Atlantic Canada’s Leading Resource for Women Entrepreneurs Since 1992, located at the RBC Centre for Women in Business, MSVU.

Message from Tanya Priske, Executive Director

March 2017

The Challenge Makes You Stronger


Think about the last time you 'stepped outside of the box.'

 No seriously:  Think about the last time you did something totally out of character for you. When you took a risk, shed your inhibitions and went for it!  How long has it been since you brought out a part of your personality you didn’t know was lurking inside?

I wish I could say I have done that recently, but in reality, I am not a big risk taker – at least not personally. However, when it comes to business, I am willing to jump in, make a change, and be radical (well..maybe semi-radical..).

Could it be that, as a baby boomer, I have seen a lot growing up? I remember my parent’s horror at the idea of owning a credit card. In their view, if you didn’t have the cash, you didn’t buy it.  I remember my Dad having 10 cents in his pocket on pay day - just enough to get him a cup of coffee at work, and never owning a new car until I reached my teens. What a day that was - my Dad was so proud!

Not that we went without; our family just never owned debt. I learned the value of a dollar, and was raised to believe that hard work got you where you wanted to go. I was always encouraged to follow my dreams.

You see, my parents were probably the least entrepreneurial people I knew. My Dad worked for Nova Scotia Power for 41 years.  My stay-at-home-mom dabbled in Avon and when I entered high school, and worked part-time at Sears. Somehow, my brothers and I learned something from our parents as we all turned to self-employment at different points in our lives. They gave us a yearning to be adaptive; to be our own bosses and to set our own agendas. It took hold.

Although I remained employed throughout my entire career, my entrepreneurial side was always there. There is something about building a business that remains a magnet, the ability to sculpt and mold. Not that all of my business pursuits were profitable nor sustainable, but each one taught me a lesson that I could apply in my next venture.

Today, March 8th, we celebrated International Women’s Day with a keynote breakfast featuring Tonia Jahshan, the founder of Steeped Tea Inc.  Tonia reminded our sold-out audience that no entrepreneurial journey unfolds smoothly. There are bound to be bumps; regardless of what size of business you build, everyone experiences challenges.

When I encounter a problem in business, my husband reminds me to face it head on, and in the end, if the solution isn’t in my best interest, he also reminds me: “Tanya, they can’t take away your birthday.” In other words, this, too, shall pass. You just need to put your head down and work through it.

Our member profile this month, Elsie Morden, learned early on that you must, ‘face the music.’  She shows us how to overcome challenges, and is drawing from her personal experience and pain to teach our youth that everyone is worthy of respect. As this year's global International Women's Day theme encourages, Elsie has chosen to Be Bold for Change! By that, I mean she has committed to becoming the change she wants to see in the world. The dictionary gives us a sense of what the word BOLD means:  "To be fearless and daring, clear and distance."

 Now, let’s commit to stepping outside of our box and doing the same. Think about what BOLD actions you can take to make a change.

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