I love the baking and fortune cookie business. Luckily, this is my work every day.

Doing what you love has many benefits. For one, you’ll work harder if you enjoy what you do. If your work is fun you will also gain confidence to adapt to change.

And you will have to change! Life is all about change. I’ve been a shoemaker, cook, waiter, bartender, baker and auto mechanic. Each of these jobs prepared me for my work today.

My passion for my work has also led to my hobbies after work. For example, I am fascinated by machines — fortune cookie machines, boats, motorcycles and custom automobiles. You name it, if it has a motor, I like it. The power and speed of machines is amazing.

I also love sharing food with friends and family. As the owner of a Chinese restaurant and bakery, and a fortune cookie manufacturing company, I get to be around food, family and friends all the time. Everybody needs laughter and food many times a day.

Work has allowed me to travel, too, and through these experiences I have developed a passion for visiting new places, meeting new friends, trying local foods, and seeing the sights. Two of my favorite travel experiences have been driving along the Pacific Coast Highway in California and driving up to the Haleakala volcano in Maui.

My point is that if you do one thing you love, it will lead to more things you love. Everything is connected; and ultimately, in your life, it’s all connected to you.

So take a moment to think about it. What do you love to do?

When my dad grew up in Canton, China, his family could not afford shoes. But he sold his labor to buy a pair of shoes so he wouldn’t be teased at school. Times were very tough back then. My dad’s father was missing in WWII, never to be seen again. And there were no jobs to be had in the new communist government, and there was no money.

In 1953 when I was two-years old, my dad left to Hong Kong to make money for the family. Dad didn’t know anybody there, and he did day labor until he could pay to be an apprentice shoemaker. Then in 1956 he moved the family to Hong Kong. My dad always believed things could get better tomorrow.

Things did get better in Hong Kong, but times were still very hard. There were more people than jobs at the time, but my dad worked hard and eventually started his own shoe making business. All eight of us lived in a 1,000 square foot flat that also housed the shoe making business. And as the oldest of six kids, I did a lot of work for the family business while going to school.

There were many gangs in Hong Kong at the time, including the Kung Fun gangs you see in movies. I had to learn how to fight to protect myself, and I rarely felt safe. When I was a teenager one of my friends drank poison to end his life, and I thought this was a good idea. So I climbed on the ledge of a tall building and was prepared to leap, but then an idea popped into my head: Things could get better tomorrow. And I abandoned my plans.

Eventually I graduated from high school in Hong Kong, which was major achievement at the time. After high school I got a job in a hotel restaurant and learned to bake, cook, wait tables, and tend bar. This work led me immigrate to Canada to work at my Grand Uncles restaurant, The Nan King, in Edmonton, Alberta.

This was the lucky break I was dreaming about. I had always wanted to move to the western world, partly from a desire for adventure, and partly because I believed there were better opportunities and more security in the new world. My better tomorrow had come.

In Edmonton I learned the restaurant business. Then in 1974 I moved to Toronto and got a weekend job as a waiter in Chinatown, and I also landed a weekday job as an auto mechanic apprentice at a Datsun dealership. As an auto mechanic I developed a passion for working with machines. This knowledge of machines became very helpful when I opened my bakery and fortune cookie business in 1983, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I’ve learned that things can get better tomorrow if you have faith in the future, work hard, and have a little luck. My dad was right all along.

There are two problems with control – too much, and not enough. The challenge is to find the right balance.

Early on in my business I ran a bakery, restaurant and fortune cookie operation. I was working 80 hours a week and involved in every small detail. I was in control, but felt out of control!

After talking with an adviser, I decided to close the restaurant and focus on making fortune cookies. Before long we were shipping hundreds-of-thousands of cookies a day. During that time I had four young children who needed my attention, so I let employees make my business decisions for me. While I don’t entirely regret this, soon I learned the hazards of too little control! I became a stranger to my own business, and it took a lot of time and money to make the necessary adjustments.

Control is kind of like driving a car. If you clutch the steering wheel too tight and never pull over to a rest stop you could end up in the ditch. At the same time, if you don’t pay attention to where you’re going, you will get lost.

There are no easy answers to the challenge of control. But I have learned some important lessons along the way. First, I always reserve the right to make final decisions, yet welcome new ideas. Second, I pay close attention to what’s going on in my business and ask my team many questions. I find my balance through understanding and awareness.

So think about your own life a minute. How do you balance control?