Peter Tsai

Owner of Microvacations

Peter Tsai is a successful entrepreneur and the owner of Microvacations – a destination management company serving Tucson, Arizona, and the surrounding areas. Although born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, Peter attended high school at Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, before setting out to complete his post-secondary degree. He graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, then enrolled in medical school at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. After taking an interest in business, he decided to complete an executive MBA program at the Lewis College of Business at Marshall University.

Today, Peter Tsai runs a highly successful business that provides dinner and entertainment packages at local venues for individuals attending conferences in Tucson and Phoenix. As an easy and hassle-free service, Peter Tsai is helping clients enhance their event experiences.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

I went to conferences and realized that something was missing. I would be in the city and not know where to go or what to do. I looked for a company that would be able to help, but there wasn’t one, so I started my own.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I start my day at about 7:30 or so and start checking emails and reading the latest happenings in the business and financial world. From there, I start making phone calls and I make sure everything is in order for the day. After that, I look for conferences that might be coming up and try to make connections there. Around noon I will spend time to run errands. In the evening, I try to incorporate some physical activity.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I figure out what’s necessary to make it happen, then I just do it. The important thing is to go for it. It doesn’t matter if people believe in it or not. If it’s something that you truly believe in, then you just go and make it happen.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I’d have to say increased traveling, whether it be for personal or professional reasons. The pandemic really shifted our comfort zones when it came to taking vacations, but it’s nice to see that the world is starting to open up again. We have definitely noticed an increase in business in the past year.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I try to be very organized. In my line of work, you have to know what packages are being put together, what phone calls need to be made, who needs to be contacted, and things like that. Being organized helps me be successful with that.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t be so naïve, but don’t change who you are.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Bad things that happen are good. Most people think that when something bad happens that it is the end of the world or detrimental to the business. I think the opposite. When something bad happens I take it as an opportunity to learn and improve ourselves. For example, if we have a late pickup, I apologize but will also send a gift to the offended party. This allowed me a chance to show them how sorry I am but also for them to see that I really care about what happens to them. Of course, I don’t want bad happenings but when they do happen how you react will define you and your company.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Be disciplined and be organized. If you’re going to be an entrepreneur, you need to be disciplined. You can’t do things halfway. You have to have your goals and meet them, and in order to do that, you have to be organized. In the world of business and entrepreneurship, things change so fast and if you’re not on top of things, then someone’s going to be looking at you in their rearview mirror.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Persistence. Rejection is part of the game, but eventually, you’ll find that one person or opportunity that will open the door and get you started.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I thought that an idea would be so good that people would immediately jump on it, but that wasn’t the case. The way I overcame that was to keep believing in it and keep calling and trying to connect with people. I knew the idea was good, I just had to make other people understand it.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

If there is a product that you believe could be better, solve that problem and turn it into a business.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I bought a wireless CarPlay adapter for my car. It makes life a lot simpler and it’s very easy to use, you just set it up one time and it’s done.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

The most important web service that I use is Outlook. It allows me to go through my emails, make my daily schedule, make a plan, and it has all my contact information.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I’m reading a book right now called The Full Extent: An Inquiry Into Reality and Destiny by Richard Botelho. I would recommend it because it bridges religion and science and shows that they aren’t that far apart. It makes you question what reality is and it does it in a scientific way. I think that’s important because people should always question things because our understanding of the world is changing, and if you’re stuck in a certain view, then you may not evolve with the rest of the world. It’s a short book that shows that if you believe in something, you can make it real. It’ll change your view of reality.

What is your favorite quote?

“I look and feel this way because I drank and I smoked, I lived and I loved, danced, sank, sweat, and screwed my way through a pretty damn good life. Getting old ain’t bad. Getting old, that’s earned.” Kevin Costner said that in The Guardian and I like it because that’s how people should look at getting old. A lot of people see aging as the end of the road, but you should look at it as living a good life and you can still do more.”

Key Learnings:

  • Persistence is key to being a successful entrepreneur.
  • There are a lot of people who don’t seem like they want to evolve with the rest of the world.
  • Never stop setting goals.