My Small Business and Me

Written by Simran Ramsay

My ‘Principles of Management’ course played in the background, a faint sound silenced by the restless feeling of jittery thoughts that plagued me. These thoughts weren’t strangers, I’d acquainted myself with them. Every so often they’d spin my mind into a web of chaos leaving me conflicted and uneasy.

Every so often I’d find my mind wandering in places I tried so hard to forbid it from but there I was on a Tuesday afternoon yet again letting my insecurities gnaw at me, ask me questions I never have the answer to – “are you doing enough?” “have you proven yourself?” “are you doing the best you can do?” and to all those questions my answers remained the same — no.

Something my classmate said about unequal pay due to gender discrimination dragged my attention back to class. They were discussing workplace stress and its reasons, one of them being inequality in the workplace, but besides the very obvious reason for my discomfort, I also felt this strong, amplifying urge to prove the prejudice wrong.

Suddenly there was adrenaline. I paid attention to the rest of my class, participating and debating. All signs of the drab Tuesday afternoon that preceded were now gone and I was left with excitement. The excitement to start something new.

I made myself a cup of strong coffee, opened my diary, uncapped my pen and let my thoughts surround me. 

It had been minutes. No new ideas. I knew what I wanted: it was to start a business. I’d always wanted that ever since I’d started watching Shark Tank. Something about being in control, being my own boss and any other cliché you can think of- enticed me. 

But my brain was blank. I knew I wanted to start a business but the ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘where’ were a little blurry. 

I sipped my warm coffee while reading stories of women who started businesses, and it felt right. Failure or success didn’t matter for now. I just wanted to learn and grow from my mistakes, positioning myself one step closer to dissolving the glass ceiling that traps women today.

I couldn’t wait to formulate strategies and market my products, I couldn’t wait to be creative but capable. I couldn’t wait to make mistakes or even blunders and then learn from them, I couldn’t wait to be a business owner. But what business?

And then it came to me. First, I had a name, then I had a product. Then I texted a friend and had a partner. And suddenly I had a business to run.

Sometimes it takes more than a few tries to be successful and however heart wrenching and distasteful failure is, it definitely teaches you how to succeed. 

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