At 22, most people are wrapping up their college years and heading off into the work industry to pursue their dream careers, but William “Big Will “The Scorpion King'” Zhong has been doing that for the past few years. Big Will, as he is known in the entertainment industry, has become well known for being the CEO and executive producer of WWS Magazine www.wwsmag.com — the world’s first entertainment, fashion and lifestyle magazine packaged in a compact disc. His magazine has featured countless celebrities – “ mostly hip-hop recording artists – “ and has a growing number of subscribers. However, before Big Will had achieved the stable success he has right now, no one would have guessed that this kid from Fremont, California had a hard time finding stability in his life – “ going through stages of depression, being broke, and going from job to job. However, when Big Will was 18-years-old, he finally turned a passion into a great business venture.
“I had created a cheap website and started a music newsletter for local hip-hop artists,” stated Big Will. “I worked extremely hard to get it off the ground. The intentions of making money had never gone through my head, so money was not my driver. I was almost completely broke during the whole development, and only knew how and when to operate my passion for music. The only thing I had was motivation, ambition and a dream. That was all it took to drive myself to the top.”
And, it was then that he turned his newsletter into WWS Magazine. He spent all the money he earned from his jobs to produce each issue and spent much of his time trying to promote and sell WWS Magazine on the streets. By the time he was 20, he was given his opportunity to help WWS Magazine grow more.
“When I turned 20 years old, I had sponsors and advertisers giving me thousands and thousands of dollars to produce and promote WWS Magazine,” stated Big Will. “I felt instant success. Within six months after, WWS went from underground to mainstream. The progress of the magazine was extremely fast and efficient. Though I had my constant ups and downs, the magazine was a pure success. Every artist from California to Tokyo went crazy for WWS and wanted to be featured in it.”
Asiance Magazine had the chance to do an interview with Big Will to talk about his success with WWS Magazine, what he’s currently doing right now, and what he hopes to accomplish in the future.
ASIANCE: Now that you’ve become successful, how does it feel to finally be out of those “slumps” you had in the past?
Big Will: It feels great to be away from the past slumps! It was a really tough journey from the beginning and I’m glad I don’t have to do it all over again. But the new businesses I’m starting will require me to start from scratch again and it will be a similar journey. Like I said, a true businessman can use the same techniques and credentials for any startup business; restaurants, fashion, entertainment, industrial, you name it! But as far as the entertainment industry slumps; I’m so glad it’s over, I think it’s the worse out of all genres!
ASIANCE: I know even now as a successful entrepreneur you still have those bad days. How do you get through those moments of bad times now?
Big Will: The bad days will always come no matter what. Business is very much fluctuated, and it goes up and down dramatically. On my bad days, I tend to just chill by myself in my backyard and think. It is the best way for me to overcome anything or find new ideas and innovations in myself. On really bad days I have to just let it sink and pray for the day to end soon. I’ve had days when things just completely collapse on me with my business and personal life at the exact same time. It’s one of the most horrible feelings, but you must always think positive and realize that the hardship will be over eventually and you’ll be right back on track in a couple of days. Accidents and unexpected things will always pop up so don’t be surprised, just learn from the obstacles that the universe puts in front of you.
ASIANCE: At age 22, you are a very young entrepreneur. Do you feel intimidated by others sometimes because you’re young?
Big Will: No way! I’ve been doing this way too long to be intimidated by anybody. I’m very humble and keep my mouth shut until someone talks about me. I treat everyone with a great amount of respect no matter what they do for a living. When respect is shown, you will receive it back. There is no reason for me to be intimidated otherwise I wouldn’t be here today. There are many young people that are much smarter than me. Intimidation should not exist in any ones self esteem if you want to be successful. Business is working together and being successful. Treat others the way you want to be treated. There have been many older people in this entertainment industry who want me to help them, which is a very good thing because I would love to help anyone who has the same goals as me. It is always beneficial to help people, and you will get a lot out of it in the long run.
ASIANCE: Can you talk a little bit about WWS Magazine and what meaning it holds for you, especially since it was what helped you become successful?
Big Will: The WWS Company is everything to me. Over the last three years it’s kept me out of trouble and away from all the negative things that normal people my age are involved in. I used to sell drugs and do all kinds of dirty things to make a living, and it was really digging a grave for me. When I started WWS Magazine, it was not only to feed my passion for music and entertainment, but also to keep me away from certain things. WWS Magazine has saved my life in many ways. It flipped my life 360 degrees. I used to be the loser in high school that nobody respected, but now I’m the only one who’s ever done anything of this magnitude out of everyone I grew up with. WWS has made me a very wealthy young man, it’s helped me feed my family, got me my Mercedes, bought all my clothes (I’m a fashion freak), and it’s given me a great opportunity to help people and businesses throughout the world. It’s a great business to run, and more importantly it’s extremely fun for me to do this. I’m enjoying this interview and I’m much honored. This is the life I’ve always wanted and anyone can do the same. WWS took me from nothing to something and I will be eternally thankful to God for blessing me with such motivation.
ASIANCE: Now that you have a stable career and life, per se, how do you parents feel about you now? They must be very proud of you.
