Many people have asked me why I don't do negative reviews on my website- AsianFusion. Simple- I only put up reviews of restaurants that make it to my global favorites list. When I started my company, I made the decision that I was not in this to create negativity or to bring down other people. Running any business- especially a restaurant, is a tough, tough endeavor. Yes, there are many terrible restaurants with owners who have no business being in the business, but it is not my battle or mission in life to shut them down.
In elementary school I was bullied because I was Asian and a good student. In junior high I was bullied by a girl who was considered one of the queen bees of the school because she saw me as a threat to all the boys she wanted to “conquer,” (never mind the fact that I wasn’t even thinking of boys at that age). In high school, I was bullied by a cynical, mean spirited girl because I dressed and spoke more maturely than most of my peers. In my early 20s I was bullied by men in business because they saw a naïve girl lacking in confidence.
I felt compelled to write this to you because Asian families don’t talk about emotions. It’s a foreign concept in our culture but I could not go another year without expressing what I have felt all my life. Where most of my friends get impatient and annoyed when their parents keep asking them the same questions over and over again, I love that you love me enough to do that.
I think of you now and recognize how precious you are, how young your heart is and I long to wrap you in my safe embrace. The world seems exciting and terrifying to you, a life ahead filled with great ambitions and even greater uncertainties. You put on a brave face with those defiant eyes, chin held just a smidgeon too high from that youthful delusion that ego equals true confidence.
Philanthropy should not be an afterthought in a corporation but instead, integrated into the very foundation of its vision and mission. We all understand that every corporation’s goal is to make money but as in human life, a corporation’s life should possess an altruistic attitude to improve the world in which it drew its first breath from, or at the very least, its immediate community.
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” ~Robert Frost~ We always think there will be another tomorrow and that’s when procrastination sets in. I was sixteen years old when my grandfather died. At sixteen, despite having lost a number of loved ones already, I was still under that youthful spell of ego and immortality. There was always time for everything. Why rush? Why do anything today that you can put off til tomorrow?
There are few people in business today who are not affected by globalization, from billionaires all the way to hole-in-the-wall restaurant owners. The world has become an interconnected web of trade spanning intellectual property to food products, textiles, furniture and everything in between. For anyone who desires to achieve any level of success in our modern society, the ability to transcend cultural and language barriers is as vital as the ability to do basic mathematics.
Life is hard, plain and simple. I used to expect and hope for everything to go smoothly and then become flustered and panicky when inevitably, things did not go as such. Now, like any other idealist and optimist, I still hope for smooth sailing but I no longer expect it. I’ve come to accept that this journey will continuously be filled with challenges, difficulties and moments when I need to break down in tears from utter despair. Sounds depressing?
Women have come a long, long way in the corporate world over the past few decades but one particular area where we are still the severe minority is in founder and executive ranks in Silicon Valley companies. (Click here to view charts of how tough it is for women in Silicon Valley via Business Insider). Despite growing up in San Francisco, it wasn’t until the past year that I immersed in the Valley culture, meeting with an astonishing number of amazing and inspiring people of both genders, some who are fellow startups and others who have graduated to the shining successes every newbie hopes to replicate.
Most entrepreneurs are familiar with Thomas Friedman’s “The World Is Flat,” a book that has become somewhat of a bible for those of us engaging in international business. Globalization has done both wondrous and horrifying things for business, many of which fall under both categories at once.