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How This Amazing Woman Turned Bad News Into A Successful Company

safe_imageIf you think making it through Harvard Business School successfully is a challenge, imagine receiving your diploma with a child on each hip.  It’s not something for the faint of heart, but that’s exactly what Sheila Lirio Marcelo did.

Marcelo, the 45-year old founder and CEO of, did start a family, did graduate from Harvard, and did much much more.  Although she is largely successful today, her struggles as an immigrant with no other landed relations in America are an excellent source of learning, Sheila Marcelo’s story is a perfect example of how to stay calm, cool, and in control. 


When her son, Ryan, was a toddler, Marcelo pleaded with her parents to move from the Philippines, so that they could act as caregivers while Marcelo and her husband were at work.  Marcelo’s parents were eventually convinced, but after a short while of babysitting little Ryan, Marcelo’s father had a severe heart attack.  Immediately, Marcelo’s situation had worsened tenfold: her son had nobody to watch him, her father was seriously ill, and she had to put her career on hold to ensure that her family was okay.  Therein lies the idea that fuelled Marcelo’s online company,  A website that helps provide people with sitters and local home care, so nobody has to be in the same situation that she was. While family struggles are not a conventional way to get an idea for a new company, these hurdles gave Marcelo a new perspective that we can all learn from: all downfalls in life are relative.

In her 20’s, Marcelo would have grieved over a poor grade on her final economics paper; however, after experiencing the reality of health and mortality, Marcelo says that she hardly ever frets over the minor details of life any more. 

Now that is a lesson we can all learn.  Something goes bad, say to yourself, “Have I been through worse?  Yes.”  “Did I make it out alive?  Yes.”

When you’re upset that city transit is down and you have to walk a little further (in the rain), think about the man you just passed on the corner who is begging for a bus fare and curled up under a street lamp.  Do you still feel so bad for yourself?  Is your life really as horrible as you just tweeted?

We have to remember, everybody has been through something.  We all struggle in some way or another; perhaps not to the same degree.  Nevertheless, when you run across obstacles in life that get you down, remember that time you made it through, or remember that friend who has it worse than you, and calm your mind. By accounting for the unexpected things in life, Sheila managed to grow a company based on home care, and turned a devastating situation around. 

We can learn from her story how to take bad news and negativity in our stride and how to be a little more mindful of the world around us!

Filed under: Lifestyle


Britany is a lifestyle blogger hailing from Toronto, Canada. While not in the city, she can be found either spooning on the couch with one of her golden retriever puppies or pouring lattes at her trendy café job.


  1. Erika says

    What an inspiring story! She’s such a strong woman and we can all learn from her.


  2. Dorina says

    Very inspirational post! I love your blog and I’m so glad that I found it cause I read it daily and it encourages me to go on :)

  3. Candy Makeup Girl says

    This story is so amazing, thanks for sharing it with us. Story like this motivate me when I am in a bad mood or when I have bad news :/

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  4. Blondes & Bagels says

    What an inspirational story! I love hearing stories of how big companies we know now got started – usually off of solving a simple every day problem. That’s what I aspire to do! Solve a problem that hasn’t already been solved!

  5. Allison says

    I have so much respect for women who are able to conquer their goals and kick ass with children in tow! Such an amazing and inspirational lady!

    • Britany Powell says

      Definitely, Allison! There should be more recognition for women like Sheila Marcelo!


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