by Gloria Welton
Recently, UPEI held a Career Day with the Faculty of Business. A variety of speakers talked about their career choices and the steps they took along the way and offered advice to others.
One of the speakers was Heather MacAulay, Co-founder and Chief Movement Officer of Volume 18, a strategic communications firm. She is also the Co-Owner of Sterns Launderers and Drycleaners.
Heather believes the foundation of any business starts with honesty, positive relationships, and a whole lot of passion. She has a love for all things community, business, and wellness.
Heather loves to put on the miles running and challenges herself in races on a regular basis. “I use the analogy of being in business is like running a race. It is like a marathon, not a sprint. Keep a steady pace and you will make it through.”
She always knew she wanted to get into business from a very young age when she started selling potatoes on the side of the road. “I pay tribute to my family so much for instilling good work ethics in me. Hard work was my mindset throughout my education and in my work life.
“In all the work I have done, I always kept an open mind and said yes to things that needed to be done. I enjoyed the journey and gained from the experience and from meeting new people, which opened opportunities. There is an eagerness and motivation within me.”
She earned a BA in Psychology from St. Francis Xavier University and a Master of Business Administration from UPEI. While studying for her MBA in 2012, she also worked in radio. “I loved my job. I honestly loved all my jobs, but I always knew that I was going to be an entrepreneur.
“I enjoy storytelling and helping people solve problems. That is what we do at Volume 18. We help businesses grow by telling their story. In my work, not one single day looks like the other, and that is what I like about what I do.
“When you own a business, you do what needs to be done at all levels. I am often on the move taking calls from my car and meeting in various locations.
“We aim to help our clients meet their business goals, and work to develop impactful campaigns, provide strategic direction, and facilitate meaningful conversations. Our focus is on developing the most strategic methods to get our clients results that will be impactful and set them up for success, all while enjoying the process along the way.
“I needed to get some experience working for others before getting into business. I learned not to be afraid of failure and to not let that be a roadblock. It is important to take slow steps along the way and you will know when the time is right to venture into self-employment.
“We recently purchased a family business. We looked for several years for the right fit. You must be willing to wait and trust your instincts while on the journey.
“What I love about our small Island is that there is great support, and people want to work together. I never see anyone in my industry as competitors. We need to work as allies. I have been so fortunate to find like-minded people.
“The biggest lesson I have learned is to be able to adapt to change, especially in technology. We need to be able to look at how we communicate and how trends affect business and relationships.”
Heather says she surrounds herself with people who help her to adapt and appreciates how important it is to have an open mind and to communicate clearly and effectively. “In the communications and marketing world, we must always be open to growing and learning.
“However, it is also important to not throw out what works for the sake of keeping up with trends. Some traditional ways of marketing are still quite effective. We have to be careful not to change for the sake of change but to modify and build what already exists.”
She says her schedule is quite rigorous as she juggles family life with her partner and three children five years old and under. “I wouldn’t change my life or my career choices for a second. It goes back to finding your fit. If you are going to be an entrepreneur, it needs to suit who you are. You wouldn’t want the entrepreneur lifestyle of working long hours to keep up with demands if it were not truly right for you.
“Our team of colleagues consider our families and community to be most important. We have to make sure our priorities reflect what we stand for and often, we have to say no to work. Saying no is very hard to do but it’s an important lesson. I make picking my kids at 4:00 a priority. Lots of times I have to work evenings and weekends. To be truthful I don’t see that as work because I am so thrilled with what I do.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
about Volume 18, visit www.volume18.ca