The Drive Behind My Hustle

I had the inspiration to write this article a little over a month ago. It was 2 AM, I was getting ready to go to sleep, and was reminded so strongly of my “why” that I started crying. It was a good, determined cry. And I thought, I should write about this. Of course, it took some time to work up the nerve to write it.

So here it is.

My typical day consists of working my salaried job in corporate finance, either volunteering or spending time with family for a couple of hours, and then another 6 hours or so spent on my side hustles. If I’m not preparing a book review for my Periscope viewers, I’m either studying for my broker’s license, analyzing house listings, preparing my social media posts, making calls, or taking online classes on real estate, business or self development.

I won’t lie — it gets tiring at times. Especially when it’s nearing 2 AM and I know I’ll need to wake up to work a job that I’m thankful for, but that is uninspiring.

What gets me through it? Well, I am really good at motivating myself. If not, a quick chat with my fellow Peripreneur hustlers in other time zones adds pep to my step. Or, at least, seeing their updates on what they’ve accomplished.

And then comes the real reason — my family.

On that night last month, I remember I was exhausted. It was 2 AM and I had just a little more to do. I knew it wasn’t worth trying to finish that little more right then. I also knew I had to get it done before heading to work later that day. But, let’s be honest, how likely was I to wake up at 5 AM if I were sleeping in my comfortable bed?

For those who know me, waking up early is a skill I have yet to master.

So I decided I would sleep on the couch.

It was late, there was only a light blanket available, so I opened the closet and grabbed the first sweater I could find. I put it on and realized it was my mother’s sweater. Nothing glamorous about it. It was a zip-up fleece sweater. The kind you would get from Walmart for $4.95.

And then it hit me.

This overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude and just absolute pure determination.

My mom had given so sacrificially of herself that she would rather wear a $4.95 zip-up fleece sweater from Walmart so that all the extra money could be spent on her family.

My mother’s sweater.

It reminded me of the pure grit that runs in my parents’ blood. You see, my parents gave up literally everything they owned — house, guitar, motorcycle, wedding dress — and moved half-way across the world so that their kids could have a chance at a better life. Did I mention, no job offer waiting? Just the pure faith and determination that they would be able to make do!

How can I not be inspired by that? In the light of their sacrifice, what other choice do I have but to boldly pursue my dreams? What other motivation do I need?

And on that night, as I wore my mother’s sweater and cried, I felt re-energized. That ordinary sweater reminded me of what my parents had accomplished and it whispered to me of what I will accomplish.

Because one day in the near future, I will be able to spoil my parents. We will travel to the cities my father has always wanted to visit and sip our espressos. We will sample the pastries at the bakeries my mother would like to try out. But best of all, we will gather together with the rest of the family over a meal, watching the California sunset while the grand-kids run around. And I will look over at my mother, wearing her sweater, and know that she is happy because her family is together and is taken care of. No longer will she and my father have to worry about making ends meet. Because I will be taking care of them. That’s my promise to them.

And that sweater — at 2AM on that February night, that sweater is a witness.

This is my why. This is the reason for my hustle. This is the reason I won’t stop. — My family.

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