January 22nd, 2021

Business Beat: One entrepreneur’s journey

By Medicine Hat News on October 12, 2016.

Imagine taking a job that you were totally unqualified for. Twelve years ago I did exactly that when I started a home-based business. Even with a college degree, entrepreneurship was a challenge I was unprepared for; my textbooks certainly never covered the trials I faced.

As I look back over the years, I wish I knew then what I know now — don’t we always say that? Time and experience are great teachers.

After my second child was born, I decided to stay home. Leaving a good paying corporate job was not easy but I knew life was full of tradeoffs, a fact I learned in economics. I convinced myself that I could give up a secure job for something I was passionate about so I started a baking business. Ask anyone who knows me and they will confirm, I love to bake and love to watch other people enjoy my baking!

I was sure that I was doing all the right things. My husband designed a great website for me and I started taking orders online. I was sure this was something that I could do from home and still enjoy my family time but then the 72-dozen cookie order came in.

There I was with one youngster to take care of and expecting another child. I stayed up all night to fill the order. I blew out the element in my oven, and then I had to drive all over town in our clunker van hand-delivering 72 boxes of cookies. I knew my ability to keep this up was waning. I tell this story not to discourage you, but to highlight the realities of owning a business; something that might have been easier if I was better prepared.

Six months ago, I joined the team at Community Futures Entre-Corp. I had no idea that there were so many good programs available to help entrepreneurs; business training programs, grants/funding, networking opportunities and experienced business owners in the community willing to help. Had I known about these programs 12 years ago, this might have been where I actually started my journey.

Elizabeth Blair is the regional innovation network (RIN) coordinator at Community Futures Entre-Corp. The Southeast Alberta RIN is a partnership between Community Futures Entre-Corp, Medicine Hat College and Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures. For more information about how our programs can help your business, please call Elizabeth at 403-528-2824.

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