Neely’s Note: It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself. Oftentimes in our dating and love lives, we like to play the role of victim, wallowing in our anger or sadness. I’m not saying to not experience our emotions (no!), because our emotions can be instructive and used purposefully. But at what point do we say enough is enough? It can be easier to see ourselves as a victim and make excuses for our lot in life than to take the reins and dive into making changes. Why? Because creating change in our lives comes with making painful choices and looking honestly at ourselves. That’s not easy to do, but it’s the only way to create long-lasting, meaningful change. So the next time you’re feeling sorry for yourself, think of my fellow dating coach Chau Nguyen’s entrepreneurial story and how he and his family overcame tremendous adversity to create limitless opportunities and possibilities in their lives! When it comes to your dating and love life, how can you live entrepreneurially? How can you harness that entrepreneurial spirit buried inside of you to create the change you want to see?

Is the American Dream a Lie?

By Chau Nguyen

I want to thank Neely for this guest post. I’m a fan of her writing.

I was locked up for five years before arriving in the United States, graduated from UCI debt-free, made $250,000 from poker and was the ghost writer for a best-selling book before turning 25. Today, I help men from all over the world win over the woman of their dreams.

Hi, my name is Chau Nguyen, and this is my story.

23 years ago, my parents left everything they had in communist Vietnam to pursue The American Dream. They were bold and relentless in their search for freedom and opportunity.

From left to right: that’s me, my mom, my dad and my older brother. 

On our way to America, our boat’s engine died and we were stranded in the ocean for days. To make matters worse, a raging thunderstorm violently shook our fragile boat for hours, threatening to sink everything to the bottomless ocean–our boat, our cargoes and our lives.  

It was pitch black.

My mom held me in her arms while my dad held my brother in his. Maybe we should have stayed back in Vietnam. It was too late to think that, and there was no turning back. As our parents held us, they fed us bread.


They didn’t want their children to die hungry.

The storm eventually gave out. We were rescued by the Hong Kong Naval Officers and we couldn’t believe our luck. Then they turned around and locked us up in a refugee camp for half a decade. This was not part of our plan. But it wasn’t so bad.

At least we had food–spam, and lots of it. Every day was Spam Day. We ate spam until our taste buds fell off.

Five years into the camp, my parents performed a miracle.

They passed the interview that would allow our family to legally step foot into America. Just to give you an idea of how of ridiculously hard the interview was, for every family that passed, 99 others were sent back to their home country.

The success rate was only 1%, and somehow, my parents pulled it off.

America! We’ve heard so many stories about you –the land of the free, the home of the brave, the nation of endless opportunities.

And our first destination?

ghetto homeThere were many buildings like this in our neighborhood.

The ghetto in Alabama.

You could imagine the shock and disappointment on my family’s faces when we saw “The American Dream.” We risked our lives for this? My parents had bigger dreams and ambitions for their children.

Armed with broken English, $20 in their pockets, and a will that could move mountains, my parents made another gamble and rode the Greyhound bus to another part of the world where uncertainty was the only thing that was certain.

They won that bet.

For the next several years, our family shared a two-bedroom apartment with another family. My parents worked 80-100 hours a week. They had to raise two sons on minimum wage and send whatever money they had left back to Vietnam to support our grandparents, aunts and uncles. It was an extremely difficult time for them but they were no strangers to hard-work.

Today, we now have a beautiful home, a loyal Labrador Retriever, and a humble life in Orange County, California.

My dad spends most of his time practicing Buddhism and meditation, my mom is about to earn an AA degree in Music Theory, and my brother owns two multi-million dollar companies in the tech industry. As for me, I get to help men from all over the world win over the woman of their dreams. My dating company is projected to make 10 million dollars in revenue within the next three years. The American Dream isn’t a lie. My family is proof positive of that.

This story has been more about my parents than me because they’re my heroes. If I can be half as hard-working, relentless and fearless as they are, I know there’s nothing I can’t achieve.

My parents went through all this because they wanted their children to live the life they never had. They never gave up. And neither will I. That is why failure is never an option for me.

Over to you… 

You may never get locked up for half a decade eating the same foods day after day or try to survive in a country where you can barely speak the native tongue. But if you want to achieve financial freedom, success, or even passionate love, your own fears and struggles will greet you in different shapes, sizes and forms.

You will feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and even hopeless. And when that happens, remember this:

The day you stop dreaming is the day you die.

So never give up. That’s how my parents achieved The American Dream, and that’s the greatest life lesson they’ve ever taught me.

Chau Nguyen, a dating coach for men, is named “America’s Hottest Young Dating Coachby Cupid’s Pulse. He is also a best-selling author, and CEO of The One Who Gets It, a fast growing dating company in Southern California. You can visit his website at or follow him through Twitter

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