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What it was like to to find the inner strength to build a printing business despite obstacles

January 19, 2013, 3:11 pm | This story has an Influence Score of 1520

By kareezafelarca

After her marriage in 2009, Princess thought about running a business. She initially really liked the idea of it being a computer shop, largely due to the fact that her husband was a software developer and that there are obviously a lot of people who use computers nowadays.  “I prayed to God and told Him that a computer shop was the business that I really wanted. I prayed to Him just like the way I prayed to have someone that will be with me forever." Princess didn't have sufficient capital to launch and operate a computer shop. But she had faith in God that he would grant her prayers in due time.

However, seven months after giving birth to her baby girl, Keith Elly, Princess realized that her implorations to the Creator had been wrong. Her prayer had largely been "Lord, I want to manage a computer shop". But then, she realized that her prayer should instead be, "Lord, I want this business, but I want your Will to be done, and I will just follow whatever it is".

She then proceeded to hunt down a commercial space, even though she still didn’t have enough capital. She did find a large and adequate location for the business -- the only problem being the cost.
Princess is of the opinion that one must not hesitate and never be afraid to run a business. Still, it was a hard decision for her to take such a risk on a high-priced rent, knowing full well that she couldn’t cover the cost of it as yet.

She subsequently went home to her mother's house and witnessed the neighbors packing their belongings. They were obviously in the process of relocating and Princess asked them whether she could rent the commercial space that they were vacating in front of a school. They told her to ask the landlady. She prayed once again and said "Lord, this must be a good sign!"

The owner of this commercial space informed Princess that her step child had died, presumably because of one of Princess’ siblings. Consequently, Princess anticipated that this negative disposition would sway the owner's decision against her and deny Princess of the commercial space she was coveting. But she nonetheless confidently talked to the landlord while telling herself that if God would grant her this chance, she would definitely grab it. She then found out that the space was already reserved by someone else, and this individual was thinking of using it as a small restaurant. The landlady told Princess that she would contact her shortly about the request. Peculiarly, the news did not make her feel sad or disheartened.  After 30 minutes or so, the owner called Princess and told her that she could go ahead and rent the location.

“I initially used the space to sleep and relax”, she recounts. “Every payday, we would buy equipments and machines. We first bought a paper cutter. Next was a laminating machine. Since I already had a laptop, I only needed to buy a printer. I love gadgets and one day I saw a printing machine on sale. In reality, I didn't have any plans of building a printing shop or neither a shirt printing business. I wasn't that creative and I hadn’t gone to school to have enough knowledge of making layouts. I didn't know what was God's plan for us.  I talked to the seller of the machine and we made a deal.”
Running a business was not as easy as Princess had initially thought. People have told her that she would not be able to make it, most especially because she had an eight-month old baby and therefore needed to be first and foremost a mother at that time. With the help of her beloved husband, Princess, despite the odds against her, was able to push ahead with her dream to run a business.

Being a career woman, in addition to being a full time mom, was the hardest challenge of her life up to that point. Princess had to, more or less, sacrifice her role as a wife because she knew all-too-well that she couldn't possibly fulfill all these responsibilities concurrently. She is very thankful to have been blessed with a husband who did the all the things which Princess couldn’t make the time to perform. He simply kept on offering support, understanding and love.
For example, he would say,  “Don't push yourself. Just do your best, but do not stress yourself.”
When Princess encountered challenges such as not knowing how to fix the printer when it would display an "error" message, her husband was always there, patient.
Little by little, however incrementally, Princess learned.  She watched YouTube videos, read some articles, etc.. Everything was trial and error. The best part of the business for Princess was when she figured out how to advertise their products and services online. She has learned to create their website using a “drag and drop” process, and generating her own HTML codes. And she has learned it with the guidance of her husband as well as doing some reading up on it. Once again, it was trial and error.

The business now boasts a large-size list of both local and international clients. Having an online shop has boosted productivity. 80% of Princess’ clients are from the online world. “Establishing a business is not as easy as 1,2,3”, she says. “There are times when there are no sales”, she further exclaims.” “It could be a month of negative results. Sometimes it could be 3-6 months of negative sales. It's not because you don't work hard. Its a natural life cycle and sometimes, you really won't make a sale. People around you are teasers. You must try your best to sustain yourself despite negative sales.”
Princess eventually has come to realize that focusing all her attention on the business wasn’t all that healthy for her. She goes on to explain, “When you focus on the material things and people around you, it can make your spirit weak. And that's the point where you could forget God's promises to you. When you already have enough money, you can buy all things that you want. But the peace and the real blessings are untradeable and not for sale. I thought that having a lot of clients was a blessing. That's not true because the real blessing is to know how to listen to God and learn how to obey Him. The reward is after that. Before, I would just wake up and face the laptop to send replies to my clients. I did it to reach my quota. But now, I don't have to do it because sales keeps on coming in. Sometimes, I even need a timeout because of the continuous flow of sales. Are you wondering how my sales went up?” She quickly adds, “ I practice a healthy lifestyle. I always put God first before doing my daily tasks. I do my devotion with my journal everyday and everynight. I attend Sunday worship. Your devotion must produce results.”
Princess always makes a point of learning something from any temporary defeat she may encounter in her work, for instance, when receiving negative feedback from her clients.  
Her business has been 3 years in the making. During that time, there only  have been less than 5 clients who have given negative feedback! Her clientele is comprised of both small and big companies like STI, UP, Illuminati Technique, CitiHomes, Stateland etc.

Her customers love her products and appreciate how she professionally and cheerfully deals with everyone. Princess is very happy with what she has achieved through her personal efforts and with the unswerving support of her husband. She is enjoying her business as much as she enjoys her fruitful relationship with God. She did not only became a successful entrepreneur but a better servant of God’s grace, and a living example of the the biblical passage:

"In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success." - Proverbs 3:6

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