In the Steps of KPOP WORKERS

This study began by coincidentally watching a Korean series on Netflix. It ended with revolutionary insights regarding reinventing ourselves in the new era.

Imagine what would happen in the job market if we could merge financial success and self-fulfillment?

What exciting careers and businesses could we develop?

What type of enlightened and innovative world would we create?

The Ultimate Question

What life exactly are we looking for? Everyone has their own personal definition, but there is a common denominator: nowadays we measure success with money and self-fulfillment.

We often hear of success stories that end in tragedy. Jong-hyun story is a sad example. He was a member of the popular Korean boy band SHINee. At age 27 in a hotel room in Seoul, he took his own life. He left a suicide note that said: “I was alone and suffering from depression… I’m broken on the inside… I could no longer beat the depression that had been slowly gnawing away at me.”

Jong-hyun had it all: a successful international career, publicity, recognition, a “clean” image, a good relationship, friends, adoring fans, and plenty of money. However, he lacked one essential component in the equation – he had lost himself.

What happened?

Not long ago, we enjoyed simple and peaceful life. How did we manage to turn them to ongoing stressful, crazy race?

We’ve lost ourselves!

This is the answer.

We’ve stopped appreciating the path and started worshiping the results.

We all aspire to be “Number 1”. Not compared to ourselves, but rather to the whole world.

And when we don’t get the top spot, our identity collapses, and we fall apart.

Can we all be “Number 1”?

Of course not!!

It’s time to return to the source

It’s time to get back to ourselves.

Each one of us is a broken soul, and life is merely the tool to heal our souls.

This is a personal journey that each of us must take:

  • It’s a journey of growth – from who we are today to who we can become tomorrow.
  • It’s not about the world or other people.
  • It’s about ourselves and our own unique purpose.

It’s sad and lonely at the top, especially if you can’t connect the external success with the inner meaning. This is likely what Jong-hyun felt before he left.

The Theory Behind KPOP WORKERS

The theory was born from a research study that examined over 215 South Korean KPOP stars, for nearly two years.

In the Web 2.0 era, the main research tools at my disposal were Wikipedia, Asian news sites, KPOP sites, drama sites such as VIKI, Netflix, and social media platforms, namely Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.


At the end of the research study, 7 key characters were identified. Their stories constitute an authoritative source of inspiration.

All the selected artists (except for one) met the five overarching criteria:

  • They’ve been active in the industry for 10-20 years
  • They have a “clean” image
  • They are highly professional
  • They reinvented themselves during their career

However, the central factor that inspires these artists is their capability to make complex transitions following these 4 guidelines:

  1. Being attentive to inner values and the pursuit of passion.
  2. Being heedful to changing realities on both the local and global levels.
  3. Integrating all the specialties that they’ve developed.
  4. Adaptability and the capacity to re-group at the highest levels, based on their “elasticity.”

The “Avatar” of KPOP WORKERS

The “avatar” was revealed out of the top seven characters. It is the most successful prototype of the method, or if you wish, in the spirit of Netflix’s “Designated Survivor: 60 Days” (series name).

Meet CHO SEUNG WOO, the South Korean actor, who has succeeded to stay relevant and to achieve fulfillment for over two decades continually.

The 39-year-old CHO SEUNG WOO began his career as a singer and musician. He soon starred in musical productions and then emerged as an exceptionally talented dramatic actor.

In a surprise twist in 2016, he became one of the most Asian drama stars following his success on the Netflix series. And right now, it seems CHO is at the beginning of a new chapter.

What’s so special about them? Even in the world of KPOP, relatively few have lasted for decades.

What’s so special about the “A-TEAM” in any case and CHO SEUNG WOO, in particular, that has allowed them to thrive over the years?

  • How can they become inspirational models for the millions who dream – even at this moment – of getting to the top of the KPOP scene?
  • How can they help reinforce the value of life?
  • What changes should we make in the original KPOP model to improve it?
  • How can we use an enhanced model to help workers to reinvent themselves and achieve a sense of fulfillment?

It’s always the same story.

The KPOP model was born out from an intersectional study involving 215 KPOP artists and another research project that I conducted over three years among employees at various organizations.

During the research project, I was able to identify overlaps between the two groups.

The same story is always repeated in both worlds –

  1. The organizational environment and business atmosphere are continually changing.
  2. People are stuck. They are afraid of change on an emotional level and don’t know how to handle it properly.
  3. There is a constant gnawing feeling of relevance for anyone who doesn’t adapt to market changes.
  4. This gnawing feeling of significance leads to a growing sense of internal souring.
  5. A conflict between the person and organization/ business is created.
  6. The conflict motivates the partial solution at the level of dismissal, voluntary departure, and client loss, as well as illness, depression, divorce, and even suicide.

The world isn’t going to slow down

Organizations and businesses are systemically forcing their employees to perform at unprecedented levels. Therefore, the only choice that people have left is to take practical responsibility for their own development. The time to do this is now!

Here’s how to create relevance and fulfillment in the new era


People often achieve wonders when placed in a corner and forced to draw from the spring of human potential that dwells in us all. The world offers endless opportunities for change. Whoever succeeds in seeing these signals and milestones, will be able to leap to the next phase.

He will join the KPOP WORKERS family and enjoy the unusual combination of relevance and fulfillment that defines the good life that we all want.


“Reinventing yourself is sometimes painful. But nothing is as painful as being stuck somewhere you don’t belong.”