Asima of Kitchener
What were any of us doing at eight years of age? Riding bikes, exploring our friends’ yards? Do you recall your childhood friends? Asima’s family and her best friend Almedin’s family were close, sharing meals and backyard get-togethers, so it wasn’t a surprise that their kids were destined to be friends themselves. But in 1992, the Bosnian war altered their young friendship forever.
Both families endured, among other enormities, the emotional impact of refugee housing. For Asima and her family, their desire to remain in a country they loved meant it would be many years before they were able to have their own home again.
Asima had to say goodbye to her best friend. Almedin and his family, like so many others, chose to start over again in a different place. In a state of shock and hopefulness, they faced the complications of calling Canada their new home.
At some point, after years of emails and occasional family visits back to Bosnia, Asima and Almedin’s destined connection was rejuvenated, and fifteen years after Almedin made a home in Kitchener, Ontario, Asima joined him as his wife.
‘Now what?’, was Asima’s constant thoughts in her new world. She wondered if she should continue her college studies, but her credentials from the college in Bosnia were not recognized here in Canada, and so it would mean retaking all of her courses. While she considered her options and tried other jobs, she kept busy cleaning for two franchises at a company called JDI Cleaning Systems.
What if one of those franchise owners hadn’t gone out of her way to say to Asima, ‘you should do this, you should go for it’?
If we see an opportunity for someone’s betterment, we should always share it. Our connections make us feel cared about, and often, that is all that is needed to start someone’s upward life trajectory.
Jade / SmartWebPros: How long have you been a franchise owner, and how do you do it all with three young children?
Asima: In a month, I will be celebrating my third year as a franchise owner. It has been a period of constant change since coming to Canada; we now have three children; a boy who is 10, a girl who just turned 4, and our newest daughter is seven months.
Almedin kept his position with Blackberry here in Kitchener, but from the beginning, he and I have been a team; he had always helped me when he wasn’t working. He has now become a full-time partner in the business, which has allowed a balance for our family life.
What is the one thing you have splurged on since becoming a business owner?
Family means everything to Almedin and me. My dream was to have a big house that would allow my family, who still live back in Bosnia, to stay with us for extended visits. We moved into our brand-new home less than a year ago, so our families still get to visit each other, but now they can do it at our house. Even though I talk to my family every day, my mom, dad and siblings have all been able to stay with us for extended amounts of time, and that is an incredible thing for me.
We have been able to help our two eldest children achieve their potential through private school. Our eldest child has benefited immensely from smaller class sizes, allowing a focus on more authentic learning.
What is the best thing about working with corporate JDI?
It’s like working with a family in that I have their unconditional support. I have even called Dan, our Regional Director, on the weekend, and he has always been there for me. The idea of having a business where the parent company provides my business contracts has been a surprise and a benefit, allowing me and my employees to focus on the service aspect.
What has surprised you most since taking on a franchise?
We have felt a spirit of community here in Kitchener, and it feels pleasant to work alongside employees who are part of that group. I had not imagined I could also feel such a sense of family by owning a business. We are helping each other.
Since challenging myself to take on this business, I have developed life skills that will help our children move forward in their lives; I’ve become more patient and more self-assured. Communication is the key to a good life, and becoming a business owner has helped me experience that.
For Asima, her decision to get involved in varied work endeavours and then trust the person who saw an opportunity for her, opened up a world she could not have otherwise imagined.
If you would like to learn more about JDI Cleaning Systems franchise opportunities, please call our head office at:
1 800 567 5091
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This post was written by Jade Brown