Ly Khim, and we took great interest in the topics that his site touches upon. Looking to motivate your co-workers or help a friend out of a rut? Look no further. You’ll find an article to help mend any work wound here. Here at One Online we got the incredible chance to conduct an exclusive interview with Mr. Khim to find out a little behind-the-scenes information about The UP Lab and it’s success!


     Q: Let’s hear about your beginnings. How did The UP Lab come to be? Was it just an idea you ran with or was it the product of some brainstorming?

     A: “The UP Lab came to be when my friend, Justin, and I discussed how negative campus climate was and how everyone viewed their future with fear. Hardly anyone knew what they were going to do after college and that prevented much dialogue from occurring. If any conversation were to occur, it would be bleak conversation filled with uncertainty and negatively.”


     Q: Thus far, what is one of your favorite blog posts on The UP Lab and why?

     A: “I have to be a bit biased and say that my favorite article was one I wrote called “Your College Degree Doesn’t Define You: A First-Hand Experience” because it was extremely personal for me. It took me about three months to write because I wanted to be very careful how I explained my position without coming off as whiny and I knew that by sharing my story, I would be voicing the position of thousands of students in my position.

The article ended up being one of the most popular articles of The UP Lab and I still have people talking to me about it a year and a half later.

It made big impact on those who read it.”

     Q: It seems you’re really interested in each person on a truly human level, which leads me to my next question; how did you choose your team? 

     A: “We initially recruited our team from UC Irvine students. We hosted interviews on campus and received many applications whom we didn’t know which was a great surprise. We didn’t hire based off experience, but rather their mindset. In the end, we realized that experience was necessary to run a team efficiently. At which point we changed our hiring criteria and I created somewhat of a training program for our marketing team.”

     Q: Once your marketing team was in place, what would you say the main goal or purpose of The UP Lab was and is today?

     A: “The main goal of The UP Lab is to provide various perspectives which readers can use to grow personally to help them reach their own definition of success. Perspective came in the form of opinion articles and interviews with individuals whom we deemed were pursuing their own definition of success—one they created for themselves, not determined by someone else.”

     Q: Who do you think benefits most from this purpose, or who do you think takes the most out of these blogs? 

     A: “From our readers, it’s very obvious that most people who resonate with The UP Lab are current college students and recent graduates who are trying to find their way.

It’s easy to become discouraged when you have one idea of success that you’re reaching toward but you have all these other voices telling you it’s unrealistic or stupid or not worth it or won’t work out—and who knows what else.

Sometimes we just need someone who can put into words what we’re going through and remind us that we’re not alone. The UP Lab did that for a lot of people, which I know because they emailed us and messaged us on Facebook.”

     Q: How do you and your team push through writer’s block to keep positive content rolling?

     A: “I speak for myself when I say this, but I don’t believe writer’s block exists. If you think you have writer’s block, you might be trying too hard to force certain words onto the page instead of writing the words that are in your head.

This happens when you try to please other people—so it isn’t writer’s block, it’s just external pressure from expectations that you think you have to meet.

When this happens, I generally go for a run to get my mind off the pressure and let the ideas flow. You don’t have to run, though. Just do something that isn’t writing. I suggest reading a nonfiction book or listening to a podcast or find a TED talk or interview on Youtube. I’ve been reading  a lot of books and listening to a lot of podcasts and I always get content ideas from listening to other people.

I’ll also free write for 10 minutes and get anything and everything off my mind with no filter. Once you get some momentum, it’s hard to stop.

I also have an ongoing list of topics to write about. Whenever I have an idea, I open up my Evernote and get it down and quickly outline three points to include. Then I’ll go back to what I’m doing.

I’ve challenged myself to put out one piece of content a day on my blog (http://davidlykhim.com) so I’m always writing content. I haven’t run into writer’s block so far.”

     Q: An excellent strategy and mindset! How do you go about marketing The UP Lab so that the word is not just written but spread?

     A: “My co-founder, Justin, and I live out the values of The UP Lab in daily life—which makes the most sense. We weren’t trying to preach something we didn’t already practice.

He’s in physical therapy school at New York University and I just got a huge gig working for a digital marketing agency in Los Angeles.

We talk at least once a week and we’re always hustling to get to our next marker of success. We remain steadfast, knowing that in order to achieve influence and get where we want to be, we keep grinding consistently.

I believe I can speak for us both when I say that, we believe good things come to those who grind.”

     M: Thank you very much for taking the time to let us get behind the curtain and take a look at how such an incredible blogging site came to be! Our readers will love to hear your perspective.

     D: “Thanks so much for your interest in interviewing me and learning more about The UP Lab!

Although we’re dormant at the moment, readers can still subscribe to our newsletter (at http://theuplab.com/newsletter) for future updates and developments. We do have something planned. Upon subscribing, you’ll also receive a free ebook of all our interviews on The UP Lab!”

This interview was conducted by Mike Glidden and all responses were received directly from co-creator of The UP Lab, David Ly Khim.