What Do I Want to Keep in This Garden?

When I was working on music in the Bay Area, I realized that being a musician wasn’t what I expected. There was a Facebook post on my feed from my fraternity brother saying that his roommate left early on a lease. I responded to his post, and at a blink of an eye, I was living in Hawaii.

Before living in Hawaii, I was always hesitant to trust people. I was conditioned to be cautious of others, which is the protocol for growing up in an urban environment. That perspective slowly withered away the longer I stayed in Hawaii. People were just genuinely nice without any sort of mixed incentive. This allowed me to open up more and inspired my new and not yet discovered business adventure.

This perspective has taught me a lot about the patience of letting your business practices grow. I took on a full-time job when I first moved here. It granted me a lot of tools to learn about business optimization, but then I was suddenly let go a few weeks before my wedding. The event was an abrupt and devastating hurdle to conquer. Even up to now, I still confront the complicated emotions associated with being let go from a job. I’ve learned how to separate feelings from experience and listen to my natural inclination to experience variety. It allowed me to build a new “garden” which would ultimately be the foundation for my business.

When visiting the Bay Area, my dad shared with me that he somehow grew a pineapple in San Jose, CA. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. It didn’t grow as big as it could’ve in a different environment but it still grew. Photo Credit: D. Ramos

If we’re looking at the analogy of the garden, it takes a lot of work to prune things without letting weeds grow. I knew that my knowledge of business optimization was something valuable, so instead of interviewing for another company, I decided to offer my services directly to customers.

At the first phase of my business, I was prepping the soil and planting all of these seeds. I was networking with different companies and building relationships, and those connections led to my first customers. Being a business consultant is valuable to the community, but that, of course, will come with some challenges. I have always been good about talking to people, but that doesn’t always convert into customers. Problems don’t necessarily mean that you’ve been letting weeds take over. It helps you discern which elements work for you, and to make sure you’re taking care of the plants that are taking care of you.

My business is now growing to a point where I have to decide what I want to keep in this garden. It’s going to be hard work taking out all of the weeds and taking care of the plants that need my attention. What will always remain in my business is integrity and empathy. I’m proud to say I’ve integrated those two values from my upbringing. Everyone’s time deserves to be valued.

There was never a set of instructions on how to conduct a business. I now understand how business owners make decisions, but that journey took a lot of risks and a lot of trust. Those challenges are what helped me build this garden, and I’ve learned to engineer a garden where all of the plants in it get to share the sun.

My Journey as A Business Owner

One of my favorite shots I took during my adventures this year. Someone had to prep the dirt, plant the seeds, and everyone needed to have the patience to wait for the flowers to bloom. Just like building a business it takes a lot of effort and patience to see things come together. Photo by D. Ramos

This year was a roller coaster. Parted ways with my previous employer, marriage, first time visiting New Orleans & Seattle, and focusing on my business. The idea of having a consulting business has been stewing for at least 3 years. The moment that gave me the initial reaffirmation was my best man at the wedding telling me I have an innate ability to convince people to do something. Everything leading up to this point has been shaping how I would approach going where I want to go and making sure I find the people who want my help.

As the blogs continue to accumulate, journaling my adventure will start seeping into this blog. There’s only so much original technical content that I can generate. It might be more interesting to hear about interviews and conversations I’ve had that’s been shaping my business and my approach of contributing to the community. I spent the last 10 years working for other companies looking for a definitive career path only to discover that it’s in my control.

If managing information is art, I’ve accumulated enough experience to know what tools I’ll use to reach out to my audience and allow myself to seek the knowledge I lack to be relevant. This is why I decided to be an independent consultant. I’m excited to continue supporting the local community and empowering people.

Questions? Comments? Need a friend? Let’s talk story, Holler @ me.