What challenges did you face as a woman entrepreneur?
Initially, I had to (and still have to) work hard at ignoring that inner voice that may discourage taking action, speaking up or getting outside of my comfort zone. I connected with strong women in business, those who understood these challenges and empowered me to move beyond my fears. I am thankful for having an inspiring female entrepreneur as a role model, my Mother. In 1977 Mom bought the flower shop that she worked in and by 1983 had 3 locations and we worked together. Those were challenging times for women in business. Fortunately, when I started my business in 2010 there were organizations like Women Entrepreneurs to support women, I was well aware of them and this helped tremendously.
Why did you start your own business?
I was prompted by opportunity and necessity. At the time that I started global Healthcare Connections, I was out of work, I had a friend who needed help understanding and navigating his healthcare after a diagnosis of cancer and I found I could be of great support. Together we brainstormed on what skills I could build on and what people needed. I like independence, I like using my life skills and creativity to solve different problems in a meaningful way and being an entrepreneur allows me to do this.
At what point did you know you had achieved success?
My Mother taught me that success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself, it's what you do for others. I share her belief that having impact has to come from an authentic place, so by these measurements, we experienced success early and often in our business by providing helpful support to individuals and families when they needed it most. For those that measure economic success, this took a little longer, year five.
Do you have advice or suggestions for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Yes, most importantly, believe in yourself. Have patience while you put in the work, energy, research and time needed to foster your business. Lift others up, collaborate, innovate and adapt. We need to have role models, mentors -- this is a great advantage. Find a mentor who believes in you, who believes in what you are doing, one who will help you use the personal power within you to activate change and do good things in the world. Why this matters is because this is your world and because you can.
How did the Women's organization you are affiliated with help you grow your business?
Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan offers invaluable resources for female entrepreneurs. They offered training and support to further develop my entrepreneurial abilities and attitudes, helped me to build new collaborations and leverage business ideas and through their one on one advisory services, assisted in setting goals and creating the vision to expand my business and generate jobs.
What's next for you and your business?
As entrepreneurs, we all bear a responsibility to activate our personal leadership power to play a significant role in the economy, whatever that looks like in our individual lives. The next piece for me is to give back by way of mentoring other entrepreneurs. For the business, it is to continue to grow our presence within and outside of Canada and to make healthcare more accessible for many by expanding our networked medical facilities and cancer support service offerings.
Global Healthcare Connections
Global Healthcare Connections is a Medical Travel Company providing concierge services to people by connecting them to qualified, accredited, and professional healthcare services worldwide. We help you navigate a global healthcare system to find the right doctors, dentists and hospitals to treat your condition.
This success story is provided by Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc. – committed to assisting women advance their business.