Christine – From Retail, to Public Relations, to Wine Tours

Christine – From Retail, to Public Relations, to Wine Tours

#26 – Christine Dainard is in a vastly different place now than she was when she left high school in her teens. After not getting her diploma, she became a top 10 salesperson, nationwide, for a Canadian exercise equipment retailer. It wasn’t because she was really good at convincing people to buy things - Christine was just really good at understanding people’s needs and with her friendly and energetic personality, she was able to find solutions to their problems. After having a child and going through a divorce, Christine was looking for a change and upon evaluating her interests, decided that Public Relations was what she would pursue. After getting a college diploma, Christine put in the work to get a full-time government job that would provide her with the stability she wanted for her and her son, but after many years of hard work, the pressure of the job began to take its toll. As she struggled with what to do about a career she wasn’t happy with, a friend brought Christine to a winery in Norfolk County in Ontario for a relaxing weekend. Christine was awestruck by the tranquility of the area and literally couldn’t stop the words from coming out of her mouth – she was going to start a winery tour business. Five years later, Buzz Tour Company is Christine’s full-time career and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Listen to Christine’s career journey today!

Christine's Website: buzztourcompany.ca

Christine's Social Media: @buzztourco

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The below transcript is A.I generated with light editing and may not be 100% accurate.

Transcript
Jonathan Collaton:

Good morning, good afternoon or good evening, you're listening to career crossroads. And if you're new here, welcome if you're not new, welcome back. I'm Jonathan Coulton, and this is the podcast where I talk to one person each week about all the decisions that led them to their current career path. After traveling the globe for the last seven weeks with some international guests, or getting back to some homegrown Canadian talent on this podcast, Christine's journey is unlike that of anyone else I've spoken to. So let's listen to her story. And then afterwards, I'll break down some of what we can learn from Christine. Christine, welcome to career crossroads. How are you doing today?

Christine Dainard:

I'm doing great. Thank you so much for having me here.

Jonathan Collaton:

Well, thanks for coming on the show. And we should give a shout out to Ashley for connecting us. It's always great when friends of mine who actually listened to the show are recommending people that they think would be good guests. So I'm excited to get through this interview. So let's start off as I do, usually, and as I know, you said you might struggle to answer the first question here. But let's go back to when you were a teenager about 16 years old. Because I always think that that's usually when people begin to think about what they're going to do for a future career. Or if there are plans for what will happen after high school. It's somewhere around that age where people begin to think about that. So what was going on in your life at 16? Also, where were you raised?

Christine Dainard:

Okay, well, I was raised in Kitchener, Ontario. And that's where I still where I've come back to now at this stage of my life. I've been kind of everywhere. But at 16 I don't have much of a recollection of my life at 16. I remember, I didn't really know what I was doing with myself, I didn't have a ton of confidence. You know, I was like a young girl who didn't really know where she was gonna go. And I didn't really I just didn't really have a driver direction as to which area wanted to go. And I think too, one thing that is true of me now, even today, is that I always had so many ideas, I could never pick one. So I think I still have lots of ideas at that stage in the game. But what's you know, dating boys and my parents are going through a divorce and I was in different houses, like it was a very, kind of, I wouldn't say tumultuous, but there's a lot going on emotionally. So I think I I've sort of forgotten a lot of the details of that part of my life. But I think ultimately, what I was going to do for my future was certainly not in my horizon. It was like, how am I getting through today? Am I going to graduate? Those were some of the things that were on my mind.

Jonathan Collaton:

Okay, so did you graduate? That's got to be the first question.

Christine Dainard:

Well, actually, you know, what's funny is I didn't graduate high school. I was two credits short. But I kept I went to school longer than the average high schooler. But I think it was because maybe I was just really misguided. Maybe the divorce of my parents had a bigger impact on my life than I thought. But I, I just wasn't interested in school. And and maybe, you know, there might be some ADHD that hasn't exactly been identified in my life or or add. But I really struggled to focus and sit down and just listen to lectures and learn in class. That was not something I really enjoyed. Certainly on topics like geography, history, science, math, you know, all the majors. So I found Yeah, I just found myself just kind of floating about and and I think I forgot what the question you were just asking me now what was the question

Jonathan Collaton:

was, did you graduate? Right? Yeah, a couple credits short. But did you end up getting like, I don't know. What's it called in Canada is the equivalent of like a GED or something in the state?

Christine Dainard:

Yeah, like a GED. I actually, I didn't actually get a GED. Interesting little story. It's funny, you don't really think of these things until someone asks you. And I'm going I haven't visited that kind of part of my life in a really long time. But, you know, I think when I left high school, I was like, Oh, my God, thank God, it's over ish, right? I would technically didn't graduate. I thought I was going to go back for my GED. And then I ended up working, I just started working a friend referred me to get a job serving at a restaurant that was local, and I loved it. It was fun. And I thought, wow, I'm having a lot of fun. Why do I want to go and finish high school I don't, I don't need it. I'm having some fun, you know. And when you're in that stage in your life, you you don't really realize what the next steps are going to be or maybe how much more difficult your life might be in certain stages as a result of some of the choices that you make, right. But I also believe that we make choices in our life kind of goes in the direction it's meant to go based on some of those choices, right? So So yeah, so I worked as a server for a couple years. And and then I got into sales and I was recruited at being recruited into a company where we Were with sales and management. And I absolutely loved it, it was kind of like a light went off inside of me or went on inside of me when I realized that talking to people, connecting with people, making them feel good about themselves was something that lit me up, and people loved it. And so I think that from being a really well, I'll use the word misguided teenager didn't know where I was going, you know, was often told I was too loud, too big, too much all of those things. So trying to always keep myself smaller, I didn't realize that those soft skills that I had, were, in fact, some of my best skills and were hard to come by. And not everybody had them. And so I just persisted in the sales career ended up killing it just had a ton of fun with it, love to doing it, and ended up in the top 10 salespeople across the country. And in I think there were four, it was like a chain organization in retail. And there were about 45 stores across Canada. And I was in the top 10 in all of the stores across Canada. And I was the first female manager to be promoted within the organization. And at that point, I mean, I'm 45 now. So at that point, we're talking, I was nearing my mid 20s, which in that stage in the game was a really big deal. And at that time of life was a really big deal. Right? So I think, in the midst of all that, I thought See, Christine, you got this, you didn't need to graduate school, you're in this career, you're doing amazing. You're killing it. You're making lots of money, you don't need to go back to school, it's all good. It's kind of what I thought,

Jonathan Collaton:

yeah. Okay, so what type of product were you selling? I got to know, What are you so good at selling?

Christine Dainard:

Well, you know, what I realized later in life, that it wasn't necessarily about the product that I was selling, it was whether or not I believed in what I was selling, because I've sold other things as a result since but at the time, I was selling fitness equipment. And at the time, I was one of those girls who was at the gym, you know, 567 days a week killing it at the gym. And so I was in shape. And I was able to help people sort of overcome that challenge in their own life and help them get fitness equipment into their own homes. And that's what I did. It was great because you reach people on a personal level, I think that's what I really loved about it. It wasn't that I was just selling a widget or something that didn't really need it was that people were coming to you with a problem. And depending on how they were willing to help themselves and how you can help them you could help them identify how they could fix it or how they could you know, move beyond that challenge. I think I really loved that I loved problem solving. I loved helping people. And I knew that fitness made me feel good. So it made sense to help people with their fitness. And I think that's where the connection was for me.

