Yup, we left our jobs and started a business together. That's what we did! And it was one of the biggest decisions of our lives.
Was it safe? Not at all! Was it scary? Very scary! It was definitely a risky move, especially when we were just about to start our lives together as a newlywed. We discussed about where our paychecks would come from and we came about the idea of starting a business together, a subscription box business for mom and babies. No, we weren't planning on having kids just yet then. It was simply a business which we feel could strive, and a fun concept that is rather new in Malaysia could be an exciting thing.
2018 for us was a year of very hard work and meeting plenty of people to make our business work. At the end of that year, we slowly started to see some progress. It wasn't easy, and many Malaysians didn't understand how subscription boxes work. We had to explain to almost everyone we meet, telling them how it's just like subscribing to the Natgeo magazines every month, or Netflix. But many were sceptical; we received questions like, "Why would you automatically charge our card every month?", or, "Why can't we get all our boxes at once, instead of once every month?" pushing us towards expanding to one-time gift boxes where customers need not have to subscribe monthly.
When I was living in the UK I had subscribed to several monthly boxes like Graze and Abel & Cole and it was the most exciting thing for me. I really love the idea of receiving new things every month, and from companies that share the same values as I do. Unfortunately, the concept isn't popular in our country just yet. Starting a business definitely required a lot of patience and resilience: we were constantly brainstorming new ideas and ways on how to make the subscription concept appealing to this new market. We starting selling them at hospitals like Pantai Medical, Subang Jaya Medical, Gleneagles and a few others. It was good but not as big as we had hoped it'd be.
For Tim, it’s Grant Cardone’s quote telling us “never to rely on one flow of income” that keeps him motivated. Seeing the lifestyle we are living and wish on maintaining, this saying has never been more true. We kept our subscription box business going, and in 2019 Tim started another business on his own.
Again, it wasn't and still isn't easy. There were times where we would sit together over ice cream and wonder if we did the right thing of quitting the jobs we hate. But we are always reminding each other to not give up, and to keep working harder.
It's now 2020 and we are slowly starting to see the fruits of our labour. Don't get me wrong, it is still a long way to go to get to where we want, and achieve all the things on our vision board. But as long as we have each other, and keep reminding each other to stay strong, keep praying, and keep moving forward, we’ll be just fine.
Being parents has really put things into perspective and our goals and visions have definitely changed from what it was before. Above everything else, it’s now more important than ever that we continue to show up for each other, and work even harder.