“People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive."

👋 Hey there, I’m Matt Yao

<aside> 🫀 I help ambitious humans discover and become their truest selves in both their professional and personal worlds.



As a newly promoted Senior Product Manager at the age of 25, with less than two years of full-time working experience, I was making more money than I knew what to do with. I found myself living a seemingly idyllic life in Hawaii. Despite my professional success and healthy lifestyle of surfing, yoga, and nature, I grappled with a profound sense of disconnection and uncertainty. I was completely lost in life.

For over 10 months, I navigated the inner turmoil of feeling trapped in a career that no longer fulfilled me. Fueled by a fear of financial instability and the loss of identity tied to my achievements, I reached a pivotal moment where leaving became my only viable option.

In 2023, I embarked on a transformative sabbatical. Through this journey of exploration and experimentation, I uncovered a newfound sense of purpose and clarity.

Today, I channel my experiences and insights into coaching, writing, and exploring better futures with unwavering curiosity. My mission is to help highly ambitious individuals discover and tap into their full potential. Through personalized guidance and support, I help people navigate transition, cultivate self-awareness, and live authentically.

In addition to coaching, I write Game of One, my blog that explores how to live a good life and also Build in Climate, my climate tech newsletter that dives into how we can make the planet a better place. I am deeply committed to living out the answer to “How can I live a good life?”

🤓 Experience & Training

In full transparency and honesty, I am at the beginning of my coaching journey.

I’m currently apprenticing under Steve Schlafman, an executive transition coach who helps guide high performers through work-life transitions.

Together, we’re building Downshift, the world’s first decelerator program for high performers to slow down, reflect, and realign, all within a supportive community.

In addition to my apprenticeship with Steve and our work at Downshift, learning & development is a top priority for me. I am constantly immersing myself in the coaching world with books, podcasts, essays, and “jam sessions” with peer coaches. I draw inspiration from The Conscious Leadership Group, Art of Accomplishment, and Alethia.

Prior to becoming a coach, I was on sabbatical for all of 2023. In a past life, I was a Senior Product Manager at top tech companies like Cash App, Afterpay, and Uber.

In addition to my coaching skills and work background, I also bring years of life experience: