Many people's 'lottery daydream' revels in the idea of having the freedom to pursue a passion. And, while some people wait for the cushion of a lottery win (why not, right!), others dive right in and hope for the best. We've chosen to share the stories of four inspirational Canadians who leaped and landed in the sweet spot; sharing how they started, why they started, and their journey to success.

"If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time." – Billy Joel

April Glavine, Lean Machine Inc.

APRIL GLAVINE, LEAN MACHINE INC.

Have you ever gone to a vending machine looking for substance and felt frustrated by the lack-of healthy options, particularly in schools and hospitals? Instead of feeling constantly let-down, April Glavine decided to dedicate her time to doing something about it.

In 2004, April quit her job as a financial analyst and set-up Lean Machines Health Vending Service Inc. in Halifax, Nova Scotia. When April decided to do something about the lack-of healthy options in vending machines she first did a little digging and found that obesity is a nationwide problem, and that Canadians are trading health for convenience. She believes this is due to a lack-of education about eating options. The Lean Machine provides snacks that are nutritional, with each product going through a taste and health test before they are featured on the shelf. Once the vending machines are installed in schools, the students are then educated on how to run them. All the franchisees are inspired to source locally. Today, her team is on a quest to make healthy food more accessible to Canadians.

The Lean Machines Healthy Vending Service Inc. educates, engages and gets Canadians excited about eating healthier on a daily basis. April discovered a problem and solving it became her dream. Today the lives of Canadians nationwide are changing for the better, all because April made her dream a reality.

ANDREW SHEPHERD, VANCOUVER ISLAND SALT CO.

When your friend tells you that 'if it could be done, it would be done,' don't believe them. Andrew Shepherd is living proof that they're wrong (sorry, friend!). After travelling the world working as a chef, Andrew decided to put down roots on Vancouver Island and start the first Canadian Sea Salt company; Vancouver Island Salt Co.

It's a little crazy to think that we're surrounded by vast oceans and pre-2004 nobody harvested sea salt for profit. Andrew says it perfectly, "It's a shame we're importing all this sea salt when we have all these beautiful, clean waterways." Vancouver Island Salt Co. was founded on the back of a bet, a bet that Andrew clearly won. Today, Andrew offers the world a taste of his all-natural and hand-harvested Canadian sea salt along with some tasty infusions.

Andrew took a chance, won a bet, and showed his friend that anything can be done, but not before he worked hard networking, experimenting, and finding the markets he wanted to work with. Today, the rest world is buying Canadian salt that we didn't know we have, and Andrew is living his dream.

Andrew Shepherd, Vancouver Island Salt Co.
Carinne Chambers-Saini and Francine Chambers, Divacup

CARINNE CHAMBERS-SAINI AND FRANCINE CHAMBERS, DIVACUP

If you haven't heard of the DivaCup it's time to come out from under that rock! Diva International launched the DivaCup in 2003 out of Kitchener, Ont., and the lives of women have been changed ever since. Carinne is the CEO of the famous cup that is changing the lives of women around the world, and her mother was the visionary.

Francine was a woman on a mission to change the way women deal with their monthly flows. Her passion started as a young woman, which led her to pioneer the menstrual cup industry; selling, promoting and becoming a menstrual cup evangelist around the world. Until her daughter Carinne Chambers-Saini graduated with a business degree and together, they took a leap of faith and started their DivaCup journey with experimentations of their own designs and ideas.

Francine has been carrying her dream to better women's lives with a menstrual cup all the way from childhood. She then passed it onto her daughter who is now the CEO of their company. This 'daydream to day job' journey shows perseverance and highlights the beautiful relationship between parent and child teams. Their business is visionary, impactful and green. Together, these inspirational women are solving an issue that positively affects more than half of the population.

"If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs."

Tony A. Gaskins

If you're not sure what your true calling is, then chase your curiosity! But before you start brainstorming your exit plan, get a game-plan, a mentor, and take a chance on this week's lottery ticket, you never know what could happen. Life is about taking that leap!

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