OPN with Jeffrey Potvin

The Open People Network was founded by Jeffery Potvin in 2016.


It is a group of like-minded entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and professionals with a desire to mentor, advise and provide practical, technical and tactical training and leadership to help set up future entrepreneurs and their businesses for success.

Transcript

00:00

well jade just like we do in this

00:02

fashion we just like to jump right in

00:03

and uh and

00:04

just kind of keep going right so i want

00:07

to thank you for

00:07

joining us pretty excited to chat with

00:10

you today because

00:11

so much of what you guys are doing in in

00:13

the alberta space is really kind of

00:16

how the rest of the world really needs

00:17

to look at how to work with

00:19

and engage with startups in that early

00:20

community and it really

00:22

uh sits home with us well because these

00:24

are the types of things that we’re

00:26

working on

00:26

so maybe to start off we can get you to

00:29

give us a little bit more of a

00:30

background

00:32

from your uh beginnings where you came

00:34

from what you’ve been up to what you’re

00:35

doing today

00:36

and then kind of looking at where you’re

00:37

going and then if you can share one

00:39

thing about you that nobody would know

00:43

well a good question and uh and i really

00:46

excited to be here jeffrey thanks for

00:48

having me and um

00:49

i mean you know we connected via

00:51

linkedin and i think you and i are both

00:53

kind of

00:54

uh social media networking typhoons so

00:57

i’m glad we were able to connect and and

00:59

and i agree with you and

01:01

i guess uh i i always tell people i’m

01:03

just a small town cool guy that kind of

01:05

uh

01:06

i don’t even know how i got here and my

01:07

journey is all over the map but

01:10

um i was always in sales and i was

01:12

always a really good sales rep and i had

01:13

a chance to become an entrepreneur

01:15

15 or so years ago with my partners um

01:18

we purchased the rights to nathan’s

01:20

famous hot dogs in canada grew it to a

01:22

brand

01:23

um exited it and since then i’ve been

01:25

helping small businesses grow scale and

01:27

exit through a purpose before profit

01:29

mode

01:30

that really focuses on companies scaling

01:32

growing

01:33

exiting but not focusing on how much

01:36

they have to pay you so we really

01:38

believe in that purpose before profit

01:40

and um and then and again it it

01:44

it’s it really hits close to home and

01:46

i’ve seen too many people getting

01:48

taken advantage of so that that is

01:50

something that we’re really passionate

01:51

about

01:52

and and uh and it is working here in the

01:55

alberta ecosystem

01:56

and i guess the one thing

02:00

uh that people really don’t know about

02:01

me is i’ve swam escape from alcatraz

02:06

say that again i swam escape from

02:09

alcatraz yeah i jump in jump in

02:11

swim around the island come on back

02:12

didn’t get eaten by a great white so

02:14

i’m here to tell the story still so you

02:17

swam around the island you didn’t

02:18

actually swim

02:19

to the mainland from there did you you

02:22

there’s two way two

02:23

uh you had one you jump off at the

02:25

island and then you swim back and the

02:27

other one is where you go

02:28

start and go around and then finish back

02:30

on land so

02:32

okay so how did it that sounds pretty

02:34

exciting i need to explore this i

02:36

haven’t been to the alcatraz but my

02:37

brother did go and

02:39

found it pretty fascinating i had no

02:41

idea you could swim from alcatraz

02:43

i guess back to mainland is that the

02:45

idea yeah yeah i mean it was uh

02:48

actually it was like all good ideas it

02:50

started with a few uh few whiskies and

02:52

uh

02:53

we ended up having to lie through our

02:55

teeth i don’t condoned about lying but

02:58

we couldn’t find anybody we needed a u.s

03:00

open water swimming association number

03:02

and

03:02

couldn’t find it and then found a

03:03

private club in san fran and

03:06

he said yeah oh yeah well as long as you

03:07

pay your 150 bucks and just send me the

03:09

last uh

03:10

five races you swam in and i don’t know

03:12

you know i’m at the lake i swim in our

03:14

lake and

03:15

and i just picked five lakes in

03:16

saskatchewan and rope wrote open behind

03:18

him and he accepted our application and

03:20

the way we went

03:23

that’s awesome how long did it take well

03:25

yeah you thought it would take long but

03:27

literally it was

03:28

uh like from the island to the that that

03:31

time was um

03:32

33 minutes like i just sat there and

03:34

floated and took my time and relaxed and

03:37

backstroked and

03:38

it was a pretty easy swim they got away

03:41

all the documentaries they always made

03:42

it out like this was the most

03:45

worst swim in the world the waves were

03:47

huge the sharks would get you there’s no

03:49

way anybody would ever try to escape

03:51

and you’re like floating down lazy river

03:54

with a beer on your stomach getting to

03:55

the other end and you’re like i don’t

03:57

know what they’re talking about

03:58

yeah they got away there’s no doubt in

04:00

my mind after watching that i wasn’t

04:01

swimming for my life either

04:03

[Laughter]

