No more delaying. I must start the second round of contractors working to properly launch IncaZen Tea House and Global English (Centro de Inglés) in February. For about a month, I have not been looking forward to another round. The first round of working with about 10 different people, mostly men, was challenging. I remember writing on FB that I have never smoked, but all I feel like doing is lighting up and listening to blues music in a dimly lit bar. It was rough; it was definitely an unpleasant experience having to yell at grown men, having men not want to speak with me but take my money. The inability to trust people to finish projects properly and timely.
I think gender and gringo factors played a big role. I was disrespected by several, laughed at by all and viewed as an assertive woman by most. But I don’t have the leisure of being lightweight when speaking; I speak to communicate things I want done, and it must be done properly. I have learned flowery talk confuses people even more, especially with my horrific gringo accent. Getting straight to the point is what I’m about in my strive to achieve goals and keep it moving.
What I have learned is that I might not be invited to dinner at someone’s house nor will someone send me a birthday card, but people will want to do business with me because I am serious, reliable and about biz. When I was living in Seoul, I complained to my fellow waygook Felipe that people didn’t want to hang out with me, but they wanted my advice on work. He told me that was called “respect.” This simply reply made me view myself differently. Like friends are cool and I have some good friends that I communicated with when I got fired unexpectedly and can communicate with when I’m feeling overwhelmed and lonely (sides effects of entrepreneurship in a foreign land). But to have non-friends and strange be able to respect is a good thing. And I now know people respect me because they know I’m one of those bitches that get shit done.
As I get more comfortable being viewed as a business owner and an entrepreneur who has worthy ideas that should/will be implemented, I understand the importance of respect in the business world and my community. You want your customers to respect you and your services/products because that is steady business and a self-esteem boost. You want colleagues to respect you because you are not alone in the business world and need people to bounce ideas off of; being a part of a community has always been important me. You want employees/contractors to respect you because you need help to realize big dreams and the teacher in me wants to inspire others. More importantly, I believe in karma, so respect is a sign I’m putting more good into the world than negativity.