I share with you today a decision I have just made: to realize myself as a woman entrepreneur.
My professional background
Those who know me know that in the last few years I have been working behind the scenes for milesopedia. Now, I’ll be a co-pilot!
It seems essential to me today to consolidate my place and to share my progress with you. I’ve been asking myself this question for a long time. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this past year and the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis has only confirmed to me that I had to make a career shift.
What is rather incredible is that several women, close to me or not, pushed me not to take the path I am taking today, a year ago!
My mother-in-law, my former boss, a pharmacist I met and other business women. All strong, determined women entrepreneurs. Why, you ask me? Because I was already promised a great career as a pharmacist. Because I had achieved professional independence. Because I had a financial stability that could cover my back if I separated from my spouse, or if the “milesopedia project” didn’t work.
Why risk losing everything? So was my path all mapped out? Staying a pharmacist for life, becoming a partner or owning my pharmacy? After all these years of studying and working, another idea matured.
For those who don’t know me, I have a PhD in Pharmacy in France, as well as a Master in Marketing. My career started in France, not as a pharmacist (an internship made me change my mind) but as a product manager and then line manager in a pharmaceutical laboratory where I stayed for 5 years.
Positions that allowed me to:
- understand marketing,
- supervise teams of medical representatives,
- develop promotional tools,
- carry out market research and competitive intelligence,
- manage a budget,
- design business plans, etc.
Becoming a Pharmacist in Canada
I could have gone a long way in the marketing field in France. However. when the idea came to us to emigrate to Canada with Jean-Maximilien in August 2011, I naturally asked myself the question: what path should I take?
I’ve tried my best to break into marketing. It wasn’t easy when laboratories closed their marketing divisions in Canada and consolidated them in the United States. I then had to start from scratch and take a medical representative position that I was less interested in.
On the other hand, I knew that the position of pharmacist in Canada was nothing like the one in France.
So I went back to the books to get a valid license to practice in Canada. After several difficult months, I finally succeeded.
I was lucky enough to meet an amazing pharmacist who trusted me right away. She has helped me assert myself in my responsibilities, to go the extra mile to help my patients. I found out that a pharmacist can do a lot in Canada.
I loved this position because it made me feel strong and useful: finding solutions for my patients was my leitmotiv.
5 years later, a change in the drugstore ownership meant that I had to leave my position. In order to continue thinking about my professional future, instead of looking for a new permanent position, I decided to become a replacement pharmacist.
It was an opportunity for me to discover new skills and respond to various requests, and also to finally take time to participate more actively in the development of the milesopedia company.
milesopedia was created 5 years ago from Jean-Maximilien’s mind, and I assisted him in every step of the development. Now that the company is mature, it’s time for me to be more involved, especially since the needs are numerous: relationships with business partners, tourism agencies, authors, and much more!
I left the pharmacy replacement gig to go on a trip around the world with my family in December 2019, bringing me one more step in the milesopedia company. Photos, reports, content creation: every day, I take more and more ownership of this entrepreneurial life and am at the heart of many of the articles you read.
Our trip was disrupted like many others by the COVID-19 pandemic, causing us to return earlier than expected.
Because of the situation, I preferred to wait before resuming the replacements in the pharmacy, the risk of contaminating my family making me hesitant (moreover, proposals for replacements were rather rare). I took the opportunity to get even more of a foothold in milesopedia. In life, I believe in signs and I dare to believe that a very special star is watching over me, showing me which direction to take.
It’s like my professional life is taking off again!
My responsibilities as a mother
I like to take the time to evaluate, plan and weigh the pros and cons.
And life goes so fast, especially with children! Well, let’s talk about the children! Two naughty little devils always ready to run, to go out to see friends, to make a mess, to do as they please.
Sometimes the desire to be a woman entrepreneur can be quickly forgotten, even though the division of labour is more equal these days. Jean-Maximilien fortunately does a lot to help me despite his intense investment in the company.
Between work, the children, the house (some women will understand my thinking), as a woman, I am sometimes afraid of not doing enough, of not reaching perfection, of being quickly overtaken or not being up to the task. And yet, I do a lot! It’s a feeling that I can sense every day and that keeps me going.
This is what drives me to carry out the actions I undertake today, to surpass myself and to be the woman entrepreneur that I have become.
My children mean everything to me, and I want to teach them respect, openness, sharing, autonomy: notions that travel helps to instil. Travelling has also allowed me to enrich myself, to grow and to become aware of what surrounds us; this is what motivates me and makes me happy.
Travel is at the centre of our family’s well-being, our cornerstone.
My life as a woman entrepreneur
Jean-Maximilien and I have developed a common passion: helping others, whether it is to travel better, save money, or spend more time with the family.
milesopedia continues to exist, to renew itself, to expand, all this always for free with one objective: YOU. Our readers, whom we affectionately call Milesopedians.
We want to offer you quality reviews, share exclusive news with you and, why not, make you want to escape as well! Finally, we like to offer you tools such as our credit card comparator which is always more efficient, or should I say THE most efficient ever.
I love what I do, which is sharing my experiences with the community.
Breaking down barriers and making room for women
My goal is not to become “Mrs. Miles”: Jean-Maximilien will always be the pro when it comes to miles & points. But I want to offer other things. Other avenues, such as helping the development and influence of the company. Making you discover destinations or new products.
I’ve always found that the world of travel blogging related to points, credit cards, hotel and airline photo stories was almost 100% male owned!
Gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts, here I come!
I have always given my opinion to Jean-Maxmilien, participated in his decision making so that milesopedia can accompany you every day in your financial planning and travel arrangements. So it’s only natural that Jean-Maximilien and I are associate entrepreneurs. My role will no longer be limited to advising but to pilot, initiate and crystallize some initiatives myself – like very soon for those who follow my stories on Instagram.
Always with the objective to bring an added value for you who follow us every month. There’s always a little more of you guys, even in these troubled times!
As Executive Vice President of milesopedia, here are my next challenges:
- Contribute to the influence of milesopedia with convention and visitors bureaus worldwide, as a leading resource in Canada.
- Going through paths that, so far, only men have done and relayed (follow us on Instagram!)
- Expand the milesopedia marketing platform and lead the launch of our next initiatives
- Guide our different authors
- Coordinate future events with the community
- Share my experience with other women who would like to start an entrepreneurial venture.
That’s how I see my next years: being a woman entrepreneur!