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Are you ready to make the door swing, the phone ring and the tilting? In this episode we’re talking about one of the best kept secrets in any community. The behind the scenes programmes that support local businesses and entrepreneurs in getting started growing and expanding from the skinny lessons that will make you wince, wince to the to the TMZ style tell all expos as these everyday people are doing extraordinary things. Welcome to The Secret Life of local. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get found for local programme. I’ve been helping local businesses thrive for over 20 years. From online businesses to multilocation stores, you can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers today to doers. Today, we’re going behind the scenes of Jasmine Patterson, a well known and well respected business cheerleader. Welcome Jasmine, tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey.
Oh, thanks, Barb. You’re such a sweetheart. Cheerleader. I like that term. I like to like to be a cheerleader for entrepreneurs. Definitely.
Exactly. entrepreneurs need that they need people behind them, boosting them up because entrepreneurial or anybody who’s an entrepreneur. It’s a crazy world. Right? Crazy, but I interrupted you. So tell us.
Okay, yeah, no, that’s, uh, I mean, it’s a big part of what has brought me to where I am today is that like, loving cheerleading for entrepreneurs and realising how much Regina entrepreneurs, Saskatchewan entrepreneurs are so humble and need people to help, like, tell them to be audacious and tell their story and like, write about themselves. Like, you aren’t a amazing entrepreneur. And you need to brag about yourself, and that’s okay. And you should and other people should do so.
Okay, so I want to do so. But let’s talk about that. So why do you think that, especially here in Saskatchewan, we have such a tough time bragging about ourselves? Why is it so hard for us?
I honestly think it comes from the humble roots of Saskatchewan. And we come from rural farmers where the like we’re the one living skies we are the breadbasket of Canada. So we were all kind of like, came from farmers being very humbled, doing the work that we needed to do getting things done. And we always just worked really hard and got things done, and never really thought to tell people how amazing the things are that we’re doing. And I noticed that like time and time again, when I started working for economic development, Regina, and we were working with entrepreneurs, I just noticed that I’d be talking to somebody and they start telling me about some of the accomplishments that they had done. And I was like, Oh my gosh, like, people don’t realise that the world Entrepreneur of the Year Award from EY was from Regina, well fed Davidson tea with agency foods, like he wasn’t a world Entrepreneur of the Year. So I’m here and people like to never realise that or I know people in Toronto that know about Hellberg and Burke, or skip the dishes, and just assume that it’s like a east coast or west coast.
We’re back here.
Yeah, it came right from, they don’t realise it came right from the prairies and came right from Regina. So it was really exciting for me to be able to help tell those stories, and to work with entrepreneurs and startups and tell them like, you can do anything from here. Like we actually have a huge advantage being in Regina and Saskatchewan. Because we are like that Little Big Town mindset. Yes. Where you can learn from anybody. You can call anybody and ask them like, Hey, can I buy you a coffee and learn from you? And they’re like, Yeah, for sure. Because that’s just how Perry people Saskatchewan people are
Exactly that. It’s how we’re hardwired. In fact, you talked about that in your introduction that you provided me before we started today. And I had to giggle when I read that because it’s so true. You can call anybody you can send anybody a LinkedIn request. And as soon as you explain, hey, I’m from Saskatchewan to and blah, blah, blah, people accept that request. And they are more than open to having a conversation. And I agree wholeheartedly. I went to University in Ontario, and it’s a really different culture, great people. But, but so much more competition, right? And it didn’t matter if it was for a job if it was for the guy you wanted to date, right? There was so much competition over everything that that same culture did not exist. Nobody was there to give you a hand up. In fact, they were more likely to you know, bump you out of the way but in front of you, right, that kind of thing. And that was really hard to get used to at first when I first moved out there and it made that decision easy when I decided you know what I’m ready to go home. Yeah, it was.