04:05

or for you oh man i feel like i’ve been

04:07

totally taken on this whole thing i’m

04:09

like i can’t believe they made it these

04:11

guys are

04:13

it was amazing 10-minute swim and it was

04:14

only uh knee-deep water

04:17

yeah we were yeah we uh jumped off you

04:19

know we were done by

04:21

breakfast time and sitting there and

04:22

having breakfast in the bay and

04:24

by 8 a.m that’s amazing

04:28

now i’ve got a good story to tell

04:30

everybody that this is uh they were all

04:31

making it up

04:32

and uh excellent it was all the movies

04:34

they just made you feel like it was

04:35

crazy

04:36

absolutely unbelievable i feel like i

04:40

honestly i feel like i’ve been lied to

04:42

my whole life

04:43

jeez oh good

04:46

uh so i wanted to touch base a little

04:48

bit i guess on

04:49

when you were when you bought the hot

04:51

dogs and you really built this brand up

04:53

i really find that a lot of things that

04:55

we do in our past really define what we

04:57

do in our future

04:58

and i’d love to learn a bit more about

05:00

how nathan’s

05:01

uh one when you started this what got

05:04

you involved how did you find out about

05:05

nathan’s and what got you in behind the

05:07

brand

05:07

and then when you guys started to build

05:09

this up was there a few things that you

05:11

guys had the hurdles that you had to get

05:12

through in order to really make this

05:14

brand stand out

05:15

and then what were those learnings that

05:17

you were able to take that and say you

05:18

know what

05:18

we did such a good job here and i love

05:21

this inter

05:21

interacting with early stage in this

05:23

whole space and it kind of just helped

05:25

perpetuate you into the rest of this

05:28

networking and

05:29

being part of this whole ecosystem yeah

05:32

um i was always a great networker and

05:34

and

05:35

you know obviously being in sales i

05:36

could i i could talk and you know

05:38

playing hockey and coaching at a high

05:40

level and scouting and

05:41

it was it was something that it was easy

05:44

for me

05:45

uh my the christians my partners there

05:47

they they have the idea and they’re like

05:49

yeah you know we we want you to come on

05:51

and be part of this and we think you’re

05:52

the perfect fit for it so it was a

05:54

really good opportunity for me at the

05:55

time

05:56

um you know when i watch how startups

05:59

grow now

06:00

we were we were totally you know

06:03

well let’s go we put we thought we put

06:05

together a really good business plan and

06:07

a way we went and

06:08

and we found out 38 days later it wasn’t

06:10

that good and we pivoted and redid it

06:13

and

06:13

and hired brokers and started growing it

06:16

that way and you know before

06:17

if we didn’t do that who knows what

06:19

would have happened but it was

06:21

really let’s go figure this out let’s

06:22

figure out the brand let’s figure out

06:24

the sales let’s figure out the marketing

06:26

you know facebook and twitter were still

06:27

there so it was hands-on

06:29

um and you know trial by error in a lot

06:32

of times especially dealing with cfia in

06:34

the usda because we were an importer at

06:36

that time

06:37

and it it was a lot of uh a lot of lumps

06:41

a lot of uh this you know people always

06:43

say oh you don’t learn from the school

06:44

of hard knocks but man

06:46

there’s no other way you know she’s the

06:48

best teacher around there

06:50

and and it’s really you know to kind of

06:53

come full with

06:54

you know we had the franchise the food

06:55

service and the retail right so you

06:57

really learned how to you know play a

06:58

lot of those games and and how it works

07:00

and the cisco’s the gfs’s and the

07:02

safeway soby’s loblaws

07:04

so now when you’re playing in these

07:06

ecosystems and

07:08

you become an investor and you become a

07:10

person that’s helping fellow

07:11

entrepreneurs

07:13

you know it’s it’s a really good focus

07:15

on scale and growth where someone’s like

07:17

well i should go to this accelerator and

07:18

learn a bit more i should go into this

07:20

i’m like

07:20

get the hell out of here like get out

07:22

there start selling start learning

07:24

start figuring out what people want what

07:26

they don’t want you can’t learn that by

07:28

sitting in a classroom

07:29

and listening to someone to tell you

07:30

what their experiences was because their

07:32

experience could be absolutely

07:34

irrelevant to what you’re going to learn

07:36

over the next year in your startup

07:38

so that’s probably what taught me the

07:40

most and the the knowledge i share the

07:42

most

07:42

is is get out there figure it out and uh

07:46

and learn from what what you’re figuring

07:48

out and what you’re seeing in the market

07:50

and do you think uh like there’s a lot

07:52

of risk obviously associated with you

07:54

guys jumping into this you obviously

07:56

were in a position where you guys could

07:57

dive right in

07:59

what got you into not building your own

08:01

brand but diving into

08:03

a licensed model did it seem more

08:05

appealing to you did you find that

08:07

you know what we could really work this

08:08

and grow this significantly did you do

08:10

your market research

08:11

like all the normal startup things that

08:13

you would go through or you guys were

08:14

just like you know what

08:15

i’ve eaten hot dogs these are the best

08:17

we’re gonna take this to market i don’t

08:18

care what’s in front of us we’re gonna

08:20

bulldoze our way through

08:22

that was a part of it um the other part

08:25

is uh uh the christensens were very are

08:27

serial entrepreneurs themselves in in

08:29

the food industry and hospitality

08:31

industry so they had a really

08:33

good knowledge and background of what to

08:35

do

08:36

and and basically an infrastructure set

08:38

there where a lot of people didn’t

08:40

have um when it comes to not only

08:42

financing but

08:44

you know the back end you know the back

08:45

of the people house they could say oh

08:47

yeah you’re working on this well we’re

08:48

gonna slide this

08:49

on your desk for a little bit or

08:50

whatever it may be

08:52

but yeah it was uh we we felt that there

08:55

was room for a premium hot dog in canada

08:58

there really wasn’t one there

08:59

you know you might have you know in the

09:00

to area there you have the shopsies that

09:02

were there that people always talked

09:03

about and

09:04

and you know a hot dog here or there but

09:06

we figured we could really make a brand

09:09

and obviously nathan’s was a huge brand

09:12

we had to do more explaining out in the

09:14

west than we did in the east because

09:16

you know relative to new york toronto

09:17

and montreal and that understood and

09:19

they spend a lot more time there so once

09:22

we

09:22

people found out that we had nathan’s in

09:24

canada like mlse was one of our first

09:26

clients or like we want it

09:28

like it’s we want it we want to brand it

09:30

we want to do it

09:31

and and i tell people that they

09:34

by far are the best company i have ever

09:36

dealt with in my entire life in

09:38

any industry anywhere our our deal was

09:41

done with them in 30 minutes we were

09:43

happy they were happy

09:44

um we were making a little bit of money

09:46

we had branding that we wanted

09:48

and and then they really really helped

09:51

us

09:52

and worked with us to to grow our brand

09:54

in ontario and

09:56

so it was it was a little bit of both

09:58

when it came down to

10:00

we thought there was some uh there was a

10:03

market there that we could have and we

10:04

were right on that end of it

10:06

and the other end was was trying to

10:08

figure out how it worked

10:10

and was the sports team side of it i’m

10:13

guessing that when you look at the brand

10:14

that was your way to market so you found

10:16

your beachhead

10:17

and mlse is fantastic i’m a huge tfc fan

10:21

been a season ticket holder for

10:23

forever it feels like even if we don’t

10:25

get to go the games right now

10:27

but at the end i do feel that they are

10:29

really well coordinated they

10:31

they really line things up nicely they

10:32

do a great job

10:34

so is it sports that you kind of looked

10:36

at you’ve got sports parenting

10:38

yeah paraneetha why can’t you see the

10:40

word now oh my god sports material all

10:42

behind you

10:43

is that is that really the driver that

10:45

kind of took this home he said you know

10:46

what we’re going to gain market space we

10:48

got to go after this beach head

10:49

and then let it trickle down to grocery

10:51

and everywhere else

10:52

how did you approach that yeah food

10:54

service was our entry level

10:56

and um but again we were

11:00

we were a startup in a small business

11:01

and we didn’t have infinite amount of

11:03

money

11:04

we couldn’t cut a deal with uh we’ll

11:06

call them the two alberta sports

11:07

franchises that wanted us to lose a

11:09

boatload of money on marketing we’re

11:10

like we can’t do that

11:12

and we worked with the the ones that

11:14

wanted to work with us and become a

11:16

partner and

11:17

and sell quality and we’ll we’ll do what

11:19

we can and that was the

11:20

all of mlse it was a winnipeg was a

