Posted on

Mompreneur® Awards Spotlight on Mélanie Levenberg of PL3Y Education

Mélanie Levenberg is a Finalist for The 2020 Mompreneurs® Momentum Award, recognizing her success and leadership as a service-based or non-profit business supporting the greater community (locally or globally), as the Founder of PL3Y Education Inc.

Mélanie is an international speaker, TEDx presenter and Chief PLAY Officer at PL3Y International Inc, a Vancouver-based company that provides movement and mental wellness programming to schools and recreation centers across the world. A certified trainer and fitness instructor, Mélanie holds a Masters of Education in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, a B.Ed. in Health and Physical  Education and B.A. Hrs in Kinesiology.  Applying best practices in positive thinking, personal development, fitness, health and physical education, she has created various physical literacy programs that inspire kids, teens and adults to get active as they claim their Bubble of Awesome and live the 3 Rules of PLAY: Be Positive. Be Fun. Be Yourself. 

Her proudest accomplishments include being a mom to 2.5 year old Joey, wife to Justine, and building a company that has impacted over 3 million kids worldwide and created over 250 jobs where people make a living doing something they love.

Mélanie’s Top Tips for Other Women Thinking of Starting a Business:

  1. Get Clear On Your DESIRES. Why are you desiring to start this business? What would it mean for you and what would you want to create for yourself/your family? Having a clear understanding of your desires for starting a business will help you to identify how you’d like to build your business, who you need to support you and what kind of business model will work for you.
  2. Get Yourself a POSSE. Entrepreneurship is an exciting journey. Our brains tend to think that it’s going to be like going for a long walk through the fields of Saskatchewan…when really, you need to be preparing yourself for a trek over the Rockies. Having a community of mentors who have been along the path before you is a game-changer when that heavy ‘weather’ kicks in.
  3. Get Real, Not Perfect. If you’re waiting for things to be perfect (Perfect timing, perfect hair, perfect social media plan, perfect website, perfect headshot, perfect e-book, perfect financial situation) you’re going to wait a LONG time. Here’s a truth bomb: Your perfection doesn’t activate people, your ACTION does. Don’t wait, do it now. Your new business is going to serve someone who needs you, who is waiting for you to take action so you can help them. One step is all that’s needed for action to happen…
  4. Get Talking and Connecting! When starting your company, YOU are the energy of the business. Get excited to share share share what you are doing! Learning how to communicate how your business helps others allows you to more fully serve your purpose on this planet! Get out there so that your ideal clients can find out!
  5. Get Used to Being Uncomfortable. At first I thought business was about serving others. Then, I shifted to the purpose of business was ‘making money’ doing what I love. (Yes…that’s the second phase…I’m one of those people who started a business and didn’t really know how to make money… and as long as I was helping people I was happy). Once I learned the money game, I then really stepped into what, to me, business REALLY all about: growing as a human being.

Some people say that you’ll never discover as much about yourself as you will in business. I say, those people don’t have kids, because to me, being a Mom has taught me so much about myself, and given me so many opportunities to grow.

As I evolve and choose to take my company to the next levels of revenue, scaling, impact and reach, I’m constantly facing the fears, challenges, attitudes, and perceptions that I hold.

Moving to new phases in business means that you have to let go of versions of yourself that may be holding you back. Being uncomfortable is part of the deal. Just like when the doctors handed you your first born, and you thought: ‘How can I love something so much and be equally terrified that I have no idea what I’m doing?”, starting a business is one of the most wonderful and exhilarating things you can do.

Just like having and raising that adorable baby, it’s challenging, it will bring you to your knees, you’ll find strengths and qualities you never knew you had, and discover that with a positive attitude and open mind, the lifestyle, freedom and fulfilment that you get are so worth it!

Posted on

Mompreneur® Awards Spotlight on Julie LeJeune of Wish & Give

Julie LeJeune is a Finalist for The 2020 Mompreneurs® Momentum Award, recognizing her success and leadership as a service-based or non-profit business supporting the greater community (locally or globally), as the Founder of Wish & Give.

Julie created Wish & Give to solve a problem. As a dedicated volunteer, she noticed small, local charities don’t always have the time or the means to raise funds and awareness.

