My name is Mel and my business card reads: Melanie Morin, CEO / StaffStat, Inc. Am I a software developer, nope! A code writer? Not on your life! A girl; born and raised in Northern Ontario (Black River, Matheson to be exact), you bet! What do I love about Northern Ontario? One of the best parts about living in Northern Ontario, for me, is the entrepreneurial spirit. If you want to learn about starting a company, Sudbury, Ontario is a great place to learn.
I was told to introduce myself in my first blog contribution (which is on my bucket list by the way). Here goes: I fill my life with things I love: music, art, photography. Those ambitions and outlets consume my evenings and weekends. By day, I transition into ‘Professional Mel’. Anywhere I’ve worked, my first thought walking is usually; “How do I make this process better?”, “How do we make this more efficient?”. Whether it’s my other businesses that have influenced my way of thinking or whether it’s simply innate, it has always served me well to question, consider and implement. Not fearful of voicing my opinion but cautious of the manner in which I deliver that opinion, I will say that I have seen myself grow leaps and bounds in the past 3 years.
I took a chance in the early spring of 2012 and transitioned from a comfortable career to a position with a budding company by the name of Plan A Health Care Staffing Solutions, Inc., where the only promise made was that it would be a roller coaster ride worth taking! Like a roller coaster, we started slow and ever so slightly crouched our way to the unknown before we were released into a continuous free fall of craziness and unexpected twists and turns. Since then, I’ve learned to strap myself in and take it all in. I am now running a startup software company which provides me with an education and experience I could never buy. There’s so much to learn and every day is an eight hour class in problem solving, customer service excellence 101 and accounting. For a first timer, it’s a double edged sword when you have the lifeline of a company in the palm of your hand. It fills you with pride yet anxiety. It’s an honour and all the while, the worries including but not limited to new customers, marketing campaigns, the bottom line, financial applications and policies & procedures eat at you pretty consistently. You want to be sure of yourself but so much of everything you’re doing is new.
When we thought of putting together a blog, I knew immediately that I wanted to share experiences and advice when in the beginning stages of running a new company. Because this is my first blog post, I figured I would deliver a huge nugget (see below as you die with anticipation)…
A key piece of advice for anyone looking to grow is this: The only person who is afraid to seek out mentorship, ask for help, and meet with anyone who can provide them with assistance, is the unsuccessful person. The number of mentors for each and every single phase of the process we’ve encountered has been numerous. Each mentor brings something to the table and while not every individual you meet will be an absolute fit, you will quickly learn that there is always something to take away from each and every single meeting! Set a goal to meet with 3 people per week that you think might have some advice/insight, contacts/partnerships and/or life experience to offer. Go to every meeting with loads of gratitude and questions in mind. This is their turn to talk and your turn to learn.