Back in 2018, I wrote a blog called My IT Journey Part 2: A Tribute to my father in which I described how my father was such an important influence in my life while building my own Apple II+ and showing me that anything is possible.
The beautiful thing about life is that you can take your current journey and amazing experiences and look back to see the influences that lead you there. Meeting new people who have become remarkable individuals despite the absence of a supportive upbringing or who have overcome significant barriers is truly inspiring, amplifying my gratitude for the unwavering support I received from my parents.
In my upcoming book "Leadership at the Edge, The Hyperloop for Business", I dedicate a chapter to grit and how to develop a culture of grit. I have always had a long-term view of my personal goals, which helped me overcome obstacles and be gritty. There are real heroes, however, that put my journey to shame. Throughout my professional journey, I have encountered individuals whom I deeply admire for their resilience during challenging periods. These remarkable individuals faced adversities such as the loss of both parents at a young age, caring for a struggling parent, experiencing the pain of losing a partner to cancer, coping with hearing loss, or managing the care of a seriously ill child. Despite these obstacles, they exhibited unwavering determination, showing up each day and giving their best. My challenges around not being comfortable with myself were nothing compared to others who perhaps didn't have their basic needs met.
Nearly 17 years ago, my mom sent me a mug that says, "Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart." (unknown). I drink from this mug to this day.
This mug is much more to me than just something to drink from. It is a symbol of my mom's dedication to my life and journey. Unbeknownst to her, I got this mug when I was getting up at 5 am every day before work to formulate the business plan to start iuvo. While juggling my ongoing full-time work commitments, I dedicated the early hours of 5-8 am to get my head around the task of starting a company with a fresh and focused mindset. My mom was part of that journey, and luckily, she is still here today, so I can celebrate my successes with her.
Her support, however, has been so much more than this mug symbolizes. She has been the biggest cheerleader in my life. Driving me to soccer, basketball, or baseball practice, showing up to band concerts or wrestling matches, and wanting me to become my very best self. Being the first child in any generation to go to college is a big deal and my mom did lots of little things along the way to make sure I was okay. From a surprise visit to my apartment where she found an empty fridge and stated, "Let’s get some groceries" to socking away money to help me buy a college ring when I graduated. While my parents faced challenges in providing the big things, it was the accumulation of all the small things my mom did that held a much greater significance. Together, they formed a greater impact than any of those big individual things ever could.
Her belief in me, while unknowingly turning on my "Gritty" gene, was what I needed to believe that anything is possible, regardless of the barriers in front of me.
- My Journey Through the World of IT
- My IT Journey Part 2: A Tribute to My Father
- My Journey With Venture Capital
- My Journey With Venture Capital 2