I began this phase of my life with Lazada just as a side business to help me with my business and commitments, but when the sales on Lazada exceeded what I was achieving with my physical store, I knew I no longer had to seek for another brick-and-mortar business.
I recently became a seller on Malaysia's number 1 e-commerce platform, Lazada to establish my business. It is a constant hustle for me, but I realized this is what I need to do in order to achieve my dream. My first step towards achieving my dream is to become one of the top seller's on Lazada. To do that, I must ensure to be able to give my all and put in a lot of hard work to strive.
My family and I come from a small town in Johor, and that was where our family business was. At the age of 8, while most of my classmates were using their spare time to play and have fun during their spare time, I was helping with my family business. I loved every part of the work I was doing, and I would say I did not regret doing it at all. As I grew older, I learned more tricks and traits about the business, and I started implementing different systems and ideas to enhance the business. Today, the performance tells me that what I have been doing is surely the right thing.
I am happy to be able to help and grow the business with all my heart. However, instead of acknowledging my hard work and dedication, people always say "ah, it's just the family business, an inheritance". I tried to ignore that assumption in the beginning, but it always creeps up to me and made me doubt my skills and myself. I wondered if what people said was true - Am I actually just a leech on my family business and am I not worth nothing without it?
It was a difficult time for me, and I struggled internally. But it also inspired me to make some breakthroughs. I left my hometown, came all the way to Kuala Lumpur - the city where anything can happen - to start my business. Being young, ambitious, and naïve, I took several loans and started a dry-fruit factory in Selangor.
In the beginning, everything was under control. The employees were performing well, the production line was efficient, and my goods were selling like hotcakes. The only thing that wasn't under control was my health. Running my own business was not an easy task, and along the way of 'making things work', I compromised my health a little bit here and there. Everything was alright at the start, until it wasn't anymore.
I then forcefully accepted the darkest 8 months of my life. While my factory was still shinning with new furniture and machinery, I fell sick. So sick that I was bedridden for 8 months. A long winter of no income, a bunch of loans to repay, and in no condition to do anything. And that was beyond terrible.
There came a point where I was left with no other option that to sell my factory. My dream, my everything needed to be sacrificed in order to repay my debts. It was a heartbreaking moment for me but the story did not end there. I could not let it end. With other commitments I had, I needed a stable stream of income. That is when I made the decision to venture into the retail industry, something that required less labour efforts, or so I thought.
This new journey begun by striking a contract with the National Sports Complex. This really seemed like the light was finally shinning on me after such a dark period in life. The contract got me started on selling sports-related apparel & apparatus. Goggles, swimsuit, gym shorts - basically everything related to sports. With such a good start, I had it in me that the only way now was to move up going forward. I looked pass the negatives and kept pushing myself to work harder. Unfortunately, once again, my hopes were crushed, and everything came crumbling down.
Many cases of "I will pay later" turned into bad debts, many 'window shopping' became shoplifting, even CCTVs were destroyed within the blink of an eye. I was devastated. I was counting down every day for the store contract to terminate. There was 5 more months to go until that happened, and I wasn't sure if my finances would pull me through this Then, the thought of moving digital crossed my mind. I would at least still have some sort of income, not needing to worry about paying rent for a physical store.
That was one of the best decisions I made after a long time. I found Lazada, South East Asia's leading e-commerce platform and got myself registered as a seller. I began this phase of my life with Lazada just as a side business to help me with my business and commitments, but when the sales on Lazada exceeded what I was achieving with my physical store, I knew I no longer had to seek for another brick-and-mortar business. I should focus my energy and resources onto managing my Lazada business - that yields positively for me.
Looking at my performances on Lazada, I was motivated to find ways into increasing my business performances - and I became active participating in all the initiatives and trainings that Lazada organizes. I started sharing my success story with other sellers on our Facebook community - hoping to motivate someone else that might be struggling. Sometimes, they might turn sour and call me lucky, and that's alright. But they will never know how much I have done to make sure that my store performs - because I really, really, needed the money.
Now that my business is taking off, my advice to all the young dreamers out there is to work until your dream comes true. Everything is possible. With the right platform and right strategy, we should never be afraid of the competition. The market is simply too big for us to keep looking at petty things.
It's important for us to be able and independent. Trust your own values and start hustling. We are worth everything beautiful the world has to offer.