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by Joanna Duong Chang

There’s no doubt that for the last decade, there’s been a worldwide craze for Reality programming. With a boom in entrepreneurial ventures and peoples’ natural curiosity to see how these small business ideas get funded, reality shows about them have thrived. The CBC television show  Dragons Den has been on for 11 seasons and the American equivalent,  Shark Tank  has already been on for 7 with no signs of stopping.

At the height of the recession, in 2009, I started Henkaa in my basement. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing starting an apparel business, but I jumped right in, buckled down and got to work. At that time, many people suggested that I audition for Dragons Den. I heard them but for whatever reason, I never listened. There was always a reason why I shouldn’t: we didn’t have enough traction yet, they’ve already seen similar products on the show, we wouldn’t have enough inventory, we already have the road map, we don’t need the money… and the list goes on.

I shouldn’t have had to wait for any validation or check point. Truthfully, there never is a perfect time and if you’re honest with yourself, the real reason probably boils down to the fear of rejection. No one wants to be rejected by multiple investors at once while being filmed too!

Fast forward now to 2016. Henkaa has grown more than I ever imagined it could and tens of thousands of dresses are out there in the world and the women who wear them are proud to share it ( and our style gallery is proof of that!), so here I am, ready to take the plunge. It’s been 6 years and I’ve only now racked up the courage to audition for Dragons Den. And that’s the only thing different from then and now.  Courage.

As an entrepreneur you will undoubtedly get more nos than yeses and it’s the resolve to keep going that takes you places. Deal or no deal, believe in your vision and what you gain from the experience will enrich your journey.

xoxo Jo

tina-fey-quote-say-yes

 

Joanna Duong Chang
Joanna Duong Chang



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