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Success Stories

Normand Bouliane – Streetcar Operator
“When I call out the stops I forget my problems”

Normand has always had a passion for doing things fast.
Speed excited him. He puts it best when he said, “I do everything fast – I drive fast, I eat fast and I make love fast – that’s probably why my first wife left me.”
His divorce had a major impact on his life but he didn’t veer off his need for speed. His personal life often caused him to change positions – from pilot to truck driver to bus driver. See how he ended up driving the “rocket”.

Elain Overholt – Vocal Coach & Singer
I knew my talent was music.
Bigger than my dream of music was my dream of affecting people in a positive way.

Elaine has a gift for music. However in spite of all the awards and accolades she received at an early age, she never felt she was good enough and was constantly striving to prove her value to the world.

This has been a lifelong battle that improves every day.

But music was what she knew she was supposed to be doing, so she just went ahead and did it.

“It (music) was a God given gift that I wasn’t about to squander. There is something within me that keeps stepping over my fears into action”, Elaine told me.

She spent the 1980s doing jingles, performing in clubs 6 nights a week, doing R & B and Gospel concerts, and coaching pop and theatre singers. Then NAFTA was signed, and her little goldmine of jingles dried up. Then her marriage ended in 1992, and when she became a single parent she stopped performing in the evenings in order to be with her daughter.

The divorce was tough on her financially and emotionally. She received no spousal support, and she had to give half of her retirement savings from her jingles to her ex-husband. She said she was had a fear of not having enough money but she was determined to stay in the music business and still be a good mother.

She threw her whole self into vocal coaching and like anything Elaine does, she treated it as an art form. Listen to the passion in her words as to how she describes her Dream Career:

“Even bigger than my dream of music was my dream of being able to affect people in a positive way. During my career I’d heard so many stories of people who were told when they were young they couldn’t sing, and had given up on their dream. I wanted to make a difference, and I knew that I could. I love helping uncover the voices of people who have a passion for singing, and for those who just want to be able to express themselves better.

I have heard, lived and breathed music from the depths of my soul through my own performances, and to me there is nothing more exciting than helping someone unlock their hidden voice. That voice is not just about the outer voice, it’s also about their inner voice. I have found the physical voice is often an obstacle for many people. So many people want to break out into song at a party, but they stop themselves. I want to free their voice and give it sound”.

Ginette D’Aigle – Early Childhood Educator
I refused to let anything stop me from becoming a teacher.
If I had to roll myself to get my qualification I would have done it

Ginette has suffered with many physical illnesses throughout her life yet she is one of the most determined people I met.
On top of that she was denied her dreams by her mother.

She always loved children. Perhaps it is because she has had so many personal challenges in her own life that she adores and embraces children with special needs. Her challenges could have weakened her but I feel they made her more resilient.

Here is how she put it:
“It could have been a recipe for self-pity but I refused to let my dreams die.
Just like the mythical phoenix bird, out of the ashes of my stress rose my dream.”

She had to learn to stand up for her own dream. It took her a while but eventually she did.

Carol Moxam – Event Planner
I have always surrounded myself with positive people. People are my passion and are so important to me. They are my life. If I was not around people I wouldn’t be happy.

Carol comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Her mother has an Executive MBA grad and is a medical lab technician consultant who is in business for herself today. Her father is a photographer and owns his own business on the East Coast. Her sister and brother-in law own a printing company in Brampton.

As a child she too had the entrepreneurial bug. Every summer starting at ten years old, she was involved in some creative venture for money. She watered people’s grass, sold
garbage bags, worked for a real estate company and then at a restaurant one summer. After fifteen, she worked on tour groups and got to go to destinations like Greece and Mexico.

Carol knew she wanted to work for herself but didn’t know what she wanted to do. After college she held several positions at the same large company to get a feel for different aspects of running a business.

Because she loved people so much she volunteered to organize events for the company on weekends. Soon she was organizing more events. She loved working on the planning committees for these affairs. After a couple of years she felt the urge to start her own event planning company but it was scary to leave the security of a weekly pay cheque, but deep down she knew this is what she wanted to do.

She took advantage of a creative approach to make the transition…

“Rogers was undergoing a restructuring plan and approached me one day when I returned from vacation. They asked me what I wanted to do – stay, leave or take a government-assisted program for self-employment development initiative (SEDI). I took the latter, which involved training me, helping me prepare a business plan and giving me employment insurance for the first year in business. On top of that they extended their financial support for one more year after I started my business as I won the Enterprise Award for the program in my group. It was a good way for me to start because I did not have access to funds to fall back on when I left Rogers”.

Read how she began her business in the new e-book, Live Your Dreams: Doctor’s Orders 2.

John O’Dwyer- Business Coach & Management Consultant
It’s ironic for a guy who left high school to want to teach.”

John is a quick thinker but was labeled as rebellious in school. He got bored easily. As he likes to say, “I don’t suffer fools lightly.”

He got kicked out of 3 of the 6 classes in his last year of high school. He was the rebellious one and in his words, the “black sheep” of the family. Because of his experiences, he became afraid of school and formal education.

But John is also the type of person who gets
things done. He used his weakness and turned it into a strength when, to his surprise later in his life, he became a teacher himself. How did he overcome his fears?

David Rudkin – Paleobiologist
It’s the Fossils themselves that really pull me

Dave is living proof that you can live your dreams at work even though other people tell you that you don’t have the “right” credentials.

He had a strong mentor in his father who refused to let a lack of higher formal education stop him from becoming a VP of a large trust company. David’s passion for fossils and his career helped him overcome this challenge and many other obstacles he faced, like public speaking.


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