JULY 28, 2021

It is 1975. The first wave of Vietnamese refugees has just arrived in the United States, and 20 of those refugee women in California are getting ready to make 8.3 billion dollars. 

Sounds too good to be true, right? But that’s the reality.

Who are these twenty women? What did they do? How did they do this? How can you do it too?

Read on, and find out. 

This blog post is also available in video format on my YouTube channel which you can watch below!

What did these women do to make 8.3 Billion Dollars?

They followed their curiosity. 

That’s it. They were curious to learn about something, and they acted on it. 

Curiosity helped them make 8.3 Billion Dollars. And if you are curious and follow your curiosity, you can also do that. You can make 8.3 billion dollars, spark a change in the world, or put people on Mars or the moon: all by simply following your curiosity. 

The 20 Vietnamese Women. Image credits:

What does curiosity mean, though? And how did these twenty women use it?

What is curiosity?

When you are excited and enthusiastic about learning or discovering something new, you are curious. 

Let’s travel back in time to the late 1870s. We did not have electric light bulbs, and people used oil or kerosene lamps to light their homes. 

It wasn’t fun and easy. First, there was the hassle of setting up the oil lamp by adding the fuel in. Then, getting it to burn was also a little tricky if you didn’t use match sticks, and the lamp would last about 3 to 4 hours on average, which means you may have to refuel it two or three times during the night. But the big problem was the smoke and smell of burning oil that filled the entire room and house. 

Can you imagine if we had to go through all of that today just to light up our rooms at night? But we don’t have to do this at all because of Thomas Edison.

He thought, “What if I can create a light source that doesn’t require too much hassle?” and he came up with the light bulb after a lot of failures.

What do you think was the first and most important thing that led to the formation of the light bulb? Was it Newton’s revolutionary idea, his persistence, his thinking, or his actions? It’s none of these. 

The first and the most important thing is curiosity. Newton was curious to know about an alternative solution to the oil lamp, which changed our lives. 

Curiosity can change the world, and it begins with asking questions, just like Newton did.

How Can We Become Curious?

After reading about Newton’s curiosity, most of us will think, “I don’t look out for problems and try to solve them as Newton did. Does that mean I am less curious or not curious at all?”

The answer, unfortunately, is yes. 

We, as adults, are less curious. We ask fewer questions. We don’t think differently, and we just follow the norm. 

But it wasn’t that way at all. We are naturally curious as children, and as we grow, our curiosity goes down. We just need to revive that curiosity, and we won’t have to look for tips or tricks to become curious again. We only need to become a child again. 

How are we naturally curious?

“Why is the sky blue, mom?”

“Daddy, can you make me fly?

“When can I start driving?”

“Mom, why do I have to go to school?”

Who asks these questions? Children. They have so many things they want to know, and they never hesitate to ask those questions. 

Studies have shown that children ask about 200-300 questions each day! 

As children, we are full of curiosity. We ask questions, try to find answers, look at every new thing with awe and wonder, and try to find out what’s going on in the world.

Then how do we lose our curiosity and stop asking questions? Let’s find out!

How do we lose our curiosity?

Our society discourages curiosity. When we are young children, our parents can get annoyed by the sheer amount of questions we ask. When we are at school, the structure of our education makes us believe that asking silly questions is bad, and if we ask too many of them, our teachers say to our parents, “Your child is too nosy.”

We start thinking that if we ask a silly question, it means that we don’t understand correctly or are less smart. 

When we enter the workspace, we are told to follow the norms of the organization, and by asking questions that may challenge those norms, we risk our employment, and we don’t ask questions. This kind of suppression makes us less curious, and we end up thinking, “How can Newton think of something, and we can’t?”

However, curiosity is a natural part of us, and it never completely dies off. All we need to do is reignite our curiosity.

How to become curious again?

We need to develop the habit of asking more questions. 

That’s it. We have to stop jumping to conclusions and instead try to discover new answers. 

Ask whatever question comes to your mind, and you will most probably get an answer. If the people around you don’t answer your questions, try finding the solution on the internet. You can discover an entirely new passion and even change your life by becoming curious. 

The first step to do that is to stop saying, “I can’t.”

If you don’t know a lot about microprocessors, don’t say, “I can’t do anything with microprocessors.” Instead, say, “What if I can learn new things and create something with microprocessors?”

That’s what Newton also did. By asking a question, no matter how silly and unbelievable, he created an opportunity, and that changed the world. 

The Vietnamese women I told you about at the start also used their curiosity, asked questions, and changed an entire industry. 

These women were at a refugee camp named “Hope Village” near Sacramento, California. A Hollywood actress named Tippi Hedren would volunteer at the camp to help the refugees learn basic skills. These twenty women were fascinated by Tippi’s long and perfectly manicured red nails. Instead of thinking, “We are just refugees. We can’t have those.” they followed their curiosity and asked, “What if we can also manicure nails?”

They asked Tippi about her red nails, and she then asked her personal manicurist to teach these women how to do a basic manicure.

All of these 20 women learned those skills and the English language and then became licensed manicurists. They spread all across California and opened their nail salons. At that time, manicures were expensive, but as more and more Vietnamese opened salons and grew together, manicures became a reality for common women across America.

Today, the nail salon and manicure industry is worth 8.3 billion dollars, and 51% of people in it are Vietnamese Americans. If these 20 women did not follow their curiosity, they wouldn’t have changed the beauty industry in the United States.

You can change your life and your world by becoming curious. 

Keep asking questions and find answers. You will succeed.

Let’s begin right now! Ask any question that comes to your mind and type it down in the comments. What are you curious about?

Partnering in your success, happiness, and growth,