With Gratitude

gratitude post

An open letter of gratitude to my mom and dad. I can’t think of a better way to launch The Intern Hustle.

Mom and Dad,

I hope that while you’re flipping through my website for the first time, this post catches you by surprise. For Mom, this moment will likely involve tears. And now, after realizing that I’m calling you out, you will probably be awkwardly laughing and crying at the same time. You do you, Mom.

While this is just the humble beginning for The Intern Hustle, my journey started long ago with both of you showing me what is possible and how to achieve it. I am so thankful for your guidance and all of the lessons you embedded in me over the years.

You taught me how to work hard. Dad, as an Olympic wrestler, you are the definition of hard work and discipline, with the extra gift of being able to motivate others into action. And Mom, you are the small and mighty businesswoman that never leaves a detail out of a business plan, or misses executing a step (like, ever). Over the years, you both have sacrificed and worked even harder to create opportunity after opportunity. I hope that I continue to become the perfect blend of both of you. Thank you.

I learned from your combined work ethic to always drive for results I can be proud of. Set solid expectations (goals, targets, etc.), and then work hard to meet them. If successful in meeting my own expectations, then I’m likely to exceed others’ and benefit from the opportunities that will follow.

You taught me that it is OK to pivot. My earliest memory of this is when I made the switch from competitive gymnastics to middle school cheerleading. Seemed like a pivot in the wrong direction after all of the time invested, not to mention financial commitments, but wow what doors it opened for me down the road. I remember being afraid to tell you I wanted to quit gymnastics, but you made it so easy for me to move forward in confidence with my decision. Thank you.

From this I learned that no one has it all figured out, all the time (it’s actually quite the opposite). If I reach a point of burnout I don’t need anyone’s permission to regroup and find a sustainable path that energizes me.

You taught me to build true relationships. I had (and still have) a front row seat to two of the best relationship builders in the business. It’s no wonder you guys had 460+ guests in attendance at your wedding. You know how to connect with people in a meaningful way, and nurture relationships. What a gift to have this example from you, and to benefit from all the amazing relationships you’ve made. Thank you.

Whether personal or professional, I learned that just being human and thoughtful matters. I must take note of the little things, build others up, and always write the thank you note.

You taught me how to be bold. (OK, maybe some of my boldness is just intrinsic and you wish you could tone it down.) But I’m referring here to the kind of boldness that involves getting outside of my comfort zone and taking risks where others won’t. If it weren’t for you, I never would have picked up the phone and cold-called industry leaders, who as a result, would later become my mentors. Thank you.

From my early experiences making bold moves, I learned the importance of taking action. Because while I may not succeed every time, I will surely fail if I never try.

Thank you for all of this and so much more. I hope I continue to make you proud. Here’s to working hard, knowing when to pivot, building true relationships and being bold. All lessons that I will be taking forward on this journey with The Intern Hustle.

With gratitude and love,

Jenna

P.S. Way to be ahead of the game, color coordinating your clothes (to my future business   ) at my college graduation. Impressive!

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