11:23

manitoba moose at the time which turned

11:24

into the jets and the vancouver canucks

11:27

and a lot of the other little vancouver

11:29

canadians the baseball team things like

11:31

that and

11:32

and you know we got into tons we got

11:35

into the cave we got into boston pizzas

11:37

we got

11:38

tons of la cage and golf courses you

11:41

know all over

11:42

all over canada from coast to coast we

11:44

had representation so

11:46

it was a really you know a real grind a

11:49

lot of food service shows a lot of

11:50

tastings a lot of

11:52

a lot of that and and once we figured

11:54

out that you know the food broker was

11:55

the way to go we found the

11:57

smaller independent food brokers that

11:59

were were hungrier kind of like us

12:01

that you know no pun intended but wanted

12:03

to get out there and

12:04

and and and it really worked for us it

12:07

it it was a really good plan

12:10

and it was this was still continuing to

12:12

work when when we exited

12:14

awesome and was a lot of this did you

12:17

guys focus on and this is the part i

12:18

love about

12:19

food services or getting into any sort

12:22

of food product

12:23

is that when we make an investment in

12:24

our food company we’re all about brand

12:27

we want to make sure that brand is

12:28

number one because brand can be

12:30

is going to be bigger than your sales

12:32

will be at the beginning but if you’re

12:34

in this for the long haul

12:35

you can eventually get your sales up to

12:37

match that size of brand that you create

12:39

so being that you’ve got this great

12:42

brand that was

12:43

coming into canada how much of that

12:45

helped you leverage where you were going

12:47

well it was it was a huge huge huge

12:50

proponent of our success

12:52

i mean they always used to tease the

12:54

out of us in new york saying that

12:56

the you know the july 4th hot dog eating

12:58

contest had higher ratings in the

12:59

stanley cup finals right so

13:02

and we did leverage that right we had

13:03

canadian hot dog eating contests and

13:05

here we

13:06

actually were just about to set one up

13:08

with tfc and

13:09

brian smoking their smoked fateen who

13:10

was doing his major league eating thing

13:12

and

13:13

and we were you know we were starting to

13:15

do that uh you know the hot dog is in

13:17

the form of a little more

13:19

risque that we could have fun with and

13:21

and the contest that we created and

13:23

it’s funny that you know new york they i

13:26

always consider that they were

13:28

you know a big brand but i had a twitter

13:30

before they did we canada had a

13:32

facebook page before they did they were

13:34

using some of the marketing materials we

13:36

were creating the

13:37

we had to create your own hot dog

13:39

contest with chefs and we got like

13:40

thousands of

13:42

of photos and and put it into a big menu

13:45

that was handed out at trade shows to

13:46

show people how they can

13:48

utilize what’s in their kitchen like

13:49

poutine dogs well you can’t put hot

13:51

you couldn’t put um french fries on them

13:54

because they were just too soggy on a

13:55

hot dog but we figured

13:57

some chef figured out to put hickory

13:58

sticks on them and and it was

14:00

it was a we had a lot of fun with it and

14:03

we really

14:03

made it fun and another big

14:07

differentiator

14:08

for us was even if you were mlse or if

14:11

you were jade’s mom and pop shop here in

14:13

calgary

14:14

we were we were honest with you right

14:16

from the get-go i would say okay you

14:18

know what you want you want us to give

14:20

you a sandwich sign

14:21

okay well that sandwich sign is gonna

14:23

cost us you know 500

14:25

to make we’ll get it for you but it’s

14:27

going to take me three years to make

14:29

money off

14:30

you so if you sign a three-year deal

14:31

with us we’ll give you that sandwich

14:33

board but

14:34

you know we we just can’t give it to you

14:36

and have you walk away in the year and

14:37

here here’s our profit and i would show

14:38

people and

14:39

they would appreciate the honesty and

14:41

they don’t think that you’re ripping you

14:42

off and you’re giving them something

14:43

that they want and you’re like

14:45

i just want to make a little money off

14:46

you and it might take us a year and a

14:48

half and

14:49

you know in three years let’s look at if

14:50

you want to continue it away you go

14:52

so it was a kind of my small town

14:54

mentality

14:55

of way of selling and that relationship

14:57

building and

14:58

and making sure that people believe

15:00

you’re not fleecing them

15:02

i think that’s the the fear all the time

15:04

right that you’re coming in you’re a big

15:06

brand

15:06

you’re just there to make money you

15:07

don’t care about the small guy or

15:09

anything else

15:10

but you’re coming in from the small guy

15:12

approach working with a small guy trying

15:14

to help them make money

15:16

yep so absolutely when you were doing

15:18

that and again i love

15:20

the idea behind it how did you structure

15:22

the licensing model

15:24

versus the sales and did you go back to

15:26

these small

15:27

smes and say hey look we can help you

15:29

increase your foot

15:30

traffic or increase your volume of sales

15:33

because of this brand and people are

15:34

going to love this

15:35

was there little types of metrics that

15:37

got them excited about what you guys

15:38

were offering

15:40

yeah it took us a while to get those

15:41

metrics um

15:43

you know they had them in the states but

15:45

they really just weren’t relevant to

15:47

canada we’re not a hot dog culture like

15:49

they i mean

15:50

montreal is has a really good hot dog

15:52

culture

15:53

winnipeg surprisingly has an

15:55

unbelievable hot dog culture

15:57

um but i mean other than that you know

15:59

we’ll eat a hot dog at a ballgame a

16:00

hockey game you know something like that

16:02

where

16:02

you know we’re not the we’re not like

16:04

the states so a lot of the stuff that

16:06

they had we just couldn’t use so

16:08

it took us a while to come up with our

16:09

own metrics and and a lot of the

16:13

most people didn’t have them on menus

16:14

like bars and restaurants and kegs and

16:17

and bps and things like that so there

16:19

was a lot of uh

16:20

we were breaking a lot of grounds into

16:22

to to very large chains that just didn’t

16:26

think of ever putting a premium a hot

16:28

dog on their

16:29

on their menu and now i think costco is

16:33

pretty big on that right they have they

16:35

always have this real

16:36

affordable hot dog and uh they push it

16:39

like crazy and i think they i don’t know

16:40

what the number is but they keep the

16:42

numbers and tell everybody how many they

16:43

sell and it’s

16:44

phenomenally huge yeah they’re i mean

16:47

they’re not even um

16:49

they could probably just be a hot dog

16:50

company it’s just like

16:53

the amount that they sell is just

16:55

batshit crazy it’s it’s

16:56

and it’s good i mean i still go for i’d

16:58

like hot dogs i always have i always

17:00

will

17:01

um nathans are my favorite but the

17:03

costco dog is kind of a hybrid between a

17:05

hebrew national and nathan’s and

17:07

and and it’s just a good dog and for a

17:10

buck 50 with a

17:11

with a pop how can you go wrong exactly

17:14

oh my father tells me they’re great he

17:15

does it all the time

17:18

it’s interesting you say that because

17:19

and i’m just trying to think in my head

17:20

when i’ve been traveling

17:22

there was one country where everywhere i

17:24

went they had hot dogs hot dogs

17:26

and all different fashions like cheese

17:28

on them everything

17:29

and it was every street and i can’t

17:31

think i’m trying to remember if it was

17:32

egypt or it was um

17:35

uh another um

17:38

oh man peru and i wasn’t peru but it was

17:41

just and everywhere i went it was hot

17:42

dogs but then in other countries you

17:44

don’t see them so

17:45

to me it seems like there’s such a

17:46

massive opportunity in this space

17:48

and i like that you guys were able to

17:50

take a brand blow it up

17:52

and get it into everybody’s hands

17:54

without them realizing that

17:55

hey we don’t even have a branded hot dog

17:57

and we don’t have something that will

17:58

really drive sales

18:00

and boom come in drop nathan’s in and it

18:02

just crushes it in all these spaces

18:04

but that’s that entrepreneur

18:06

entrepreneurial mindset where you’re

18:07

just thinking

18:08

opportunity there’s opportunity people

18:10

are gonna love this and it kind of

18:12

brings me back to this red bull when red

18:14

bull started to take the world over yeah

18:16

i remember sitting with my buddy and

18:18

he’s like we should be the distributor

18:19

in canada this is back in 2003 and i’m

18:21

like

18:22

you know what this is a great idea i

18:23

work at loblaws we do all this other

18:25

stuff so i started investigating it

18:27

hadn’t been picked

18:28

up yet and they wanted they would only

18:29

take people that had supply chain

18:31

expertise or that they were running

18:32

supply chain

18:34

so that they knew that the product would

18:35

get into the canadian market and then

18:37

just land and expand

