The motivation behind a mother, immigrant and successful dental professionalist with several locations is the catchphrase “Dream big or nothing”. Anaida comes from humble beginnings when she moved from Albania to Canada with nothing to follow her dreams. She worked 7 days a week taking appointments in a car whilst going to school full time. Today she has built an award-winning business model that has led her to inspire other dental professionals and women entrepreneurs.
“I had a goal in my mind and nothing could stop me. Being busy sometimes is the best stress relief as you have no time to overthink.”
At just 40 years old, you’ve gone through a dictatorship, civil war, three countries, and many personal and business battles. How did these events shape you and what did you do to overcome any issues?
The different events that occur in our life make us stronger. I like the saying “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have”. This is so true! Even though things happen, you have to look forward somehow and find ways to move forward. I have always focused on the positive side of everything, my glass is always half full. I always try to leave every day behind and focus on the next day, every day is a new day and a new opportunity to do something great with your life. Wake up in the morning, put some lipstick on, wear something nice, be confident, and go on. We as women are lucky to have that!
You migrated to Canada from Albania with your husband 20 years ago, what were the difficulties you faced in family life because of this, were there cultural differences and what would you change if you could go back?
I immigrated with my husband 20 years ago to Canada from Albania with pocket change and no English. I was a university student studying dentistry, I left school and my family back in Albania to start a new life in Canada.
In 2002, I met my husband and we decided to immigrate to Canada. It was only two young people with big dreams and not much else. We had very little information, but when you are young you don’t think too much. When we came to Canada, things were not as easy as we thought. I didn’t speak English and my school meant nothing here, so I had to start everything from scratch. It was quite difficult, to say the least, but I was very determined to do something with my life and this was my chance. A lot of people did not take me seriously and that made me work harder to prove to myself and everyone around me that I can do it.
After many years of school and getting my license, I founded DentalX in 2013. Initially, DentalX started with only me, booking appointments in my car and seeing patients in the late afternoons or Sundays, after I worked all day for other dental offices. Then, my next three offices I shared with other dental professionals until I was able to open my own office in 2016.
The best thing about Canada is that there are so many different cultures living and working together in such great harmony. It does not matter where you are from, you can be whatever you want.
If I go back I would not change anything, I would do this all over again.
How did you avoid stress working 7 days a week whilst going to school?
At that time I was so busy that I had no time to think about stress. I had a goal in my mind and nothing could stop me. Being busy sometimes is the best stress relief as you have no time to overthink.
What inspired your catchphrase “Dream big or nothing”?
To achieve anything you have to work hard, so make that hard work worth it.
As CEO of DentalX, you first began with 1 location but now you are opening multiple, do you recommend other businesses to open multiple locations?
This depends on the kind of business you have. I like to have multiple offices so I can help more and more people with their oral and dental health. If you have a passion for what you do, you would want more people to take advantage of your services. I would recommend other businesses to have more locations, expanding is always good.
What is your aim for Mission Kind (Kids In Need of Dentalcare)?
I have founded Mission Kind (Kids In Need of Dentalcare), to help children aged 6-16 obtain much needed dental work at no charge.
What advice would you give to future dental hygienists?
My biggest advice is to love what you do. If you love your profession then success comes easy.