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December 27, 2021
Looking Back At 2021

Jordan Axani

Megan Rafuse and Jordan Axani with their son, Miller and dog, Arthur sitting on a blanket in the snow.

A Year In Review

This is the time of year when we like to get a little personal, sharing a little bit of what’s been going on “under the hood” at Shift.

Business can be, and often is, inherently personal. We care about our customers, our careers, our colleagues, our team culture, and where we invest our time and energy. So while everything below might be about the work we do at Shift, it’s also personal to our team.

Let’s start with a couple highlights:

  • We supported thousands (woah!) of Canadians from coast-to-coast that are working to build a better life — one therapy session at a time.
  • Our therapy team has grown with 33 new fantastic colleagues who are passionate about making a difference in the mental health space!
  • Our culture has come into its own, with an emphatic focus on excellence in care and service, and focusing on living by our guiding principles.
  • Through Shift People, we delivered just under 200 mental health workshops, keynotes and series to a brilliant set of campuses and companies across North American.
  • As a team, we gave back to organizations that we believe in like Covenant House Toronto and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
  • Our team has been featured in countless podcasts and articles, on topics like recognizing burnout, connection between your therapist and you, and improving mental health at work.
  • We doubled-down on our partnership in operating the therapy offering through Canada’s leader in virtual care, Maple.
  • Last, but not least, we won three Toronto Star Readers’ Choice Diamond awards for Best Therapy Practice, Best Wellness Service, and Best Professional Service!

On the flip side, there were many more silver linings this year than last that came from difficult decisions. Here’s a couple:

  • We got out of a major corporate relationship that wasn’t serving our team or clients, freeing up more emotional bandwidth to focus on what we love and do best. Like leaving any challenging relationship, it was scary… but also liberating.
  • We built a massive new website in-house that just wasn’t up to the standard we hold ourselves to – and then made the tough decision to take it down and go back to the drawing board. Instead of rushing, we updated our strategy and realized it was time for a new brand to drive our digital presence (both coming in 2022!).
  • We decided to remain a virtual-first company and push considerations of office space into the future when COVID is more predictable. As a bootstrapped business, every dollar counts — and choosing to be virtual-first, even if we have some physical locations in the future, gives us the ability to control what we can during COVID and beyond.

On a more personal note, Shift is a family-owned business. Megan and I are partners in the business and also in life. In March, we welcomed our son, Miller, into the world.

Before he came along, we equated building Shift to having a business baby. But as it turns out, the love it takes to build a business baby, while real, pales in comparison to the love for our human baby. (Don’t tell our fur baby, Arthur, pictured with us below).

Megan Rafuse and Jordan Axani with their son, Miller and dog, Arthur.

So, what’s up next?

On our side, we’re developing new ways to support our client’s care virtually both during and outside of therapy sessions. We have a new brand identity and website from an absolutely fantastic design firm based in Australia. We’re launching a neat program to support employers and employees. And, most importantly, we have an array of talented therapists joining Shift in 2022 to keep the magic moving.

Basically, next year will be all about doubling-down on what we love.

We couldn’t do any of this without you, our clients, peers, and readers. Thank you for your trust in us and being on this journey with our whole team.

Here’s to all of us for making it through 2021 — and to what 2022 will bring.

- Meg and & Jor
Co-Founders, Shift Collab + Shift People

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