18:38

so when you were going for your

18:40

licensing was that something and you had

18:42

mentioned the other entrepreneurs that

18:43

were really a big part of this

18:45

did you already have that infrastructure

18:47

set up so that you could just land and

18:49

expand

18:49

or was it you know what i’m gonna need

18:51

at least six months but i know we can

18:52

make this work

18:54

and you owned it for canada and they

18:55

were excited to get behind it

18:57

yeah it was um you know we we presented

19:00

uh

19:01

obviously they wanted to make sure right

19:02

nathan’s as protective of their brand

19:04

and their image as as

19:05

is anybody like red bull or or whoever

19:07

it is so

19:08

you know we had to go through our

19:10

vetting and and and make sure that

19:12

you know they believed that we could do

19:14

what we said we were going to do and

19:15

when we presented

19:16

so yeah that that went through it um

19:20

you know i mean like i said 30 you know

19:22

within kind of you know a couple months

19:24

we have to pivot everything and

19:26

and and and change our our train of

19:28

thought and

19:29

and we really thought we did our

19:31

homework where we probably should have

19:32

done a little more due diligence

19:34

um and maybe that lends towards my angel

19:38

investing right now

19:39

a little more a little more thorough on

19:41

that end but

19:42

you’re just like but we’re also smart

19:44

enough to realize that this isn’t

19:46

working let’s

19:47

uh let’s move forward let’s find these

19:49

brokers let’s talk to them let’s

19:52

let let’s make sure that we get them

19:54

involved and

19:55

and and the way we went so they’re

19:58

they’re like i said it was uh

20:01

there was there there was a good uh a

20:03

learning curve but

20:04

uh you know we were smart enough you

20:07

know knock on wood that it did work

20:08

so so how did you and again all this is

20:12

great because startups go through all

20:14

the same things that you are they’re

20:15

debating should i license a product

20:17

should i make my own

20:18

how do i operate this we’ve got cpg

20:21

companies that are trying to figure out

20:23

how they’re going to actually

20:24

go out of building it in their kitchen

20:26

and moving it into a larger facility

20:29

so there’s probably a million questions

20:31

you can deep dive into

20:33

how you guys processed this did you have

20:35

to get warehousing did you have to

20:37

do inventory how did you expand all

20:40

these things but i think really

20:41

the bigger question of all of this is

20:43

how did you how did you get yourself to

20:45

mitigate the risk so you would just jump

20:47

in

20:48

and go at it so kind of like were there

20:51

elements that you had to push out and

20:52

say don’t worry about those

20:54

let’s just move forward just to kind of

20:55

help that mindset of an entrepreneur

20:57

feel a little bit more comfortable that

20:58

hey you know what it’s going to be tough

21:00

but these are the things you got to look

21:01

at

21:02

yeah we kind of we had we had a little

21:04

bit of fun set away for

21:06

uh you know to make sure that uh if

21:08

there were any road bumps or it did take

21:09

longer that

21:10

um we didn’t have to kind of say oh no

21:13

oh no right that type of thing so

21:16

so we were lucky enough that way where

21:18

we you know we had a little bit of a

21:20

runway to make sure that we just didn’t

21:22

panic and

21:22

fold the tent so to say um yeah there

21:26

you know it is a food industry is a

21:28

penny industry and

21:30

um once we really got in there

21:34

and we don’t realize that we can’t be

21:36

with versa cold we got to find an

21:38

again i mean another little independent

21:40

has refrigeration

21:41

we found out quickly that cisco and gfs

21:44

will pick up their products so for

21:45

instead of us sending it over for a

21:47

dollar a box they’ll pick it up for 30

21:49

cents a box and

21:51

you’re like oh my goodness like that’s a

21:52

lot that’s a huge amount of savings when

21:54

it comes and

21:56

and so again there’s a lot of things

21:58

that we didn’t

21:59

we thought we knew we didn’t know we

22:01

found out in a hurry

22:03

and uh and and created a very

22:06

a very effective business on

22:10

for for frozen product when you had to

22:12

move it right when it got into retail

22:13

and loblaws and

22:14

and listing fees and that’s a whole new

22:16

world we don’t have to go there but

22:18

it even came down when the franchise

22:20

side of it too right opening up our

22:21

first restaurant second restaurant third

22:23

restaurant and then we were

22:24

going to be coming into ontario and

22:26

quebec but yeah it was

22:29

i mean as i said it was a lot of

22:31

learning curves

22:32

a lot of a lot of concessions a lot of

22:35

partnerships a lot of yeah i’ll scratch

22:39

mine you scratch yours

22:40

and uh let’s both make money at this

22:42

let’s have some fun with it we’ll do

22:44

whatever you want uh whatever you need

22:46

let’s uh

22:47

let’s go and um you know i always tried

22:50

to

22:50

you know there was one number for

22:51

nathan’s in canada and this it’s still

22:53

it and probably

22:54

even even a couple years ago i think i

22:56

got my last nathan’s call

22:57

it’s been a while but it was i was like

23:00

yeah you want something you phone me

23:01

you don’t you know just the brokers or

23:03

phone the brokers first i’d be like ah

23:05

you know you know throwing the brokers

23:07

but you know like brokers you fool me

23:09

everybody follow me let let’s go we want

23:10

to make this happen i don’t want to

23:12

i don’t want i don’t want i don’t want

23:13

to be the roadblock i don’t want the

23:14

broker to be the roadblock let’s let’s

23:16

get this done you want a deal let’s

23:18

figure it out

23:19

i love it it’s uh i i guess that as an

23:22

entrepreneur you see a lot of yourself

23:24

in other entrepreneurs when they have

23:26

that drive just to keep going and

23:28

they don’t want to be the roadblock they

23:29

want to be the accelerator the gas every

23:31

time right

23:32

absolutely yeah it’s uh and again that’s

23:35

the best thing about

23:36

you know doing what i do now is i’ve

23:38

been there i’ve done that i’ve you know

23:40

you’ve struggled you’ve worried you

23:41

sweated you

23:42

you know spent endless hours away from

23:44

your family and kids and

23:46

and you know you always sit there is it

23:47

worth it is it worth it and

23:49

and you know it wasn’t our case but

23:52

yeah it’s uh i always sit there and i’m

23:55

like

23:55

you know you you can’t pull you can’t

23:57

pull the wool over my eyes i’ve been

23:58

there

23:58

right i i’ve seen it i’ve i’ve sat there

24:01

across from you know million dollars of

24:03

deals

24:04

and i sat there across a hundred dollar

24:06

deal like i didn’t care i was there

24:08

yeah i like it i love it so now we kind

24:11

of fast forward and you’re taking all

24:13

this great experience

24:14

operation side of it how you guys raced

24:16

and built this company up

24:18

now when you’re looking at startups that

24:20

are coming in and you talked about the

24:21

investor side

24:22

and then going into your purpose driven

24:24

uh what

24:25

what triggered you to go into more

24:26

purpose driven versus focusing on that

24:29

next

24:30

big company or that next big startup

24:32

they want to jump into

24:35

yeah you know i was going to take some

24:37

time off and and then it was

24:38

i had a few star again like i said

24:40

before i never played in that world of

24:42

accelerators and things it was like you

24:43

know heads down let’s go

24:45

and and then i had a few reach out

24:48

saying you know what you’ve kind of you

24:49

know

24:50

nathan’s was three different sides of

24:51

you know three separate businesses and

24:53

they’re like

24:54

you kind of done this on three different

24:55

areas like we could use your help

24:57

and i’m like yeah i’m in so i really got

25:00

in there and

25:01

and what i found is i’ve always worked

25:02

for family run companies so

25:04

it’s that you know all decisions in

25:06

nathan’s were almost made over 140

25:08

words or less i guess it’s 280 or

25:10

whatever text was at that time like

25:12

there was a limit

25:13

and ah and and i’d like that right i was

25:17

like

25:18

there was that trust between me and my

25:19

partners that you know what if jade

25:22

says that we should do this i know

25:23

they’ve done it he’s done his homework

25:24

and it’s good to go

25:25

we’re just you know bouncing making sure

25:27

everybody’s on the same page right so

25:29

i i really do think that that’s you know

25:32

that found that that smaller

25:34

smaller community type thing and having

25:36

people there and

25:37

understanding and making sure these you

25:39

know the current entrepreneurs are like

25:41

no no no

25:42

that’s an excuse i don’t like excuses

25:45

you know

25:46

get out there bang on doors you haven’t

25:48

made enough calls

25:49

you know why aren’t you making calls why

25:51

are people saying no like let’s

25:52

you know i don’t like taking excuses i

25:55

never have

25:56

and i never will so the

26:00

you mentioned a a good point in there

26:01

