Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Line Marie Perron, Owner of Imagine Institute for Learning, located in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Imagine Institute for Learning is capacity building organization that creates transformational spaces for professionals to build competencies through self-inquiry. We have been transforming hearts and minds for over 20 years and have reached over 20,000 individuals during that time.
Our participants come from a variety of sectors, including health, human services, education, first responders, justice, businesses, government, and community. We create space for individuals to ignite their potential and activate possibilities. Our work focuses on mental health, trauma-informed care, human development, and translating compassion to action.
Tell us about yourself
I am a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, wife, and leader. I have always had a deep-rooted passion for learning, and this work fires up my curiosity and creativity. The opportunity to step into a learning environment and learn from other humans who are navigating complex work is like free tuition.
While I bring expertise to the space, I love creating transformational spaces where we can all learn from one another. This passion evolved from a one-year contract into 20 years of supporting the community through the challenges of working with complex needs and large systems.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is building a dream team that shares the same vision and is willing to take risks. As a not-for-profit, nothing is ever guaranteed or certain. I am proud that Imagine has such a competent and inspiring group of humans at its core and that they are willing to "imagine" what is possible. Learning from them also gets me out of bed in the morning and wants to make me work harder for them.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Without a doubt, navigating the "administrative" side of being a business owner has been the most challenging aspect of my work. Finding enough time to be creative and get into my flow has also been difficult, especially as we've grown. When we were really small, I found myself doing it all.
Now that we have grown, I have been able to find people who can support the various aspects of running a business and are much better at it than I am. It took a long time for me to learn that I could let go and have other staff take on more. Ultimately, however, it has freed me up to be a leader rather than a manager. I've learned I am much better when I stay in my lane.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The best advice I can give to someone starting out is:
- Dream without limits.
- Surround yourself with people that inspire you and challenge you - hire so you can look up, not down.
- Invest in your self-growth as much as you invest in others.
- Get back in the trenches once in a while. Keeps your perspective authentic.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Leadership is a tapestry woven from what we create and what we allow. Developing a strong vision with strong boundaries has been critical to our success. Once vision and boundaries are in place, it allows must to lead with the heart and know we are headed in the right direction. Compassion to action starts with us.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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