Contractor’s Corner – Being the daughter of an entrepreneur

The day my dad asked me to review his “day after” book was the day I realized that being the child of an entrepreneur was different. In case you don’t know what I’m referring to, this is a book outlining how to proceed or cease operations without my dad. Now I know the most crucial information about the structure of the company and who to call, God forbid, the day following a fatal accident. As we went through the information, I understood the importance of the plan, but nevertheless, I remember sitting there with a lump in my throat and trying to soak it all in.

My name is Ceiledh Monk and I’m the daughter of Dan Monk, the owner of Monk Renovations. In 2015, I started as a carpenter/painter’s helper and flyer deliverer during the summer break while in school. Now, I’m involved on the marketing side of the company running all our social media accounts, writing articles, and taking photos when needed. Off the clock, I’m the daughter of an entrepreneur which means I’m always around if my dad needs a second opinion. Unofficially, I’ve been working with my dad since he went out on his own 12 years ago and, even before that, as my dad has owned income properties since I can remember.

As you may know, and my dad will admit it, entrepreneurs are often workaholics. You may assume this would take away from family time, but to be honest, thinking back on my childhood, I didn’t feel that way at all. It has always been evident to me that my dad’s #1 priority was family, and it continues to be. Maybe you wouldn’t consider cleaning out or renovating an income property as quality time with your dad, but I would with mine.

Without his hard work and sacrifice, especially during the start up years, he would have never been able to come to my high school hockey games at 4pm on weekdays or take a long weekend to visit me at university in Ottawa or bring the whole family to Germany at Christmas time to see me during my year abroad. Throughout the years, knowingly or not, my dad has taught me the value of resilience, empathy, and drive. I’ve grown a deep respect for entrepreneurs, and I value supporting local, small businesses whenever possible and encourage you to do the same.

Another thing I’ve learned over the past few years is to never undervalue my experience working with my dad in the family business. As anyone who has been involved in a family business knows, you are given more trust and responsibility in decision making than you would have at most other jobs. Over the past few years, I’ve gained lots of practical experience in marketing and social media by trial and error, researching trends, and consistently monitoring the quality of our interactions and profile insights. One of the things I’ve come to enjoy most about working with social media is being able to work from anywhere in the world.

I’m currently studying International Business at Carleton University in Ottawa and enjoy being thoroughly involved in the business students’ society. I recently returned from my year abroad in Augsburg, Germany which is a city in Bavaria. During my first semester, I traveled around Europe every free moment I had and when the pandemic hit, I bunkered down with my best friend and her family. In hindsight, I’m so thankful to have had this authentic experience of learning local recipes, speaking German all day, and growing an extension of my family in Germany.

After graduation, I want to gain more work experience, travel and explore new cultures and languages, and continue to build my global network. In the long run, I’m determined to grow my own social enterprise as it is my passion to make an impact on the world. I’m not exactly sure which industry or where my base will be but that will come in good time and I’m certain my experience as the daughter of an entrepreneur will guide me.

I’m thrilled to continue my journey – I hope we can connect, and you can follow along.

by Ceiledh Monk