Yeah, honestly. Yeah, that’s a big part of what kept me here. Like I advocate strongly, I’m a big advocate for Regina for Saskatchewan for the prairies. for that exact reason, like I’ve had my one of my best friends lives in Toronto, she has tried to get me to come there. My dad lives in Kelowna, he’s tried to get me to come that way. And I’m like, love it, I will travel to come see you. But I’m not leaving here. Because people that live here have such big opportunity to like the sky’s the limit, like when I was for economic development, Regina, I was leading a group called the Council for entrepreneurship growth, which came up with the audacity movement, which I know you’re familiar with. But it was a group of individuals like radicals who had been involved with it that Rachel milky with Hellberg and Burke was on it. There are quite a few different individuals on that committee. And like, I was only a couple of years at a university. And I’m hoping like run that meeting. There’s no way like when I told my friends who lived in Toronto or live in Vancouver that I was doing that, like they would have had been working there for 10 years or more to even get that opportunity. Exactly. Like, people give you the chance.
Yeah, so and in fact, even that couple of years out of university, you were just as likely to go for coffee or lunch with Rachel milky after you were done the meeting or before the meeting to prepare. And where you put yourself in Toronto or Vancouver, like somebody else at a completely different level is doing all of that. And if you even get to sit in the room, you’re doing lucky. Right? So so how did you how did you get into supporting entrepreneurs? Do you come from an entrepreneurial family? Were you ever an entrepreneur? Like, like, how did you actually find yourself supporting all of us crazy entrepreneurs who bounce around? Like, I don’t know ping pong balls?
Yes, I love it. I think that’s why is just because I love the energy of entrepreneurs. But so I was in university actually, I started university, going into the sciences. I don’t know if you know that. But I did. Yes, my first two and a half years of university, I was in the sciences. I was like bound and determined since I was five that I was going to be a veterinarian. Sure. Okay. Animals, so I absolutely adore. So I’m still working on working that into like, I’ve done like little side hustles as like doing pet photography and stuff like that just because of animal perfect. That. Yeah, so I was in sciences. And then I actually, one of my like, advice that I was give to younger individuals is volunteer for whatever it is that you think you want to do for your life. So when I was in high school, I had volunteered actually my first year in university, I would say, it was my first year university, I volunteered at about clinic for six months. And every Saturday mornings. I mean, you talk to anybody, if you offer them free work, and you’re like, Hey, can I work for you for free? Because I just want to like learn about what it’s like to be in this environment, some thinking about doing a fair job, like nine out of 10 times, they’re gonna say yes, because you’re a worker. Yeah, so I did that. And every Saturday morning, I was there. And I started realising the pieces of it that I was missing. So I love working with people. I’ve always been in sales and hospitality jobs my whole life. Like since I was 12, I’ve had jobs. And so I miss, like, I worked with a lot of animals, which is amazing, but I miss talking to people. And then so I was like, well, maybe this isn’t for me putting the animals down.
Well, can’t even imagine.
And then also, I realised real quick that getting the average that you need to get into veterinarian schools in sciences while working full time because I was working full time because I was also like helping in my household to like pay bills and stuff like that. So I had to work, but I couldn’t get my average to the point that it needed to be. So I was like, Okay, well, what else could I potentially do? Maybe pharmacy, so I volunteered with a pharmacy really, really fast. I went there for like a month. And I was like nope, like, this is not my thing. People that do it, but it just wasn’t for me. So then I was actually working for pretty much telecommunications at the time. And my boss there was like, You’re so good at sales, you should switch into business. And I was like, I don’t know, I always found myself in scientists. I loved science as a kid. And then I took a finance class just as an elective to be like, well, I’ll just try business class. The Cube con was my prof and I fell in love with finance. So thank you very much. And I was just so engaged. And then I started like looking more into the business faculty and I realised that you could like be in all these clubs and like join like JVC RAs and be in like all these different things and meet so many people. And I was like hanging out he was right It’s totally for me. So I made the switch. And actually, you’re on my first prop for communication. Yeah, I made the first switch into business. Oh, yes. So then and your clock is fabulous. We got to like work with entrepreneurs and come up with a communication strategy. So yeah, I was like, This is so cool. I love working with business owners. So that kind of sparked things for me. So yeah, and then the rest was history and out of university after working for Connexus for a little bit. They hired me because they sponsored my JDC West team. I was on the marketing team. Yes. They hired me out of universities. I did get a finance major self declared myself or marketing. Okay, there’s no double major yet to work on that. But yeah, that was that was I was there for a little while, realised I missed like the business strategy side, like, Okay, I want to work with businesses, and my friend works for economic development, Regina, she told me about the position, I was coming open. coordinator of Business Services. Okay, let’s try it. John Lee and Dave Oh, there gave me a shot. I started working for them. And like, as soon as I started working with startups and business owners, I knew this is for me. Yeah. I love entrepreneurs. Yeah, there was so much passion and excitement. And they just love it. They just want to do what they love every day. And I wanted to help them do what they love every day.
