I've very often at times acted like a spoiled brat (actually, many times is what I'm sure many people would say) - assuming that I've personally been responsible for everything that happens in my life. That this is my life. That my successes are my own. I've been built to be a fighter. Is this by design?... I know i have to come clean soon about it and give You the credit, the glory, and the respect. Life's been a whirlwind - and things have been moving so quickly. I know... excuses are excuses. I am fighting so hard... so hard... doesn't that count, too? Doesn't that mean something to You? You know where my heart is (that it's not in the money, it's not in the glory, it's not even in the power... I check myself a lot on that.)
I remember as a kid praying daily, sometimes multiple times a day, the prayer that echoed the theme of: "In Your light...", "In Your Name...", "Use me to do Your work" - and those prayers do echo with me to this day. I haven't been consistent about it. I haven't shared it with others. I've been a coward. I don't know why... I ask myself that often. I don't think I've yet prayed openly and verbally with my own husband. I've prayed with him... just not WITH him. I'm afraid of being rejected and I don't know if I am strong enough to handle that. I know I'm not alone - I've just been a coward for so long... (and so, as a first step, I'm writing this open letter for everyone to see, because my voice is stuck). I don't even think I know how or where to start again.
Meeting DG as an advisor, mentor and friend has been surreal. You've literally placed all of these amazing humans (ST, MK, DG, SM, EC, DT, AN, TC, KC, RM, ...) into my life and in every single direction I look especially in the past 6 months - that are all Christian. I have no idea how this all happened, if this is just coincidence, ... If this isn't a sign, I'm not sure what is. Even the mantra that this company, GiftStarter, shouts sound like your words: Community, Together, People, Human, Share, Others First, Stewardship, Leadership, Relationship, ... So... I see I get I hear I feel You. Okay.
I feel my heart softening little by little. And despite the person I was, the person I have been, ... You've still been investing in me because of the person I may become. Am I crazy? I see her and I don't know if I'm good enough to be her. Really? How's this all going to work out? Hey. When am I supposed to have a baby, a child of our own? I really need help there. It hurts. A lot.
Holy cannoli. CAN'T BELIEVE HOW QUICKLY TIME HAS FLOWN BY! I can't believe how quickly things have been moving. If you know anyone that's about to or thinking about joining a startup accelerator - GO FOR IT and also know, that they don't call it an accelerator without reason. You will accelerate faster and faster, or die trying.
Each day, each week, we start it wondering how much more we can do.... and each day, each week we do more and more and more. It helps that the team is growing too (a good sign!). The whole team will be heads down this week trying to squeeze as much time, value and fun together as humanly possible.
If you are interested in attending our Demo Day (aka Milestone 9) - here's the link for 2PM (PST), Thursday, November 20 at the Washington State Convention Center http://milestone9.shindigg.com/.
I got to meet Bryan Maletis this year and hear his story through the Puget Sound Business Journal's 40 Under 40 award process, as we were both recipients of the award this year. Hearing his story made me jump and say, YES - THAT IS WHAT WE WANT TO HELP SHARE with GiftStarter. Brands and stores with human stories of love, passion, community. There's so much goodness all around us - we need ways to help promote them, share them, and bring other people on the journey with us.
Working with their team has been a great joy - and what's great is that we are each so excited about the two sides we bring together. Fat Cork, their passion for celebrating every day (#CelebrateEveryday) and bringing directly to consumer the wonderful crafts of the growers. GiftStarter, our passion for creating the best, most awesome group gifting experiences to people.
PS: Check out Fat Cork's video on their story. You'll see what we're talking about. (So much heart and love being put into the business and serving customers. So so so much.)
I'm sharing with you an email I just wrote and sent out to our greater community and team today. If you feel compelled and want to join in - shares, "likes", retweets, and all comments/suggestions gratefully welcome.
Would appreciate your help in evangelizing our newest local brand team to join the #Gifting Movement with GiftStarter, Sturtevant's! We are absolutely very happy to add them to our #community of AWESOME brands with truly wonderful PEOPLE: (butter LONDON, icPooch, Restrepo Leather,Seneca & Spruce, B&H Photo, ... and more, with more coming!)
Thank you for being a part of the GiftStarter #community and #movement - to bring the power of family and friends together for each other. The #community and #people coming together is everything to us and the brand partners we work with. After all, without each other, what do we have?Life is about those #human moments of meaning (something I've been thinking about more and more as time flies by).
And really, personally, I have been feeling that time scarcity in this life we have together. The message (thanks to my mother) that has been with from the time I was growing up and is getting louder as I get older, is that for those of us that have been #blessed and are able, it is our responsibility in life to enrich the lives of others as much as we can, every day. We can make a difference, together. #PeopleMatter
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Thank you in advance!
ARRY YU Co-Founder, CEO