black business, black girls, business, ecuador, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, expat, female business owners, female entrepreneurs, feminism, focused, foriegn, franchise, happy, hustle, latin america, motivated, motivation, self, small business, south America, teahouse, travel, we the people, wethepeople
The electricity in my teahouse was cut off this morning. My neighbor/shoe store owner pointed to the cut wires when I was confused about the light situation.
My lovely neighbor/former employee — who told me “They’re just cupcakes!”, “And this is just your job” was my response– didn’t keep his word and give the bill to his mother. You see, I got confused on which bill I was supposed share with the other people in the building and which bill I needed to pay on my own. I accept that this was my fault. But I also know that my neighbor/former employee took the bill and said he would give it to his mother and she would talk with me. But when confronted about this, he shrugged. It wasn’t his problem nor his concern. And that, my friend, sums up the biggest truth in starting a biz abroad — misunderstanding and unfamiliarity with the social norms (like electricity wires being cut after two months and without a warning) is just a part of developing a business and growing as an entrepreneur. What I have learned is learning is the process of growing. I saw some rich/CEO person said it’s not a mistake if you are learning.
As my other neighbor told me as I was sitting kinda in the dark in my teahouse, “2 years!” I tell him that I am here for two yeas, so don’t worry if there is no one in the teahouse. And in two years, I will learn how to pay bills in-person and keep the electricity flowing.
This is why I’m in the “soft open” phase of my tea house. Soft open as I have been translating to Spanish speaker is the “practice time.” They don’t necessarily get it because there are few businesses that do a “soft open” in Ecuador; you open and try to make as much money as possible. Yet the learning curve is so important in establishing something that is long-lasting. I’m a strong believer in creating a strong foundation on which you can modify. But without the initial blue print — girl, we’re talking about a hot mess situation.
So what have I learned in my one-month of a “soft open.”
- A franchise is possible. People like my ideas, my products, my vibe.
- People can only enhance my vision but not diminish it.
- Be professional even when others are not.
- Stay focused. Stay Hungry. Stay goal-centered.
- Speak directly and assertively in order to get things done in the manner you want. Don’t accept poor quality products because I’m creating a brand.
- Give solutions to problems. This is what a leader must do to have a strong team.
- Micromanaging is horrific.
- Yoga & Meditation are so necessary.
- I’m worth 4 hours of writing on Tuesday. The Next Great American Novel. I can have my indie publishing company.
- I can stand alone, but I prefer to sip with others.
1 month down– 23 months to go till…
** as my new venture begins so does my country’s venture*** #wethepeople