People say that when you hit rock bottom all you can do is just going up from there. Going up where is the question here, I have no idea whatsoever. When my only Japanese customer Menehune Plantation based in Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo finally slowed down after a year the Tsunami hit Japan in 2011, I realized I cannot move on and operate my production house of Hula Costumes and Accessories anymore. I have no capital to run the company, to pay for my employees, to pay the office rent, to pay the suppliers, to pay the courier services, utilities and most of all....all my own personal commitments; I decided to call it a day. It was a really sad decision for me and my staff. We were really close with each other and in fact the last 5 of us left in the company to the end really understands each other and really love what we were doing.
Unlike Menehune Plantation, I have no other customers but Menehune. We refused other Japanese customers in order to respect Menehune and we set everything up in the company for Menehune's production only. And unlike any other companies, we started the company from zero capital and grow from there. Every single penny is invested back into the company to buy equipment and to expand. I spared no EPF for my own except the one I paid for my staffs and I had no savings either. Pretty much I gamble my life and my future and everything on the line with my company. For the last 10 years, I live day to day, month to month and everything was okay; not so great but livable until the Tsunami hit Japan. Then I knew I am up to some serious shits and everything might be over.
Mr FS the owner of Menehune came to visit me twice in 2011 after the Tsunami and he convinced me that everything will be as per normal business and I shouldn't worry. And because I was not worrying myself with what I felt and instinct, I end up with nothing now and they are still running as per normal and still making a living from their business with big smiles to their customers in Tokyo.
It was all my bad I think! I always easily agreed to Mr FS whenever he wanted me to reduced a price of our product. We thought that if we make little profit on each product he will order more from us as he makes lots of profits from our hard works. But there's no point looking back at each things that I regret and beat myself to a pulp. I better try to forget my bad unhappy shits and move on right?
After my staff offered to quit voluntarily, I decided to closed the operation at end of March 2012. Immediately I went into depression mode and became so unhappy, afraid and in denial of my own failure. I was penniless for a long while until a really close friend suggested me to start baking cakes and pies and sell them to his office. I will forever be grateful to him as he started my whole new career and I love doing this new baking business as baking has always been a passion to me.
The problem I face now is that I have so much debts (who doesn't) everywhere and this is pulling me down and making me unhappy and stuck with heavy baggage of my past. Not one day that I forget about all my debts. It is like a pebble in my shoes only this pebble is a spiky sharp metal that keep poking my feet whenever I try to walk into a new life. I can't put my heart and soul to my new baking world if I am still can't clear out all my past problems. I feel so difficult as I don't know what's going to happen to me in the future. My income from baking is way too small to cover all of these debts. And I couldn't ask help from anyone or any of my siblings as my brothers and sisters said that they cannot help me at all especially with my money situations. But it's funny how some of my friends did offer to help me, that really caught me by surprise. However, I cannot accept any offer of help or any "soft loans" from friends as I do not know whether or not I could pay them back.
Talking about family though, doesn't mean that they are your flesh and blood that they would help you and die for you. Hahah NO! When I went through my own dark moments, depressions, sadness and poor (I am still facing these), surprisingly my siblings did the least to help me to start over. The people that really helped me was my mother(of course) and she is the only one that would do anything for me without asking. And I bet if my Dad is still alive, he would do the same too. Then my younger sister fiza who were so sweet and despite being in the same predicament as mine, she would do anything within her means to help me. Some other sibling openly said NO to my fucking face. Yup! but its ok. Its funny thought that some of them said NO to help me and in fact gave excuse right away of how they can't help at all but what did I found recently, new huge bathroom renovation that cost more than MYR10,000. Huh? What? Is that a bathroom or a guest room? But to throw a few hundred bucks for my pocket money or food is so far from it.
When I face such hardship like this, my life really start at 40. Only different is the "starting balance" of my life is negative in everything and owing so much everywhere and probably will be thrown to jail if fail again. Whereas when I was 21, started my life was a breeze compared to now. Life is such a bitch I tell you!
So now, I do not know how to face my current situation with my company that I have closed down the operation as there are so many pending important matters and they are all required money, money, money. A quote from ABBA's song...
"Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man's world
Money, money, money
In the rich man's world
All the things I could do
If I had a little money
It's a rich man's world"