A story of a start-up operator

As a person, I always want more. I have never felt enough or satisfied with my corporate life while I am actually in a very good career path. It’s like I have this extra energy that does not want to be channelled to my corporate world; I crave to create something for me, I always crave to have a space where I can be me, a space to do trials and errors till I find my own path to success.

I moved away from my home country to be with me mainly, to figure out what kind of person I want to be; somehow I do not believe that I can do this around people I do not find support from.

In this foreign country, I have never thought of creating a business because I know I do not know the market, I have no idea how to source stuff, and I do not know if I would be here for long. So, for the first couple years living here, I spent my money and energies on drinks, shopping frenzy, and just having fun, yet I am not satisfied.
Those feelings and extra energies to create something just for me never went away, it just never leave me for even a second!

Fast forward to years later, I found the courage. Me and a friend decided to jump into the food and beverage industry by opening a bar and restaurant; simply because the standard of nightlife here is far from my standard and what I have seen. Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh, and Phuket (amongst other places I have visited) were crazy and I have always been the crazy-all-out party girl.

Within couple months of the idea’s inception and after tons of research/discussion/market research, we found the building we want in the most touristy place of the city. It was all exciting till the reality kicks in.

Covid, lockdown measures, limited capacity for restaurants, no party allowed, people not going out because of fear, costs that we keep incurring; the business can’t sustain itself basically. Typical start-up problems especially that we started it during this unprecedented time. On top of this, I still have the stress from my corporate job; I am not giving up on this one too.

Throughout all those start-up problems, I have always been very stubborn of keeping the business. I cannot explain why and I admit that logically my decision is against all the mathematical equation, but I am very adamant. I know it will fly and it will fly high.

The biggest blow was that my friend decided to not walk beside me; I do not blame him at all, I respect his decision and all the efforts he has done thus far.

My days are (yes, not ‘were’) full with anxiety, raising funds, thinking of bringing down the costs, negotiating with landlord for rental payment, administering all govt submission for funds assistance which I never get, looking for business broker to help me landing investors, and calling friends to ask for help. Sleepless nights thinking how could I pay my employees salary. On top of all these, people I know are talking about me and the business that seems to be failing; I should ignore it but honestly it feels embarassing.

There were moments when I thought I should just give up, let it go, and suffer a little bit more monetary loss but safe my sanity and stress. Just get married, moved away, and forget about my ‘extra energy’. I even blamed myself for keep wanting and demanding for more in life; it took a lot for me to stop blaming myself at this point.
But, even in those moments, deep down I prayed for help; even in my prayer I did not let go of that start-up business.

The more I think about it for the past couple weeks, I started to figure out that the reason of me being so adamant about keeping the business is actually about myself.

I have promised myself that I am the highest priority of my goals.
I have promised myself that I will get there, I will get to the point where I finally can say that I am satisfied.
I have promised myself that I will work towards what I want, no matter how hard it is.
I have promised myself that I will give it the love it deserved, and this is one of it. We will fly high.

I always knew that keeping promises is really important; promises to others. But I am finally at that stage in life where I know keeping promises to myself is the most important thing I could do and I should have done long time ago.

To me, you will read this again in future, and you will smile and be grateful for not giving up promises you made to yourself. Till then. XOXO.

A proud human who is after growth, not perfect but I love myself as it is. Attempting to understanding how life works.

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Maria A

Maria A

A proud human who is after growth, not perfect but I love myself as it is. Attempting to understanding how life works.

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