Jonathan Collaton:

Okay, I want to know, I'm trying to think back to like 20 years ago in the fitness industry was like Bowflex running ads on TV 15 hours a day at that point in time. Was that your big competition?

Christine Dainard:

It was certainly a big competitor. Yes, absolutely. You're right. It was huge at that point. And so were like treadmills, elliptical trainers, like that was all very much a big are the obstacles, I guess came into it a little later. But yes, the Bowflex was huge at that time,

Jonathan Collaton:

you know, ellipticals, I'm okay with treadmills. I am upset at whoever invented those because, like, I'm a larger, like, I'm six foot two. And every time somebody has to move a treadmill, somehow I get asked to move it. And if you've ever moved a treadmill, it's no fun at all those things, not cheese. Yeah. And so I really, you know, there's a part of me that wishes those had never been invented. But I do see value in them at the same at the same time. So when you were in the sales job, did you find you were really kind of developing a specific skill set over time? Or was it one of those things where you just jumped into it? And you were good at it? Like right away? And you just for eight years, or however long you were in it? You were just consistently great the whole time?

Christine Dainard:

Well, no, I mean, I I definitely did jump into it and do really well out of the gates. So it was something that kind of came naturally to me connecting with people, having conversation, making them feel comfortable. Those are all things i think that you know, we not we now know, maybe we didn't know this then but we now know that when people like you, they will buy from you, right? It's not about the product, it's about the connection. And so, you know, I think that that that was the initial I just made people feel comfortable. And I was authentic. I wasn't trying to pretend and I wouldn't sell them something they didn't need. I would give them what they needed to solve their problem. So But to answer your question, it certainly was there were a lot of skills that I developed along the way. In fact, we ended up doing a lot of training in personal characteristics. And there was a program called disc d-i-s-c. Right? DISC.

Jonathan Collaton:

Yup.

Christine Dainard:

DISC. I don't know if you're familiar with this program

Jonathan Collaton:

I'm not, no.

Christine Dainard:

But it's, it's similar to like there's all kinds of these characteristic personality profiling where you Learn about the kind of four major sort of characteristics or quads of different kinds of people in the world and how they approach things. So they either ask questions that are like how or what focused or they're very passive or forward and direct. So you kind of learn about how different people respond to you different kinds of questions that you might ask, or how you position, the things that you say, has a lot to do with the kind of character you are and the personality traits you have. And when you're in sales, you know, your, your approach may not work with everyone, not everyone will like you, this is true of life. But in sales, it's your paycheck, right? So you, we were very interested in finding ways to connect with people on a different level that you wouldn't initially sort of connect with. So we did a lot of training in the disc profiling, and you basically learn how to ask different kinds of questions, or how to direct the conversation with somebody who maybe is just from a different perspective from you, maybe they know more about what it is that you're selling, they've probably there are certain people that would do all kinds of research before coming in to find a product. And so often, they probably did no more than I did about whatever it was that they were looking for. And so to sort of give them the upper hand and say, you know, you've probably done your research here. And I think you probably know exactly what you're looking for and to and to kind of understand and learn when to ebb and flow with people in where they need you and maybe where they don't, that really helped a lot. So it helped to improve that skill set over time. And it was something I was able to not only help myself, connect with different kinds of people, but also teach my staff to do the same thing.

Jonathan Collaton:

You know, I find sales to be so fascinating, because I think instinctively, a lot of people would just want to, you know, you just want people to want the product you have and to just come to you and you can just sell them, right you don't want to have to. And I don't mean this in the in the I don't mean that people don't want to put in the work. But I mean that it's just so much easier. And for a lot of people less, there's less of a barrier, if you have to kind of, you know seem like that sort of like very sales pitchy like find something to sell to that person type of salesperson, I, I guess I'm just I worked for three months in sales one time, and I definitely had a boss that was like, always be closing, if they don't, if we don't have what they want sell them something we do have that kind of sales job. And

Christine Dainard:

ABC always be closing. I reember that! I remember .

Jonathan Collaton:

exactly. And like that's the kind of shady or side of sales, right. And so like what you're talking about is, it sounds very much more like, you just need to, you need to be able to mesh with the person to find what their needs are like the fact that they came to your store means they need something from you. So your job isn't to just sell them crap they don't need your job is to figure out a way to build a relationship with them so that you can find out what they need. So you can get them the best products, so they'll be happy with what they get.

Christine Dainard:

Yeah. And I think I think instinctively, I knew that. And couldn't maybe have explained that to anybody at that time. But I remember, you know, when you're in retail, you're managing some of you it's like your boss's I was telling you always be closing and every person that comes to the door, they better be leaving with something and I just didn't operate that way. I knew that the more pressure you put on people, and certainly the more pressure you put on me didn't feel authentic to me anymore. And I couldn't go in I would come across as I was trying to sell you something, which never felt good for me. I didn't like that. I didn't want to be like that. So I ended up training my team. And we were I was lucky because the store that I was at was here locally here actually in Kitchener Waterloo and we were sort of a satellite store. So we weren't close to all the Toronto stores and the bigger city stores and all of the other people and the you know, the district managers didn't come to our store very often. So we're kind of, I kind of had some autonomy there, which I loved. And I was able to sort of treat my staff in a way that I felt comfortable and teach them things that could help them connect with people as opposed to not. And I think to Kitchener, for anybody who may not be familiar with our city, depending where they're listening from is one of those cities that if you're going to try a product or a business idea, you're going to try it in Kitchener. And if it works here, it'll work just about anywhere. And and it's like a it's like, although it's a really rapidly growing city, it's also almost like a small town mentality in some ways. So people talk people, they like you or they don't, and you want to build those relationships because they're going to come back. It's not like you can't walk down the street and see them like you will see people that you know, down the street. So I think I connected with that really quickly and knew that, you know, this is more about relationships. This is more about that person knowing they can come into our store and whether they're buying a $10 skipping rope or they want to invest $4,000 in a treadmill that that we're here for that. We're here to give them the answers that they need that they can trust us. And that that way that we refer people to us, because that's relationship building. That's, that's working in the real world. And that's not just pressing or pushing a widget, it's, it's making connections and looking at the big picture, really,

Jonathan Collaton:

you know, and it's, I like hearing that too, because it also kind of, it's, it's a good way to explain to people that you don't need a, a business degree to learn how to do that, like, that's just a human instinctive thing that you can just get good at by practicing. And you don't have to go and spend like 50k, or whatever on a university education to go and get that skill set. Like that is just something you can be good at and just cultivate. And so it's, it's great to hear that from a perspective of like, having not gone to get formal education for that purpose. I like that the hearing, you're just you're good at it. And then you get promoted to be the manager. Like, that's awesome. I forgot that part for a second. And so when I was asking about it, I'm like, Oh, yeah, you were you were the one that was either saying to people always be closing or not saying,

Christine Dainard:

Yeah, well, and I think too, you know, because you asked about, you know, what skill sets do I have to develop it, I just go in and get really good at it, and then not have to work at it? And I think the answer is that we, we, I felt like I worked at it all the time. It was like, if if I got off the sales floor, I would sit and I would think about Okay, how did that go? What did I say? What did they say? how they respond? Where could I have done better? You know, did I collect their information? So I could do a follow up? Did they feel comfortable when they left? Like, so I would review all the steps and stages that we went through in that opportunity. And I would think about, could I have done anything different. And if I had wouldn't had, it wouldn't have had a different results. And so it's constantly that sort of self development of, you know, putting your best foot forward, and you're not going to win everybody, right? Like, not everyone's gonna like you, not everyone's gonna see value in what you have to sell. And so it's kind of, I think, recognizing that as well as partnering that with, you know, doing some of that internal dialogue, and reviewing what that experience was like, and maybe how that person experienced it. And so you can go into that better the next time.