and you mentioned community

26:03

how much of community do you that you

26:06

take from what you built into previous

26:08

companies

26:08

you now put into your startups into what

26:10

you’re doing is it a big emphasis does

26:12

it follow along with the branding side

26:15

are you really strong in those two areas

26:17

and really make sure that the startups

26:18

understand what they’re doing in those

26:19

two spaces

26:21

yeah it’s you know i always

26:24

i hate using the term of jack of all

26:26

traits but when you’re

26:28

when you’re kind of running in a

26:29

national company and you’re trying to

26:31

build it over you know

26:33

four time zones in canada you really

26:35

become and

26:36

uh become knowledgeable in a lot of

26:38

different areas

26:39

and when you’re a small team and you

26:42

have to

26:43

learn logistics you have to learn

26:45

packaging you have to learn

26:46

sales you have to learn marketing you

26:48

have to learn your people skills

26:50

you know anything along those lines you

26:52

have a lot to share

26:54

a knowledge to share and that’s kind of

26:57

where the peer guidance came in and

26:58

you’re sitting there going man i’m

27:00

seeing

27:01

you know a company a marketing company

27:03

come in and offer this startup in an 80

27:05

000

27:06

fee whereas like what the hell like you

27:08

don’t have 80 grand like that that’s not

27:10

worth 80. you know here let’s find

27:12

somebody to do it for you let’s

27:13

let’s that 70 grand that we saved you is

27:16

gonna go a long way

27:17

to making your company successful

27:19

because in the beginning

27:21

people say that you know everyone says

27:23

people’s your number one

27:25

you know resource in your capital it’s

27:26

not it’s money i mean you need

27:28

to to have the money to scale to grow to

27:31

get to hire more people that will be the

27:33

heartbeat of your company eventually but

27:35

wasting money on shitty things to start

27:37

can really be devastating and

27:39

and i saw too many stories of like i

27:42

said anywhere between you know five

27:43

thousand and eighty thousand dollars

27:45

that really bothered me

27:47

and people just didn’t know when they

27:48

had no one to turn to

27:50

and and i wanted to be that person to

27:52

say hey no come here

27:53

i know somebody or if i don’t know

27:55

somebody jeff might know you might know

27:57

somebody and we’ll put you in the right

27:59

hands where someone will get you that

28:00

knowledge for you know maybe you have to

28:02

pay for it but maybe you don’t have to

28:05

i like that and i think that

28:09

just in itself is really helpful for a

28:11

startup because

28:12

you’re right a lot of the time if you

28:14

haven’t done it before

28:15

your brain isn’t going to um oh i

28:18

shouldn’t spend this money

28:19

your brain’s going to well this is going

28:21

to bring me to that next level and i

28:22

need to be quick

28:23

so if i spend that 80 000 it’s really

28:25

going to help me get there

28:26

and then they realize two months in that

28:29

eighty thousand dollar spend didn’t

28:31

actually move the needle whatsoever

28:32

it benefited their bottom line but it

28:34

didn’t really help your startup move

28:36

that

28:37

needle and make any further sales no i

28:39

mean

28:40

it’s and and and and i almost wanted to

28:43

you know i’ve sat there and watched

28:44

people

28:45

come to tears across the coffee table

28:47

and then i was coming to tears because i

28:49

i get it i understand it

28:51

it’s personal it hurts we don’t have

28:53

that kind of money

28:54

at that stage of your business and to

28:56

make an investment on trust and

28:58

and and you didn’t have somebody that

29:01

you can bounce an idea off or

29:03

maybe it was just your wife or your

29:05

friends that are probably going to say

29:06

yeah yeah that sounds like a great idea

29:08

oh well

29:09

i know they’re they’re the experts they

29:10

should they should know and

29:12

and well no they shouldn’t like i mean

29:14

you

29:15

you know you have to do your homework

29:17

reach out talk to people

29:19

you know phone somebody phone a mentor

29:21

have a mentor

29:23

i i don’t know put put something on

29:25

facebook and linkedin you know get some

29:27

feedback from people like

29:28

you know there really wasn’t even

29:30

linkedin back then right so

29:32

we were i was lucky enough to have a

29:33

good group of people that i knew and my

29:35

mentor is still my mentor and and to

29:37

rely on things and the christians were a

29:39

fantastic

29:40

family and and fantastic business people

29:42

so

29:43

i had that uh and and if i didn’t have

29:46

it they definitely had it so there was

29:48

that network that we could rely on to

29:50

make sure that we were doing the right

29:52

things and i love that

29:55

speak to the network ask questions drop

29:57

things out there someone’s going to

29:58

answer the question especially if your

30:00

gut tells you it doesn’t work and it

30:01

doesn’t make sense

30:02

it probably doesn’t i think a lot of the

30:05

times we’re too afraid to ask or share

30:07

that

30:07

i remember and this is what started me

30:10

and my first company

30:11

in the software side is i was asked to

30:14

come in and do a review

30:15

of a platform that was built and they

30:18

gave me access to this i don’t remember

30:20

if

30:20

i was certainly wasn’t dropbox whatever

30:22

it was and i remember going through all

30:24

of this

30:25

material and then i went through the

30:27

financials

30:28

to find out and what they had spent and

30:30

they they asked me to come back with a

30:32

summary

30:33

of what we had they had built over the

30:35

year and a half

30:36

and when i i went through this it was

30:39

the most

30:40

upsetting thing i had ever had to do

30:42

when i started my company which was

30:44

go through and realize that this person

30:47

was trying to build something that

30:49

everybody turned to be so complicated

30:51

but the end was not so complicated

30:53

if someone would have taken the time

30:55

just to align it up properly

30:56

and they could have already had a final

30:58

product but 300 400

31:00

000 later it was just people screwing

31:03

the person to get

31:05

their dollar out to survive but the

31:08

output

31:09

i wrote it down in two and a half pages

31:11

and it was the worst feeling i ever had

31:12

to go back to that owner in a meeting

31:14

and say

31:15

this is what you’ve got and they started

31:17

crying and i was like it was the most

31:19

disappointing thing i ever had and i was

31:20

like i’ll never let this happen again

31:21

this is ridiculous

31:23

that you’ve been robbed by all of these

31:25

people who said they knew what they were

31:26

doing

31:26

and they just wanted to get paid they

31:27

didn’t care about the outcome

31:29

so it follows along to the same

31:32

principle of where you’re going at is

31:33

that so many people

31:35

get taken advantage of when they don’t

31:36

understand what they’re doing but their

31:37

passion is there to build something

31:39

great

31:40

and we want to and in your case you want

31:42

to or the

31:43

the group of entrepreneurs that do this

31:45

is that they want to actually help those

31:47

that have that passion and help them

31:48

educate and learn through that process

31:50

so that they can get there

31:52

and get their own learning and in hopes

31:54

they’ll go and give that back as well

31:55

when they get to that next stage

31:57

and next level of their business well i

32:00

couldn’t agree more

32:00

i mean that is so true right the pay it

32:03

forward mentality and

32:05

and you know i always you know the one

32:08

one of the most things i’m proud about

32:09

with peer guidance

32:10

is that we waived all the fees for all

32:13

of our clients during covet and are

32:14

still waiving them

32:16

and i mean i think that goes to show

32:18

that we we really believe

32:20

right i mean am i at a point in my life

32:23

where

32:23

you know like will that make a

32:25

difference for me no and and the other

32:27

four are current entrepreneurs and have

32:28

their own businesses so it was a very

32:29

easy decision when

32:31

you had to you know send out that email

32:33

or make that phone call and have the

32:34

zoom with somebody and say hey don’t

32:36

worry about it

32:37

you know put the food on your plate pay

32:38

your bills pay your mortgages nothing’s

32:40

changing we’re going to do the business

32:41

as is and when the time comes and you’re

32:43

back and we’re

32:44

pulling in some revenue we’ll start back

32:46

up again but until then

32:47

let’s uh you know let’s do what we can

32:49

to stay alive and and uh make sure that

32:51

we have a business to come back to and

32:53

well

32:54

now we’re over a year i love it awesome

32:57

good people that should have a banner if

32:59

i knew how to do that while we’re

33:00

talking

33:02

flashing lights and stuff but no that’s

33:03

brilliant uh it’s awesome

33:05

awesome what you’re doing jade i

33:07

appreciate it so now now you guys are

33:09

getting into the

33:10

to more of this support side of it and

33:12

you mentioned earlier about the

33:13

accelerator incubator side you’re like

33:15

