Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Series of Underrated Events.

Tuesday. 4am.
I was awake, sitting in my kitchen.
Dark, cold and puddly outside, everyone was still asleep. Love it. 

Don't you love those moments when you know you've got stolen time for yourself to do things that need to be done.

For me. On that morning. It was just time needed to respond to emails from some lovely girls who were ever so patient. It was time needed to make sure that the shop was getting restocked.
By 5am - I had ordered 100 pieces of giftwrap, $200 worth of tapes, 700 metre of baker's twine. God help me. Whoever invented online shopping was a complete genius. How else can you buy so much stuff without driving out in the rain, with 2 small peeps in tow and coming home with crateloads. Times like these, when Melbourne decides to rain rain and rain... are the times I love having internet and having a sweet postie wear a raincoat and deliver my parcels to my door. Thank you! And I'm sure many of you out there are nodding in agreement! 

This year hasn't stopped rushing yet. I don't think it ever will.
I don't really want to bore you with one of those 'When I started my business...' stories, so I'll cut straight to the point.

I don't have much. Not much of anything.
Not much money. That was alright. I just wanted to sell a few things - hopefully enough to pay a few bills here and there!
Not much experience. I knew peanuts about selling things. My former job? Physiotherapist. I really loved being one. I could tell you why you were getting those constant headaches associated with your aching neck and how you could get rid of them. Pretty useful hey? :)
Not much of a plan.
Sure I believe in myself. If not, I wouldn't have started in the first place.
But how much belief did I have in myself? I'd probably rate it as 'adequate'. Definitely not 'overwhelming' or 'overflowing'!! 

Having your own little business is underrated.
Being a mum. Underrated.
Staying at home. Underrated.
Blogging. Underrated.
Trying to juggle everything that life throws you without losing a screw? Totally underrated.

That's a whole lot of underrated there.
I know of a whole lot of ladies out there who do/are at least one of the above, if not all. And they are all. Amazing. You might just like to take a peek at herher or her.

Why should I believe in myself and why should I believe in Chibi Run?
a) Went through childbirth - yes. twice. natural. So I should be able to do anything right? ;) Righto!
b) Successfully managing 2 little people - easy peasy lemon squeezy. Hah. The word 'successfully' is all relative. If you call being able to step on crumbs, sultanas and filo pastry bits without batting an eyelid, then that is 'successful'.
c) Came to Australia. Alone. 16. - I think I grew older here and being here has definitely shaped my life in so many ways that I would have never dreamt of had I stayed in Singapore.
d) Since Chibi Run opened its online doors in Dec 2010, I've had the pleasure of packing approx. 1700 orders, getting a Best Customer Service Award nomination, having a feature article in a magazine, in a few blogs, another one coming up soon, which I believe is a start better than I could have expected.
e) There's probably 100 other things that would affirm my belief, but all this makes up life. And it's what I've been through in life that has developed my character.

BUT still. I think I underrate myself. A LOT.
And I think you probably do it to yourself too.

It wasn't until someone else came and said "Here's  $1000 to help you in your dream! We believe you can really do it!" Totally sounds like something out of a fairytale? Yes.

Renata. She's helped so many of us since she's come into our lives and she's planning on helping heaps more through Forming Circles, which focuses philanthropy.
The challenges she's put out there to us are just incredible. And you know? We've actually been embracing the challenges and doing them! So why, oh why, do we still falter when we try to manage our little shops?

I think it's because lots of people out there don't recognize how much you put into it. 
They either don't really ask about it or don't know what to say about it.
They think that all you do is sell something on the side. Or if you're a handmade business, sew a few clothes and sell them at the market. Or if you're a blogger, just write a few things about what happened today. Take a few arty farty photos and post them.
And you know why?
We don't really show how important it is to us.
We don't really talk about what we've been doing. Well. With 12-18 hours of child wrangling, laundry washing, dish washing, shopkeeping etc etc, that doesn't leave much time for talking. lol!
Which is the main thing.

I banked that $1000 cheque today. 
And I stepped out of the bank feeling a little different.
It was that belief that someone else placed in me. That gave me a few tears.
That I was actually doing something big enough to be recognized as worthwhile and important!
So this whole underrating thing has got to stop. Period.

For all the time I've spent on Chibi Run, reading, reading and more reading... learning and absorbing just about anything I could get my hands on, to make me manage a business better, I think it deserves to hold a more important place in my own mind.

Here's to being better.
I think I have to stop 'thinking' like everyone else that Chibi Run isn't anything big.
It is big. In my life. And I have to organize my life so that I can manage each aspect of
it well, because it is so so crucial that my family doesn't get neglected in the meanwhile.
Here's to me and ticking off things to do on my Plan. And catching hold of big dreams this year.


  1. I BELIEVE IN YOU!!!!!! you are so right my dear, so right. I had no idea you came out here at 16 - alone! my god, you are even more amazing than I thought you were five minutes ago before reading this post. you are awesome, and successful, and well done you for getting that grant! and you are totally right - birthing two babies naturally, everything else is easy peasy lemon squeezy ;) BIG hugs for you SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS WOMAN!!! xxx

  2. oh and you are crazy for putting me among the likes of those other leading ladies. clearly you haven't had enough sleep... or coffee... or something!!! thankyou xx

  3. Wow, what an amazing thing to do at only 16! At 32 I don't think I could do that now, although you are right, we all under estimate our own strength. Congratulations on the grant Germaine, and thanks for the inspirational post! Tash

  4. well done to you! i think you do an amazing job. It's so hard having small children and trying to look after them and manage a business from home (and all the other household jobs). love your shop! good luck xo

  5. wonderful inspirational thought-provoking read! Monica Hsieh


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