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Self Employment is the Key to Success

By Donna Messer

According to the Toronto Globe and Mail most people will have more than one career and they will want to earn money and respect in those careers. A recent survey by Angus Reid Group shows career changers now have valuable insight on how to trade up, respect-wise, when switching jobs. The ultimate, upward career shift is to become self-employed and a small business owner.

According to that same survey, today's entrepreneur is viewed with a "great deal" of respect by more than 67% of Canadians. As a matter of fact, they are held in higher esteem than doctors, lawyers, police officers and even priests.

If self-employment is the key to success, increased respect and self esteem - where do Canadians go to find the doors that will allow them to use this precious key?

Sometimes a well kept secret, the Self Employment Assistance Programs that are available through the Federal Government via the local Human Resource Development Commission, are a great place to start. Career Changers, sometimes known as downsized employees now have the opportunity to earn more money, respect and self-esteem by becoming small business owners and self-employed. The program not only introduces you to the world of self-employment, it provides a "wealth of knowledge and experience" from real entrepreneurs who have already earned the respect they seek. I have worked with many companies that access the training dollars from HRDC to put these programs into place in your community. I urge anyone considering self-employment that is eligible to contact your Local HRDC office.

What if you're not downsized, simply anxious to become responsible for your own success? Are there similar programs that will guide you along the road to self-employment and increased self-esteem and respect? There are! The following are a few ideas that might work for you:

The Royal Bank of Canada has a program called "Your Business Matters" - it is a two day program that can help you find out what you will need in order to start, finance and grow your potential business. The program will be brought to your community providing there is enough interest. Local Chambers of Commerce and associations are considering sponsorship of this program as a member benefit.

Young Entrepreneurs of Canada is a resource that will help anyone consider self-employment as an option. This is an inexpensive way to meet with fellow entrepreneurs, exchange ideas, share dreams and perhaps "team up" to build that business. YEA offers regular meetings with guest speakers who can help you decide where self-employment will take you.

There are a number of publications that have role models, concepts and ideas that will help you in your search. Barbara Mowat's home-based business magazine is one of those that provides real life stories of successful home-based businesses that are growing. Barbara also helps young companies that want to grow and expand in the craft and gift industry. She provides an "Unique" program that will give any company the chance for success. In Pursuit, a home-based business magazine from Oakville, Ontario, not only publishes monthly, they host a monthly networking meeting which enables self-employed, small business owners to get together to build business alliances. Sharing needs, ideas and products has made In Pursuit a popular way to grow as an entrepreneur. The owners of In Pursuit - Virginia Marshall and Marilyn Samuels, have seen the success of their concept and opened an office in downtown Toronto to accommodate small business owners from the Metro area.

There are so many ways to become that respected self-employed small business owner. If you think it's your turn - Contact the ConnectUs hotline at 416-390-9654 or visit our web site at http://www.connectuscanada.com for more information.

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