“I wake up each and every morning thanking God for another day and for getting me to where I am today”
Hey everyone, I was brought up always being told “you can do whatever you put your mind to” and I’ve lived by that all my life in spite of having spina bifida. After attending Sunny View School in Toronto I was integrated into the Catholic school system in grade 5. It was a tough transition but I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. I realized it was just a part of His perfect plan. I was put back a grade but ultimately, I graduated grade 8 ready to take the world by storm. My high school days were awesome! I met a lot of great people and made a lot of great friends that I still talk to today.
But life changed for me at the age of 16. I lost my dad to a massive heart attack. Most people would have viewed this as a tragedy, but for me this was a turning point in a very positive way. Please don’t get me wrong, I have missed my Dad everyday and wish he was still here to see where I have gotten and who I have become.
This event in my life made me think “Do I really want to be on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) all my life?” It was great for me while growing up and going through school. Ultimately I realized there was something missing within me. I thought to myself $750.00 month isn’t doing it for me. How would I survive, have a family or buy a house or condo of my own?Ok, I’ve done the ODSP thing, what’s NEXT?
In 2001 “IT HAPPENED”. I realized my first dream. I was sitting at our usual hang out “Internationals” The International Snooker Club chatting it up on a normal Friday night and a friend turned to me and said “would you like a job???” I was overtaken with joy. Someone thought enough of me to offer me a job, a role in society?!?! She gave my resumé to a colleague of hers and about a week later I had an interview for a position at Canada’s biggest bank, the Royal Bank. It was the night shift in the Records and Distribution department processing mortgages. Not too exciting but it was a great start none the less. They asked if I wanted to start right away, the following night. I was scared, but excited all at the same time.
I worked at RBC for a total of eight and a half years in the R&D and the small business loan department doing documentation for branch staff; “FUN TIMES!” But after eight and a half years I was laid off. I was upset. VERY upset. It took a while for me to get there, but I soon thought to myself, “it’s a bump in the road”, but I was confident I would bounce back.
Most recently I was with CIBC Wood Gundy as a Verification Officer for two and a half years. Then it happened AGAIN! I went in one day and I was asked to come into the office and I was told your job has been eliminated. My manager was in tears as she told me the bad news. I spoke to the HR rep about my severance package and then a grief counsellor about how I was feeling and to be quite honest, deep down I knew that I was ok. Through it all I was honestly calm, relaxed and ready to conquer my next challenge.
My work life has been a great adventure and an experience I will never forget. After 2 layoffs I thought to myself, “AGAIN? What’s next!?! I wanted more, I wanted fulfillment.
It has always been of utmost importance to me to control my own destiny and I have realized that my calling is to give back to society. Thanks, in part, to all the special people in my life from Sick Kids Hospital to Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, whose experts have helped me grow, and to the Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario (SB&H) for offering me my first summer placement. Recently, I was presented with an opportunity to make a positive impact. I have decided to become an entrepreneur running my own business, working on my terms towards my goals to help others realize their true self-worth. Meeting people, learning about their goals and doing what I can to guide them in planning their financial future has given me the pleasure and fulfillment I have been seeking. At first, the thought of entrepreneurship scared me to death, but I soon found it to be a very exciting proposition. It was time for me to grab the bull by the horns and run with this new venture. Through it all, giving thanks and praise to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The beginning of this journey has not been easy. I have had to self-evaluate, grow as a person, bust out of my “COMFORT ZONE” of getting up and going to a comfy office, doing my hours and going home. The struggle and heartache within me has vanished.
Making this massive change in my life has helped me find happiness, freedom, and pride; Happiness that comes from making a difference for people like you. I have definitely grown as a person. The transition from employee to business owner has not come without its ups and downs. Getting started has been so thrilling! I am so excited for the future, short term pain for a future of independence. My company has provided thousands of people with financial freedom, why not you too?
To book an appointment, please call me at 416-677-5324.
Thanks for reading,