Shifting from the CEO to an entrepreneur
How did Elaine Slatter move from a corporate career as a CEO to an entrepreneur?
Elaine left the UK at 19 to pursue adventure in Canada. Not satisfied with staying in the admin pool and with a burning desire for a career, she started taking university courses on a part-time basis while at the same time raising two children. A graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton and Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario, Elaine has an extensive corporate resume spanning over 30 years of experience in the manufacturing, retail and distribution sectors. This experience includes product launches, branding, trade show execution, IT projects, website development, e-commerce websites, international customer service set up and bonded warehouse experience. Elaine was CEO of the Canadian operations for a US manufacturer. In this capacity, she was responsible for sales, finance, customer service, marketing, warehousing operations and the bottom line.
Life can throw unexpected curves. Elaine was the reluctant owner of retail business after the death of her husband. During a three year period Elaine managed to run this business and package it for sale, while still continuing to work in an executive position for a global welding manufacturer. After leaving the corporate sector, Elaine became the founder and CEO of XL Consulting Group. This consultancy is a small business advisory, specializing in entrepreneurial startups and businesses that are not experiencing their full potential. Clients can engage XL Consulting to improve their business strategies, plan for growth or business loans or execute marketing optimization in both the traditional and social channels. Branding and website development are key pillars we use to help small businesses grow their market presence.
When did you realise it was time to leave the corporate world?
What has been the most difficult aspect of the shift?
Transitioning from the corporate world to the world of entrepreneurship was a bigger shift than I anticipated. The market that I left was totally different than the one I entered as an entrepreneur, so it was basically starting over. Only one contact I had in the corporate world became a client. One of the best moves was joining the local Chamber of Commerce and networking with professional women.