Meet a wife and mom of three — including a set of twins — whose resume is a fascinating read! From corporate executive to author to global health and wellness entrepreneur, Kim MacGregor describes her current journey running her own business as, “living by design.”
From healthy aging and living with intention, MacGregor’s mission is to live her best life with purpose and impact, while supporting others to do the same.
Filled with challenges, personal growth and tough choices, MacGregor chronicles the steps she took to be the architect of her own business.
Running a team of well over 100, in various countries and continents is an opportunity she embraces and thrives on.
Watch the video interview with Lianne Castelino of whereparentstalk and Kim MacGregor, global wellness executive.
Click for video transcription
Parentpreneur Profile: Mom of 3 and Global Health and Wellness Executive
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur in the first place?
Oh, I think I’ve had that hunger my entire life. My dad was an entrepreneur. And it was such a fascinating journey. And as a young girl, he would invite me to, you know, on the weekends, I would go with him to meetings when I was 6,7,8, as early as I can remember, and I would sit in these meetings, at these boardroom tables, and just color and draw. And then as I got older, I would also, you know, he would have me come and meet him downtown at meetings, and he’d be having these, you know, incredible conversations with businessmen around the table.
So I think it started quite early. And, you know, I guess at the time you’re young, and you’re not really, you know, processing these things in specific ways.
But when you look back on it now, what do you think you took from that, that inspired you down the journey that you’ve gone on?
There’s so much about it that I took from it, to be honest. I loved the notion of control of creativity, I love the notion that these conversations could turn into something like whatever it was, there were so many different facets that my dad was working on, and that I myself have worked on too. And I love the ability to start something from nothing.
As well as the ability, the ability that it affords us to. You work harder as an entrepreneur, to be honest, and to have a sense of freedom, and passion, which I definitely didn’t have in my corporate career, my over 20 years of corporate career.
So let me ask you this. You’ve been at it now for over 20 years, I’m going to ask you to think back to when it started. What was it do you think that was the turning point that motivated you to say, you know what, this is the road that I’m going to go down?
Well, it’s interesting, you asked Lianne, because I did dabble in it early on in my career when I was working corporate and I always had some little side gig alongside, created television shows that never went anywhere, and game boards and all sorts of different things. In part, I didn’t carry those things through to the end. But my children definitely were a massive motivation. So it’s great that we’re talking about parentpreneurs. And they were a huge motivation. For me, it would, having my first daughter 21 years ago, helped me draw a line in the sand that it wasn’t any longer just an idea to toss around. It almost felt like a necessity, because my desire to be home with her as she also had a health condition, but my desire to be home with her, and to be present was so great. And my desire to create something meaningful, was so much greater than my will to go back to work and work for someone else.
So how did you go about striking that balance? And how did that balance striking evolve, as you added more children to your family?
It’s interesting. The balance was difficult. I think for any young parent, or new parent. At night my oldest daughter was literally in my arms as a little, you know, one month, two month, three month old. As I was writing my first book, I wrote two children’s books that were endorsed by Celine Dion, and to raise money for cystic fibrosis, which my oldest daughter has. That was a mission. It was a passion project. And I just worked around her schedule when she was up, I used to set her up at my desk, which was in my room, in the early days, I would set her up with a little table and Krantz, she was so good. And she’d sit in color and draw right beside me. And I would say, we’re going to go and do our work. Now. She’s okay.. And I would do my work on my computer, and she would sit beside me. And it influenced her a great deal as well, she would color and draw and write as she got older, of course. But those I visited the most difficult was really when as an infant, when they need you to hold them, but I would just I found a worker and I would literally hold her. And when she was sleeping, she didn’t sleep in her crib ever. So she would sleep in my arms and I have another free arm. And then as the twins came, you know, we went from one to three. That was a whole new set of challenges. But again, you work around it, I think Necessity is the mother of invention, right? So out of necessity, I had to find a way to work my schedule. So we would play, we would have like just totally devoted time to the kids where we would play and play dress up and Maddie and I she was about three when the twins were born and we would play with the babies. And then when I went to do my work, I might you know, make sure sort have a great little girl, I guess because I would say I’m going to go work on my work, I would work in the same general area as them at the kitchen while they were in the living room. And I would, I sort of empowered her like you, you play with the girls now. Mommy’s gonna go do some work for an hour, and I’m gonna come back and we’re gonna play together. And then we would sort of tossed back and forth around like that.
