It was November 2005.
Just when we thought things were looking up, we soon realized that the couple of deals we got were just a facade of the harsh realities of the business world.
An event company that bought our system kept delaying their payment, and even offered us tickets to their event as a part payment (which we reluctantly accepted). A dental clinic bought our system but insisted us to add more modules for them free-of-charge before they were willing to pay us. We learned through the hard way that doing B2B business was not the same as buying things from supermarket: they never pay upon delivery.
Very soon, our cash flow became a serious problem. But that was just the beginning.
My business partner K began to arrive late at work. And sometimes he would just call in to tell me that he had personal matters to settle and wouldn’t be in office at all. I continues to work on our product upgrades, but I had an uneasy feeling that things were going to fall apart.
At the same time, my uncle who was very close to me was diagnosed to have lung cancer and was said to have only a few months to live. Seeing my uncle having to rely on oxygen support everyday hurts me. The stress of having a critically-illed family member, coupled with the uncertainty of my company, was slowly draining off my energy.
Then came December.
One day, my business partner K told me that he had issues with his wife and he decided to go back to his previous company. In fact, he already went for an interview at our previous company, and he even demo our product to the director as a showcase of his managerial capability.
So I asked K, what about our venture?
K told me that he would still hold 50% of our company shares, while working part-time to sell our product.
“But, that would be unfair to me,” I said. “While you are drawing a stable income and working part-time for our company, I have to slog full-time with no salary at all. If you want to go back to your ex-company, I think it is only fair that you give up a portion of your shares. That way, I can use those shares to rope in investors to raise some funds.”
K said he will think about my proposal.
A few days later, K called me and said he wanted to withdraw totally from the company. And he asked to meet up to negotiate about the sale of his shares. And that shall be, my first negotiation for my company.
To be continued…….
The reason why I am documenting my entrepreneurship journey is to tell people, be it existing entrepreneurs or aspiring ones, that you are not alone in your struggle. My journey is full of ups and downs. Most of the time, I just felt that life sucks. I have my gains and losses. I fell. And I picked myself up. And then fell again. And again. And slowly, I learned how to walk. And how to be strong. There were times when I felt frustrated, stressed, depressed, anxiety and wanted to just to give up. But I know that I will overcome every obstacles, and become stronger each time.
Because I have to. I need to.