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  • rachaeldandy

AM I AN ENTREPRENEUR?

Updated: Feb 27

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a second-year student at a local school who needed to interview a local entrepreneur for a class-based project. Naturally, I agreed, but my initial reaction was to think, "I am not an entrepreneur." Over the past two weeks, I've been grappling with this statement, leading to some interesting realisations.




Cracking the e-commerce world is undoubtedly challenging. I must admit, I was particularly naive when it came to developing my website. However, while I'm proud of what I've accomplished, it's essential to recognise that success in this arena is a long-term endeavour. I thought once my website was switched on the sales would come flooding in, eh no.. SEO ( SE what? had to figure out that, more money needed there), keywords, had to look into that.. Searching for your website and it not appearing, very soul destroying after spending a fortune. Yes I go back to the word naive. Initially, I truly believed that the website would be the powerhouse of my business. However, it seems that its potential may materialise in the future rather than now. Currently, my store has been the driving force behind my inspirations and successes.



Am I an entrepreneur?


Within a month, I completely shifted the direction of my business. I began stocking products from a few local creators, moving away from relying primarily on online platforms like Ankorstore for sourcing. This change allowed me to cultivate meaningful relationships with local businesses. I began to make friends. At the outset of setting up this business, I felt incredibly lonely. Looking back, I realise I was truly isolated, although it's important to acknowledge that I had a lot on my plate at the time. Just four weeks before launching my business, I was recovering from a pulmonary embolism, so I was not in a good place mentally or physically. All I wanted to do was sleep. These local businesspeople unknowingly saved me mentally; their support meant more to me than they could ever know. Garden of Eden was at the beginning, women coming together and it is mainly women who I stock here, supporting each other and advocating, it's incredible and unbelievably rewarding.



I am not afraid to pivot!!



"A pivot is a change in strategy without a change in vision." – Eric Ries


I began practicing Reiki a few weeks ago. Since experiencing a pulmonary embolism, I've been dealing with severe panic attacks, which seem to come with the territory of such a near-death experience. However, unexpectedly, I've also started to rediscover myself. Three-plus years of illness took a toll, and I lost part of myself along the way. Another reason why I chose the name Eden (bar living where I do) is it me getting back to the old me and 'Finding Eden'. There was so much you can do with the word Eden!



I'm slowly but surely getting back to the person I was before my illness – the fun-loving, social, confident, and business-minded individual. It feels like I'm finally making progress! I no longer wake up with crippling anxiety every morning, and my negative thoughts have transformed into positive ones. I genuinely believe that everything is going to be okay.



A day in the life:



Yesterday was a blast; I found myself laughing a lot, mostly at myself. I was working on a video intro for Eden to post on Instagram. Is it just me, or does anyone else struggle to pronounce 'championing'? Luckily, Word suggested 'advocate,' which resonates much better with my brain, so we went with that.I spent an hour doing video content with my socials guy Jody, a local (I am all about the locals!) and we had a great laugh. Lots of video of me messing up, some made the final edit a bit of humour but the underlying message and direction of my business is very clear!



Moving on to the next task, I needed to draft a letter to approach corporate companies and see if they'd support my small local business initiative, 'The Garden of Eden.' I've prepared boxes to present to them, essentially giving away free stock, in hopes of receiving some support in return. These locally-owned businesses, predominantly run by women, will be carefully packaged for corporate clients as staff appreciation gifts or corporate gifts. Each package will convey a clear message about why supporting this initiative is crucial, especially if they are currently using imported mass-produced goods.



  • Community investment by supporting small Irish local business owners, 95% of which are women.

  • Creating and sustaining local jobs

  • Supporting female entrepreneurs

  • Moving away from mass products and imported goods

  • High quality handmade goods, the proof is in the box!







Final Thoughts:


So I suppose the answer to my own question is yes, I am an entrepreneur. If I were simply sitting at my desk, waiting for the door to open and for people to walk in, without taking any further action, I probably wouldn't get very far. I'm a risk-taker; I left behind a secure job to pursue this business venture.



I'm putting in every ounce of effort right now, with the aim that the actions I'm taking will ensure the success and future growth of my small business. Along this journey, I'm grateful for the opportunity to support wonderful brands. One thing I know about myself, from personal life experiences, is that I am resilient. Let's hope I can instill that same resilience in my business.



Thank you for taking the time to read my second blog. I hope you appreciate my open and honest writing style; it's the genuine reflection of who I am.



If you have read and would like to leave feedback, don't be shy!

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