"Someday I am going to start up my own business". Have you ever heard a friend say that or maybe this has been a personal dream of yours. Starting up a business is what I personally would call "the best of times and the most challenging of times". Isn’t it funny how risk and reward are truly related. You really cannot have one without the other. Sometimes the risk is not necessarily financial – often it is the time and emotion around following your dreams. There are approximately over 2.2 million businesses in Canada, and small businesses account for a large majority of our employment in this country.
This weeks podcast is with Rob and Chris Riendeau who met at Queens at a drama production. Romeo and Juliet fell in love but, in this case, didn’t follow the script. They got married and moved to a small town outside of Ottawa. Romeo (aka Rob) started his career as a computer consultant. Juliet (aka Chris) started her career as a Biology teacher. Now, they were following the Freedom 55 script, until one day they started talking with some friends about starting up a newspaper that was more focused on the needs of the Art community. The "Humm" was launched which is a newspaper serving the arts community in the Ottawa Valley. Fast forward 9 years later. Both Rob and Chris have left behind their careers and have made a very successful leap into the world of publishing and self employment. I had asked Chris how she felt leaving her teaching career behind. "I enjoyed this, however, I found more and more I had less control over what I was doing. I really enjoy both the control and the responsibility I have with our business". Chris’s decision was made a little easier as she took a 2 year leave of absence before making the formal decision to leave teaching. Rob said, "think of the decision as a longer term plan. The success doesn’t come right away, it takes time. However, if you believe in what you are doing, doing it is all worth it!"
Their decision has not only affected their own lives, it has also impacted a number of small communities in the Ottawa Valley. Now people know when events are happening and their newspaper allows a number of writers a place to share their stories.
The good news is that both Rob and Chris have not killed each other in the process – quite to the contrary. They have found that they work really well together – another great spin off effect with this journey.
Are you struggling with a major decision? If so, book an initial meeting to discuss the potential options.
Along the road with you,