We are taking a look at another entrepreneur’s perspective of the Good, Bad & Ugly of entrepreneurship. Summer Shine, a local entrepreneur and small business owner of Luna Juice, gives perspective of the real challenges and rewards of being a small business owner!
What sparked the fire that inspired you to start?
I had a friend who had been addicted to crack for 20 years, she had never had a real job, didn’t know how to work computers, still talked a little street slang, but she started a salsa business when she was a year sober. She called me one day & told me it was time for me to start my own business like she did. I was so inspired because here was this woman, in her 50’s, starting over from scratch, with nothing & she was doing it! She was hustling! She turned her life around & now she was teaching me to do the same thing. I remember the first time she emailed me a copy of her business plan & sent me a template to write mine. I’m not sure what I expected from a lady who hadn’t known how to turn a computer on a year earlier, but it was good! Really, really good! And I thought, if she can do it. I can do it. And I did it! She’s now a program coordinator for the nonprofit that gave each of us loans to start our businesses, but she still makes her salsa!
What’s your greatest weakness in managing your business?
Finances. Hands down. I’m a frugal spender, so there’s rarely issues with over spending, but I’m a terrible book keeper. It’s something I’ve struggled with since day one. Last year I spent almost $20k on an accountant because they had to straighten out all the years I didn’t do any book keeping at all. It’s was a mess. Fortunately I haven’t forgotten to pay taxes or anything crazy, I was just really unaware of where the money was going until about a year ago. So embarrassing!
What have you learned about managing employees?
People are tricky. The greatest thing about owning a business is the people. The hardest thing about owning a business is the people. There is no one correct way to manage everyone. I’ve seen corporate manuals before that have a cookie cutter answer for every issue under the sun, but it leaves out the fact that we’re all human, operating from different skill levels, different backgrounds & cultures & different home environments. We’re all different & everyone must be considered when action , good or bad, has to be taken. I had this pie-in-the-sky world view that I was going to like & get along with everyone that worked for me, Oh! And that they were going to like me! But that’s just not the case! People are fluid, I am fluid. The lesson I’ve learned is that I have no more of any idea of what someone needs than they do! I just let God take the wheel & I try to follow suit.