I attended the Women's Luncheon Thursday afternoon hosted by the Small Business Development Program (SBDP). I had gone to the BCL of Texas seeking advice and resources for my business and one of their business counselors suggested that I attend the luncheon.
The moderator for the luncheon interviewed two Austin women entrepreneurs about the challenges and successes of starting their businesses. One of the women, Sharon Mays, is the owner of Baby Greens, a small franchise of healthy fast-food style restaurants in town. I was familiar with her from an article that I had read about her in a local Austin business magazine.
I was interested in hearing up close the challenges she'd faced and to get some inspiration if nothing else. Some of the things she said really resonated with me. And I was surprised at how emotional I got listening to her talk about her experiences. She spoke of the customers who really supported her early on. The one lady who would come into her restaurant and buy five salads at a time so that she wouldn't close. I definitely could relate to that story. I have my die hard customer, Eve Richter who has made it her mission to help me survive my first year of business. And I am so thankful to her and others like her for the support. It means so much to know that anyone would care to take a personal interest in me and my business.
I related to everything Sharon Mays was saying. Working impossible hours and doing EVERYTHING, becoming more resourceful than you ever thought you could be. Feeling like giving up just from pure exhaustion but realizing you couldn't even if you tried. Sometimes I just don't want to spend one more second in this trailer. But then I remember why I'm doing it...
I really believe in my product. I really think what I'm selling and making and doing here is good and it matters. I just KNOW that when someone new comes and tastes my syrups and other creations, they will LOVE them. I just know it. This whole process is a leap of faith. Sharon said you have to be your own biggest cheerleader. You have to believe in yourself. And I really know what she meant when she said that. Believing in yourself and trusting that when you jump off that cliff you will land on your feet. I can't remember who said it, but someone in the meeting said, "Leap and a net will appear." I like the sound of that and understand it fully.
Needless to say, the luncheon was a nice and well deserved break from the trailer. I opened later for having attended, but it was really worth it. It was good to talk with other women and hear about the kinds of businesses they were doing. I really was inspired and came away from the meeting with a renewed sense of purpose for my business.
I am preparing for the fall transition. I'm introducing some hot food and drink items to the menu for the changing weather; just rolling with the flow this Aloha is creating. I am hunkering down in my little pocket of Manor Rd and looking forward to sharing my love of food with as many people as I can this winter.
If you are thinking about starting your own business or trying something new, chasing a dream or taking some sort of leap of faith of your own- don't hesitate, believe in you and just do it!
Your net will also appear.