Many of you over the years have asked me how I got started in business. This month marks my 10-year anniversary and I wanted to celebrate it by sharing with you how it all began.
I was in my mid-20’s working 2 to 3 jobs just to get by. In between my plethora of jobs, I started doing Pranic Healing sessions out of my home one day a week (after completing my Pranic Healing certification). I knew healing was my calling but I was struggling to figure out how I would turn it into a full-fledged career. Eventually I caught wind that the Canadian Government offered self-employment programs, and some of them were even funded. One major prerequisite was that you had to be laid off from a job and go on unemployment insurance for 3 months to qualify. Even then there was no guarantee you would get in.
As uncomfortable as that sounded to me, it struck a deep chord and I felt I had no other choice.
I quickly quit two of my jobs and begged the other one to lay me off. To my surprise they did and I soon found myself sitting in front of a government councilor convincing her that the world needed energy healing and that I qualified for these programs. Well it didn’t end there, I had to go through several different meetings with the government to convince them of my great idea. At the end of the day they granted me entry into a program that they thought would suit me best.
The program they choose for me was 2 months long. It was Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm with a ton of homework. In that time, we completed a business plan, a marketing plan and developed other skills to help prepare us for self-employment. At the end of the 2 month term we each had to present our business/marketing plan to a panel of judges. If you made that far and if your business plan was accepted then you entered the next stage of the self-employment program. Funding.
Each of us who completed the program that far started to receive monthly funding for the year. We were each assigned a councilor whom we had to meet with once a month. In that time we could discuss obstacles we were facing, go over numbers, discuss ideas and more.
This program never cost me a dime and it changed my entire life. It took me from doing a few sessions a week out of my home, to renting space in an acupuncture studio, to finally landing me my own office.
For me, I needed business classes to ground my ideas so I could see them manifest in the world. I needed the practical skills of marketing, promotion, advertising etc. to really see my dream come to fruition. Without any of those learned skills I’m not sure how I would have ended up.
The first couple years were tough, but I loved every moment of them. I loved the mistakes, the obstacles, the hard times and the good times. I was blessed to have side work that let me work whenever I wanted, so when I had a low cycle I could pick up more hours, when I was riding a high cycle I didn’t have to do any hours at all. I never said no to money coming my way in those first years of building my business. If I needed a side job I took it.
It is baffling to me how time has moved so swiftly. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to work with all of you and support you on your own journey through the years.
I’m also deeply grateful to those who supported me along the way. Who believed in me against all odds. Who said ‘yes you can’ to a pretty unusual career choice. Thank you to my Dad, who over the course of my life always said ‘Eryn, if you’re smart you’ll become self-employed’. To my Mom who supported me every step of the way and to all the wonderful Teachers I’ve had over the years. Looking back I can see very clearly that I didn’t achieve this goal on my own. I had so much help and support along the way and it came in countless forms.
I could write a short novel on the journey of being in this business but I’ll leave that for another time.
So much love and gratitude to all of you,