just get at it just get out there and

33:16

build

33:17

so what’s your philosophy now around

33:20

acceleration incubators are you more

33:22

um more balanced and saying that hey you

33:25

know what these things can really help

33:26

you at that early stage there is some

33:28

education you can get from it

33:30

there’s some value that’s there don’t

33:31

spend your entire three four years in

33:33

there

33:34

but if you’ve never done it is get in

33:35

there learn it and move on

33:37

is there something you’ve taken from

33:38

that and you can push to your uh to your

33:40

startups

33:41

yeah i i’ve uh i guess i’ve kind of come

33:44

around a little bit

33:45

um you know there’s a couple good ones

33:48

in here

33:48

i really do like the junction program

33:50

that platform puts on

33:52

i i want to say it’s kind of like a

33:54

business 101 course especially if you’ve

33:55

never been an entrepreneur before they

33:57

can touch on everything you know

33:58

accounting and sales and marketing

34:00

and networking and and and all that

34:03

stuff

34:04

and and i do like the fact that every

34:07

single

34:08

um i can’t remember the associate or or

34:10

a teacher there

34:12

it is an entrepreneur has been an

34:14

entrepreneur or you know is currently an

34:16

entrepreneur

34:17

and the connections that you can make

34:18

from from that one

34:20

is is is excellent and they’ve got a

34:23

great alumni they work with startup

34:24

calgary and things along those lines so

34:27

i always say it’s good to get into one

34:29

learn a little bit

34:30

that one doesn’t take up too much time

34:32

you know four days a week for six

34:34

weeks only half days and then away you

34:37

go

34:37

and you know we’ve worked with them

34:39

before and they’ve they’ve forwarded

34:40

companies and said hey go talk to jade

34:42

or whatever it may be so i really do

34:44

and i have but i don’t understand if

34:46

someone’s going to go from there to

34:47

another

34:48

accelerator to another incubator or to

34:50

something like that i was like

34:51

oh man you you can’t you can’t do that

34:54

you have to find out if your product if

34:56

anybody even wants your product

34:58

like and i find that some people get in

35:01

this vicious cycle and

35:03

and i don’t know if it’s because they’re

35:04

scared they don’t know how to sell they

35:06

they you know i always use a turn of

35:08

wanna printer like you know so many

35:10

people want to be an entrepreneur but

35:11

they just don’t know how to and they

35:13

can’t and

35:14

and they think that they can play in the

35:15

ecosystem and and do what they can but

35:18

i’m uh you know i’m a heads down let’s

35:20

go i mean if your company’s gonna work

35:23

it’s gonna work and we’re gonna know

35:24

right away and if it’s not well let’s

35:27

kind of move on to the next thing pivot

35:29

let’s figure out how to help them pivot

35:31

right

35:32

yep yeah i like that when we talk i i

35:34

always like to

35:35

okay i get where you’re coming from try

35:37

this

35:38

yeah just go and push that right now and

35:40

then let’s talk again and see if you get

35:42

any traction because at the end of the

35:43

day time is money and if you’re going to

35:45

spend the next six months doing this

35:47

you’re just burning time and time isn’t

35:48

going to benefit anybody so let’s just

35:50

tweak something

35:51

because if it’s i think i heard this

35:53

long time ago

35:54

this great quote that the best

35:57

entrepreneurs are always blowing their

35:58

own up

36:00

because they’re always fixing it they’re

36:01

always got to change it again no

36:03

no let’s do this again i don’t know if

36:04

it’s boredom but they’re always breaking

36:06

it breaking it breaking it

36:07

and i think that that makes a lot of

36:08

sense because you’re always trying to

36:10

figure out

36:11

how to edge it one step further and

36:14

status quo isn’t edging it forward so

36:16

how do i keep

36:17

breaking something to make sure that it

36:19

gets to that next stage

36:20

oh yeah i love it blow it up here we go

36:24

next

36:26

exactly works for me i think it’s one of

36:30

those things you just wake up one more

36:31

and you’re like

36:32

something’s not right and then boom just

36:34

start blowing things up

36:35

and then you get back to the grind again

36:37

and it just feels more comfortable after

36:39

you do that and get it aligned and

36:40

moving it forward again right

36:42

absolutely couldn’t agree more well

36:45

we’re going to kind of transition a

36:46

little bit because i think there’s been

36:47

a there’s a lot of learning and i really

36:49

do

36:50

strongly believe that a lot of the time

36:52

if you take what your

36:53

core subset is the things that you built

36:55

on and then you start to drive that

36:58

further taking your nathan’s experience

37:00

all the way through

37:01

it just shows that what you accomplish

37:03

there that you can keep driving that

37:04

forward and

37:05

people are going to learn from that

37:06

experience and so i appreciate you

37:08

sharing that

37:09

and there’s kind of this one story that

37:11

i always like to hear from and

37:12

you work with a lot of startups now and

37:14

work in this space quite a bit

37:16

and you’re making a lot of investments

37:17

you’re doing all these great things is

37:19

there one story that really just pops

37:20

out of your mind and you’re like

37:22

this is what it takes to be an

37:23

entrepreneur i was working with this

37:24

founder and she did x and it just blew

37:26

it up and

37:27

that was what excited you about why you

37:29

do what you do every day

37:32

oh man that’s a that’s a tough question

37:36

um i mean it there’s so

37:40

that’s i guess that’s one thing i like

37:41

about the entrepreneurial world

37:43

right it’s people are passionate people

37:46

care it’s their idea it’s their baby

37:49

it’s their

37:50

you know they want to make it work and

37:52

and 95

37:53

99 of them are always like i need help

37:56

i’m listening i’m open to ideas and

37:59

and the one i guess the one kind of

38:01

story it’s not even a

38:04

it’s not even really a um

38:07

a success story or it it it was almost

38:09

that aha moment where

38:11

it was like one of the i think a second

38:13

or third company we were i was working

38:15

with and

38:16

that was coming in and i’m sitting down

38:18

and and you know kind of we’re going

38:20

over things they’re like wow we don’t

38:21

really know how to scale what we’re

38:23

doing we don’t know what we need to sell

38:24

how we need to sell but

38:25

you know we’ve been doing pretty good

38:26

and i was like okay that’s great so

38:28

you’ve been going here you’ve been going

38:30

there

38:30

and uh you know pitching it and doing

38:32

well i was like yeah

38:34

and you got some rev revenue and i was

38:36

like well how many you have to sell to

38:37

break even

38:38

and they’re like oh i don’t know

38:42

i’m like what do you mean you don’t know

38:43

like what’s your number like you have to

38:45

you guys are low income you know you

38:46

don’t have a whole lot of overhead and

38:48

things along those lines they’re doing a

38:50

lot of great things like it was awesome

38:51

and i was just like

38:52

what do you mean you don’t know

38:56

there was it was just there was dead

38:58

silence and i said well let’s just

38:59

figure it out

38:59

so just like literally in five minutes

39:02

we kind of did some math and we figured

39:03

we had

39:03

you had to sell you know 10 a month to

39:05

break even and all sudden their mind

39:07

mindset just changed it was an instant

39:11

i only need to sell 10 a month and

39:14

you know they were all they were all

39:15

worried about the big picture right the

39:17

scent like

39:17

how we’re going to do this where are we

39:18

going to go money we’re going to spend

39:20

we got to fly what are we going to do

39:21

and i was like let’s put our budget down

39:23

let’s look what we have to sell per

39:24

month

39:25

and then that number came out to like

39:27

  1. it

39:28

like it was like oh we can do that and

39:31

it was it was totally different and it

39:32

was

39:33

and that’s why i always tell people like

39:35

when you got to know your numbers know

39:36

what you know what you’re doing

39:38

you don’t have to look at them all the

39:39

time but you just have to know them

39:41

right you review them monthly and things

39:43

like that but

39:44

just just know and and relax because a

39:46

lot of times people are panicking over

39:48

things that they shouldn’t be panning

39:50

about panicking about when

39:52

math you know i don’t want to use the

39:54

word math is simple because someone will

39:56

use it and then i’ll start getting

39:57

teased on linkedin but

39:59

it’s just bring it down to your simple

40:01

base and

40:02

and and don’t worry about a lot of the

40:04

big things just yet

40:06

and and that’s probably one of the best

40:08

stories i have when it comes to keeping

40:10

it simple

40:11

agreed yeah i’m sure it blew them out of

40:13

the water when they realized the stress

40:15

reduced from that point on where now

40:17

they can start to look at

40:19

how can i plan how do i get to 15 how do

40:20

