March 21, 2018 6 min read
In honour of Women's History Month, we’re featuring women who inspire us. These entrepreneurs turned their passions into a successful business. We hope their stories inspire you to create businesses and lives that you love.
In our third post in the series, we’re featuring the co-founder and Sr. Director of PR at Mabel’s Labels, Julie Cole. Mabels Labels is a Canadian brand that is best-known for their durable, personalized waterproof name labels and tags for families.
“Some people are born entrepreneurs and some people kind of fall into it. I don’t think I was born an entrepreneur. One of my business partners was by nature, she was raised by entrepreneurs. I see entrepreneurship as a talent. Like somebody who’s musical, artistic, and like any talent you can learn it. Once you get a taste of it, look out!“
Julie: There are many of those!
If you’re an entrepreneur, I always say you’ve got to have a fairly good appetite for risk. I’ve found that for us, we’d just get used to how we’re supposed to run this company, then we’d experience growth, and the company would change and we’d have to learn a bunch of new things.
So you can never just get comfortable. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
And if that is not your shtick, then entrepreneurship is not for you.
If you’re ever too comfortable, then you’re not challenging yourself. You’re not challenging your business, and you won’t get to the next level.
Change is constant. It can be fun, but a challenge.
Another challenge was having four business partners. It was both a pro and a con. In the early days, we could divide and conquer. But, you have four different opinions coming to the table which can make for feisty conversation - it can be challenging. We did a good job of understanding how each other best communicates and how to relate to each other. I’m still so glad we did it this way!
"Understand that you’ll be working so hard without getting any money. A lot of people think, “Oh this is great, I’m going to make millions,” but people wait in line for years before that happens."
Julie: I have a peer group that I meet with weekly. We provide each other with such great peer mentorship and I have so much respect for each and everyone. They’re always so honest, transparent, serve it to me straight up, ask honest questions and aren’t afraid to look vulnerable, which inspires me.
Second, my grandmother, who passed away recently at 101 years old. She was such a smart, innovative thinker, [and] well before her time! She always had the best tidbits of life information.
Third, my mom. I was raised by a woman that never complained. If something was wrong, she’d just fix it. I try to be a positive role model for my kids and be like this as well.
Julie: “You’re as good as the best of them and better than none” - Grandma
I want my kids to be oozing with self-confidence, but also be humble.
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” - Maya Angelou
This relates to me. I try to live this way throughout my life whether it’s business, my family, my friendships. If I like what I’m doing, then I’m successful.
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