By Paola Girotti
Paola is the founder and owner of SUGARMOON, a sugaring business with three salons, take-home sugaring and organic body care lines, and the SUGARMOON training academy. In this instalment of her Women of Influence web series, The Truth About Entrepreneurship: My Life on the Moon, she shares why she chose to start her business journey, and what you should think about before taking the plunge.
Do you have an idea for a business? Are you asking yourself, “To be or not to be?”
There are many things to consider before becoming an entrepreneur. There’s also a challenge that comes with weighing the pros and cons: when you’re really excited about your BIG idea, it’s easy to overestimate the positive.
Before launching SUGARMOON, I remember reading some books on how to start a business and it seemed relatively straightforward and appealing. Although I am not formally trained in business, I do celebrate that I have come from a long line of entrepreneurs and I can appreciate the hard work and dedication required.
I had a real vision of bringing the art of body sugaring to Toronto, a method of hair removal that I grew up with. I had the knowledge that there were few body sugaring studios that existed. So my former business partner and I left very lucrative jobs in the film industry, went back to school at 30 on a hope and a BIG dream that SUGARMOON would become a brand name in the world of hair removal.
Little did we know…
After the dream became a reality, we were both shocked by the minimal money we were making as owner/operators, the cost of overhead, and the cost of marketing in a competitive market place. We were putting all of our time and energy into the business, and although it wasn’t losing money, it certainly wasn’t turning a profit. By far our biggest challenge was raising our infant children—and staying happy at home—while doing all of it.
We worked for 2 ½ years in this way, and after much thought my amazing partner left the business to pursue a new career while I carried on with SUGARMOON. Failure was not an option for me, and it’s a decision that I am grateful for now. I believe in what I do and I continue to go the distance to develop SUGARMOON to its best potential.
Here’s my advice on how to decide whether to take the entrepreneurial plunge yourself:
- Take a quiz (or two) on whether you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. They are easy to find online (this assessment is a great example). Just be sure to answer the questions honestly.
- Seek advice from other entrepreneurs. Ask them what initial steps they took in opening their own business. If you don’t have any personal connections, try attending conferences or networking events.
- Ask yourself, do you believe in your vision? This is the most important factor. You need to be ready to commit to whatever it takes to get there.
During her fourteen years as the owner of SUGARMOON, Paola has experienced both the triumphs and the trials of being a female entrepreneur. In her Women of Influence web series, The Truth About Entrepreneurship: My Life on the Moon, she’s sharing stories and lessons from her journey as a business founder and owner. From financing, to expanding, to balancing motherhood, Paola offers a candid view and valuable insights for aspiring and fellow entrepreneurs.
Interested in more? Read other articles from Paola’s web series, or learn about her business at sugarmoonsalon.com