Lily wants every person to live their best possible life. She believes we are more than the jobs we hold or the ambitions we are driven by. She believes we each have a deeper purpose in the world, but we’ve lost the art of knowing how to discover – or rediscover – our true potential in life.
After a 20-year career in transformation management, continuous improvement and people development, she left a secure job because she wanted more meaning at the heart of her work.
“That’s why I started ‘Our Inner Sparks’, Lily said. “I recognized that I want to do what strengthens me, what energizes me, and I want to train other people to do the same.”
To ensure this deeper meaning remained front and centre, Lily established Our Inner Sparks in 2020 as a social enterprise, holding the goals of purpose and profit as equally valuable and interconnected.
Lily designs and delivers custom personal coaching, emotional intelligence and leadership development training to help organizations, businesses and individuals through the challenge and potential of transformation.
But it’s more than corporate training.
“My mission with this company is to empower and enable people to discover, embody and share their inner spark – especially women and those in need – and successfully grow and transform in life.”
A portion of the profit from Our Inner Sparks is dedicated to providing pro bono or low-fee life coaching, goal setting, career consulting and other personal development services for women referred by organizations in Waterloo Region. “A lot of time, these women are doing amazing things already and they don’t even recognize it,” Lily said of the women she’s worked with so far.
Lily admits that she has been very fortunate to have her own network of supports that helped her grow throughout her career, but starting a new business was a next level challenge.
The Start My Business Bootcamp at Wilfrid Laurier’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Centre became fuel for Lily’s social enterprise spark. Her goal was to focus on building sales and marketing skills. The program pushed her to explore audience segments, where to attract potential clients and competition analysis, which was a struggle because collaboration is her go-to strategy. The program provided her with foundational “tools for my toolbox.”
COVID-19 caused a very slow start to Lily’s business plans so she immediately entered Laurier’s Grow My Business Accelerator.
“I always apply [what I learn] immediately. I learn it on Monday and apply it that week, then decide if it’s right for my business or not. There’s a flow to the program that helps things stick!”
Lily points to the built-in networking aspect of the program that has boosted her learning. “There are a lot of very experienced businesswomen there,” and she values the frank experiences shared by participants and mentors.
“I like that; there are days when I feel like they are way ahead of me. But then I have to look back and remind myself that I’ve only been doing this for a year.”
The Women Entrepreneurship Centre (WEC), as part of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University, is dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs of every age, stage and culture to achieve their business dreams. We believe in fostering leadership. We believe that everyone deserves an equal shot at success. We believe in connecting you with the right people, skills and support to make it happen.
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