Get out, go do, learn and improve. Repeat.
I just came across this image just now while looking for a better hero image as I'm setting up my Medium profile. It's a good image. Made me smile. I was listening to a group of successful entrepreneurs/investors speak yesterday - and this was the mantra they kept on repeating. Action and execution is what separates those that succeed, and those that do not.
Get out, go do, learn and improve. Repeat.
It's possible to feel so exhausted and yet so energized to take on the world, at the same exact time. We can vouch for that - the entire team. Cranking away - line by line, email by email, human by human, gift by gift, image by image, ... it's a marathon, after all. That's a photo of me and my cofounder, Christie Gettler, by the way. :)
That's one of the lessons that Jonathan Sposato gave to me early on - that this is a marathon and that we have to pace ourselves. You want to work hard, yes. You also want to be mindful of where your burnout zone is - and how far you are from imploding before everyone's eyes from just pure insane exhaustion. For me, I can feel "it" beneath my skin when I get close. I'll actually call it out loudly and verbally to another witness as a way to monitor myself to take a breather. It's like that daily now. Today, we went for tater tots and burgers. Yesterday, after we had our pitch night with investors, I drank 3 big glasses of wine and ate a big bowl of white rice with kimchi. It was amazing.
Today, I might hit up that piano again and throw it up on Periscope (@ArryinSeattle).
GiftStarter is looking amazing every day - we are just SO EXCITED to share with you our progress. More launching soon.
I went to @Jason's Launch Festival about a month ago - and there learned about Fred W.'s email deal. I'm a big fan. I couldn't pass up not trying - so partially because it would be AMAZING to meet Fred, and partially because I have to say I'm curious to see if it's really possible. I don't know how many emails he gets a day.... but let's say he gets 200 random unsolicited cold emails he will never likely read a day in addition to the 300+ emails he may skim through. I bet he at least reads the first two lines of those emails. ... So... I'm trying out our odds at making contact with Fred.
Yes. That's right. I'm emailing him every single day. About GiftStarter. Today will be #6 headed his way in just about half an hour. Crazy. I know. Never hurts to be slightly "crazy" and go for it. The worst case is that 1) I've "lost 20 minutes" of every day, 2) he never read/responds to me, and 3) I get much better at communicating with Fred and the pitch/startup. It helps to take the time to think through and write down exactly what you want to say. Nothing to lose at all in this deal.
Today is #6. Wish us luck. AND if anyone "out there" wants to help nudge, put in a good word for us, help facilitate the reply --- would greatly appreciate it. If I were at all famous or wealthy, I'd say, we'll fly you to NY or Seattle to have dinner. Maybe include a signed copy of something interesting. Something. Since I'm not famous or wealthy, we'll promise to Tweet our gratitude, do a 5 minute Vlog to you in person and post it on YouTube, ... and send you a handwritten thank you at the very least.
Cross your fingers, toes and eyeballs for us.
With a lot of time on his hands (me, the wife, being occupied at all hours of the day and night with GiftStarter), Dae is now on a roll with these videos he's been making. The latest video is a inspirational motivational video to the team.
Now, that is Love.
Getting married to my husband is and was one of the best decisions I've ever made. He is the strongest, most patient, most kind person I know - and he is doting, endearing, and devoted to me. We've been married a few years now and I say, it's been some of my absolute best years alive. Who would have known? I was so adamant that I would never ever marry, let alone a Korean man - and here we are.
Prior to 2011, I remember thinking I knew what a good relationship was. I remember thinking I knew what I wanted in a marriage... and I know that I was mostly wrong. What I've learned so far is that marriage is way more than height, looks, his salary, his fashion sense, his education level, ... all of that is not what makes or breaks the marriage. What I've learned is that it really is about the core values of the other person. How did I know that this was THE guy to marry for me?
To me, all of his actions, so consistent, said more than he needed to. I saw (and still see) a man who believes in integrity, has great work ethic, loves to learn and try new things, does what he says he'll do, and says what he will actually do. The integrity/loyalty is really important to me too. I'm a new-feminist (meaning women and men are equal, but different), and just adore it when a man is chivalrous. It helps that my husband has a good southern upbringing (North Carolina).
Yes... I'm still smitten when I talk about my husband. I hope to never stop... even at our 10 years... 20 years... and 50 years together, forever. Having a marriage and partnership like this is like being at the top of life.
I'm ALL IN on my startup, GiftStarter. ALL. IN. ALL. IN. ALL IN!
How so you may ask? Here are 7 seven ways I'm ALL IN on our startup:
Happy International Women's Day!
That's a photo with my mother - who else would I want to highlight on International Women's Day? :) My husband and I walk more regularly now together in the evenings. In one of our recent walks, we talked about how amazed we are at all she's done. My mother came to the United States not knowing a single person here. Our father left us at a really early age, so she single-handedly raised us. And when I say raised us (I have a brother), I mean raised us. Healthy meals for dinner, packed our school lunches, sat with me for hours and hours with my homework, sat with me for hours in making sure I NAILED the piano practice for the week, drove me to all kinds of extracurricular activities (piano, violin, math club, ...). This is a woman who has a kind of drive and persistence that even I don't know if I can even come close to.
