Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lissa Appiah, founder of WeApply Canada Inc., located in Ottawa, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I help talented introverts increase their marketability and visibility to get promoted at work - while staying true to themselves. I do this through 1:1 and group career coaching and workshop facilitation. I started my company because I was tired of seeing talented professionals in jobs that were below their skills and qualifications.
As an introvert, I understand the frustrations that come with seeing colleagues who tend to louder getting recognition and moving ahead when they may not always be the most qualified.
Introvert promotion seekers come to me when they want to discover their voice, vocalize their value, and get noticed for job promotions. I help them:
👉🏽 Decode and demystify organizations hiring processes
👉🏽 Build a personal brand that speaks to the value they have to offer
👉🏽 Craft career documents (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn) that highlight the best of you
👉🏽 Develop confidence to ace interviews
👉🏽 Learn to build and leverage their network to achieve their career goals
Tell us about yourself
I was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. My family is originally from Ghana. I am a Certified Career & Resume Strategist and the Founder of WeApply Canada Inc. I have a Master’s in Public Administration from Carleton University and a Bachelor’s in Public Administration and Sociology from the University of Ottawa.
At various times in my career, I was overlooked and underestimated because I was ‘quiet.’ Over time, I learned to use this as a strength. In my career in the public service, I was promoted five times in 8 years. I coupled my personal career story and my passion for career development to create a company that helps promotion seekers discover their voice, vocalize their value, and get noticed for job promotions. I am thankful to have been able to help 120+ professionals get hired or promoted in the last 18 months.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest achievement was helping a client land a role with an NGO representing Canada globally! When we initially met was stuck in the same role for several years. She was highly accomplished but had trouble speaking about her accomplishments. She was also a woman of African descent. She often shared how she felt like she was bragging when talking about her achievements. During our sessions, I was able to help her understand the difference between bragging and self-promotion. Today, she is thriving and has an extremely successful career that she loves.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
This is my first business. It’s been a steep learning curve, but I’ve enjoyed all of it – the ups and the downs. The hardest part is finding the right help and support to advance my business goals. There are many business associations and groups out there, but I have had a hard time finding like-minded business owners who understand my work and that I can relate to on a personal level. Thankfully, I’ve connected with more diverse career consultants and business leaders in the USA, but it would be nice to have the equivalent here in Canada.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
‘Start when you are not ready’ – do it scared. I held back from starting my business for several years because I kept thinking there was one more book I have to read or one more course I have to take. Eventually, I finally decided to take a leap of faith. It would have been impossible to foresee all the things I’ve encountered and plan ahead. It’s been to go for it and learn as you go.
You will finally see your vision become a reality. It’s a great joy to know that I have been able to create a business that is changing the lives of so many. It’s rewarding to see an idea come to fruition.
It’s okay to start over. I’ve changed my business model since I started, and it’s okay to make adjustment as you grow and learn. We evolve as people, and our businesses can evolve as well.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
It’s hard work, but it’s worth it!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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