Yeah. Okay, so you just said something really important there. Right? Yeah, that that desire to help. And so you and I have known each other for about 12 or 15 years. And the only reason I know that’s the time I had is because you were in one of the first classes that I taught when I was working part time at the University teaching, because my kids are still little like, I want to say Peter might have been six months old or a year old. And he just turned 14. I know exactly. Oh, my goodness. Yep. Exactly that long. Oh, I know. Doesn’t time go fast. But let’s not get in. That’s not gonna go to my rabbit hole. Wow. So here’s my point, though, as and I don’t think it matters if you’re male or female, but as a professional who’s driven to support entrepreneurs, you have a job Monday to Friday, nine to five? Well, a lot of our entrepreneurial stuff. It happens, you know, Monday to Friday, five till nine. And so there you are at an event there you are doing something on the weekend. You’ve got a young family, you’re married, you’ve got a dog you love to bike, but you you still want a life? How do you balance it all?
You don’t you just manage. When I worked for active Regina, I at the time, wasn’t married, didn’t have a kid did have a dog. But just the dog out of those three was a lot easier. And I was I was working well over 40 hours a week. And I was going to events constantly. I was always at entrepreneurship events. I was running entrepreneurship events myself, I was talking to people outside of regular business hours. I knew that’s what they needed. And it was incredible, like, DDL was the biggest catalyst to my career. And I absolutely adore them for it. And it did though results like I went from coordinator to manager to director in three and a half years. Wow. And I think that very much aligns. Another thing I tell a lot of young people or people who are looking into their career changes is I had a mentor, Lord Snell fabulous individual when I was in university. And he the first thing he said to me was, what are your values? Let’s nail down what your values are. And I was like, what does that even mean? And he showed me he went through a whole exercise nailed down my three or five top priority. values were and he said make sure that any organisation you’re going to work for that they align with those values. Yes, because it’s just gonna pay you back in spades. So I was like, Okay, so that’s what I did. And my reflect ever Dinah are my values aligned wholeheartedly with theirs. And with the CEO that was there, John, and that I think why I moved up so quickly, because I ran for awhile was what they were doing, they could tell that I was passionate about what they were doing. And I wanted to work more than 40 hours a week because I just loved it so much. But that also also resulted in burnout. Yes. If I hit that burnout wall.
Okay, so you dig into that part of the story? Yeah. How did you recognise it? Because it’s one thing to talk about the other side when you you know, okay, you burnt out and here’s what I did. Did you recognise what was happening?
They offered me the job for a director because I was the manager, the director that at that point in time left to go launch his own startup. And they said, like, is this something that you want to do? And I was like, No. I don’t think I can handle that. Like, that’s a lot of responsibility. Because when you go into directors and you’re doing like business strategy, you have a whole team of people, like a bigger team of people that you’re managing, and are terrified. And they’re like, Okay, well, let’s work through that. And I got a leadership coach, and I was like, okay, maybe I can do this, because I kept saying, like, Jasmine, like, we’re going to help you we can do this. And I was like, okay, for sure. But I was like, I kept having like these, like, mini, like, packs, basically where I was just like, the thought of everything that I needed to do was really starting to freak me out. Yeah. So that was my first sign. And I got a therapist. Physical Therapist, which I advocate strongly for therapy, it has saved my life, I’m pretty sure. But at that time, I was also the president of Cyprus, Saskatchewan, young professionals and entrepreneurs for the Regina chapter. I was also planning my wedding, which was in Mexico, so is a destination wedding because all the planning that at the time, it was also being put in charge of the audacity movement, and like what that meant, which at that time was like still so up in the air.
Yeah. Vague in the beginning, right? Yeah, it was.
So it was just like, Yeah, let’s just say yes to everything until I have a panic attack and realise I can’t do that. So that was I learned quickly that they need to put boundaries around how much time I’m willing to commit to certain things. But I didn’t realise that I couldn’t do everything.
