Do you really need a network to start a business?

Throughout my life, I have chosen to be ingenious and hardworking, seeking opportunities in every situation. During my stay in Australia, I discovered several opportunities. However, I was often overwhelmed by fear, due to my limited English skills and my small social circle. Working as a cleaner was a good choice at first, as it helped me settle in Australia. Despite this, I knew it was not what I wanted for my future.
I had a daytime shift with a salary of $20/hour, but I felt stagnant and longed to find a professional opportunity. Gradually, the universe started helping me with this.
One day, my boss, angry, needed me to do a cleaning job, but I was not available. In his anger for not being able to count on me, he decided to fire me. That's when Edna, a Brazilian woman who owns her cleaning company, took me in. I clearly remember her words: -"Dani, never accept $20/hour again, you work very hard". After two days of working with her, I understood that I could create my own cleaning company. Edna always offered me her unconditional support and things began to happen.

"Here's the phrase that says, 'Every cloud has a silver lining.'"

1- Adam, the Concierge of the building where I had been fired, contacted me to ask if I wanted to continue cleaning houses there. I responded with an enthusiastic 'YES' and my first client was "Mrs. Joan" who lived in the penthouse of the building.
2- I started investing in my business, buying all my necessary equipment [VAC Vacuum: $400 AUD, cleaning products. $200] this was all I initially invested.
3- Adam provided me with a space in the building to store my equipment, so I had my own "cleaning room.

"These were the three moments that marked my progress in Australia.

1- Creation of my cleaning company: The initial motivation was to connect with people who would bring me closer to my professional world, and Edna who showed me how I could do it.
2- Getting my clients: Building relationships and taking care of them was crucial. Edna was an external motivation, Adam, the concierge, was the fuel that drove my business with referrals, and me doing impeccable work in the building, where people knew me and valued my work.
3- Getting my professional job: Although I applied for professional positions online, my professional job opportunity started with my clients, an amazing couple, Josh and Bec, founders of "elco ecosystem". They believed in me and gave me the opportunity to join their team.

Now, we humans are social beings by nature, so  my networking helped me to achieve my goals:

1- Maintaining good relationships with the people I knew was vital. All my clients became my friends.
2- Being respectful, consistent, showing who I am and what I was looking for was key. My clients believed, believe in me and care about my progress, I always told them that I was an engineer, looking to practice.
3- Networking changed my life, My network always provided me with better jobs.
4- My friends and family were always my best networking, If you are one of those who thinks -"That's why I don't refer anyone", you should reconsider your social circle. My friends add value to me, just as I do to them.
5- Evolution begins with your first job. For me, cleaning highlighted my potential, showed consistency and proved to me that if I could do well something I didn't love, I would be even better at what I do love.

The best part of this entrepreneurial adventure was that it later led me to get a job as a professional!!!!

Author: Dani Santa

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