About Darren

Who I am

For 10 years I tried to fit into the corporate world. I’m a Princeton graduate and that’s what we’re supposed to do!

In 2011 I quit my job and have since been working on my own. I run Touch MBA, which helps applicants find and get into the world’s top MBA programs.

Along this journey I have learned that managing meaning, relationships and health is just as important – and more difficult – than making money.

Why this website

My goal with upstartist is simple: to help solopreneurs make a good living and a great life.

Having grown up in the US but worked my entire career in Asia, I showcase both Western and Eastern approaches to a fulfilling life and career.

I hope this site helps you cope with the mental and emotional challenges of working on your own. This is an unscripted career path. I don’t have all the answers. But I hope to help you find yours and empower you along the way.

ASE Podcast

This podcast explores how to survive and thrive as a solopreneur. How are creators and founders managing their work, lives and relationships?

Private Email List

Get tools, tips, and resources direct from Darren on designing a working life that thrills and fulfills you (plus, thoughts and announcements never posted publicly)

Selected Writing

What’s Your Perfect Day?

In 2018 I started asking friends and strangers about their perfect day.

I want to hear about what makes life worth living from all kinds of people – not just the rich, famous and powerful we idolize.

It’s my belief that intuitionoutsight and reflection are at the core of any major life breakthrough.

On the blog I also share concepts that have helped me live my perfect day (vacuums, acting journals, guardrails, reinterpreting, success spirals). I hope they help you too.

More About Me

When I’m not working you can find me dancing salsa, reading, worm composting, and doing pull-ups in the park.


Vietnamese participants at YSEALI SUMMIT 2018 in Singapore

Contact Me

I love hearing from people, so please contact me here, introduce yourself and let me know the challenges you face – maybe I can help.

Coffee chatting with Ho Thai Binh in Saigon, Vietnam

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