Let Me Tell You My Story
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to write. I was an avid reader growing up. I loved getting myself lost in the books that I read, and when I wasn’t doing that, you likely would have found me writing in a journal or notebook. Those pages were filled with my deepest thoughts, my ideas, and my imagination. I would write about what I was feeling, or write short stories and poetry.
In high school, I took every English and writing class that I could. I joined the school newspaper and eventually became editor. I had a friend who nicknamed me “Bookworm” because I was always reading another novel.
It should come as no surprise that I eventually made the choice to go to college for journalism. While I dabbled with the idea of becoming an author, I decided I wanted to get out there to share people’s stories. My goal was to graduate college and work at top Canadian magazines.
I started my career working at two well-known magazines—here’s where I’m about to age myself as these publications no longer exist in Canada—Homemaker’s Magazine and TV Guide Canada. My career shifted to a path that led me to jobs with the CBC and Bell Media before moving along to roles in copywriting and social media. But it was in 2018 when I saw the biggest change in my career: I was laid off.
Losing my job hit me hard. I had been working as a copywriter and loved it! This was a role I could see myself in for the long haul and felt had the potential to help me grow my skills and move up in my career. My sudden unemployment left me feeling lost and unsure. I took some time to get over the shock and began job hunting again. I applied for dozens upon dozens of jobs and was getting nowhere. After six months of job hunting, I made a decision that ultimately led me to the path of becoming an entrepreneur—I signed up to do a 200-hour yoga teacher training program.
Ok, at this point of my story you might be scratching your head and wondering how becoming a yoga teacher fits into all of this. Let me explain. Having practiced yoga for many years, I often turned to it whenever I felt stressed because it was a great way to help me feel calm. Practicing yoga also has been very therapeutic for me while struggling with depression. I signed up for the teacher training classes as a way to deepen my personal practice and gain some clarity in my life.
It was a six-month program and I completed it with a clear idea of what I wanted to do next in my career—I wanted to leave the corporate life behind and start my own business.
By this point, I was nearly one year into being unemployed and still not having luck with job applications. I felt very connected to teaching yoga and mindfulness. I wanted to help others with their stress and struggles by leading classes and workshops. Instead of seeing if any local yoga studios were hiring, I decided to find my own space to teach from.
Just as I was setting off to start my journey as a yoga teacher, I got a call for an interview for a job I had applied for a couple of months before. I decided to go for the interview. I wanted to see if I was definitely ready to leave this part of my life behind. I found out the job was a one-year contract to cover a maternity leave and I would be working as a Communications and Social Media Coordinator. When the job was offered to me, I accepted. My plan was to work full-time for that year while I built my yoga business on the side part-time. Once the year was over, I would dive into my yoga business full-time.
My plan was going well. After a bit of a search, I connected with a fellow yoga teacher who was willing to share the amazing studio space she taught from. I began teaching classes on weeknights and weekends, as well as led the occasional workshop or retreat. I also signed up to work with a business and life coach and did a six-month-long program with her and a group of seven women. This was a time in my life when I went through a lot of personal and professional growth. I felt ready and excited for the next chapter!
With my contract job as a Communications and Social Media Coordinator coming to an end in the spring of 2020, I had all the plans in place to move into my yoga teaching business full-time. That is, until the world came to a halt. The Covid-19 pandemic hit and everything shut down. It was months before I could reopen my classes again, and once I could, I had lost students. Many people weren’t ready to attend in-person classes, and I didn’t find my classes, workshops, and retreats translated well online. I was living in Ontario at the time and the province saw many shutdown periods during the first year and a half of the pandemic. The uncertainty of not knowing how long I’d be able to stay open, as well as what health measures would be in place, meant that it was too difficult to plan ahead. Workshops and retreats were cancelled, and I decreased the number of classes per week I offered.
A year into the pandemic was when I came to the realization that I needed to make a decision about my yoga business. For the financial wellness of my family, I needed to be earning more money. This was when I decided to pursue being a Virtual Assistant. I combined my long list of skills to offer services and began working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. I was also able to continue working with a couple of yoga students for private sessions twice a week.
In the first year of trying to build this business, I had the nagging feeling that I hadn’t quite defined who I was as an entrepreneur and how I wanted to help others. But I pressed on with determination to figure it out along the way.
Running my own business has been a big learning experience, and the key points I’ve learned from this journey are to be open to new possibilities and growth.
Change is inevitable. It’s not always easy or comfortable, but accepting to embrace change can be life-altering. Life has definitely taught me that in many ways, and most recently it was at the beginning of 2022. My husband and I came to the difficult realization that we could no longer afford to stay in our home just outside of Toronto. Four years of me not having a steady income had taken a toll on our finances. The housing market in Ontario was at an all-time high, so we made the decision to move to another province and settled on finding a home in Calgary, Alberta.
I don’t know if it was settling into our new life in a new city that gave me a different perspective, but after three months of living in Calgary, I had that moment of clarity I had been searching for since I started my business as a Virtual Assistant.
It was time to get back to my roots and follow what I’m truly passionate about—writing and editing. It’s clear to me now that the way in which I want to help others is through storytelling.
Let’s Work Together!
Whether you’re just starting a new business or you’re a well-established entrepreneur, or if you are looking to finally share your story as a co-author or author, I can support you in telling your story at any stage.
Schedule a complimentary discovery call with me today. Share your story with me and I can help you share it with the world!
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