We’ve all heard the stories of people who have started with next to nothing and come out ahead. They are able to turn their passions into successful businesses while providing them with a sense of purpose. But what does it really take to become a successful entrepreneur?
As a Filipina single mom who built a business in Canada, Lorephil Toledo had to overcome a lot of challenges before achieving success. She is now the CEO of her own company and an inspiring Filipino dreamer for female entrepreneurs around the world.
At a young age, Lorephil was already used to running her own business. She used to sell clothes, shoes, and underwear at school to pay for her own food. She has never been shy, and she even uses her skills to provide tutoring services in order to increase her income.
In 2011, Lorephil sought work in Canada. Her oldest was 2 and her youngest was 11 months. She was unhappy because she had to spend so much time away from her children in order to earn.
She overcame homesickness and missed her children by cleaning. “I found myself distracted by cleaning houses because I was homesick. I’m dreaming that my children are in here while I’m doing housework. I felt good every time I cleaned the house,” she explained.
Lorephil quickly realized that she could turn her pastime into a profitable business. Lorephil started the successful CanaJan Inc., a janitorial services company. Through her entrepreneurial spirit and hard work, Lorephil was able to serve the community with the best janitorial services.
She started out on her own and now oversees a team of 15 people. More than 350 of her clients are consistent, and she brings in millions of dollars annually. She is a multi-award winner, having been named Entrepreneur of the Year, New Citizen of the Year, and New Business of the Year in addition to being named Ambassador of the Filipino Canadian Trades. She was also invited to speak by the provincial government of Alberta.
When sharing her story, Lorephil mentioned a few of the lessons she has learned along the way. She encouraged everyone to have big goals. She believes that there is no impossibility in life, even for the poor, and that there should be no limit to one’s dreams.
She advises to work hard, “If you want to succeed, you have to work hard for it.” She felt dreams can’t come true without labor. She worked seven days a week for her company. She got four hours of sleep, skipped holidays for five years, and reinvested her money.
Lorephil is a firm believer in the saying “ “Don’t Quit.” She is confident that every difficulty can be overcome and that there is always a way out.
She upholds that in order to properly serve your customers, you must first properly serve your team. This is her reason for treating her employees well and providing free services to her regular customers. She added, “If you give something to the universe, it will come back double times.”