"I launched my business in 2020 May. It was in the middle of the pandemic and my whole life changed in 2020 March which led me to this decision. No, I wasn't laid off, I went through a divorce which led me to come back to my home town Perth in March 2020. When I came to Perth in March, the big pandemic hit very rapidly and we were left to make choices that has to match up to the big changes happening in the outside world. My mother encouraged me to start my company with my knowledge of Tea and spices. I was trained by an Indian tea master and it was a skill I always wanted to give to the world.
When I launched my first Tea box as my first product, I made it a very real and easy-to-use product. It was simple to design and I did not spend any money on too many fancy labels etc. In fact, I designed it all. I was very excited and also very practical. What I did before even the actual final product existed was to make a nice post on Facebook about it and it got me 1 pre-sale. You might what one can 1 sale do. But 1 sale before the product existed, gave me confidence and belief in the viability of my product. Once I got the customer to pay, I used that money to make the final 1st product. That is how simple and practical I thought. Now I have expanded the business into a service-based business where I create Signature Teas based on a client's personality, and their taste buds profile and I also take them on a very adventurous spiritual journey with nature. I have served over 300 customers now and it has been nothing but a blessing.
I learned something very important during this journey.
1) Find out who you truly are and dive deep within to deal with a big monster like a pandemic.
2) Fear will paralyze you and can also kill you, so be true to yourself and leave the fear out.
3) Be practical and test your market. It is ok to make pre-sales and refunds if the product fails. At least you had money to test the product value and invest in.
4) Always walk your walk and talk your talk. I do the spiritual journey I have designed for people with myself each day when I wake up before I start to work. It makes me the best version of myself and the results people are getting with their health and more are incredible.
– Prati Bhatt, Founder Teaphoria
"I was working for a hotel group as their director of sales and marketing before the pandemic. It was an excellent job but it was 24/7. I was doing work behind the scenes intuitively knowing that this schedule wasn't sustainable and I wasn't working within my God-given talents - in other words, I wasn't aligned with my purpose. In March of 2020, I started my own business and I never looked back. I took on virtual jobs as I worked towards becoming a full-time writer working to build brands. It was a matter of giving myself permission to align with my purpose. I am so overwhelmed with the doors that opened for me the minute I decided to take the leap. I hate saying this because so many people had the opposite experience, but the lockdown due to the pandemic happened for me and not to me."
– Jane Grismer, Brand Strategist & Writer
"Since the onset of the pandemic, I have made a bold career move. I worked in retail for almost 2 decades (except for 2 years, 10 years ago, as an online entrepreneur) but when the pandemic hit in 2020 and we found ourselves in lock down in march of the same year, I began to have chronic health issues. After the lock down, even though I was working for a big corporation, my working conditions changed drastically in a very negative way. We were treated poorly and when we dared to give feedback to make things better, we were told that nothing could be changed and we were even threatened to lose our jobs. Nothing changed until I had a complete burnout in July 2021. Having this burnout changed my life because it made me understand that I was living in survival mode and that I wasn’t making decisions that were right to achieve my goals. I was playing small. I was still haunted by my childhood trauma and stuck in repetitive patterns. The first thing I had to acknowledge was my childhood trauma and when I did, I was able to heal from it and shift my mindset. By doing that, I was in a state where I was able to allow myself to go for the things that I wanted despite not having any safety net whether it was emotional or financial.
Against all odds, I started working on building my business in the spring of this year. It was a bold and scary move because I didn’t have much money saved up and I was doing this on my own with the help of no one. But it’s been so rewarding! It’s my soul’s calling, my purpose and while growth can feel uncomfortable and challenging, I wouldn’t change it for the world! Change can feel scary but if you asked me would I rather die standing or live on my knees? I’d choose the latter. Freedom is priceless!"
– Monika Martin, Founder Embody Your Flow
"I am a qualified Registered Nurse and during the initial 'onset' of the pandemic, there was hardly any nursing work available here in WA. This led me to lean into my content creation skills that I had acquired from building my own clothing business. Now I don't work in nursing at all and am helping other small businesses with their content instead. To be honest, the state of nursing in our country doesn't make it super appealing to return, either!"
– Jessie Parker, Founder Jessie Parker Co.
"In 2020, I was managing a large research project at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital and under considerable stress managing a team and a family who were all struggling with the pandemic and lockdowns. We all faced a really tough year and the impact of homeschooling, isolation and work stress impacted on the mental health and wellbeing of all of us. As a result, my own alcohol consumption creeped up, I started to see a big impact on my health, energy and weight and I started to look for some alternatives to my evening wine(s!) I was so surprised to find so many sophisticated non-alcoholic products in the market. I found that I could still have a pleasurable, me-time treat without alcohol.
Despite being part of a fabulous and supportive workplace, I felt that I was at a pivot point in my life and resigned from my job to start my own small business, The Drink Swap. I had a bucket list dream of running my own business and I felt very passionately about the potential for non-alcoholic drinks to make a positive impact on the health of people looking to cut back on drinking, particularly women my age (40+). In the year since we started The Drink Swap we have had some incredible highs and lows, we appeared on Sunrise Channel 7, have been featured on radio and podcasts and been finalists in national business awards but we've also worked incredibly long hours, missed spending time with my kids and often felt overwhelmed by the steep learning curve.
Making a career change in my 40s, during a pandemic, was a huge personal and financial risk but also an important one for me. I've learnt new skills every single day of the past year and loved building a loyal customer following and a successful brand."
– Rianna Chapman, Founder The Drink Swap