A little about us and our Journey...
How our story began…
Thanks for stopping by Thriving on Purpose. We’re glad you did. And since this is an About Us page, we’d love to share a bit more about us, our vision, and our business with you.
We have been married for 16 years now, and we have three children. Jason, Marissa and Katie.
Ever since we decided to become online entrepreneurs, we’ve had our share of learning curves, fumbles, and failures. We think you’ll find our story quite interesting…
It all started back in 2012. We were both working for the Canadian Government. I (Sebastien) was full time on the evening shift, and Elisabeth was working part-time on weekends. So, as you can imagine, we basically had no family life to speak of. At the time, our second child had just been born. We quickly realized that this wasn’t what we signed up for when we married and started a family. We were:
- Worn out by the rat race, commuting, and shift work
- Disillusioned by suburban living, married life, and life in general
- Exhausted, frustrated, and somewhat bitter. And, to top it off, we were
- Not making it financially
Now, being as it were, we believed we were doing the most we could to get money coming in. At the time, being entrepreneurs or owning a business was definitely not on our radar. So, we didn’t think it was possible to make more money – with our level of education (some college), we thought this was our max. Therefore, we began thinking about how we could cut back financially. After re-evaluating and re-budgeting our expenditures in groceries, mortgage, heating, insurance, et al. we still had more month at the end of our money. And, no matter how we looked at it, I was still working the evening shift and it hurt our family… bad.
That’s when I suggested we make a big shift. I suggested we move to the Maritime provinces. I had looked at the house prices over there, and they were much cheaper than our present mortgage. So, after discussing it at length and praying about it, we both asked for a transfer. Our first choice was Charlottetown, in beautiful Prince Edward Island – the birthplace of the confederation and home of fictional Anne of Green Gables. And surprise, surprise, I got it quickly. Even though Liz’s transfer was still pending, we moved. Despite of our own fears, our respective families’ objections, and our having never visited Prince Edward Island before, we moved.
After a momentous move, having lost more than 40,000$ (long-distance moving costs, legal fees, selling the house at a big loss). We finally got settled into our new house, which was about half an hour from Charlottetown. I got somewhat settled in my new job. Although I really didn’t like the job (okay, I hated it), I was at least working days, which was good for our family life. And with our lower mortgage, we believed Liz could stay home with the kids and have only my salary provide for our needs.
We were wrong.
A year into our move, I was utterly disillusioned and depressed. I sat down with Liz and showed her how our new financial reality wasn’t quite better. The numbers just didn’t work in our favor. We desperately needed her salary; or any income coming in on her end. But, on the other hand, we really felt the kids needed her to be home with them. That’s when Liz, the Super Mom, got to work. She became, although reluctantly at first, an entrepreneur.
Well, it has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. So, we both basically began re-inventing ourselves. So much so that Liz coined our whole move to Prince Edward Island and its subsequent shockwaves: God’s Boot Camp. That’s an adequate descriptive.
We bought books and visited websites on how to make money from home. From eBay stores, to blogging, to medical transcriptionist, to Amazon reseller, to graphic designer; we looked at everything out there. We left no stone unturned.
Elisabeth got inspired to start her very own Arts and Craft store by making and selling beach themed décor. She began by making beautiful seashell wreaths, candle holders, seashell frames, and the like. Her store was called Coastal Beach Decor. It was her pride and joy. She invested hundreds, and then thousands on materials and courses. And she dreamed of expanding it to something bigger. That’s how she got into drop-shipping. She was thinking and seeing BIG for Coastal Beach Decor. She officially quit her position working for the government, since they never did give her the job transfer they promised. She put much of her pension money into her new passion. She put time, money, energy into what she believed was going to be our ticket out of mediocrity and financial abyss. And when the kids were too loud and she needed to contact potential suppliers, she headed outside to work in our minivan. Yeah, she wanted it bad. Only problem was: her expenses far outweighed her sales.
Meanwhile, I had also begun my own entrepreneurial journey. After a half-cocked return to school by way of distance education in the field of Translation, my mother passed away from cancer. Her last words to me, or rather question, brought about a major shift in my life as I became inspired to return to my first love: public speaking. I had found out that one can make a pretty interesting income as a public speaker, and back in my early twenties, I had discovered my gift and passion for the oratory arts by preaching at my local church. And now, as I understood it, I could be an inspirational speaker… without a theological degree. Awesome! That’s when Thriving on Purpose was (naively) born.
I soon discovered that it wasn’t that simple. People didn’t know me, and I had no credentials associated with my name. You can only imagine how well that went for me to get speaking gigs. Even though I tried everything I could to perfect myself by way of books, joining my local Toastmasters, and YouTube seminars and speeches; I knew I needed more of an edge to be taken seriously. I knew I needed to become a certified speaker. I needed the polishing and training that only a recognized authority could provide. That’s when I joined The John Maxwell Team.
As I became immersed in motivational speeches, leadership trainings, and personal growth, Liz took notice. She saw that not only I was changing, but she liked these trainings herself and began listening to Jim Rohn, John Maxwell and Les Brown, to name just a few. She loved it! A couple of months later, she was also enrolled in The John Maxwell Team right alongside me to become a certified coach. After training together, we got certified together in August 2016. That was an exciting day!
In all, we invested roughly $30,000 in certifications, trainings, books, seminars, and courses in our own personal development in order to be relevant, knowledgeable, and authorities in our niche… and the compound effect of this investment is just beginning!
Here are some other highlights of our entrepreneurial journey that I will just list here without going in detail:
- After having been immersed in Leadership for so long, I birth a my first book which got published in May 2017: Lead Like a Superhero – What Pop Culture Icons Can Teach us About Impactful Leadership.
After painfully pulling the plug on Coastal Beach Decor (marketing costs were way too high in this niche), Liz became interested (almost obsessed) with Network Marketing and joined her first company in January 2016. She started studying the ins and outs of Online Marketing and had deciphered most of its secrets, tactics, and pitfalls. She also discovered very quickly that the old ways of doing Online Marketing were not an option for us. We lived on an island with a very small population and if we were going to be successful at this, we had to find ways to market online. That’s when we found MLSP. It was the online hub for professional online business builders to learn all the social media strategies and online methods out there working right now.
We joined forces to make Thriving on Purpose a family business, clarified/unified our vision, and made it into what it is today: a family business that helps entrepreneurs and families to Thrive on Purpose through personal growth, leadership trainings, and online marketing resources & strategies.
But that’s not all. We found our entrepreneurial journey had taught us some valuable lessons about what works, but mostly about what doesn’t. It was a tough trial and error journey for us. These valuable lessons we learned have enabled us to:
- Discover what works, and by-pass what doesn’t
- Coach entrepreneurs to faster success by avoiding our initial mistakes
- Enable people to grow a home-based business through a model that works online (No home meetings)
- Teach people how to become leaders themselves
- Encourage people to have a personal growth plan
- Strengthen believers in their faith
- Provided cutting-edge web based resources for online businesses
We are excited that you took the time to get to know us. But what excites us more is getting to know and help you to prosper. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have after reading this;
Also, don’t forget to download your FREE entrepreneurial foundational resource titled 7 Critical Principles Every Entrepreneur Must Master by clicking here:
I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. – 3 John 2 (NASB)
Elisabeth & Sebastien Richard
(The Founders of T.O.P. (Thriving on Purpose)