She did ALL THAT while also working a full time job, a NIGHT shift one, to support us as a single parent. She worked the night shift so that she could be available for her children during the day. We went to church every weekend, sometimes multiple times in a week.
On top of it, the lessons on humility and service towards others is what she drove into us, into me. When your head does get big, and there's nothing like having a good family to bring you back down to earth. Every weekend, she had me play the piano or violin at local nursing homes. I remember thinking, WHY!? It really was not the "cool" place to be spending weekends, especially when you're in middle school or high school. The lesson she drilled in, is that no matter how big or busy you are, you have to make time to give back to others. Whatever talents you are blessed with, it is your responsibility to LIFT others to a better place with those talents.
Happy International Woman's Day. For me, I am forever grateful to my mother, for being the most fearless, persistent, energetic, humble fighter in the world that I've ever known. I don't know how she did it - and I can only hope to have some of that fearlessness, persistent energy and humility. I'm sure there's women in your life that have made an impact on you. Would love to hear your stories.
**This post was written on November 11, 2013.
I believe in dreams. I mean dreams in the literal sense - the ones you have while you are sleeping. The ones that I can never remember, except once in a blue moon - those dreams. I believe dreams have meaning that relate directly to what you are feeling, experiencing, sensing, ignoring, doing in your conscious life.
A dream I had a few months ago sometime in the middle of the summer, had me painting my finger and toe nails. But my finger and toe nails were brittle and they kept falling off. I tried and tried to stick them back on. I tried and tried to be more careful to not knock them off. I tried using nail polish as a glue to keep them on. Finally, I was painting nail polish onto my exposed skin, where my finger or toe nail would normally be....
The supposed dream meaning has something to do with me losing my sense of self....
A dream I had last weekend (November 2, 2013) was about my eyeballs. Both eyeballs - two of them. There was a lot of dust and debris all over my eyes and my vision was foggy and distorted. I tried rubbing them but the debris kept building up really fast. It was windy, and the debris was hardening very quickly. I tried dipping Q-tips into saline solution to rub the hardening debris off my eyeballs. So hard - the debris was hardening so quickly. I took a flathead screwdriver and started trying to chip away at the thickening crust forming on my eyeballs. I could no longer see but bits and flashes of light. I tried scraping my eyes faster and harder ....
The supposed dream meaning of that one has something to do with me having lost the vision of myself...
It seems my subconscious, my unconscious, whichever one it is speaks and shouts more loudly to my conscious in my dreams - warning that I need to reassess myself, make sure I don't lose perspective, regain that sense of self and my vision for myself. Since the summer, I've been feeling like I've been trapped in an insane asylum (that's literally the exact words I've been using to describe how it feels to exist these days). I've dropped and lost touch with my hobbies that keep me grounded: blogging (though I'm picking up on it again recently), painting, playing piano, my startup endeavors, ... so much has been pushed to the side for my job. I've lost balance and perspective.
I've been working to regain that balance and that balanced perspective this month (November 2013) so far. Blogging more. Spending more time with family. Reading more. Thinking about art and my next painting. Played the piano a few more times, ... warming up to being me again, the whole me.
About 4 years ago today, my husband took me on the non-Valentine's non-date dinner that changed the course of our history and future together. He asked me to a dinner for Valentine's, and my answer was that I was not taking any dates for Valentine's that year. It was going to be just me and my dog that evening. He (being persistent) asked if we could grab dinner some other day, and I said, "totally"! "Where to?" he asks? "I really want to eat at Walrus and Carpenter as I've never been able to yet, is it okay if we try that?" He replied with "of course". "How about Friday after the work week?" "Sounds great."
We were just friends at that point. He had been campaigning for months wanting us to not just be friends, but much more than friends. We were pure friends... I really enjoyed being around him, talking, ... lots of talking and sharing ideas. We were not dating romantically. Why not? Not sure, but that's a longer story, which I'll skip and fast forward through. Four years ago from today, my husband took me to the Walrus and Carpenter restaurant. This is how the evening went. He picked me up at 630pm on a Friday evening, we drove to the restaurant. He expertly parked the car, opened the door for me in chivalrous style, and walked us to the restaurant. He expertly told the person at the front that we were a dinner party of two. We were told to have a seat at the bar right away. (I was SHOCKED. This restaurant does not take reservations. And usually, the wait to get a seat at this restaurant is at least 2 hours.) I turned to him and asked, "How'd you do that? Do you know the owner? Do you know the person?" He replied with the cool, calm and collected, "I'll tell you some day". And there you go, we sat down and had an AMAZING meal together. As friends, nothing more. I couldn't stop thinking about how awesome that dinner was. It's one of our favorite restaurants to this day. Mmm.... oysters!
A little over a month later he finally tells me how he did it. This is what he told me. The week before, he called to make reservations. They told him that they did not make reservations. He asked how long the wait would be on a typical Friday night around 630pm. They told him about 2.5 hours. So this is what he did. That Friday, he left work as soon as he could and drove over to the restaurant to put his name down on the list. Then he drove all the way to my place and picked me up. Then we drove over to the restaurant together, at which point it was two hours later, and voila, we were able to get seated right away. Impressive. Impressed back then, and still impressed to this day.
My husband now, he still creates the best gifts for me with memories that I hold dear in my heart.