You know, went there. I just couldn’t, Cheever. It’s how you driven? You want to say yes to everything. You want to support everyone who’s asking for help. And and so that’s just how you’re hardwired. It’s like, okay, I have to do this. And now I have to do that. So did it mean that you had to start saying no, or, you know, what changed?
Yeah, it definitely meant that I had to start saying no, so I actually ended up taking a month off of work because my reading actually like did not go anywhere as planned. Like it ended up being like a total monsoon wedding and Cancun and like, they just went away. So that on top of like, just everything with work and trying to plan the audacity of that and everything. Like I just hit a wall on my like, my light switch just turned off, like I couldn’t do anything. So I ended up actually taking a month off work and EDR was absolutely great. Like incredible, like John and the team just like completely put their arms around me and we’re like, don’t worry about anything worry about you. Like, work is fine. People will be fine. Like, we don’t need to have to adapt to the events this month. Like just go home take care of you. And that was like I threw the book at it. Like I did yoga. I did. Therapy. I was like going to a naturopath. I was going to an acupuncturist. I was like doing all the things that I could find to get through. Yes, yes. That’s just the how that’s my MO, unfortunately. Fortunately, unfortunately. I’ll tell you the first two weeks, I did nothing. The second two weeks. That’s when I like was able to like crawl out of that darkness. And I had so many people around me that were helping. And I was supposed to do a second year of being President of SIPE, I said no. Okay, which was very difficult for me. Yes. But I said I was like, I have to step back. And they were amazing the board that I had that they were just incredible, and somebody else stepped up so thankfully for that person. And yeah, so then I came out of it and worked really slowly to get back up to her not went back up to where I was because obviously I wasn’t saying yes to everything anymore. But yeah, I got I came out of it with a lot of learned lessons and realising that I needed to put boundaries on my time and not say yes to everything. Yes.
And so let’s talk about that lost art of saying no, because I don’t think it matters anymore. If you’re a parent, an entrepreneur or a professional climbing the ranks. There’s a misconception that if you’re saying no, you know, okay, fine, we’ll move on to someone else. And I think especially as an entrepreneur, so that’s my perspective. Saying no, comes with this connotation that, oh, well, that’s fine. I can just hire someone else. Absolutely, you can. There are so many great businesses out there. And it takes a long time as a small business owner to get to a place where it’s like, yeah, I’m gonna say no, when I get that vibe right up front from a client, it’s like, you know what, this isn’t going to be a great working relationship, I can already tell that we’re very different. Here’s, you know, a couple of others that I might recommend. And the one thing that I’ve discovered is your network of similar businesses that you might send someone to, they’re also going to get that same vibe from the client a lot of times, so whatever. But like, when I think about saying, No, especially as a female and a professional, how did you build that muscle? How did you build the confidence to say no, whether it’s your boss, one of your committees?
I think that it’s, it’s hard for people if they don’t hit that burnout phase to say no, because once I hit that, I was like, I’m not going back. They’re not going back into that whole dark place. So whenever somebody then would ask me to do something, or like, add another responsibility on my plate, I’d really sit there and look at my again, I went back to my values and be like, does this align with what I’m trying to accomplish? Right? And if it didn’t, I had to be really honest with the person and say, like, I have burned out before. I, I can’t accept another responsibility right now. And the more times that you do that, like because you don’t need to explain yourself. Yeah, if you’re doing your job, and they’re trying to add more onto your job, like you don’t need to explain yourself. And the same way with your clients. I love that you do that, because you’re saving yourself and you’re saving them time. Yes. Because I did the same thing working for active i. So at the time was running the square one programme, which is now called the south startup Institute, big plug for them, if you are a startup 100% Go to sound startup Institute, so many free resources. But the greatest thing about that and about my job now I work for BBC Business Development Bank of Canada, was that when someone comes to me, looking for whatever it might be for their business, so looking for mentorship that’s looking for financing, if they’re looking for whatever it might be, if I’m not the right person to do it. I’ll tell you others that I think might be right. And that’s what you said you do, too. It’s like I’m not just saying no, I’m saying, No, I can’t buy here are some other people who can so you’re still helping people. And you’re helping yourself by not taking on a responsibility that isn’t yours.
