One evening I was sitting with my friend Joe, I met her after a long time. We were enjoying good weather, with coffee. I discussed that my company was downsizing, my company owner was thinking of many options. Some of them were:
- Merge with another company
- Acquisition by a competitor
It was also difficult for me to get another job if I lose my current job. I didn’t know the way out of this current problem. We discussed possible solutions.
She came out with an idea, which I didn’t think of. Joe told me that I can start a business, continue my job as well. This was out of the question. How can I do that?
I went with her, in a taxi. We reached an office. Helen welcomed us. She worked as a mentor and had her own company running successfully. I was amazed to know this. We sat with her for a while. I am putting down the main key points, which Helen told me:
1. Overcome the fear of failure
This was the first obstacle. I was afraid to put part of my savings, into starting a new venture. My mind was full of questions and answers. One of them was “Do I have a plan b, if my company failed “I didn’t have any other type of earnings.
I worked on it. My visits to Helen’s office paid off. I learned from her experience.
2. Plan Well
I wrote everything down. Starting from an idea, took help from my other friends as well. My family was also supportive. They gave me honest opinions. I gave my ears to them.
Some were very critical and shocked, about my new move. Furthermore, others encouraged me, to chase my dream and go ahead.
3. Talk to Experts
Helen and I also agreed that I must visit other entrepreneurs as well. I searched on LinkedIn and other professional networking websites, to get contacts. Most of them accepted my invitations.
They also shared with me, the mistakes, and their success stories. It widened up my horizon and thinking patterns.
4. Book Reading
Helen also emphasized, reading. She even took me to her home. I was happy to see, her collection of best books about starting a business. Furthermore, I noted some of the titles. I found it interesting.
I sat down in my room, with those books; The time I spent to, read each page, highlighted, and took notes. It helped me, in making my future decisions, by gathering information:
- considering all options,
- Evaluating its pros and cons.
5. Self Believe
When I started running the company, I hired freelancers. Just to optimize my cost. It worked well. I was able to focus on its promotions. It was according to the plan, which I made in place at the beginning.
I met lots of people, online, I physically, met my boss, where I was working. She helped me in networking with, her suppliers and clients. In this way, more and more people trusted me, closed deals with me.
Initially, I worked from my home. I did advertise on social media, I focused on all the processes. The order was delivered by my suppliers, to clients’ home or office.
Any client would directly contact me, for the delay in the shipment, or change of specifications. It took at least 6 months, to reach breakeven. It was a tough time. I had to borrow money, from my friends, relatives to meet my day-to-day expenses.
On my first anniversary, I celebrated with my team. Many banks approached me, for loans. I even called my colleagues, my friends, my relatives, etc. It was a huge success.
All those people, who doubted my abilities, were clapping and congratulating me. I appreciated everyone.
It was never easy to reach, each milestone. My team and I worked tirelessly, sacrificed our nights of sleep. We learned from, the decisions which didn’t, gave us the desired results. I remember, doing meetings on Zoom, while I had a sore throat and fever.
The first step is always difficult to take. Rest becomes history. Everyone has to put in the effort. I never thought that my name will come in famous magazines and I will be a celebrity.