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The ‘Getting to Know’ series uncovers stories of our Research Participants and their businesses.

Tell us about yourself.

I am a qualified CPA and try to use creative ways to help people access the concepts of accounting for success with personal finance and business. When I took a marketing class in business school (it was a while ago), the course was about memorizing key terms and multiple choice exams. I did not do particularly well so I am ready to do this differently with the BSBR digital marketing training program.

What about your business?

I am the principal at Optinum Professional Corp. which provides finance, accounting and social impact support for small-to-medium sized businesses, especially social enterprises and non-profits to setup for growth and sustainable operations. I also launched Social Venture Circuit, a non-profit organization, providing a peer community and learning resources for building social enterprise business models and an annual Social Enterprise Day conference.

How did you end up starting/owning this business?

I grew up in a household of entrepreneurs so this path always fascinated me. Initially, I went on a more traditional route to study and get a job, working for about 7 years. That experience taught me so much and built my vision for where I am at today. It took me a long time to find an idea that I was really excited about to start my own venture. I finally made the jump from employee to entrepreneur in 2018 when the office I worked at closed down. It seemed like the perfect time to test out my dream to start my own business.

It took me a long time to find an idea
that I was really excited about to start my own venture.

How do you de-stress?

Reading an inspirational book or blog and doing puzzles. My favourite read for this year has been The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi on taking better ownership of your own life. Before COVID-19 (and hopefully soon again), I loved travelling to see historic architecture and diversity of lifestyles around the world.

What do you wish you had known before you became a small business owner?

It is hard to explain the entrepreneurship mindset and lifestyle to those who are not entrepreneurs. I did not realize this until I was running my own business and would talk about it with friends. The definition of success, investment into work and to do list are all vastly different.

What do you want to take away from the BSBR Digital Marketing Training Program?

Clarity builds confidence.

Clarity builds confidence. That is my current mantra so, from this program, I want clarity on how to get the best ROI on the time and money I invest into my digital marketing strategy and connect my marketing initiatives to the responses received from community/prospective clients. I want to build a very specific action plan and routines for myself based on the insight from the program that can support my business growth plans. This includes social media, CRM, lead generation and management, and optimizing content I create.

Sujinda Hwang-Leslie
Sujinda Hwang-Leslie
Professor of Marketing in Sheridan Pilon School of Business

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