Alyssa Atkins: Today’s Notable Young Professional

Today’s Notable Young Professional is Alyssa Atkins, who’s work at CareGuide connects families and individuals with essential care services they may otherwise not have access to. We caught up with her to find out what inspires her work and what advice she would share with other young professionals…



Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I lead marketing at CareGuide. CareGuide is a suite of online care services; we are the catalyst to pair families and individuals with great care providers, such as a nanny, housekeeper, pet sitter, babysitter, elder care provider, or house sitter.

What was the inspiration for your career route?
After running a window cleaning business for three summers in university, I became addicted to the freedom and impact of running my own company. This experience sparked my interest in entrepreneurship.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
The most formative was my participation in The Next 36, a very competitive program where I won the James Eaton Entrepreneurship Award. It was my first experience of building a business with cofounders and of full immersion into technology startups.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
Building something that wasn’t there before.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
#1. Build confidence in who you are and what you’re doing. Confidence isn’t something you have; it’s something you create.

#2. “Head down. Patience. Persistence.” I’m very impatient. The persistence of the CareGuide team to do what we know needs to be done, even when we don’t see immediate results, has inspired this to be my sort of mantra.

#3. Get uncomfortable and stay there. Growth only happens when you feel uncomfortable, I promise.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I concentrate my giving on Kiva, where I’ve funded dozens of micro-loans to women-led businesses in four countries.

What is one major challenge that youve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
My recent time at CareGuide. Our core business is matching families with care providers, but we hadn’t concerned ourselves with the challenges families face after they are matched – until now. I championed a new line of business, our Payroll & Tax Service for households, which unburdens families from the greatest complexities of employing a caregiver. It has been so successful over the last six months that we are now spinning it out as a separate business unit under a new brand, HeartPayroll. This new business is growing ferociously; we are already the largest such service in Canada, and it’s becoming a core part of the CareGuide mission. Being an entrepreneur is challenging, but I love it.

What does the word notable mean to you?
Something or someone that stands out, is worth talking about, is worth following.


Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
I love tapas and small plates, so hands down my favourite place is Salt Wine Bar on Ossington. Outstanding food, cozy atmosphere, incredible wine selection.

Whats the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
I know you’re asking about playtime, but when I’m on my computer I always have an eye on our custom-built analytics at CareGuide. I manage a half-dozen marketing channels at scale, marshalling hundreds of thousands of users to guide them to the care they need. It is a bit like a video game, but real.

I listen to “Don’t Worry Baby” by the Beach Boys just about every day on my walk home from work.

Whos one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
Well, if you’re interested in marketing, growth, feminism, or entrepreneurship, me! (@alyssaatkins). And when it comes to SEO and online marketing, my colleague Craig (@craigsuttonSEO) is the guy to follow.

Whats your favourite country to visit and why? And whats the next one you plan on travelling to?
I recently came back from Thailand and the island I was on, Koh Chang, was nothing short of a tropical paradise. Although, I have revisited Sweden, where I used to live, at least three times. Next trip will likely be to Honduras for my honeymoon.

What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Am I doing enough now? I try to keep a sharp eye for identifying business opportunities, and often have more ideas than I can properly pursue. I fear not moving on one of these ideas, and seeing someone else capitalize on the opportunity instead.

Whats your guiltiest pleasure?
Any TV show created by Shonda Rhimes. I love Shonda’s strong and flawed female-lead characters, and how she challenges some of the ugliest biases still prevalent in society.

Whats something you wish you didnt spend so much money on? Whats something you wish you spent more on?
Wish I didn’t spend so much money eating out. That said, I hate to cook – and a girl’s gotta eat. I wish I spent more money on investments and on eating healthier, organic food.

And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise
My favourite definition of success is Maya Angelou’s: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”