Yep. Okay. So let’s kind of dig into that a little bit. Because you’re right. I think when you’re hardwired to help people, it’s like, you know, I’m probably not the best fit. But here’s someone else who might be able to help. And I think that’s where your experience with the entrepreneurial committee and with all of the different supports that are available out in, you know, the community, the province and even the Federally what’s available. By knowing that network, you’re able to point people in the right direction. Do I remember correctly? From our earlier conversations? Did you actually hit burnout twice? Or just once? Okay, there we go. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So you did go back, you ended up? And so what happened? How did? How did you let yourself slide back? Okay, so
I mean, my second burnout, and I do want to jump back at some point to the ecosystem side of things. But with regards to the, the burnout phases of my life. So when I saw that EDR i Then, so I came out of that burnout, I was doing really, really well. And then I went on my honeymoon, and I got pregnant, which was the plan and I didn’t think I was gonna have enough so it did. I was very blessed that way. But I got pregnant had my daughter and a month before she was born and global pandemic hit, with everything on its head. So I was very different. Having a child that when I was expecting, because I was isolated. I did not get to do like the mom and me groups like that kind of stuff. It was really difficult. She was colic for five months. And I didn’t have a lot of support because you weren’t allowed to see anybody so it was just like you have to handle this and it’s like, okay, Daniel, this is really hard. So my first and only child at this point in time and while still but I had BDC and a few other organisations actually approached me during my maternity leave to see if I would work for them after I came out of maternity leave and that was really nice but when you like go into mat leave and like becoming a mom like Well, I’m forgotten like nobody’s gonna remember me because I am not working and I was worried about that and then I was starting to have people reach out and I was like, oh, people still no baby and like a not a bearable so anyways, I ended up working for BTC once again went back to my values, they really line I’m and I worked there for a year before I hit burnout. But we might have run out this time is because I have never worked with a child before.
Yes, exactly. Child during a global pandemic? Yes, exactly. I’m just noticing our time. And I do want to quickly jump back to the ecosystem. Just give us a little bit of an overview of what you actually do at BDC. And what kind of support is out there for entrepreneurs?
Yeah, so with the ecosystem, what I want to say to all entrepreneurs is, there are so many supports for you, you do not have to do it alone. And I’m happy to speak with anybody that’s running a business or thinking about starting a business, I love grabbing coffee, or having virtual chats with people just to see if I know of any support because my whole job for like four and a half years and understanding the entire ecosystem of support available to all Saskatchewan entrepreneurs. So whether it be when entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Futurpreneur, Clarence Campbell development fund from a tee, there’s so many like a huge array. And then like this all sort of into like I was speaking to before, I’m so happy to chat about those with anybody. BDC has developed a Canada where I currently work as an account manager for small business. We offer financing and advisory services for entrepreneurs, and for just business. So we’re the bank for businesses, you’ve probably seen billboards, we don’t have like, did they bank accounts, we don’t do personal, we just lead to business owners. And we land on those areas that are different from the other banks, we actually are very complementary to the other banks. So if it’s financing that you’re looking for, or if you’re looking for just like some help in what direction should I be taking? What can I do for my next step? Give me a call, shoot me an email. happy to chat.
Perfect. Well, you know what, I let’s do that now. So if somebody does want to get in touch with you, how do they do it? What’s the best way to find you connect with you and ask some of these questions?
Yeah, so check it out on LinkedIn. So I’m under Jasmine Patterson on LinkedIn. And then you could also shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org And I’m sure you’ll put that in there. So I don’t spell it all out for you. That’s the best way to get into contact with me either LinkedIn or or shoot me an email, and happy to connect.
Okay, well, that is awesome. So I’m gonna wrap this up today was actually one of the fastest episodes even I kind of lost track of time there. So I could chat with you forever, BB. Exactly. All right. Well, we’re gonna wrap this up. So thank you, Jasmine for joining. Yeah. And just sharing your story, your journey. I think there’s so much to be learned in there and the honesty that I think sometimes we all have a really hard time sharing because, you know, our worlds, our social media, and everything looks so rosy from the front side. So thank you. Yeah, yeah. On that note, if you would like to be a guest on the show and you want to sell your story, then there is no better place than to tell your story on the secret life show. If you’d like to be a guest, email me at barb at above the fold dot live, or just reach out on our Facebook or Instagram page at Above the fold. Ca. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get Found her local programme. Remember you were charged for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.