From dreams to reality: the origins of CB Linguistic Services
In the fall of 2016, while I was on the long search for my niche, the one that would be at the heart of the company I wanted to create, I asked myself many questions: What is my expertise? What am I capable of? How do entrepreneurs find their area of specialization?
When I dove into it, I was still full of questions, especially when it came to my credibility and professional abilities. Impostor syndrome hounded me: What if others discovered that I wasn’t nearly as good as I seemed? Not as reliable? What if I went into business and got sued? How could I take care of marketing when I hadn’t sold anything in my life?
Going into business was like leaping into the void: really scary! I had just moved from Winnipeg and been hired by a university in Ottawa on a part-time lecturer contract without a guaranteed job. The stress originating from this uncertainty is what led me to reassess my career, and chance (was it really chance?) dropped a small English-French translation contract in my lap.
On a rainy October evening, this small contract that came out of nowhere was, you could say, lifesaving. My very first client, Mark Kusiak, then president of the Canadian Deaf Sports Association, contacted me to translate a small document from English to French. With a lot of free time on my hands, I gladly accepted the contract. I then discovered all of the advantages of telework and schedule flexibility. A short, quick and pleasant contract.
It was my “Eureka!” moment. I finally found my niche: linguistic services in English, French, Quebec Sign Language and American Sign Language!
Because of my non-negotiable values regarding service quality, I did not want to submit an invoice with just my name on it. And so, on the night of October 31, 2016, I racked my brain for a company name that was big, but not too big. That was the night that CB Linguistic Services was born!
Over the years, one thing led to another and, thanks to experienced, qualified and professional employees and contractors, CBLS became one of the vectors of meaningful change for the Deaf communities in Quebec and Canada. CBLS now aims to become indispensable for linguistic and consultation services relating to sign languages and accessibility for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people.
As the founder and owner of CB Linguistic Services, I owe my sincerest thanks to the Canadian Deaf Sports Association for believing in me and giving me the push I really needed. The CDSA continues to entrust us with their projects, which have a big impact on Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities all over Canada. This amazing, dynamic collaboration literally changed my life and, as a result, the lives of those who now work with us!