Which, if I’m being honest has served me well as an entrepreneur!
I came into the OT profession in 2005 as an early intervention paediatric therapist with a non-profit organization. In 2012, I resigned from my position to test the waters of entrepreneurship... And in 2018, I hung up my clinical hat altogether to pursue a journey in coaching and consulting
I'm passionate about many things, including spontaneous road trips, time by the ocean, good coffee and the integration of women's health and occupational therapy.
I’m a hand talking, big-hearted Canadian girl and when I'm really excited about something, I have a bit of a potty mouth (I'll blame that on my Irish descendents). When I'm not at my laptop, I can be found hiking with my dog, Cedric, or spending time with my boys.
When working in early intervention as a paediatric OT, my areas of interest were in sensory processing, neuroscience, developmental trauma and mental health. I was a “rural generalist”, meaning I worked with anyone and everyone, using a variety of service delivery models including consultation, coaching, direct service, family education and community health promotion.
It was during this time that I started a side gig of working as a consultant and project manager for various contracts through our provincial government in relation to child and family development. Have I mentioned yet that I’ve always enjoying wearing several hats?!
Being pregnant and transitioning into motherhood was life-changing, to say the least. Like many therapists, I soon discovered firsthand that there was a huge gap in perinatal health services.
Using my professional knowledge, I became my own therapist so-to-speak, researching my treatment options and coming up with my own rehab plan. There were many highs, many lows and many feelings of isolation.
When Max was still an infant, I was inspired to take the plunge and do things differently. I resigned from my early intervention job and went on a personal sabbatical of sorts, furthering my training in prenatal/postnatal health. I had big ideas! I had a vision! I was inspired! I also had no savings, no venture capital and no business experience.
I’ve always loved a challenge…
This was the year that I officially opened Strong Beginnings Family Wellness & Consulting Services, a combination of consulting services for health professionals and a community-based therapy practice where I integrated maternal health & wellness with pediatric OT.
This was also the year where sleep deprivation, a sensory sensitive child, debilitating chronic tailbone pain and mental health challenges were all prominent themes in my personal life.
There were many sacrifices and growing pains. There were times of discomfort. But I held a vision in my heart and I was confident that this was the path I was meant to be on…
Being a mompreneur with a baby underfoot is by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever done! As my business grew, I continued to be creative in how I could work from home (or the road) with Max by my side. This led me down the path of digital products and services. After many months of planning, I finally created my first online product, a 6-month course for occupational therapists in prenatal/postnatal health. That was a huge achievement! Little did I know that creating a digital product was only the first step in my journey as an online entrepreneur...
As I ventured further down the path of women’s health, professional growth and personal development, I was introduced to advanced level training in restorative exercise, pelvic health and functional movement. I made some important changes to my activities of daily living and started stacking more movement into my life. I ditched my shoes whenever possible. I embraced sitting on the floor. I started hanging from monkey bars. I took advantage of online technology for more professional development opportunities, connecting with kindred spirits from around the world. I took my training to the next level - and learned to embrace my quirky ways in the process. This was the year I truly embraced my role as women's health therapist!
Women’s health is so much more than pelvic health! And re-wiring our thoughts and beliefs to re-write our stories and create healthier habits is HARD WORK.
These were my epiphanies for this year. I was going further down the path of lifestyle redesign. I took my training to the next level as a women's health coach and a wellness consultant. I did more shadow work into my family of origin, my journey of recovery and sobriety, my experience with trauma and the work I was doing with survivors. I was learning how to grow my team and think like the boss. I was finally embracing my role as an entrepreneur and moving forward with confidence!
In 2017, I realized I was spreading myself too thin. I was essentially trying to grow two separate businesses -- a small town brick + mortar and an online consulting company with a focus on personal growth and support for therapists. Something had to give.
In July of 2017, while on vacation with my family, the wildfires hit our region of British Columbia, forcing everyone in our community to evacuate. We embraced our minimalist lifestyle and left our home (and my brick + mortar practice) for over 60 days.
This was a huge hit to my business but also a sign from the Universe for me to put on my big girl pants and follow my heart. I made the tough decision to let go of my brick + mortar practice and re-brand under my own name. I was going all in on my coaching and consulting. I was location independent. I was also having a minor identity crisis, as I was no longer referring to myself as “an OT”.
The last half of 2017 would prove to be the most challenging, with my husband’s workplace of 18 years burning down and my six-year-old son receiving an unexpected diagnosis of a brain tumour. We wrapped up the year by being airlifted to the children’s hospital and supporting my son through an emergency sub occipital craniotomy (and the ensuing rehab process). Despite the financial uncertainty, I was so thankful to be in control of my schedule and to be flexible in working from home! The theme of 2017 was one of RESILIENCE.
It was another tough year of personal growth and transition. Life throws the craziest curveballs at the most unexpected times. But I dug deep as a mom, an online entrepreneur, a women’s health advocate, a mindset coach and a community leader.
Over the course of the year, I was able to reduce my overhead expenses and successfully transition over to my online revenue stream as my primary form of income.
By the end of the year, my business was officially location independent and I was helping OTs around the world with a special interest in women's health. My coaching programs were growing, my team was evolving and my confidence continued to grow.
This was the year that we found our groove as an online business. I committed to working on my mindset and I came leaps and bounds in my ability to outsource and lead my team. I took more time off, focused more on strategic planning and felt less frenetic. Our energy went towards program development and we had almost 60 therapists come through our coaching programs! We also invested time and energy in tidying up the back end of our business, getting systems in place to support a breakthrough year in 2020.
As we transition into a new decade, my focus this year is on growing my business not by working harder, but rather by working smarter and taking even more time off. I’m carving out more time to coach and mentor my team, I’m also continuing to work on my ability to delegate vs doing everything myself.
This road has been anything but easy but I’ve surrounded myself with mentors, coaches and supports that truly see me for who I am: Someone that's a work in progress and trying to follow my heart, showing up in this crazy world as an authentic version of myself. I'm learning to see my imbalances and quirks as strengths, as I blaze a trail for therapists in women's health and entrepreneurship.
And I'd love for you to join me on this journey!