Jonathan Collaton:

That's really good. That idea of like self development that so much of your own education can be just you on your own, trying to figure things out. And you know, you can do some of that like a B testing. And if you try something this way, does it work? Well, if you tried this way, does it work well, and just learn from your own experiences? So really glad to hear that that was so effective for you. So what was it that eventually prompted you to not be doing that job anymore? Because that is not at all what you're doing these days? No?

Christine Dainard:

No, definitely not. Well, interesting little story, I went through one of many transfers, I transferred around the country with this organization to a number places I've lived in Toronto, as a result in Winnipeg and British Columbia, I have traveled everywhere as a result of this job. And the last transfer I took was to British Columbia. And my partner joined me about two months after I moved to British Columbia. And within a month of him coming, we found out we were having a baby. So that's sort of shifted gears a little bit and was clearly not part of my plan. In fact, I was moving to BC, I took that last transfer. And my my idea was, this is a great way to get out west, I'm gonna learn how to snowboard, I will be able to support myself and do that until I find the next thing for me because I was reaching that point in my career, that it was done, I was great at it, there was really I didn't feel like I could learn anything much more from it. And so I was planning to find something else. And use that sort of transfer as that pivoting point to get me to a place where I wanted to be in order to make the next jump. And then we found out we were pregnant, which I mean, that completely changed the game. By that point. I was, well, I guess 31 had just turned just a little few few months after I turned 31 I found out we were pregnant. And we ended up deciding to move back to Ontario because we hadn't been in British Columbia all that long. So we hadn't developed a real great, you know, circle of people. And living in BC was far more expensive than or British Columbia was far more expensive than living in Kitchener Waterloo. And certainly at that time, maybe not now. I don't know.

Jonathan Collaton:

Yeah, I don't think so. Now, I think I've seen studies that said like, relative to the income level in Kitchener Waterloo, I think Waterloo specifically, it's the second most expensive place in the country to live relative to the income level. I know it's not the same by Toronto, Vancouver, obviously more expensive housing, but compared to income level, I was shocked to find that.

Christine Dainard:

Yeah. And so I as we moved back, I, you know, eventually I had the baby and then I was going back to work and I went back to work part time and my heart just wasn't in it anymore. And like, and I think just to sort of backtrack, I think I don't know if other people have the same experience in sales, but it's very much, you work a lot of hours, you're always on, and you're giving everything you've got. And then when work is done, you go for beers. Like, that's what you do. So it's like, you play hard, you party hard, like that was kind of my life for 10 or 12. Oh, my guess 12, almost 13 years was this play hard work hard sort of idea and mentality. And that's the way I was working my life. And, well, when you have a baby, that changes a lot of things, and you're, what's important to you really shifts gears. So I have gone back to work part time, and I just wasn't feeling it. And I think that it big picture, partly was that I was, you know, not with the right partner, we didn't end up staying together. But, you know, I didn't, I didn't know what my next steps were going to be. But I knew that where I was, wasn't going to be it for me. And I decided in that moment, I'm just going to pull back. And I'm going to give all my energy to my son and and do the best that I can. And this year that I'm off on maternity leave. And then when I go back to, when I went back to work, I was like, I'm just gonna go back to what I was doing, take that time off, and just figure out what my next steps are. And sort of as soon as I made that decision, a friend of mine introduced me to a direct sales company, and said, You know, I really think this would be a good fit for you, because it is in, you know, the world of being environmentally conscious, you're becoming more environmentally conscious now that you have a child in your home. And you're considering what kind of what you use to clean your floors, and how you know what detergent you're using and wash their clothes. And she's like, it just might make good sense for you to transition into this because it'll allow you to still work from home. And you can kind of connect people more with this thing that everybody needs. And we all need to clean and we all need to wash our clothes. But if we could do it in a more healthful way. Maybe this is right for you. And so I kind of jumped in with both feet. And I was like, Yeah, okay, I could do that. And it was sales. So I knew from my history that I mean, I could probably sell anything that I felt good about. And so I ended up signing up, and I went out and it was like a home party sort of direct sales company. So I don't know how familiar you are with these.

Jonathan Collaton:

I am so familiar. My mother in law is she's got friends who are Tupperware sales people. She's a Sentsy person. There are a bunch of others. 31 Oh, yeah, this is a it's a big part of my life, whether I want it to be or not.

Christine Dainard:

Well, exactly. And so when it came to me, I thought, Oh, my gosh, like I was, you know, when when you have a kid too, it's like you're facing all these changes, like everything's changed, your everything in your life has changed, you cannot lose sight with who you are. And you know, can I really do that? And can I really get in front of people and their living room. And which is different than having a one on one conversation with someone on the sales floor, to then walk into someone's living room with however many people and present to them, this reason thing, item products, whatever you want to sell them. And so I remember I went to my very first party, and I got this client through a friend of mine, who told her that we were selling this products in Canada or in Ontario, and she thought they were only available on the west coast. So she's like, I'm gonna have all my friends over and you're gonna we're gonna do the party together. And I was like, great. So I remember going into her house, and I do not a whole lot about that stuff. I knew that I loved it. I knew that it worked great. But that's about all they knew. And so I remember walking into this woman's living room, and 15 or 20 of her best friends are in this room. And I am just beyond overwhelmed. Because all these spaces are looking at me, I don't know what I'm talking about. So basically, I just came out and I said, I'm really nervous. I'm going to call it the elephant in the room. It's really nerve racking to talk in front of 15 to 20 women at a time. And I don't know a lot of is to tell you how much I love this stuff. And they were like, okay, no worries, tell us why you love it. So I just went on about why I loved it, show them one a couple of my favorite things that I love. Next thing, you know, they were lining up and my party was a huge success. And I was like I left that and thinking, holy cow, all I did was go in and just be myself called out the elephant in the room and said that I was really nervous. They connected with that. And they just asked me some questions. And I walked away doing really great. So I could do this so long in the short of that I did that for some time when my son was really young. And then of course, I went through our divorce, which was really hard time as well to go through a divorce with a 18 month old child at the time. And this sort of direct sales business was my core of my was what I was doing to bring in an income. And I remember when I when I finished going through when I finished but I was in the middle of this divorce and I was living on my own. And I'm a 5050 parents, and I'm just like this can't be yet like this can't be where I'm supposed to be like, you know, I never saw the value in completing school. I ended up in the sales career with the students. I had a baby that changed everything. And do I really want to just not just because I respect a lot of salespeople when they're really good at what they do, and they love But they do. But I thought I don't I don't think I want to do this forever. So what else am I going to do? And I remember feeling really defeated. But I remember, just I had this idea i brain fart, whatever you want to call it. And I started looking through different job opportunities that were out there. So like, I think even back in the time I was reading the paper, when maybe wasn't even on the internet, which is, well, that shows you how old I am. But But I was reading job ads. And what I decided to do was go through them and highlight the things that the job ads identified as skills, they were looking for things that I enjoyed to do or that I was good at. And so I didn't even look at what the job was I just looked, the description is sort of highlighting all these things that I liked. And then I think I took it to the internet search, I started searching about these things. Anyway, I identified that as much as sales had been where I'd really Shawn and did really well. And I really enjoyed for some time that public relations and communications was a direction that I could go and still utilize a lot of the skills that I had attained all this time, and put them into a different career, like focus and function. And so I ended up applying to go to conasauga College, which is here in Kitchener Waterloo, and to go into their public relations communications diploma program. And there were some challenges getting in because I had not finished high school. So to kind of answer your question from earlier, I've never gotten a GED. So when I went and applied for school as a mature student, they required me to have I think it was like an 85 in English or something. And of course, when I was in high school, I didn't really go very often. So I have great grades. And so they asked if I would, I had to go and do like a night course, to upgrade my English so that I could then be accepted into the program of choice. So I had to go to night school. And so here, imagine this. So I'm a single mom, my mum babysit babies, it's my son, every time I go to school, I go into a classroom, and most of them were like international students, or some that were in a similar position as me. And I learned that all the grammar I have learned in school when I grew up, was no longer. And that there was a whole new set of rules when it came to grammar that I didn't even know.

Jonathan Collaton:

I didn't realize we changed up our grammar education often.

Christine Dainard:

completely changed up the grammar. And so I it was it was here, I thought I was gonna go to school and just upgrade and I'd be out of there in a few days kind of thing. And I ended up having to be there for several weeks, because you're relearning everything about grammar and how we approach grammar in here and in Canada. So I thought that was really fascinating. Anyway, I ended up graduating got a great mark, I don't remember what it was 90 something, and I was able to get into my program. But you know, it's funny, because I never really gave or put a lot of weight into formal education. And even now, I would say, I think that, really, it's up to the individual what what works best for them and what feels right for them and the moment to do. But I think someone like me, I'm a student of the world, I learned by doing, I learned by being involved and being active and trying different things. And, and I had to become okay with the process and how I got there, right.

Jonathan Collaton:

Yeah, you know, I I like what you just said there about, like learning by doing, because that's a lot of how I feel very much right now in my life where I did go into university, I did an undergrad degree. But some of the skills I learned were transferable, but like I have a degree in history and Canadian Studies, and I sort of made an active decision that like I actually don't want to do anything related to this degree I what I wanted to do was was different, and I had to go and do a lot of volunteering and do a lot of jobs at university on the campus so that I could go and get that job that I wanted after university. So I had that same experience back then. And I'm sort of going through it again right now. Because I recognize that without going and getting a master's degree in my field of work, I might be you know, that might have sort of caped myself out. I don't know how far I can can go in that field. And so I'm I'm having to have that same sort of internal question right now about like, well, what can I do that that can get me the experience that I want to get me to the next thing. So I didn't want to interrupt your career path there but I think it's just worth pointing out that like that is a very good reality for a lot of people is just experience it and learn from it instead of getting that formal education. I also just want to go back to what you when you were talking about when you were first going through the divorce and you realize like, is this what I'm going to do? I don't want to do this forever, up from kind of the moment where you started to feel that way up to the point where you actually got into Conestoga and took the English course how long did that take you to come to that realization that this is what I need to do to set myself up for something different down the road.

Christine Dainard:

Um, I think that was probably about a about a six to eight months decision process. So I think the thought came into my mind. And then you know, it's just like anything got an idea or a thought comes to you and you're like, Okay, I should probably look at that. And then you just kind of carry on. And then you do what you're doing. And you realize that as much as I like this, I can't really see myself doing this for the next 30 years of my life. So that was real pivotal. For me, it was I started listening. And I think that if I had been honest with myself in the sales career prior, I was ready to leave before I left, right. And, and what forced me out was that I got pregnant, and I had changed my life. And I wanted to be in a different space or was in a different space. But I probably stayed too long. So I think I learned from that, and thought, Okay, well, these thoughts are coming to me. And I'm not really loving this, I don't want to hit the 12 or 13 year mark, where I'm just dying to get out. And I don't know what else to do with myself. So it was that point where I started looking. And it's like, I typically take that time to process I don't go right into necessarily all the research and finding all the reasons but I, I've learned I think to kind of go within and like what feels good, what what gets me excited. What am I thinking that I could maybe do for a while? And what can I see myself actively doing in this world? That's different than what I'm doing right now. So that was Yeah, that's, that's likely. But yeah, I would say it was probably about six or eight months. And then I had to, of course, go through that whole night school period where that seemed to take forever. I don't know if it was really that long. I think I was just really excited and wanted to move to the next level. And I, it just it seemed like that was taking forever. But it was, you know, within the year, within about a year and a half I was I was going to school, so wasn't really all that long.

Jonathan Collaton:

It's funny, right? When you say, when you look back on it, you can say it wasn't really all that long. But if you think right now, like a year and a half from now, I'll be doing this. I don't know about you. For me, that seems like it can seem like forever, especially if you're not happy in the moment, right to think it's going to take that long. But in the grand scheme of things, and this is frankly, why I asked is for other people who are kind of going through that moment themselves. Like, it might feel like it takes forever right now for you to get to the next thing. Like even if you know what you want it, there's just a process, right? Like you want to go to kind of still go well, they have deadlines. And for you to meet those deadlines, you've got to first finish that course. And then after however many months, the next term starts, and then you're in and it doesn't mean your life's not going to change tomorrow, but you can still take a take a step today to change your life. So it's different a year and a half, two years from now. That's kind of where I wanted to go with that.

