No matter what those around you may tell you or the obstacles you may encounter on your way, believe in yourself. Believe in yourself because no one will do it for you!
• From a 14-year-old kid studying hairdressing…
Freshly entered the world of hairdressing at the age of 14, I passed my CAP in two years in apprenticeship at the Chamber of Trades before moving on to the Professional Certificate (BP), essential to open your own salon.
During my four years of apprenticeship, I had the opportunity to discover and learn the barber trade in a concrete way from a master barber located in my hometown, Albi. I learned by his side to cut hair, shave, trim beards but also and above all mastery and rigor.
• …to the 19-year-old future boss
After obtaining my diplomas, my boss and master barber at the time placed me as a replacement in one of his hairdressing salons, initially mixed, located in Saint-Juéry. A replacement during which I had the opportunity to realize that the clientele I had made during the apprenticeship followed me. This is where the idea of buying this salon became obvious to me. Why not ? Why not me ? The challenge was still risky, before that I had never set foot in Saint-Juéry, I did not know anyone and my native land was 35 km away. So I was not sure that my friends and family would follow me and make the trip. I still felt the need to take the risk, to fight to seize this opportunity.
After this click, I decided to talk to my parents to get their opinion. I was not disappointed with the trip. My parents were strongly opposed to this project. With hindsight, it was justified and I understand them. I was 18 and they didn’t think I was capable of running a business, nor had the shoulders for it. Normal you say. But I didn’t give up. Stubborn by nature, I never stopped having convictions and believing in them.
So I took my courage in both hands and went to see my boss to offer him the buyout of his business. Second refusal. Over the course of negotiations, and telling him that if I couldn’t create my business here I would go and create it elsewhere, he finally accepted.
I started the process by collecting the balance sheet of the show and going to see my bank to see the possibilities of borrowing. Third refusal. Why ? Because I had neither contribution nor guarantors. The only solution for the bank to agree to lend me money was to go through an intermediary, a structure that helped young people like me to carry out their projects. This structure is Initiative France and in my case, Initiative Tarn. (This initiative is deployed in each department since it is national and constitutes the first associative network of financing for business creators. You will find all the information here: http://www.initiative-france.fr).
The file was put together at the Chamber of Trades. It was made up of the show’s turnover before my arrival, since my arrival, the forecast which showed that for the company to be profitable in the first year it was necessary to make 7 clients a day as well as my long-term vision to make operate the salon and fulfill my objectives. Once the file was well put together, all I had to do was defend my project.
I defended it in front of a jury made up of bankers, accountants, business leaders, investors, etc. make way for a confident young man. I knew what I wanted and what I was capable of. I answered all their questions, even their “attacks” on my age. I preferred to fail by having tried everything rather than stopping at the first obstacle. Who can say for you that you are not yet ready to run a business? Age has nothing to do with ambition, it’s something you have to feel and feel deep inside.
The verdict, or rather the deliverance, came a week later. The validation. After evaluation of the feasibility of the project and validation of the file, this structure was going to lend me half of the sum necessary for the realization of my project, all at rate 0, which would make it possible to inflate the personal contribution or in my case , to create it. The bank therefore no longer had any reason to refuse to grant the loan since the missing contribution was now solid and very real. So I made an appointment at the bank to take the next step. (I let you imagine my joy at that time). So the bank ended up agreeing to let me borrow the missing half and the adventure began!
It is precisely at that moment that my parents realized that my project was really materializing, that it was not a whim. I was slowly beginning to feel their support. A support that reassured me deeply. Indeed, even if I had this need to assume everything alone, having the shoulder of his loved ones made me feel even more proud.
Everything then happened very quickly. The appointment with the notary was made and on January 2, 2015, I was officially PATRON (WHO IS THE PATROOOOOOOON?), only 2 months after celebrating my 19th birthday.
If I had to end this article with some advice, I would tell you to always believe in yourself. Don’t be shy, don’t hold yourself back, and don’t be afraid to think too big. Listen to yourself and listen to that little voice deep inside you. Being passionate and having a passion that drives you is a chance and is not given to everyone. You have to maintain it and do everything to be able to live from it.