Like why she thinks you shouldn't be afraid of getting fired
Cathy Thorpe fell in love with customer service selling jeans on the shop floor of The Gap in Edmonton. She’d spend more than 15 years with the company, eventually serving as a senior director.
But the aforementioned passion never faded, and Thorpe went on to run her own consulting business before being asked to join Vancouver-based healthcare disruptor Nurse Next Door in 2014.
“I had a personal connection with the brand as I’d previously used them to help care for my mom,” Thorpe says. “So I had firsthand experience of the important work our caregivers do and how different Nurse Next Door is from other home care companies out there.”
Here are 10 more things you (probably) didn't know about her.
What’s your favourite spot in B.C.?
Anywhere by the water—I find it calming and contemplative. There are so many beautiful places in B.C.—we’re so spoiled for choice that it’s impossible to pick just one.
Where did you go on your last vacation?
We went on a family vacation to Los Cabos, Mexico, this past Christmas. I find it so important to get away with my family a few times a year. As a parent, it gives me a chance to entirely focus on being a mom, and I really cherish these times.
What’s your most memorable podcast, film or book?
Grit by Angela Duckworth. It’s so relevant for people coming up in business, or parenting—we focus far too much on talent and ability when really so much of what drives success is grit and work ethic.
My family and I have been regularly going to Double D’s Pizza on West 4th for years now. It’s a Kitsilano staple—the food is great and the owners are such a lovely, hard-working family.
What is your morning routine?
I take the dog for a walk, then I’ll usually make two egg whites and have them with an extra large, half-cream coffee from Tim Horton’s. I also like to fit in a SoulCycle class if I can.
Fitness. I enjoy taking a spin class or heading out for a run. It’s important to me as I like to feel in shape, and it’s also about feeling balanced and strong mentally.
What is your favourite quote and what is the source?
I really admired the leadership of Gap CEO Mickey Drexler when I was there. Two things he always said that still stick with me today: “Run your business like you’re at negative 5 every day” and “Check your ego at the door”.
Best advice ever received?
Don’t be afraid to get fired. Business grows on the calculated risks we take. If we’re not taking risks, we’re not doing our jobs. To me, it’s about operating with a mindset of abundance—great things can happen when people bring innovative ideas and opportunities to the table.
Your worst job ever?
I worked as a janitor at my dad’s office when I was young. I have to admit, it was hard and humbling, but I learned to appreciate the dirty work in a business. My dad owned an air-conditioning and heating franchise for 45 years, and I got to see firsthand what it meant to grow and operate a business like that.
If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?
I’d be a dog. They’re always so positive and in a state of constant joy.