For those caught up in the whirlwind of daily demands at work and home, it can feel like every day has you stretched thin. For business owners, this pressure can be even higher.

Between wrangling overflowing inboxes and tight schedules to reaching for ambitious business goals, entrepreneurs know a thing or two about overwhelm.

Fellow SAIT alumni and Alumni Business Directory members know what it’s like to balance work, personal responsibilities and constant communication. It can be challenging to unplug and wind down after a busy day, but for busy entrepreneurs, it’s necessary in order to keep working toward their visions.

Why not kick off the new year with some strategies SAIT alumni and business owners use to reset and stay grounded so they can give their best each day?

LINK reached out to five SAIT alumni entrepreneurs to ask how they handle challenging and stressful times, what strategies have helped them cope and who they turn to for support when life feels overwhelming. 

We found some common threads in their responses and several helpful tips you can implement to ensure the new year runs smoothly.

1. Get moving

“I believe fitness should be a huge part of anyone’s routine,” says Kai Fahrion, co-founder and co-CEO of Zeno Renewables (Electrician Program ’15).

“Whether going to the gym, running or walking, staying active needs to be part of my daily routine. We also have an aspect of the company called Strides for Sustainability, where we run a marathon a year and raise money for scholarships for both SAIT and NAIT.”

two men with running bibs on
Kai Fahrion (right)

2. Explore other pursuits that ground you

“Spending time in nature or engaging in physical activity helps ground me. But sometimes it’s about spending time on projects outside of my business,” says Mecoh Bain, a freelance photographer, videographer and owner of Mecoh Studio (Business Administration ’10).

“For example, I like learning new things, and often take classes for DIY projects around the home and other new skills.”


young woman wearing camo and white hat laughing
Mecoh Bain

3. Build community and connection

“I’ve been lucky enough to get to know some incredible, hard-working entrepreneurs working across Calgary and build a community of referrals,” says Cathy Provencher, CEO and founder of Peridot & Poppy Digital (Radio, Television and Broadcast News ’09).

“These other business owners can empathize with what I’m going through in my business and act as sounding boards. We often bounce ideas off one another and offer advice.”


Young woman wearing white blouse with red flowers
Cathy Provencher
Photo by Marissa Poirier Photography

4. Adopt practices that help create clarity

“I truly believe in not just yoga as movement, but in the consistency of practice of both yoga and meditation,” says Andrea Salamon, owner and teacher at Yogadotcalm Studio (Business Administration ’02).

“Building that practice gives you clarity of mind in stressful situations and helps you remember in the moment to breathe, give yourself time to take a breath before you jump into a response.”


young woman doing yoga
Andrea Salmon

5. Refocus

“I usually make a vision board for my future goals and plan for the year. That way, when I am in a stressful situation, I can go back and look at it and bring my focus back to what I want to achieve,” says Jinhee Lee, owner and chef of Jin Bar (Professional Cooking ’09).

“I’ll often write what I’m feeling, similar to journaling, to organize my thoughts. When I write things down, I can find a solution and let things go.”

Young woman standing at counter in restaurant
Jinhee Lee
Indigenous woman standing in front of wood pile with text overlayed saying LINK

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SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.