I have been a serial entrepreneur from the age of 13. Then I would have fairs, dog shows, haunted houses, and I would charge a fee to visit. My mother was very supportive, allowing me to use what was in the house for my events. Trophies were made of flour and water with colouring and painting, ribbons out of material my mother had (she sewed a lot), and for the fair, I made dolls, toys, and even snacks, grating potatoes and frying them for chips (first Ms Vicki’s!), and Kool Aid was best for drinks.
My next venture was as a Literary Agent at 24. Then I got married and I had to relinquish my business, having made my vows to another entrepreneur who had a great opportunity in the United States. After three years of helping him build the new division of his company, I returned with skills in accounting, human resources, marketing and promotion, as well as computer skills. Save for the computer skills, the others had been enhanced from my Commerce Diploma. At the same time I completed my Honours Journalism Degree. So upon my return to Canada, I started a small business service company, offering all the skills to business in the area, as well as continuing to provide it to several of my husband’s now growing companies.
Over the next ten years I also took on the role of Online Bilingual Private Investigator, and after one year of employment to learn about the business, I ventured off as a “freelance” online investigator and profiler.
Needless to say I kept busy. I had three children during this time, and volunteered in many organizations.
I took 3 years off my self-employment to become an Executive Director of a non-profit organization that helped people on unemployment start their own businesses. It was a fulfilling position, and my love for entrepreneurship was surrounding me. Alas, the funding was cut and at 40 I was left unemployed and divorcing. Because I had maintained my two small businesses part time (PI and small business services) the government refused to pay me unemployment insurance. Broke, I went to work selling cars, then from there as an Assistant Service Advisor at an independent auto repair company. I was also studying to become an auto technician. After a year, the divorce settled, and my daughter who had lived with me deciding to return to her father’s place where her brother’s chose to stay (Dad had the money, and the house, and they even admitted to this ), I chose to leave and found a house and auto repair shop in a small town. I had done all my due diligence, written a business plan, researched the area, all that a good entrepreneur would do before making such a huge investment. But there was no accounting for the recession, and after three years of great effort to keep our doors open, I ended up bankrupt and back home.
But like all entrepreneurs, you never quit. I am now running what is slowly becoming a successful website design and SEO company. It’s just me right now, but I have strategic alliances that allow me to expand on the services I provide.
As said in his book Living, Loving & Learning: “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.”