The son of a Honolulu real estate agent, new account manager Ian Ho only recently discovered that he had a knack for sales.
“I worked at the AT&T store at Ala Moana Center, where the hours were long and I pushed myself pretty hard,” he recalls. “I ended up ranking second out of 150 representatives in the entire state for selling phone plans, and I knew it was a talent that I wanted to develop further.”
Ian graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a degree in finance and international business, and a minor in piano. In playing piano, he had also set himself apart from the pack.
“I practiced three hours a day… I spent more time playing piano than I did studying for my degree,” he admits.
In fact, Ian was the only music minor to be taught by Jonathan Korth, an associate professor at UH and renown chamber musician who has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Korth typically works only with music majors.
“I was super passionate about it,” Ian says. “Now I practice maybe an hour a day, branching out from classical piano to different styles, like boogie-woogie, jazz, 12-bar blues… I try to learn one or two pieces every three months, just finding something I like on YouTube and memorizing it.”
Ian’s father was born in Hawaii, and his mother hails from Singapore. They met on a Christian mission trip to Hong Kong. Both Ian and his younger brother attended Christian Academy in Honolulu, and faith is an important part of their lives.
“The three most important things to me are faith, family, and friends,” Ian says. “One reason I’m glad to be working at HIS is that I can now go to church on Sundays again.”
Ian came to HIS through a recruiter, and he admits he hadn’t previously considered working in technology or real estate.
“But when I walked into the office I immediately knew this was a place where I could start a career,” he said. “The atmosphere was really friendly and warm, and the people were so genuine and honest, which I think is pretty rare in the workplace.”
“I didn’t know anything about real estate, but I’m learning at an exponential rate,” he adds.
And learning is another of Ian’s hobbies.
“I work out once or twice a week, go to the gym, I play volleyball or spikeball with friends at the beach, and I like to go hiking,” he says. “But while I used to be more athletic, into wrestling and lifting weights, now I’m trying to develop my brain muscles.”
Ian reads two books a month, and diligently spends his lunch hour with his latest tome.
“I like psychology, investing, self-improvement… the book I’m reading right now is called The Personal MBA, condensing an MBA program into a book, and I’m enjoying it.”
He is also an avid traveler, and while studying abroad in France, he got to explore the continent every other week.
“I went to 15 countries while I was there, and now I’ve been to more than 20 countries,” Ian says. “I like to solo travel, staying in hostels is a lot of fun, making friends and exploring together.”
He’s been to Hong Kong, Singapore, Italy, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Madrid, and his most cherished travel memories include a six-hour hike up Mount Fuji and listening to jazz music in a small cafe in Japan.
Even with his varied interests, Ian says he is goal oriented, and carefully organizes each day, from hours working, spending time with family and friends, practicing piano, reading, and exercising.
“If we’re all conscious of how we use our time, we can accomplish things we didn’t think was possible,” he says. “If we’re focused, and focus on what we’re passionate about, we’ll surprise ourselves in the distance we can go.”
Among his current goals? Building a successful online private-label Amazon shop, earning an MBA from Cambridge University, spending a year studying music, and teaching English in France.
“I believe we can all accomplish way more than we think we can,” he says.
If you have a book recommendation for Ian, you can email him at email@example.com.