My Mother: The Best Entrepreneur

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When you think of ‘venture’, what do you think of? You may think of an entrepreneur sitting in a hotbed of innovative activity developing technologies the world has never seen before. You may think of an explorer who has set across unknown oceans and lands, into the grey horizon, to discover the undiscovered. When I think of venture, I am think of my family; In particular my mother.

Big things can happen in small places, and this is a story that illustrates that my mom (like many other immigrants) is the best entrepreneur I know. My mom did not have the profession, nor the title of being an entrepreneur (as many falsely claim nowadays), but instead she possessed the most important piece of an venturer; the spirit to venture into the unknown.

This is a story of a person that left the comforts of the familiar to venture into the darkness of the unknown, facing the uncertainties and the battles deep within. A story about finding that trust in yourself, and discovering that unknowable thing that guides every small footstep you take into the deep fog.

It is the pain, suffering, uncertainty, sacrifice, the battles within you, that a venturer must experience in her pursuit. If we realized that some of the greatest things in our lives (a new life, new discovery, a new perspective, achievement, etc) have come from the deepest valleys and challenges, then maybe we would look at uncertainty differently. Maybe we would not look at the unknown as something to avoid or resist for the sake of the familiar. Maybe we would embrace the unknowns with excitement, for the unknowns possess a world of possibilities. That is the spirit, and definition, of a true entrepreneur.

This is a letter my mother wrote to me as I was in transition, and venturing out into the unknown. I had finished an entrepreneurial venture, and I would be setting off on a new one. Who would know my mother, a nurse, would know so much about entrepreneurship.

I keep this letter and read it often as a reminder. I hope you will to.

Dear Kyle,

As I read Isaiah 43 14–28, these verses remind me of God’s faithfulness to my life. . It made me reflect on my own journey and transitions as a young adult who was coming to America not knowing what lies ahead………

Our life journey often comes with several transitions. I remember the first time I went to work in Singapore- the first time I took an international plane! I was excited to see beyond Philippine and Bacolod. It was the best experience in my life where I met the warmest, hospitable folks I never could have known if I stayed in the Phil. The hospital provided me an apartment that I shared with the hospital dietician. I was 23 years old.

When I decided to come to the US- hoping the experience will be the same, I accepted a position in Beaumont as a staff nurse. Being recruited in the Phil, the hospital representatives met us at the airport and equally distributed us to stay with Filipinos who lived in the area for awhile. While adjusting to different sleep patterns ( daytime to nighttime, vice- versa), I have to go through hospital orientation. The hospital offered our group a van to pick us up for work for $ 25/ bi- weekly. It was reasonable means of transportation.

Then finding a place was a challenge! I never knew renting an apartment requires deposit so the $100 pocket money my parents gave me ( which was my only money and my parents can afford to give me) was split with my 2 friends. With my only luggage we moved into the apartment- the extra $ 20 left in my purse I bought 1 affordable blanket and flat sheet. Having used to no mattress in college- it was easy to get those unused big boxes in the hospital to make a bed. Another challenge was how we can live through 10 days til payday so my roommates and I decided to split buying bread, mayonnaise and eggs to make egg sandwich. It was our favorite food during those early days in the states. We have to depend on friends who are off work to bring us to the stores to get our necessities.

During those difficult times, I thought of giving up several times and go back home. But the hopes and aspiration of a better life always burns inside me- it made me persevere and go through night shifts like a pro though I have sleep problems ( can’t sleep during daytime). On these low point moments I remember Abraham who went to unknown destination with God’s help I learned to rely on God. And looking back now, I was glad I never gave up! If not for God’s mercies and grace, I would be in the Phil working as a nurse for P 5000–15,000/ m ( $ 125–300/m). I can’t imagine what could have been my life have I given up?

I pray God be with us as face these “ transitions” in our lives , help us be strong , keep that trust on Him and enjoy the process. He promised He will never leave us alone.

- Mom

I do things. And occasionally stuff.

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