“These organizations are making an incredible difference at the grassroots level,” says Julie, who has worked in the non-profit sector for nearly 20 years. “But the staff members can barely find the time to fundraise. Sometimes they’re struggling just to keep the lights on. I wanted to find a way to help with that.”

“Friends often tell us they want to give back to their community, but they don’t have time to volunteer,” comments Julie. “That’s when I had the idea to help them fundraise through the events they’re planning anyway. Everyone wins!”

And that’s how Wish & Give was born – as a way to help Canadians help local charities help others. So Julie went to work, creating a unique, easy-to-use platform for community members to plan events and raise money for their favourite charity.

The Top Things Julie Couldn’t Succeed Without:

  1. My Supportive Husband – honestly there is no way I could be doing this if he wasn’t supportive. This is completely personal and not advice to others, but I could not have spent personal finances to launch the company and forgone a salary for two years if he were not supportive and willing to pay the mortgage while I grow the business. He is forever optimistic that Wish & Give will scale and grow.
  2. Family & Friends – again completely personal. I have an amazing community of support. I have not heard one person doubt that I can do this or question if the business is viable. I have girlfriends in sales, marketing, social media, and business who have provided endless hours of support to help Wish & Give. I am forever grateful.
  3. Small Business Group – being a member of a business group has provided much needed advice and emotional support. I have met amazing women who are doing incredible things and who are always willing to lend a helping hand, collaborate, or commiserate.
  4. Community – the community around me has been amazing at using the site and putting up with the glitches that come with a new website. I now have customers who have used the site 3 years in a row!
  5. Our Kids – they keep me going. Every day when I walk my two kids to school and hold my 8-year-old’s warm little hand, I’m reminded how happy I am that I made the choice to leave the 9 to 5 world with international travel so that I can now work from home. I’m no longer jet setting to Asia, but instead I am present with my kids in this short season of life.
Posted on

Mompreneur® Awards Spotlight on Shontelle DuBois of Shontelle DuBois Fitness Inc.

Shontelle DuBois is a Finalist for The 2020 Mompreneur® Award of Distinction, recognizing her success and leadership in the service industry as a successful business owner with Shontelle DuBois Fitness Inc.

Shontelle DuBois is the epitome of a phenomenal woman who faced many hardships, and who’s journey has gone viral with 6.3 million views. Shontelle was in a 7 car accident, unconscious at the scene and did 3 years of rehab. She became a chronic binge eater weighing 245 pounds. Shontelle worked out losing 105 pounds. Shortly after, Shontelle was fired from work and had an eviction notice. A single mother and desperate, Shontelle turned to her Jane and Finch apartment stairwells to show people how they could lose weight like she did. Many laughed, but she kept going to avoid becoming homeless with her daughter. She turned to social media, and her clients finally came slowly, allowing Shontelle to help transform each person in 30 days. After training in the stairwells for 2 years, Shontelle opened her own fully equipped gym in Woodbridge, Ontario. She is now a highly sought trainer and has a 4 month wait list of clients eager to be transformed by her.

What Shontelle Couldn’t Have Succeeded Without:

  1. I could not have succeeded without my child. Knowing that I had to provide for her gave me the strength to make it through my struggles. The fact that I was a single mother meant that I had no one to depend on but me. I had to figure it out.
  2. You have to have an idea and be willing to see it through even when the odds are stacked against you.
  3. Staying strong. We teach our children that when people laugh and tease them about their ideas that they should continue on their path and stand strong and believe in themselves.
  4. Intuition. You have to have a firm belief in what you want to do and follow your heart and mind where it leads you.
  5. The ability to multitask. As a mompreneur I wear many different hats and I have to able to adapt to many different situations while doing the first most important task of raising a child. Being a mom coupled with being a trainer, nutritionist, marketer, social media correspondent, designer, accountant and manager is not always an easy feat and provides many constant challenges.
Posted on

Mompreneur® Awards Spotlight on Patsy Commisso of MCC Nutrition & Fitness Studio

Patsy Commisso is a Finalist for The 2020 Mompreneur® Award of Distinction, recognizing her success and leadership in the service industry as a successful business owner with MCC Nutrition & Fitness Studio.

With over 15 years of clinical practice, Patsy uses her experience to motivate for positive change. MCC Nutrition & Fitness Studio provides safe, simple and successful solutions to transform your health, with weight loss that works and results that last!

