5 Lessons You Learn in the First Year of Business

Bourbon-Honey-2.jpg

While sipping an Americano in a local coffee shop last summer, I made a decision that would change my life. I decided to take my little lifestyle blog and turn it into a business. Back then, I was young and dumb and I didn’t realize the magnitude of what I was about to do. It has been officially one year since Bourbon & Honey went from being a blog to a business. And it has been an incredibly tough, but wonderfully beautiful year. Not only have I been able to support my wonderful family of clients to tell their stories, but I have been able to collaborate with some of the best business owners in the city, and launch a dream project – Bloom Co. Since its humble beginnings as a blog, it has since become a way to inspire, support and educate women entrepreneurs as they build their businesses.

I’ve consumed dozens of Americanos since, added some awesome clients to the family, launched a magazine and learned some valuable lessons. Here are just five of them.

Lean Into Discomfort

Whether you are pursuing your business on the side, or it’s your full-time job, discomfort is normal. And it’s good. It means you are stepping into something new and exciting. You are eschewing the status quo and moving into the unknown. Stepping into the discomfort is where you find your true grit, where you find out what you are capable of. Yes, it will feel awful in the beginning, and you may want to return to what’s comfortable, but if you press through, you’ll find that you’ve created something beautiful that was worth every ounce of discomfort.

It’s Harder Than You Think

I’ve learned that what people often only see in my business is the final product. They see the Instagram post or the article. Maybe for you, it’s an Etsy shop or a website; maybe it’s a new bath product or branding package. They don’t see the work it took to create that website. They don’t see the emails, texts, documents and design files that it took to bring your branding package to market. And when we look at business and entrepreneurship that way, it can be easy to assume that it’s easy to do. In reality, it’s incredibly difficult and requires more of you than you thought. Being in business requires you to dig a little bit deeper, think a little bit smarter and work a little bit harder. But when you do the hard work, you can look back and say, “I did that!” and relish in the benefits of your hard work.

Have a Vision 

I say “have a vision” instead of “have a plan” because I don’t necessarily believe in business plans. Business changes so frequently that by the time you finish your business plan, it’s obsolete. Having a vision for your business allows you to create actionable goals and determine your roadmap for getting there. I have found more success with setting a vision and then jumping in rather than meticulously researching and planning before executing.

Find Your People

I’m not going to be the first person to tell you to “find your tribe, and love them hard.” However, it bears repeating because it is so important. There’s no way I would be where I am one year later if it weren’t for YYC Girl Gang, my business coach, my best friend and social media community. Each person’s support propelled me forward, helping me celebrate the good times and push through the difficult times.

Take Time For Yourself

In my opinion, the “hustle” is code for “burn out.” Listen, guys: it’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to say no to a project to protect your time, energy and mental health. It’s vital to the success of your business – and to your life – that you take a break. It doesn’t need to be something extravagant – it could be a simple morning sipping coffee on your porch, enjoying a dinner out with friends or relaxing with some tea and a book. Whatever you do, take a step back from your business and relax. You’ll notice that you come back more refreshed and productive.

I am beyond humbled to have been given the opportunity to build a business I love and pursue projects I’ve dreamt about. What I have learned this past year cannot be neatly described in 750 words. Beyond these five core lessons, I’ve learned to (in the words of Ms. Frizzle) take chances, make mistakes and get messy. It’s what fuels my business. It’s what defines me as an entrepreneur. It’s what I am taking into the second season of Bourbon & Honey.

 

 

 

5 Reasons A Business Coach is Your Best Investment Yet

startup-photos-1.jpg

You’ve invested everything you have into this, your baby. Your passion project and the thing you love most is built on all-nighters and the last dollars in your savings account. You have given your small business everything you’ve got. Now you wait. And while you wait for the storm, clouds of fear roll in. Then, it starts to rain the doubts every entrepreneur dreads.

What if I fail? What if I’m not ready? What if I’m doing it wrong?

It feels like you’re flying blind into an abyss of unanswerable questions. And you are. Lucky for you there are some secret weapons to help you on the rollercoaster of Entrepreneurship. The first being…

HIRE A BUSINESS COACH!

A Business Coach is like having a silent and zero equity partner. Your coach is trained to focus on the individual (you!) who runs the business, not the business itself. They are adept at raising an entrepreneur’s self-awareness, pinpointing what lights them on fire and fan their flames into a wild fire of creative strategy. The job of a business coach is to transport their client outside of their comfort zone to achieve results they never dreamed of as a solopreneur.

