What I Learned About Hard Work

I thought I knew what hard work was, until I started working with my parents at our family restaurant 1.5 years ago.

In school, I was the kind of student who would do all her homework and everything else to the best of her ability. On top of extracurriculars and other life obligations, I thought it was pretty hard. I was a studious, diligent, straight shooter. I was often tired from working late into the night, mostly on my laptop and sometimes in the studios at school.  

Then I graduated and started working full time at our Chinese restaurant, mid-pandemic.

Unexpectedly, I was getting yelled at (by both my mom and our customers) for all sorts of things. Being slow was a penalty, not knowing the language was a penalty, not finding work to do to keep my hands busy was also a penalty amongst other things. 

Due to our work, we gave up a lot our social life. Sacrificing time spent with family and friends is hard. Not being able to catch a break is hard. Working long hours is hard. Earning your own dollars on your own terms is hard. 

I’ve always questioned why my parents left so early in the morning, and came back late into the night. Now I know that it’s because this is simply a part of what it takes to run our family business. This is part of the reason why we’ve been able to run a successful restaurant. 

I’ve come to learn that everything worthwhile takes hard work to achieve (as simple as it sounds, it’s deceptively difficult to do). 

Hard work isn’t for everybody. I want to say 99% of people I know won’t ever have to work as hard as people like my parents. For those who are willing to put in the hours, the labour, and the sacrifice to achieve their dreams, I’m with you. I’m looking forward to putting in more work for both the restaurant and the Habit Factory in the years to come.

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