Poor Little Pea. 🙁
The Lord has put a lot of trials in front of us the last week. It has been stressful for us.
Fortunately, all these trials are work-related. In one week alone, we had to deal with four different malls.
One mall had already approved our lease, and then told us after a week that the head office has rejected our request and we cannot enter the mall anymore.
Another mall pre-terminated our lease contract two months after signing, and had asked us to vacate within the next month. Then, to top it off, they asked us to remove our other branch due to a change in head office policy.
The third mall asked us to move to the second floor instead of the promised first floor.
And the fourth mall did not renew our contracts for another year, and hence, we are forced to cease operations on July 3.
The trials were hard for us because these are issues that are way beyond our control. When it comes to the mall’s head office policy, who are we to change them? If they want to make changes to our leasing agreements, what are we to do than to cry? We are merely tenants and have to subject ourselves to our mall partners’ rules and regulations.
Such issues will always arise in business. Sometimes, when it rains, it really pours. And there’s really nothing you can do about it than to be sad, weep, and then dry up your tears and fight another day.
After getting all this negative news IN A SINGLE WEEK, we cannot help but wonder, “Why is God putting all trials in front of us? Haven’t we been good Christians following His path? Why can he not give us a break? Help us succeed?”
I think it’s often times easy to blame God for our problems.
When we received all these hard negative mall decisions, hubby and I fell asleep without any solution.
It is honestly frustrating.
And for go-getters like us, we wonder how the hell are we going to get out of these mess when it is really beyond your control?
I spent the entire last week going to all these malls to see if we can find a happy win-win concession. Accepting all these decisions without talking to the malls are folly, and it shows that we are okay to accept bad decisions without putting up at least a small fight. Tenant relation officers are actually quite nice and reasonable so long as you talk to them in a civil manner.
So last week, I went around the malls to talk to them. I think I went to 6 different malls from North to South. I met with the tenant officers, and their regional bosses. Even this week, we have set two more meetings to talk to the mall.
After going through these exercise, I finally understood that God placed all these trials in front of me with good reason.
For one, I got to meet mall’s regional officers. Together, we were able to find a concession that was acceptable for both parties. It was good for me to finally place a face to the name.
Two, I went to see four new malls where we can possibly open new stores. I would have never visited these malls if we did not receive these pre-termination notices. Maybe there is more business to be made there. I received two new lease offers last week because of the entire exercise.
Three, the trials made me understand more on how mall relations work. I used to think that mall relations is about paying the rent and managing the store. NO! Mall relations are all about relationships, and it is important that you also spend time growing these relationships especially if we want to grow bigger.
Lastly, we understood that the Lord is still in control. Despite the headaches, we know that He will never give us anything we cannot handle. And what better way to deal with mall management than the time when our mentors, my husband’s parents are still there to guide us through these headwinds. Because of these issues, my in-laws shared with us their long-term contact, which may help us expand in the future.
In the end, business is all about ups and downs.
After having a good month in May, the Lord allowed us to be challenged. Maybe to humble us and to remind us that He still is God. That He is still in control.
So you still want to be in business? 🙂
Haha, when people see us, all they see are our stores, our people, our brand and our sales. They don’t see that life can also be challenging and frustrating. Business is like this. Sometimes up and sometimes down, and often times, we just do our best to survive.
Hope you all have a great week ahead!