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Elva started Elva Li in 2016. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Elva Li?
There’s a song on repeat in my world and whenever I play it, it reminds me of the time I started my own business and finally left my corporate job.
“I spend too much time thinking about who I'm supposed to be I play by everybody's rules that don't seem right to me
Should I even care? They're all sitting there and everyone's staring at me If I step out in the spotlight maybe I'll be set free
What if I back down now 'cause I'm afraid of what might happen What if they turn away when I show them who I truly am
What if I lose my breath when I throw those big doors open What if I shine?
I was that girl playing by everybody’s rules, playing small at the corporate world and not daring to stand up as who I truly am.
Maybe you can relate too. If you are also a female entrepreneur, you’re someone who has chosen to take the risk of building a business that expresses who you are and allow you to live in your genius zone and do the things you love .... then somewhere along the line you felt like you didn’t fit in the 9-5... somewhere along the line, you felt like you were different from everyone else around you. If you’re like me, you know deep inside that there’s something more, there’s something different, there’s something better.
I grew up being a “good girl” for my parents, playing the good “successful” daughter, studying at a top university and then living in the “successful” corporate world. But that life was never meant for me. Every morning from my office window I would look up at the blue sky, wishing I could grow wings and fly. Every morning I longed for something else. A different world. A beautiful world. One where there was freedom, inside and out.
Eventually, in 2010 I packed my bags, left my hometown Shanghai, and moved to Australia by myself hoping the world would be different. It wasn’t … because I was the same. Every day in my office cubicle, I continued playing the good girl. I kept my head down and I worked hard. I played it safe, but deep down I still dreamt of something else.
My life was forever changed when I was introduced to the wonderful world of women entrepreneurs at a business networking event. I saw glimpses of confident beautiful women who were running their own business with a lifestyle to match. It was like getting a blue Tiffany box from the Universe. I saw the beauty I was looking for.
The beauty of choice. The beauty of another way. The beauty of a business as the path to truly living a life that has it all. I was enlightened. I had a choice. I was no longer willing to accept my desires as just a daydream. Dare to be different. Dare to be courageous.
I started building my side hustles, immersing myself with personal development, working with business coaches and mentors, connecting with inspiring people…
I’d be lying if I said building my business and brand was easy. The journey is “beautiful”, but it’s not always “pretty”. I have my doubts, fears, and insecurities popping up from time to time. When that happens and things get rough, I always remind myself why I started in the first place.
I started my personal branding business because I adore designing beautiful things and nothing brings me more joy than creating a beautiful brand for other female entrepreneurs and help them turn their dreams into reality, one brand at a time.
I quit my high-paying corporate job as a Chartered Accountant because I want to wake up every day with passion and excitement, do what lights me up and utilize my full potential and talents; have the flexibility and freedom to do it whenever and wherever I want; surround myself with like-minded talented and inspiring people.
I am so grateful that I am able to quit my full-time job and that my business gives me the freedom and fulfillment, makes me feel passionate, inflow and lights me up every day.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
- Wiki Updater