Kicking off with February #s:
TheFWords: #failure #fortune #fun #fear #FailureFollowedByFortune
TheGwords: #grit #gratitude
From A Micro Entrepreneur THEN &
A Small Entrepreneur NOW
After 10 years #grit in audit #superpowerskill and armed with an accounting diploma #grit and an incomplete final CPA #failure , I left my hometown, Moose Jaw, then Regina and Saskatoon for Zambia #fortune #fun!
Lessons learned from those Audit Years: a) how to count cattle #fun ; b) how to count drums of yellow cake #fear #fun; c) how to count my lucky stars to be paid handsomely #fortune for an African adventure #fun.
I was a Project Accountant, an aid worker, for 2 years on a wheat research project (how to count seeds, just kidding) and competed as a member of the Zambian Women’s Squash Team #grit #superpowerskills #fun. “Where are you from?” came up often in Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and on the Zambian Copperbelt: Kitwe, Ndola, and Lusaka. I learned it was much easier to say “Konichiwa” which made everyone was happy.
I left Zambia and saw more of this wide world #fortune #fun : Down Under, Thailand, France, England, France, then landed in Ottawa. It was time to replenish my “inventory”. After 18 months of financial analyzing, I could see a new business language emerging. So I quit #fortune , loaded up my Honda Civic, and drove across Canada #grit #fun to study Mandarin #superpowerskill in Vancouver, a winter with a lot of rain. #grit
Another irresistible offer came along to work overseas, this time across the Pacific in Ujung Pandang, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Not such a tough choice – starving, not-so-mature student versus handsomely paid adventurer #FailureFollowedByFortune #fun
More lessons learned: Losing is winning #FailureFollowedByFortune like losing my toughest squash match in Harare #grit but leaving it my all on the court; losing is winning after marrying someone you’ve outgrown and divorcing quickly, painfully, wisely #FailureFollowedByFortune; losing is winning after left holding the bag as a whistle blower, knowing right from wrong #superpowerskill having to walk away from my home in Indonesia and personal belongings #grit and then being saved one year later by good friends, friends for life #FailureFollowedByFortune
Enter my sweet spot decade – happy days back in Canada and after a short stint as a Director of Finance , I quit to be a – wait for it – Food Entrepreneur #fun #superpowerskill #grit Talk about making something from scratch. No cakes, no boeuf bourguignon for me. I wanted the REAL DEAL. I wanted to do what I love! #fun I loved to eat great food #fun so why not make a business from scratch? Did it matter that I was not a chef, never sold a thing in my life, no contacts in the food industry? No! “Know no #fear” became my mantra.
I designed #superpowerskill, developed #superpowerskill, and physically delivered (for a little while) #superpowerskill “Asian Kraft Dinner” as Asian DIY dinner kits (Thai, Indonesian, Japanese, South Asian) which sold across Canada, U.S. and Bermuda for 12 (10 wonderful) years! #FUN #GRIT All caps, definitely ALL CAPS!
Loads of lessons learned: I lived in my factory for 4 out of 12 years #grit ; wrestled with uncertainty 24/7 for the entire 12 years #superpowerskill ; received recognition by the big ones: Bon Appetit and CBS FoodNetwork NYC #superpowerskill #fortune; blind passion can and will kill you… well, almost; unexpectedly we lost 2 major clients so cash flow stopped flowing. At the same time we had to automate production , “go big or go home” so I lost it all and went “home” #FailureFollowedByFear I lived with my friends and family in 5 homes for 6 months in 2 different cities, 3,415 km apart; I lived with #humility and #gratitude ; I lived with zero assets+zero liabilities = ZERO for what seemed like a very long time #FailureWithNoFortune #JustPlainFailure
So “now is the time” to adapt, to pivot, to change, to endure, to survive #grit For the next 10 years, I worked in big corporate led by small people who MUST hit their “numbers”, I worked in small business led by big people (read “big egos”) who went mad not knowing their “numbers”; I worked in NFPs (aka not-for-profits aka “not for me”) with dedicated people who waste time wrestling with bureaucracy and not having any “numbers”.
Lessons Learned From Lowlights to Highlights: Nothing can defeat you when you have nowhere to go but up #GRIT; nothing can defeat you when you set aside your pride, learn to lean, and ask (sometimes yell) for help #humility ; nothing can defeat you when you can still give a lot with very little because #gratitude is still gratitude #superpowerskill; nothing can defeat you when you can make a life a “something” out of “nothing” #superpowerskill , when you “treat every day like pay day” with curiosity and wonder #fun #fortune, and when you strive to be kinder each and every day. “My heart has spoken.” #superpowerskill
What’s next? March #Talk. Stay tuned!