This item on my list, “30 Things to Do Before 30”, was one of the first things I put on my list. I was bit by the entrepreneurial bug at an early age: when I was a kid, I wanted to sell stationery items to other kids. In college, I did a brief stint with an online shop, selling some of my Japanese pop/rock paraphernalia that I no longer wanted. But I’d always dreamed of having my own company doing more than just what my little kid mind wanted to do.
I thought I needed an MBA in order to start a business “correctly”, so I started an MBA program in the Fall of 2011. Near the end of that quarter, I also started getting coaching sessions with an acquaintance in Denver. He helped me develop the concept for my first company, TAOpivot. By the end of that school year, I left the MBA program and went full-time with TAOpivot.
When things didn’t pan out too well with TAOpivot, I was at a loss over what to move on to next. What people don’t understand about entrepreneurs is this: they’ll always be entrepreneurs! I considered going back to working for other businesses, but I still couldn’t shake that voice calling for me to start up another business.
So then I turned to baking and Ms. Kwong’s Baked Goods was born in the summer of 2013. At first, I wanted to focus on French pastries, but then I expanded my menu to include other unique baked goods not readily available in the Denver area, such as gourmet marshmallows and Snickerdoodles.
These days, I still have Ms. Kwong’s Baked Goods, but I am also placing more focus on my social media marketing business, Hashtag Hustler.
What I’ve learned from starting my own businesses is that of course it’s tough to strike out on my own. Having a great, supportive network is so crucial to my entrepreneurial success. Of course, I have to believe in myself, but having the belief of others in my own success is so helpful as well.
I do like knowing that I am the one calling the shots on how the business is run, though. That keeps me motivated along with my passion for all my businesses.