Dominique Breton - Home Wellness Ottawa

February 3, 2016

 

I met Dominique not long after she hosted a Post Holiday Season Decluttering Challenge to gather donations for Refugees and other Ottawa residents in need. Her business, Home Wellness Ottawa, specializes in decluttering and home organization. Visit her website or Facebook page to find out more about the work she does. Read about her journey as she shares her responses to the questions below. 

Number of years in business: <1

Briefly describe your business and why you do what you do:

Home Wellness Ottawa specializes in Decluttering and Home Organization. We work

with clients to identify and let go of items that are no longer working for them in their

homes in order to recreate their home as the sanctuary they envision. We give new life

to useable items by donating them to local charitable organizations and initiatives

serving marginalized groups in our community. 

 

1. Looking back on your life, were there certain events or people that helped push you

to follow your current path? Describe one of these key turning points along with any

fears or challenges that may have held you back from pursuing your passion.

I’ve always aired on the side of caution, never allowing my dreams to take flight for fear

of failure and other negative consequences. I tried the conventional approach of going

to university after high school and getting a job with the government and, although I did

enjoy learning in the positions I held, I was not driven by the work. It was not until I lost

my job in 2012 and falling into the worst depression I have ever experienced that I truly

reconnected to myself and my purpose.
 

Although depression is a terrible beast (which came this time with a side of social and

generalized anxiety), it was a blessing in disguise. That is not to say that the journey

was an easy one. My home had become overrun with clutter and, over time, I lost all

motivation and energy to do anything at all. I didn’t want to eat, talk to my friends,

bathe, nothing. All I could do was watch tv and sleep. I was so disconnected, from

myself and from life around me. It got to a point where I was no longer functional and

was forced to move back in with my parents. They were terrified and confused, not

knowing what to do to help me. They brought me to see a few therapists before I was

sent to the Day Hospital in the Mental Health Clinic at the Montfort for a 40-day

program.

 

After almost being kicked out of the Day Hospital program due to lack of engagement,

something happened. I thought “If they don’t help me, who will?” and “If I don’t do my

part, who knows if I’ll ever get this opportunity again!”... This was my “ah ha” moment,

the make or break moment. And it was MY choice! I am so thankful to fear for pushing

me in the right direction that day, because from that day forward, I have been engaged

in reestablishing and maintaining my mental health.

 

I am so grateful to my family and friends for standing by me when I couldn’t love or take

care of myself, as well as the wonderful team at the Montfort for helping me shift from

darkness to light. And although this may seem strange, I thank my depression because

it showed me that I wasn’t living my truth and that I needed to honour what was in my

heart.

 

With therapy, determination and time, I turned my paralyzing depression into the

foundation from which I would launch my new, incredible life. I took a few years to

nourish myself and gained the momentum I needed to propel myself out of my comfort

zone. I had learned a lot from my depression and knew that the calling that had

become an incessant sounding alarm in my being was alerting me that it was time to

take the leap!

 

I have always had a passion to help others and my suffocating intimate relationship with clutter

helped me realize how I could turn that passion into a tangible service. I decided

to start a Decluttering and Home Organization business to help others overwhelmed by

clutter and to help prevent clutter from taking over anyone else’s life.

 

I designed a website and started telling friends and family about my business. That’s

when fear snuck up on me and made me question my ability to carry out this work. I

think there is a tendency among want-to-be-entrepreneurs to undervalue their work and

what they have to offer the world. Even with my personal experience, my background in

psychology and a lot of support from friends and family, I was still worried that my

business idea was not original, that no one would like it and that I was not enough.

Knowing well the tricks our minds can play to keep us “safe”, I knew I had to push

through fear and procrastination and take the risk of making my dream a reality. It was

one of the best decisions of my life.

 

2. How and when did you know you were pursuing the “right” career?

It was not until I put my business out there 100% that my doubts about my career

choice disappeared. I decided to host an online Decluttering Challenge to gather

donations for refugees and other marginalized groups in our community. I didn’t expect

it to be a major hit, but I was hoping it would be since I knew first hand the amazing

benefits of decluttering and wanted to stimulate a sense of community in my life by

helping others.

 

Once launched, people were excited and motivated to take part in the challenge! It was

incredible! I was even offered to be featured in a segment on local television! It was

more of a success than I had ever imagined. I had 100 people taking the challenge and

many were actively engaged in the online group!

 

The feeling I get when I am coming up with ideas to improve and grow my business and

to better help others is like no other feeling in this world. I feel empowered, confident,

capable and full of love. This is how I know I am pursuing the right career: I feel it and

the benefits of my work are seen all around me, in others. People feel good letting go of

things they no longer need and they feel good helping others.

 

3. What has been your biggest failure and how did you change as a result?

There is no such thing as a failure, only learning experiences! I suppose if I had to

name somethings it would be self-doubt and not taking risks. I have felt far more

nourished following my passion in the last few months than I have in my entire life! The

biggest failure is not trying and not believing in yourself.

 

4. How do you define success?

Success is respecting yourself and being able to be authentic in all areas of your life.

Success in living in alignment with your values and contributing to the world at the same

time. Success is waking up in the morning, excited about your day and your work.

Success is following our passions and sharing our gifts to make the world a better

place.

 

5. Based on your experience, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Listen to your heart, your gut, that voice in your head! Follow your dreams, take risks

and always believe in yourself. You are your biggest ally, it’s time to team up with

yourself! XO Ps. If you encounter obstacles, keep going! It’s likely a sign you are on

the right path ;) 

 

 

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