This month, we’re turning the Women in Airdrie Killin’ It spotlight on Kate Norris of First & Main Financial Services Inc. Working directly in partnership with SunLife Financial, this woman’s aim is to help clients achieve their financial and insurance goals. Being under Canada’s top insurance providers and group benefits companies has given them the tools to ensure clients are well-protected and have the best coverage possible. Her team works mainly with young families to help put adequate life and health insurance strategies in place. They also work with pre-retirees and new retirees to help ensure they have the proper savings/tax/estate strategies to fulfill their retirement dreams. Lastly, they work with small business owners for owner and group benefits. Their main purpose is to be educators in the community of Airdrie. Kate moved here as she saw a need in an underserviced community and now she specifically aims to bring financial literacy to the residents, as well as be a resource for all things related to personal finance.
We asked Kate what made her decide to become an entrepreneur and she replied that “the first is the flexibility of my calendar and being able to make decision on how to run the company. The secondary reason would be to grow and build something that would be remembered for helping people and have that be a legacy in the community.” More and more it seems that we are starting to see a shift in thinking. People are becoming so much more community-oriented and it’s clear that Kate wants to ensure that she is giving back to Airdrie in the best way she can.
Her advice for anyone thinkin of becoming an entrepreneur is this:
“Going out on your own is very daunting. My advice would be: embrace FEAR! The scariest moments are the ones right before a surge of growth. If you aren’t scared, you’re not doing it right. That fear will propel you forward and push you outside of your comfort zone where all of the growth will happen. The quicker you learn to embrace the fear, I feel like the quicker you forge forward. One of my favourite lines from a Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy is ‘Make it until you become it’. It’s not about ‘fake it until you make it’ — it’s about embracing the imposter syndrome for the first little while until you’ve succeeded and BECOME a leader in your industry.”
We also asked her how she would define success. Here’s what she had to say:
“I would define success as the ability (and opportunity) to coach and mentor others. When you’ve hit a point in your career where you can provide value not only to your clients but to your colleagues in the industry, that is a real blessing. Any business owner will face daily challenges but waking up with the tools and ability to help people each and every day feels like we have made it.”
“I love the vibe of the local breweries in town, especially Balzac Craft Brewing Company & Fitzsimmons Brewing Company. I’ve always been a big fan of Paul’s Pizza NE and Suzanna’s for office lunches… but really, there are way to many good restaurants to choose from!)”
Kate’s favourite thing about Airdrie is that everyone is community-oriented. There is a small-town vibe, yet we have all the amenities of a much larger city. “I’ve seen some incredible community work being done here and I hope to be able to contribute and give back to this amazing place! The small businesses are inspiring.”