I have always been the type that likes to do challenging stuff. I am very ambitious, therefore growing up - the idea of working for someone didn’t appeal much to me. I worked in the bank as a corporate banker in the public sector but while there, I was planning and building my side business that is now my full time job. I wanted to be an entrepreneur who had total freedom to roam, create, delegate and work, with no cubicles or desks to be tied to all day. Hardworking entrepreneurs like my uncle instilled a high contagious enthusiasm in me. That conveyed a sense of purpose and, by doing so, convinced others around me that they are where the action is. His energy resonated that entrepreneurial spirit in me, especially looking at how successful his business empire grows day by day. His vision and dedication to his work inspires me and gratefully to admit this - he is my mentor and my go to person. There are always uncertainties when starting your own business, or pursuing any dream you have. I would say the journey to the unknown excites me, and entrepreneurship for me is filled with a lot of unknown endings. Running my own successful ecommerce online business required a lot of work, and some days you might feel like you won’t see the fruits of your labor. I would say in my first two years of quitting the bank and starting my own business I felt like I made the wrong decision, because I could barely making sales to cater for my overhead expenses and also I could not afford to pay myself. I remembered, some months I sold less than 100 dollars worth of products. But what kept me going was the goal I set for my myself, pushing myself to keep going. After all, I will never know how close I am to succeeding if I quit now. I always say to myself - Ella go hard or go home. No pain no gain. Some of the struggles I had to endure in my first year was, less customer base, less exposure, limited capital and tons of regret. My vision helped me regain clarity when I was consumed with self-doubt. My visions sometimes spoke to me at night when I felt like I made a silly decision. I overcame them, reading online "the best ways to market". I made great use of social media presence, I connected with a digital expert and marketer who helped me with my marketing online. I deal in customize jewelleries (gold and silver) - watches, necklaces, bracelets etc
and perfumes etc via my unisex ecommerce store - @ellacadie on Instagram and Ella Cadie Jewellery on Facebook.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
I had to cut down massively on my spending.
I built strong habits like punctuality, consistency, great customer service.
I also made sure, I knew what my customers wanted. One example is, I knew my niche market so I knew the right people to target and the right products to sell.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
Think like an entrepreneur, act like a CEO by Beverly E Jones
The Millionaire Fast Lane by M J Demarco
No Excuses by Brian Tracy
The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
When I decided to do this full time - my dad didn’t like it because he felt there was too much uncertainties and I was safe and less risk free working in the banking. My mum and other friends were supportive, some friends also felt I was making a mistake. I did not listen to their opinions because I believe in listening to your intuition, your inner self. And I will do it all over again because is worth it .
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
The single most influential factor in my business has been consistency, you have to be consistent with your service delivery and in everything you do. Consistency is what will set you apart from the rest. Build a strong brand, and be consistent, and you will always keep getting better.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Networking, customer service and the power of social media. I didn’t know the importance of these things when I first started . These things are the game changers .
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
My advice to an upcoming entrepreneur, if you quit you will never get to tell your story, don’t quit, keep on pushing. It can only get better. See you at the top. Cheers.