Notary and Legal Advisor
Tell us a bit about you.
My name is Marlène Bian Nouafo and I come from Cameroon. I was born in Yaoundé and grew up in Douala. When I was sixteen, my parents decided to send me to France to pursue my education. I lived there for about ten years, and then I decided to come and establish myself in Canada. As a little girl, I always wanted to experience life in North America, so I can say that this is a dream come true. I was studying law in France, and when I came to Montreal, I went back to Law School. Now, I am officially a notary, and I have been running my own business since November 2014.
What is one of your biggest accomplishments so far?
My brand new business :)
It took me five long years to be able to get my degree and my title. I got asworn as a notary on the 26th of June 2014. I work hard to get there and I was afraid to start my own business, afraid to jump. As a Notary, I provide legal services mainly in sales and mortgages with refinancing, wills and mandates of protection. But my practice is very diversified. For example, I had once to give a legal advice to a young Canadian woman who was married to a Pakistani man and wanted to make her marriage recognized here in Quebec.
I still have a lot of things to learn but I’m proud of what I have accomplished so far.
My other biggest accomplishment? My project to come and establish myself here in Canada. As a former immigrant, a lot of you guys know exactly what I’m talking about, it has been a journey!
What are some of the biggest challenges you face as an entrepreneur and how to you overcome them?
When you are young and inexperienced as an entrepreneur, you face failures, self-doubt and very often, a lack of self-confidence. It’s alright to fail! The most important thing is what you’ve learned from that failure, in order to be able to succeed in the future. I try to surround myself with family and friends that will encourage and cheer me up.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Discipline, perseverance, and faith are the keys of success. You have to work and above of all, to believe in yourself. Also, you should never compare yourself to others and you have to be patient to get to the your goals. Finally, as an entrepreneur, you have to develop your network and connect with your colleages, moreover, find a mentor. I try to do so: every time I have a question, I know that I can call my friends that are notaries. We are facing the same challenges and we understand each other. It is very helpful.
Can you tell us whether and how your background has been an asset in your career?
My background has definitely been an asset in my career. I have learned to adapt myself to very different environments, life’s styles and ways of thinking. It helped me to become more open-minded and maybe to think outside of the box. Indeed, I grew up in Cameroon, then I went to Toulouse (in the South of France, very sunny and warm weather), then I went to Reims (in the East of France with a chilly and cold weather), then Montreal. And guess, what? I’ve been to Rivière-du-Loup (5 hours drive from Montreal) for about eight months to do my internship. Conclusion? I learned a lot from these experiences, on a personal and professional level. I know my strengths and my weaknesses, I know my limits and I’ve learned a lot about human beings in general.