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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sam Samon: from accountant to boss and boredom to business

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Sam Samon: from accountant to boss and boredom to business

Setting a goal in life is impossible if you are not passionate about what you’re doing. Sadly, some people deny women the wits and vision they need to define their own goals and succeed.

Former accountant Sam Samon struggled to push for her dreams and prove her own family wrong. They thought a girl like her would be better off trading passion for boredom and as apparent job security.

“Working as an accountant is what my family wanted for me because they thought it would be easy for me as a girl to find a job; however, it was not my real goal – what I wanted was to become a restaurant owner. But I still did as they requested,” Samon said.

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It took her eight years to free herself of the stifling expectations of her family.

Samon graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Vanda Institute of Accounting in 2009 and immediately began working as an accountant at a private company in Phnom Penh. She stayed for four years.

Then Samon finally found her strength, quit her job and went back to her hometown to start anew in 2013.

Now, at the age of 26, she has reached her goal and become a restaurant owner after first taking charge of her family business as manager of an animal farm and a brick handicraft business on top of that.

The struggle was difficult. Though she was the manager she needed to work hard to be qualified and recognised by older male workers.

“Since they are older than me they looked at me like a kid; they were not really listening to what I said or ordered them to do. So I have proven myself to them by doing work though I may have never learned it before.” Samon said.

Samon said that by working out in the sun and performing all the tasks the workers do she gained their respect. “They started to believe that I could work with them like my father used to and not just come and manage them. I also noticed that they felt guilty when I as a manager involved myself with their tasks,” she explained.

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Later on, moving one step forward to her goal of opening a restaurant, hidden from her father’s eyes Samon studied cooking by volunteering in a resort restaurant. “It was the most challenging time for me since I also still needed to manage my time and handle all the tasks in the family business.”

Finally, after four months of training in cooking, she decided to open a restaurant on her own, even though she great faced financial hardships.

“I used the money that I saved from part-time jobs but it was not enough so I decided to borrow money from the bank. I was so afraid since I didn’t know whether my restaurant would run smoothly, but I still went for my dream,” she said.

Now open for about two months, her restaurant, called TELE, is running well and Samon is living her dream. Next she will improve her skills and make her business better and better.

For those who want to start a business in the future, especially women, she has a tip: “Be brave to make decisions towards what you want. If you fail, get up and go for it again until you get it done by your own hands.”

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