Christine Dainard:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think to that, you know, there are other people out there like me that when they were in high school, or even left high school to go into college or university and dropped out or, you know, didn't end up completing the program that they went in for, you know, I think a lot of us we, we didn't give ourselves time to really digest and really decide what was our next best step right? Or, or that we were like me, and it's like, I wasn't really all that interested. So why would I go into university or college at a time that I'm not interested in anything, just to burn time, like, of course, when I was 1918 years old, I was like, I just wanted to write somebody that was my focus, but I'll be it kind of fun is really the focus of my life now. Right? That that's, that's a real focal point for me, if it doesn't bring me joy, and it's not fun, I don't want any part of it. So it's almost like that was speaking to me from that time of my life. You know, there's there's a lot that has transferred over. But that that that first initial grab, and interest in going to school wasn't great. And just because I didn't graduate high school didn't mean that I was not smart. It just meant that it wasn't of interest to me at that time. And I remember going into college, and of course, you know, my family, they could be supportive, and they are trying to be supportive in their own way, but maybe not, maybe not quite in the way that I needed. And they didn't believe that me going into school was maybe such a great idea at that time in my life. But I was determined to do it. And when I finished the program, I graduated with honors. And that it kind of gives me goosebumps, just to say that now because just because we fail at one thing, or 10 things or 50 things doesn't mean that you know we failed life, it means that we were going down a path, we tried something it wasn't for us, we have to try it a different way or we have to try something else. Right. And so my lack of interest at school in the very beginning, didn't transfer because I loved the program I took I was fascinated by it. I learned how to instead of writing essays, which I hated writing essays to writing content that was direct into the point and got the point across and I loved it because it was concise and right to the point right? So I guess all of that just to say that, first of all, we can always change our mind. And that one thing that feels right in one moment. It may or may not be right. And it may it's going to everything that we do leads us to the next thing, right, everything leads us to the next thing.

Jonathan Collaton:

Christine, we're gonna get along so well, when we meet in person, this is going to be great. But for now, you know, internet, internet chats are all we can have. So, so yeah. Okay, so you graduate the program with honors and at that point, are you like you have this world of possibility in front of you? Or did you find something that was very specific that you decided, like, this is what I want to do, right when I graduate, because some programs have Co Op terms and things like that, that help you really nail down on a specific job. So what was your experience?

Christine Dainard:

You know, I am learning through this conversation that I've always had a really difficult time making choices. And again, I think it's because I always have so many ideas, and it's really hard to pick one. And I think at that time, I was like, Okay, well, I got the thing, I graduated with honors, this is amazing. Now what kind of work do I want to do, and most of the people in my class knew what they wanted to do. And I really didn't know exactly where I wanted to go. I remember just thinking, and this is just based on the stage of my life where I was at as a 50/50. Mom, you know, living on our own trying to support a child, he was really young at the time. So I think when I went to school, he was two and a half, right? Or going on three. And so in my mind, it was what can I do, that will give me a stable paycheck, and I can just pay for the shit that I need to pay for, right? I can pay for daycare, so I can go to work, you know, My son will be well taken care of I can put food on the table, like what can I do? That will just give me some stability. And I remember thinking, well, if I could just get that job in government, right? I won't say what government or what I did exactly. But I will say that working in government was like, Okay, I would be guaranteed this job, the pension was amazing, you know, all the all the stuff on paper sounded amazing. And I thought, Okay, well, I don't plan on staying here forever. But this will give me a few years of experience to then maybe go out on my own, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur in some way, I just wasn't sure how that was gonna work or what that was gonna look like. And I thought, if I just get some experience in this field, that I can take what I've learned, and then maybe I can apply it on my own in my own business. And as I started going through the career, I started realizing that I really wanted to help small business owners help their small businesses succeed, or that's what I thought at the time. And so I, that's kind of what was my mission, it was like, Okay, I'm gonna stay here for two years, this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to leave, we will start my own business. Well, then once I worked there for two years, so sorry, to kind of back up and answer your question directly. I ended up taking a student contract job first, that was in government, because I knew it was like a stepping, you know, it was like, you got to go through all the motions, right. And so I accepted the job, and then ended up getting another contract within part of the organization I wanted to work in. And then I ended up getting permanent full time work. So during the course, that time, was about a three year timeframe from getting the first contract to getting a permanent role. And

Jonathan Collaton:

Is this all public relations type stuff,

Christine Dainard:

yes, public relations, communications, marketing, that sort of stuff. And so it took me about three years to get to that. So I'd already bypassed that two year mark, I'd set for myself. Because as soon as the as the permanent job is on the horizon, and I knew what that meant, I would be getting paid. And I knew what that meant. As far as pension and all these things. I thought, I can build a life on that. And that sounds good to me. And I want to just keep doing it. But what's really interesting, and I tell this to people all the time, is that even from the very first day that I got the job, I wasn't excited. I wasn't enthralled that I had got this position. I was like, Okay, I have employment, I'm good. Like now I can keep going right. And so I think maybe it was just partly the stage in the life that I was in at the time, it was like I need to survive. Security, you know, that that was more important than living a life from my heart in that moment. Until accepted it. And like I said, when I hit that three year mark, and I got this permanent full time job, it was like, okay, like, I've kind of made it now, right? So I'm going to make this work. And then you get used to having that regular income. And so all of a sudden, a couple more years go by, and you realize that that two year mark was you're way off base, right. And I think what started happening with me was that, and it's also interesting, I'm realizing that I stay in roles longer than I should. So I stay. It's like I decided that I don't really want to be there and then I would stay in them for a longer period of time until something really catapulted me out of it, which maybe is just a big human trait. I think a lot of us do that right until we're forced to make a decision. Sometimes we don't. Absolutely right. So I forgot where I was going with that. Now. I see I get myself off track. Can you help me?

Jonathan Collaton:

Don't worry. Yeah, no. So you were...after however many years you're way off track for your two year to your horizon, and now you're just comfortable.

Christine Dainard:

Well, I was comfortable. But I was also I started to realize that I was really stressed out, I had a lot of workload, I didn't have a great relationship with my boss, I didn't really love going to work, all these things sort of started to happen. And I started to realize that I don't think this is the place that I can stay like, maybe I've overstayed my welcome is actually where my mind went a couple times. And it was right, like, my instincts were right, but I just didn't, I didn't listen, and I didn't follow them. Instead, I was determined to keep going, because I had already bypassed my two year mark anyway. And you know, I was getting paid this and all this stuff on paper, I was focused on the things that it brought me, not the joy and the happiness that it brought me. And all of a sudden, I realized this is not the place I want to be. And, you know, I think that there's also a piece in there. And I won't go fully down this road, because kind of a whole other conversation. But I hit a point where I was so stressed out from work, and I think it was a combination of the workload that I was doing was too much it was overflowed, it was overflowing, my plate was overflowing. But in addition to that, I wasn't really satisfied with what I was doing. Right. So everything probably seemed more. What's the word I don't even know, overwhelming than it may have. If I was actually kind of enjoying where I was, make sense?

Jonathan Collaton:

I totally know exactly what you mean. Yeah, COVID has done that for me in my job where it's, it's not more difficult, but I enjoy it so much less that like it just piles on. And it's like this cascade effect of just everything is worse, when really, it's probably not all that much worse.

Christine Dainard:

Yes,

Jonathan Collaton:

I get it.

