The Inside Scoop on PARK Mastermind

We interviewed the owners of four amazing local businesses to learn more about the struggles they have faced, the support systems they lean on, and the lessons they learned at PARK Mastermind’s very first workshop: Diagnosing the Gaps in Your Business.

Sarah G. Schmidt - Fashion, wardrobe, and style consultant + public speaker

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“Life is beautiful and it feels the best when you use your strengths and opportunities to bring other people along with you.”

What three things did you learn at PARK Mastermind Workshop and how are you going to apply them to your business/personal goals? 

I learned 3 actionable things at the workshop. The first is the importance of putting yourself out there. From where I am sitting it seems like everyone feels alone at some point in their journey. It’s important to reach out and ask for help from someone who has been through it before. Cementing this habit into my weekly schedule ensures I stay better connected.

The second thing I learned is sometimes it’s simpler when you’re on the outside looking in. I can get bogged down in my own work but the simple act of asking someone for their perspective gives me ideas that I just couldn’t see before. Simply put more people means more ideas.

And lastly — try, practice, adjust, and practice some more. A business is never completely ready or perfect. It’s an evolution that takes time so just keep moving forward and refining as you zone in on what is working and what brings you joy.

How would you describe success? and where do you turn to for inspiration + support? 

Success is different for everyone. I find it helpful to ask others how they define success for themselves. But for me success is a business that is thriving — financially, rich in good work, and notorious — so that I can continue to build the life I want with my loved ones.

I reach out to others for support. Whether it’s asking someone to grab a cup of coffee or join me as a work plus one to an event, just being with people is important. In terms of inspiration, I’m inspired by fashion and décor. I can go to the mall, a movie, or a concert and watch people walking around and get some sparks. I love chatting about style with different people and learning new perspectives. It’s all out there, I just have to go get it!

Why should entrepreneurs invest in PARK Mastermind?

If you are looking for a place to gather new ideas and meet tonnes of people, some you may know and others may be new connections, PARK Mastermind is the perfect place to start. The energy in the room is great and there is a genuine interest to share with one another and help one another. It can really get you going. The investment you make will help set you and your business on fire and help you focus.

Stay connected: @itbysarahgschmidt

Milan Wilkinson - Head designer and founder of Mini Street Kidswear


“Community is where ideas are shared and supported amongst one another for the benefit of elevating and lifting each other up.”

What was your main takeaway from the PARK Mastermind Workshop and how did it help change your business mindset?

The main takeaway was focusing on fewer short term goals rather than tonnes of long term goals.  Working towards achieving my shorter term goals is more motivating and tangible for me.

Aside from the educational component of the workshop, what other parts of the day stood out and were beneficial to you?

The audience was incredibly diverse in business type, business size and years in business.  It was great to hear so many different stories and learn more about the struggles that people have faced in business.

What struggles have you faced as a business owner?

My biggest struggles have been trying to navigate growth and develop goals, as well as decide what is important to me and my business and not following the path that others choose.

Were you able to find resources or solutions to your struggles at PARK Mastermind?

The networking aspect was great. I was able to find some resources within the group that I can reach out to afterward for additional conversations. I would definitely recommend the Mastermind program to other entrepreneurs. It was a great place to meet new people and to hear all about the dynamic struggle of others businesses, both small and large. Regardless of the size of the business or the popularity, many of the same issues and struggles reside in them.  

Stay connected: @ministreetkidswear

Carolina Montero - Owner, designer, and creator of Alijuna


“The passion and happiness that I feel while I am designing and creating is what moved me to look for ways to grow my business.”

What struggles have you faced as a business owner?

Being a business owner is not an easy task. There are a lot of struggles that I have had to overcome in order to achieve my goals. The main struggle I have been facing since moving to Calgary two years ago is not being able to connect with the Calgary market. In terms of creativity, I struggle a lot with questioning whether or not people will like my design style. I also struggle mentally. The entrepreneurial journey is long and full of obstacles. It's easy to forget that these experiences are full of valuable lessons that are really just pushing me closer to my goal.

Were you able to find resources and solutions to your struggles at PARK Mastermind? 

Yes, I was! Not only is PARK Mastermind a great way to increase your knowledge as an entrepreneur but it also provided me with a valuable networking opportunity. I loved being able to diagnose the gaps in my business because now I can direct my attention to the areas within my business that need it most. I also had the chance to connect with 80 local entrepreneurs, which represents so many opportunities to collaborate, network, and continue to learn from and support one another.

How do you describe success and where do you turn to for inspiration + support?

For me success is the process of having a goal, making a plan to achieve that goal, implementing my plan, and finally, conquering my goal. The road is long, and we should use both the good and the bad experiences as opportunities to grow and learn.

I turn to small brands, especially from South America, for inspiration. I also find inspiration in strong women like Carolina Herrera, art, and multicultural experiences. 

Carolina is currently working with PARK on a new website for Alijuna but you can view a small selection of her pieces here.

Amanda and Angelica Bennett - Owners, and artists, of The Painted Bottle Art Gallery


“We are so lucky and grateful to have met so many amazing entrepreneurs that we now call friends.”

How do you define success?

Success to us means waking up every day to do what we love and at the same time being part of a community that supports each other and gives back. Community is at the core of our personal beliefs, and we regularly aim to support and be part of our local community.

What struggles have you faced as a business owners?

We have had to face the many struggles that come with starting a new business. From the very first step of acquiring a name to finding the perfect location and sourcing a qualified shipper for products…the list could go on and on. It can be mentally, physically and creatively exhausting but once you overcome a hurdle the reward is so powerful that you have that much more incentive to conquer the next one!

Were you able to find resources and solutions to your struggles at PARK Mastermind?

Definitely. The support and knowledge in the room confirmed that we are surrounded by solution-oriented entrepreneurs and that every business owner encounters the same struggles. Networking has been so beneficial for us and we were able to meet so many amazing entrepreneurs at the Mastermind workshop.

Would you recommend PARK Mastermind to another entrepreneur?

Absolutely! We have been to numerous PARK events and programs, and we are always impressed by the wealth of knowledge and information that we receive, the amazing people that we meet, and the inspiration that we leave with.

Stay connected: @thepaintedbottleyyc

There are only TWO weeks left to apply to one of our unique PARK Mastermind programs! Click here for more information and don’t hesitant to email us your questions or concerns

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