She educates patients on practical changes – the use of real food, simple meal plans, and emotional support. In addition to creating the MCC program and clinic, Patsy believes that living a healthy lifestyle is key. As a mom of three active kids, she believes in family meal time, the importance of eating healthy from the start, and volunteering as a coach to teach children the importance of activity and fair play. One of the most rewarding parts of Patsy’s life is witnessing the physical and mental transformation one makes in their health journey.

Patsy’s Top Tips for Other Women Thinking of Starting a Business:

Prior to starting a business, I strongly suggest that you define you!
As a person you have a role, it is to take care of your vessel and practice the three factors that are in your control – how you eat, think and move. These three habits tend to get lost and overshadowed by the many to do’s of raising a family and running a business. My daily plate (no pun intended) is very full, what allows me to handle the workload is upholding the healthiest version of me!

The second tip is a tedious task, but crucial – define your business and create a business plan.
There will be times where you will get lost in the day to day of your business, your business plan will be your road map to steer you into your desired direction. Your plan can fuse your roles as a business owner and as a mom. I remember writing my business plan – my goal was; the ability to create a one stop health shop and still drive my kids to school. My banker read this with a confused look on his face! I refused to erase that line, 20 years later, it is still an integral part of my daily operations and overall focus.

Doing it all is very different than trying to be superwomen – the reality is – you are not!
I have always accepted help when offered, I delegate tasks – even though my gut says I can do it faster and better. I am ok when things are not perfect, which is hard for a type A, but my beds can go undone. And I finally, I understand that I can’t be in two places at once, even when that’s the expectation.

Breathe and enjoy the ride!
At times it will seem that the walls are caving in, and your family and business tornado are colliding, this does happen. This may turn you into autopilot mom (that’s when you can’t hear what your kids are saying – and you just nod your head) and bitchy wife (when you snap at every word said). The key is to breathe, stop and smell the roses, make time to listen, laugh and take vacations. Mom’s are thermostats for families and their businesses when they are up (and happy) everything is up and vice versa when down.

A business cannot grow with you alone…
In the beginning, it was easy to get sucked into the “Patsy show” where I did it all – the web design, marketing, bookingkeeping… Over the years I have built a team that is an extension of me. I have found like-minded individuals and have cultivated an environment that empowers them to achieve. A team is more than a group of paid employees, it should also consist of other businesses, charities, family, mentors and networks that are willing to exchange support and share your interests in values and growth.

Posted on

Mompreneur® Awards Spotlight on Julie Rock of Julie Rock Photography

Julie Rock is a Finalist for The 2020 Mompreneur® Award of Distinction, recognizing her success and leadership in the service industry as a successful business owner with Julie Rock Photography.

Mompreneur Award finalist Julie Rock of Julie Rock Photography

Julie has had a passion for photography and a camera in her hand for as long as she can remember. She was gifted her first camera as a young child. That camera went everywhere with her! Eventually, Julie inherited her stepdad’s Minolta, which she used until she was introduced to the digital world. She was now able to to explore her creativity to the max! In 2008, Julie married her  husband Tyler. Between 2010 & 2014, they added three more beautiful children to their growing family. Their family was now complete. Today, the Rock household is full of life, laughter and a whole lot of noise.

From capturing their first few days of life to their first birthdays and catching those sweet natural expressions of innocence that only children have, Julie loves providing captures of those special moments for each of her clients. Maybe it’s because of the unique joy and experiences children bring to her life, that Julie is so passionate about giving each family she works with the gift of memories.

Julie’s Tips for Other Women Thinking of Starting a Business:

  1. Find your entrepreneur tribe. Being able to give advice, share ideas that are outside the box, support one another through the highs and lows, are what will you help get navigate the roller coaster of being an entrepreneur.
  2. “Don’t worry about what others say or do, just stay true to you.” Don’t get caught up in what others are doing in your industry. Figure out what you want to do, what is best for you and your business and stay focused on that.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is ok to admit that you don’t know it all. Starting and running a successful business is hard work. It takes time to learn. Find a mentor. Reach out to someone that has been running their business for a while and pick their brain.
  4. Have a stress outlet. Running a business and juggling a family, learning to balance is a real struggle. Remember that you have to look after YOU in order to be able to look after everyone else.
  5. Don’t be afraid to say “No”! It is ok to say no to something or someone that may not be beneficial to you both.

