I haven’t blogged in a while, so I thought about doing one to review the year. So, this is my blog to cover the year that was 2023. Let’s start on a high. The start of the year saw me opening a pop-up for EZ 24 Ramen. We opened in London, and it became a huge success. It was unreal. We had queues for hours and hundreds of people every day.
We spoke to people who loved the concept and the idea and couldn’t wait to see it come to London. We left London feeling excited. We also showed the concept to UCL, the university in London, and they liked the concept as well, and we were on track to open in September.
All the while we were doing this, we were paying an advisor to help us track down investors and people who wanted to invest in our concept, and this is where the first problem started to pop up.
We were introduced to this person by a friend, and I won’t name who as it’s not about them, and I don’t want to bring drama to it as I don’t know the full details on how these people were connected, etc. But this person was paid a decent chunk of money in the thousands to help us manage investors. They promised they had connections, showed the background, and all in all, everything seemed fine.
They helped with the pop-up, helped out with many things, and were keeping us updated on how things were going. However, we started to question some things as we kept hearing this investor or that investor was interested, but nothing ever came from it. They then decided to open another business while saying they did the advertising work for our business and used our brand without asking us.
We then ended the relationship as we were not happy, and something felt off. We later found out she was arrested for massive fraud and had been defrauding people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. In this time, we lost a lot of time and money, and we didn’t know what investors they spoke to, if they even did, and what had really happened. What relationship we had and what was happening. It left us at square one. To say I was pissed off is an understatement, and I would just be careful with anyone who claims to be a friend in the space or wants to help you out. We found out the hard way.
This then left us trying to find an option and an investor, but we still had UCL and were working towards that. That was until UCL, a month before opening and getting ready, pulled out because their new person decided our technology was not proven. Which again frustrated us because we showed the tech and the concept at the pop-up. This again left us high and dry and a waste of money.
Months have been poured into this concept and idea, and we did everything that was requested of us, and nothing.
I have come to the realization that it doesn’t matter how hard you work or how much you do something or even how much money you put into things. It simply doesn’t matter anymore, no one actually cares if you have a good idea or work hard, they want contacts, they want you to have already done 95 percent of the work, and if you don’t have a rich friend or a rich contact or come from a rich family or walk around driving a sports car and wear Gucci, well then, you are a fucking no one in the West. You might as well just be poor.
I sat for hours and listened to advice, spoke to people, and did everything everyone always points out, especially for investment. Have a good pitch deck, okay check. Have a good idea that’s well researched, check. What are you solving? Well, we got that; we are solving a few things. Test the idea. Yep, we did that; it was super successful. Show there is an audience. Sure, we have over a million views across all media, and we were featured on the BBC and even were on the news, check. Have someone interested in the idea. We had that as well; UCL was fully on board, got that.
We had ALL of that, everything. Everyone we spoke to, investor or not, told us how amazing this idea was and how good it was at our pop-up. We even had investors telling us how good this was. We have investor groups TELLING US how good the idea was, but for whatever reason, nothing came forward.
The only reason I can think of is we weren’t already making thousands of dollars and had a store open. My answer to that would be, why then would I need investment?
Not only was this idea mixing tech and food and also web 3, but the great NFT space was even worse for support. No one bothered to support at all. No one cared, no one gave a shit, even though there were countless tweets and threads and large people in the space literally screaming for these kinds of real-world concepts.
In the end, it’s all fake, and it’s all nonsense, unless you make these people money, they don’t actually care, they don’t really want to support you, and they don’t really care about your idea.
My business even dedicated each store to have an NFT art gallery, and we even had a franchise model geared towards NFT projects for THEM TO MAKE MONEY, even with that WE WERE GHOSTED a number of times.
I have spent so much time and effort trying to make this work, to only have nothing.
I haven’t given up on the idea, oh no. I even moved country and have LEFT THE UK because the UK really just doesn’t want to help businesses out. Innovate UK is a joke, there are no decent grants or funds to help anything, and there’s so much red tape or hoops to jump through that if you’re not spending thousands of dollars on people who can hack their way through these things, you have little chance.
Again, it’s about connections and money, NOT how hard you work or how good your idea is. So, we gave the UK one last chance, and that was a Kickstarter, and again, nothing, nobody bothered to support or help. At this point, I’d given up on the NFT space. It was a shell of its former self, and everyone there has given up. We had a chance to honestly make some amazing things and to collaborate, but we pissed it away, trying to earn a quick buck and trying to make millions for ourselves. We didn’t want to work and help other people; we wanted to just release a PNG and make millions.
I worked with a number of projects, and I really tried to elevate the space with podcasts, projects, and ideas. I understand it’s impossible to always do everything yourself, so I turned to people who I wanted to help and to build something, but even then, it was too hard to keep people motivated.
