Like many of you, Doina Oncel is an immigrant. She immigrated to Canada at the age of 17 in search for a better life. She had a rough childhood and was looking for something better.
After moving to Canada, she found a great partner and had 2 kids. They started a renovation business together, and things looked great from the outside as they were landing large contracts over $50,000 that contained over 50% profit margins.
Download this bite sized cheat sheet to get to know how an abused single mother went from being homeless to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
It you looked at her life from the outside, everything looked great, and you’d think she couldn’t be happier. But if you dug a bit deeper, you would see that she was going through a tough time.
The tough life
Doina’s ex-partner was addicted to alcohol and would blow all the money they made. At one point, they owed $20,000 because of his alcohol problems.
And to make matters worse, he started to abuse her.
She wanted to do something, but she had no job, no money, and was going through postpartum depression.
On April 21st, 2009, she got fed up with everything and decided to call the cops. She got tired of all of the abuse and wanted to give her kids a better life. After this happened, she called her friends to see if her family could stay with them until she got back on her feet. Sadly, everyone said no.
Doina hit a brick wall…
The new life
Although Doina and her kids didn’t have anywhere to stay, it actually was a blessing in disguise. She then called a hotline for abused women, and they helped her find a free shelter.
While at the shelter, she felt like her life was over until her daughter said:
Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be just like you. You are the best mommy ever!
At that point, Doina knew that she had to change her life. There was no way she wanted her daughter to grow up like her because she felt that she had nothing to show as a parent or for her daughter to look up to.
After 3 months of being in the shelter, she found a job and started to make enough money to get a place and pay her bills. And although that was a great accomplishment in and of itself, it wasn’t enough for Doina.
The entrepreneurial life
She always wanted to start her own business and make more money so she could provide a better life for her children. With some spare cash to spend on business seminars and books, she started to learn from other successful entrepreneurs.
One of the ventures she took on was Entrepreneurial Moms of Toronto. She was approached by the leader of the Toronto chapter, Bonnie Chan, to join her along. They started helping other mom entrepreneurs rise above their challenges through planning mastermind meetings.
Through this, she mastered the art of networking. Through running her own networking events, she had the opportunity to meet wonderful entrepreneurs who in return believed in her and were ready to support her biggest challenge: starting a PR company for tech start-ups.
Because of her persistent nature and her ability to network, she started to help companies get press for their start-ups. Even though she had no experience in PR, she was able to network with journalists, reporters and bloggers, which allowed her to get coverage for local companies.
Fast-forward to today. Doina has now helped dozens of companies acquire new customers through press. She is now making well into the 5 figures a year and is onto achieving 6 figures in revenue soon.
And even though she is successful, she hasn’t forgotten her roots. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of Ernestine Women’s Shelter, where she is helping other women and their children escape abuse.
No matter what kind of economic climate she was in or what situation Doina was placed in, she is one of those individuals that were meant to succeed. She didn’t let anything stand in her way and succeeded despite all the obstacles just like how Juan Chaparro went from being a maid to making over $150,000 a year.
So, what should you learn from Doina’s story?
- It doesn’t matter what cards you are dealt in life; it just matters how you play them. It’s up to you to determine your faith, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
- If you continue to be persistent, sooner or later you’ll succeed. You just have to make sure you learn from your mistakes along the way.
- One of the biggest reasons why Doina succeeded is because she solved a pain point in the market. She realized that there weren’t PR firms in her local area that focused on helping tech start-ups even though there were a ton of tech companies who wanted more PR. So, if you want to create a business, create one that solves a problem.
What do you think about Doina’s story?
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