Winnie Cheung is a co-founder of Toronto-based Shirtpal Co., which specializes in customized shirts and suits.
Three things on Ms. Cheung's mind:
1. Love what you do and do something that interests you. When we started ShirtPal, we were doing it because it was a fun initiative and we all enjoy wearing custom clothes; we didn't do it for the money or fame. If you go the latter route, you can easily lose sight of your goal, lose focus and want to quit. Motivation should stem from wanting independence and opportunity to make decisions, feeling fulfilled knowing that your work made a difference to someone, and enjoying the constant learning as you get to know yourself better with each challenge that you face.
2. Learn from mistakes, and let the past go. When we entered the custom dress-shirt market, we had to overcome a lot of hurdles very quickly. We will continue to face obstacles. The key is to remember to learn from our mistakes, correct them, don't make them again and move forward. Nothing good comes easy, so you're going to face good and bad times. It's all part of being a business owner; it's a roller-coaster ride and you've got the front seat. You need to take control and make sure you're always taking one step forward and not two steps back.
3. You can't do it alone. ShirtPal wouldn't be where it is without the support of family, friends and mentors. This is very important and we continually seek advice from industry experts. Always talk and seek advice from your support system and network. In return, help them when they need it and show them that you sincerely care. These are the people who will want you to succeed 110 per cent of the time and help you any way they can. When you're an entrepreneur, your social circle is very important, ShirtPal has succeeded because of its social circle.
Special to the Globe and Mail