i get to 30 how do i get to 50

40:22

and then with that extra cost it’s going

40:25

to occur along the way

40:26

it’s uh there was um a gentleman that

40:29

i’ve worked with for many years

40:30

as an entrepreneur and uh he works at

40:33

shulik now

40:34

and runs schulich and i remember one of

40:37

the things that he had said was that

40:39

if you could take out the finance around

40:41

a company

40:42

the stress of it how fast and big do you

40:45

think that company could grow

40:47

and i if you know the entrepreneur and

40:48

what they’re doing and it always

40:50

just sat in the back of my mind because

40:52

i always thought of that and i thought

40:53

you know what if you could take that

40:54

stress out

40:55

how aggressive would you really be if

40:58

you could go at that market

40:59

and just drive it because you have that

41:01

passion you know exactly what people

41:02

want in your product

41:03

and how you’re gonna get it to them but

41:05

it’s that financial side that just

41:07

puts everybody on the constraints and

41:09

holds them back because they don’t

41:10

realize

41:11

uh how what the cost is or how to manage

41:13

their accounting or how to manage their

41:15

finance

41:15

so it slows the whole process down

41:18

absolutely yeah i mean

41:20

and people get so wrapped up in numbers

41:23

and then and the fear of uh

41:26

you know of of of everything that comes

41:28

with running a business and sometimes

41:30

you’re just

41:31

just you know as simple as you can

41:34

baby steps one success story at a time

41:37

you know don’t worry about what’s gonna

41:39

happen in five months worry about what’s

41:41

gonna happen this week and

41:42

and just take it step by step and and

41:46

and again i mean i’m a big fan of just

41:48

saying you know what ask for help ask

41:50

asking for help is not a sign of

41:51

weakness it’s and it’s

41:53

it’s a phrase i use all the time not

41:55

only in business but in in all the

41:57

mental

41:57

mental wellness and mental health stuff

41:59

that we’re doing out there because

42:01

you know people are scared and they

42:03

think that oh man

42:04

and people i should know everything i’m

42:06

like man you don’t know

42:08

i don’t know everything i know far from

42:10

everything i still ask for help i still

42:12

talk

42:13

to my mentor i know my mentor is now

42:15

more of a friend over the last

42:17

25 or so years like i mean i love it

42:20

when he phones me i’ll phone him up and

42:22

i’ll say something like that he goes

42:23

jade you’re an idiot like why are you

42:24

even asking me that i was like i know

42:27

right it’s like i just need i need

42:30

someone to

42:30

tell it like it is right in the way you

42:32

go so

42:34

agreed bouncing ideas is huge absolutely

42:38

i shared the other day um a story in the

42:41

the story was

42:42

if you have a problem take the three

42:45

smartest people you know

42:46

and go ask them the problem and even if

42:49

you haven’t talked to that person in

42:50

three years

42:51

go ask them the problem because you’re

42:53

going to get a perspective that you

42:54

didn’t expect you’ll get

42:55

and then your next problem find three

42:57

other people

42:58

that are just as smart that you think

43:00

can solve that problem and

43:01

keep going to three new people each time

43:04

because what that’ll do is you’ll start

43:05

to define what those three people are

43:07

all about

43:08

and then as your problems start to

43:10

escalate you’re going to remember who

43:11

helped you and solve one of those

43:13

problems that you really thought brought

43:14

a lot to the table

43:15

and you’ll start to refine those people

43:17

down as you keep growing all your

43:19

problems and keep growing all these

43:20

different

43:21

mentors and coaches that they don’t know

43:22

they’re doing this and then you’re going

43:24

to start to round them down and you’re

43:25

going to find

43:26

three to five great people that are

43:28

going to really understand your business

43:29

and understand your modeling

43:31

and that’s going to help you grow

43:32

quicker and faster

43:34

absolutely a bang on yeah just find five

43:37

new friends

43:37

working on it there’s lots of people on

43:41

linkedin you can ask random questions

43:43

they will certainly love to answer them

43:44

so

43:45

oh no ask away

43:48

i i get random questions asked all the

43:50

time i always answer

43:51

i love it i i kind of wear it as a badge

43:55

of honor if someone wants uh

43:56

oh you know wants my opinion i love it

44:00

all right we’re gonna transition into

44:01

the uh the rapid fire question segment

44:05

all right okay

44:08

how did you get started in investing in

44:10

startups

44:13

just fluke and fun

44:16

all right we’ll explore that another

44:18

time i like that

44:20

uh what’s your favorite part of

44:21

investing

44:23

the people okay

44:27

how many companies do you invest in per

44:29

year

44:31

uh it’s usually between

44:35

five and eight i love it you’re above

44:37

average

44:38

beautiful any verticals you like to

44:41

focus on

44:43

i i hate to say it but i get passionate

44:45

about food companies but i don’t invest

44:47

as many as i probably

44:48

should maybe it’s for a reason uh

44:52

but you know i when it comes to

44:54

verticals

44:55

there seems to be a lot more tech

44:57

companies um

44:58

you know as we we kind of be evolving

45:00

that way in alberta because i

45:01

i pretty much only invest in alberta

45:03

companies

45:04

okay awesome on the

45:08

due diligence side are there any things

45:09

that you look for before making a

45:11

commitment

45:13

yeah i’m a big fan of um

45:16

of having companies scale the company on

45:19

our investment

45:19

not build it so we really like mrrs are

45:22

probably one of our top metrics

45:24

okay timelines for investment

45:29

uh i guess to get a to get a deal cut to

45:32

be

45:32

at the front end it’s usually somewhere

45:34

between one and

45:36

three or so months and like it’s going

45:38

to be a seven to ten year relationship

45:41

i love that answer i never hear that but

45:45

yeah you’re right you talk about

45:46

having commit uh being part of uh um

45:50

community and then throwing in that hey

45:52

we’re in this for the long haul right

45:54

we’re gonna be talking in seven to ten

45:55

years i’m not putting this money in if

45:57

we’re not

45:57

so yeah and if you just want my money

46:00

you’re not getting

46:01

uh you’re not getting getting anything

46:03

from us

46:05

i like it uh and then follow on

46:08

investments is that part of the strategy

46:10

as well

46:12

um you know what lucky enough it it

46:14

hasn’t been on

46:15

on all of our al all of our investments

46:18

they’ve been

46:19

they’ve been picked up by by you know uh

46:21

vc led funding and we’ve been kind of

46:24

you know shunned but i don’t care that’s

46:26

that’s why you’re here right

46:29

that’s not a bad thing exactly yeah if

46:31

you’re if someone else is gonna you know

46:33

throw in a little bit we always ask

46:34

right we put it in the contract

46:36

but uh you’re not gonna hold back on

46:39

something by saying yeah we want in and

46:41

the company

46:42

said no you’re not you’re like yeah okay

46:43

we’re you know you’re go on

46:45

well we’ll we’ll get our money out of

46:46

this so we’ll we will be happy

46:48

but i like it that’s awesome yeah

46:51

okay uh anything else you look for in

46:54

factors of

46:55

investing is it um team

46:58

ceo product is there anything like that

47:01

that really stands out that makes you

47:02

jump to

47:04

yeah you know it’s uh i mean there’s

47:08

there are a lot of factors as you know

47:09

but i mean honestly i really have to

47:12

believe in the person

47:13

the people and the company like that is

47:16

a big big part of it if

47:18

i don’t think that they’re coachable or

47:20

they don’t want my

47:22

uh you know they don’t want they just

47:23

want the cake and and

47:25

and they don’t want what comes with it i

47:27

mean we’re

47:28

we’re here and i mean if they think that

47:30

they know everything and we can’t help

47:32

them well why would our money want to

47:34

why would we want our money to help you

47:36

like it just i need to believe in the

47:38

people

47:40

i like it any preferred terms like press

47:42

shares common shares

47:45

equity yeah you know it’s funny i mean

47:48

obviously you know audrey’s just

47:49

straight out equity to make it simple

47:51

um we’ve done a few commons no preferred

47:54

yet

47:54

it seems uh the everybody seems to be

47:57

putting uh you know everybody right now

47:58

i don’t know if it’s the same in

48:00

toronto and that area everybody wants a

48:02

safe right now which

48:03

we kind of say well no we’ll probably

48:05

switch that to a convertible

48:06

at the at the least but

48:10

yeah it’s pretty common safes are

48:13

are pretty big and we share that most

48:15

don’t like to invest in them but if you

48:16

put a cap on it

48:18

and ensure that there’s um a balance

48:21

there then

48:22

totally that makes sense then there’ll

48:23

be interest yeah but it’s very one-sided

48:26

so it’s tough to jump on those

48:27

but they’re cheap and if it’s early then

48:29

