Are You Thinking of Becoming an Innisfil Entrepreneur?
Check out Hayley Peek’s experiences and see why ‘YES’ might be a great answer for you too!
Work-life balance is an elusive concept: finding the time to live your life to the fullest, while doing the best possible job you can at work, isn’t easy. There are ways you can simplify your life however, to make all balls you juggle in the air more manageable and less likely to fall!
One way is to eliminate your long commute. By choosing a location that is practically a vacation space in an of itself for your business and life, you can live where you work and vice versa, without feeling the pinch of hours wasted in the car or on public transportation.
With high-quality schools, excellent health care and easy access to transportation hubs and markets in and around Toronto, you’ve got the perfect combination to allow you a little more balance in life.
But don’t take our word for it. Here are excerpts from an interview with one local entrepreneur, Hayley Peek.
Who is Hayley Peek?
Hayley owns and operates Hayley Peek Consulting from her home office in Alcona and throughout the Innisfil and Simcoe County, as well as across Canada.
In her words: Almost two years ago, after losing two jobs due to struggling with my mental health, I decided I wanted to turn my passion into my career. I created my own consulting business—Hayley Peek Consulting—with the intention of educating others and raising awareness on how to support individuals struggling with their mental wellness or a mental illness. I don’t come from a business background by any stretch so I hit the ground running and leaned on every support or resource I had access to. I’ve spent the better part of the last year and a half co-creating and delivering a 1 day in-person workshop entitled Supporting Through Struggle™, speaking at conferences and in workplaces about my lived experience with mental health as well as I continue to work with the local CMHA Simcoe County as a Consultant and CMHA York Region South Simcoe in Peer Support.
I was going through a very difficult time in my life where I was faced with leaving my then home and looking for a new place to land and start over. I was familiar with Innisfil having both close friends and family in the area. When I began looking in town for a place, I started to really pick up on the small town community feel which is what I was looking for. I felt comfortable setting up in a tight knit community where I had strong personal supports. I started to explore the Town’s connection to the business community as well and was pleased to know that there was a strong interest in supporting local entrepreneurs.
And Hayley’s daily commute? I’ve never been happier to say my commute only requires me to walk from my bedroom to my home office. It’s amazing. I definitely don’t miss the days of getting up at 5 a.m. to mission my way into Toronto. I now have the ability to dictate what my work/life balance looks like. I think my dogs also appreciate the company during the day!
Favourite Hidden Gems in Innisfil
Well, if I tell you they won’t be hidden! Kidding!
Although it’s not hidden, there are certain spots on the beach that I have come to love because they are usually quiet and secluded. I spent many mornings this past summer taking my dogs to the beach for a swim. The bench on the pier is also one of my favourite places to sit and look out at the water.
Favourite summer activities?
Having just wrapped up my first summer here, I have to say I felt like a kid again. I spent so much time bike riding, walking the dogs through the forests and at the beach. Spending time at the beach during the week was my go-to, whether that meant swimming or working at a picnic table. I love being near the water so it felt like a great place to set up and spend as much time as I could.
Favourite winter activities?
Hmm, might be still trying to figure that one out. I tend to hibernate in winter but I am going into Winter 2019 with the intention of spending more time outdoors. So, we will see what winter brings for me this year but a good friend and I have enjoyed early morning dog walks on the frozen lake and watching the sunrise.
And favourite eateries?
I’m a big ‘going out for breakfast’ person so I would have to say the Sunset Grill off Innisfil Beach Road as well as the Fork and Plate off the 25th. Both have their charm and amazing staff! My goal is to always find my place where I become a regular!
The Most Exciting and Relaxing Things Hayley Has Experienced
The most exciting thing? Rediscovering myself. Innisfil was part of an unplanned new beginning for me and I’m proud to look back over the last year and see how much I’ve grown and how this community has supported me with building not only my business, but my personal resilience.
And the most relaxing?
Walking the forest trails and enjoying the off peak times at the beach. I’ve really tried to find moments to slow down, disconnect and be outside to balance out the time I spend in front of a computer for work. I even managed to get in some shore fishing this summer on Simcoe, which I loved!
Hayley’s Advice for Entrepreneurs Thinking About Moving Their Families and Businesses
Reach out to the local business community and the Innisfil Economic Development team. That was my first foot in the door to get a sense of what supports exist to help entrepreneurs who are new to town. It was through Economic Development that I found out about the Small Business Accelerator program and the Ryerson 100steps2startup program. It provided an amazing way for me to connect with like-minded individuals working on building their own businesses. I took a lot away from this program, the bonus was also having the honour of winning the final pitch competition!
A Few Final Words
We asked Hayley if she could go back to living in a big city, after living and working in Innisfil. Here’s what she said: I was living in Toronto five years ago and I loved it when I was there. The energy, the excitement, the people. It’s where I wanted to be. Once I moved out of Toronto and into the country, my whole state of being adjusted: mentally, physically and emotionally. As much as I still love to visit Toronto in small doses and catch up with my siblings who still live there, I don’t think I could go back to living downtown after spending so much time in a smaller community like Innisfil. I’ll never say never, but I know I definitely feel better being way from fast paced environments and being able to access a little more seclusion and nature.
Following your passion is easier when you do it a business positive environment. Between the Innisfil Economic Development Team, the Innisfil Accelerates program and other groups and organizations, there is room to find a balance between work and living, in this beautiful lakeside community.