Not convinced? Here are five reasons a Business Coach is your best investment yet.

A Business Coach can give you the competitive advantage

Business can be cutthroat, but no one is doing what you do the way you do it. A Business Coach will focus on what makes your business unique by identifying your core values. Your core values are the reasons you do everything you do – they are the foundation of what you stand for. When you are able to act from a self-aware position, you will generate business from a place of honesty and authenticity. Who will be moved by your business when you’re honest and authentic? The clients you WANT. The business and projects you WANT. You will live the life you WANT.

A Business Coach identifies blind spots, strengths + weaknesses

A Business Coach listens deeply to what you say, but also to what you omit. They are like curious children with an incessant “why?” Business Coaches are able to pierce through the stories you tell yourself to reveal the hidden thought patterns that hold you back. For an entrepreneur to be successful, they must be willing to explore the areas of their business that are not only flourishing but withering. A Business Coach acts as a flashlight illuminating the darkest corners of your life that you dare not go alone. They provide an entrepreneur with a better vision to see their own solutions.

A Business Coach provides crystal clarity on your goals

The entrepreneurial mind is a beautiful web that catches and weaves ideas into existence, and so you started a business. That’s a completely different job to your creative work and now you’re tasked with running an administrative ship in order to share your work. That’s a lot of pressure! A Business Coach can help move you to intentional strategic action, and prioritize your needs to drive business, and support sustainable and purposeful growth. What do you want to achieve and how can we get you there?

A Business Coach holds you accountable

As an entrepreneur, you already have a blossoming creative mind but how is your execution? Entrepreneurs are their own bosses and report to no one, so it can be easy to fudge deadlines. A Business Coach acts as a reminder for the promises you make to yourself. A Business Coach does not give you the luxury of promise-breaking, but they do not judge you if you miss the boat. Rather, a Business Coach uses accountability as one more opportunity to get you crystal clear on what REALLY matters.

A Business Coach helps you get unstuck + find motivation

Creatives are sorely aware of the mental roadblocks that come with sharing pieces of their soul. Sometimes the well runs shallow and you need a top up. A Business Coach is equipped to ask you powerful questions and offer up space to explore: “what’s really important to you?”, “What beliefs do you hold that limit you?” These questions have the potential to open Pandora’s box and bring you to inspiration you never thought possible.

Having a Business Coach is like having a best friend who is 100% focused on making you the most self-aware, successful and best version of yourself.

Business coaches create a playground for you to dabble in ideas you may not feel comfortable exploring with loved ones — for fear of judgment or unintentional discouragement. Coaches aren’t afraid to tell you the hard truths and will challenge you in new ways to keep you moving towards your bigger picture.

A Business Coach can be your business’ secret weapon, the rabbit up your sleeve, your greatest ally. Who wouldn’t want that?


About The Author

Kimberley Dawn is a professionally trained and certified Small Business + Life Coach through The Coaches Training Institute.

She works with Trapped Professionals, Creative Entrepreneurs + Small Business Owners to help them take positive action in their lives and businesses. Kimberley Dawn co-creates strategic + meaningful roadmaps to guide clients through the minefield of entrepreneurship.

Kimberley Dawn can help you feel like you matter. Because you do. She can help you build something that matters. Because you can.

www.kdandyou.com

Skills Entrepreneurs Should Have to Build A Successful Business

startup-photos.jpg

Alright, guys, let's get real for a second. How many times have you asked yourself whether you are cut out for entrepreneurship? How many times have you questioned your ability to withstand the highs, lows and everything in between? I've owned my business for just over one year (and I totally missed my business's birthday! :O), and I have asked myself these questions AT LEAST once per month. It's natural for us as business owners to question our qualifications and abilities to build a business.

Here's the thing: there are countless Gary Vee videos, inspirational quotes and success stories to make entrepreneurship look glamorous. And while inspiration and passion are important to sustaining a business, there are a few skills entrepreneurs should have to build a successful business.

Managing money

A business with poor cash flow isn't going to last long term. It's crucial to the health (and wealth) of your business that you know how to budget and understand exactly where your money is going and how to take control of your cash flow.

