A friend of mine sent me this article from the New York Times for Throw Back Thursday —from five years ago!
This article brings back great memories and reminds me how far we’ve come! Hard work and perseverance have led me to success, but I don’t ever forget the hard times. My struggles have made me who I am today and remind me to not take anything for granted. It is also why I feel strongly that with success comes responsibility to help those in need — I have been there myself.
We all have struggles, but our commitment to continue moving forward in the face of adversity determines where we end up. For Throw Back Thursday, I’d like to share some of my story with you. My hope in sharing this article with you is that you will see that behind most success stories are tales of struggle and hard work. From experience, I can say don’t give up, keep going and you will make it through the hard times!
When I first started writing this blog, one of my primary goals was to create a forum where I could share my experiences as an entrepreneur with others. Often, when I talk to our new franchisees or other small business owners, I find that they are facing many of the same challenges that I have faced in building my businesses.
A great advantage of operating a franchise system, however, is that I also have access to a wealth of business knowledge among the hundreds of Edible Arrangements franchisees who are also willing to share their experiences.
She will tell you, however, that it has been far from easy, especially during the early years.
Prior to purchasing two Edible Arrangements stores about eight years ago, Reva had spent much of her professional career at computer giant Dell. At Dell, she will tell you, “I did just about everything there was to do, from sales to training to supply chain to call center management.”
But Reva always knew she wanted to be her own boss and when the opportunity to purchase a couple of Edible Arrangements stores presented itself, she took the entrepreneurial leap.
Among her very first challenges — as is often the case — was financing. She remembers going from bank to bank to bank seeking a business loan and repeatedly being told, “no.”
“I quickly found out that getting a business loan is much different than getting a car loan,” she says. “You can get a car loan off your credit, but it takes more than good credit to get a business loan.”
What it takes, she will quickly tell you, is perseverance.
“Just because a bank said ‘no’ was not going to stop me,” she remembers. “I probably ended up going to a dozen banks. Most turned down my request, but I eventually found one that said ‘yes.’ I didn’t stop there, though. I kept going and eventually found several willing to give me a loan and that way I was able to negotiate a good deal. It was an early lesson that the key to building a successful business is to not take rejection personally. You have to keep driving forward.”
The results speak for themselves. Reva has much more advice for entrepreneurs who are trying to build a successful business. I will share more of her ideas in upcoming blogs.