Sometimes people ask me (me?!) for career advice. They dream of becoming a writer and want to know what I think: Should they listen to the voice of reason and pursue a sensible profession and write as a hobby, or listen to that other voice and throw caution to the wind?
I’m a big believer in following your heart, while still using your head. And last month I had the pleasure of interviewing three business owners who did just that and who are now living the dream – and bringing home the bacon.
My first story took me into the fantasy world of Petrov Bridal – a new downtown boutique I discovered quite by accident on the way to a meeting.
Owner Eva Petrov spent most of her working life as an accountant, sewing custom-made bridal gowns on the side.
Customers told her she should go into the business fulltime, and eventually that’s what she did – selling European designed dresses out of her living room. With her eye for fashion and expert knowledge of what makes a dress great – inside and out – the business took off. In only three years she went from a home-based operation to a sophisticated storefront that attracts brides from all over Canada.
My favourite quote from Eva? “I should have followed this dream many, many years ago… But now I’m here. I worked very hard for it, and I’m loving it.”
Then there’s Brianna and Ewan Phelan, a young married couple who in their own words were “stupid” enough to graduate from university (with degrees in English and History) and launch The Last Forty Percent Photography. Why? Because he loved his camera and she didn’t want him to have any regrets.
They may have been naive about the challenges of entrepreneurship, but almost eight years and two children later business is booming and they’ve brought on an associate just to keep up with demand for their stylish wedding, family, and boudoir photography.
So what’s the moral of this blog? That you’re never too young – or too old – to follow your dreams, but you’ll never get there without taking a leap of faith.
Need a push? You can read both stories in this month’s Business London Living magazine.
Learn more about my life as a writer at www.spilledink.ca