Working with or near to your husband is especially fun because you will always have a lunch partner. Unless of course you guys are the cool couple type who don’t flaunt it at work. I’m nowhere near that, what with my blowing kisses and “What do you mean you can’t lunch with me today?” exclaims in the office. It’s sickening really, ask the FV team. Haha.
So anyway, lunch topics are always random between Dean and I. One day we could be talking about Daniel’s future school (which we always disagree on) and one another day, we could be talking about how cool Harvey Specter is in Suits (going to make Dean wear suits everyday at work soon).
Today’s lunch (well, actually…brunch) topic is on a statistic that Dean discovered which is 98% of businesses fail within the first 3 years. So it was a pretty intense lunch with lots of “smart talk”. When Dean gives me a stat, I believe him since he reads a lot and he remembers all these stuff. If I ever give you a stat, it’s most likely made up so yeah.
“Holy moly, that’s scary. What do you do if you know 98% of businesses fail??” I ask Dean.
“Well, you can open 100 businesses. 2 will survive,” his smartass answer.
But seriously, it’s very scary when you think about starting your own business isn’t it? I remember back in 2010, we had all the plans and it looks like a good idea (and thank God we’re almost 4 years now and going strong, thank you Allah swt) but still… nothing’s for sure and we were terrified! Dean and I look back now and we both agreed that in hindsight we probably wouldn’t have made it so far if it wasn’t for Proudduck and my online presence at the time. If I didn’t have a ready audience to announce the birth of FashionValet, we would’ve had to do it the more expensive way which is well… normal advertising. Which we had no money for at the time. We had to cut corners and ask for favours left right center to make it work. That’s why I tell a lot of people who ask for business advice to do their homework and map out their marketing strategy first. Who is your audience and how sure are you that your audience is even interested in your product? Is your product addressing a gap/problem in the market which people need or are you creating a whole new thing (which you will then have to convince people about)? How do you make your product different than the rest?
Until now, nothing is ever easy for us and the issues never stop; it’s always one after the other. So if you don’t have the drive and motivation to handle the stress, it’s very easy to fold and pack up.
Everyone finds motivation in different ways.
A motivation to always keep close to your heart is God. Anything can be said to you (like how I got the whole you-don’t-deserve-success remarks from people in the beginning), anything can be done to you, any competitor can set up shop even next to you, but if you’ve got Allah swt in your heart, you won’t be scared even a little bit. I have cried many times on my prayer mat when things got rough, especially in FV’s 2nd year. I have poured my eyes out to Allah swt asking for guidance and to give me strength when I needed answers. And guess what, everytime after I take off my telekung, I feel so refreshed and so alive. If I’ve worked hard and I’ve put my trust in Him, whatever happens after that is beyond my powers because all our lives have been mapped out anyway. Whatever He says is and will be, no matter what anyone does. Seriously, God is the best motivation. For anything in life.
Another one of my many motivations is definitely my partner. Whether or not he’s my husband (or scandalous ex-boyfriend hehe), I have always had faith in him to always take a good lead on the company. So my advice to all future business owners is if you have to have a partner, make sure you choose the right one. Someone you can see yourself with for a long long time, someone who can solve problems and someone who isn’t easily stressed. Kinda like looking for a husband, no? Lucky for me, God gave me a 2 in 1 deal. Saved my time and money. Haha. So many times we hear businesses going sour because of partners. So before you get in bed with this person for the rest of your professional life, do your homework. And maybe also ask if you can see yourself having lunch with that person everyday. Silly, but could be important! In my case, yes so far.
Anyway, my lunch partner and I were invited to the BFM studio for a live interview recently. Have a listen to us talk (or rather, me talk over him hehe) here.