I also had people tell me they could deliver X and Y, but then did very little, even after I was paying them. It just ended up making me sad, and I focused on EZ 24 Ramen. I wanted to make a difference.
So, after the Kickstarter, there’s not much else I can do. I have tried everything to open in the UK, and I have just come to the realization that the UK doesn’t want it, or at least not yet. So, I have had to move country to Canada as there is an option here, and we could see a place opening here first.
Will we come back to the UK? Sure, I want to open there, but what can I do when I have tried everything as a female business owner? I just don’t have the connections to make it happen.
And the biggest thing I have found: I have walked in circles with rich people, and it leaves me feeling slightly sick to my stomach. I have met people who make 300 thousand a year but spend their days getting drunk and snorting cocaine, and when you speak to them, you are left slightly dumbfounded on how these people run a company, and then you find out they got the position because of their family or contact.
Then it all becomes clear. I have been with people who would rather have their children sleep on a bench at a party so they could keep drinking when it’s well past their bedtime. These people have no concept of the real world, and yet they are the ones running around thinking they are important because they put in a WhatsApp group they booked for a holiday for 40k, and they make sure you know how much.
I sit there as an outcast among this world, looking at these people, and it makes me sick. Then you get that adage of saying, well, if you just work hard, you can get there, or don’t worry, and then you listen to Gary Vee, who’s like, well, you just need to make 10 TikToks a day, and that’s what I’d do, etc., etc.
The issue I had with this advice is it often comes from people who either have a support structure, a rich family member, or a contact. What these people never really have to deal with is worrying about being homeless, being an only child, not having parents that care.
Those people can’t spend all day, say, streaming 12 hours a day or spending thousands of hours like Mr. Beast on YouTube. What we spend our days worrying about is, can I survive through this day, and then what is going to happen tomorrow?
I think these people in these circles fail to realize the pressure and complex mental gymnastics people have to do simply to get through the day. Sure, it’s easy if you come from a wealthy background; you don’t have to worry about stupid bullshit that we shouldn’t need to worry about.
People shouldn’t worry about if they can feed their kids, or if they pay for the power, if they can fill up the car, letters for bills coming through the door, losing your job, being able to buy food, having to pick between eating today and buying gas to get to work.
All this shit every fucking day 365 days of the year is constantly on people’s minds and outwardly sure it we might look fine and heck you may even call us lazy but do you understand how utterly mentally draining this shit is day in and day out. It wastes time and mental power when we want to do something else. I sit among these people with thousands and millions in their bank accounts who are going on extended holidays and getting drunk and worrying about what botox they should get this month when me, I sit here worrying about what the fuck my future holds and how I want to build my business and idea and do something that matters. I sit worrying about being alone, being seen as a loser, not fitting in. I spend my time worrying about the fact I can’t be fucking happy about anything because I HAVE GIVEN EVERYTHING to simply sit here and breathe another day.
I don’t think people realize the amount of shit I have had to do to simply get to my 30s there’s been a few times where I could have ended up dead, homeless, etc. I have had to sacrifice myself and my time I have had to support myself and I have had to escape a place that had no fucking running water.
That’s in my head every day that’s my future how the fuck can I waste 10 hours a day making TikToks and making sure you use social media and just try hard and all that shit if I simply have to worry about surviving.
These people around me could fix all my problems in a day and it would be nothing to them, they wouldn’t even give a shit in all fairness it’s just another day spending money. that’s the reality we face, it’s not about working hard or trying your best or even having a good idea the simple fact is if you are not born into something or have a contact then your chances are limited it’s not impossible but for every 1 that makes it 100 of thousands don’t.
I am tired and mentally drained and this is why I have stopped doing art I just can’t get inspired how can I when everything I do I put effort into gets shit on and then I watch people who can barely function get paid 300 thousand dollars a year who simply couldn’t give a shit about anything unless it has a price tag on it in the thousands.
To say I feel out of place is an understatement why is it that people simply cannot see the hard work and the idea in something and help someone out especially as a woman. Why do I need to flirt or act dumb or whatever to get seen why do I need to look sexy or whatever just to be seen and then when they listen they are not listening.
They just think they can fix everything with money and that’s their default position it’s fake and hollow and over the last year with how much money which is in the tens of thousands I might add trying to make EZ 24 ramen a thing and trying to support people and trying to do whatever is fucking asked of me I am just tired and done with most people I have zero faith in anyone anymore
Even if they tell me they want to help I cannot accept it and I don’t trust you I am sorry but I don’t believe there are people out there that want to help just to help anymore.
So goodbye 2023 you have been a difficult year and costly and I have learnt lessons and it has killed the last little bit of faith I had in people.
But I don’t plan on giving up and I still try and make it happen because I honestly want to help students and people who can’t afford food and to help artists and to build something that matters.