Three years ago, when husband and I got married, my in-laws gifted us with a small, fledging retail business. “This will be your bread and butter,” they said.
I looked at the numbers and quickly became concerned. Rent was high and labor costs weren’t cheap either. And while 11 stores were not a laughing matter, the cash burn was higher given the revenue was hard fought.
Our items were wants, not needs. And while everyone needs to eat, luxury and accessories were the first thing they cut when things got tough.
But a gift was a gift, and very much appreciated. Anyway, nobody says no to a gift and if you look her closely, this fledging business could easily turn into a gem if you worked wisely.
We accepted the gift with open arms. Happy that our in laws gave us fishing rods instead of fish.
I told my husband then we needed to expand. Given overhead, 11 stores were not enough and we had to increase our number of stores to spread our costs.
So in a span of 3 years, we doubled our size and our revenues. Sure, we increased our costs but the revenue increase off settled our bills.
Slowly but stably, our bread and butter is becoming just one. People were starting to know our brand and we were feeding more families.
And now, at the crux, lay another challenge: how do we grow? How will we be bigger? How can we make more money?
Expanding to 20 stores was great. We needed to do this to be stable. But 20 stores isn’t enough. We still had to grow to survive.
That’s how business is: you are only as great as your people. And your people will work hard if they think they are working on a goal bigger than themselves.
When people are challenged, they push harder.
They persist and achieve more.
And it’s only when your people move beyond their comfort zone can a company achieve great things.
That’s how Tesla achieves great things… it’s not when people are stable and comfortable. It’s when you challenge them to achieve the impossible that ridiculous things become a possibility.
Our company is NOT a Tesla. It’s not a Facebook or a Microsoft nor will it rank in any business magazine in the Philippines.
Our people are not rich. We don’t have stock options to give them to make them millionaires. We ourselves are struggling so they struggle along with us.
But we are in a better place than 3 years ago.
We have a nicer (and still modest) office. We have hired better staff and have come up with systems so we can expand further. Now, my people look up to me for my guidance. To help me help them enrich their lives.
I am scared. It’s scary when you do something you don’t know.
I might fail, and nothing scares me more than failure. I’d hate my in-laws wagging their fingers at me saying, “See? That’s what happens when you get too greedy.”
But I’m not greedy.
If I was, I wouldn’t be in business. There’s too much headaches one must get into before achieving wealth.
But I am practical.
And we must grow.
So wish me luck — wish me wisdom so we can grow. Because inertia is our biggest enemy. And we mustn’t let it win.
Have a good weekend everyone!