Michelle Guillet, Electric Parasol, Nanaimo

WeBC February 13, 2024
Michelle Guillet

Before starting her own business, Michelle Guillet was a dedicated administrative professional climbing the corporate ladder. Despite the stability of her job, she felt herself wanting more creative freedom, control of her career, and work-life balance. Without a plan, Michelle decided to take a leap of faith to explore self-employment. She decided to combine her administrative experience with the growing demand for virtual assistants and business support with creative solutions, and she founded Electric Parasol Inc

Electric Parasol offers a personalized and holistic approach for clients to enhance efficiency, productivity, operations and business strategy. Michelle takes pride in having a close-knit relationship with her clients and the ability to understand their objectives and obstacles.  Fostering deep, authentic relationships with clients is one of the key pillars of Electric Parasol.  

During the early stages of her entrepreneurial journey, Michelle faced the challenge of navigating the unknown. Through her research, she discovered WeBC and felt the Discovery Foundation’s Strategic Mindset program was the perfect fit to foster connections and learn from other women-owned businesses.

Michelle’s group encouraged her to focus on her personal brand and have more confidence in herself, which was a pivotal shift in her business. Michelle expressed gratitude for the network and workshops offered by WeBC and is currently enrolled in her second mentorship program, the One-to-One Mentoring program from WeBC. 

Through Electric Parasol, Michelle has discovered an outlet to express her creativity and skills, which wasn’t possible within a traditional work environment. The mentorship and community support received through WeBC have made Michelle’s entrepreneurial journey a success.

“Anyone who’s sitting there on the fence about whether or not they should do it—100% do it! It is so beneficial and I really appreciate liaising with people who are not in the same industry as  I am because they have different perspectives on how they do things. I can research all I want in the same industry, and be part of community groups, but I need a different perspective and a different way to do things. As much as I am trying to focus on believing in myself, I very much could not have done this on my own. It’s really important to have people in your corner who believe in you with authentic support.”

Image credit: https://www.blackbirdcreative.ca/

Client Q&A

Q: What made you focus on creative administrative management and virtual executive assistance as pillars for Electric Parasol?

A: I started with a ton of research. I made a questionnaire and reached out to people I knew who had businesses. I figured they would be the market that I would be working with, so I met with them and asked a whole bunch of questions to see what their pain points were. I asked them what they struggle with, what they hate doing, and what kind of support they would want to receive if money wasn’t an issue.

Afterwards, I told them what I was thinking about doing, and it was a resounding yes. I knew then there was a market and I decided to go for it.

Q: What do you enjoy about owning your own business?

A: I entered self-employed because I like the freedom that we’re allotted; we get to make the rules and that’s cool. I like that I can truly be authentic and myself. I think every business should lean into their quirks and what makes them unique.

It’s scary because there are no parameters, but we only live once, right? This is our opportunity to really explore the freedoms of that and just see what’s possible. And if it doesn’t work, we pivot. It’s as simple as that.

Q: What lessons did you learn during the Discovery Foundation’s Mentorship Program, from WeBC?

A: When I started, I was overwhelmed with the amount of noise of everybody saying what you should and shouldn’t do. During the program, I had resounding feedback from everybody who was in the virtual room that they wanted to see more of me represented within my business. 

That’s where I had my moment of clarity. Within 24 hours, my whole business pivoted and I felt rooted again. Things are not easy, but they’re in flow so it’s undeniable. I had to come back to myself and have confidence in what I was doing. Once I re-focused on my values and reason for starting this business again, those energetic blocks just seemed to move.

To have focused energy from the group and to have the lead mentor there as well, who’s asking all these amazing questions and providing guidance and support, was priceless.

Q: What’s next for Electric Parasol?

A: The timing is special. I recently celebrated a year in business so that’s a huge milestone. This year I’m focusing on fine-tuning our internal processes and vision to allow for strategic growth, continuing to work in alignment with neat clients as an extension of their team, and continuing to support other women in business. I want to nurture the growth of Electric Parasol in an organic and stable way that never sacrifices the sturdiness of the foundation it’s built upon.

Image credit: https://www.blackbirdcreative.ca/

Where to find Electric Parasol




About WeBC

WeBC is a not-for-profit that has been supporting women business owners across the province for over 25 years. Working with our regional partners, we’ve provided thousands of entrepreneurs with business loans and expertise, training, resources, and peer network support to help businesses grow and thrive.