Beginning after the day ending March
Summer 2013, I co-founded MH Bakery with my close friend, Mai. Our Bakery’s logo is a face smiling from ear to ear, just as Mai’s smile. This had been my best summer ever because I had chances to own a business for the first time.
I once heard that first six months were the most difficult time with most startups. But my business had smoothly operated through its first six months. Albeit busy with marketing strategy and financial calculation, I was always proud because I had brought smiles to my customers from Northern to Southern Vietnam, from a girl buying cake for her brother to a boy requesting cupcakes for his friend. Gradually, my business developed so much that I needed to hire my two roommates. I even thought that I would organize a big event on the first birthday of MH Bakery.
However. Yes. My story needed a “However”. In December 2013, my co-founder entered her final exams in college and could not spend much time on baking. Mainly responsible for administrating my bakery, I could not do everything from baking to selling. Besides, my two roommates were not qualified enough. Finding a deft baker as Mai was not easy. Gradually, I had to refuse some orders. From December to January to February to March, my business was forgotten by my customers and sometimes, by me. At that time, my bakery only had four to five orders each month.
In a day ending March, I thought of my bakery. What I should do next? I could not imagine my life without a business. I had two solutions. First solution was continuing and solving problems of MH Bakery. Its problems mainly were human resources. Second solution was founding a new business after lessons from the first one. Continue after the failure or begin from the zero? Close MH Bakery or not?
“Ding-dong.” - Mai came to see me.
“Sorry. I cannot continue. I … decide to withdraw. Because, you know, now is late March and I have tons of final exams, so …”
“I understand.” – I interrupted her and said nothing for a few minutes.
“Ding-dong.” What’s next? Could you guess what would happen? Could not imagine that all these events happened in an afternoon! For the first time in my Bakery’s history, a customer come to return a cake. Yes, return! Receiving the cake, my co-founder and I only could do one thing: Giving each other half smiles – sympathetic and condolent smiles. Close MH Bakery or not? My co-founder withdrew. My customer returned cakes. As usual, with my character, the answer was definitely No. In this time, I decided:
“We will have a celebration tonight to celebrate … The Last Day of MH Bakery. And the main dish was that cake. Why one could return a delicious cake?” – I remembered we made such cakes successfully for various times. What about the first birthday of MH Bakery in June? Forgot it!
“Celebrate the last day!”
We ate together. After tasting, we saw each other and burst out a laugh. It was actually bad. Perhaps, we were mistaken sugar and salt. At night, we played guitar and sang together. Nothing is better than a bad cake with two bad voices. My co-founder laughed so much. Her smile was an open mouth smile, which let me see all of her teeth. A laugh at a difficult time. I remembered my Bakery! Its logo was a face smiling from ear to ear. I chose a smiley face to be my logo because I wanted my business would bring smiles to my customers, and more than that, I wanted my business would always smile despite challenges. This logo was mine. MH Bakery was mine. Delicious cakes were mine. Customers’ compliments were mine. The failure was mine. The salty cake was mine. This happy moment was mine. Yes! I love them all. Both success and failure. Both happiness and sadness. Because I myself created all of them. Because I followed my passion. Why I needed to be so depressed? In the future, I would face much more hardships than this one. I would not let a failure dispirit me.
After saying goodbye to Mai, I took my laptop. Clicking to the folder “MH Bakery”, I reread all the problems of my first start-up. Clicking to the folder “Huyen’s ideas”, I reread all of the business ideas I wrote before. And I decided what I would do next!
The beginning of November 2014 celebrated seven months of my Standardized Test Online Bookstore. And it did not meet problems about human resources. Actually, it did not matter I closed MH Bakery or not, the importance was I still do business. Becoming a successful businesswoman is not easy, I know. Lack experience, I could accumulate in my life. Lack knowledge, I could find in college. And I knew would overcome all difficulties with one thing that I never lack: my spirit! I remember when I was a child, my father always let me sit in military tanks in his workplace. Let me hold the steering wheel, he smiled to me and said “You can control your life even in ups and downs. Be strong, my girl!”
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