I wish I had a more grandeur motivation when becoming an enterpreneur, such as building a better place for my community or a calling of passion, but the truth was I didn’t have that kind of motivation. Instead, it was a spur of the moment decision, which had limited depth of thinking. I was working at a multinational bank, HSBC. I loved everything that this bank had to offer, as a customer as well as an employee. I believed in their products, their system and their management style. It became a second home where my colleagues felt like a different kind of family.
Then, I went through a somewhat life changing thing. I got married and had a beautiful baby girl. Coincidentally, there was an offer to start a travel agent. So I only thought what any person would when starting a business. As I would be my own boss, I could be flexible with my time, which means I would have more time with my baby. I never considered the fact that I didn’t have any experience in tourism or hospitality. It never occurred that I only have very limited friends that are enterpreneurs. I never thought of what life as an enterpreneur would be like.
So I quit my job and embarked on my new journey. It turns out that I got what I wanted, a more flexible time. But does that mean being an enterpreneur was easy? Absolutely not. For me, it was extra hard work. I had no knowledge of tourism. Being an enterpreneur also meant that we have to be more of a generalist than a specialist. And there was the hardest thing of all, facing uncertainty. Almost everything was uncertain. I was so overwhelmed in the beginning, and to top it all I don’t have many people that I can relate to. There were of course times, and lots of it actually, that I thought about going back to HSBC. Everything is more certain and despite that I worked long hours in there, at least I had two days out of seven that I am off from work. Working in our own company blurs working and holiday time. There are hardly days off from work. The saddest thing is that despite all the hard work I put in sometimes the financial result is just not necessarily correlated. That itself is extra frustrating. I never knew that life can be so difficult.
And here I am, 9 years later. I no longer look back and ask myself whether I should have made a different choice. Yes, life as an enterpreneur can be extremely difficult but I can’t say that it’s not exciting. It’s full of ups and downs, and your adrenaline is constantly tested, but in the end it becomes a part of you that you love. Whatever happens, in the end it eventually works out.
The most important thing is taking that chance. It doesn’t matter how you start, as long as you start.