bakery, black business, business, cupcakes, ecuador, Ecuador expats, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, esl teaching, expats in Ecuador, female business owners, female entrepreneurs, ibarra, imbabura, new business, new year, small business, tea, tea house, tea shop, teahouse
As I sat in a scarcely filled church tonight (Tuesday), I thought about life and business. For me, starting a business is what is taking my life to the next level. It’s a level that I’m glad to move into, for there is so much potential for achieving success in my teahouse and writing.
I watched a video of the rapper Logic on “Sway in the Morning” today, and he spoke of his life being a victory party for he had a rough upbringing. His drive to move forward in a positive manner reminded me of how my new biz keeps me present in the now. Sometimes I tend to reflect to critically about my mistakes and misbehavior of the past; to have an impact now, I must be here in the now where things–good things– are happening.
After two months, I know that there are many areas of my business that I must tighten up. Understanding the logistics of having a business occupied most of my time as of now; thus, as I move forward I must now be more active in firmly establishing my brand by addressing the needs, wants and lacks of my community. (I’m teaching Curriculum Development and we have been focusing on needs/wants/lacks.)
Yet, as I realized this past week while participating in la Feria de Dulces in Ibarra, I cannot do it all by myself. I need strong business relationships to keep moving forward. I have heard many successful entrepreneurs state this (you can’t do it alone), but it wasn’t until now, two months into my first business venture, that I understand and agree with the statement.
The problem that I am encountering is locking down partners who will deliver. I have never been much of a talker; it’s just not me to run off at the mouth about things I have no intention to do. I think as a writer, I take words seriously, so to speak about future plans is to state things that I can actually achieve and things I really want to do.
But tonight, I had the misfortune of working with someone who didn’t share my view on this.
I had wooden tea boxes built and painted for my teashop in October. The local guy was a few days later with the three boxes, but I liked them and gave him a pass. I asked him to create more boxes for the Organic Festival I was going to participate. The boxes were not completed the Tuesday afternoon as he had promised; we agreed he would bring the finished boxes to my teashop by Saturday 2pm. On Saturday, the night before the organic festival, he arrived to my shop at 7pm. (I had called and texted the shop with no response.) Not only were the boxes ugly and in a form that I could not sell, he knew there were poor quality products, yet he still brought them to me. How disappointing. We spoke and I told him how to correct the boxes and even gave him some origami papers to inspire his pattern work. He told me he would finish within in three days. I went to his shop in four days, and nothing had been done to improve the boxes. However,he was working on new projects that had come in after my project. I gave him more time, and of course he didn’t deliver. Last night, I walked into his shop and saw him painting other items while my unfinished material rested on the side. I demanded my money back (my deposit). After a heated and extreme direct calling-out, he borrowed money for a neighbor, I received my deposit back, and I left.
It was an unfortunate situation, but I don’t even think the young artist cared. The sad part is that I am encountering several people like the young artist– unreliable, unfocused, unprofessional. It makes me wonder when do people decide “good enough” is going to be their motto for life and stop trying to reach their potential. A lot of people have great ideas, but they lack the discipline and drive to implement the ideas in a manner that is professional, beneficial, and worthy of self-happiness.
As I seek to expand the products and services provided at my teahouse, I must keep in mind the necessity to have good partners. I need to be patient in finding the partners and clearly craft plans that they can easily implement and add to.
My goals are big but not unrealistic; 2016 could be my year. #dreambig