When I was recently asked to meet a client entrepreneur of Sharon Murray, the new vice-chair of the Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society, little did I realize that meeting would give me pause to reflect on the importance of making a difference in someone’s life.
Sometimes a small display of caring can plant a seed that will impact that person’s life forever in a positive meaningful way and affect many people.
But that wasn’t on my mind when I journeyed to a nearby coffee bistro to meet Kyla Ramirez, a certified Pilates trainer and operator of Complete Core Pilates in Kelowna.
That Ramirez was truly focused on making a difference in the health and fitness of her clients came to my attention very quickly.
Ramirez’s personal story begins in South America, where she lived with her family in Ecuador before moving to Alberta at age 11, as her family lived in Red Deer and then nearby Innisfail.
Ramirez remembers how she expected to assist her father in his car garage business while studying.
When both of her parents became ill while she was at university, Ramirez had to step to the plate and run the business for her father.
After she graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Science degree, illness to her parents forced Ramirez again to return to help run the family business.
The stress of studying and working full-time took its toll, as Ramirez realized she truly needed a break.
So took time off from work and school for three months, and went camping and ice climbing where she met her husband.
The young couple embraced a potential opportunity to become adventurers of sort and moved to New Zealand where her husband worked in the forestry industry and Ramirez took a job as a swim coach and yoga teacher.
It was there that she discovered Pilates and fell in love with the discipline and its scientific approach to human health and fitness.
She quickly embarked on becoming trained and qualified in teaching the Pilates method.
The couple then decided to move back to Canada in 2006, settling in the Yukon where she embarked on creating the Pilates business venture of her dreams.
After two years of working on the business, the couple had a baby and then moved to the Okanagan, where Ramirez started up her own Pilates studio.
With yoga and pilates currently listed among the top10 growth business markets in North America, she is convinced her entrepreneurial venture decision is the right one for her.
Her determination to succeed as an entrepreneur stems from her father as her role model identifying his positivity, determination and perseverance paved the road to his successes in business along with a tremendous vision to succeed.
Watching her father as she grew up prepared Ramirez to become the entrepreneurial person she is today.
Ramirez told me she embraces the triumphs in her venture that come from the relationships she builds with her Pilates clients (www.completecore pilates.com).
She has been a Pilates teacher for more than nine years now and her current business venture is moving to new levels as she explores new and exciting alliances with other health and fitness professionals and the diverse client base she continues to accumulate.
It is such a joy for me to meet and learn from the many outstanding people that make up the Okanagan regional landscape, people who genuinely care about the service they provide and the people they assist.
In closing, let me offer my thoughts on we can all a positive difference in other people’s lives, sometimes without even realizing it.
Everyone is put in this world to contribute and make a difference in our own unique way.
It just needs to be something you do with the intention of doing good. We already have what it takes to make the world a better place.
Making a difference may seem like an enormous task, but it’s within the collective effort of everyone to make small contributions with a lot of heart. The size is not what matters most. The key here is to have the heart to act now.
Your contribution to making a difference in the world or in someone’s life is never too small—nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.
Just consider how noticing someone who has been misunderstood in a group, a classroom or an organization, and how making them feel their words are meaningful can potentially point their life in a positive and productive direction.
Let’s follow the philosophy of Kyla Ramirez does in her Pilates business venture and personal life, spreading our positive values and care to those we come in contact with in our daily lives.
You will become a different person yourself. I guarantee it.
Joel Young is an entrepreneurial leadership coach, consultant and educator and founder of the Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society.