K.M. Short for Korean Mom. K.M.s are infamous for their D.W.I.T. (Do Whatever It Takes) approach to child-rearing in order to churn out elite GPAs, classical music prodigies, doctors, lawyers, olympic athletes, and more from their offspring. An interesting, and oftentimes scary breed of mom … but a momma nonetheless … and I love mine.
Growing up, there were many moments when I resolved in my sinful little heart that this was NOT the case. These melodramas usually ended with slamming doors and high-pitched yelling from both parties. Definitely not my proudest moments ….
However, with this recent business venture, I’ve come to realize that despite these growing pains, my K.M. was instrumental in shaping who I am today and I owe much of my success to her oftentimes irrational yet loving ways. Here are 5 basic lessons I’ve learned [among hundreds of thousands] that were directly and indirectly taught via my momma’s discipline stick and example.
1. Never visit anyone empty-handed. As a child I remember my parents always toting a box of fruit or ricecakes whenever we were invited anywhere. I never thought much about it until as an adult I caught myself subconsciously following suit. I see now that it’s a simple expression of respect and consideration for others regardless of roles [who invited who] and social status [who’s who], even if it’s a mere box of fuji apples or asian pears. This is how I want to run my business, showing respect and concern to my customers and hopefully one day my employees. I want to consider others before myself, and I ask all of you to help keep me in check. I don’t exist without all of you!
2. Chew your food. Thoroughly. Or “kok-kok sheep-uh-muh-guh” in Korean. I still get reprimanded for this! We’re always in a rush to do this and go there so the last thing on our minds is making sure we chew our bacon thoroughly before swallowing, right? Tons of studies show the health benefits of chewing food, but what’s more important is that during the act of chewing, you actually get to taste, savor, and enjoy the very thing that will provide nourishment and strength to your body. My life is a hurricane at the moment and my “to do” list has a mind of it’s own, but I keep reminding myself to “kok-kok sheep-uh-muh-guh” this process and remember that the joy is in the journey!
3. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. (I actually just got up to turn off the light in my kitchen haha!) From washing and re-using Bounty paper towels (they really were quite durable!) to turning off the water while brushing your teeth (which I hope all of you do!), my momma would literally shadow me from room to room shutting out lights quicker than you could yell “no rep!” We didn’t have much in terms of material wealth so conservation was the name of the game. As annoying as it was playing light wars with my mom, this was one way she really drilled in the importance of stretching a dollar and making the most of what you have. This mindset has helped me build Mee Eat Paleo to where it is today and will help me in my long adventure ahead.
4. It’s not what you do that matters but howyou do it and mediocrity is not an option. My parents came to America with no formal higher education, their sole motivation being the hope of providing a better life for my brother and me. I’ve watched my momma work at an A&W fast food joint, cashier at Shop Rite, sell Cutco knives, attempt insurance sales, nanny … gosh, you name it! And now she owns and operates a small business. All vastly different but the common thread in all of it was her dedication to hard work through thick and thin. Momma worked her butt off no matter what the task. I adopted my workhorse mentality from her example and I’ll bet I can attribute my success with CrossFit to that as well. Starting your own business is no “walk in the park, Kazansky,” but I hope that I can work even half as hard as my mom did and still does and strive to provide you all with the most excellent products possible.
5. Always say “Thank you.” Repeatedly. While bowing. OK, I suppose the bowing doesn’t necessarily apply here in the U.S. but I’ve definitely learned not to be stingy in the gratitude department. I am nothing without God’s provision and the amazing support of my family, friends, and loyal fans. So although it’s already been expressed innumerably, I’ll tell you yet again, THANK YOU ALL so much from the bottom of my little paleo heart! Your support means so much to me and I am grateful beyond words! And to my dearest momma, thank you so much for everything. I hope to make you proud! I love you!
Today marks my last day at “work” and thus begins the first day of the rest of my life. I didn’t want to wait until “later” to take a stab at chasing my dreams because “later” is a luxury that isn’t guaranteed to everyone. Should I fail, I will rejoice knowing that I gave it a go and did the best I could. Should I succeed, I will rejoice knowing that it was all by God’s provision and sovereignty in my life and I want to ultimately do all things unto the glory of my Maker. So … here goes it!
Happy New Year everyone!