Jai Harvey-Yin started her own business because she had a burning need to do things the way she wanted to. She saw what she wanted to do, knew what needed to be done, and did it.
Her business has grown organically, but she always knew that she wanted to help others and launch her own product line. Jai started as a freelance makeup artist and has worked her way up to being the director of Absolute Spa and the executive director of EFB Salon Supplies – EzNailz Face & Body. She is a trained skin specialist and experienced in working in salons, representing brands, and educating other skin therapists.
“Each day, I choose to be here, I choose what the day holds, and the focus of my time, and the plan for my business. I have no one to blame, the responsibility is mine, and I love the freedom that comes from owning my own life. Is it easy? No. Do I sometimes feel like going to work for someone else? Yes. But I know that the free spirit in me will continue to yearn for that control and freedom. So I will continue to be in business as long as I can.”
Jai encourages new business owners to really know themselves and what they want out of starting their own business. “Ask yourself, do you really want to do this? Why? Because for every success, there are many trials, tribulations and heartbreaks along the way. Without singular vision and focus, it’s difficult to get there.” She also has found it critical for business owners to identify their own strengths and weaknesses, celebrate their successes, and take care of themselves – body and soul.
Three pieces of advice Jai wishes she’d been given when she started:
- Find a sounding board – a mentor, or someone to listen to you. If you take the time to discuss an idea with a trusted friend or two, even just the act of verbalising and answering questions about your plans will help you get really clear on your vision.
- Focus more and plan on paper. Don’t get distracted by bright shiny objects! I’ve always had a vision and a plan, but less on the actual details of the plan. If I had been advised to write down and formalise the plan, things would have come together more cohesively.
- Know more about the numbers. I’d been bookkeeping as an office manager for 10 years prior to starting my own business, but it’s very different when it’s part of your job as opposed to part of your life. Making things happen from nothing is an entrepreneur’s job – and we find any way to make it happen – but I wish I had focused more on the numbers. It may have prevented costly mistakes, or created more profitable experiences. It’s important, and can’t be overlooked.
About being a HerBusiness premium member, Jai has this to say:
“I joined HerBusiness on the summer school program to learn more about marketing – social media in particular. What I gained, though, was a true sense of community, a safe place to be vulnerable. As an entrepreneur, my team looks to me for all the answers, and sometimes I just don’t have them. That can be very isolating and stressful. Having a community that I can share that with is invaluable to me, as are the business friendships I’ve made.”