If you choose to do your own accounting, try an accounting software like Quickbooks that can make it easy to manage your money. If you choose to retain an accountant, be sure to ask questions to understand your numbers.

Learn how to read an income statement, balance sheet and a cash flow statement. The more you know your numbers, the more control you will have over your money - and the more you can use that to your advantage.

Skills Entrepreneurs Should Have to Build A Successful Business

Managing stress

Building a business is an incredibly stressful venture. Entrepreneurs experience many different types of stress: financial, mental, emotional and social. And while stress can be effective in getting stuff done, it can have a negative impact on our health and well-being. In fact, mental health issues affect 72% of entrepreneurs, according to this University of California study.

It's important to manage your stress appropriately, so you can deal with the inevitable and natural frustrations that arise. Some of my favorite strategies include:

  • Reach out to a support network of entrepreneurs.
  • Set boundaries between work and play.
  • Set aside time for play.
  • Get some exercise.
  • Reach out to a professional.

READ MORE: Entrepreneurship and Mental Health: Breaking the Silence

I would add here that an important skill to learn is resiliency. Businesses go through ups and downs, and having strategies in place to weather the rollercoaster will fuel you every season, even when things don't look amazing.

Building relationships

Whether you are service or product-based, relationships are the bedrock of a great business. Every day, you are building relationships with clients, customers, suppliers, vendors and investors. Learning how to navigate the intricacies of different personal and professional relationships will help you manage conflicts, win new business, hire and manage employees and build a strong company culture.

Learning how to navigate the intricacies of different personal and professional relationships will help you manage conflicts, win new business, hire and manage employees and build a strong company culture.

Skills Entrepreneurs Should Have to Build A Successful Business

Being self-aware

Being self-aware allows you to take a step back every once in a while, assess where you are, determine where you need to be, calibrate your actions and keep going. Doing this not only forces you to stop and assess, it encourages you to look at everything that has happened in your business and celebrate the accomplishments and learn from the failures.

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses allows you to understand what you are good at and what you need to outsource. For example, I know I am a good strategist, so developing vision, goals and strategies are my strengths. This helps me see the bigger picture and build my business on a larger scale. I am not very good with logistics, so I have staff who take care of the details. Between the two of us, we can maximize our strengths and minimize our weaknesses.

Managing time

Your time as an entrepreneur is very limited, so it important to be wise about how you spend it.

If you've been running a business for a while now, you might be familiar with The Pareto Principle, which says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort. So you have to scrupulously prioritize your tasks: you have to decide which tasks will move your business forward. Focus on those tasks, and you'll feel less stressed about your to-do list, leaving you more time to enjoy the life you're building. For

Check out this blog post for some killer productivity tips.

Being an entrepreneur is not an easy feat. It demands more mental energy, stamina and effort than you think you can handle. But here's the thing: if you're doing it, baby, you're doing it. Keep learning these skills and you'll bloom into a beautiful, badass business chick you are.

Finding Your Girl Gang: Why Friendships Are Important In Business

pexels-photo-296882.jpeg

A pastor once told me, "Show me your friends, and I will show you your future." In an effort to show me that the people you hang around with have a significant impact on your life and your future, he taught me a few lessons about friendship and business. Your friends are there to help you celebrate your milestones and grieve your disappointments. But your friends can also help you get more out of work and life, including business and financial success, career success and overall satisfaction.

This week, we are uncovering the reasons why friendships are important in business and hwo you can find you group of friends to achieve success and satisfication in business and life.

The importance of friends in business.

When you surround yourself with focused, ambitious, motivated and smart people, it is likely that you will adopt the same attitude. I love hanging out with people who are relentlessly pursuing love and compassion, achieving their goals with an unmatched level of grace. These people are everything I aspire to be - and hanging around them will only let me absorb, learn and become like them.

Having friends at your office or in your business is important to feeling supported, safe and productive. According to this study done by researchers in Hong Kong, workplace loneliness is related to negative performance. I went through a period at an office where I was not supported, which made me feel unsafe. As a result, my productivity and performance were poor. As entrepreneurs, feelings of loneliness can breed anxiety. When you have quality friendships that motivate you and support you, you'll find yourself more focused and passionate about whatever you do.

