I have been wanting to write about this, but haven't actually gotten down to it. I've hinted or explicitly mentioned my business My First Games before in some blog posts, but I have yet to actually write a post about it as well... Frankly, part of the reason why I haven't been blogging about this, is because I felt a little weird "tooting my own horn" - which is why you don't see me writing about the multitude of boardgames we play at home as well...
However, my friends and relatives have assured me that they don't think it's weird, that I'm silly to think this way, and even sillier for not taking advantage of this platform to talk about one of the things that I am passionate about - board games and my business. Thus, starting today, I will start to talk about my experiences as a mumpreneur (a mummy and an entrepreneur!), and about board games! :)
I originally thought of starting My First Games when Isaac was about 2 years old, way back in mid 2009. We had been playing board games with him since he was 17 months old, and everyone was very amazed with how a child not yet 2 years old, could play board games. Isaac could understand instructions, execute the instructions, take turns and concentrate on playing the games... something which people associate with older children and not a child less than 2 years old. Bright as he is, I don't think he's a genius, I know that he can do it because of conditioning, I have been conditioning him to playing board games by introducing it to him regularly from when he was 17 months old.
|Our first feature! My First Games and the kidzes in the Sunday Times :)|
Everyone started saying that I should import these board games to sell since they could not be found in Singapore. Board games which could teach young children to listen to and carry out instructions, to lengthen the children's concentration span, to teach them turn taking, graciousness and honesty through game play... very educational indeed! Kiasu parents in Singapore were sure to snap them up, said everyone!
So just as I figured "If I don't give it a try, I'd never know..." I got some stock in in mid 2009... then guess what? We found out we were pregnant with the twins! The pregnancy was really tiring and I slept most of the first trimester away. Second trimester with the twins felt like third trimester of Isaac's pregnancy... I was just as huge too, but it was only second trimester! I had not much choice but to delay the start of My First Games. When Asher and Shawna were born, it wasn't easy on any of us either. Having one baby was exhausting enough, imagine double mouths to breast feed, double the diapers to change, and double the times to bathe the babies!
|Simply Her sent a make-up artist and a hairdresser to spruce me up, provided the pretty dress and had their photographer take that lovely shot of me! Hubbs didn't even realise it was me when I showed it to him!|
Hence it was only in late 2010, when the twins were almost a year old, that I decided to just put together a website and start selling the games. All through this time, I still had a full time day job. Thus, with three kids in the house, I was extremely occupied even after working hours. So I had to wake up at 3am every night, to put together the website.
Through the next two years plus, I continued to have a full time day job, while doing this on the side. I made sure that I did whatever my full time job required and was very conscious of getting my priorities right. They were: family, full time job, my board game business - in that order. Thus, as you can probably guess, I didn't have very much time for the business. If there were sales, there were sales, but if there weren't any sales, I could hardly complain since I wasn't doing much at all. I started to think if I should quit my full time job in order to put in more time and effort in My First Games.
|The Business Times article was my favourite! The reporter wrote what I said, almost verbatim!|
I felt that there was a lot of potential in this business but I would need to invest time and energy into it. Isaac, my eldest child, was also going to attend primary school in 2014, which wasn't all that far away. It would be good if I had a job which would give me flexibility in working hours, and more time with my children. Thus, as far back as 2012, I started wondering if I should quit my full time job and go full time on this board game business of mine. What was holding me back was the comfort zone which I was in after working for more than a decade in the corporate world, and the fact that I would most certainly have to take a substantial pay cut. Inevitably, there was also the fear of failure. What if I couldn't make it work? What if I don't earn money? What if I earn just a pittance? I figured that I was relatively young enough such that I could return to the corporate world if I really couldn't earn much from this... Still I hesitated...
One day, out of frustration, I said this during my prayers: "God, I don't know what I should do. You tell me. You give me a sign. Tell me if I should do My First Games full time, or not. I trust in you, Lord!" Less than two weeks after I said this prayer, the holding company of the company that was funding the company I was working in, filed for bankruptcy protection in USA and in the company's country where the headquarters of the company was. I was stunned. That was as clear a sign as can be.
So I made up my mind. I would do My First Games full time. God has spoken and He will bless me on my way. The path that I should take is clear. I worked till the company I was with had to close down the Singapore office which I was a part of. Hence, since April 2013, I have been a full time Work At Home Mumpreneur (WAHMumpreneur). Since then, I have been blessed by being featured in a number of print publications, as pictured above...
So, with God's grace, that's how I became a full time Mumpreneur :)