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Mylaine B's story on… business support systems that matter the most

Mylaine holds family life as equally important to her professional life. Traditional work life was not conducive to finding this balance and entrepreneurship was her route to live a balanced life. After a friend introduced her to a business idea, she went in head first and hasn’t looked back since. Fifteen years later Mylaine has built up a successful research recruitment business, helping clients to come face to face with their target market and learn as much as they can from them. Mylaine sees this as her opportunity to bring meaning to businesses (so they can develop better products and services that people actually want) as well as consumers (being part of creating products and services they actually want by having a say in how they can to solve their needs). And of course at the same time, this enables her to make money doing what she loves and living the life she has curated with family at the centre. In fact, Mylaine refuses to do ‘one-sided business where only one entity is really benefiting’.

Starting from nothing and turning to her friends and family for initial support first referrals were triggered and then spiralled - Mylaine has built up an entire business on the constant flow of referrals. She showcases how important connecting and relationship building is as we continuously build our businesses.

“You don't really use ‘nice’ in a business sense because it's always about the bottom line. But if you can improve the bottom line because you are being nice in how you treat and consult with your end users, then it can only be beneficial for everybody.”

She tells the truth about entrepreneurship and the need for positivity throughout the journey. Most people start businesses with a positive outlook but few are able to keep positive during the bumps in the road. Complacency sets in and soon what once excited you is history. Mylaine finds it hard to articulate her challenges as she sees each curve in the road more as an opportunity and choice to accept circumstances, see the good where possible, and tackle it head on.

“Try new ways, learn new things, stay on top of the challenge, know that it will not always be easy, and turn to positive thought. Belief and a good support system are all you need to persevere. If you need help, you need to be able to ask. We are all human and we can all only do what we can, more than that, we need to reach out.”

She is testament to what she preaches, exemplifying kindness as we learn how she is currently going the extra mile to help a particular client in need, giving back in a way only her business can. People around her say she is wrong for offering a helping hand but she believes in this instance, it is her turn to help the very people that have served her over the years.

There is a proverb somewhere along the lines of ‘it takes one thousand days to build a business’. You need to do your due diligence and put in the time. If you are doing that you should find people who will support you. If you can enter the realm of entrepreneurship. Do it, start small. Roll with the punches, they will come and you take it wherever it lands and you make the best of the situation. She explains the importance of work ethic too,

“You need to do what you need to do before you do what you WANT to do. Always lead by example. Diligence is essential when you work for yourself. And loyalty. This means if I can help, I help, and if I can’t I will see what I can do but never make up stuff, I choose to speak up.”

Looking back, she recognises how early days of entrepreneurship are often met with a lot more fear AND opportunity. The fear and unknown often take precedent and some opportunities can be lost because of this. Her advice is to be mindful of this and to be open to “taking a chance sometimes, getting out the box you create for yourself because sometimes we are too scared to take the risk when a good opportunity presents itself”. She learned along the way to seize opportunity, and now runs two businesses simultaneously. Not having all eggs in one basket served her well when her second business needed to carry her during unforeseen circumstances which impacted the running of her recruitment business. As entrepreneurs when we ARE the business, we need to ensure we have built in mechanisms to sustain us no matter what roadblocks we may face unknowingly in the future.

Running two businesses and a family (who wake up EVERY morning to mom cooking whatever they ordered!), Mylaine HAS REALLY achieved the balance of a professional life that fits right into her family life. She is an inspiration and testament to all of us who think that we have to make the choice between the two. We understand Mylaine’s wise choice as when hard times hit, it was her FAMILY support system that carried her through. Mylaine reminds us that being our own boss comes with the gift of choice in how we can keep our family life rife and central in how we build our business. She made the choice to keep family a priority in her business purpose. She talks of how it is her family who continues to be the source of her business inspiration, it is also clear though that SHE is THEIR inspiration. Thank you Mylaine for grounding us, we too are inspired by YOU.

Work with Mylaine B

“Solving niche challenges Founders face”.

Illustrator: Lisa Williams (Instagram: @artist_llw)


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