It was only few years ago had the opportunity to meed Bret Wilson at the Small Business Forum in Toronto. Was luck even to get a picture (below)
As compared to other areas of the country, how do you see Toronto as an environment for small business start-ups? Does it differ significantly from other areas of the country?
That's a good question. We didn't choose Toronto over other places; it'sjust the practical side of it all. Do I see Toronto differently? I think I see Canada differently. I think that Canada, a little bit in part to Dragon's Den and in part due to a resource-based economy, taking some risk and betting on yourself a entrepreneur is taking hold across this country. That is what is exciting to me.
Certainly Toronto, as one of the financial capitals of the world, has been the hotbed of fundraising and capital. It attracts people who invest and it attracts people who fund. That's what make it great for the show.
What do you see as the single biggest obstacle that inhibits aspiring entrepreneurs on this country? What are possiible solutions?
I think it is confidence.With confidence, risk go down. I was on an airplane once with a client, and he ask me whether I was planning on staying with my current employer. I hesitated because the last thing I wanted to do was let on that I wasn't happy with my employer. When I paused, he looked at me and smiled and told me. "Just so you know, if you left I would hire you."
That single statement set in place the course of my future because I realized that if he would hire me, someone else would hire me and it was time to leave. Soon after that I started at Wilson Macke, which would become First Energy and it was someone giving me that confidence that started it all. The study of entrepreneurship and of marketing is all part of what I call the perception risk.
That's what is exciting about show like Risky Business. There will be people screaming at the television. "Don't do it !" or pick the door one or door two. It could have a feel like the Price is Right kind of thing where it is exciting, but it's also all within a $10.000 or $20.000 range.
Most people aspire to own a car and a computer and a few TV's. If you can do that, you can access the money to participate in this type of investment.
If you could aspire one piece of advise to an aspiring entrepreneur, what would it be?
I push everyone to go back and study marketing, Until you have your Phd and event then, maybe you have been studying the wrong part of it. It's only way to get a business, product or service going. You just have to do it.
Question appearted in article in the Toronto Busines Times June 2011 http://www.torontobusinesstimes.com/