When I first posted about my shop on my blog and Facebook, so many of my friends and acquaintances congratulated me and wished me best of luck in my new venture. It was truly heart-warming.
And then there were some married females among them who also wanted to know how I did it. They told me how they’ve also wanted to start something of their own like this, but haven’t been able to do it. Lack of family support, lack of self confidence, “what if I failed?” kind-of thoughts… the whole package, you know.
I honestly had nothing to offer them… no answers for their questions, no words that could be sufficiently encouraging, no magic tips.
The thing is… I’m no different from any of them. I’m not made of any different stuff. I had to face all the same challenges and self doubts that they do.
Some people think I had it all cut out for me, nice and easy, because of my Dad. They like to believe that my Dad set it all up for me. The truth is that my Dad was even more scared about starting this business than I was!
We were in a new town. Both of us are introverts to the core. We knew very few people here. And, you won’t believe this, we’d never even ventured towards the main town area of Jaipur till then! So, not only did we not have any knowledge of the wholesale markets and suppliers in the town, we didn’t even know any of the routes and stuff! On top of everything, I had just been seriously ill! Under the circumstances, I don’t blame Dad for freaking out.
Ordinarily, his attitude wouldn’t have affected me so much, but, all those toxic years in Patna had really brought my confidence levels down. Plus, I’d just been through a very low period in my life due to health and some other issues. In short, I was at the “rock bottom” phase of my life. And Dad’s fears only added on to my own insecurities. My mind read them as clear “votes of no confidence” against me.
I thought maybe I was being stupid and reckless; that I was making a big mistake in starting this store. There must have been at least hundreds of moments when I thought of abandoning the project, but I knew that if I quit on it, my body would also quit on me. So, while it was vital to me that I started this store, I was also practical enough to understand that it may not last long. The only question that remained to be answered was “How long?” There was a part of me that said if I could make it through the first six months, it might survive after all. But it was a very small part of me, and it spoke in a feeble, barely audible voice.
There were just about half a dozen people back then with whom I’d shared about this venture. (I was so unsure about it myself that there seemed no point in shouting it out loud to the world!) My aunt in Kanpur (my Mom’s sister) was one of those people. And one day, just out of the blue like that, she announced on phone that she had saved up two lakh rupees, and wanted to know how she could get it to me so that I could use it in my business! (Yes, well she’s from the background where women don’t even know the ‘B’ of ‘Banking’, let alone ‘Internet Banking’!)
Can you imagine the look on my face at that moment? Here I was, still wondering whether I was doing the right thing in starting this store, already making an inventory of stuff that I could sell second-hand on various online websites, trying to deal with my own fears as well as my Dad’s, and then all of a sudden my aunt tells me she wants to invest a further two lakh rupees in it, that too with no collateral! And she was so casual about it… as if she was only giving me a twenty rupee note to buy a loaf of bread for her!
That was the moment when my entire internal world shifted. While Dad’s fear had been rubbing off on me as a vote of no confidence, my aunt’s offer of such a huge amount of money translated as this big BIG sign across the sky that the Universe had faith in me! That “barely audible voice” (that I mentioned a few lines above) turned into a loudspeaker. And it’s a basic Law of Attraction that when you start something with optimism and positivity, chances of succeeding increase many times over.
That one phone call was my “Look Up” moment, the moment that changed my perspective from one of despair to one of hope, the breaking dawn after a long dark night. All I can say is that I was lucky I got that moment, but everybody doesn’t. Some just have to fight their battles on their own, with no help… not even a positive sign from the Universe. I guess it is all part of our Karma.
I may not be able to help any of those friends in crossing over from their fears and doubts to faith, but I just want them to know that I’ll always be ready to help them in any other way that I can.
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