My eyes welled up with tears this morning. Literally, a grown man, driving to work, and balling his eyes out. It happened three times this morning. It’s hard to explain, but that’s why Sigstr is green.
You see, it’s the greatest day of the year in the Hanrahan family. Not because of St. Patrick’s Day, per se, but because of what it represents. For me, it’s more than the Irish culture, it’s about our family and our roots – wherever those may be planted.
Family comes first.
My dad is 100 percent Irish. And because we were so rooted in the culture as a family, we always grew up celebrating together. And for the Sigstr team, family comes first. It certainly does for me.
Today, my daughter Bridget (named after the female patron saint of Ireland, though she spelled it Brigid) is in the St. Pat’s Parade with her first-grade class. My mom and dad, kids and wife will all be in tow to watch. We’ll have lunch together, and then listen to Irish music. And then my dad and I will head to the Golden Ace – the greatest Irish pub in the world – for more Irish tunes and a pint (or two) of Guinness. After, I’ll join the Sigstr team and a group of High Alpha friends for an amazing afternoon.
Family comes first – always. To take care of our families, we pour our hearts, minds and resources into building an incredible product and company to delight our customers.
Like the Irish, we wear our emotions on our sleeves. Today, we have Shamrocks.
We care about the time we spend with our family, with our friends and, yes, the time we spend in the office. Sigstr is about being genuine, passionate and the right mix of pride in what we’re building paired with humility that we need to continue learning and growing. But most of all, it’s about being optimistic and having a willingness to work to make the good happen. To spread the good.
To be Irish, or to work at Sigstr, or in digital marketing at all, you must be optimistic. The Irish endured centuries of hardships (the English, the potato famine, immigrating to the states). By focusing on family, craic, music and an unwavering belief in a benevolent higher power, we persevered. And, the same brand of optimism is required to join a scale-up stage tech company, or to believe you can make an impact in the digital world.
A quick aside, our customer, CoreHR is an amazing HR tech company, based in Dublin. Thanks for believing in Sigstr and for inspiring a piece of our culture.
We are green.
We have a team from all kinds of backgrounds and beliefs, but Sigstr green represents our roots. For me, that’s Ireland. And it’s a reason to wear all my green more than just one day a year. For all of us, it’s a reminder of where we came from, why we’re here and what we’re working for.
So, listening to Irish tunes, at full blast, on my way into the office may have spurred the tears to roll into my eyes. The music flooded my mind with memories of all the St. Pat’s Days past, and how my dad would dye the toilet water green (please don’t tell my kids that it’s dye rather than a visiting leprechaun using the facilities in our home!). The tears come thinking of the fiddle player in an Irish village. And realizing our optimism, our relationships and, ultimately, the good in people.
The below poem sums it up. Have a read and enjoy your family, your friends, your co-workers and, most of all, your day. Slainte!
About the Irish
What shall I say about the Irish?
The utterly impractical, never predictable
Something irascible, quite inexplicable Irish.
Strange blend of shyness, pride and conceit,
And stubborn refusal to bow in defeat.
He’s spoiling and ready to argue and fight,
Yet the smile of a child fills his soul with delight.
His eyes are the quickest to well up in tears,
Yet his strength is the strongest to banish your fears.
His faith is as fierce as his devotion is grand,
And there’s no middle ground on which he will stand.
He’s wild and he’s gentle.
He’s good and he’s bad.
He’s proud and he’s humble.
He’s happy and he’s sad.
He’s in love with the ocean, the earth and the skies.
He’s enamored with beauty wherever it lies.
He’s victor and victim, a star and a clod,
But mostly he’s Irish in love with his God.