How I wish I knew all of this when I was starting out! These tips are from personal experiences over the years. I have gained this knowledge through not the best circumstances, but these have helped me to become the successful entrepreneur that I am today.

Posted on

Mompreneur® Awards Spotlight on Jacqueline De’Ath of Homeworks Etc.

Jacqueline De’Ath is a Finalist for The 2020 Mompreneur® Award of Distinction, recognizing her success and leadership in the service industry as a successful business owner with Homeworks Etc.

Mompreneur Award finalist Jacqueline De'Ath of Homeworks Etc.

Jacqueline is passionate about home décor, especially handmade. She recognizes the impact that decorating a home can have on family growth and connection. She also knows that we are all creative beings, and that we long for connection with others.  Crafting together fosters community – a wonderful opportunity to feel a part of something special, to unleash creativity, and to share a common passion. When not decorating cozy nooks in her own home, Jacqueline loves to spend time at the beach with her family, and always enjoys a glass of wine and a good chat with friends!

Jacqueline’s Top 5 Tips for Other Women Thinking of Starting a Business:

  1. Find your community – support from entrepreneurial peers is essential. We are here to help one another achieve our respective goals; sharing and caring is a vital component of growth. Mompreneur members have been an amazing support to my business growth and development.
  2. Ask for help – don’t be afraid to reach out to anyone who is an expert. Read a lot of books. Seek the answers. Take the guesswork out of start up. Invest in yourself and do the work. My Motto: DIY (Do It Yourself), but not alone. And just as important – return the favour when you can!
  3. Find the best bank to service your business needs – and ask for as much money as you can get, as you never know when you may need it. Consider it all – from credit cards to loans and lines of credit. You may not need to use it all, but you will have the security (and peace of mind) of a safety net from which to draw in times of need/growth.
  4. Fine-tune your niche market – is there a need for your product or service in the market? Test your product/ service before you enter the market.
  5. Surround yourself with supportive family and friends – don’t stand alone! Your family and friends are your biggest champions, from whom you will draw continuous strength. They are your deepest, most meaningful connections. One of my biggest personal values is health and wellness, playful experiences and connection! Tune out the noise and seek positive support.
Posted on

Mompreneur® Awards Spotlight on Dr. Dina Kulik of Kidcrew

Dina Kulik is a Finalist for The 2020 Mompreneur® Award of Distinction, recognizing her success and leadership in the service industry as a successful business owner with Kidcrew.

Dr. Dina Kulik is a mother, pediatrician and pediatric emergency medicine physician. She is the Founder and CEO of Kidcrew, a multidisciplinary clinic for children, providing a one stop for kids’ health. She is one of Canada’s leading child health experts, providing information through television, radio, print media, blogs (DrDina.ca, Kidcrew.com) and podcast. Dina is an assistant professor and staff physician at the Hospital for Sick Children. She is a serial entrepreneur and will soon launch MamaMD, a skin care line for eczema and Kydrate, a low sugar beverage with electrolytes, fiber and vitamins to keep kids hydrated, active and having fun. Dina is passionate about empowering caregivers to raise healthy, well-rested and well-behaved children. She is an avid runner and cyclist and recognizes that her commitment to living healthfully can be motivational and takes this responsibility seriously. Above all, Dina’s greatest joy is her family, being the mom of four happy, energetic boys.


Dina’s Top Tips for Other Women Thinking of Starting a Business:

  1. Spend some time every day on you, not your business. If you are entirely focused on your business and your family, you will feel stressed and tired and are more likely to burn out. What do you love to do? Do you like to run? Do pottery? Watch Netflix? Spend dedicated time on this joy every day. Yes, every day. Without my morning run or cycle I am inefficient, moody, and a bitchy mom, employer and doctor. It may be an hour a day I lose to working on my business, but what I gain is worth much more than that time lost.
  2. Recognize what you love, and what you don’t love. Make what you love the priority. Farm out what you don’t love. You can hire people to do the tasks you don’t enjoy, or if you can’t hire help now, you can ask people who love you to help. Don’t be shy about asking your partner, friends or family to pitch in. If they know you have a dream to be a business owner, and you ask for help, they will be there for you. But you have to ask. Stop being a martyr. You are only hurting yourself.
  3. Take time for you and your partner. You will work better as a team (for parenting and in life) if you like each other. Try to plan, and stick, to dates alone. Use family members, caregivers or even friends. People like doing things with kids. Let them help. If you are happy in your relationship, it will be one less thing to worry about. Entrepreneurship is stressful enough; you don’t need the added stress of a troubled relationship. 
  4. Don’t procrastinate. As business-owners, there are always tasks that we prefer to delay (or not do at all). When you delay the inevitable it looms like a dark cloud and makes it that much more emotionally draining to complete. Instead, work on the tasks you don’t want to do, get them out of the way, to free yourself for the tasks you enjoy and look forward to. 
  5. Make your own parenting and work style. When I had my fourth child in 2017, I didn’t want to stay at home, but I didn’t want to be apart from my baby. So, he came with me to work. He became a Kidcrew mascot. I loved being with him every day for those 20 months; he was around so many people that loved him, and I got to do the work I love without feeling I was giving up time with my baby. He loved it and I loved it. Throwaway the cookie cutter parenting and work approaches and make your own cookie from scratch.
Posted on

Mompreneur® Awards Spotlight on Rosy Atwal of Maple Organics

Rosy Atwal is a Finalist for The 2020 Mompreneur® Startup Award, recognizing her success as a new entrepreneur under 4 years in business with Maple Organics.

Mompreneur Award finalist Rosy Atwal of Maple Organics

Rosy has moved across the country, bought new homes, delayed growing her family, all in an attempt to make it all ‘work’. But move after move proved less balance for her family values. With secondary infertility, IVF and spending weeks upon weeks away from her family while witnessing a futile plight for young female business leaders, she hit her breaking point.

Equipped with her MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business and experience as a marketing and branding director for lifestyle, nutrition, and CPG corporations for two decades, she worked to develop an avenue for women like her in Maple Organics. Rosy has worked on both multi-million dollar international brands and new launches. Her experience extends from global brands like Smirnoff to homegrown giants like Nature’s Path.


Rosy’s Top Tips for Other Women Thinking of Starting a Business:

  1. Be on a mission – don’t just be in business.
  2. Raise Money.
  3. Share Profit.
  4. Treat employees like family.
  5. Know your values and don’t compromise on them.
  6. You need cash. Even if you have it, you need more.
  7. Go big or go home. Business is global and people want a story and a founder who cares.
  8. You must build a community to support your mission.
  9. Family always comes first.
Posted on

Mompreneur® Awards Spotlight on Lyndsay Scott of Kindred Cultures

Lyndsay Scott is a Finalist for The 2020 Mompreneur® Startup Award, recognizing her success as a new entrepreneur under 4 years in business with Kindred Cultures.

Lyndsay Scott of Kindred Cultures Kefir Water company

Lyndsay is the founder and CEO of Kindred Cultures, a rapidly growing water kefir company in Vancouver, BC. She started Kindred Cultures because of the incredible healing impact kefir had for her own family. Originally from Oregon, Lyndsay immigrated to Canada to build a life with her amazing husband and is now a mom to two wonderful kids. When her youngest son suffered severe eczema as a baby and toddler, Lyndsay began making kefir as a holistic health measure to help her son. It worked! It worked so well that she started sharing it with her friends, neighbours, co-workers and less than 2 years later, her line of Infused Water Kefir hit the shelves of Whole Foods. Lyndsay is passionate about the power of food as medicine and is honoured to have the opportunity to share this passion with everyone she meets.

Lyndsay’s Top Tips for Other Women Thinking of Starting a Business:

  1. “Everyone in this room knows at least one thing I don’t”. 
    That’s what I think to myself when I walk into a room. It puts me in a state of mind to find engaging conversation, to ask questions, to introduce myself to someone that I don’t know (or might be a little nervous to speak to). Your network is your greatest resource for validated information. Reach deeply into your business community, your friends and family, organizations and associations in your sector, and your local community (Universities, Publications, other Entrepreneurs, your local grocer) – literally anyone who might have an interest in your idea. 
  2. Find your meaningful metrics and track them diligently. 
    What measures success for your business? Is it monthly sales? Turn rate in-store? Margin? Whatever it is, find 3 measurements that give you meaningful information about your progress and monitor them constantly. Every time we see a gain in one of our key metrics, we know we’re doing something right and it’s the best kind of fuel.
  3. Just do one small thing… 
    When you’re sitting up late at night thinking about a to do list with 15 A+ priorities, take a deep breath and just do one small thing. It might not be the thing at the top of the list that you accomplish. Because truly, you should not work on the cash flow projections at 11pm on a Tuesday. But I find that accomplishing one small thing reminds me that I can also tackle everything else on that list. 
  4. You don’t know everything, and that’s ok. One of my greatest fears starting a company was not knowing “how to do” everything. Having no formal business training, I was concerned that I would miss something egregious. So I reached out to every business expert I could find, emailed former colleagues, studied business models, connected with Universities and found a mentorship program (the first of many). Surrounding myself with smart people made me feel more confident in my ability to get the right information to make informed decisions as I learned.
  5. You will do every employee’s job first. Entrepreneurship is a GRIND. But every hour that you physically work in your company gives you a “feel” for how it should or could work. It gives you empathy with your team as you grow. I know who to hire for every position because I’ve done that job myself. And to make sure I don’t fall out of touch with the real stuff, I put myself on the production floor to make sure I still understand what’s happening in there. 
Posted on

Mompreneur® Awards Spotlight on Laurie Franklin of Unique in the Creek

Laurie Franklin is a Finalist for The 2020 Mompreneur® Startup Award, recognizing her success as a new entrepreneur under 4 years in business with Unique in the Creek.

Mompreneur Award finalist Laurie Franklin of Unique in the Creek wreathing boards

Laurie is the creative visionary, inventor and CEO of Unique In The Creek (UITC) wreathing boards. After battling 3 spinal surgeries, Laurie was told she couldn’t return to her 25 year career at a local university. She spiralled into a depression, until one day, before heading into surgery, she decided she was going to make a wreath. It was then she discovered a problem: she couldn’t use the standard wire wreath frame while sitting in her recliner.  So she decided she was going to make one that anyone would be able to use to make a wreath, regardless of their skill level, disability or age. After many, many failed attempts, Laurie finally came up with the Unique in the Creek easy to use wreathing boards, and have now had people as young as 7 and as old as 96 make a gorgeous wreath and feel that amazing “I made that” moment!

Laurie’s Tips for Other Women Thinking of Starting a Business:
Starting and running your own business can seem insurmountable! No matter how well prepared you are, there will always be something you didn’t consider. First and foremost, starting and running a business is an exercise in learning! Believe it or not, most of what I’ve learned has come through trial, error and epic failure. Perspective matters, learning to appreciate mistakes is paramount and if I had focused on mistakes rather than lessons, I would have given up a long time ago; here are my 5 best takeaways from starting and running a business and falling flat on my face a few times.

TIP #1:
My absolute best advice to anyone thinking about starting a business is to start with something you’re passionate about. The learning curve for starting a new business is a steep one, if you have knowledge or passion in an area you won’t be hampered by having to educate yourself on a new concept before you even begin.

TIP #2:
Ask for help! This was a tough one for me, I’m stubborn and I hate asking for help but, trust me, you get over it! With Social Media connecting with others has never been easier. Look into local workshops for entrepreneurs, get on Facebook and see what’s happening in your industry and don’t be afraid to reach out to those in it! Research free tools and resources for the industry you want to be in and don’t underestimate connections you make; you’ll be networking the entire way.

TIP #3:
Running your own business means you often work endless hours and in order to not burn out, you have to find balance! And, that is almost impossible, you are going to have to work at it. Make sure you make time to unplug and do something for you. Eat well and get your rest, these things become more important as sick days don’t exist when it’s just you. Your mental health is just as important and physical health. Don’t take things so seriously all the time and always remember to laugh and have fun. It makes running your business not such a daunting task when you are enjoying it.

TIP #4:
Having the right people in the right place is so important for any company but, for an entrepreneur it becomes even more important. Capable staff that you work well with is an absolute asset and one bad apple can do a lot of damage both to internal and external customers as well as brand image. Research potential employees, call references, double check resume credentials and be picky, the right person can help take you to the next level!

TIP #5:
Customers are the lifeblood of any company, serving their needs is paramount to success. After a solid product, offering excellent customer service that is both professional and well planned is one of your best tools for brand loyalty and return sales. No matter the issue, treat your customers well and they will choose you again and again. Most importantly, I remind myself daily that “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure” (Bill Gates).