How I grew my business during the crisis
Meet fierce Fernando,
A resilient first-time entrepreneur – and his inspirational story.
I arrived in Australia in October 2019, after 15 years of working for big global companies such as Danone and Diageo. Starting a new life is never easy. I felt like I was re-born. It was challenging. I had left my comfort zone.
When I arrived, I would ask myself … I am starting from zero, and in a new country – Did I make the right decision?!
Until one day I decided to fully embrace the change. My life has only gotten better, every day since that day. I decided to work in hospitality. I got a job as a barman on a party boat. I thought to myself “I like parties” – I have worked in the alcohol industry for many years but back then I was the producer. I had never been on the service side.
Life always tests us, right?
Oh boy, did this “new job test me”. I did everything in this role, from setting up the bar, cleaning the boat, washing glasses and also serving people. Serving drinks is so much different to drinking with friends and clients. It was tough, but I asked a LOT of questions and learned quickly.
That was my first lesson in Australia.
Be brave. Trust in yourself. You do what you have to DO!
I did not have all the skills to do a job or task, but I learned. And so, can you. I am not going to lie, but several times (a day) I would ask myself: “what I am doing here?” I used to have dinner drinking the best wines in the most recognized European restaurants and now I am washing glasses?
Now, I look back at those times and laugh. Long story short, I worked in the bar until Jan 1st. The agency that hired me had a misunderstanding with the boat and they canceled the agreement. I was unemployed for two weeks.
That is when I learned lesson number 2:
No one can do anything for you but yourself.
I always wanted to be my own boss.
So I bought a van and started to do removals and deliveries (and any other handy tasks). This was the best decision I made since I arrived in Australia.
I became independent. I now manage my time! I can study and to develop new projects which is the main reason of me being here in Australia and at the Academy of Entrepreneurs. I started looking for tasks on Airtasker (a great Australian peer-to-peer online service platform). My start-up strategy was to hit the market by being honest and creative. I made an ad that said “I am new. I will give you my services at a cheaper price, if you give a winning feedback and referral” I worked for almost free for the firsts two weeks. I gave my best to receive 5 star ratings. And soon I reached my goal! Once I had a shining rating, I was able to start offering premium services at premium rates. I have done everything you can imagine. From deliveries of houses items, painter, carried huge mirrors, assembled/disassembled furniture – the list is never ending.
Lesson number 3:
You can do anything you want.
Where am I now? I have a LOT of customers and they all refer me more customers. I only promote my business on Airtasker. I am happy with my demand.
I am ready to expand my business.
The most useful thing the Academy of Entrepreneurs gave me, is confidence in myself. They pushed me to trust myself and develop new skills. To be resilient. Be brave. Take risks. Believe in new ideas and GO FOR IT!