Business Start-up: My First 10 Weeks in CEED
Business Start-up: First 10 Weeks in the CEED Program
It was nerve wracking but exciting when thinking about applying for the CEED program. After getting myself out of a toxic work environment I was taking some time to reorganize my commitments and my goals. I decided I wasn’t going to let that experience ruin my outlook on personal training as a career or let it effect the goals I aspired to achieve. I was able to find part time employment as a trainer at Slim Gyms (fantastic circuit-based gym) while I worked to figure out my next move.
Wanting to do something different and realizing that traditional employment wasn’t for me at the moment I started looking at my options. I knew I wanted to keep learning and to keep pushing myself forward in building a career in the fitness industry.
When you’re younger (I know I’m still young) people are always saying to do what you want to do, shoot for the stars, take chances but once you get out into the real world its a little harder to do that. Things like debt, job security, social pressure to feel like you’re being productive, and the feeling like you need to work just to be working start to interfere with what you actually want to do.
The CEED program offered me just what I was looking for. I knew my industry, but I didn’t know business, CEED was a perfect fit. I knew my next move.
Wait, what is CEED?
CEED is the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development
“We deliver innovative programs and services that empower individuals and communities to achieve their full potential. CEED’s broad mandate encompasses social and economic principles, working towards a vision of a vibrant and entrepreneurial Nova Scotia.” Link to their site here.
The Acceptance process
While speaking with an advisor at Job Junction we determined that the CEED program may be a good fit. I was then recommended to CEED and the next step was to complete a business proposal and attend an orientation workshop. I had an idea, now I just had to put it on paper.
After getting further approval and showing a viable business concept I got accepted! I then signed a contract with both Employment Nova Scotia and CEED to commit to the 40 week Self Employment Benefit program.
Starting at CEED
At the beginning of the program there is a 3-day Blast Off to Business workshop where you learn a ton of info to get your business started. We even had a field trip to the library to learn how to research properly (the library is a treasure trove). They even have an entire database of just business plans!
Since the blast off program I’ve attended lots of workshops and have learned a ton from each one. The workshops I’ve attended so far:
- Social Media
- Commercial Insurance
- Set Up for Success
- Financing Options
- Managing Cash Flow & Accounts Receivable
- Go Venture
- Personal Insurance
- Marketing 101
- Biz Success Tips
- Website Wizardry
These workshops went in depth on each topic and I learned a ton. Starting a business from scratch seems overwhelming even before you consider things like insurance, cash flow, and financing. CEED has done a great job in bringing all the necessary info to one spot and making the process manageable.
The class sizes are perfect for networking and discussing ideas/concepts. I’ve learned just as much from conversation with the facilitators and my fellow entrepreneurs as I have from the workshop material.
It’s really cool and inspiring to see all the different types of businesses being started. It helps to gain perspective not only in your own industry but to hear how things are going in others and to see how you can apply what’s working into your own. Here’s what some of the other CEED members are up to:
- Cricket farming (this one has already been started and in operation)
- Food truck
- Sustainable children’s wear
- Ginger beer
- Wearable tech
- In-home appliance repair
- Sea salt harvesting
- Risk management consulting
Some other local businesses that went through the CEED program:
- Kinesic Sport Lab
- Two if By Sea
- Cha Bha Thai
- Duly Noted
- Freak Lunchbox
- The Battered Fish
- Edible Arrangements
*Theres an even bigger list here on the CEED website.
Where am I now in the program?
Once accepted, you’re appointed an advisor at CEED and you receive a week-by-week timeline of certain milestones you’re expected to achieve. Now that I’m on week 10, I’ve completed my business plan and financial forecast with guidance from my advisor. My business is officially registered, time to pound the pavement and start putting it all into motion.
Side note: not feeling good enough or smart enough is something that entrepreneurs experience nearly everyday. It’s crucial to surround yourself with positivity, and for me, I had to read books. You may think that self-improvement books or podcasts are all hogwash and they’re just people selling you a dream thats unachievable. But thats not true There’s something to be said for continually injecting positivity into your brain through books and podcasts; motivation, influence, and confidence.
Books and Podcasts that got me motivated and changed my mindset.
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy – This short book taught me that compound interest doesn’t only apply to finances. The compound effect is relevant for your future and your health.
The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle – Taught me that there is no such thing as an overnight success. Talent and skill is an accumulation (a compound effect if you will) of everything you do.
David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell – Taught me to see my perceived weaknesses as my strengths. To never count out the little guy and that it’s possible.
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris – This book taught me a lot. It’s difficult to pinpoint one thing as the book is filled with gems from topics in health, wealth, and wisdom.
I highly recommend picking up all of these books!
On youtube check out Gary Vaynerchuk for motivation, inspiration, and above all, positivity.
*Instead of watching cable tv or binging on shows on Netflix I binge watch a lot of Gary Vee. The ROI on this has been priceless.
I also started listening to podcasts whenever I was walking or driving places.
Jason Ferruggia – lifestyle and fitness
Tim Ferris – motivation, inspiration, and knowledge from world class performers.
If you’ve come this far I want to say a special thanks for reading my content. I’m getting excited to officially launch the business in the next month or two, follow me here on Facebook and on Instagram here to stay updated.