Thursday, September 14, 2017

Leap. Dare to Dream. You only live once.


Four years ago in my small apartment kitchen, heavily pregnant, I dared to dream. I created a few juice flavors, pondered on several names for the brand, lost sleep over the logo design and told myself "I'm going to do it. I don't know how, but I will do it." The unknown was major scary, yet exciting at the same time. I just had to find out if I could make it out there, just being me, Anabelle, without the fancy corporate brands that used to back me up when I worked for the big boys of the tech world.

Today, September 2017 marks the fourth year of La Juiceria. And looking back at my journey, it brings a mix of emotions all at the same time : gratitude, disbelief, awe, happiness, and fear. Sometimes I wake up wondering if I really did what I did. Most days, extremely happy when we achieve new heights or simply seeing customers supporting our brand. Fearful days, when uncertainties arise. Then excitement follows because every day is different.

Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster ride, and you better have the stomach for it, or at least get ready for it, else you will 'throw up' along the way. I knew in my mind what kind of hard work was coming my way when I started. The beauty of entrepreneurship is that if you LOVE what you do, it barely feels heavy or burdensome.

I write this entry with only one purpose in mind. To remind everyone that we have one life to live. Don't be stuck in a job that doesn't fulfill your passion or if doesn't bring you closer to what you achieve to be. Working as a marketing employee for different companies, I cherished everyday because I knew it's what I wanted to do. I didn't feel burdened nor bored. I just knew in my guts that it's part of where I want to go. The hardest part was leaving. Leaving a comfortable job that provided security and some sort of contentment. Letting go was DIFFICULT. Because I feared the unknown. But the I did it anyway, because the bigger fear was NOT KNOWING AT ALL. Not knowing if I can make it as an entrepreneur in a foreign land. I had to know. So I left.

Begin with the end in mind. Have a meaningful purpose. Dare to dream. I wanted to make Malaysians healthy. That was the simple fact why I started. From producing bottled cold-pressed juices to opening cafes, the journey has been exhilarating. A chain of coincidences and happenstance came my way ... and I embraced it all, with positivity and the naive belief that I have an equal chance at it.

I still have a long, long journey ahead, full of uncertainties and challenges. The contentment I have in my heart is that at least I tried it, I gave it my all. Whatever happens along the way is part of the journey. As Steve Jobs had said, "the journey is the reward". I often share with people that if I, a non-Malaysian could create something in Kuala Lumpur, what more Malaysians. You have every opportunity to make it. Take the chance. Leap.
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