And you know, it’s funny listening to you, because I wonder if you saw yourself in your daughter the way you described yourself with your dad?
Oh, my gosh, absolutely. And it’s funny. We’ve talked about it for sure. Absolutely. It’s had an influence on all of my children, for sure. Take us through the different types of businesses that you’re involved in or have been involved in. There’s quite an eclectic mix there. Yeah, it’s whatever my heart is like, Oh, I must do that. The first real successful venture because I think we’ve all tried so many things. And there’s no shame in trying. If it doesn’t succeed, I don’t consider it a failure. It’s literally a stepping stone to the next right thing. And that’s an important piece for everybody to remember along the journey of discovering what your calling is, for writing my children’s books. That was the first children’s book that I wrote, and it secured Celine Dion as an endorsement. It all just came together beautifully.
It was a passion project for sure. I was on a mission to help raise funds to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. Within my daughter’s lifetime, there was no option, there was no back door, there wasn’t anything it was even securing Celine Dion, it took nine months to hear back. And I remember people doubted me. I was in the early phases of learning about the law of attraction like really doing a deep dive in that I was reading, asking it is given by Jerry and Esther Hicks. So I was really starting to get in touch with the idea that whatever we wanted to do, we could put that out in the universe. As long as we followed that up by action. We kept ourselves aligned in that state of faith. That unshakable faith that it was going to happen it would. And so even in those early days, you know, when people were like Celine Dion, like Are you crazy? I don’t think it’s gonna happen. I was like, no one’s happening.
And then after that, another heart centered project was a flashmob. That was instigated by one of our very dear friends. She was about nine years younger than me very, very close to my girls, almost like a big sister slash aunt to them. And she was struck with colon cancer at 27 passed away at 31 integral part of our lives. My mum also passed away from colon cancer. So I felt this real tug. I also wanted my girls they’d never got the chance to meet my mom, she passed away before they were born. And I wanted them to remember Erica was her name. Iin might not my mom’s name, but my friend’s name in a positive way, not just that she passed away young. And so we chatted about all the things that made her this incredible person. And it was how she made us feel it was that she would always say things like, I want you to know, I think you’re amazing because, and again, synchronicity, I was writing a book for the fashion industry. I sat on the advisory board for the, the fashion Toronto fashion incubator at the time as their marketing source. And they hired me to write a book about social media for fashion entrepreneurs. And that was where I was exposed to flash mobs. And so it all sort of just pieced together. My girls were dancers, Erica had been a dancer. So I launched this flash mob again, hilarious when you know, consulted with my girls, I had these young kids that were, you know, in their early 20s, working on cell phones, and we’re in the infancy of cell phones, you know, taking pictures and sending them on Facebook, all new to me, total foreign territory. And they were coaching me along they said you should pick a number about how many views you’d like to get on your YouTube because we launched this flashmob on YouTube to create a grassroots movement of people really just telling the women in their lives girls, mothers, sisters, friends, wives, how amazing they thought they were. That was the premise of it in our air, on our America’s legacy. The girls were watching Austin Powers. That was like a big thing that when they’re cousins, they watch it all the time. And so I had this little meeting with my girls who were 10 and like six at the time, my advisory board, and I said how many views should mommy go for on this video for Eric and they were like 1 million views. I was like 1 million sounds good. So we went for 1 million views in the first year and we hit it. Wow. Ended up it was chaired by Dr. Wayne Dyer, my Cheryl Richardson by Mariel Hemingway and ended up going global and it’s I think it’s we’ve got close to 4 million views.
