I had to write answers for an email interview about how Lova Shoes started and how difficult it was. Then I saw an interview on Project Listen Prudential about this musician Chee Ming and his struggles before he made it. Watch it here.
He had limited funding in the beginning and just pooled his savings. People around him told him his work sucks and having no food to eat etc. Super bad luck in the beginning, and still he perservered and now he wins awards! A Chinese guy specializing in Indian songs! Very inspiring.
Made me think about my own journey starting Lova Shoes. Really brought me back down memory lane and I dug up old blogposts that I wrote when we first started, like the first day.
Reading back, I sounded so hopeful.
I remembered the struggles I went through setting up Lova Shoes and let me tell you the struggles don’t end.
From as small as figuring out how to set up that damn wood table, to as big as learning everything under the sun from operations to marketing to HR to customer service. The special part about being an entrepreneur is that you’ve got to know how to do everything about your company; finance, marketing, operations, customer service, admin, production, every single thing! So you can never ever be lazy. My learning curve for 2014 and 2015 is a very steep vertical line. Like whoooshhh.
But it’s so worth it to see your dream realize.
So many issues will surface, and this will differ depending on the industry you’re in. READ AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. It really helps learning about others’ journeys.
It gets tougher, but you tend to also get stronger to combat challenges.
In terms of business, I love challenges and solving issues. I get really bored if everything’s easy and peachy. So my advise to all out there: get the right business partner. Not just the “I have no one else, so can lah…” approach.
Like Mel always says to me, “To be successful, comfort is never the currency.”
Never ever be comfortable. Never ever be complacent. Always be uncomfortable and restless. It’s true. Once you’re in the comfort zone, you won’t even want to get out and grow.
For those who don’t know, Lova Shoes is a fashion retail that allows men and women to design their dream shoes online, we then handmade and deliver the shoes in around four weeks.
Unlike our big competitors, we had very limited funding only pooled from the savings of myself. So with that money, we strive hard to figure out the best strategy to maximize the little we have.
We had customers from Indonesia only, and now we have from Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei too.
We enjoy a lot of good times with the team….
We have definitely grown, but we are still a long crazy way to success.
To get there, I never forget my mom’s “S” theory. To be successful in anything in life, you need a few S’s. Not asses. S’s.
Gotta keep your soul clean. As a Muslim, she always reminds that everything begins with an intention. God will always bless clean intentions. In business, you’ll meet all sorts of people even those close to you and big competitors who will want to play dirty. You better make sure you don’t stoop that low.
Gotta be sure and confident about your venture/project/business. You are your business. If you don’t believe in it, no one else will.
To be sure, you’ll need these things:
a) Knowledge – if you want to sell currypuffs, you gotta seek more knowledge on them (how to make them etc)
b) Information – you gotta know how many types of currypuffs there are, how much the market price is.
c) Experience – you had better gone to the kitchen and make a currypuff! Or better yet, worked in a currypuff-selling business for a few years or so.
d) Research – you gotta do your homework and do a bit of market study. Who buys currypuffs, which is the best location, what is your costing for production, who’s the biggest player in currypuff selling, how fast you can recover back your capital etc.
Business planning is very important so your team will know exactly where its destination is. Things might change along the way, so be flexible but it’s always good to have an aim/goal. In your business plan, you should also map out tactics and ways to get there.
To all budding entrepreneurs with an original idea and burning passion, you can make a difference with your ideas. Don’t let them go to waste. Get a step closer today by doing something.
“It’s better to struggle now to have an easy life later, than have an easy life now only to struggle later.”