Our (me and Nia) baby, POPCORN, is 3 years old this December. More than 3 years actually, if you consider the brainstorming and trial error production process before the launching.
I write this short note just to be a reminder for myself when maybe someday I want to have another ‘baby’.
The process is not easy. Three years are still young for a business. There are long roads ahead. Some will be harder, I know, if we want this business to grow.
But yet, even though it is ‘only’ 3 years old, I learn so many things along the way.
First, and maybe most important thing is money (or maybe in this matter, profit) is not everything. Besides, money is not the reason why we set up this business in the first place. We love handmade, and we love kids. Combining the two, handmade items for kids seem like a fun thing to do.
It is indeed fun. But as other things, it is not ALWAYS fun. But that’s the beauty of life, isn’t it?
On one side of a coin, we meet so many nice and good customers. Some becomes friends later on, instead of ‘just customer’. This one thing I truly treasure. More friends, more silaturahim, makes us healthier and happier. Insha Allah
But we also meet some difficult ones. Fussy and hard to pleased ones. It is a challenge, I think. If later you find out that your ‘difficult’ customer recommends you and your product to her cousin or her friends, you know that the challenge is answered 😀 *biggrin.
Another fun thing? When people start knowing your ‘baby’, suddenly there are reporters who wants to interview you, magazine who wants to use your products for their articles, all for free. We were on magazines, television and newspapers. Famous for five minutes, hahah!
Speaking of challenge, customers are not the only challenge we face. You still have other ‘stakeholders’. Your partner, your employees, your other business partner (supplier, consignment shops, etc). It is frustrating sometimes. I am just glad that I have a partner like Nia. She is one of my best friends that I have since I was in high school. Yes, we do have different opinions sometimes. Even husband and wife argue sometimes, right? But again, I am thankful that the misunderstandings which sometimes happen don’t lead us to something bad. Our friendship is still number one, above everything else that we disagree about. This challenge, again, can be answered when you know what your priority is.
For me, one biggest challenge is the boredom.
I got bored easily. If you ask me now, I am in the mood for cakes and cookies decorating. Still need a lot of practice, especially because my time (I have 2 little kids now) is very limited. Decorating cakes and limited time are not a good combination 😉 But still, the old me will just embark a new adventure, selling decorated cakes and cookies in Muscat hehehhe…
POPCORN is not the first business I have. As far as I can remember, I had free travelling magazine (lasting for 10 months, make me bankrupt big time because the capital was big according to my standard. Lucky I was working with good salary and not yet married at that time. If it happens now, maybe I’ll cry for money that can be used for Radit or Rania’s school fee hehehee), warung bakso dan waffle (lasting for 1 year), and some other small ones. Once I got bored, I easily change my mind and the business.
With POPCORN, of course I feel bored sometimes. Moreover moving here in Oman makes me miss the fabric hunting and watching the production process, two things that I enjoy most. Why don’t I quit? We have employees, those ibu-ibu jahit who relies on their monthly payment from us, to help supporting their families. In my previous businesses, I used to have employees too, but their income is not for supporting the family. In POPCORN, it is more like a responsibility now, instead of just ‘doing business that we love’.
So, those of you who think that business is just about making money, I personally disagree. If I want to make money more, I would rather go back to work. My salary standard is already good enough. But business gives you so much more than just money. New friends, new insights, new challenge, new responsibility, new skills, new adventures, new experiences, basically a whole new world and finally makes you become a new you, hopefully a better you.
At the end, business, just like other things you do in life, is just one way to GIVE and TAKE.
Happy anniversary POPCORN.
May through you, we can give and do more to the society.
Happy anniversary for us too, Nia.
Three years as a business partner and 18 years as best friends (we were that old, huh?!? :p)
Hope that our friendships will last no matter what happen.