We’re gonna talk a bit about some of your more current ventures in a moment. But I wanted to ask you, what would you say you’ve learned about yourself along this journey?
I have learned that if I set my mind to something, I can do it. And I, that’s not my exclusive terrain, for sure. That’s anybody. I think I’ve just developed the knowledge base and the faith in conjunction. So you can hear my dog tip-toeing around my side, I’ve developed both in conjunction to believe that with hard work and vision, and consistency, honestly, anything is possible. And that stick to itiveness, that perseverance, and that commitment to honor your work. So I didn’t always do that to be honestly and in the beginning, you know, when I sort of like would try things and, and invest money in things, who like I lost a lot of money, trying things and paying legal fees and trademarking stuff that I actually didn’t follow through on. Those were important lessons for me, and really taking us a sense of responsibility for my actions. And in reflection, looking back and saying, why aren’t I where I want to be? Why haven’t these things turned out the way I wanted them to? And how can I affect that differently, going forward with future projects, and it was just that stick to itiveness?
And what would you say has been the biggest challenges that you face trying to run a business and raise children at the same time?
Time, I think time is always the biggest thing. I’ve, I’m very, I would say time and personal growth, actually, I would add personal growth I didn’t. I did personal growth, I submitted to it, I read, I was hungry, I put sticky notes all over the house. But if I’m honest with myself, I wasn’t living true to the things that I was learning and reading, I wasn’t absorbing them fully. And starting my health and wellness business, my online Health and Wellness Business with a social marketing company, and the level of personal growth that was demanded of me in that as well as the people around me who were successful. It really elevated the calibre of the game for me. And it made me acutely aware of the areas that I needed to improve. And so I think that ability, you know, what’s that saying? Knowledge isn’t power. It’s what you do with the knowledge that’s, it’s acting on the knowledge. And that was the real difference. For me. That made a big difference. I think it’s interesting because there is a period of time and your story as I understand it, where you are a mom, you are an entrepreneur, and you are working a full time job. Yes.
Think about challenges and overcoming them.In that period, what would you say were the biggest challenges and what did you do to overcome them?
So time for sure was the the biggest challenge and the vision the time so that as soon as you lock in as soon as I locked and loaded on my vision, and I made it a non-negotiable it was happening no matter what I was going to succeed no matter what. And I made that hard line in the sand and put both feet you know, sometimes we ride the line of and out committed not committed. I definitely did that. And as soon as I understood the value of why I was doing it and and building my Wellness Business was the first time that was the why. I mean reading my books, there was a massive wide flashmob for Erica Heller, massive why doing my own things that weren’t necessarily motivated by that desire to create that kind of change. I could let myself off the hook easier. But when I started this business, the first thing that we did was start with why like the Simon Sinek philosophy of running a business and some of the biggest brands and that’s their success comes from that. That made sense to me in a whole new way. And so, committing to my why to achieving that. I had to level up my game and personal growth and I had two non negotiables we put time into it so I had to get better with my time, I was a massive time waster. When I look back, I was the busiest person I knew. But I wasn’t productive and I wasn’t where I wanted to be. So even assessing that and understanding how I can own my time even in 15 minute blocks. I think I’d read a book about Richard Branson about how he literally I mean, he runs multiple businesses successfully.
That made sense for me. And that was that those were the Those were the challenges, but overcoming them creating the success.
How would you describe your parenting approach Kim?
