This past week I was in the Philippines, helping to celebrate the 5th year for my company, SupportNinja. I’d like to share a condensed version from the speech I gave at SupportNinja’s Year End Party:
For the longest time I doubted myself. I thought I was given a bad hand, I thought I’d never achieve anything worthy of others’ praise. Growing up I was the weird kid, the misfit. The round peg in a square hole. I felt I didn’t belong, that I would never amount to anything, and even that I was unlovable.
I thought that love stopped with the passing of my parents, my family. I thought from then on I was on my own, that I’d have to garner resilience, grit, and discipline without the help of others.
Throughout my journey I’ve encountered many obstacles, but also many beautiful souls. They helped push me, they helped to guide me. Now at the time, I didn’t consider them family, because I thought family was something you could only have once.
But real family isn’t defined by blood, real family are those who you can be yourself with because they accept you for who you are, they support you in the face of insurmountable obstacles, they help you survive the tough times, but most of all, a real family is a source of happiness and joy in life.
A new year is dawning, and with it a new stage for our family. Of course, there are still challenges we will face, still mistakes that will be made. We’ll probably still need to press Crl + Z on the keyboard a few times, but I know we’ll put in the work and make it happen.
Most of all, what we need going forward is to hold ourselves to our values. To remember that we are a family, because that is the only way we will remain who we are. My vision for SupportNinja has always been much greater than any KPI or goal one could set. SupportNinja is a place where pegs of all shapes and sizes are welcome, where all are treated equal, with love and respect, like any true family.
Words cannot express how proud all of you make me. SupportNinja is no longer defined as simply something I founded, it is defined by the contribution each and every one of you have all worked so hard to create. Be proud of each other, because we are all in it, together.
(In Tagalog) - Sa pamilya ako kumukuha ng lakas. Pero sa Dios ako kumukuha ng pag-asa. (Family gives me strength, God gives me Hope.)