In Episode 1 I was telling you how I finally decided to start climbing my mountain I’ve had so many memories coming back…some of them I had pushed back and ignored for 6 years…!
The truth you see is that I did not first came across my mountain this July 2019…
I went back to it almost by accident.
I had actually found my mountain when I was 25 years old but at that time when I looked at it, I just couldn’t believe I could climb it.
I didn’t know how to survive the hike all by myself…what to bring with me, what to leave out and most importantly I was not at all in shape mentally, physically and emotionally to climb such a big mountain!
So I turned my back to it…without knowing at the time that I would be back to it 6 years later.
I didn’t realize then how important that mountain was to my soul.
Do you want to know how I first came across it?
So like I was telling you, at the time I was 25 years old and I was working for a Canadian company in Toronto that was importing European Fine Foods for high end restaurants, hotels and retail stores.
I joined their team at 23 years old as an Operations Manager.
I was fresh out of one of the top business schools in Canada and already in a management position, living in a condo at Bay & College – downtown Toronto.
Let me tell you that I was pretty proud 😉
This position came with many challenges though.
I was responsible of Toronto team Operations as well as needed to coordinate with our office the team of Sales Reps that were on the road in different parts of Canada.
I was only 23 with a business school diploma.
Full of academic knowledge, yes…but with 0 experience!
I hadn’t even majored in Operations and Management at school…I graduated in Financial Markets & Applied Economics.
That’s when I first realized that my school education was not going to be of any use in the real professional world.
I had to learn hands on by actually doing the work myself, asking lots of questions and staying open to feedback so I could improve.
The other challenge was that I was a 23 years old woman freshly arrived within the company and managing mainly men (and some women) in their 30s, 40s and 50s that had been in the company for years…you get the picture 😉
There was no way I could use my title to force authority…it had to be earned.
Again, it all came down to actually get my hands dirty to learn the ropes and tap into the team’s experience.
The last challenge and not the least…!
My English was nowhere as good as now and for several months I was struggling to keep up with what my English speaking colleagues were saying…as well as to be understood over the phone by clients and business partners calling the office!
If you’ve ever learned a new language, then you know how your head feels like it’s about to explode at the end of a working day spent communicating in a new language.
I worked there for 2 years and I loved it.
Everything was new, I was learning a lot and could see how much I was improving. Fast!
After only 1 year there, I went to the CEO and asked for a 40% increase of my salary and he gave it to me right away.
I never had that much money for myself before.
I couldn’t believe how lucky I was as I was also starting to go on business trips with them in Canada, meeting renowned Chefs and eating in really nice restaurants.
And I had a team!
Man…25 and I was responsible for coordinating the work of over a dozen people.
That sounds bomb right?
Well. On the professional side it was.
But on the personal side, it wasn’t as rosy…
I was working long days, being among the first one (with Ed) at the office and the last one to leave.
I was spending each day close to 2h commuting, stuck in traffic for most of it.
I was living in a condo with a pool, jacuzzi and gym and was too exhausted to use the amenities.
I would go home and just crash on the couch…cook some food, watch a show and go to bed to wake up early and already exhausted the next day.
During my weekends I would spend some of the money I had earned on things.
Some I never ended up using or barely.
I would also use my 10 days vacations to go on an island in the Caribbean once a year.
Life started to feel like it was stuck on a repeat button and was going on a loop at a pace that was keeping me out of breath.
I was constantly tired and I was only 25 !
I couldn’t believe that this was it…
My life as an adult.
I didn’t see myself living like this and needed a way out.
I had to opt out this crazy ride.
So I decided to quit!
No plan B.
No job already lined up.
A few months before I had started to read business books and read blogs that were talking about how to build your own business from home.
When I left I registered to an entrepreneurial program to set my business up and I even got my first contract.
I sold a Consulting service for $1500 for a 10h mission.
That was pretty dope 😀
I even had a blog and was publishing content around self development and how to use it to be happier.
But soon I felt lost and didn’t know how to bring in more contracts.
I didn’t know how to keep coming up with content for my blog.
I didn’t know how to do marketing.
Hell, I didn’t even know what REAL marketing was back then not to mention anything about selling!
I felt like I was too young…people wouldn’t take me seriously.
I felt like I didn’t know enough.
So you know what happened?
I stopped trying.
I ended up not even trying at all!
But at the time I couldn’t own up to what I was doing so I told myself lies.
I told myself I was going to find a side job and work at the same time on my own business.
Well by now you know it didn’t turn out at all like planned 😉
I ended up working as a contractor for a famous webmarketing company in France working from my office in Toronto.
I started at the bottom as an executive assistant, moved to a manager position 6 months later and then became over a year their Chief Operating Officer.
Something that was just supposed to be temporary ended up turning into a 6 years long career!
Until…I remember again my mountain.
I mean it was bound to happen when you’re surrounded by hundreds of entrepreneurs and business owners on the daily 😉
Well long story short.
The mountain I am climbing now is actually the same one I turned my back to when I was 25 years.
I feel so blessed to be back to it 🙂
Especially that now I am 6 years wiser, stronger and full of actual hands on experience with entrepreneurial businesses and REAL marketing knowledge.