I am so excited to be starting this blog today and my new company website. What I hope to accomplish with this blog is to show in real time what it takes to build up a new company from nothing. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't, wouldn't be the first time. Either way, there will be lessons to be learned and if I can pass that on and help someone else just getting started then I have accomplished what I set out to do.
A little bit about me; I am right now 33 years old, a new mom of twins and at a major fork in the road of life. I plan to talk about my journey of balancing career and life from my perspective, mistakes and all. My career began in the food industry, I am a classically trained Chef believe it or not. I went to culinary school in France and food is one of my main passions. My love of food began at an early age and was influenced by my family and surroundings. It wasn't until after University that I decided to pursue it as a career. I didn't know anyone in the food industry, I knew no Chef's, I really had no idea what I was up against. The Food Network had just started while I was in University and I would say that was a major influence into seeing that there was a career out there in this industry for me. I am a creative person, a self starter and a super hard worker. I loved working the line, a Chef screaming at me to move faster, it was a rush and I felt alive. I was good at it too but working the line wasn't going to be enough for me. I knew that wasn't a long term career. I didn't want o be an old lady trying to keep up with a fresh new crop of 20 year olds ready to prove themselves. The food industry is for the young and I wanted to transition into ownership as soon as possible.
I love to be busy, I need to live in the realm of almost having too much on my plate in order to feel satisfied and productive, if I have too much down time I can become so lazy, like a disgusting sloth. Food was great for my personality. However, I often crossed that line with putting too much on my plate and ran into burn out. It has taken a lot of self study to finally figure this out. All of this came to head in 2014 when I was running my cafe which was also a catering company (the second one I started) and a wholesale company (something I was never planning to do) by myself. Never have I ever worked so hard in my life. I was accounting, I was HR, training new staff almost on a monthly basis, I was marketing and customer service, I talked to over 100 customers every single day, I had to stay on top of all my suppliers scouring each invoice for discrepancies and arguing over price increases everyday not to mention the huge list of daily duties that came with running a small business. On top of that, I started the neighbourhood business organization, and my shop was open 7 days a week which meant I was on 24/7. By the end, the crushing weight of all the responsibilities and sacrifices became too much and I closed my store. I was burnt out and bitter from the harshness of the food industry and needed a serious break and to rethink my life.
After closing my store for a whole week I did nothing. The plan was to take a month but I couldn't do that. I had so much knowledge from running my store still fresh in my mind that I knew I had to put it to use but I couldn't go back to food the way I had. I wasn't 23 anymore, I didn't want to sacrifice every weekend and holiday anymore, I wanted to spend time with my family, my husband and start a family. My priorities were completely different. I didn't know where or how I could check all of the boxes of what I wanted to do at first. I was really lost.
I started perusing job postings relevant to my industry but it was more of the same. Then by chance I saw a posting for a Social Media start up. I had used social media marketing for my business. It was affordable and the best way to get my message out there. I learned a lot. Instagram was just beginning to be used for business at the time. The marketing aspect of running my business was one f my favourite parts. It was the creative part that I loved and I was often frustrated that I did not get enough time to spend on it since it was so important by allowing me to compete with the neighbouring Starbucks. This sentiment was felt amongst all the small businesses in my neighbourhood as well. All the owners new it was important but didn't have enough time for it. I decided to take a chance and apply for the position at this new start up. I wasn't a professional social media marketer but I knew I could learn what I was missing really fast and I knew start up culture. I penned a pretty honest cover letter and sent it out. Turns out it was exactly what the owner was looking for and I was hired right away. I immersed myself in Social Media and loved it. It turned out I knew a lot more then I thought I did. Social Media marketing was evolving so quickly that everything was new for everyone. I was fortunate to be able to make that transition at that time.
While I was working for that startup I got the happy news that I was expecting not one but two babies. Game changer. I worked until a week before they arrived. On my maternity leave I decided to try my hand at a few other freelancing jobs to get more experience in other industries and I have been freelancing ever since.
This bring us to present day. At this point I have now been A Social Media Marketer for 2 years. I have looked after over 30 clients from a wide range of industries. I am ready to take things to the next level with my own Social Site and put so much of what I have learned in terms of marketing to myself now too. I would love to one day host a webinar and maybe even a podcast. I have been thinking of a youtube channel too, my main purpose is to help young entrepreneurs and small business owners. So far things have been evolving at a natural pace but I think I am ready to crank up the volume and become a one woman company once again. This time however, I would like to put more of a focus on balance. As a mother I want to be a role model in my career but I also want to be there to play and have fun and appreciate the small moments with my kids. It's something that every mother wants but it is not easy. I also want something for myself, I want all of my experiences and everything I have learned to mean something and to be useful. So here it goes! Today is day 1! Sorry for the long winded story, I don't know if anyone will even ever read this but it feels good to get it out! Stay tuned to see what happens.