I would I would describe as as unconventional, very open, and very encouraging, and very fluid in the sense that we don’t, we’re not heavy handed, we’ve never had to be with our children. We are human beings first. And we don’t take our we take our role as parents seriously. But we don’t hang that over our children’s heads. As if we’re the boss, you’re the you’re the peons who must follow our every word. There’s an enormous sense of respect mutually that goes back and forth. And the acknowledgement that we’re not perfect. We’re on this journey for the first time to, we’re doing the best we can. And wherever we mess up, which inevitably we do, because we’re not perfect. We apologize, we’re quick to apologize. And we have conversation, communication is massive. Interesting, when you start to pursue the whole world of being a parent preneuer, I guess more actively.
What would you say that the impact was on your family? And that whole dynamic? Initially, it was hell.
Initially was like, Oh, my gosh, you know, we’re working full time, starting a business part time, that was all new, foreign territory to me, stepping outside of my comfort zone, and trying to be a parent. And in my case, I am married. So I also had a husband like, all of that, it’s a lot to juggle. But the interesting thing, honestly, is that one, mastering one thing, in my business with the acknowledgement, like it was a very open conversation with my husband was a meet incredibly supportive, that we’re all in this together, mom’s building this, it’s gonna require extra time and effort on mom’s behalf in these early months and years. So we’ve got to all be together, we got to pull our own weight, we’ve got to help clean the dishes if mom’s got a meeting. So there was a real sense of camaraderie. And it was interesting because initially it was chaos. For the first like I’d say, maybe six months, and a lot of people would be thrown by that like, and I know a lot of people who like I can’t I know, I’m doing this for my family. But now my family is taking a backseat, and I can’t throw them off like this. The ultimate purpose of my pursuing that online business part time was to get the hell out of corporate so that I could free up my time. And so that we could have more financially a little bit more freedom and breathing room. Without those crazy long hours and 11 days off, I’d have a whole year, more time and freedom to spend with the kids. So it was chaos in the beginning, but mastering it really, I think ignited us in the end. And it united us on many fronts, people stepped up and took more responsibility. My husband took far more responsibility with the children than he otherwise might have. So I always jokingly say, Oh my gosh, my dog is pulling at the door. I’m so sorry. So I would say my husband is almost like my silent business partner because he did so much behind the scenes to support me and I know lots of women don’t or aren’t, you know, parents don’t have a supportive spouse. You can still manage through you must. But I think that chaos, once we mastered, we got organized, and we got in a rhythm. It turned things around, and it became an asset.
When you think back to that time, knowing what you know, now, is there anything that you would have done differently, do you think?
No, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t do anything differently because you know, that’s part of the journey. I think that the things that I did that where maybe I messed up, I was i will say like in those early six months, I was exhausted. I was working full-time I was driving 90 minutes to work 90 minutes home. I did not like my corporate job. There was an enormous pressure to stay there because we needed to feed our children. My kids were in competitive dance was enormous expenses, overhead expenses. I was stealing from Peter to pay Paul every single month. There was an incredible sense of stress but that’s it’s like, you know, diamonds are formed under stress under pressure. So that stress, I believe in. I was going to finish my thought there was that I would come home, you know, do my work for my full-time job do my work in the evening I wouldn’t I had no minimum commitments that I wanted to uphold before I went to bed. Sometimes it was 2,3,4 in the morning, I knew the window of time was going to be short, if I was consistent with it. So I could sacrifice that for those short windows of time.
But I was so snarly, as my kids would say, at like 11 or 12, they wouldn’t always go to bed because they wanted to have some time with me. So we would sit and have time, but then it would just spill over into like, it was endless, right. And then I would just lose my patience and like that, but you know, we laugh about it. Now, I wasn’t abusive by any stretch. I was just tired and exhausted. But I think in hindsight, it was actually good for my children to see that because it was, first of all, I would always say guys, like I’m human, I’m frickin exhausted from this day, I love you all go to bed, I have other work to do, so I can get the hell out of this job. So that tension was important for them to see. And I also think it was important for them to be aware that the greatest things come out of tension sometimes if you course correct it, and you apply yourself. So yeah, yeah. Did I screw up sometimes? Absolutely. What I change it probably not.