I think about my own #girlgang in Calgary. There is no way I would be able to do what I do without them. If it weren't for my business friends, I wouldn't have met my business coach - and Kim has helped me unlock doors to my creativity, resourcefulness and business savvy that I didn't even know were there. Some of other entrepreneur friends will gather to cathartically release our frustrations, fears and doubts about our work - as well as encourage each other through the journey. This group has supported this business from the beginning and has become a significant piece of its success.

I have found that building these friendships has opened up the doors to endless opportunities. Many of my friends have sent me referrals, asked me to collaborate or have contributed to my blog.

why friendships are important in business

Find your girl gang.

Entrepreneurship can be quite isolating at times, and because friendship is vital to success (however that looks for you), it's important to find your group of friends that will support and encourage you - and give you the kick in the pants you need. (We all need those every so often.)

Here are some tips to find your personal girl gang.

  • Check out MeetUp. From coffee to business to hiking, there is a group for every interest, skill level and life stage. This might take some trial and error, but finding the right group will be worth it.
  • Find an entrepreneur association, networking group or community organization. Check if your city has something similar to YYC Girl Gang, YYC Blogger Babes or The Ace Class.
  • Take it to social media. There is nothing wrong with establishing relationships through social media. For instance, I can connect with the entrepreneurs in Rising Tide Society or Female Entrepreneur Association and find support, encouragement and advice.
  • Volunteer. Nothing bonds with together than service and empathy. Find something you're interested in and get involved. You never know who you'll meet.
  • Be picky. As entrepreneurs, most of our time is devoted to building our businesses, so it's important to use that precious free time wisely to build relationships that matter.

Is your friend group amazing? Tell me about them!

 

 

10 Questions to Ask A Freelance Writer

Bourbon-Honey-16.jpg

"I have tons of time to write blogs." - said no business owner ever. Unless writing is your business or hobby, it's likely not something you want to spend a lot of time on. There's a lot involved in even a basic blog post. You have to think about the goals of your content, keywords, length, brand voice, content research, editing, image sourcing...

Exhausted?

This is where freelance writers are worth more than gold. Well, not really. But considering that content marketing is only getting started and you only have so many hours in the day to work on your business, we are really handy. See, when you are so busy running a business creating your goods and services, trying to figure out your cash flow statement or on the phone with the IT guys for the 100th time today, the LAST thing you want to think about is building high-quality content that connects and converts.

Enter freelance writers.

I've built an entire business designed to help entrepreneurs create incredible content that resonates with their audience and eventually (with some sales funnel magic) converts a few customers.

But it's important to hire the right writer for your business. Not every writer is going to understand what you do and who you are. Hiring the wrong one will end up causing you grief and a lot more money. Finding the right writer for your business can be challenging, so I've put together a list of 10 questions to ask a freelance writer to ensure you get the right one for your business.

Use these questions to guide your search to find your unicorn writer and once you've nabbed one of us, get ready to make some content magic!

how to write an "about us" page

What is included in your price?

A good freelance writer will set appropriate prices and will be very transparent in what those prices include. Get very specific with your writer on this part because it's fraught with opportunity to overcharge and underdeliver. Now that I've scared both the entrepreneurs and freelancers reading this, here's what you want to ask:

  • Does your package include keyword or topic research?
  • How many revisions are included?
  • Is your price for a specific length of content? (Typically, this falls somewhere in the 500-2000 word range. Be specific if you need more or less.)
  • Who is responsible for providing the images?
  • Is this an hourly service or a set rate?
  • Who will be responsible for measuring and optimizing content?

How do you adapt your writing to my brand voice?

Good writers are "word chameleons". We should be able to understand your brand's unique voice well enough to write content that will resonate. If you're a light-hearted, witty brand, writers should be able to adapt. I will usually do this by taking a look at your existing content, scouting for specific words or phrases that you use often and adapt my writing to fit that. A good writer will also ask questions to understand your audience and voice to produce a good piece of content. Don't hesitate to ask a potential writer to produce a simple piece of content to evaluate whether they can adapt their writing.

READ MORE: How To Create a Brand Style Guide

Do you have examples of previous work?

A good writer should have a portfolio of work. (For example, this blog acts as a large portion of my work as a writer.) If a writer does not have a portfolio, ask them to create a blog post, sales sheet or another simple piece of content to evaluate their work.

questions to ask a freelance writer

What is your process?

