I oftentimes think about how my mother raised me to become the person I am today. Not only was she a single parent, she was also an immigrant new to the country. Through her drive and dedication, my mother had the biggest impact on how I choose to spend my time. From a young age, she instilled the values that would help me become not only a determined business owner, but also a caring mother. Here’s what she taught me and how I’ve put those lessons to work.
Take Care of Those Around You
My mother said that being rich, famous, healthy or smart is no fun if you’re surrounded by those who don’t share your luck. It is your duty to share your gifts with others. Give and you will receive even greater gifts in return.
My mother encouraged me to play the piano and violin every other weekend in nursing homes as well as in various churches. I volunteered at the hospital and gave out peanut butter sandwiches to the local homeless. Seeing people’s reactions taught me the importance of giving back. Servant leadership made a difference in the lives of others and also enriched my own life. This set a pattern of how to live a rich life. If you want your children to understand this practice, starting young will set them up for a lifetime of generosity and philanthropy.
Following this pattern, at my company GiftStarter, we regularly give supplies to the homeless, spend time mentoring others, and put 2% of what we earn towards supporting other startups and supporting education in the region.
Hard Work and Perseverance Win Over Pure Talent
My mother used to say that most people don’t work as hard as they can — so if you always give your best, you’ll beat out most people in whatever you want to do. Hard work means you’ll get better each time and accomplish something you’re proud of. Without hard work, you’ll end up with regrets. Whatever you do — from work to friendships to marriage — give it your all.
Arry Yu is the CEO and Founder of GiftStarter.com (Emotiv Labs). Arry got her start advising world class brands including Microsoft, Google, and L’Oreal at the intersection of where business and creativity meet technology. Arry is passionate about building businesses with an emphasis on corporate culture and innovation, using technology as an enabler. She’s recognized as an industry leader in the services space and has had the opportunity to offer her expertise to both startups and major brands. Arry was recently profiled in the Puget Sound Business Journal’s special “40 Under 40” publication in 2014.
“At the end of the day, people do really matter and that human-centric focus is exactly what we are trying to bring back with the GiftStarter platform,” said Arry Yu.
BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.