Amy Giang (founder of Lube Town) emigrated with her family from Vietnam to Calgary in 1985. Along with her parents and brothers, the family arrived in Canada during winter. They had no money, no winter clothes and nobody in the family spoke a word of English!
Despite the initial circumstances, Giang’s parents were able to find minimum wage jobs to start their integration into the country. Her family’s mindset right from the beginning of their arrival in Canada was one of gratitude. They saw Canada as a country that could provide freedom, peace, free education and healthcare.
Giang remarks on her father’s work ethic and perseverance as being qualities that inspired her from an early age. As a result of this inspiration, she decided to study computer science at the University of Calgary. Upon completing her studies, she worked at a software development company. Although she had embarked upon this career she felt drawn to becoming a businesswoman.
In 2008, Amy recognized an opportunity when she found a mechanic shop for sale. At the time it was an industry she had absolutely no experience in. In fact, she had no experience in the world of business. People were skeptical and believed it wasn’t a good idea nor a good time to start such a business. Despite this resistance, she still managed to recognize it as an opportunity to pursue her passion.
Fueled by an entrepreneurial spirit she decided to step into this largely male-dominated industry and bought the mechanic shop. Giang approached the challenge with the following attitude:
Tomorrow, if the only thing I can do is clean the toilet, let it be the cleanest toilet there is in any shop.
And this is exactly how Lube Town began – an express oil change and car maintenance centre. Amy Giang founded the business during the recession whilst she was 8 months pregnant with her first child. She insisted on being a full-time mother and entrepreneur at the same time. Her day would be split between breastfeeding and dealing with day-to-day business and customers.
Since 2008, Lube Town has expanded to three different locations in Okotoks and Calgary with a revenue of more than 2 million dollars. Today, Amy Giang and her Lube Town team are the proud holders of multiple business awards. In 2019 she won the Immigrants of Distinction Award in the category of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She has also been featured in Avenue Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2016.
Behind her success is a strong commitment to providing the best possible service for customers. She strives to create a convenient experience with no appointments required which includes a complimentary vehicle check. Lube Town also organizes appreciation events such as barbecues for the community.
She is also involved in unique volunteering initiatives such as the Village Tree Fund and Rotary Club of Calgary South. Amy’s focus on community and giving back have formed part of the culture at Lube Town that has enabled her success.
Amy Giang is an example of an exceptional Canadian immigration story.
Here are Amy Giang’s 4 Tips To Thrive and Succeed (even during times of crisis):
1.Pivot by asking the right questions
When we ask the right questions we put ourselves in the right mindset to find the right answers. Instead of asking how can I pay my rent or how can I survive as a business rather ask yourself how can I provide the best service for my community or how can I thrive? View business as more than merely a transaction – it’s an opportunity to be of service to your community.
2. Know who you are
Take the time to figure out who you are and what resonates with you at a core level. What is extraordinary about you? What are you passionate about? Is there something you can give? By discovering who you are it will make it easier to confront difficult decisions without fear and excellence will radiate from everything you do.
3. Be flexible – Set systems not goals
Focus on the process that enables you to achieve the result instead of fixating on the goal. Life isn’t about the destination, it is about the journey. A system based mindset allows you to embrace the journey and view it as a long term commitment. It also allows you to have a level of flexibility on how you reach your destination.
4. Be very, very Grateful
Learn to give because when you do, you will discover that you have so much more inside. Amy gives an example of how working one hour at minimum wage jobs in Canada can be enough to provide a nutritious meal for your whole family. There is always something to discover that you can be grateful for – focus on finding these aspects in your life.
*If you want to find out more about Amy Giang’s story and success tips then watch this video here.
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