From Type A to Type F to a Hybrid Type AF?!?!
For most of my life up until university, I have been that perfectionist/over-achiever, essentially a type-A personality. I’ll just leave it at this for now, university was where I encountered the F-Word, failure for the first time. Come to think of it, sucker-punched, is actually a better word to describe it.
I still am that type-A, but am better with dealing with failure and recovering from it for the most part.
One of the biggest failures I think was failing to realize that I needed to shut down Makinthebacon as a business and move forward with other endeavours.
Allow me to explain.
2019 Was A Weird/Transitional Year
Last year (2019) around the end of March, I hit a wall. At first I thought it was just a little bump in the road and that it was normal. No big deal. I would get over it.
I started new projects but one by one by no fault of their own, they became bumps. The kind of bump that you try to get over or break through but can’t (no matter how many times you try) and you would actually rather go backwards because the road was smoother.
At the same time, I thought my business was in need of a rebrand. What surprised me the most was that it wasn’t a rebrand like I had initially set out to do . I was trying SO MANY different ways to rebrand it (Women in Tech, Media Website, Career Website, etc), but for whatever reason, I was lacking the motivation to do so.
I was just getting sick of it and did not want to try it anymore.
To be honest – I felt a lot of feelings – sadness, frustration, confusion and fear. I used to think that I wasn’t giving it a chance and that I was quitting too soon. Or I thought I should have been in a better position after three years. Eventually I came to the hard, cold truth:
There was no future for the business.
It took me quite a long time to come to terms with this. There were signs but I ignored them.
When running and growing a business, you need to have the passion, the vision and persistence to grind.
With Makinthebacon, I felt as if I had lost all three of them. It was time to move on. I was letting it drag on longer than it should have. Ending it was like ending a serious relationship, but deciding to remain friends, because we still wanted to have some sort of relationship.
Looking back on it, last year I failed to see that I needed to shut down my business sooner than later. I ended up having shiny object syndrome and taking on more than I should have. One by one, they started to fall by the wayside. With some of them, I was losing interest not too long after I committed to the project.
The year before (2018) I had attended an event that connected Filipinx entrepreneurs and professionals hosted by Rechie Valdez and PHTimeisNow. It felt like a more intimate networking event in that a great deal of the conversations resonated with me. The fact that I shared similar experiences to the speakers growing up in Canada created a connection.
Afterward I thought to myself this is something that should be in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and on a regular basis. At the time, it was just a thought and nothing more.
Little did I know that it would plant the seed to start a new venture.
Putting Ideas Into Action
One venture that had managed to stick and experience traction was the social enterprise I co-founded with Rigel Jones – Kaibigan Connection. Kaibigan means friends in Tagalog (Filipino). The interesting thing was that we had never really planned on scaling it. It was more of a “Let’s try this out and see. Let’s do one event.”
People were constantly telling us that it was a great idea (connecting Filipinx entrepreneurs and professionals and not too long after, connecting with the next generation of entrepreneurs), asking about our next events and saying they were looking forward to our events. They were very supportive and wanted to collaborate/learn more. We were experiencing organic growth. Word was spreading.
It was obvious that Rigel and I were on to something.
One significant difference between Makinthebacon and Kaibigan Connection was that with the latter, I had become aware of the kind of impact it could create. I have so many ideas and could see the startup scaling/branching off into other things .
It excites me and terrifies me at the same time.
Much to my surprise, I ended up wearing some new hats:
Being a co-founder
The Dream I’ll Never Forget
Earlier this year (pre-pandemic) I had a strange but memorable dream. Usually my dreams deal with me being late for a test in high school or trying to talk to my crush (Side note: we never ended up talking in real life. Except for that one time I tried to say hi to him).
This particular dream took place in a burning building. Things were bursting in the flames and when I looked outside, there was also another building that was on fire. As far as I know, I don’t ever recall having a dream like that. And of course, I had to look it up.
That kind of fire apparently is a positive sign of things to come, new beginnings, significant changes in your life, transformation, etc.
What is Social Entrepreneurship?
“Social entrepreneurship is an approach by individuals, groups, start-up companies or entrepreneurs, in which they develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues. This concept may be applied to a wide range of organizations, which vary in size, aims, and beliefs.” –Shopify
To go even further, we are a for-profit social enterprise . We have two bottom lines – profit AND impact.
Makinthebacon Made Me Into The Person I Am Today
It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much Makinthebacon played a significant role in getting me to where I am today. It had given me the confidence, courage and experience to do things I would have never dreamed of doing (running a business, speaking at a Word Camp conference, start a podcast, run workshops, etc).
I know it’s normal for entrepreneurs to start and shut down businesses. However, it happened much sooner than I had expected.
One important lesson I learned that if something is working well, you need to put time and effort into it . And on the flip side:
Sometimes things serve their purpose only for a certain amount of time. They are meant to set you up, put you on a path to something bigger.
It was necessary to shut it down so I could devote the majority of my time and effort to building this venture. Kaibigan Connection is my new baby, but of course, I will always love my first born, Makinthebacon.