From roadblocks to small business of the year

Paula Morand, speaker and inspiration tells about going from Roadblocks to “Small Business of the Year”.


What do you do when you hit a roadblock to your five-year plan?

How do you push yourself to keep going when obstacles suddenly appear?


For Paula Morand, the first roadblock encountered was being part of a layoff from the Ministry of Education. At only 27 with very few years in the workforce, she knew that her prospects of being rehired with the school board were slim. Instead of letting that weigh her down as a negative experience, she took a risk and reinvented herself.

Not only did she reinvent herself, but she also used the challenge to help others affected by the cut-backs.

“I had a passion for working with teens with disabilities.” Paula says. “As I was speaking with parents, I realized that future funding for supportive services for their children was also being reduced, and in some cases cutoff.” To continue to use her passion, and to meet that need, Paula became an entrepreneur.

“Entrepreneurship wasn’t something I was raised knowing how to do,” Paula explains. “I fell into it as a survival strategy as I needed a job to support my family. I started asking parents if they would be interested in signing a one-year contract with me if I started a new company that provided a safe and engaging life-skills day program for adults with developmental disabilities.”

And her risk paid off. “The interest from the community was exhilarating and admittedly terrifying. Without any business experience I got started. I found a fellow colleague who became my business partner and we moved ahead quickly. Within our first year we had our doors open, had a full caseload of clients, over a dozen staff, various strategic partners, and won Small Business of the Year!”

In her book, Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything, Paula encourages the reader to change their perception of their difficulties.

“Too often we feed into the negative messages we tell ourselves, or believe that there is no way out of certain situations as they seem too daunting. When I shifted my perspective and focused on doing more of those things that I did well, the doors of opportunity started opening. Gaining renewed confidence, I became clear on where I wanted to go and how I wanted to impact the world using my gifts.”

As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you know that starting a business is a road is full of twists and turns. It comes down to finding your reason for sacrificing and taking action within your strengths.

Paula explains, “I have had those moments of feeling alone and in the desert, paralyzed with fear and uncertainty and being afraid to make the wrong decision. What excited and drove me early on in my career is that I saw a problem that I could be a part of solving. Then I took the steps to try.”

Paula Morand is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold expert brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and impact in a more bold fashion. 23 years, 25,000 clients, 19 countries, 11 books, Former radio personality, 10x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee. Paula lives in London Ontario when not travelling to inspire others. Read more on and follow her on facebook 

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