My project about interviewing people who managed to make their dreams come true is continuing! This time I had the pleasure to interview Sebrina, a young lady who realized what she really wanted to do when she was 18 and transformed that dream into reality but, well… I’ll let her tell you more about it! 😉
Hi, my name is Sebrina Langlais I’m the Founding Director of Langlais Ltd (Langlaisservices.com). Langlais specialises in door to door luggage services and storage solutions. Our clients are able to travel around the world luggage free, knowing that their luggage is waiting for them at their desired destination. Our storage services also alleviate our clients from stressing about who and where they’re going to store their personal belongings with, and how they’re going to get them there.
When did you know that it was your dream to have your own business?
It was my last year of college and I remember being under immense pressure to choose a degree I wanted to study and to complete my UCAS form in enough time to apply for Universities. I just remember feeling overwhelmed with the pressure, and more so because I couldn’t vision myself having a career in any of the subjects my selected Universities provided. Also, my mum really wanted me to go to University, she believed that a degree would give me a platform and set me apart from the competition. But, I had
to ask myself “was this really what I wanted?” and the answer was no, I wanted to have my own business. At the age of 18 I decided University wasn’t for me and worked full time in customer service based roles.
How did you feel when you realised you were actually living your dream?
The first time round of starting a business (at the age of 21) was so exciting for me, I felt like I was finally pursuing my dream. But the failure of that business hit me very hard – I had to walk away from the business because I had already invested so much money into it and knew that moving forward it would require allot more just to get it off its feet.
It took me quite a while to lick my wounds, as I felt like a failure rather than embracing it for what it was and what it had taught me. I also felt very lost and didn’t know what I was going to do next. So I went back into customer service roles, until I ended up in a temporary based position for a company who provided door to door luggage services. What’s kind of funny is that I never envisioned myself doing this type of role and I really enjoyed going to work. I got to learn all the in’s and out’s of how the company operated as it was such a small team. So when I left the company I decided to start my own business providing this same service as well as storage solutions.
I’m enjoying the fact that I’m living my dream but starting and growing a business is not easy at all. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through, it’s like being on a never-ending rollercoaster. But I have a passion for the services that Langlais provides and its end goal is way bigger than myself. What I’ve experienced about my dreams, is that unless you commit to the process that is required for your dream it won’t come to fruition.
Did you follow any sort of plan (like setting goals, asking for help…) in order to achieve starting and growing your own business?
Yes definitely. I’ve tweaked and scrapped some business plans along the way as I’m continuously learning new things all the time. I actually now have a quarterly business plan to help me stay on track with everything like sales and marketing. I set daily tasks for myself the night before, jot down all of my personal and business goals, and monitor all of my achievements to give myself a pat on the back from time-to-time.
I’ve also asked for help and advice from few selective people who have/had their own business. I feel it’s also important to attend networking events and workshops, you never know who you might meet or who you might be referred to, and it’s a great way to mingle around like minded people.
Which was the toughest part during the journey to make this dream come true?
The 1st year of launching Langlais was the toughest part so far of this journey. There were times I thought I just wasn’t going to get through it.
When I realised I was finally living my dream – It was a very bittersweet moment, as on one hand I was finally pursuing my dream and on the other, it wasn’t at all what I expected it to be. I was so used to seeing companies go on Dragons Den or Shank Tank pitching their services and saying they’ve turned over ‘X’ amount in the first 6 months of their business, and thinking “Yes, I can definitely do that.” Reality hit hard for me when I realised that those businesses actually represent a very (and I emphasise on VERY) small percentage of businesses. I started researching big successful companies of today like; Coco Cola who only sold 10 bottles in their first year and Amazon which only started making a profit in the 5th year. Not seeing an outcome to all of your hard work can be really discouraging, so this research really helped me feel like I wasn’t alone, it wasn’t just me, majority of businesses do actually take time – great things take time.
My other struggles along the way have been; self-motivation and discipline, no financial security, anxiety, depression and not getting the support from family and friends that I initially had hoped for. They’ve said things like “When you getting a job?, is your business making allot of money yet?, when you going to quit?, you don’t really work.”
But out of all of that, the hardest thing was my mum not supporting me at first, were very close so it was a big disappointment when she didn’t initially believe in my dream. My mum really wanted me to go to university to set me apart from the competition to help me get into a great career. But she realised this was my destiny when I just kept on going with my dream anyway, and now she is my biggest cheerleader, it actually annoys her more than me if family or friends say unsupportive remarks.
Do you have any suggestions you would like to give to anyone who has a dream like yours and would like to make it come true?
Start your day off positive – it’s so important to start your day off positive, it really sets the tone for the day. I start with a prayer, meditating, reading and going to the gym.
Persistence – keep going and never give up or quit on yourself. Imagine if Amazon quit before their 5th year just because they didn’t make a profit.
Self-Motivation – You have to learn to be your own cheerleader. It really doesn’t matter if no one believes in your dream but you. As long as you do – that’s all that matters.
Self-Discipline – You are now your own boss and one day you will be managing your own employees. You cannot lead people where you have not gone yourself, so start the work culture you would like your business to have by continuously working on yourself and being consistent with it.
Embrace mistakes & Failures – guess what? You’re human, you’re going to make mistakes along the way. The key is to start looking at your mistakes and failures as life lessons. Take what you’ve learnt from them and move on.
Commit to your process – depending on what service you provide, your process will be significantly different to the next person. However, the process will inevitably include; hard work, working smarter and keep going even if you don’t see an outcome in the beginning.
Patience – This will probably be one of the hardest step to overcome. Unfortunately, we don’t have a time capsule where you can go into the future and see how long it’s going to take for our business to be successful or whether you have made the right decisions. You just have to keep on going, learn to trust your gut and remind yourself often that great things really do take time.
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