Big Will: Oh yeah! My parents love WWS, they tell all their friends and family about it. My parent’s acquaintances love WWS Magazine too. As a matter of fact, some of my parent’s friends are subscribed to it! My mom however would love for me to finish college since I dropped out of San Jose State within a year of attending, but that’s understandable. All mothers want their children to have a good education. I tell her that I’m too busy and focused on my career like Brittany Spears to go to school. I do read a lot of business literature and it helps a little, but I will return to school to get my PHD when I get a breather. My dad doesn’t really care as long as I make good money! Way to go!
ASIANCE: I’ve read that you will be releasing a clothing line, perhaps an album and will be hosting your own television show (very multi talented!). Can you talk a little bit more about those ventures?
Big Will: Surely! The clothing line will be based on my little baby sister named Lulu. The clothing line is called Kandi and will be very unique. You will see the first line next spring at the latest. My television show is an independent venture that I will be broadcasted mainly in China. It will be done by me and my staff until a big capitalist throws $5,000,000 at me. The show will be a very big comedy feature consisting mainly of interviews and me traveling around China! It will be very enjoyable for the Asian market. I hope many Mandarin speaking people in America will enjoy it as well. I’m currently working on a TV series with my friend Johnny La from San Jose called “Gunn” which is an action/drama series taking place in San Jose. It’s expected to do really good so I hope that takes off. My album is currently being worked on right now, and it’s guaranteed to be a knocker. I plan to get signed to a huge record label in Japan and will be releasing in Japan first, then the United States.
ASIANCE: Besides gaining a load of confidence and motivation to delve into other business ventures, what else do you think you have gained, learned, and/or how you’ve changed as a person?
Big Will: Well, when I first came up after the first couple of years, I was a little bit cocky, and I thought I was the greatest thing that ever existed. But now, I realized that I wasn’t even that good at what I did and had no reason to be cocky. Right now I can’t imagine being a cocky individual; it’s just not in my nature. In the past I would go out a lot and party, but now I stay at home with my wife mostly or pick on my little sister Lulu for fun. One of the most important things I’ve realized is that I have a long way to go until I make it to the top. I’m nowhere compared to where I’m going to be. That is why I set small goals after more small goals and all my goals will be achieved. New ideas pop off every hour in my head, so I’ve learned how to manage my entire goal achieving which is very important.
ASIANCE: What are some of your future goals — both personal and professional?
Big Will: My business goals are to be the best at everything. I would like to be the best professional skateboarding champion in the world. I would like my clothing line to be next to the big timers. I would like my magazine to be a leading publication five years from now. I would like to be a great real estate planner and developer. I would like to have my own food and beverage company where I can compete against businesses in that genre. I would like to be the best R&B singer and rapper in Japan, Europe and the United States. I plan to do a lot of charity and donations for people all across the world that is in need. I plan to have children with my wife and make the best out of them. I want to be one of the greatest and funniest comedians in China. I want my family to have the best living standards and have the finest things on this earth. God and my family mean everything to me. I pray to God every day to keep my family together, close and safe. I would give up everything for my family only. Other than that, the sky is the limit. I plan to do it all, and enjoy every minute of it.
ASIANCE: Has it been difficult or is it still is difficult, as an Asian-American, to become successful in the American entertainment publishing industry?
Big Will: Not at all! I thank God everyday for making me an Asian person in this business. You have to remember that music and entertainment is not the only thing that I will dominate. As a matter of fact, this entertainment stuff I do is more on the back burner. Asians are very successful at what they do; you can ask anyone. It doesn’t matter if it is entertainment, industrial or agricultural. As an Asian, it makes it easier to accomplish. We are the most determined people on this planet, we can dominate any industry; it’s a piece of cake. People in the music industry never forget my face due to the fact that I’m Asian. People tend to trust me, and are more eager to do business with me being the fact that I’m Asian. The benefactors go a long way. It’s never been difficult and it will never be difficult to be successful in the American entertainment business because I’m Asian. That’s never crossed my mind, and it shouldn’t cross any Asian persons mind.
ASIANCE: Like you mentioned in your bio, you were nothing and then became something. What advice can you give to those who may be in a similar situation like you were before and who would like to find a way to become as successful as you are?
Big Will: Well I’m not successful yet, but I understand many individuals that look up to me believe so. I know for a fact that anyone can do what I did. It doesn’t matter what nationality or physical condition anyone has. Anything is possible. A lot of people want to be doctors and biologists, which is great. That would require a lot of schooling and studies. You have to find out what your passion is before anything. If it is playing darts, then go for it until you find another hobby or career to pursue. There is nothing wrong with having multiple careers in life; it’s actually better! The more you discover within yourself, the closer you will get to your ultimate passion. To be successful, you can never think about doing it for the money. I learned the hard way. If you are doing it for only the money, the chances of success are against you. Find your passion! God and your passion are the only things on the world that can generate the kind of motivation to lead you to ultimate success; which will ultimately lead you to happiness. One person might want a happy home with a happy family, while the next person would like to be a successful basketball player and a gymnast. Or like me who wants to be an entrepreneur. You must know what you want, and take little steps to get there. Once you are going step by step towards that direction, eventually you will get there. Use your imagination and imagine what you would like your future to become. Then step back to reality and set small goals that can easily be achieved. Before you know it, you will get to where you want to be.