“Hello! My Name Is Nicole Weber.”
“Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always had the entrepreneurial spirit inside of me. Whether it was pretending to be a chef and making up dinner menus for my family, or turning my wagon into a tour bus and taking my dog Toby for rides around the yard; there was no place my imagination couldn’t take me and no dream too big. It wasn’t long before my imaginary restaurants closed their imaginary doors and I started selling fruits and vegetables at the end of my driveway. It was my first taste of having a business of my own and I loved how it tasted! Since then I’ve always set my sights on turning my dreams into realities and letting my imagination flow freely. The journey that led me to becoming the person I am today was not short of its ups and downs, roadblocks or detours, but if it wasn’t for the hard parts I would never have been able to appreciate how fortunate I am to have ended up where I did. The destination is only as beautiful as the road that leads us there.
Have you ever heard the quote “follow your dreams or you will end up working for someone who did.” Maybe you were told you can’t make it in life or that you will never follow your dreams because they are too big. A dream is only a dream until you make it a reality. Just think who created that first hot dog? Or how about your favorites pair of shoes? That’s Right! Someone had a dream.
My dreams are changing day by day and I decided a long time ago that if i can dream it I can do it. I don’t know whether I’d live by that belief if it weren’t for the support of my hero: my dad. No dream of mine was ever too big for him and he always encouraged me to go after whatever crazy idea I dreamt up. When I was eleven he brought two beef cows home to our farm and that was when my life changed forever. I had found my new best friend, her name was boots! She was a big, gorgeous cow who loved me dearly and the feelings were mutual. Everyday I would go with my dad to help with the chores just to see her. I learned how to groom her, care for her, and clean up after her–that’s right, I cleaned up cow poop. Boots taught me the importance of selflessness and her gratitude was expressed in the form of cuddles; boots loved to cuddle.
At some point I decided that I loved spending time with animals so much maybe I should make a career out of it. I looked into becoming a veterinarian but my impatience got the best of me when I researched into how long it would take. That didn’t stop me from following a close path and pursuing a career as a Vet Tech. I applied to a major college and eagerly awaited a response; unfortunately, the response was not what I was hoping for. I had been put on a waitlist that was unrealistic and my chances of being accepted were slim. At that point I felt very discouraged and I gave up on the dream realizing I would never get into that course but that did not mean I could not find something else, and so I applied to an online animal science course. Life on the farm with so many different animals from: dogs, cats, cows, chickens, horses and even a donkey, matched with a diploma in Animal Science and a passion for business led me to follow a new dream that encompassed all I’d learned. In 2013, at 19 years old I made the dream a reality by starting my very first business venture called Animals Helping Animals: Pet Sitting and Dog Walking. This particular dream held a special sentiment as it was inspired by the my first kitten I ever owned named Tarzan who developed a rare disease that took his life at only nine months old. His loss fueled me with a drive and determination to never give up, because he was a fighter until the end. Five years later with a business to show for it, I’d say he’s proud of his mommy. I called it Animals Helping Animals because I raised money for rescues as I walked the dogs so the animals were helping other animals, raised money to buy socks for the homeless and an Orphanage In Tanzania Africa where my dad built a play centre. For 5 years I worked with a variety of dogs and cats, even some fish too! I also received Pet First Aid and CPR Training and became Insured and Bonded. I was a representative for Friendly Dog Collars which sells awareness collars, leashes and harnesses. I was a member of the International Boarding and Pet Services Association, The Dog Gurus and The Pet Professional Guild. I donated to several dog rescues across Ontario and raised funds for National Cupcake Day toward The London Humane Society.
In 2015, when I came home to my clothes frozen to the closet wall where I lived in northern Ontario I realized it was time for me to move somewhere warmer. I was out in Vancouver B.C in 2007 with my public school band trip for Music Fest Canada and ever since then it was always a dream of mine to move to Vancouver. I sold everything, packed my car to the roof with my life and my cat to drive across Canada in hopes of following my dreams with the business in Vancouver BC. I applied to several jobs out in Vancouver while still in Ontario and got a dream job at a vet clinic that was admittedly short lived; it was too hard for me to see so many sick and dying animals, I’m a bit of a softy in that respect.
While out in Vancouver I had dreams at one point to open a Dog Cafe for adoptable pets however not enough people supported or shared the idea. I soon realized that at 24 years old I should not stress myself out with liability and expensive rent in Vancouver to own a business and the idea slowly faded. It was also no longer ideal to run the dog walking business with my health and safety being at risk from either the long days outside in the rain, or the long drives with a handful of dogs in the car, and so I hung up the leash.
Owning and running Animals Helping Animals for 5 years allowed me to hone my skills in; web design, digital marketing, and project management, to name a few. These skill sets, combined with my passion for helping others are what led me to my next dream of starting Virtual Balance in January 2018. Virtual Balance is a business built on helping people grow their online brand to its full potential by focusing on the three crucial pillars necessary to run a successful online business: social media management, online marketing strategies, and time management. My goal is to make a difference in other people’s lives by using the knowledge I’ve gained over the years paired with a tenacious work ethic, to help business owners gain back one of life’s most valued resources, time.
The journey that led me to where I am today was not short of its misfortunes but trust me, no narrative ever is. It’s the struggles and hurdles that build a persons character and I consider myself truly fortunate to be able to look back on my life to see how far I’ve come so far fueled with determination, knowledge, and a passion for helping others. I am also very fortunate to have a very supportive boyfriend by my side who I never would of fell in love with if I didn’t make the big move to Vancouver.
I am proud to call myself a fortunate female!”
-Nicole Weber (Inspiring fempreneurs to follow their dreams)