The Growth Story of an Entrepreneur
I live by Beyonce's philosophy in the above lines. So here I am narrating my own story cuz we all grow out from mistakes, blunders and failures!
I always wanted to do a job, work in MNC's, work under someone, I knew I was a performer with all those academic certificates, super good board-grades my merit scholarship, proving it to me I knew I would be a great employee, an asset to any organization I join. Then came the placement session, where all my batch mates and I were cramming the placement cell with our resumes, but the catchers were limited. So then I decided to work with a start-up of a common friend as the HR, it was all hunky and dory until the organization started losing business and we could not pay the employees, and I had to handle them telling that they would soon get their pay as our payment is stuck, stuck, the boss is OOT etc. etc. and all this while my family was acting up..
There one October evening sipping on my coffee in the common plastic cup, when I just realized how the commonly used plastic cups contribute to the non biodegradable long-lasting plastic dust. The plastic cups cannot be completely eliminated from our daily uses but however can be substituted with more eco-friendly option of paper cups. There came in the idea of establishing a small venture of manufacturing paper cups and educating on the same issue. Although, I was still dilemmatic about job, start up, funding, potential etc. I started to research on the idea, studied the market, the players and industry.
After the research work, I found a gap which could be filled with feasible quality & feasible pricing option.
Here comes the hero of my life, my dad who proposed to me the idea funding of my start-up. So we rented a factory, got 2 second hand machines to begin with. Once I entered this field, it was all so new, I was calling my father 10 times in 7 hours, asking him what to do next, how to handle the matter, I didn't know how to move things or get things moving, I didn't how to do sales, where to get clients from, how to deal with not so academically good labour, how to maintain accounts. I knew ZILCH. I also realized that this industry was purely male dominated from suppliers to job-worker to clients. I started to get chauvinistic comments of how I can't manage it, of how I am entirely doing it wrong, of how I chose the wrong field, of how soon I will give up. I got the company stuck with a fraudulent client, lost official documents, got into bad debts. I experienced all sorts of medulla oblongata patterns, from labours telling me they don't want in house accommodation to client approving vendorship on condition that I go down for a coffee with him (really...duh!).
I wasn't the performer any more. I was being questioned. I was losing it. I lost faith in myself, I was made to believe that there are some work-fields where only men rule, that work is gender-sensitive.
They say 'when women support each other incredible things happen' so it did! My mother acted as my pillar of support, I used to go crying to her for the first week of work. Gradually I gathered myself, got my team sorted, planned production, did cold calling, worked out on clients, fixed meetings, generated invoices, made salaries and got things moving. I can now take decisions, negotiate, deal with people, handle crisis, manage contingencies, slay work-meetings, and today we are growing like never before.
I am not sure if people are born with it or they learn through it, but we all have the ability to evolve and bloom with the right support and mentorship.
Everyone has failures and as you grow they don't cease, but you learn to learn from your failing stories, and that's how you grow!