Sun Yi is an entrepreneur, storyteller, and TEDx speaker. He is the founder of Night Owls, an award-winning digital agency in NYC. In 2022, he started Night Owl Nation, a community that practices storytelling together.
What is your “why”?
I don’t have one. I wasted 10 years of my life looking for my why and just ended up confused and miserable.
Once I stopped looking for my why, I became happier and realized everything good in my life happened by accident.
Here’s my life philosophy: I do whatever task is in front of me with 100% focus, care and love. I don’t worry about tomorrow. The universe will show me the next steps.
Why did you start Night Owl Nation?
I have a terrible poker face. I wear my heart on my sleeves.
In college, I got a job selling laptops where I was told it was same as a Toshiba laptop for half the price. On my first day, I sold 7, the most they’ve ever sold in one day. After a few months I found out the laptop was garbage. I couldn’t sell with a straight face after that. I felt like I was betraying myself. My sales numbers went to zero.
When I started my own agency, I noticed that I had no problem selling. I had conviction because I was selling myself and I believed in the product. People loved how honest I was during sales meetings. Then when I started making content, people loved how honest I was also.
I realized that my “bad poker face” wasn’t a weakness. It was my biggest strength.
That’s why when I was creating an online course, I kept getting that same “betraying myself” feeling. I knew from data and previous clients that most students don’t finish online courses. I know it’s not the course’s fault, but I still didn’t feel right saying it because I knew it wouldn’t work for most of them.
I felt like my entire career was a lie. I stopped making content, went into a hole, and disappeared for a year. I wanted to create something where people can continue to practice, get feedback, and make it scalable.
It started out messy, but eventually it became a real community.
Marketers have hijacked online education with phrases like “6-figure launch” and “passive income”. I was one of them. Now my mission is to help fix it.
How much money do you make?
People always ask me: “Why are you only charging $5?” or “You should have high-ticket products” or my favorite: “When they don’t pay, they don’t pay attention.”
While I appreciate the advice, the truth is, this type of language is what ruined online education in the first place. We’re more focused on “selling” than “teaching”.
I’m not doing this to get rich. I started Night Owl Nation to fix online education. I make money from my agency and other gigs.
Where did you work before?
This ain’t my first rodeo. Although I’m new to teaching and making content, I have over 20 years of experience working in design, branding and marketing.
In 2010, I started Night Owls, an award-winning NYC based digital agency. Over the years, I’ve helped grow over a billion dollars in revenue for some of the biggest brands in the world.
In 2021, I taught a course on Domestika: The Art of Storytelling for Freelancers and Creators.
In April of 2022, I started Night Owl Nation where I teach storytelling through weekly practicing.
Who have you worked with?
Over the years, we’ve worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, including:
American Red Cross / Columbia University / Contently / NYU / Real Networks / Seiko / Spotify / S’well Bottle
In recent years, we worked with some awesome speakers, authors, and influencers, such as:
Baron Baptiste / Colette Baron-Reid / Gabby Bernstein / Nicole Lapin / Dhar Mann / Marc Randolph / Mel Robbins / Jay Shetty
Here are some organizations that invited me to speak:
Here are some awards we've won over the years:
Where can I find your content?
Where can I see your press mentions?
Here are some video interviews I've done:
Here are some press that's mentioned me:
Where can I listen to your interviews?
Here are some podcasts that I've been on:
Why should I trust you?
You shouldn't trust me.
You should read what others say about me behind my back. Here are few things people have said about my speaking:
Sun Yi is a prodigy at social media, storytelling, and teaching both.
-Laura Belgray, Shrimp Club
We got so many good reviews from hosting this event with Sun
-James Cullen, California Association of Realtors Young Professional Network
Sun has a way of connecting authentically with the audience
-Mario Quezada, Mindset Reboot
Circle is lucky to have him!
-Alexis Teichmiller, Circle
And here's what my clients have said about my agency:
Helped tackle a major business challenge.
-Courtney Junkin, American Red Cross
A fantastic group to work with!
-Lanna Apisukh, Real Networks
A rare combination of passion, execution, dedication, and illustrious team
Young & Leya, Dog City
Passionate, honest, and trustworthy.
-Frank Bonura, Seiko
Exceeded all our expectations.
-John Lee, Disc Disease Solutions
An important and incredible partner.
-Chris Hansen, AJW
Innovative and one-of-a-kind team.
-Brad Beckerman, Esense
Creative, responsive and flexible team
Laura Lilyquist, Badgeville
Can I hire you to speak at my event?
Most events are boring. I’ve been to countless of conferences and seminars. They’re just excuses for people to get out of the office, travel, and get their free drinks.
But once in a while, I’ll see a speaker that can say just ONE thing that just totally blew my mind.
Well, that person is me. My only goal when I’m on stage is to blow people’s mind and make them say “hmmm, I never thought of it that way.”
If you’d like to hire me for speaking, please send an email to [email protected].
How can I work with you?
Right now my agency is not accepting any new clients, However, I’m available for a quick coaching call if you just want to ask me some questions.
If you want to get mentored by me, the best way is to join Night Owl Nation.
For speaking, press, and collaboration opportunities, please send an email to [email protected].