Tanya Chernova is a Toronto-based serial entrepreneur, author and public speaker. Born in Russia, she moved to Canada in 1979 as a young child, and grew up to become the founder and owner of successful skincare and corporate training companies.

Those professional achievements paved the way for more personal ones: “I got a chance to see the world,” she says. “In my 20s, all I wanted to do was be an explorer. I traveled to 22 countries a year, and was completely master of my own schedule,” which involved traveling some 280 days a year for various speaking engagements. “To some people, that sounds awful. For me, it was fantastic.”

Now that Chernova has a family, she is home more often. But she hasn’t lost the fire. “As a mother, I have the ability to say ‘let’s be spontaneous,’ to create adventure in family life.” She also has the opportunity to explore another personal passion: mentoring women, both one-on-one and through Courageous Living, an organization she cofounded that fosters women’s personal growth.

Being her own boss allowed Chernova to transform her dreams into realities, she says. “Entrepreneurship gives me the ability to turn what I want into something tangible.”