Getting big on the gig: How one Toronto real-estate pro found success on her own - Interac Reports

Getting big on the gig: How one Toronto real-estate pro found success on her own

In this new series, Interac will highlight incredible freelancers and micro-business owners to show how Canadian entrepreneurs are making the most of the gig economy. A recent survey conducted by Interac found that 71 per cent of Canadian entrepreneurs are spending valuable time following up on late payments. This series addresses that concerning stat head on, complete with tips on how to get paid faster.

Today, we’re featuring Angela Selbie, a Toronto real-estate maven who found creative fulfillment by starting her own staging firm, Selbie Creative Inc. In this inspiring interview, she spoke to us about starting her own business, the challenge of structuring her time, and how she gets paid as a small business owner.

Tell us about your business. When did you start?

I worked for a commercial real estate company for 13 years. Toward the end, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. He’s fine now, but it was a wake-up call; we were both grinding it out, so we didn’t get to see each other as much as we liked. Who wants to work if you can’t enjoy the end of it?

Shortly after that, I started Selbie Creative Inc. as a part-time referral-based business. But then it started growing. I reached a point where I had to step back and decide what I wanted to do with my life. And I knew I wanted to create something of my own that let me work physically, spend time with my kids, and balance my job and my life. So, I went to work one day, quit that job of 13 years, and grew Selbie Creative Inc. into the business it is today.

How was the transition to running your own business?

The first year was very hard. I’m a checklist-oriented person, and suddenly I had this job where there’s no checklist. I had to go find leads and drum up business on my own. There’s always something to do when you run your own business, and without being able to cross things off a list, I felt very lost and confused.

Structuring my work, both with a checklist and a schedule, was crucial. Today, I have a normal nine-to-five—I wake up, do the whole mom thing, then start my workday with a checklist. It really keeps me focused and accountable to myself.

How are you typically paid for your work?

Honestly, getting paid is the hardest part of my job. When you own a small business, you’re the last person to get paid. There’s no payroll department—it’s just me following up with clients.

Interac e-Transfer has made that process a lot better. Autodeposit is one of the best things to ever happen to my business. The money is atomically deposited into my account and immediately available, no extra steps to worry about like sharing passwords. I get paid for about 80 per cent of the jobs I do through Interac e-Transfer, and it’s perfect. So clean and simple.

How does Interac e-Transfer Request Money make your life easier as a small-business owner?

Most of the time, I work remotely. I’m never in one spot for very long. Today, I brought my computer, but I’m not usually anchored to an actual desk.

It’s amazing that I can walk around with my phone and send an Interac e-Transfer Request Money that includes the invoice number so everyone is on the same page. It’s so handy to just open your phone and have all your information right there. Real-time is everything for my clients, so to be able to invoice them while I’m still in their unit is incredible. I can’t imagine anything easier than Request Money.

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