A life changing decision & lessons learned

As promised in my ABOUT page, this blog will include a nice mix of life, sprinkled with a bit of tips and advice. I will share with you my trials and errors in raising 2 adolescent children and running my own business….a new one I recently founded with my husband.

I will provide you with absolute transparency and originality in a world with too many grey areas and not enough authenticity. Each blog post will reveal a little part of me…in the good and the bad. I will continue to educate myself  so that I may pass my knowledge onto you and help you in the best way I can. If you wish, you can learn through my mistakes….as well as from my renewed passion for life.

That life changing moment

I owned and operated a preschool with 130 children. I did this for 9 years until I decided it was time for me to move on. I miss those children everyday, but do I regret moving on? Not one bit. I founded the daycare and began that journey with 6 children on the first day we opened; 6 children, including my daughter and nephew that is.

Funny now, but quite scary then, when paying almost 12,000$ rent a month was not an option. I did not have a background in early childhood education…but my love for education is what spurred me.

I surrounded myself with knowledgeable women who knew. Women who shared my same passion. It worked! It worked so well, we soon became the “go to” early childhood learning centre in the area, and despite the fact that our tuition was also among thehighest in the area….3 years later, my passion and work lead me to open a second preschool!

This meant filling the halls with more love, more collaborators and more challenges. 

What was the biggest challenge I faced?

I always prided myself on being a leader, and I was. Everyday I managed the preschool, children, parents and employees looked up to me. I made the right decisions for the children and for the business, after all I also had 23 staff members and over 100 families depending on its success.

But what happens when you grow? What accompanies success when so many people depend on you?

I quickly discovered saying “yes” to keep employees loyal was not the right way to go about managing my staff. I certainly wanted to keep everyone happy, but at what cost?

Learning to say “no” was hard, especially when working with so many women who often had children of their own, in an environment which had family at its core. Let’s just say I learned the lesson the hard way. Perhaps I will get into the details on another occasion, but learning to put my foot down on matters which affected the daily running of the business was essential in my own self development.

Is this the life changing decision I’m referring to? Learning to say “no” to people demanding things on a daily basis? Read on.

One thing is certain, once I started saying  “no” more often, things started to change for me. I was respected as always because I continued to set examples of leadership for my staff,  and the loyalty I imagined would waiver, never did. I felt a sense of relief, and entered the preschool with a different mind set in the mornings.

What else could I do for my self-development?

This led me to further consider what else I could do for my personal growth? If learning to say “no” lead to such relief and actually improved my day to day experiences at work and in-turn at home, was there something else I could do for myself?

After almost 8 years, I knew I needed a change.

I wasn’t quite sure of what that change was at first, and I hadn’t considered selling the preschools until a specific event occurred with an employee… which actually made me rethink everything. This one event broke the proverbial camel’s back because it made me realize that no matter how much you give, some will always want more. Don’t get me wrong, I continue to give and share love and kindness every day, it’s what I teach my children. I just felt at this point, perhaps I could continue “giving” in a different way.

I realized that passion for what you do is within you in everything you do, and it can be transferred from one interest to  another. Change is fundamental, as is renewal. It’s OK to move on to something that reignites that passion for life.

That is what I did. I reignited my passion for life. Four months after selling the preschools I was on to my next project.

I will forever have a passion for education…..and continuing to educate myself would be the next step on my journey….

I realized growth is continuous and relentless….we cannot avoid learning from our daily experiences and the people that surround us. Even today, I continue to learn and I continue to educate.

I hope you will continue to learn with me.
Barbara C.

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