why not but cap it yeah

48:32

yeah uh do you take board seats

48:36

um god board teaching can get me going

48:40

um i haven’t um

48:43

we’ve kind of set up uh i’ve been advi

48:46

you know moved into kind of an advisor

48:47

type

48:48

thing on there on their thing some of

48:49

them have been early up and don’t have

48:51

boards some of them have actually helped

48:53

set up their

48:53

boards for them um but yeah i mean

48:57

sometimes boards really piss me off

49:00

so we’re gonna have to explore that in

49:03

the next conversation as well

49:08

i haven’t heard that one yet but i i’m

49:10

sure i can understand why they do

49:12

but either way interesting

49:15

yeah not all of them just some of them

49:17

yeah well i can imagine

49:18

i can imagine i can imagine all right

49:21

well we’re gonna

49:22

we’re now gonna jump into some

49:23

personalized questions

49:26

so first question favorite sports team

49:31

oh saskatchewan rough riders go riders

49:35

all right all right i was an argos fan

49:38

for the longest time that i can remember

49:40

and then i started working in hamilton

49:43

and i started going to the ti-cats games

49:46

and those fans are they’re like just

49:49

like

49:49

rough riders they are so dedicated to

49:52

the team

49:53

that found that argos fans just weren’t

49:55

the same way

49:56

and i started to find myself changing

49:58

over to

50:00

hamilton and saying i actually like this

50:02

team better because

50:03

the energy and drive that the people

50:05

come to this stadium the new tim hortons

50:07

one

50:07

is unbelievable yeah so i can understand

50:11

the passion you have for the team

50:12

because

50:13

when the community gets around something

50:15

and they’re when that team’s driven

50:16

and they’re doing well or even when

50:18

they’re not doing well the people are

50:19

still so

50:20

tied into them it’s unbelievable

50:24

well well there’s a lot of pain being a

50:26

rider fan right four great cups in 105

50:28

years like

50:29

we’ve got you know once we might get two

50:31

in a lifetime if you’re lucky

50:37

those numbers don’t sound as promising

50:39

but

50:41

still good to be a fan though absolutely

50:44

uh your favorite movie and which

50:48

character would you play in the movie

50:50

oh my god oh man i mean i worked in the

50:53

movie industry for

50:54

eight years so i i i am a movie buff i

50:58

love

50:59

oh man that’s tough i uh

51:02

i mean i’m a big uh big comedian

51:05

and i love comedy so i would probably

51:08

have to say

51:10

i’m not going to go with dumb and dumber

51:13

i’m going to go with

51:14

the big lebowski and i’ll be i’ll be the

51:16

dude

51:18

i like it if i was to take all the

51:21

interviews i’ve done and just

51:23

write down like there’s like maybe a

51:25

handful of movies that

51:27

most of the investor community has

51:29

picked

51:30

on compared to the rest like theirs

51:32

don’t get me wrong they’re spread out

51:34

but yeah ibowski is is up there for sure

51:36

oh

51:37

josh has to be he is up there uh they’ve

51:40

had more than one vote how’s that

51:42

oh absolutely i mean yeah i mean it

51:44

doesn’t matter i mean you can pick pulp

51:46

fiction i

51:46

i would probably be you know reg dunlop

51:49

and slap shot i would you know you’re

51:50

just like you can just keep going right

51:52

yeah all great movies all great movies

51:56

um all right the last one is what is

51:58

your superpower

52:00

listening and it’s as simple

52:04

as that i mean i have you know i wasn’t

52:06

good at it

52:07

i learned to be good at it and i learned

52:10

the power of listening can can lead to a

52:13

lot more success

52:15

and and make you a much

52:18

better person investor and entrepreneur

52:22

and i start with person for a reason i

52:25

mean it’s something that

52:26

you know i truly truly believe in so

52:29

whether

52:30

you have to be a good person to start

52:32

off with anything

52:34

i love it to add on to that i would say

52:38

listen twice speak once yeah

52:41

yeah and i like spiking right you put a

52:42

few whiskeys in me i’m gonna go but uh

52:44

i mean when it comes down to you know

52:47

business media it’s a whole new world

52:48

right

52:50

when you’re telling stories i got lots

52:52

of good stories

52:54

well you can share them we got time

52:58

i love it uh well jade it’s been it’s

53:01

been awesome to

53:02

to chat with you um lots of learnings

53:05

there i think we learned lots and as i

53:07

always do even though i say i was gonna

53:09

do digital i can’t i still take notes

53:11

because at the end i can’t do a

53:12

monologue after if i don’t write

53:14

everything down

53:15

there’s mine there’s there’s my investor

53:17

book right there it’s still

53:19

i’m still still that way too yeah it’s

53:22

uh i try not to but i was i was doing

53:25

them and typing them but the noise was

53:26

too loud and

53:28

so i i do write them down but i do want

53:30

to thank you again for all your time i

53:32

think the audience is going to learn a

53:33

lot from this

53:34

and we’re going to get you back on the

53:36

show again because you do have a lot of

53:38

insights and i want to learn these

53:39

stories

53:40

because the stories are the ones that

53:41

really uh get me excited because i love

53:43

sharing stories

53:45

but the way we like to kind of end

53:46

things is we like to give you the last

53:48

word so anything that you want to share

53:50

to investors or to startups i turn it

53:53

over to you but again thank you very

53:54

much for all your time today and sharing

53:56

well i appreciate it uh jp it’s it’s

53:58

something that

53:59

uh you know i love i love sharing my

54:01

stories i love talking i’m passionate

54:03

about the ecosystem and

54:05

and i guess that you know the one piece

54:07

of it the last piece of advice we’ll end

54:09

it on is

54:10

i always tell people if you ask for if

54:12

you ask for money you’ll get advice

54:15

if you ask for advice you may get

54:16

funding so i always say come at it at a

54:19

different level right think about it

54:20

differently think differently think

54:21

outside the office

54:23

um and you know try and build that

54:25

relationship before you’re gonna go out

54:27

there and ask for funding

54:29

i love it and if people want to get a

54:31

hold of you i’ve watched a bunch of your

54:32

interviews

54:33

they’re fantastic i love how you work

54:36

with the startups and chat with them and

54:37

talk them through and get them to pull

54:39

out some of that great advice and great

54:41

insights that they’re living through how

54:43

can people get ahold of you

54:44

oh yeah i mean you can go to

54:46

peerguidance.ca i know jade alberts on

54:49

linkedin

54:49

i’m i’m there all the time my email is

54:52

guidance at pureguidance.ca

54:54

my cell phone’s all over the map you can

54:56

google me you’ll find lots of

54:58

sports stories and hot dog eating

55:00

stories and

55:02

and uh all you know sports interviews

55:05

and things like that but yeah i mean i’m

55:07

uh i’m there and i don’t to me it you

55:09

know i know i play in alberta a lot and

55:11

that was just because i wanted to be

55:12

around family and i was tired of

55:14

traveling but

55:15

i mean i’m i’m open to talking to

55:17

anybody i’m hosting an event here out of

55:20

out of phoenix here next month or

55:22

actually this month and 15 days you know

55:24

talking about the future of work and how

55:26

that is so

55:27

i’m always i’m always around i’m always

55:29

i always love to talk share stories and

55:31

and try and share my knowledge i love it

55:34

while you’re a good man i love what

55:36

you’re doing

55:36

keep it up and uh we’re gonna be in

55:39

touch because we’re gonna learn more and

55:40

see how we can keep working together

55:42

i love it i enjoyed it have a great day

55:44

sir i appreciate your time

55:45

likewise you too okay bye-bye awesome

55:49

well what can i say i think uh

55:54

canada the world producing a lot of

55:57

amazing people

55:58

in this entrepreneurial space and i just

56:00

love

56:01

everything that he’s been up to and what

56:02

they’ve been doing and

56:04

you know it it’s uh it’s phenomenal but

56:07

you know from taking a brand and just

56:09

blasting it out there and getting in

56:11

front of the right people and growing

56:13

that

56:13

and you know even he came all the way

56:15

around to being able to work with

56:16

accelerators and change that whole

56:18

mindset

56:19

so you know there’s a lot of value out

56:20

there you just have to go look for it

56:22

and i like that he talked about

56:23

you know being a strong operator talking

56:26

to uh and building community

56:28

and getting mentors really important it

56:31

helped him through a lot of that thick

56:32

and thin

56:33

and i think a lot of these uh great

56:35

insights were worth hearing about again

56:37

and all the new stuff that they’re doing

56:39

just fantastic so

56:42

in saying that um check

56:45

jade was awesome hope you guys enjoyed

56:48

the conversation

56:49

feel free to share like post

56:53

all that great stuff and look forward to

56:55

talking to you guys again soon

56:57

enjoy the day



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