Christine Dainard:

And you feel like you're weighted down by all this stuff. And it feels impossible to get out. Yeah. And I remember sitting at my desk one day, and I had a deadline. And I just literally sat and stared at my computer, I couldn't function. It was like my brain was like, it was like misfiring. And I couldn't, I couldn't function in my job one day. And I remember going to our director, and I said, I think I need to leave, I'm having a real hard time something's going on, I just need to get out of this building. And she was like, okay, like, take the day, like, whatever you need to do. So I left and I went to my doctor, and I said, I don't know what's going on with me. But I gave them all the things that were happening. And they said, Christine, this is actually more common than you think that you're basically having a version or are having a mental breakdown, and that your mental health is basically been at risk for probably a while and you haven't been acknowledging it. And you probably just need to take a break, and maybe reevaluate where you are. So I was like, I can't even imagine going into work telling people that I'm going to leave for mental health leave, like, what are people gonna think like, all of those things kind of come into your head, right? And then anyway, I did it anyway, I went back to work. And I said, like, my doctor thinks I might need to take a couple weeks off. along in the short of it. I was embarrassed. I was a strong woman. And here I was feeling really defeated. I didn't want to talk about it with anybody because it was embarrassing. And it's like, you don't want to talk about and now I talk about it all the time. Because I think it's so important to be up front and talk openly about these challenges that we have, because we're all having them. Certainly now, like you just talked about it.

Jonathan Collaton:

Oh, yeah, I've I actually was on a, this is related. So I don't want to interrupt your story too long. But I was on a call last week with, with students at the University like a volunteer network panel, and I got asked to come in and talk about my experience. And one of the questions that a student brought up was, how do I connect with people during COVID? and still have those same interactions? And I said, I don't even think I'm going to answer your question. But what I am going to tell you is, we all just have to talk about how much this sucks. And I said like I have cried in the last year more than I have my entire life. And it's I don't think a lot of people look at me and think like this guy's gonna talk about how much crying he did. But But you have to talk about it like it's this year has been like a total train wreck. Even for the people who have had stable income the whole time. It still sucks. And we can just accept that it sucks. And I think it's so what you're talking about is something that happened pre COVID, which just proves that like this crap happens all the time to anybody, you're not immune to it, like the right series of things can just converge all at once. And you can just be like, you're just over it, and you're just done. And so I'm 100% on board with what you're saying because I am doing exactly what you said right now. Like I'm just telling everyone I'm like, this sucks. And I'm talking about it and if you need to talk about it, come talk to me about it because I need to talk to people in general. So yes, but continue.

Christine Dainard:

Oh 100% and I think especially now more than ever. It doesn't matter who you are doesn't matter how strong you are. How positive you are like, I mean, you mean anybody that I know they're going to tell you, Christine is super optimistic, she's always positive, she's always got a smile on her face, you know, she always makes you feel good, she always brings up your spirits. That's what people would say. And those things are true. But just because I'm somebody who lives in the optimistic side of life, does not mean that there isn't struggle. In fact, I would say that those of us that are that are face forward about how joyful and happy we are, find it even more difficult to admit when these things are really challenging. Because, you know, people kind of put you on a bit of a pedestal for lack of better description, right? Like they, they see you being the shiny, happy person, and they sort of expect you to stay there. And when you fall off that stool, you know, you're you're, you're not the same person to them, which is really defeating for your own mental health. Right. So I think it's really important that we talk about it. And certainly today, I mean, this, this pandemic has been incredibly challenging in so many levels. And I think at that time, I mean, I really I did, I closed out the world. I mean, I had my couple of people that I talked to, that knew me really well. And I was really close to but outside of that, like people would call that I worked with, and I wouldn't even talk to them, like I was like, I can't even I don't know what to say to these people. So what ended up being a two week, we've ended up becoming a three month leave of absence. Because at two weeks, I realized that I wasn't even unwound yet. It was like, I didn't realize how wound up I was, I didn't realize how I was letting all of my personal care sort of my self care slide. I wasn't doing anything for me. And I was all in my head about what was going on in that time of my life. And I really needed to take it from here. And I needed to take it from my head and put it into my heart. And that's how I had to figure it out. And the only way I was going to do it is to take the time. And so I became so much more comfortable with the fact that I was doing that. And you know, just getting up every day and forcing myself out of the house to go for a walk was like a win. And, and I did that for days and weeks. And like I said months. And I was forced to go back to work again forced, like this force. There's, there's this external force that that that pushes us or doesn't push us, I guess maybe I don't know. But I ended up having to go back to work. So I was I was basically told that my three months were up, I was no longer allowed to be off on mental health leave, I had to go back to work. And like everything in my body just like came right back, right? Like all the stress and the feeling. And that worry and that the doubt. And all of this stuff just came flushing right back rushing right back to me. And I remember sitting at my desk at work, and I thought, I can't do this. Like, I can't be in this space. Like I can't, if I can't be myself here. And if I can't feel good being here, something is off, right? Like I can't keep doing this. And you know, I sat there and I was like, What am I going to do. And I remember actually funny, funny enough, I will hopefully I won't go off on too much, too much of a tangent here, you'll have to like lamian. But I had applied for a job. Well, I had just got back to work and I had applied for a job elsewhere. And as I was, you know, kind of getting my feet wet back at work and hating it. I was going through this interview process with this organization. And they came back at me with an offer, which was total BS, like everything about this offer was Bs, right. And I remember I called my friend who had been a great support system to me this whole time. And I said, Okay, you're not gonna believe this offer. And she's like, Oh, this sucks, he got an offer. And I was like, I don't think it's exciting. Actually, I was really excited about the rule. But everything in this contract is like, we expect this. And if you don't do it, we let you go if you could do this, and if you don't do it, we're gonna let you go. And you can do this. And all of the things that we had talked about, as far as negotiables, like the fact that we were increasing my salary based on negotiation, we were increasing my vacation time and pay as a result of negotiation. And none of those things existed in this offer letter. And so I called the manager who was the person who was interviewing me, and I said, I just am a little confused. What you and I talked about is not with this contract says, and he's like, Oh, well, you must have misunderstood. And it was in that moment that my gut was like, like, run, run, run, like do not accept this job, run the other direction. You deserve more than this, you are going into another place where you're gonna hate doing what you do, and you're gonna be doing it for the wrong reason. So just don't even do it. And I remember going back to my desk, and I ever like thinking, oh my god, what am I gonna do and, and what I maybe didn't explain is that prior to all of this, prior to my mental health leave, probably about six or eight months before that a friend of mine had asked me if I would beat her at her parents cottage. They had this place in Norfolk County. And I was like, Well, it sounds lovely. Where the hell is Norfolk right? And so she tells me it's near turkey point beach and I had been there many times with my son and I thought, Okay, why I know where that is, like walk away for the weekend. And as I was driving out to Norfolk County to go and visit her, my whole body just relaxed, like everything just kind of let go. And I was relaxed, I was looking around, it was beautiful. I was driving on these country roads, there were no highways, there was no traffic, there was no noise. And, and I get to her place. And she says, Well, I'm going to take you to my favorite winery. And so we pull up. And prior to get into the winery, I'm thinking in my head, like, what wine in Norfolk, I never knew wine existed in Norfolk, right. And if I'd known that the beach days with my son would have been a completely different story, like knowing that there was wine there. So I'm like, I didn't know about this. So we pull up into the winery, and I'm thinking in my head, this is basically going to be a farm, someone's going to be making wine in a kitchen sink. And it's probably going to be awful. That was in my mind. And instead, we pull up to this beautiful property, this vineyard that is like goes on for miles, overlooking the Carolinian forest. It's beautiful, breathtaking, amazing space. We sit on this patio, we sit in this amazing wine. And I was just in awe. I think everything in my body was like, just something was speaking to me, I can't even describe it. And so the manager came over to our table and she said, Can I get you anything? Or do you have any questions? And I said, Well, I have a question. I said, is anyone doing tours out here? Because this is amazing. And she said, No, no one's doing that yet. And I said, Well, I'm gonna do that, like literally the words just like fell out of my mouth. And I got this like, kind of like you're probably seeing in my face right now I was just lit up, like my whole face, everything, my body, my body language changed. All of a sudden, I got really excited about this idea. And I started making notes on napkins. And my friend and I were talking about how awesome would be to bring people on wine tours from wherever. And we had just got to talking and rambling on about this thing. And of course, from that time until my mental health leave, I had been working on a couple different business plans. But the first one was like I would have had to have all this starter money, which I didn't have. And if it flopped I would be so in the hole, I would have been in so much trouble. And I thought, well, there's no way I could do that. And so I had then built a second business plan and was still doubtful, because we don't really scary things, right. I mean, it was taking a leap and running your own business and starting something on your own and creating it from the ground up and like, wow, it's it's intense. And you doubt yourself a lot. So I thought I could do it. And that I brought myself to my desk that day when I had to call that manager and ask him, why are negotiated items weren't in my contracts and that he thought I misunderstood. It was like everything came together. For me. It was like, I've been doing it wrong. I've been trying to go out and get a job where to know exactly what I want to do. I've built two business plans around it. Why am I not doing that? And now I'm at this place where I'm like, holy shit, I need to make a decision for me. It's not just going to push me out, I'm going to make this choice. I'm going to make this choice that I'm going to walk away from this job and what's secure, but is making me feel like shit. And I am gonna go and I'm gonna start this business. And I'm not kidding you, Jonathan. I walked out, gave my resignation, walked out of the building, drove myself to the place where they were selling the van that I wanted to buy the dealership. I bought the van and I started the business three months later. That was the that was how I got the business off the ground.

