Growing-up, the business world had always been pitched to me as "not for the faint of heart", or "you gotta be tougher than nails to run a business" and "people are out to get you" or " keep your cards close". I grew-up thinking that owning and running a business was something I should probably stear clear of. I was too trusting and would never make it. So after many years of post-graduate education I decided to work in health care. All the while, I watched my entrepreneur friends with envy and wondered how they managed to make it in this "dog eat dog world". Well, after the birth of my second son (a successful VBAC by the way!) I thought I could conquer anything (anyone else get that feeling from birth?) . Maybe it was the oxytocin talking or maybe my inner warrier was ready to face the unknown, either way I decided not to go back to work and start my own business. Which takes me back to the "hungry sharks" I was waiting for as I met Brandie Hadfield.
Within seconds of meeting Brandie, her warm embrace and welcoming smile melted my guard; I knew she was no shark. As we talked I began to think maybe the business world wasn't such a scarey place? Maybe the world of #Mompreneurs was different? Meeting with Brandie certainly changed my perspective. We had about an hour to chat as both she and I had to get back home to our kiddies. What transpired was one of the most refective, helpful and educational hours in my #mompreneuer career thus far. First, Brandie cleared up some unfiar assumptions I had about #attachmentparenting. Turns out I totally support and personally practice the 8 principles of Attachment parenting! Brandie started and facilitates the Toronto Attachment Parents Facebook group. Go ahead and join this page if this is your thing or want to learn more. She always posts such thought provoking questions and careful discussion points.
If you have not yet checked out Dr. Sears website or principles I will list and link to them now. www.attachmentparenting.org
8 Principles of Attachment Parenting
1.Prepare for pregnancy, birth and parenting
2.Feed with love and respect
3. Respond with sensitivity
4. Use nurturing touch
5.Ensure safe sleep, physically and emotionally
6.Provide consistent and loving care
7.Practice positive discipline
8. Strive for balance in your personal and family life
Anyways, as our meeting switched gears to "business", Brandie openly shared her cards. She told me about theToronto Business Development Centre, Ontario Self-Employment Business program (www.tbdc.com/oseb.php). It is a program she had discovered that is designed to help new business owners in Ontario and in particular #mompraneurs. Here I was, with a potential "shark" and she eagerly shared this "Ace of Spades" with me! "Yes" I thought, the world of #mompraneurs is different! I was so impressed with Brandie's generosity I immediately knew I had to both #payitforward and "MomItForward.
First to pay it forward. According to their website, "The OSEB Program is one of the most unique self-employment programs in the world today. Successful applicants experience intensive business skills development training while completing a comprehensive business plan that fully supports their business idea. In addition, participants are provided with ongoing business advisor counseling services and income support for up to 42 weeks while they develop and implement their business plan" And you could be elibigle for this program if you are "unemployed and received maternity/paternity leave EI benefits that started within the last 60 months, withdrew from the workforce, and are seeking to re-enter the labour force". Hello? Are you serious? This program is just what I need to get my ideas going (as I suspect it may formany of you Mompraneurs). So in the spirit of Brandie's "Ace" I contagiously want to shout about it from the roof tops! Moms, if you are thinking about starting a business and doing what you love and you have collected maternity leave EI at somepoint in the lst 3 years (yes 3 years), please check it out.
Ok, so now on to #MomItForward. This is a concept I wholeheartedly support. I believe it origniated at #Todaysparent magazine, but is one I think we Moms need to perpetuate. Mom It Forward is all about one mom "calling" another mom out for being awesome. I plan to use this blog space to call one Mom out each month. Last month I called out Jennifer for being an amazing advocate for family and accessibility issues . This month, my special call out is to Brandie Hadfield! She is such a warm, generous, caring individual, mompreaneur, wife and human being. Truly a woman who "has it all" In her business, she helps parents and their little ones get sleep and find balance. Who can't use more of that? Please check out her website, I think you will find her warm personality reach you through the screen. Ok, so clearly I think Brandie is awesome, now I hope you do too!