Entrepreneurship · Perspective

Giving Up on Nail Vibe

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Yea, I might be spoofing Rebecca Lim on her recent “retiring” campaign that backfired like crazy
However these are my real thoughts~

How many times have I thought of Giving Up?

– countless –

Why?

Because I’m mentally exhausted
It’s probably the same kind of worry that only people who live from hand to mouth will understand
Every morning you wake up wondering whether you can pay salaries and rental by this month end?
You do what you can and what you deem will work for you and sit back and pray the results will be good

Hiring people and managing them are way more difficult than you think
especially when some are your family members

I’m also human
I get discouraged at times when things get competitive or when my site crashes (like in the recent months) & I’m completely helpless
I have to send my appreciation to VODIEN here – for the relentless help given to me in assisting my sites to be up properly

Maybe this business has run its course and it’s time to wind up?
It might be a decision that I have to make really soon~

What does Nail Vibe mean to me?

nail vibe logo 600px

Nail Vibe is a product of my sweat and tears
As much as it is a standalone shop, I am very much emotionally attached to it
Every single cent came out of my own pockets and every single sleepless night I spent on building it
is worth it

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In 2009, when my family and some people told me negatively that I will never make it
I was very affected
yet at the same time, kind of used to it
Coz I grew up with negativity
Instead of cautioning and rendering help, people around me tell me that I won’t make it

Perhaps it was a small struggle within me that I want to fight it out to prove the universe wrong
But the fight has proved to be a real challenge and I don’t know why I’ve never recovered from the exhaustion

What did Competitors do?

They steal my photos and use it for their own sales
As I have all the right to accuse them of being thieves, I have enough leniency and ethics to not name them
If you think running a business is all about copying and stealing, I feel very sorry for you
I take pride in every single swatch and photo I edit & it’s not for you to steal

They copy my wordings wholesale – from my blog and from nailvibe.com
They copy the way I categorize my products (which really took me pains and time to think of the best way to list)

They copy my prices and list at just 10 cents or a dollar cheaper
They copy my shipping methods and explanations

Why should life be so easy for them? Just because I’m a pioneer?
Well, I get it
It’s perfect competition and there’s nothing I can do to these people
except to ponder how ethics failed to exist
I remember I was being taught about ethics in school, perhaps they never had the chance to be educated?

What did Customers do?

If I were to break down my experiences since 2009, I would have 3 phases of experiences with customers
For a start, I wanted to have more market share so naturally I go with the low-price-every-customer-also-want mentality
Then it hit me that it was getting impossible dealing with the demands of the price sensitive people
It is in fact the price insensitive people who are the nicest

So the transition began
With a small hike in my pricing, the price sensitive people got rid of themselves
My life turn for the better
But this also mean that business took a nosedive since my products were meant for the masses

So I fell back into cutting my prices a lil
& I find myself dealing with the unreasonable people again
Literally, right at this moment I’m dealing with one
Is there really no optimal solution?

On Saturdays, I place myself in the shop to tie up loose ends for the week
I see familiar faces of my returning customers and that was really heartwarming
I see new walk-ins and they have been very lovely as well
The Japanese female community living in Singapore have been super supportive of my business
I can’t be more grateful to the nice ladies out there who wrote good stuff and appreciate my efforts on their Japanese blogs and have always been recommending new Japanese clients for me

What do People think about my business?

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They think that it’s effortless and I just sit there to collect money
– no sh*t! not kidding you –

Just because you’ve built a stable stream of customers doesn’t mean that there’s zero attrition rate
People get more and more savvy these days and they will move on if you have no competitive edge

Thank god these ignorant people are just a small portion
While most people have nice words for me
That really spurs me on as well~

What keeps me Going On?

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Support from friends & customers

Support from friends have a major role to play in my entire life function
Customers whom I’ve fostered even friendships
are one of the best outcomes of this experience

Mr R, who feeds me with positivity (& food of course)

He reminds me that I’m never alone
& have always encouraged everything I do
He tells me what I’ve accomplished and always keeps me grounded
Sometimes, you really need someone to recap with you on what you’ve done so far
Realizing your own efforts is another step to your self development

That little bit of passion left

Yes, I still like to sell stuff
and work on my own in front of my lappy screens
I also like beauty products but I have no idea on how and what else can I do for Nail Vibe

What else can I do?

With a set of varying skills, I’m definitely a generalist
I have tried and failed many times in different start ups and I think my heart can’t take it again
though it is always implied that you should not be afraid of failures
easier said than done
I’m really tired~

So… there’s no answer to this right now

Go back to employment?

If only employers are open minded enough and not frown upon people who have started their own business
It’s so difficult to get a job because employers have a fix set of judgement on me
I also have a very short time frame of working experience since I spent the other half of my working life in business
So, all these are not looking very bright

When I last found a job, (if you’ve read)
The company failed to pay salaries and it’s another episode that rendered me jobless

To @Jadeisabelle, I really know what you meant when I read your status yesterday
It’s the same feeling I have

What will I do if I had the chance to do this All Over Again?

I will wait for a better opportunity to start a retail shop in the event of timing and location
I admit that I didn’t think hard enough when I did this
Just real lucky that it didn’t turn out too bad

On hindsight, it might have really been smarter to stay employed

=p

signoff

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