Jonathan Collaton:

Wow, yeah, no time to mess around. Now like, same day you're like he take all my money. I'm this is what I'm doing? Well, I guess, as you said that you already had the business plan. It's not like it was some spur of the moment. Like I'm gonna try and make this work. You already knew exactly what you wanted to do how you wanted to do it. And so if it was gonna make you happy, why wait?

Christine Dainard:

Well, exactly. I mean, it everybody, most of the people that I knew were like, Christine, you are not.

Jonathan Collaton:

They thought you were crazy. For sure, right?

Christine Dainard:

You're gonna leave this job that has a pension and pays you amazing. And you're gonna leave, you don't even know this thing is gonna work like, are you crazy. And I was like, but the thing is, I be crazy to stay. Because this isn't living. What I am doing is not living. I am living in stress, I can't sleep, I don't do anything for fine, which is like completely against who I am as a human being. I'm like, it just it doesn't align, it doesn't feel good. I went out. And so if the if there dramatic exit is what I needed at the time, then. So be it. That's what I needed. So So I guess really the rest is sort of history. But but in a sense. It's not because it's not over. Right. It's like I then chose to start a business and in the landscape of tourism, to take people from the Waterloo Region where I live on day trips to go and explore this amazing place in Norfolk and we have amazing time together. But But after my second year of business, the pandemic hit right when I was just about to grow the business and bring in some team members. The pandemic hit and so the timing was good. Thank God. I'm grateful for The fact that I had not just signed two leases for two more vehicles, and committed to staff and all of that stuff, but that I was in a position where I could put things on hold, and just take a breath at that time, of course, not knowing that it would last this long. So of course, now the whole landscape has completely changed. And well, I mean, we could probably talk for a very long time, but what's been going on this last year, but it's not over, right? Meaning that I've made this decision to be an entrepreneur. And I think, I think in my heart, and in my soul, I was always meant to work for myself, I was always meant to listen to what was inside of me to tap into what's in my heart and my soul in my in my gut about where I meant to be, instead of meeting the checkmarks of what society expects for me, I meant to create my own path, I meant to show other people that they can do it, too, I am meant to show other people that you can be strong and live a great life. And you don't need a lot of material things to do that you need core joy and happiness in what it is that you're doing and a belief in yourself. And anything's possible. And so even though I think that people may not look at what I'm doing currently as successful, by the definition, you know, I'm not raking in the cash. I've hardly been in business in the last year, right. But that there's some real amazing things that have come as a result of this. And it's created some more opportunities that I see unfolding in the near future. And, you know, it's like this, this this thing about what am I going to do? You know, it might start with making a choice about going to a college or university program where it might start where you're at choose to take that job or start that podcast or it's all like these little it's like, I think we think what is this big thing I'm going to do. And I think really it boils down to, it's all these little wee micro steps that we take all the way through, and every single one of those little micro steps leads us to exactly where we're supposed to be. And, and in all those moments, we're supposed to be there. Right? Living them, experiencing them, being in the moment, recognizing where we are and what we're doing there. And then making those goals sure for next things and next steps, but, but really taking it and soaking up every second of where we are, right?

Jonathan Collaton:

Mm hmm. That is, that's so good. I almost want to just end it right there. But I can't because I need you to tell everybody, where can they find your business? If they ever want to go to Norfolk County on a wine tour, where can they find you? How do they...how do they pay you to take them on these amazing experiences? And if you do want to talk about whatever these possible expansion plans you have, feel free to do that as well.

Christine Dainard:

Cool. Okay. Well, they can visit buzz tour company.ca. And that's the website, you of course, can book anything off. Well, right now you can book through the website, you can just contact me, but all my contact information is on the website. You can also follow along on Instagram, or Facebook, which is buzz tour co the handle on both Facebook and Instagram, I post a lot of stories, I do a lot of things that relate and don't relate to what I do for work. So it's just kind of a fun space to be. And one of the things that I've been doing that came as a surprise, and I think has some legs for the future is I was approached by explorer when we region which is our tourism outfit here locally, in the Waterloo Region. About I think it was July or August, they approached me and said, you know, in the middle of all this pandemic, we see what you're doing on your own social media. And we love how you connect with your audience. And your audience is our audience. And so we're wondering if you would be willing to help us be a bit of a bit of an ambassador. I hate to use the word influencer because it just it rubs me the wrong way. It's like the word coach. I don't like being called a coach. It's like no, but to be a bit of an ambassador on our behalf and show people what safe to do where they can find great local food, what experiences they could have, you know, where they can go and what they can do that safe during this time. And I was like, Oh my gosh, yes. So we worked out the details of what that would look like. And I've been working with them ever since. And going out and showing people what's available here locally in the Waterloo Region. And it's just given people this connection to this hyper local. Everything that's in our backyard, most things that we talk about, people are like, Oh, I forgot that was here, or I've never heard about this before. Or, you know, since this pandemic I've just been so in my little cubby of home, that I forgot that that we have all these amazing city trails to go to or that you know, there's these nighttime lights in the winter in all three of the tri cities. And so it's just been a really great opportunity to connect people with the here in the now. still give them the face of somebody who's joyful and happy and enjoying those things and showing them what they can do that safe and they can still enjoy with their family and find those little pieces of joy and happiness in this time of I mean, God help us right. It's it this time of real despair, you know, to find those little pieces and pick them up and, and, and enjoy those little moments of joy. So that's kind of what I've been working on it. And it, I've been speaking with some different counties or regions that might be interested in me helping them as well, that we're all sort of, you know, here in southwestern Ontario, we're all sort of along the same track, right. And I think that when this pandemic, or as it continues, when it's over, I don't really know if it's over. But as things shift, I think that most of us are not going to feel real comfortable, you know, going and flying over to the states or different countries. I mean, some people will choose to do that. But I think a lot of people will choose to stay home, or close to home. And so I think that people are really going to want to know, where can I take my kids that safe? Where can I go on a day trip with my family? And what can I explore? That's right, kind of in our backyard. And I think, well, maybe this opportunity that came with the Waterloo Region, has legs, and might give me an opportunity to do that on behalf of more of our area to show people that, hey, this is basically our backyard. This is our, this is our country, this is our landscape. And we have so much to do here. And there's so much to enjoy. So, yeah.

