Based on the notion that entrepreneurship is a process that can be learned, The Founder’s Journey is an eight-module online program taught by professors at the Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship at Western University’s Ivey Business School. Tony Chapman sat down with Bryan Baeumler at the program’s launch event to hear more about Baeumler’s path to and through entrepreneurship, uncovering key insights for aspiring business owners. He shares the conversation in his latest episode of Chatter That Matters, including 10 keys to success as discussed with Baeumler.
- Recognize your value. When Bryan Baeumler was offered $5/hour and free ice cream to pump gas as a summer job, he knew he could do better. That’s when he started Moon River Handyman, his first business, at age 14. What began as a garbage pick-up service evolved into moving lumber, hammering nails and eventually building roofs. This is an approach he parlayed into future business decisions, such as owning the company that produced the shows he was starring in.
- Keep your nose clean. This is advice straight from Baeumler’s mother. Meaning, show up when you say you will do what you say you will do, cash your cheques & pay your taxes. This is the foundation upon which to build a business.
- Put in the effort. One of Baumler’s favourite analogies comes from his father. “A lot of kids today are handed a bag of seeds when they finish school — and a lot of those kids just eat the seeds. The farmer gets up at 5:00 a.m., plants seeds and spends the next nine months watering them, and eventually have a huge harvest of ten bags of seeds.” Put in the effort, and you’ll have 10 times more than what you started with.
- Do your research. Before starting a business, Baeumler emphasizes the importance of using the resources available to prepare — whether that’s taking an online course, doing extensive market research or building product knowledge — so you know there is a need for your first sale and that you’re prepared to deliver it with great customer service.
- Grow at the right pace. When asked about his biggest mistake in business, Baeumler admits it was handing the management reins over to someone else for a time. He stresses the need to stay involved and to grow at a pace that enables you to protect your brand.
- Stay disciplined. While many people feel that being a business owner requires exceptional motivation, Baeumler insists discipline is more important. “You’re not going to be motivated every day of your life but if you’re disciplined you’ll get up and do the work.”
- Understand the future workforce. “There are certain industries where there is going to be a huge deficit of employees,” he explains. “Understand who is going to be available as a workforce in five to ten years before you act on your idea.”
- Accept that not everything is going to be a home run. Baeumler owns 17 different businesses and shares the value in diversification. “If one business completely fails, there’s something else to go to,” he explains.
- Focus your resources on current issues. When asked about work/life balance, Baeumler shares that he doesn’t feel it truly exists. Rather, he discusses the need to focus your efforts on what’s most pressing — at any given time, that may be work, family or yourself.
- Don’t overeat. While Baeumler doesn’t shy away from celebrating successes, he emphasizes that the lion’s share of what you earn from your business should be invested into its future success and growth.
Tony Chapman created the Chatter That Matters podcast to counter the storm of negativity and impossibility with true stories of ordinary people who do extraordinary things. He chats with Olympians, Advocates, Celebrities, Leaders, and people who battled what seemed like insurmountable odds.
In doing, listeners hear life lessons that inspire all of us to do more and to be more, to help us get to where we need, want and deserve to go. RBC is the presenting sponsor.
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