A Note on Being Grateful 

In case you were wondering how I do what I do

My energy, every single ounce of it, comes from gratitude.

I was born in Belarus in the former Soviet Union — probably the least capitalist place in the whole world — and had the serendipity of being able to come to the most remarkable country on earth when I was three.

I’m grateful to live in a country where entrepreneurship is something to be celebrated.

I honestly hate it when people hate on this country. You should hear my dad go off when people do. His Russian accent cranks up to 11 and he just loses it: “These fucking Americans don’t understand,” he says. And it’s because there is so much good here. Sure there are bad things. There is tons of bad in everything, but it’s all about weighing the options.

I’m grateful for the health and well-being of my family. It’s bittersweet, but I lost three of my four grandparents before I had a chance to know them. On the other hand, that’s meant that I’ve had a long, happy run in life of never having to know that kind of ultimate pain.

Do you know how grateful I am that you’re even sitting here reading this piece right now?

I’m grateful for the fact that my mother and father, though incredibly different, are an amazing set of parents who were able to reverse-engineer exactly who I was. I’m an immigrant, and classically, the way immigrants get out of poverty is through education (at least on paper). My parents watched me be a D and F student and allowed me to be the entrepreneur I wanted to be. They let me sell $1000 worth of baseball cards every weekend while I was failing classes during the week. I’m so grateful that they allowed me to do what I needed to do instead of getting caught up in the conversation of their contemporaries.

I will never take it for granted.

I’m just so thankful. Do you know how grateful I am that you’re even sitting here reading this piece right now?! That you even care about anything that I have to say? It’s an incredibly ridiculous feeling. I was thankful when I had nine followers, let alone a million.

I’m just very, very, very grateful. I will never take it for granted. I understand the perspective of it all. And I hate how many people think “glass half-empty” when their glass is really four-fifths full.

I’m grateful when I have one drop in the glass because I know exactly what to do with it.

I’d be grateful if you shared this piece, too. I really feel like everybody needs to hear it.