I have not let the lockdown stop me and my life as an entrepreneur.
Today, when we think and hear of Coronavirus, our thoughts lean towards how it has affected us, our loved ones and the lives of many people across our nation. Businesses and economies are crashing globally and it can bring great worry to those of us who struggle to make a living.
When the lockdown was first enforced, and then again extended, many thoughts flooded my mind:
“How am I supposed to make my products when all the shops are shut and I can't get the materials I need?”; “Are people still going to purchase my jewellery when they're not dressing up to go out?”; “Is this the end of my business and all the hard work I put into it?”; “What am I going to do to survive?”.
Initially there was an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and helplessness. But, I knew I had to do something. I could not let those thoughts take over.
That is when I teamed up with an aunt of mine who also was incurring lots of losses in her primary business due to the lockdown and thus begun a small collaborative stint wherein our combined skills made our efforts worth the while. This actually gave us the confidence to push ourselves further into brainstorming and we ended up exploring quite a few avenues in the world of entrepreneurship.
As the good old saying goes 'God helps those who help themselves', it so happened that Mother's Day was around the corner. My mother and I came up with another idea of preparing 'flowery' gifs for mothers, for a small price of course, and sold quite a few of them as well. Business was good.
It is during these times that our creativity and skills are tested, and we are forced to think of alternatives.
I would like to take this opportunity to encourage other entrepreneurs not to give up. These are unprecedented times we live in but I hope they won't last forever. You may be experiencing many struggles these days; your employees may not be able to help you, you may be working from home with little resources and you may have loans to repay etc, but let us keep working hard and not giving up hope.
If you cannot do what you usually do, that does not mean you can't do anything. Pray and discuss with people who advise and encourage you, and come up with a new idea to get you through this time. With some patience and extra effort you may discover something new about yourself.
And to the general public, on behalf of all the local entrepreneurs I would like to request you to please, please support local businesses, it is our livelihood. Together we can all make it through.
(Chubalemla from Mokokchung District is the owner of Berem- Your Accessories)