I left after 5 years, with a partner, to start our own event business. Though we were small, we kept our Apple ways and grew our business by catering to all the Silicon Valley stars like Apple, Sun Microsystems and Cisco Systems. We became so successful, but after 10 years with no vacations or time off, I decided to go to Paris with a new love interest for a couple weeks. I came back to a disaster. My partner (and best friend), fired our employees and took off with our money, and I never saw it coming. Our perfect company was destroyed, and my best friend had betrayed me.
I had a choice: run away, live on my savings and become a little bitter-or start again.
That's what I did. I re-hired our employees, started a new company and it took off. It was around Christmas, so I threw a huge party for my employees, held my head high, told my clients what happened and finished the projects we started with them. In the end, we won all our huge projects back with my new company, and more-BMW and Mini Cooper, the SF 49ers and Safeway.
By being honest, and working very hard, we won success, even in a down economy. Every single empoyee stayed with me, took no raises, and worked along side me to create an even better company.
Seven years, and many successes later, my dad became very ill. He was dying. And it was clear I needed to be with him during his last months on earth-I moved to Tucson. I let my beloved employees go, had a huge fire sale and went to him. I learned all about Small Cell Lung Cancer, but was unable to save him. After I buried him. I came home to heal. Only a few months went by before my mom had a stroke. She was the love of my life. I moved to Denver to take care of her.
I taught her how to walk and talk again, but after a difficult surgery, we found she had adenocarcinoma, STAGE 4 lung cancer. I stayed with her until she died.
I returned home to my patient husband not knowing which way to turn, but then I knew. I need to do something about lung cancer, so I started a new company called CAREBOXTM-a series of gifts for people who going through a challenging life experience. I took all that I learned from my dad and mom, used my design skills to create something new-and then send a portion of the proceeds to organizations dedicated to finding an early detection test for cancer.
And so I start again. In a different economy-a different world. But I have learned that with a tremendous amount of hard work, that a successful small business can thrive. You just have to believe it's possible and be willing to go after your dream.
Please visit me at www.carebox.com.
Christine Curavo-Founder of CAREBOXTM