Web Stories Saturday, February 24

“Additionally, I tended to give opportunities to people I got along with easily. Now, I’m more specific about the kind of people I’m looking for. I ask myself questions like: ‘Does their vision align with ours? Are they inclined to our branding? Are they willing to do what it takes to succeed?’”

There would be some applicants, said Yumi, who would come in with the mindset that they only wanted to do certain things.

“For me, that shows you don’t have an open mind and are not open to exploring new ideas and skills. If you’re narrow-minded right from the start, it would be hard to work with you,” she said.

“The qualities I look for, even until today, are initiative, enthusiasm and curiosity. These suggest the possibility of a long-term commitment.”

A LONELY JOURNEY

“No matter how strong your support system, ultimately, as an entrepreneur, you’re the one who’s accountable for everything. You have to be strong – physically, mentally and emotionally,” Yumi, now a mother of four, said.

“I’m what you would call an ambivert. I can connect with others but I need time to shut down and just do nothing. These days, being able to have downtime is a luxury but I choose to see it as a blessing. I believe God doesn’t give you tests just to make you suffer – they’re meant to be make you stronger,” she said.

“When COVID-19 happened, there were systems that had to be implemented that were so unfamiliar to everyone, including businesses. It hit everyone hard. But you have to take such challenges as motivation to create something better, as well as to identify your weaknesses and work on them.

“For example, as a bridal company, in the initial days of the pandemic, we had no choice but to issue refunds for pre-booked packages. But as time went on, we learn to put together agreements that protected both parties – our business as well as our customers,” she added.

She was also candid about the issues women face that are often overlooked by society, such as their monthly cycles.

“There will be periods when you’ll feel down or simply don’t have the capacity to juggle many things at once. That’s when a supportive partner, family and friends come in. But as a whole, you’re the point-person – you’re the one responsible.

“Of course there were times when I wanted to quit. But how could I? I had overheads and my intention for starting this business had always been to provide for my family and my team.

“And ultimately, I started off thinking I was a ‘weak’ person. Looking back on everything I’ve had to go through and everything I’ve overcome, I see myself differently now.” 

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