Where do I belong?

Hello, it’s nice to mee you! We might not know each other so allow me to introduce myself. If we do know each other, I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping quiet all these years. As I venture into the newest chapter of my career, I’d like you to meet me. Past, present and future.

I am a performance coach for business owners and CEO’s anywhere the internet takes us. I currently live in Calgary AB with my husband, 2 kids and a coon cat named Nacho. Seems pretty normal right? It is, but as in most things, there is a bit of a backstory. Life can be fun, crazy, messy and everything in between. And my life was no exception. Grab a coffee, find a comfy seat and enjoy the story as it begins.

I grew up in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. Never heard of it. No, most haven’t.I was a farm kid through and through. I’ve seen cows give birth, drove a tractor before the age of 10, normalized working long hours at a young age, and vowed I would leave the farm and never return.

I left when I was 21 to go to SAIT, (a technical college) in Calgary – and never looked back. Now, as I look back over the years, I realized that I had amazing opportunities when I lived in that small town. They were jobs that I was chosen for, jobs that paved a path to where I am today. A real foundation of skills and experience that I have drawn on for all these years.

Here are a few:

– Radio DJ at 1240 CJNS for about 5 years. This job really made an impact on me and eventually led me to college and a 5-year career in News as a full time ENG shooter. Fancy talk for a camera operator. I’ll fill you in more below.
– Bank teller at the local Credit Union. Terrible pay, great people to work with. I’m not one to stand behind a counter all day – so that only lasted about 1 year. It was a year of pure hell. But I learned a few things about myself and to this day, I am nice to a bank teller.
– Weather observer at our local airport. This one was cool. I took a weather technician course in Winnipeg and then read cloud formations for about 3 years. I made some really amazing friendships while I was there, flew a Cessna plane and a helicopter, and mopped the floors on Fridays. Which eventually led them to hire me as a cleaner, part time. And that led me to my first attempt as an entrepreneur.
– Cleaner. On my own, I strummed up 4 places (3 commercial and 1 politician’s house) to clean weekly. It gave me some extra money and made me realize I never wanted to be a cleaner again. It did make me realize that doing things that aren’t your ‘job description’ can lead to more.
– And last but not least, a waitress in our local bar. I know, everyone does this. I served beer and spirits to all of the locals, northerners, crews of Telus and highway workers, farmers, and family. Funny story though, I actually won a Walkman from Coors light with a talking can. Remember those? If you don’t – I am old. And you are not.

When I was 21, I moved to Calgary and went to college for 2 years. I basically had 1 job out of college, and it was an ENG (electronic news gathering) shooter. Full time news and. I did a practicum in Lloydminster, and they hired me before school was even over. I graduated at the top of my class. They gave an award for the top male and top female – to this day, I am a bit sad that I had to miss the ceremony. But the reason to go to college was to get a job afterwards, and so I felt like I had already won. I lived and worked in Lloydminster, AB for the next 8 months and then thankfully moved on to A-Channel Edmonton. I was shown to my news truck, smiling ear to ear, full of ambition and about $100k worth of truck and gear. I was always amazed at that … and still am today as I tell that story. I was there for 4 years. I was proud to be a shooter, and I loved my job. But I knew that I couldn’t support my future very well and carrying all of that equipment was hard on my body. So, I gathered my things and moved back to Calgary to finish University.

During my university years, I worked as a “paid cheerleader” for Enmax (a power company) with a booth at WHL games throughout Alberta, a waitress at an Irish pub, and a customer service agent for the Calgary Flames. As a side note, that waitress job led me to my best friend in life and business, Vince. That taught me that you never know what will lead you to pivotal moments in life.

Working 2 and 3 jobs throughout university was tough. I just didn’t give my studies the attention they needed. I did graduate though, with my Bachelor of Communications from the University of Calgary in 2003. It was a grind, and I couldn’t have done it without my mom and my step-dad’s support. They were my driving force, and I didn’t want to let them down. If you have ever been to a university grad, it’s kind of anti-climactic. One walk across a stage that takes thousands of hours, and tens of thousands of dollars to get to. And it’s over in a snap. Actually, it’s over in about 25 steps.

And once I graduated, I remember thinking ‘now what?’. I didn’t want to go back into news, remember the ‘no money’ situation? Well, it was still very real. I had a friend who was in sales, and he made pretty good money and I was broke from university. I took an interview with a merchant services company, I got the job over 10 applicants, and spent over 8 years in that industry. It was a fluke job. One that I never thought I would get, but it turned out to be an important industry for me. It taught me a lot about sales, marketing, and customer service. I was a territory rep for South Calgary and had about 50 banks in my portfolio. Which was a lot to handle, so I had to be really creative with my time, and continue to build those relationships in order to sell. I lasted 8 years in that industry, and I often refer to it as the time I sold my soul. It was cut throat, and feast or famine. I was always looking for my next job.

Then my old boss from the Calgary Flames (remember that customer service job in Uni) called me up and offered me a job. I was hired as the Ticketing Manager for the Calgary Flames. That was a cool job. It came with season tickets, a really cool business card, and more friends than I knew what to do with. There is a saying in hockey, and as office staff “remind me again how lucky I am to work here…”. It was long hours, and quite stressful. I worked there for 4 ½ seasons. And to this day, I love the Calgary Flames and I’m a fan of shirts off for Kiprusoff. After my husband and I had kids – I needed to step back and just couldn’t commit to the hours that the Flames needed me to. So, I became an entrepreneur almost overnight. And even as an entrepreneur, I have literally done it all online.

Here’s a snapshot:

– content writer for about a year. That got hard fast, but I took a professional writing certificate from the U of C and persevered. I did about 4 website content projects, 1 Linkedin profile and 3 online resumes. Ya, that was a bit of a fail.
– Then I started Virtual Professional Group. I thought I could link up VA’s and the business owners looking for them. Not my best idea. That one took 3 months to go belly up.
– Business Mastery Unplugged was a subscription based “online university” for business owners. I sold one membership for $350. And. That. Was. It.
– Ok, let’s try this again. But we will call it TrepLife Academy. And in-person monthly group coaching program that I put together with Vince. We sold 6 seats, did our best, and gladly said no to running it the following year.
– During TrepLife Academy, I started my own boutique marketing company and operated it for about 5 years. I did everything … facebook ads, community engagement, IG ads, LI posting, blog writing, google ads, seo strategy. Literally – everything to do with online. It was exhausting. And I really had a hard time finding my groove, probably it was the jack of all trades, master of none situation.

Then came along the panny, and a total shut down of all human life and business. And wow. What a wake up call. I moved online and once again made a pivot. I created an online course to show people how to seo their own website. Sold it 12 times, and poof – never to be again. I jest of course, because it leads me to where I am today.

If you have read this far, thank you. You must be done that coffee by now.

And you might wonder why I am telling you all this? Well, as a performance coach for business owners and CEO’s I need to be able to draw on all areas of my life experience in order to support you. And I really didn’t think I had much experience until I started writing it down. Realizing how much I have done allows me to create something amazing to support anyone who wants to be the best version of themselves. In every area of life.

A few years ago I was watching Tom Glass talk about the Chuckwagon drivers at the Calgary Stampede. And he said “you can learn from information, or from experience…and I’ll take experience any day”. That’s me. I have templates and systems that I use, and share with clients. But the real magic comes from my experience. And that bucket fills up more each day. 

Donita Fowler

Coach + Creator
Manage your emotions and you can navigate challenges with a balanced perspective.