Be Courageous in Your Career

I was recently chosen as a finalist for Businesswoman of the Year at the Women Empowerment Awards. What a wonderful platform this is to celebrate female leadership. It was a special opportunity to come together as nominees, at the Shangri-La in Toronto, to not only be around a large group of dynamic women, but also to celebrate each other. There were many familiar faces, new and amazing women entrepreneurs to get to know and so many dynamic and powerful innovators to be inspired by. A huge congratulations to all the nominees and winners. Check them out at the bottom of this post. 

I took a leap of faith starting my own business – Faulhaber Communications in 2001 with the sole purpose of helping brands grow. 22 years later I am now the Founder & CEO and a brave and wonderful woman Lexi Pathak has taken over the day to day operations. I get asked a lot how I made it all happen, and it comes down to one word – COURAGE

I’ve made a lot of mistakes. No entrepreneur walks into a business perfectly but having the courage to keep going and move through those mistakes is where I have learned the most. It’s a constant cycle of growth and change. My entrepreneurial spirit means my eye is always on the future, propelling me forward. I see opportunities and I can’t help but dig into them! This translates directly into the business that I’ve run for 22 years.

Today, it is about creating wins not just for the business, but for my team and those around us. It’s not just about me. You have to bring everything you have – every day. I have found that bringing in others to be inspired by or to share in the wins is what really drives me. The cycle of empowerment is an ongoing initiative. None of us would be here without someone else shining a light on our path. A mentor once encouraged me to put my own name on the door – and that still sticks with me today as one of the most impactful moments of my career. It’s these moments we need to remember – the weight of the small initiative – to find ways to pay that generosity forward.

Giving back to other businesswomen

There are so many ways to support other women in business, be it volunteering, speaking opportunities, joining mentorship groups or simply making the time to speak with someone looking for advice. An important one to me is giving a leg up to women who need it to further their business. Whether it is financial or lending strategy, lionizing our own is a critical step to the future for many women. One great organization I support is KIVA, a non-profit that provides low-income entrepreneurs with micro loans around the globe. As a Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) alumni, I also wanted to give back to my alma mater. On FAULHABER’s 20th anniversary, we dedicated the Faulhaber Communications Award to TMU, a 20-year annual bursary commitment directed toward a female BIPOC student with aspirations to become a senior leader in communications. Our recent work with 1% for the Planet has also expanded our reach into new markets and we hope to lift female founders even further in our efforts towards a more sustainable future. 

Impactful moments on my journey

 It’s special to be at this stage of my journey and look back at my timeline – turning my one-woman consultancy that I started in my 20s into a full-fledged agency in my 30s and handing over the day to day work in my 40s. When you can service clients and not be in the room, that is a real moment. 

 Next up is innovation, business planning and mentorship to continue the cycle of empowerment. Not to mention continuing to grow a business amidst motherhood, and life in general. In the early days with newborns, it was a real challenge! And now with teens, it is yet another chapter of work-life integration. It takes a team to make big things happen. Having supportive collaborators at home and at work makes it possible. Make time to care for them all. Without those supports, I couldn’t have survived and grown through the transformation into the digital age and a pandemic or promoted myself and hand over the day to day reins of the business.

Lessons as a businesswoman 

Have a vision. You need to plan for success. Have an unwavering eye on what you want, work VERY hard at it and have the courage to make it happen. 

Use your network. Growth isn’t something that happens by accident. Most people are afraid to use their networks, but isn’t that the point of networking? Whether it’s a new connection or a lifelong one, ask for the advice. Ask for the connection to someone in their network. Ask to bounce an idea off of them.

Accept the modification. There are no rules, and curve balls are unavoidable. You will need bravery in your career.

Women of Empowerment Awards

Co-Founder: Klaudia Zinaty

Businesswoman of the Year: Finalists