Writers are inherently creative, so process isn't exactly our sweet spot. But having an effective and efficient process will ensure that your project moves forward on time and on budget. A good writer should take you through their individual process. This question should encompass a series of additional questions including

  • What do you need to get started?
  • Will you be able to meet deadlines?
  • How will I pay you?
  • How will you handle revisions and proofreading?
  • Who owns the work? Do you get author credit?

For example, here is my process. This process assumes that we have already made a connection.

  1. Fill out a content brief. This is a document designed to capture as much information as possible to understand the project, including your goals, audience, competitors, key messages, scope of the project, etc.
  2. Establish roles, responsibilities, workflow, budget, payment terms, and deadlines. This is a meaty part of the process as it sets expectations regarding who will be responsible for what (research, keywords, image sourcing, linking, etc.). This is also where we develop a workflow that will keep the project moving, and we talk about your budget, how and when payment will be handled and timelines.
  3. Sign a contract. (Hard line here: no contract, no work. It protects the both of us.)
  4. Do the work: write, edit, repeat.
  5. Sign off on the project.
  6. Pop some bubbly. I will. You can join me, if you want.

What are you reading right now?

Good writers are active readers. It doesn't matter if it's a novel, blog or comic series, but it is important to know that whoever you hire is developing their writing skills by reading.

(In case you're interested, I am reading "How to Be A Bawse" by Lilly Singh, aka Superwoman.)

questions to ask a freelance writer

With what topics and formats are you most familiar?

I used to write blog posts for a funeral home. Yes, guys, a funeral home. Now I know more about embalming and space burials than I care to. To start, I wasn't incredibly familiar or excited about the subject matter and to be honest, my writing was not as good as it could have been. This post is all about finding the right freelancer for the job, so hiring someone who neither has much expertise nor passion about plumbing may not be the right fit for your blooming plumbing business. A lifestyle writer might be a better fit for your floral business than a business writer. You'll spend less time educating your writer and more time letting them wow you with their magic.

How do you source credible research?

If you're trying to rank, drive traffic or even establish a little brand awareness, developing authority in your industry is essential. Linking to non-credible sources in your content will not help you. Ask a potential writer where they find their information and how they vet a particular source.

What pieces need to be in place for a successful content project?

Content is created for a purpose and an audience. Good writers will create content keeping the goal and the audience always front of mind.

What do you know about SEO?

Good writers will understand how to incorporate white hat SEO practices into your content. They will understand how to weave in keywords, add alt tags, build links and adapt to algorithm changes.

What do you love about writing?

Nothing is more infectious than someone who loves what they do. Their passion is palpable, and that passion is transposed into great work. 

After your conversation with a potential freelancer, you should understand:

  • how the work will get done;
  • who will be responsible for what;
  • how much the work will cost;
  • the logistics of the project (payment terms, deadlines, etc.); and
  • whether a writer is right for your business.

Hiring a freelancer writer is not much different than hiring an employee. Passion, culture and character are essential components to a great professional relationship. These questions should give you confidence that you've hired the right person for the job.

Think you and I would make some content magic? Click the button below to learn more about how Bourbon & Honey can help create amazing content for your business.

 

Entrepreneurship and Mental Health: Breaking The Silence

pexels-photo-196464.jpeg

This is a bit of a new post for me. It’s also one of the most important. Quite recently, Instagram released a new campaign called #HereForYou. The goal of this campaign is to bring together stories from Instagram users around the world who struggle with mental illness. I love this campaign because it gives those of us who are affected by mental illness a space to share real, honest, stigma challenging stories amongst the barrage of those beautiful-sunset-live-authentic-unicorn-perfect-life posts.

Mental health is a very personal topic to me. While I’m not going to share my story here, I do want to talk about how our mental affects our lives as entrepreneurs – and how the entrepreneurial life affects our mental health.

As an entrepreneur, I help businesses tell better stories through simple and beautiful content. This means I spend a significant amount of time on social media developing content, managing comments and researching best practices.

However, this isn’t always the most positive thing.

I often find myself comparing my work to other social media managers, picking apart my own writing and expertise and ultimately believing the lie that I am not good enough. Throw in some interesting characters and life’s curveballs and things can get messy – quickly.

The nature of entrepreneurship is a turbulent experience. We’ve all been there: we are sitting on the mountain top one day and trudging through the valley the next day.

Silence around entrepreneurship and mental health

We are so good at talking about the mountain tops – the business developments, partnerships, successful markets. But we aren’t so good at talking about the valleys – the financial stress, loneliness, long hours. And often, we struggle to find the balance between all of this.

