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I never thought I’d be here today, but I am very humbled and grateful for every step of my journey that got me here. In the last few years, I built a multiple six-figure product business online, and I also built a service-based business online, all of that from the living room floor while I was stuck in the immigration process in the new country.
And everything I went through on this journey proved to me that if we are open-minded, willing to learn, and put in the work, we can take control over our lives and make our biggest dreams happen. Today I’m here to cheer you on and help you along the way as you build the life of your dreams, even if you’re starting from the living room floor, Googling “how to grow a business online” as I did.
As you probably sense by now, my journey wasn’t an overnight success story. My business didn’t go viral overnight, I had to grind through it. I made many intentional changes and learned a lot of lessons before I was able to run a profitable small business online in a sustainable way without grinding 24-7.
But don’t let me get ahead of myself. I want to take you back with me on a little timeline of my life with a few pivotal moments in a business & life that got me here.
Think outside the box
In January 2015, I landed in Vancouver, Canada, with broken English, big dreams, and $500 in my pockets to pay for my first rent.
While most people in my home country followed the traditional path of pursuing a safe job and seeking security, I always had bold aspirations. As an 8-year-old growing up in a post-socialistic country with tight finances and a broken family, I knew deep down that there was a bigger world filled with freedom, opportunity, and endless possibilities. I’ve seen it in American movies. I knew there was something more out there for me.
Sixteen years later, in January 2015, I landed in Vancouver, Canada, with broken English, big dreams, and $500 in my pockets to pay for my first rent. I pursued the dream that once felt impossible, despite being judged and laughed at for 16 years. That little girl has taught me to think outside the box, dream big, create your life, create your future, and not let the perception, expectations, beliefs, and criticism of others dictate what is or what is not possible for you.
And that one perception has been guiding me all the way here and is a big pillar in our community. So many of us grew up so religiously with society’s expectations, sometimes even our family’s expectations, and are so affected by other people’s beliefs that we cautiously limit our potential.
This story is a reminder that we shouldn’t allow society’s expectations or the beliefs of others to define what is possible for us. It’s a core principle here in Small Biz Babes Community. So many of us have been conditioned by societal and family expectations, often stifling our true potential and hindering our self-belief.
That’s why I’m here today sharing my story, to empower you, to give you permission to not only think outside the box but to break free of that box completely and to follow your audacious goals too.
Resourcefulness will change your life when you have no life vest
I didn’t know anyone here. I just had the dream, the drive, the work ethic and accommodations for one month. I knew I had a long journey ahead of me, and I had no idea how is it going to look, but at the time, I just had to focus on the first step to get a job, any job really so that I could pay for my expenses for the next month. I had to be resourceful.
The next day I woke up and went to the print shop, printed up the resume, and walked up and down the main street, into every restaurant, every coffee shop, and my plan was pretty simple. I will keep showing up doing this every day until I get the job. And by the end of the week, I was working in a coffee shop, which taught me a big lesson. You’ll find a way if you can’t take no for an answer.
I knew I didn’t want to work in a coffee shop forever, but it was a stepping stone I could take at that time to get a step closer to my future here.
That’s the approach that carries with me in my personal life and business. And it’s also a big part of our approach here in the community. Sometimes we get so focused on the big goal we get paralyzed and overwhelmed by the whole staircase we have to climb. When we just may need to focus on the next step by taking action, we move forward. By taking action to the next step, we gain clarity, and more opportunities open up. We gain more clarity that allows us to move to the next step and the next step afterwards.
Circumstances are temporary & you have the power to change it
What came afterwards was the season that prepared me for entrepreneurship. And if I could think of one word that describes that time of my life, that would probably be being stuck. I was literally stuck in outside circumstances of the immigration process.
I didn’t have a work permit, so I was on and off jobs that I hated. I worked in a coffee shop, cleaning houses, working as an assistant, and babysitting till late at night for years. I felt like I was stuck on a rollercoaster and had no control over my life. I was even trying to sell anything I could make – soaps, earrings, candles. I was even attending local markets and tried to sell my craft in gift shops and on Etsy.
You don’t have to be in immigration to know how “being stuck” feels like that. Many people feel stuck in a job; they don’t like the career, they don’t like the business they are at, or they have a difficult family situation.
Looking back, I can see such a common theme; why I felt so stuck – because I was waiting for everything. I was waiting for the immigration process to finish. I was waiting to get sales. I was waiting for the day when my situation would change. I was waiting for things to happen to me, but in reality, if we want to change, we can’t keep waiting for the change. We have to be the change to make the change happen. And I did.
Bet on yourself
I read the book – “You Are Badass”. It was the right words, at the right time. That book shut all the excuses I created in my head, including that whiny little person in my head who was holding me back. And all that I was left with was betting on myself. I could not get a real job, but I could create a job for myself. And I mean, who else, if not me? I had to do the work. So I committed myself to starting a business, and this time I was dead serious. There I was. I spent every week hour googling, reading blogs, watching YouTube; you name it.
I researched the competition, bought a Cricut machine, ordered samples, made my logo in Canva, and opened my Etsy shop once I got a few prototypes ready. I scraped the plan and promised myself to work on that shop daily until I figured out how to sell my product.
I got my first order on day seven, and within the first year, we generated over $400,000 in revenue by learning how selling on the marketplace works. We did it from our living room floor, just me, my husband, and two assistants I hired from a local Facebook group. It was a beautiful mess that has transformed my entire life forever. Within a few months, our house has turned into a warehouse. Within a year, we moved out to Valley, where we had more space and turned our three-car garage into a warehouse.
Sharing is caring
I started to share that on TikTok. About two months after I began to share those videos, I started to have other small business owners reaching out to me and asking me for advice: “How do I get sales? How do I get customers online?”
I realized there were so many small business owners who were in a position where I once was, where they couldn’t connect the dots, and they couldn’t understand how to reach customers. I fell in love with helping people and making an impact on the quality of someone else’s life. I thought… Hey, wouldn’t that be cool if there was a place online where small business owners could talk about the real challenges, and learn from each other? I realized that I was actually creating this space.
It was an accidental start of the Small Biz Babes Community that has blossomed into something I never even thought would be possible. Today I teach ambitious women worldwide how to grow their businesses online by using organic marketing methods (no ads), as I did.
Living & building the business with the intention
Between now and then, I have helped thousands of small business owners online around the globe. I I joined mastermind, and invested in a business coach and continuous education. I have launched several Small Business Online Learning Programs. I have built a multi-six figure service-based business, overcome burnout, learned how to respect time as a business owner, but most importantly…
I have learned that building a business isn’t just about making money. It’s about being aware and intentional about where we spend our time, energy and resources so we are building a business and life based on our definition of success.
That’s why I am here today. That’s why I started this podcast. That is my purpose and mission behind this community. To help you build a business on your own terms that supports the lifestyle you want to live.
If this story resonated with you and you’d like to come along for more, I invite you to join our private Facebook group, which I’ve started exclusively for our podcast listeners and ambitious small business owners, like you. You can join by clicking here. Can’t wait to see you there.