Let me ask you, what would be your top three pieces of advice that you’d give to somebody who, let’s say is a new parent, and is now considering running into their own business. And neither of those things come with manuals, by the way, I know right?
Like, whoa, I would say go for it, go for it, go for it go for 100% for a number of reasons. If you have the tug, to do something entrepreneurial, you’ve got to follow your tug. We are human beings first as much as I might, My children are my priority. I’m also a human being. And as a human being on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. on that top is like self actualization and growth. And I think we it’s a slippery slope that parents negotiate sometimes, I don’t want to give up this time, that it’ll sacrifice with my dog, it will sacrifice time with my children, these sorts of things, but you’re doing a greater disservice to your children, because they’re watching you with her. And they’re watching you do something that you’re acting out of your full intention, because then that I did that Liam like, I’m speaking full discourse here. I did that for so many years. And that’s you’re not teaching your children anything by allowing them to watch you function less than your full self. So if you ever attempt to do something to do it, and we’re very adaptable, we’re smart, we’re resourceful, give yourself the credit, to learn and grow. That’s the whole journey of entrepreneurship is the growth, not just the growth of your business, but the growth of yourself, those two things go hand in hand, they definitely go in tandem.
So I would say go for it. The second part to that is the lessons that you will teach the little eyes that are watching you, and even the big eyes, your partner, your spouse, your family members that are watching you pursue something for the greater good, you’re going to have a positive impact, you’re going to inspire people, you’re going to inspire your children. And then you also the third part of that is that by self actualizing you have a case study for other people that you can say go do it, I did it. It was hard. It was stressful. I had to learn and grow. I didn’t get this, this and this, but I figured it out along the way. And it’s the person you’ve become along the way that you can actually reach back and help other people into their greatness, whatever it is. Entrepreneurship is amazing for that, you know, it really is.
Let me ask you, you’ve got some exciting projects on the way and you’ve always got something in the pipeline. Tell us about what’s coming up next.
We’ve got two projects that I’m currently working on and then a couple of others on the back burner that’s entrepreneur, serial entrepreneur, right? You know what it’s like.
My husband and I created a course in parenting how to raise happy conscious children, not from the perspective of a child therapist is definitely not what we are from others.
Parents are in the trenches, figuring it out just like you sit without the manual, making mistakes along the way course correcting, but doing our best to really be honest and and to be our best for our children. And I’m very excited about that. It’s video modules. My girl, our girls, actually were all interviewed for it too. So we have them talking about certain things. It’s the idea of this program is not for people to feel like, Oh my god, they’re perfect parents. Again, that’s not what it’s about. It’s about learning, the nuances that we don’t know before we start parenting, but that are really essential, and some of them are so small. But it’s like that saying the little things are the big things. It’s like communication, and saying you’re sorry. And, and listening and encouraging and creating home base we call our home home base, creating a peaceful environment for your children to thrive in. Because we didn’t always have that there were little pockets of time in our family life where there was chaos here. And that, again, was an intentional commitment to create a peaceful home environment so that our children, at least didn’t have to worry about that. They could go and fulfill their dreams, learn, stretch, do whatever they needed to do. So I’m very excited about the course. I’m very proud of it. And we’re launching it this month. So it’s, um, yes, it’s been a work in progress, but we’re very excited about it. The second thing in the works just actually brand new started, but we’ve been thinking about it for a while. Just this week, we started my daughter and I are working on a book project.
A mother and daughters perspective of parenting through this journey. She’s on a real health journey with a health condition. Man have we learned a lot about ourselves and each other, and the world and the universe and health and all sorts of things. So it’s really a massive undertaking. But we’re really excited about that project too.
Well, we will definitely have to have you back when all of those projects are underway and talk about that some more. Kim McGregor, thank you so much for your time today. mom of three serial entrepreneur, and always got something on the go. Thank you and we really appreciate your time.
Oh, my absolute pleasure. Thanks so much. Lianne