NAME: Michelle Lochan
ROLE Owner/ Managing Director, MarketStart
CITY : Toronto
KIDS: 5 children 15, 12, 10, 4, 4 (twins)
“Winning the 2012 Micro Skills Entrepreneur of the Year Award really validated my efforts and the sacrifices made to build and sustain a viable business while raising 5 children alone.This award is presented to a woman that demonstrated commitment to business ownership while overcoming obstacles and barriers to success. It has reaffirmed my decision to keep my children my first priority and remain consistent in building a business as a means to support my family. This was against all odds. I made the choices for my family standing firmly against the hardest critics and have seen it through. My children now consider me a role model!”
It Wasn’t Always Easy:
“The most challenging and life changing moment in my life was making the decision to leave an unhealthy marriage and take on the full responsibility to raise my children alone. I thought leaving and struggling had to be better than staying and killing my passion daily to make others happy.
I started my business before I left my marriage and while my business and my children were the best things happening, when the marriage fell apart my business almost did too. The passion for my vision to support business owners as a means of community development would not go away. So while I had to take some time to help myself and my children adjust to the huge changes in our lives I committed to developing a new business plan.With time as the children got older I was able to execute a realistic plan that coincided with my ability to still be available to them and fulfill my personal and financial needs. I built great support networks and learned the art of time management. I managed our home finances in a way that is helping me acheive freedom from debt (acquired in the marriage) all without the use of business loans. I planned our meals and activities weekly and set work hours.”
“To overcome any challenge requires being in the right frame of mind and willingness to accept change. A woman may not feel strong at that point to make everything happen to get herself on the path of success and happiness, but she must be willing to learn how to do that. It may require seeking advice from different sources to find the right fit. I was about to succumb to depression and thought that jumping off the 401 would be the solution to all of my problems especially the lack of support and scrutiny from family when deciding to separate from my marriage.
Things changed immediately within me when I made a call to the Abused Women’s helpline. I used to refer women to that service but felt a stigma when it was time for me to do so. Once I called anonymously I felt an immediate sense of relief and salvation that I had taken a step to get help. From there I was refered to my local Women’s Centre that provided a safe space and insight to help me make some good decisions. Trying to heal or solve your problems alone could lead you to make bad decisions or stuck in rut.
Don’t be afraid to seek good guidance.”
“My business vision is to encourage self sufficiency for generations. It is my goal to assist business owners plan effectively to develop and grow viable businesses that will benefit themselves and their families as well as the communities they live in. With the help of an amazing business partner we have created an opportunity called Prepare for Tomorrow, to help more businesses by licensing our business system and making it available to other business consultants. Prepare for Tomorrow gives consultants a strong proven system to run their operations.
Ultimately I would like to see MarketStart as the leading business planning resource for business owners and not for profit directors. By building strategic partnerships and remaining consistent with our branding the possibility of this is highly likely.”