I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Ever since I started selling patterned socks at 3x the cost to my wealthy college classmates up until I opened my own bar a few years after graduating, I knew that I wanted to do business. Part of me was inspired by my mom who always sold something on the side to make ends meet, augmenting the meager amount she earned from her day to day. Or maybe I was intrigued by my dad who was perpetually hustling. So at a young age I already knew that I was destined to be in business.
I spent over a decade after school working for big companies and on the side I was either joining bazaars or selling things that I made or repackaged (I remember selling a “Christmas Blend” coffee which was just an Arabica blend from Baguio packaged in a nice box). Even at work I noticed that I thrived when I was given the freedom to make decisions and be fully accountable for them. I was not too afraid to try out new things or experiment with new methods.
But I have always been one who needs a safety net. I think it is part of my controlling nature that there has to be some form of certainty or guarantee that the plan in my head will happen. I can be very stubborn and tend to pound at something until I get the preferred results. I used to think that for something to be worthwhile, it has to be hard to achieve. While this is true in some instances, I have come to realize that if it isn’t moving then I should switch directions or rethink my strategy. I am also struggling with not fully knowing before I have to make a decision. I’m also learning about this whole lean start up method where it’s okay to put something out there to learn more, to test or to validate a hypothesis.
This fluidity of being an entrepreneur is exhilarating and liberating but also scary and unsettling. It’s a good thing though that a part of me is schooled in the framework of a big organization which I think lends the discipline and rigor that are important. Otherwise I would not know how to navigate this game given my nature. I am just very privileged to be mentored and guided by the best entrepreneurs I have ever met, individuals who are brilliant strategists but remain humble and generous with what they know. I am lucky to have married one of them and have another as a best friend. Moreover, it is amazing how much depth and breadth of learning is made possible just by putting yourself out there.
So I am happy to finally be on this ride. I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and now I am one and this is more meaningful because I am in a very unique position to enable and empower more individuals to be entrepreneurs themselves.