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Joanne Ly of Minima Basics: “Set yourself for success ”

Know why you are doing this Set yourself for success — Physically and Mentally Have accountability partners Take breaks when you know you need them Be proud of every little thing (small or big wins, just celebrate!) Being a founder, entrepreneur, or business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, […]

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Know why you are doing this

Set yourself for success — Physically and Mentally

Have accountability partners

Take breaks when you know you need them

Be proud of every little thing (small or big wins, just celebrate!)


Being a founder, entrepreneur, or business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, slump, and anxiety. So how does one successfully and healthily ride the highs and lows of Entrepreneurship? In this series, called “How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur” we are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experience. I had the pleasure of interviewing Joanne Ly.

Joanne is a kick-ass entrepreneur, with all that girl boss magic running through her veins. At Minima Basics, her aim is to excite and motivate other women to smash their goals and live out their dreams!


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I started Minima Basics because I was sick of feeling trapped by clutter and distractions that were present in my workspace. Simply put, it was off-putting and totally blocked my creative flow.

I had trouble feeling inspired and motivated when I was working at home and that is all due to the major mess I had on my desk.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

At the time, I started to join this community in my local area, Boss Babe Imperial, where they grouped women entrepreneurs who wanted to come together and make their ideas happen or more like an accountability group. I joined their work jam, where it was for few hours, we were focused to a specific goal and at the end, we just share what we were able to accomplish. I just saw this, why do we all come here? Why do we all go to a coffee shop and not stay home and work on our business? I just saw that we all had that common problem, too much distractions and clutter at home!

In your opinion, were you a natural born entrepreneur or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain what you mean?

I think I am born an entrepreneur. I never really worked well at my internship. I always wanted to lead, and I always wanted to work on something that mattered to me. My parents are entrepreneurs, real estate and restaurant owners and I have been helping them since I was very little. So, growing up, I already knew that I won’t be working for someone else, but working on a company that matters to me.

Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?

I was inspired by many other entrepreneurs. I think joining female communities and saw how many people there for each other were, made me realize that’s where I belong!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I think Minima Basics stand out because we don’t do anything like others. We don’t really have many competitors, but if so, they don’t do solely desk organizations or help their customers being their better self. I always try to help other females to stay organized so they can just accomplish their dreams. I am really close with my followers, I try to show up and show ways on how I can help them to their next goal.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

I think being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. You need to have the right mindset and not willing to give up on your dreams. So, you need the entrepreneur mindset. Minima Basics didn’t pick up until the 2nd year. I just never really stopped trying to find my audience, I just didn’t know how to reach them and I just kept going and even if I was not targeting the right people, I still am looking to target the female entrepreneurs. Because those are the people I truly want to help.

The second trait is the ability to take risks. I think no one is ever sure whether their business actually is going to work. You got to start by trying first before deciding if it’s okay to call it a failure. Even if it’s a “failure”, in the end it’s just a learning lesson. I made a lot of mistakes in the process of manufacturing, marketing and other areas of business. But I just keep on learning and not redoing the same mistake.

Last trait, I think is important is the ability to ask for help. People cannot do everything on their own, even so, wouldn’t it be faster if you work with someone that is an expert? Just making things easier and accomplish faster. The faster you can get something done, the faster you get to your goal. And, that is on knowing when to outsource. I hired from the start, I didn’t want to mess up my website, I was way too picky for my logo. I hired her, she is the expert and plus, she’s one of my best business besties! And that is on knowing that I needed help.

Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?

That is a tough one! I think someone told me to do many giveaways or influencer marketing at the very first stage to gain followers. Of course, I took this as great advice. But, today, I think it was bad advice because I don’t need people to follow me, I need them to love my content and want to purchase. So, followers count is just a vanity metric and I regret following that.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?

Team building is great and fun and super essential. I’ve been burned out and overwhelmed at my old jobs plenty of times. And, sometimes, I really just needed breaks and some fun! When you are happy, you create better. I think that’s what we are lacking in the big companies, they don’t allocate enough care to their employees and that is so much more important.

What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and Authority in their industry?

Be yourself! Yourself is the credibility. Tell what you know. You may think it’s obvious and everyone knows what you know, but what if actually there are so many people who don’t have the same knowledge as you do? Just because you experienced it. Always think that you are always ahead of someone because they don’t have the same experience as you did and that is what makes you an authority in the industry.

Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?

Building trust, credibility and authority will just make our world more knowledgeable. We will learn from each other and that is just going to make us even better!

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

I think not starting was many of my friend’s mistakes, they were too scared and didn’t think they had time. Or others, they tried and gave up way too early. They think that everything needs to be perfect. Or they don’t hire an expert and try to do all DIY.

Ok fantastic. Thank you for those excellent insights, Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about How to Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur. The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, as well as joys, thrills and celebrations. This might be intuitive, but I think it will be very useful to specifically articulate it. Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this is different from someone with a “regular job”?

Being an entrepreneur is fun, exciting, overwhelmingly good and you get to be proud, but I also felt so much pressure; I was sad, I broke down, I doubted myself, I almost gave up (these things that people don’t show!) It’s mostly because we are alone, we have so many thoughts, we are extra hard on ourselves because it’s our money and it reflects on yourself. While a regular job, which I am doing as my 9–5, but Minima Basics is “a side-hustle” (not really because I do put as many hours), I think I don’t really feel as pressured. Sure, there are deadlines, there are expectations from my boss, but nothing is as near as operating your own business. Every decision you make can be the next opportunity or not.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

I think when I launched Minima Basics, I had so many people around me and was hyping me up because I was the only one who started a business among my friends. I was super happy, but the launch was not what I expected. I didn’t have as many orders that I wished for. But I reflected on what was wrong. I wanted my next launch to be way different, which was much better!

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

I did a lot of influencer marketing, meaning, I gave out a lot of my products away. This year, I gave up on that, but I felt that maybe one last one, would be okay since I already gave so much away. But, deep down, I said, just another waste of money initiative. But, next thing, I got the best day of my 2 years! I was so happy even if at the time, I was not in the right mindset because of personal matters, but I don’t know, that day, was just making me so much happier!

Based on your experience can you tell us what you did to bounce back?

It’s just the thought of many efforts I made so far, why did I start and why am I doing this. I never gave up because I had this big dream and goal that scared me, but I kept going and still today, I still think of my 15 years old dream and I haven’t stopped dreaming.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Know why you are doing this
  2. Set yourself for success — Physically and Mentally
  3. Have accountability partners
  4. Take breaks when you know you need them
  5. Be proud of every little thing (small or big wins, just celebrate!)

We are living during challenging times and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Being resilient is like constantly wanting to stay at their worse self. I know that a lot of people can face difficulties in their life and stay demotivated, but at some point, you have to snap out of it. And that is on you to decide whether you want to stay resilient or not. No one can help you change unless you want to change. And you just have to be stronger yourself.

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?

Growing up, I had parents with a lot of expectations. I started working as little as I was 8. But I never would have changed that. It taught me from a very young age how a business is operated and what are the challenges. Every time I felt in the mindset rut, I just think of how I can be better at what I am doing. I think of how far I came. I was never the best academically, but I knew how to compensate in other areas. I just never gave up.

In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?

Yes! It’s hard. I blame myself a lot, a lot of self-hate. But, when it comes to my friends being in difficult situations, I will be the first one to give them the best and most positive attitude. Because I am all about positive vibes and I know exactly what they can achieve. And, sometimes if it’s for myself, I start negative, but I pick myself back. I think of what I have accomplished, I look back at what I should be proud of. And, that just keeps me going.

Can you help articulate why a leader’s positive attitude can have a positive impact both on their clients and their team? Please share a story or example if you can.

The leader is the face of everything. Keeping a positive attitude is so important. Your clients, your team, are relying on you. You have to show up so they can stay positive as well. I don’t really have a story, but I think my attitude has a direct impact on others who look up to me. I show my highs and lows because I want to be real, but at the end, I need to end it with a positive attitude.

Ok. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?

“Do the thing you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

I have so many quotes I love, but I think this one represents why I started. I doubted myself a lot, I had many limiting beliefs, but I still started. I kept on dreaming and accomplishing because I just knew I wanted to do something great. And I think the scarier your goal is, the greater it means. So, I knew that going into it was scary, but I knew the result was going to be worth it. And that applies to so many aspects of my life.

How can our readers further follow you online?

You can follow me @minimabasics on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And my website: www.minimabasics.ca

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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