Whitney Ware Talks International Business, Frustration & More
We spoke with Whitney Ware, an entrepreneur from Canada, on everything from how to run an international business to the frustrating aspects of entrepreneurship:
What business ventures are you currently working on?
I am currently in the process of opening my first physical location, along with making custom wigs, selling hair extensions and have recently started a YouTube channel!
What made you become an entrepreneur?
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To be honest, it happened by accident. I had no other electives to take in 11th grade and the entrepreneurship class was my only option. I didn’t really care at that point, so I said sign me up.
I must give credit to one of the best business teachers, Mr. Pinto, for opening my eyes to a world I had no idea about. I was selling things here and there to get lunch money and buy clothes, but after taking that class I realized how much money and self-satisfaction there is when you can work for yourself and build an empire.
Do you conduct most of your business in Canada or do you deal with clients internationally as well?
Most of my business is conducted in Canada. However, I am slowly but surely utilizing different marketing strategies to make more of an impact internationally and gain business from people of other countries.
What’s a piece of advice you’d give to entrepreneurs conducting international business?
It’s VERY important to understand how business works in other countries. This includes, sales, tariffs, taxes, shipping, customs etc. Different things apply to different countries and cities so it’s best to be a step ahead and do the research before branching out.
Who taught you the ropes in your industry?
I’m very proud to say I’ve come this far relying on myself mainly. I’ve taught myself a lot through research, made many mistakes and been through a whole lot of trial and error. It’s definitely much harder without a mentor or someone who can guide you through the process but it is more rewarding and it builds character.
What obstacles did you run into when starting a business and how’d you overcome them?
Financial obstacles, doing everything correctly in the eyes of the government and dealing with customers have been the biggest obstacles for me.
It’s very frustrating when you have a lot of great ideas but the funds are not sufficient to be able to bring them to life.
Also, when you become a registered business, there are much more rules to follow and everything has to be done a certain way. If you mess up or don’t account for everything spent and earned, it will come back to haunt you.
Lastly, dealing with customers is something I believe you can never master 100%. There are those customers who have you on cloud 9 for the whole day and those who make you reconsider being a business owner. It all comes down to biting your tongue, and picking and choosing your battles wisely. Not every argument is worth it, and sometimes you have to break a company policy for the sake of your business.
What has been the most frustrating and rewarding aspect of entrepreneurship for you personally?
The most frustrating aspect for me has been people not being able to relate to me or understand that I’m only human and I have a life too. There is a lot of behind the scenes that customers and followers don’t see such as the hard work, the late nights, the sacrifices and so much more. Sometimes I feel drained and overworked, but no one cares. And it’s not their job to care, however, it can sometimes take a toll on me.
The most rewarding aspect has been knowing that I’m able to be independent and rely on myself. I’ve learned so much about myself, and have been able to push myself to limits I could’ve never imagined. I’ve grown spiritually, financially and mentally, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Where can we learn more about your business?
You can follow me on my Instagram, @whitfabby, where I am beginning to post more about my journey and tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way!
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