I have always been the type to do my own thing. I never followed the crowd, or did what everyone else was doing. And this was true even at a young age when I would spend my lunch time in the sewing room making my outfit for the next day. Not to say that this is the type of person that you have to be in order to have your own business or be a successful entrepreneur, but being an entrepreneur allowed me to learn more about people first hand. I focused on their needs, what they were missing and what I could do for them, to get them to where they wanted to be.
Any business owner fills a need. A need that a customer is looking for or did not know that they needed it at that time but realized they did after meeting with you. We have all been in a store and seen something that you were not looking for but thought oh wow – I have to have that! Could be that multi- function tool or a garment you did not know existed but now you rave about it.
My job was to go into a fashion Retail/Designer/Manufacture or enthusiast business and do whatever needed to be done, merchandising, pattern making, organizing a fashion show or wardrobe, pattern grading, textile selection, you name it I was the girl to do what needed to be done in the fashion world. I was more behind the scenes and I liked it like that but I do feel that I pushed forward amazing people and their businesses to their fullest potential. And that is spot light enough for me.
Being the entrepreneur behind a product or service is an amazing feeling. All of your clients become like family and sometimes your cheer leading squad. I have made some great friends through business and some friends became closer than family. These relationships are not to be passed by. I know there are a lot of you out there reading this and can relate to what I am saying.
At the peak of my business I had about 250 business clients on my roster. With about 50%, I could walk in and there was a huge hug and coffee waiting for me. Another 30% I would bring the coffee and it was a lot of work listening to their issues personal and otherwise. The last 20% were mixed with no nonsense people, or people that just wanted me to come in do my job and leave. No coffee involved there at all.
In being an entrepreneur you cannot take things personally. You will always have to deal with the people that buy a dress, wear it to a party and then return it the next day with wine stains on it saying she bought it like that. But if these are the people you focus on then more of these will come your way because this is the personality you are putting out there. If you focus on the customers you like to be around and nurture these relationships you will have a more successful business filled with positive people and outcomes. And a lot less stress in the long run.
With that in mind, this was the biggest reward for me being an entrepreneur. I felt like I had the largest family in the world. There were people from every walk of life, culture, religion, style and belief and I had the best conversations. I feel like I learnt just as much from them as they from me. I felt truly blessed that they were all in my life and wanting to tell me more about their life struggles, achievements, what was going on in their life in that moment, or a beautiful memory. This was for me the most exciting, the stories I have heard over the years, people just wanting to talk.
So I ask you…what do you focus on being an entrepreneur? What keeps you going and getting up every morning to do your job? I loved my life as an entrepreneur but as industries change you have to change as well. Now I love what I do with HealthLocal.ca. The best part? I still have the same opportunity to talk with other business owners and make the same connections.
I hope you have found your passion and love the work you do.