What’s In A Name?

interVivos Vice President Eryne Sarabin wrote for our blog about naming her business.


What does that word mean to you? I am a thriving and motivated young female professional in Edmonton. I identify as a businesswoman first, the owner and operator of a local event planning firm second. Recently, while talking to an acquaintance about my company name, I realized I don’t often share how “tycoon” reflects my attitude in business and in life.

To tell the story of how I came to associate myself and my business with the word “tycoon,” we must go back to late October 2014. It was a day like any other, except today I was heading back to Calgary to be with my family. I woke up that morning the same way I do most mornings, feeling like something was missing and like I wasn’t meeting my full potential. I wanted to do more, be more, see more, create more, express more, accomplish more, and inspire more. I imagine that most entrepreneurial spirits suffer from these feelings of ennui and a desire to do more!

Each day I found myself staring at two quotes written on sticky notes, taped to my bathroom mirror, feeling like I wasn’t living up to them.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” 
– Steve Jobs

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” 
– Farrah Gray

On the road to Calgary, I kept thinking about how I had fallen asleep and woken up to that same feeling for as long as I could remember. It might have been more obvious to me on that particular day in October because of the circumstances that had me traveling to Calgary, but it just so happened to be a critical tipping point.

At one point on the drive, my significant other and I started discussing the idea of new business endeavors. We then made the natural transition to brainstorming company names. Naming exercises, rhyming, acronyms, definitions, name associations – all seemed like a great way to pass the time in the car. At one point, my partner yelled out “typhoon!” To which I responded in a corrective manner, “I think you mean tycoon!” I thought it sounded too bold, too assertive, too boisterous. Fear got the better of me and we went back to playing our name games.

When we got to Calgary, I asked my parents, “What do you think of when you think of me, my work ethic, and how I tackle projects?” Their response was quick, “You’re a force to be reckoned with!”

A week later I found myself looking at my horoscope (I’m a Leo, in case you were curious). I’m not someone who frequently reads horoscopes, nor am I someone who finds much truth in them, but that day my horoscope stated: “you’ll be a force to be reckoned.” If that wasn’t a ‘meant to be’ moment or kismet, I don’t know what is!

Remembering back to the drive to Calgary and “tycoon” sticking in my mind, along with the horoscope, and my parent’s response, I looked up the definition of “tycoon.”

a powerful person in business or industry.
synonyms: magnate, mogul, industrialist, businessman, financier, entrepreneur

Who is Eryne Sarabin? Who would I be in business? How would I position myself and my business in the industry and among my peers? How do I want to be seen? Thinking back to my two sticky notes, I realized what I was searching for was an opportunity to build my own dreams and live a life I created for myself. The answer was simple — I wanted to be a force to be reckoned with, a mogul, an entrepreneur, a leader in the industry, a collaborator in my city, a curator, industrious and innovative. I wanted to be a tycoon.

Who do you want to be?

Eryne Sarabin has been in Edmonton’s events and marketing industry for over
14 years. She has experience working with numerous local and international organizations, where she also spent a year in London, England’s events and culinary industry working alongside Gordon Ramsay! She is the owner of Tycoon Events and is the vice president of interVivos in her spare time.

Connecting the Dots

A protégé from the Spring 2017 mentorship program recently wrote for our blog about her experience at the pairing event.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

– Steve Jobs

Spring 2017 Mentorship Program.

I’ve always been excited by the idea of having a mentor. I think it’s because I see “mentors” as successful people who have already connected their dots and have their lives figured out. Since I started working, I have struggled to find a satisfying career path while figuring out what “work-life balance” means to me. I thought a mentor would be someone who is keen to share their wisdom and help me navigate through the dots of my life.

The interVivos Mentorship Program came just in time for me. I signed up for the program hoping to get more grounded in the professional community in Edmonton. I also have a genuine interest in knowing more about the characteristics of successful, happy people.


Some highlights of the pairing event that took place in June 2017:

  • The pairing event was well organized.
    I got a detailed agenda and everyone’s bio a week before the event. For people like me who like to do their homework and know what they’re getting into, this was gold! Having the opportunity to read through the materials beforehand made me feel relaxed and prepared.
  • We skipped the greetings and cut to the chase.
    People knew what they were there for so there was no guessing and no hidden agendas. That for me cut out the possibility of dealing with awkward silences.
  • High quality mentors.
    interVivos recruited a roster of mentors who had rich and diverse experiences. Each mentor was open and humble. Each mentor carefully listened to me and wanted to help me with my career and my life. As the program only pairs protégés with one mentor, a couple of mentors offered to go for coffee and share their perspectives outside of the program.

Zoey Wang, Spring 2017 Mentorship Program.

After the pairing event, I felt empowered and more grounded because of the mentors’ “success stories.” Most of these people did not have their lives figured out at the beginning. Doors opened up for them when they were willing to try different things. I realized it’s okay to be confused and uncomfortable in my late 20’s. I just need to keep moving forward, ask for help when I need it and trust that the dots will connect.

Ziyun (Zoey) Wang has a Master of Resource and Environmental Management from Dalhousie University. She is currently working for the Government of Alberta as a Community Engagement Coordinator and she participated as a protégé in the interVivos Spring 2017 Mentorship Program.