As far back as I can remember, I have always been an entrepreneur of some sort, so it’s no surprise that I am a mompreneur now. At the age of six, I already had a strong sense of entrepreneurship. I can still remember making “books” and drawing pictures for my family and trying to sell them to my dad for a quarter so I could pick up a sip sack at the dep. If you grew up in the eighties you totally know what a sip sack was. For ten cents, you would get this orange flavored juice in a plastic bag that you poked with a straw to drink. The Dep, short for Depanneur, is Quebecer for Corner Store.
I loved my visits to the Dep and I was willing to create or do anything so I could buy myself some Hubba Bubba, Sip Sacks or Popeye sticks. by the age of twelve, I stepped up my entrepreneurial game. What I needed was to venture off from home because my weekly allowance of two bucks and my dad’s quarters weren’t going to cut it for my new Jacob Junior obsession. I used to love walking into Jacob Junior, a girl’s clothing store in Montreal. All I wanted was to be able to purchase my own training bra without having to share that awkward experience with anyone, not even my mom. I was uber embarrassed. My poor mom.
I started a babysitting service in my community. I went door to door handing out flyers and pitching my services. I picked up six families that summer and these clients kept me very busy over several years. By the time I was 14, I had figured out how to barter my services for goods. No longer interested in training bras and very much into alternative music and the grunge scene, I was obsessed with live shows. At the time, I was babysitting for two children whose dad worked for a local radio station. He often had access to free tickets to concerts. My first barter was babysitting 2 Friday nights in a row in exchange for tickets to a Weezer concert. BEST NIGHT EVER. I realized quickly how amazing it felt earning my own experiences. My first moshpit was beyond memorable and very sweaty.
After graduating from Concordia University, I started my career working for someone else. There I was, working the typical nine to five. Truth, it wasn’t all bad, but it just never felt right. Thing is, I had grown up in a family of entrepreneurs. In his early twenties, my Dad had inherited a family business. A business that had been in our family since 1939. A business that was passed down to him from his Mother. A woman who was known for her incredible charisma, ambition, strength, and heart. I never knew her because my grandmother, Francesca Ottoni, passed away from cancer before my parents were married. However, I feel like I know her and that we share very similar characteristics. From what my dad says, she passed along her determination and desire to be independent. Which I think has been quite obvious to him throughout my life.
During my twenties, while I worked in different roles at different organizations, I learned from some amazing leaders. Skills that I would later need when I would start my own business. Over a ten year span, I worked my way up in a large nonprofit located in Calgary, Alberta. My last three years I held the title of Director Of Operations. At the time I was overseeing program development, the day to day operations of over 10 programs, managing on-site administration managers, program managers, and just over 120 frontline staff. The journey was incredibly rewarding but also very frustrating.
When I wanted to change something…I couldn’t. At least not right away. When I had an idea, I had to share it over and over, with so many different layers of people. Then we would have to take it to one meeting and then to several other meetings before it was even considered a possibility. Here’s the problem, I am a shaker and a do-er. I am a dreamer, goal creator, plan maker, and executer. At work everyone had an opinion and a say in the matter, often it was hard to lead any sort of change, which was fair, but VERY FRUSTRATING. In addition to this, in my position, I was being seriously underpaid and undervalued for the work I was doing and the number of hours I was putting in. Why was I, this incredibly determined, ambitious and independent woman, HERE STILL?
I needed a change. I wanted to lead. I wanted to do. I wanted to create. Deep down inside I knew exactly what I wanted to do next and the only thing holding me back was FEAR. I was really afraid of the unknown.
I wasn’t six, twelve or fourteen anymore. The risks were much higher. I wasn’t buying myself treats at the Dep. I was now raising a family of three boys; we had bills to pay and a mortgage. It wasn’t going to be possible to just quit my job one day and try to start something new the next. I knew I had to find a way to set myself up so that I could quit my job.
I needed to set myself up to become a successful mompreneur.
Here is where my journey started. This is where I took all the life lessons, the young entrepreneurial spirit I had, the skills I acquired along the way, the dreams, the business vision; and brought it all together. In order to leave my job and “start my own business”, I needed to flesh out my dream, set some goals, reflect on my fears, think about a three-year plan, consider who I might surround myself with and make a plan.
So I did.
Want to know how? Keep following along and I will go over each of these steps week to week on move.play.mom.com
Next week let’s talk more about the dream phase. “Dream” is a big word. It’s a word that inspires us, makes us happy and gives us hope but at the same time, it’s a word that can feel unreachable, unrealistic, and is often considered just a thought. Truth is, we (YOU) need to stop the contemplation of dreams and discuss the reality of dreams. I want to help you catch those dream!
Am I right? Have a dream? Want to share? Got a question for me? Comment below!
Till the next post,