No this is not a philosophical or spiritual discussion of the meaning of life, instead it is an insight into something I have known for over a decade now and is incredibly personal and special to me, my company: where it came from, where it is going and most importantly, why we are even here.
If you are reading this, you are on one of our websites – Real Westman which is the newest addition to the Budiwski Holdings Inc. family of businesses. Real Westman though is different than Butterfly Consultations, our small business management and bookkeeping company and different than Escape the Final Countdown our escape room division in Brandon, but it is only different in one fundamental way, money – it makes none.
Real Westman has no sales. It sells no product, sells no service. It exists for one reason only – to create opportunity. It is a creative outlet for employees of our company, readers and followers who want to contribute stories and opinions. It is an open forum for discussion and sharing. The opinions expressed are our real opinions – not sweetened by endorsement pay or advertising dollars. We don’t moderate conversations for fear of offending anyone who pays our bills. If comments are within the realm of legality and do not incite hate, everything goes. We created Real Westman as an outlet and everyone who wants to contribute does so freely. That is why there are such ebbs and flows of content – it is a non paying creative sideline for all of us to enjoy when then time and interest strokes us.
It is an opportunity and it was born from a desire to inspire and empower others to be their true selves and follow their dreams. In that way, Real Westman is exactly like every other division of BHI that currently, formerly or will ever exist. Excellence through Empowerment. It is why we as a company exist – to provide opportunity for others in everything that we do.
In 2005 I moved to Rivers from Cranberry Portage. Six months pregnant with my daughter, an 11 year old son and a mentally ill husband. We left the north, the only home I had ever known and the best paying job I had ever had, a job I had worked my whole career to attain – we came here for opportunity. Not for myself but for my family. My husband needed to be near a major center (Winnipeg or Brandon) to access the services he needed to cope and treat his severe PTSD. Brandon was chosen due to its proximity to CFB Shilo and the military resources we needed. We chose Rivers because never having lived in a city (and yes, Brandon is a city compared to Cranberry Portage or even The Pas where I grew up), I wanted to raise my children in a small town, that and we found a wonderful home in a perfect location that made me feel like I was more rural than I was. We still live in that house and I love it more than the day I first saw it.
Without sounding biased, my son was and still is gifted. He far exceeded the educational opportunities in a remote northern location and I knew that if we stayed in Cranberry Portage, I would eventually have to send him away to a boarding school to give him the opportunities he deserved. That was not going to be an option so – we packed up and left in May of 2005. My goal at the time? Focus on my husband, my kids, my home. I was 30 years old and have been working full time plus going to school for upgrading and up until 2003 raised my son on my own. I had opened and closed two different businesses, earned 3 separate college diplomas, survived multiple suicide attempts, was coping with my own mental illness and had finally gotten clean from my cocaine addiction. I was ready to just settle down and be… or so I thought.
In July, my daughter was born. My son made some fantastic friends and was finding his own way. My husband was working and getting help and didn’t want my involvement in his treatments. I was a stay at home mom with a newborn and by September, I was bored out of my skull. I had worked my whole life and while I didn’t have the formal education of a degree so that I could hang out a shingle or get the type of professional job that wouldn’t require long hours, evenings and weekends that my career in food and beverage services would always guarantee me, I knew I had something to offer the world. I had experience. I had drive. I had the innate ability to overcome some of the most overwhelming obstacles that could ever have been put before me. I was a fighter. I was living a life no one believed I could ever achieve. I was 30 and still living – that alone was a success many didn’t believe possible.
I knew that if I could do it, anyone could do it. What was ‘it’? Didn’t matter. I knew that whatever anyone could dream, they could achieve because I did and continued to do it and I wanted to help them, all I needed was the opportunity to reach them. No one would hire me to motivate, inspire and encourage and no one knew me or what I had to offer so volunteering to do it wouldn’t work either so like everything else I have done when no clear way is presented, I made my own. Butterfly Consultations was founded.
Our flagship company, Butterfly Consultations was and still is a catch-all company for the services we offer based on shared experience, education and expertise. It is a company of opportunity. The products and services it has offered in the 12 years since it began has changed. They have changed based on need, passion, education. They have changed based on demand and staff ability. Products and services have changed but why and how we do things never has. Real Westman, Escape the Final Countdown and even Muck Off! our residential cleaning company that we sold this past year – these are all just different products and services offered by the newly formed umbrella, BHI – just different manifestations of how we create opportunities for others inside and outside our company.
What new products, services, divisions will be created through the collaboration and innovation of our team? I have no idea but I do know that whatever is coming this new year and the years beyond for us here at Budiwski Holdings Inc. it will create opportunity and empower people to achieve excellence, no matter their background, no matter their education, no matter their training. If they believe it, we can achieve it and if there is no clear way, we will chart our own path. Always.
Excellence through Empowerment
Happy New Year
~ Michelle Budiwski