The Geek in Me!
20+ years of helping entrepreneurs began with employment with accounting firms like Thorne, Ernst & Whinney (one of the top 7 accounting firms). You might say this is where I obtained a great foundation in the accounting field. In 1993 I decided to head off on my own when someone told me I wasn’t going any further. It was time to prove them wrong! I knew I could do more so my entrepreneurial journey began.
My first attempt at advertising (by way of a flyer delivered by hand to local businesses) resulted in one client. Yep, that’s it. The rest of my clients pretty much came via word of mouth. When you treat your clients well and provide top quality service, clients brag about you to their friends and associates, they become your greatest fans! As I worked with clients in the early years I found myself setting up and optimizing their business systems, providing HR and managerial services and even a little IT work (okay, not a little, quite a bit actually).
Becoming a single mom at 32, I embraced my entrepreneurship and welcomed the flexibility, better time management and greater financial opportunities.
Single parenthood brought with it, its challenges and it’s most memorable moments. One of the greatest challenges I faced was when my sons became teenagers… oh boy!! An organization called “GradUit” with its fabulous community and awesome leader provided me the opportunity to gain skills and strategies that not only allowed me to improve personally, it improved my parenting and professionally. My children stepped out of the angry teen years and have grown into pretty decent young men. As they got older I found myself thinking there had to be more to life. GradUit teachings helped me to see there was more to me than just being a mom and a bookkeeper.
When the original Founder, Melanie Hayden-Sparks, was ready to retire and step away from GradUit, my friend and mentor, Penny Lee Prevost and I told Melanie we couldn’t let it die. The skills and strategies changed lives and we wanted to continue what she started. With her love and support (and continued mentoring) we are carrying on her work through GradUit Thrivers Inc., a monthly mastermind that is more than just personal development, it’s accountability, support and a community of positive change.
As I realized my potential and my true purpose, I realized I love to teach, sharing knowledge and experiences with others. Within my accounting business I began to train and mentor single moms, which allowed them the flexibility I once enjoyed, and provide them with the opportunity to earn greater income.
A Bigger Picture
But there was more. I have a great desire to help single parents. You see when I became a single parent at 32, I swore I’d help other single parents avoid some of the challenges I faced, or find better ways to travel through those challenges easier and faster. Here enters, Single Parenting For Success Co. Ltd.
As a for-profit Social Enterprise, I get to enjoy the authentic connections I make with other entrepreneurs and resources to create positive change in the lives of single parents and their children. Through programs, events and collaborations I get the honour of creating a community that is ready for change and embrace the fact that there is choice in how we live our lives.
My mom was my greatest influence, she taught me how to be involved in our community, creating change and believing we have a choice in how we live our lives. She has always been a shining example of what it means to care for members of our community, including our family. My mom represents the phrase “Feel the Fear…. and Do It Anyway”. For life is about change and choices and moving forward. With awesome people I meet that donate their time and funds, I have organized clothing drives, supported charities that grant wishes and create events that celebrate the lives of single parents and children.
I am an educator, mentor, entrepreneur, daughter, mom, grandma and friend.
I believe creating a community of support, be it professionally, personally or paternally, can only be a great thing!