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Mary Ciancibello | Ottawa | Opportunity Is Knocking!

I can pin point the exact moment. I knew I always wanted to be my own boss, start something of my own - I just didn't quite believe in myself the way I should have. One day, a colleague of mine told me that she can't wait to see me giving advice on TV and in print. It made me realize that if she could see that potential in me, I should too. The very next week, I started my business and was on a local television spot within a month.

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them as an entrepreneur?

My biggest failure is thinking that everyone had the same good intentions that I did. I have been burned multiple times by expecting people to run their profession on the same values I run mine.

How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

There are definitely pros and cons. As an entrepreneur, you are never "off". Opportunities knock on evenings and weekends, and as a business owner you can't afford to not answer. On the plus side, my children are witnessing me strive towards building my own empire on my own terms. They get a kick out of watching me get organized for segments and photo shoots, and have even joined me once or twice. My 10 and 8 year olds have a serious creative eye :).

What motivates you as an entrepreneur?

Being empowered and empowering others motivates me. I know it sounds cliché, but it's the truth.

How do you generate new ideas when you are working on your projects?

It’s a very organic process. Of course, what I see on TV and social media inspires me, but putting my own spin on ideas is always fun. It’s also awesome when I can identify a gap, and create a project to based on a real need.

What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?

Follow your own path and stick true to you. So many with well intentions have offered advice, but they don’t know my journey, my aspirations. It’s not always going to be easy, and if you don’t recognize yourself at the end of the day, then it’s not worth it.


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