Was there a significant turning point when you decided to become an entrepreneur?I was tired of working for people in companies, who did not appreciate me, and I always felt I could be and do so much more; this fire in me that was hungry for more. Growing up my mum was not always home as she worked 2-3 jobs to support me and my brother as a single mum. She was time poor, and didn’t get to enjoy her life. I didn’t want my life to be like that. At 18 I met my dad for the first time in my life; He was successful, he raised my two half-sisters to become pharmacist doctors, but he spoke down on my family. Me and my brother didn’t go to university but just work jobs here and there. He was embarrassed to be our dad (even though he never spent a day with us). But it was a blessing in disguise. Because that gave me motivation. Living with him for a few weeks made me have clarity and determination to do more with myself, for my family. I wanted to take control of my own life. And prove to myself I am more than this. I will be successful in my own way. I want to be able to give my mum the life she never got to enjoy. And my curiosity in life is to become more, to find better ways to do things and create products people needed. Sparked that entrepreneur spirit in me. The never giving up mentality was from my mum.
Looking back is there a piece of advice you wish to pass onto someone starting out their entrepreneurial journey?Let me start by saying quitting my job to run my business was NOT a rational decision. Before quitting, I had a plan, I made sure I was making some sales. Because I had a mortgage to pay off, my car and of course bills. So I had to be smart about it. I wasn’t going to put the burden on my mum (that was definitely not an option.) It wasn’t easy working full time and running a side business. But every time I had eg, lunch breaks, home from work, I would contribute time to working on my business. Every minute counted. I remember during work when it wasn’t busy, I took my notepad out and did some simple calculation. How many sales did I have to make to cover my hourly rate? And then how many sales would I need to make on top of that to cover my tips that I made? (I made a decent amount of tips actually whilst in hospitality) I saved up some buffer (about 10-15k for stock and stuff) and I was still living with my mum (it really helped, she mainly did the cooking and laundry whilst I was working on my business after work) After a month, on the new products I launched. I made 30k, after 3 months I made over 90k. And I was thinking like, oh damn, making serious money now. I need to worry about the next tax bracket! I was ready. And leading up I remember my supervisor at the time was sending me home after 3 hours every day. And that day was the last straw for me, and enough for me to make the decision to resign on the spot. And it was time to go all in. We all have doubts before quitting. I know what ran through my mind was what if sales stop and I had no money? And I remember this quote from Tony Robbins. “If you want to take the island, then burn your boats. With absolute commitment come the insights that create real victory.” And that’s what gave me certainty to do what I do. And recently I launched my third business www.curvesculpting.com . We sold out after the first month. And excited for what’s to come!
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?Mindset: “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up sometimes – but understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” Hustle: Hard work, what you put in will show fruit. But it doesn’t happen in a day. Every little bit counts in the long run. To grow a tree, you need to water it. To build a successful business you must nurture it. Learning: Always teaching myself something new, being up to date with social media, marketing, finding better ways to be more effective and efficient, delegate tasks that others can do better, educating myself and team with innovation to be on top of the game. Otherwise we get complacent.
Who do you look up to in business? Who inspires you?I actually stop comparing myself or put others on a pedestal and just focus on myself, and how I can be better than yesterday.
What was the best advice that you have been given?“Ready, fire, aim!” – Coming from a perfectionist - borderline OCD. When you’re ready with an idea, trial it out, bring it to market, and see what they think. Then go back and re-tweak. Too many times we wait until something is ab-solute-ly perfect (which nothing is ever) And it’s too late, someone already came out with the idea. Time waits for no one.
What do you think your key to success has been?Delegating task. Creating and building a supportive team to help me run a successful business. Finding people who are smarter than me and hiring them. And ofcourse having a supportive partner.
How have you personally measured your success?
- Being able to do what I want, whenever I want.
- Being able to buy my mom a house and her dream car.
- Being inspired to wake up every day to do what I love and being paid for it.