I’m sitting in front of this word document and I don’t know how to tell this story. Way too many things happened to me and my project this week and everything seemed to get out of control.
My business plan was due last Friday at midnight.
By the end of Monday, I had seven pages written down, ready to go. Considering that this business plan has a maximum length of 15 pages and my group had three people, I thought I had completed my part.
Reality showed me my naiveté.
Tuesday night, while I was trying to obtain other parts from my partners and compile them together, my mentor told me that one of my group members was quitting this project and the other one had not responded to his messages for quite a few days.
I started worrying but I kept my composure. After I hung up the phone and shot my teammate a few messages. The next morning, I saw his responses when I woke up and it said:
“Sorry, I had too many things to work on and I’m too busy these days, so I would not be able to do this with you, good luck.”
Oh wow, I lost my both teammates in less than twelve hours and now I had another seven pages to write with three days remaining. I immediately talked to my mentor, asking him if he could try to talk to my teammate and get him back on board, and I also tried to reach him.
The result was, at the end of the Wednesday, that guy had enough with phone calls and text messages and blocked me.
So I was left with two days, six pages to write.
To make my situation even worse, when we divided up the tasks a month ago, I was assigned the wording part and they were supposed to do the calculations. So not only did I have to finish the entire business plan on my own, it was a multidisciplinary project designed to be completed after months of preparation.
I tried to tell myself that it was alright; it was not a big deal and I would finish it without anybody else. But looking back, the reality was that I had a mission impossible lying in front of my feet.
Thank God, I did turn in a 15-page document at 11:59pm last Friday. And I didn’t have to do everything on my own.
Thursday morning my mentor told me that there is a person who might be willing to join my project, and he provided me the contact information. After the first couple of texts, I realized that Jan, my potential partner, was a little bit reluctant to work with me because of time limitation.
But he was like my straw to clutch at, and of course I was not going to let my last hope slip away. So I had a conversation with him from 12pm to 1am that night, and with my nine pages which I had written down and my organized plan, I somehow persuaded Jan to join me to complete the business plan.
There were 23 hours left and we needed six more pages.
We both felt the pressure as the clock was winding down. Before I went to bed, we divided our tasks and I told him what to look for and what to calculate. And after I got up from bed Friday morning, I didn’t hear anything from him.
So again, I smelt trouble. I texted him and called him, and after a couple hours he finally said he was working on another project but had already started making charts. And after school and practice, I took a shower, ate my dinner, relaxed a little bit and sat down in front of my laptop.
It was seven o’clock and we started our final rush. I quickly finished polishing previous pages and received the startup cost chart from him. I wrote a paragraph explaining the chart and received the second chart.
I worded that chart and he sent me the revenue chart shortly after.
That chart was sent around 9:30, I took a look at it and saw something wrong: according to his revenue, we would be able to repay the loan of building a stand-along fitness center within the first year of operation. There is nowhere in this world at where this can possibly happen, so I called him and told him what was wrong.
He told me that all his calculation was based on realistic stats and he didn’t know what went wrong either.
At that moment I thought I was going to end up submitting an incomplete document, so I told him to double-check, while I went on to the next part.
At eleven, he somehow figured out that one of the number I gave him was off by two digits and gave me the revised monthly revenue chart.
That was the moment I realized how much a blessing he was to me, and that was also the moment we could start wrapping things up.
An hour left. Three chunks, revenue, repayment and break even analysis, awaiting.
I burnt my fingers in that hour, and when I saw our submission accepted, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of relief.
The entire business plan could go to trash can if I didn’t make that submission in the last minute, and my months of effort could go to the tomb with it.
So I realized, that after all these ups and downs, it was God’s blessing and my own effort that saved me. I was on the brink of a massive failure, but luckily I climbed back up from the cliff.
And now I can take a few days to relax before Jan and I start working on the presentation part.
This is the last blog of this semester, and a partial endpoint to my independent project. I feel grateful for all the things that happened, good or bad, because from them I have learned knowledge, developed skills, and most importantly, became a readier for whatever awaits me in the next stage.