I decided to close my biz when I knew I cannot bear the pain anymore and people start leaving. This was a hard decision to make at the age of 20.
Yup, that's my first biz on E-waste. I had little knowledge of the importance of planning and survey before executing. I still remember that most of my hard earn part-time money that I saved just burnt within 6 months. RM10K just gone like that. It was hurtful and a devasting blow to my life. I had no mentor too back then to guide me. All I had was myself and the determination to build biz with a dream to make a green difference.
In my first biz that I failed, I realized later on why Business Model Canvas is so important. It makes you realize how are you going to generate income to keep the biz afloat and who are the people you targeting? In the BMC as well, they too ask how are you going to market it, and why are you different than the rest? Once you have filled up the 9 columns, you will then need to do a survey.
Why do we need to do a survey? It is to see if there is a market opportunity for it. We will not want to waste our money, time, energy, and resources on something that the market does not want. When there is a constant demand, then there is a constant cash flow.
So, what I did was that I created a google form and posted on my college FB groups where most students were in. I seek feedback on such idea and to see how responsive they were. There were 7 questions. After the time frame given has ended, I decided to read the results and to my surprise, many love the Happy Hour concept. I thought only westerners are more open to the idea but that survey just change my mind and put my false belief to sleep. FOREVER!
From there, I knew I needed a team. I cannot do this alone. That's where I recruited Keeran to join our team. The two of us happily going around Georgetown! We were rejected so many times by so many cafe . They have not heard about such green idea and they don't see a need to do happy hours. Soon, before we wanted to give up, we managed to get 2 partners in Bayan Lepas area. Then it grew... One cafe owner referred to another cafe owner to accept such idea. This is where I saw the importance of referral marketing :D
After a few months of running such idea, we decided to seek feedback from our consumers to see how we can improve. Their valuable feedback allows us to change from time to time to ensure we can keep up with their wants and needs for their convenience. 20/80 rule.
Soon, the team grew. Many asked me how did I build my core team? I will say when two-person have a mutual understanding and sees the same vision as the leader, things will go well in the long run. Yes, vision does die at times and there will be crisis at times, the team will have to face. If the team can stay put and overcome many obstacles as one, then you knew that these people will go all out to achieve such a vision. They know that big success does not happen overnight. It takes time and a lot of griding too. There is a saying " Rome wasn't built in a day".
Moreover, my 2nd biz ( Green Hero ) is much better than the first. Revenue also X10 and I am not making so much loss as before. I will say even better , at break-even point because I always read our financial report to ensure we don't run a biz that is losing money. Nobody wants to do that.
Today, I have over 100 failures that I can share with you but here are a few. I was criticized for running biz in college because we sold food that is much cheaper than our college cafeteria. I was also criticized that I posted a personal biz survey form without seeking permission from my superior. There is also this moment where I failed to achieve a project outcome, I was shamed and condemned for my failure but it did teach me a very good lesson. I knew that failure will teach me things I don't know in life and make me a better person tomorrow but some people cannot forgive those who failed in life.
Those failures taught me many great stuffs. I will lose some friends through this but that's ok. That's how I differentiate those who believe in me and those who don't. I was once told that " We shouldn't waste our energy on something that does not add value to your life. We cannot be everyone cup of tea. We just have to live and accept it that some people will not like our style".
My friends, sometimes when things do not go the way you planned, stop and take a breath. Seek peace with those you trust and get their best opinion. In life, there will be at times we have to make hard decisions and those hard decisions are there to teach us a lesson. So accept the outcome after it and live with it. I have lived through many failures. I have lived through many people who tried to frame me. I have lived through many people who speak behind my back and backstabbed me and that's ok. This is the dark side of life that we have to bear because life isn't easy. Is tough and we just have to be stronger to face society. Never give up and never give in. Always tell yourself to be strong and you can overcome this harsh reality. Live your life as your wish because you have the right to write the next chapter of your life. You are the author of your own life, remember that.
P.S ( Will you be interested for a free session on Business Model Canvas? If yes, drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org on your biz idea )