I bumped into someone the other day and surprisingly, she asked me, "How was business?" She must have an extraordinary memory or something because she then asked, "Aren't you the TOP 5 for CLEO Young Achiever Award 2008..?".
Wow. i thought. That was sometime 2 years ago. So what had happened along the way? After the heartbreaking no-news results,I knew that my life would never be the same again.. I hated myself. I hated myself for not trying hard enough. Not winning means i have to work hard long enough to be able to gather funds to discover my potential and capabilities to run my own business.
And so, I quickly make my way to a private school and make a full payment cash for a Diploma in Business Admin and sent my almost non-existing resume to companies. That experience made me realized, that you need education to fallback on. I landed a job in an insurance company as an Admin Executive. Considering that i have no experience and no qualifications (yet, during that time, i still have not finished it, but thats not the point.) i would consider myself quite lucky.
Soon, i discovered that desk-bound job is definitely not for me. Working there has affect my well-being tremendously. I started hallucinating, my short attention span has decreased to 10 seconds and my behaviour starts to get really unusual. I mean, really, I love going outdoors, i love meeting people, i love getting myself busy, i love food and ultimately i love running a business-no matter how small. So sitting in an air-conditioning room with the same superficial people staring at your every move really gets to me. One year later, i quit my comfortable day job. I was left being depressed and felt uncertain about my life.Having enough savings to last me for quite awhile, i went on a 2 weeks vacations to different islands in Thailand and soon grew a passion for this food craze. Coming back, i felt well and recuperate after been kept in a box for so long.
And so i start preparing on a business plan, i was running here and there, gathering enough information to start my new little project. Getting this plan put together, i found out that i'm going to need to hire a vehicle every time there's an event. And then i thought, why not own one? And soon before i knew it, i registered my own company and bought a second hand van.. And then, the question that comes along with it is.. Ok,now what? I almost died laughing, cos i knew i'm going to be in trouble.
On a serious note, it was bad planning from the start, i'm stuck with a company and a van with no job. Savings are drying up, and i realized that i need to pull my sock up and do something. The next 7 months was history, i worked hard in a male -dominated territory, i went through obstacles you can never imagined. But i manage to stand tall. What do i do? I provide delivery services to company.
I was the girl who sent flowers from your boyfriends for Valentines, I was the girl who deliver hampers for Christmas. I was the girl who deliver food, when your company holds a huge lunch or dinner party. It was a crazy business to get into, but it pays well. At the end of the day, i cried. I had bruises. I had migraines. It was painful. I've changed the way i looked at drivers, uncles and pakciks. They went through hardship. We had to rush to meet time line. We have to go through challenges, to park our vehicle illegally-sometimes risk getting fine- just to reach customers on time, we had to climb stairs, carry tables and heavy catering equipments-set up tables in the quickest time and of all, we have to face the customers when something goes wrong. Meanwhile, aware that i was into delivery services,my sister began designing a catering website. She soon explore her capabilities in setting up one. She invested a tremendous amount of time and effort and soon our company was first Google. She is the most talented person i've met. Like a puzzle, it fits perfectly.
Mum has been in the food business for 20 years,we proposed to her to cater for us and prepared at the food stall. Due to lack of resource and manpower, we have to turn down many customers. I also manage the administrative work, getting phone calls, taking orders and emailing them while delivering-stopping by the road-when i have to. Aware that it is unlicensed and overwhelmed by the response, we continue doing catering for the entire 8 months, while i juggle doing other delivery jobs. And soon the law caught up with us, and we were brought to court and had to pay a fine for unlicensed vendor.
They told us, we were unlucky as there's countless companies out there that is unlicensed and can get away with it. But i consider myself lucky. I'm glad that it happened. It create awareness.Its like a wake-up call that just screams at your face. Lawful mistake is definitely not tolerable by the court of law in Singapore. In retrospect, it was the best 8 months of my life, i have become wiser and matured and experience. I appreciate people, money and time more than ever before.
Refusing to give up- still passionate about food business, i signed up for my first food event at Singapore Expo this mid July. This time, independently. Right back where i left off. CLEO has provide a platform for me to pursue my dreams. The reason why i got to where i am. And i'm glad.So if you were to ask me what my dream career is, i want to be an entrepreneur. A well-established entrepreneur. A F&B Mogul. Just like how you've said it.