Adversity has always played a part in my life as far back as I could remember. Revisiting those dark days is not something I like doing, but at the same time, it’s not something I want to forget either.
And here’s why.
As a kid, I was very much a creative. I loved cartoons, loved to draw, loved to experiment with crafts, and loved pretty much anything that had a creative side to it. Despite my creative flair, I also loved helping people. The feeling of helping others naturally felt great. I remember, at the early age of 14, in a conversation amongst some friends, the topic about what we wanted to do when we grew up, came up. I remember saying to the others I wanted to be a Business Analyst.
Strangely, back then, I wasn’t even sure what that meant as a profession but it excited me because I felt it was about helping people with their business – somehow. Several years on, I continued my education which took me to Cambridge College, where I studied Art, Philosophy and Law. It was a bit of change in direction from my early teenage years but the slightly older me had a more inquisitive mind and I wanted to explore my options.
At that time my mum and dad owned a village shop, which did well in the beginning. The shop came together through community involvement, and the generous support in we received at the beginning was excellent. It’s at this time, I learned some of my first lessons in the business world. I learnt how to operate a store, confidently speak with people and build important relationships with customers. We ran this shop for around two years and all was well until times began to get tough.
The shop started to not do so well. Customer behaviours changed and with the rise of the big supermarkets offering everything and anything and only a 10 minute drive away, it became a real challenge to bring customers to our small village shop. However that wasn’t the biggest set back. The shop got robbed. Three armed robbers on motorbikes came in during the day and violently forced my dad and mum to hand over a substantial amount of cash over.
Things went from bad to worse with my parents confidence and business heavily damaged. Ultimately, we were sadly faced with no option but to close the business that the family worked so incredibly hard to build. With the very little money my parents had they decided to explore a business opportunity in the United States to get the family back on track. This meant my sister and I had to stay here to finish our university studies.