I was always meant to be an entrepreneur. At 28 years old, and after 10 years doing marketing and customer service for charities, I was ready to start working for myself.I knew I wanted to run some kind of online store, and I knew I wanted to move to Melbourne. That was about all I knew for sure… besides the fact that I was ready to move out of my comfort zone and into the unknown!
When you have your heart open to something, it just appears in front of you. A dear friend in Melbourne told me about a business I had long admired being for sale…. I jumped on it that day and five months later had left my job, sold my beautiful apartment in Newtown, moved to Melbourne & become a small business owner!
But that all makes it sound easy. There were hurdles to cross, the main one being finance!
No bank wanted to lend a 28 year old woman money for a small business venture, even for a business with close to a decade of financial success. Only one bank would even talk to me, and the words they said were a big fat NO.
This is where persistence and belief in yourself becomes crucial. I had a fantastic broker, and my contact at the bank was ridiculously supportive of me and my goals, but at the end of the day the man making the decisions about my future was someone I had never met or spoken to, and who had not even seen my resume yet. His assumption that I was under qualified to run a small business was one made solely on the basis of my age, financial status and likely my sex. He had not checked any of my references or bothered to look past the paperwork.
After my first and second no I continued to fight for what I believed in and after several negotiations I got the loan! Getting my bank loan was the most difficult thing I have had to do in my entrepreneur journey. Running my business is a piece of cake compared to the difficult conversations and back bending which went on in order to actually buy it!
I now spend every day working for my artist clients who dedicate their lives to creating beautiful jewellery, clothing & everyday products. My small business empowers artists to branch out into the retail environment by renting a cube, shelf, rack or wall from as little as $22 per week & I pay them 100% of their sales. My new role takes my strengths in marketing, customer service, problem solving and organisation, and directs it people who need all the help they can get in that department – artisans! It really is my dream job! I still have to work part time at my old job to make ends meet but it is totally worth it when I remember why I do what I do and why I do it.
My tips for success?
- I cannot recommend using a broker more highly whenever you are dealing with money, they know what they are doing and you don’t need to fork out a cent for their services.
- I encourage all women to follow their dreams and not take no for an answer.Rules are made to be broken, especially when those rules are based on old systems which work to make the rich richer and leave those who believe they can change the world to fend for themselves.
- Find something you believe in and stick to it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough or ready. If you believe you are ready, you are.
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From those in Heels