Natali Pupovac-Peters is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Southwestern, Ontario. She is a Franchise Consultant with FranNet. Natali is in the business of putting other people into business – literally! She works with people who want to become business owners and explore franchise opportunities as a way of achieving that goal. We are excited to share Natali’s Success Story!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I honestly don’t think I remember a time that I wanted to be anything other than an entrepreneur. I’m not sure if this is because I grew up with an entrepreneurial Dad, because early on I recognized the benefits of being my own boss, or because it was a career that was off the ‘normal’ path.
However, even though I knew this was something I always wanted to do, it wasn’t an easy path getting to this point. I completed my education, worked for a small business as well as a large corporation, before I had the courage to take the leap into entrepreneurship. I think my biggest inspiration was the lifestyle that I knew I could have and the lifestyle I can give my kids as a result. I’m not talking about money, but about the flexibility to spend the time with my kids and my husband when I choose to and not when my work allowed me to. It’s about spending the day with my kids if they’re sick or taking that family vacation and not having to worry about whether I can get the time off, or whether or not my boss will be upset about it. So even though I always knew I was going to be an entrepreneur, it was having control over my days, my income and my future that inspired me to finally take that leap.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
It’s definitely the control – having control over my time, my income potential and my future.
My husband works all sorts of crazy shifts and he works out of town. It was critical for me to have the flexibility to work around his schedule in order to make sure that our kids were always taken care of and that we could give them the opportunities that they need, even if they don’t fit into the typical 9-5 mold.
Secondly, I like being in control of my income potential. I didn’t like my income being tied to industry standards, but rather to my work ethic and work quality.
Lastly, having control over my future. It’s funny because most people out there consider entrepreneurship risky and working for someone else more secure. Yet, I would argue that the opposite is true. Many of my clients are individuals who have spent 20, 30, and 40 years working for someone else just to be laid-off due to various reasons. When you work for yourself, you don’t have to worry about that. Your promotion is also not tied to company policies or subjective performance reviews. It is only tied to you and the things that you do day in and day out.
Can you describe a typical day?
I’m not sure if there is such thing as a typical day for me. Client meetings, franchisor exploration, networking events, personal development, managing the administrative side of the business and speaking engagements are just some of the tasks that determine how my days will shape up. However, regardless of the variances in my days, I always try to take some “me” time in the morning and get my workout in, get my kids ready for daycare, have dinner ready for when they get home and spend a bit of quality time with them before putting them to bed. Sometimes I do have to be away in the evenings, but I try to limit it to 2-3 times a month at the most.
Who do you count on for help?
My biggest supporter and helper is undoubtedly my husband. I definitely could not do what I’m doing without his support. When I have evening or weekend obligations, he’s the one that is left to take care of the kids and other obligations and he rarely (I won’t say never) complains. He understands that if I’m going to be successful in my career, it’s going to be a team effort.
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
Oh, definitely! I don’t think anyone can say they haven’t. Sometimes I have to miss family time or extracurricular activities because of client meetings or networking meetings. Other times I have to cancel appointments because my kids are sick and I need to be with them. It goes both ways. However, I think all those sacrifices are miniscule compared to the sacrifice of control I would have to make if I did not own my own business.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
I can’t say that I’ve ever had a day that I don’t check my emails at all, but I’ve definitely had days when work takes the backseat to other, more fun things. I think this is probably a cliché answer, but I just love spending time with family and friends. Whether it’s watching my son play hockey, spending the day playing by the pool, getting together for a glass of wine with some friends, or playing a game of soccer. Travel is definitely something that my husband and I enjoy and hope to do more of as our kids are growing up. We love spending time outside, so camping is definitely on the list for the upcoming summer!
What does the future look like for you and your business?
I think I have a good idea of certain aspects and goals of my future, but there are parts that are completely uncertain. That is the scary part, but it’s also the exciting part – knowing that I have the ability to create whatever future I want for myself. As far as franchise consulting, I plan to help hundreds of people take the risk that I took and achieve their dreams of business ownership. The thought of helping people create the lifestyle that they’ve always envisioned is what drives me. That’s the piece of my future that I feel very confident about.
Exploring new business ideas is where the uncertainty comes from. I have ideas and ‘goals’ that I’ve set out for myself, so I’m curious to see how those pan out. Public speaking is also something that I thoroughly enjoy and hope to do more of in the future.
Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
Don’t wait for the perfect time… it will never come. You will never feel like you have enough money or enough knowledge. The reality is that this feeling comes from fear. If you’re unhappy in your current situation, you have to change it. That positive change will never come if you keep doing the same thing over and over again. You have to get out of your comfort zone. I’m a big believer in big risks equal big rewards.
What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
I see, first-hand, the benefits entrepreneurship has brought to my life and the positive way it has changed it. The thought of being able to help others make the same positive changes in their life is amazing. Being able to help people manifest the lifestyle they envision is extremely motivating and rewarding.