Jonathan Collaton:

Amazing. And after all this, do you now feel like you very much sounds like even though you're doing and you look out at the next 25 years, or whatever of your career and does it just seem all good and happy now?

Christine Dainard:

No. I mean, I I think I don't really go that far. Right. I think especially with this pandemic, I think most of us have realized that we can't plan too far ahead right now. Right? Yeah. And that we can dream. And we can have ideas of things that we think we want to accomplish, but because this has really shifted the dynamics of everything, how we work in the world, who we are as people, you know, how we interact with each other, there's so much this change that it's hard to look at the next 25 years. I mean, I, I hope we're still here in 25 years, right? But But, you know, I think that, if I've learned anything, and certainly I've learned a lot in his last couple years, is to learn to come back to that heart and gut of who we are, to lean into what your body is telling you when you feel sick, and your body is stressed. And like, you know, you're hating on what you're doing, or the majority are angry all the time, or you're you know, you're frustrated, like those are symptoms of something much bigger. Those are symptoms, that we're likely not living in the space or living our truth and living who we are to the best of our capabilities. We've accepted this societal norm or expectation of us, and are doing something because we think we need to be doing it when in turn, I think that when we tap into who we are, our gifts are there, and they're beautiful, and we all have them. And if we can go out and share our gifts with the world and not focus on the price tag, like I don't ever focus on how much money am I going to make this month that honestly, it's so seldom crosses my mind, I don't worry about it. Because I know that one way or the other, something will always come together. And that sounds maybe fluffy, or woowoo. But it's true. It's if we what more comes to us of what we focus on. And so if I focus on the fact that I'm going to be okay, and I'm just going to bring happiness and joy, and I'm going to focus on what I do really well in bringing my gifts to this world that that the rest will come.

Jonathan Collaton:

Amazing. Well, that seems like a natural, perfect way to end this podcast. So Christine, thank you so much for coming on today and sharing your entire career path. And there's definitely some parts of it that I've not heard other people talk about. And so I love that, you know, you're open and willing to discuss some of the realities that like, you don't just jump from one thing to the next. And everything's amazing. So thank you so much.

Christine Dainard:

Thank you so much for having me. It's been a pleasure chatting with you.

Jonathan Collaton:

All right, so that is Christine's story. And I've got to say I'm really happy. We talked about mental health in this interview, because it's probably never been more relevant when discussing people's careers than it is right now. So many people are questioning their path right now. And if you're one of them, I hope you understand that people go through tough times and regularly, and it's good to talk it out with other people. Having said that, let's talk about some of what we can learn from Christine. Lesson number one is that well, it might come with various job titles, helping people find what they need is a career. Think back to Christine's first job selling fitness equipment. She talked a lot about how our company offer training to understand the customer better, and how she would reflect on interactions on the sales floor to think about how she could do things differently next time. There are sales people that do that for the sole purpose of bumping up their sales because money is everything to them. But Christine did it for a different reason. Her goal was never to sell people equipment they didn't need. She wanted to better understand the customers so she could help them get the product that would best serve their needs. People come to that store because they want to have a healthy lifestyle. And her job was to help with that journey. And now 20 years later, what she's doing with buzz to her company is also about helping people just in a different way. Christine first found Norfolk County wineries while visiting a friend during a tough time in her life. And now Christine's job is to take people to those same wineries. Wine tours are all about leisure and relaxation, relieving stress. Christine is helping other people have the same experience she had when she first set foot in Norfolk County all those years ago. She has crafted herself a career where creating happiness in other people's lives is her number one priority. My takeaway from that is that helping people comes in many forms. If you want to find a career where you get to help people for a living, don't worry about the job title, worry about how that job makes you feel. The second lesson from Christine's interview is that some moments in your life change your priorities. And when that happens, you need to adapt so that your work fits those new priorities. Think back to when Christine talked about the birth of her child. And then not long after that her divorce. It was a period of her life with a lot of transition. The Work hard play hard lifestyle of retail sales no longer held the appeal that it once had. And her direct sales job was good, but it didn't seem like a forever fit. And Christine said she felt defeated. But she adapted and made what I think was a really smart decision. She looked at jobs in the newspaper and circled the parts of the job she liked. And doing that led her to the realization that her skill set would do well in public relations. After finishing the program, diploma in hand, Christine wanted the stability of a good job with a pension so that she'd be able to provide for her son. And she succeeded in getting a full time government job the type of job she wanted that would help her build a future. Now years into that she ended up taking a mental health leave from work and ultimately left that job. And sometimes we do take a few steps forward, then take a step back before we can move forward again. Welcome to life, it happens. I see that as Christine adapting yet again, when her priorities changed. She prioritized her happiness above all else. And that's why she quit and started her own wine to accompany. And that reprioritization has been an amazing thing ever since it happened. I challenge you go look at Christine's Instagram account. In a recent video. She's chasing people around downtown Waterloo, whilst dressed in a dinosaur costume. I'm not even a huge wine drinker. But I'm going to go sign up for one of our tours because I can only imagine how much fun they might be. I can't think of what else to call that other than being good at public relations. So Christine has clearly taken many steps forward in her career. And on top of that, that she's found ways to keep her brand thriving, despite COVID putting a dent in her ability to actually run her wine tasting tours. So my takeaway here is that you might feel defeated and hopeless. But what are you going to do? Just roll over and die? No, you're not. You're going to be like Christine, and you're going to get up every day and force yourself to go for a walk and figure out what will make you happy. And then go for it. And those are two of the things that I learned from Christine today. That's all for this week's episode of career crossroads. So now that we're wrapping up, go follow buzz to her company on Instagram and Facebook to see ore of Christine's highjinks. I promise you there is more than j st dinosaur costumes. If you k ow someone who would be i terested in Christine's career p th, please share this episode w th them. And if you want to h ar more interviews, go to c reer Crossroads podcast.com. I you like what you hear, sign u to our mailing list to get n tified of new episodes every w ek. Episodes like next week's i terview with Khristy, who le t her career as a VP of human re ources to stay home with her yo ng children and re entered th workforce as a professional fo d blogger.