New Beginings, New Goals, New to Motherhood

18 Jan

Many of you may already know that I started my first company at the age of 16 and have always thoroughly enjoyed being an entrepreuner. My mind constantly spins and moves with new ideas, full of passion, yet over excitement and passion can overtake my diretion at times. Starfish Swimming ran successfully for 4+ years, running Red Cross & Lifesaving Society swim lessons and leadership programs to those within Eastern Ontario with specific emphasis in the Smiths Falls area. It came to the point after being in University for 2 years, working almost full time at aquatic centres throughout the City of Ottawa and teaching fitness classes, travelling across Canada training and presenting at fitness workshops, conferences and events, that it was too challenging for me to manage a company that was based out of Smiths Falls and find confident staff that were mature enough to run the programs without direct supervision. Problem #2 being that I had built Starfish Swimming from the ground up depending on me being there every step of the way. People came to the programs for my instruction and my leadership. It was challenging to step out of this role when I built a business basically relying on my sole participation at all times.

Since my passion in the Wellness & Lifestyle industry was greatly expanding it only seemed fit to begin my current company DeGrace Energetics. Again my passion and excitement took over, along with the word spreading fast that I was still available for trainings, teaching and events. DeGrace Energetics expanded quickly, yet again relying on myself (I think there is a constant here…that would be me liking to micro manage….) and the ideas kept sprouting with little time to fully expand and complete each goal that I had for specific programs. DeGrace Energetics is now comprised of the following:

1. Safe Parent- I developed this program to fill the gap and need of a first aid, CPR and safety program for parents. Training parents in home safety, first aid and CPR is a strong passion as I have always worked with families that have young children and have seen the need first hand for quick reaction to various first aid situations. With my background as an Instructor, Examiner and Instructor Trainer with the Lifesaving Society in First Aid, AED & Airway Management this course felt very natural to me. However, of course I felt the need to create a top of the line manual, which continues to expand and I am yet to be happy with a “finished” version. Courses were ran monthly throughout the area or could be booked privately to be done in your home. Again it was challenging to find a course conductor or leader who had solid leadership skills, qualifications to suit the oourse and I trusted thoroughly to represent the company with its values and morals in place. hmmm…once again here is the issue of finding competent staff and contractors. One goal is to create a manual for Staff with policies and procdures, but to do so in a motivating manner that people come knocking on my door to conduct our courses and want to work with us.

2. Little Lotus Yoga- this program expanded way faster than I ever thought there would be a need to. LLY is made up of a program for 2-5 year olds (the only un-parented yoga program available to date within the area that is strictly for preschoolers) and 6-12 year olds. I started off with 2 classes in New Edinburgh and quickly expanded to Rockcliffe Park, Walter Baker, Glebe Community Centre and many private contracts with schools and camps. My goal with this program in the future is to create contacts with solid and well established instructors, who are willing to teach children’s classes. There are a growing number of yoga instructors in the Ottawa area (there is a need for more as well!) but many tend to shy away from teaching such young age groups. It takes a dynamic individual who has knowledge in teh development of children and is willing to take on the possiblity of having 6 2-year olds all crying at the same time (for most its their first program on their own), or having children share their booger germs with you, along with their sweet smiles and love.

3. Fitness Workshops, Conferences & Trainings- I continue to have the privilege of being offered contracts to present at fitness conferences nationally as well as training fitness instructor for certiication organizations. At this time I have slowed down due to the pregnancy and the fact that I spent the first 4 months being sick all day every day even on prescribed meds! I am unsure what direction I will take with this in the future as these contracts tend to take me far from home. I have always thoroughly enjoyed being able to escape for a weekend, or even a week at a time to various parts in Canada and meet absolutely wonderful and enthusiastic fitness professionals. However, once my precious bundle of joy arrives, I do not expect to be travelling far from him within at least the first year. Dearest husband is extremely hands on and would be willing to be a single parent for those times, but I think it will be too challenging to leave for long periods of time. Who knows, in a few years I may be saying I need to get the hell away from here for a night or two!!

4. Childcare Consulting- I have continued to work one on one with families who require part time and full time childcare solutions. To date I am working with 2 young children on a daily basis, being an intricate part of their life and the family household dynamic. DeGrace Energetics has also consulted with families in assisting them to find the childcare solution that works best for them, should it be home daycare, nanny, etc. In the past I have also consulted with parents who required assistance in moving forward and creating solutions to deal with their children’s behaviour, creating routines, sleep behaviours, etc.

5. Personal Training- I have always thoroughly enjoyed the one on one training sessions, whether it be dry land training or aquatic personal training & aquatic post-rehab. I have trained clients in community gyms, their personal homes (some have access to fitness equipment, others have none but want to learn how to workout using their body and environment around them), private facilities and outdoor spaces. I have always found clients strictly through word of mouth and enjoy personal training sessions with my clients. However, this can be time consuming travelling from client to client with several other ventures on the go. I would like to look at this in the future and how I can continue to incorporate this aspect of training into the company, but in a more time efficient manner.

I could go on and on with the ideas that have been brewing in my head, but in all honesty have enough going on with the above 5 business areas I have been working on and growing.

As I embrace my first pregnancy and look forward to the new beginnings of motherhood I have decided it is finally time to make the jump and really put my full attention and care into specific aspects of my company that will invite it to grow and expand above and beyond my dreams and aspirations.

How am I going do do that? I am joining the Entrepreunerial Moms Ottawa chapter that is launching this week. I have always wanted to join a network, but have been extremely hesistant. Feeling my business wasn’t “big or successful” enough to swim along companies that are part of other local entrepreuner and business chapters. Entrepreunerial Moms appeals to me with the aspect being of all female members, who are also juggling their businesses and family lives at the same time. Not only do I look forward to meeting a dynamic group of inspiring women, but meeting women who I may create everlasting bonds with as we move through motherhood together.

So here is to new beginnings, new goals, and looking forward to the joys of motherhood (as soon as this little guy is done cooking, boy 40 weeks is a long time!)

~A

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