“Whatever happens -never give up – never give in …” As introductions to stories go, it doesn’t get much better than those three lines. Which is exactly how I discovered this incredible post in our Flying Solo forums written by member, @Ray53.
Fascinating fact: this post was started by @Ray53 in 2009 when Flying Solo was just a little baby forum – but the most recent comment was made last Friday, 19 June 2020!
Scrolling through the pages of comments since Ray’s original post you’ll quickly notice they’re all infused with the same sentiment: overwhelming positivity, curiosity and camaraderie.
It was quite frankly, the most uplifting thing I’ve read for ages.
But more about that later.
Let’s rewind a bit for some context…
Here’s Ray’s original Flying Solo forum post in full:
“I started my business coz I couldn’t live on a government pension, flat motherless broke and homeless … That was ten years ago, all my friends said I couldn’t do it , and they weren’t willing to help… They’re not laughing now… I’m still struggling but no longer broke . There must be others out there learning as we go . Let’s have a yarn about our adventures, our dreams, and our success.”
One thing leads to another…
Then – one year later in 2010 another forum member Jocelyn asked Ray for details about his business – which led to this post:
“I started at the local weekend market , cleaning jewellery for $1 per piece .. set up a little table near the ATM .. and while ladies are waiting to withdraw cash I made my spiel ‘Clean your jewellery while you wait $1 only takes a couple of minutes’. After a couple of weeks I was able to buy an ultrasonic jewellery cleaning machine .. you can get them new for under $100 … A few weeks later a customer suggested that I sell jewellery as well … so I did some research to find where I could buy small lots cheap some time later someone suggested I should sell second hand jewellery so I applied for a second hand dealers licence and did that another few weeks and a bloke asked me to lend him $30 as he had spent too much and didn’t have petrol to get home, he offered to let me hold his gold ring … more research told me to do this I needed a pawnbrokers license .. so I applied and got that … Had a disagreement with market management , lost my temper and told them to stick it .. but too stubborn to give up .. I found a little shop I could rent cheap .. moved out of Salvation Army Shelter, slept in back of the shop .. went to friend’s place for showers.. ate lots of sandwiches. Got lots of encouragement and advice from other Pawnbrokers. One year later I moved to a different area to test what I had learned in another environment. Now I’m about to leave the present shop as my business has evolved into a different kind of money lending which is not geographically limited … It is now a credit line , I even have my own plastic card printing machine and website www.alternativechoice.com.au. Still learning, still growing, still having fun … thinking back … first month cash flow $28.50 gross profit $3.75 .. this financial year average $208.39 per day .. still working 7 days a week …”
Where is Ray now?
I reached out to Ray last Thursday to find out where things were at so I could include it in the article, but noticed his website link is now broken too. If I hear back, I’ll let you know.
All of that is a very long way of saying how the sense of community at Flying Solo never continues to amaze me. Ditto the incredible test of character that deciding to start your own business actually becomes.
So bravo @Ray53 and everyone on this incredibly uplifting thread.
It’s probably exactly what the doctor ordered on a Monday, don’t you think?
Have you visited our Flying Solo forums yet? More than 100K solo business owners just like you go there daily to swap ideas, concerns, insights and tips.