Think about your last conversation. It probably started something like this:

“How are you?”

“I’m good! Busy, but good. How are you?”

“Very busy, too. But good.”

There’s always a flurry of activity in our daily life as entrepreneurs. There is a never-end list of to-dos, tasks, and it’s very easy to get caught up in all of it. And when we do, we risk missing out on the beauty of life and we catapult towards burnout. I don’t know about you, but I find that when other people tell me I’m #killingit, I usually respond with an internal “yeah, #killingit is probably going to #killme.”

What we don't talk about is entrepreneurship and mental health.

Executive coach and author, Ali Worthington shares her struggles to find balance among her business, family, faith and herself in her book, Breaking Busy. In a society that tells us to be more, do more, know more, we can feel like we are – and will never be – enough. If you are living in this space where you feel like you are running around trying to keep up with all the demands of life, I highly suggest you read this book.

We undercut the concept of “busyness”. There’s still a narrative out there that promotes the “hustle attitude”, where you work, work, work, work until you get what you want.

But what we don’t talk about in the hustle is how this attitude negatively affects our health – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

READ MORE: Why Self-Care is Good for Business

Since 2009, workplace stress has more than doubled. (Source, 2014.) When you are starting up and running your business, the stressors increase. Not only do you have to think about doing excellent work, you have bills to pay, people to hire and IT issues to solve.

In this collaborative study by University of California and Stanford University, researchers found that mental health issues affect 72% of entrepreneurs compared to the study’s control. What’s more is that they found it is 30% more likely that entrepreneurs will suffer from lifetime depression.

READ MORE: Are Entrepreneurs Touched by Fire?

These stats are staggering and scary.

So why don’t we talk about it more?

Some of us are scared. Some of us believe that we will be rejected if we say that we are not okay.

The social stigma attached to mental health and the discrimination that comes with it can cause those who deal with it to stay silent.

I know this because I’ve been here – recently, in fact.

I never talked about it because I didn’t want to burden anyone. I didn’t want to bring anyone down. I didn’t want to be a stressor in someone else’s life. And that attitude of self-sacrifice to serve others was preventing me from truly serving the people around me and I ended up feeling isolated.

The truth is that we NEED to talk about it. We need to talk about it often and in-depth. Because we aren’t just dealing with a little sadness and stress here and there. We are dealing with entire lives.

And it doesn’t matter how mental illness appears. It could manifest in anxiety disorder, severe panic attacks, chronic depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder.

However, it manifests in your life, it’s important to know that you are not alone. You are human. You are allowed to express how you feel and be honest about your mental health.

Why we need to break this silence

Learning to live with mental illness is a struggle. But it isn’t shameful.

It starts with honesty. I didn’t realize I was experiencing mental health issues in various forms until I mustered enough encourage to talk to my best friend about it. It gets easier the more you talk about it. The more you talk about it, and the more honest you become, the more we can all make the world a better place for those of us who struggle with mental health on a daily basis.

And as entrepreneurs, it’s particularly vital that we are honest about our mental health. Not only is our mind and body at stake, but our business is at risk, too. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people (aka other entrepreneurs) can help you cope with mental health issues.

Let’s support each other

Here are a few strategies you can use to get connected and supported in your mental health journey:

  • Find a support group. I love my #GirlGang. They are a group of girls who are running businesses, side hustles, blogs, community organizations, so they understand the stress and toll it takes on each of us. So find a group of people who are going through similar experiences such as motherhood, entrepreneurship, education, etc. This community becomes a huge support during those days that are not good.
  • Set healthy boundaries. Create space for work and personal time. Schedule in time for self-care, even if it is a simple bubble bath or a walk.
  • Learn when to say no. Taking on too much can lead to feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. Set boundaries and only say yes to what you truly want to do.
  • Reach out to a psychologist, therapist or counselor. These people are specifically trained to help you deal with mental health issues.
  • Be honest. If you are not okay, tell someone.

Mental health is no joke. If you are struggling, reach out. We are not meant to live life in isolation – we are meant to live in community, to lean on each other in the good and bad times.

NOTE: This post was created in collaboration with Breaking Free Foundation, local non-profit that supports victims of trauma find healing, hope and recovery. To learn more about Breaking Free Foundation, please visit www.breakingfreefoundation.ca.