My mother defines what selfless means. Ever since she was young, she has always put others first. Growing up in Taiwan as the oldest girl of six children, she had to learn how to take care of her siblings and their family’s rice shop. In fact, despite being the top of her class, she couldn’t go to college because her family needed her help at home. After she got married, she not only continued to help her family, she played an instrumental role in building a successful real estate business with my father and supported my father’s short career in politics. Once she became a mother to my two brothers and me, she had put us above everything. To give us the best education possible, she and my father decided to leave their comfortable life in Taiwan and immigrated our family to the U.S. even though they didn’t know anyone, didn’t know the language and had to rebuild their lives from scratch. Today, she puts her five grandchildren above everything. My mother has always played the supporting role, doing a lot of heavy lifting to ensure that everyone she touches succeeds. Even though she is constantly giving, she has never asked for anything from anyone.
My mother is the strongest person I know. Her strength has carried our family through the ups and downs of life and somehow in every situation, regardless of the level of stress, she has always managed to remain composed in front of us. She is persistent and does whatever it takes to succeed. She also carries faith that everything will be ok as long as our family sticks together and tries our very best to overcome the challenges. With her strength, our family was able to transition to the U.S. and ultimately rebuild our success. With her strength, we were able to turn around after a close to complete failure in business due to the great recession in 2008. With her strength, she was able to overcome two significant life-threatening illnesses. With her strength, she has shown us that we too have the strength to overcome any challenge in our life journey.
My mother has supported me in everything I do. Unlike many Taiwanese mothers, she was the opposite of a “Tiger Mom”. She never pressured us be in certain fields, in fact, she was always too afraid to add pressure in our lives. She never reprimanded us when we failed or made mistakes. Even if she was disappointed in us, she often comforted us. My brothers and I were fortunate to have both the financial and emotional support we needed to pursue the studies and careers of our choice. My oldest brother attended NYU and became an investment banker turned real estate entrepreneur. My second brother is a neurosurgeon from Stanford. As for me, I went to Cornell and thrived in the field of Commercial Real Estate Finance on Wall Street for a decade before becoming a technology entrepreneur. Over the past few years, I have been building a platform called ContinuM, where people can centralize work in different aspects of life and preserve their network. The ultimate goal is to make a difference in this world by giving everyone the tools necessary to stay organized so they can be more productive and achieve better success through opportunities from their network. Building a startup has been an incredibly painful journey. As a CEO and a mother of a 11-year old boy, I am constantly juggling between different parts of my life. My family balances me. Without my mother’s unconditional support, I couldn’t have made it this far. I will continue to do everything I can to make ContinuM an impactful venture so I can make my mother proud and be a good role model to my son.