• Futurpreneur(s) and partners

150 Pieces of Advice from 150 Entrepreneurs

Futurpreneur | June 30, 2017

This year Canada is celebrating their 150th anniversary. Futurpreneur Canada has been a part of this country for over 20 years now and in those two decades we’ve supported thousands of entrepreneurs who have helped shape Canada into the entrepreneurial nation that it is today. Small businesses are what make cities and towns across the country unique. They give character to our country and help build the Canadian economy and provide jobs.

We are proud to be a Canadian organization and in celebration of Canada’s 150 we asked 150 of our Futurpreneur-supported entrepreneurs for their single most important piece of advice for other aspiring or current entrepreneurs. Happy Canada Day!

Lawrence Van Beek, Outbreak Escape Games

“It’s fun to think of owning a business as being the captain of the ship, rather than building an empire. There is adventure on a ship, it’s outgoing. Building your empire, putting up walls, it can keep you in.”

Andrew White, CHAR Technologies Ltd.

“When deciding when is the ‘best’ time to start a business—if not now, then when?”

Shannon Quinn, Lydian Music

“Be open to change, and face challenges with a positive attitude. Things in your business will not ever go 100% according to plan. Approach obstacles with a positive attitude and don’t dwell on them. Move forward with a smile!”

Mylène Pellerin, Commorg

“Follow your instinct. Trust your judgement. Be yourself.”

Kevin Kliman, Humi HR

“Write out your company mission and values on day one. It may not seem pressing at the time, but will make all of the difference in building the business.”

Antoine Canac-Marquis, Bouge!

Listen to people around you. If they say something does not feel right, check it out. They have an insight you lack as you are too absorbed and into your project.”

Cori Poon, sweet C bakery Inc.

“Always remember why you started. Don’t lose sight of the big goals, but don’t lose sight of who you once were – stay humble!”

Greg Arends, Solar Harvest Alberta

“The best advice I have received that has paid for itself over and over again is to get a good accountant. It might cost you a little more than expected up front but it is worth every penny.”

Maikel Parets, Mapa Social

“Take action. Sometimes we plan and plan some more without ever executing. Planning is great, but execution is everything.”

Michelle Koricina, The Kore Dance Project

“Starting my own business has been the most rewarding experience, but organization is key. Customers like quick responses to emails and phone calls. Also, try to include as much information as possible on your website to avoid customer frustration!”

Morgan Brandle, Morgan Kate Fitness

“Use your mentor. A mentor is someone unbiased to your business but gets your business. Who can be the reasonable voice in your unquestionable doubt. The person who can refocus you in a bust of passionate ideas. Having one has been one of my greatest assets.”

Rebecca Atkinson of Sober Island Brewing

Rebecca Atkinson, Sober Island Brewing Company

“Soak it up! Professional panels, speaker series, courses and different types of resources (many are free)… take them all in. You never know what you may learn or what lightbulb may be switched on. Entrepreneurship is a road of continuous learning so take in as much as you can. You will be thankful you did!”

Deanna Saatcioglu, Veggie Drop

“Do not be afraid to approach more successful people than you. It will only make you a better business person and broaden your network.”

Julie Carruthers, La Mise en Place

“Don’t ever give up! Things will be bad at some point, it’s inevitable. But there is always a solution to be found somewhere. Just keep at it.”

Karsten Ergetowski, STNDRDISSÜE Nation

“I think starting a business gives you the opportunity to make a difference in the community and even the world. Focus on ways which your product(s), brand or services can make a positive change in the daily lives of your customers. This goes a long way!”

Lily Tse, Think Dirty

“Believe in yourself. And to paraphrase Henry Ford, ‘whether you think you can or can’t, you are right.’ Choose to be a believer!”

Roxanne Mignaco, IDance

“Above all, know that a dream only becomes reality when it becomes a project. Create your own plan. Act on it. And you’ll achieve great things. Don’t be afraid to colour outside the lines, because that’s the way masterpieces are made.”

Pierre-Luc Arseneau, PLA3D Carving

“Follow your heart and your passion even when it is not logical to do so. Don’t let other people’s opinion of business success dictate your current reality!”

Martin Gagnon, Formation MÀJ

“Don’t try to predict everything, don’t try to success at everything at your first try. Make mistakes, fall down and get yourself back up again. Learn and leave your pride behind.”

Alexandre Tougas, LightFactor

“You, out of everyone in this world, knows most what’s best for your business. If you don’t feel it, it’s for a good reason. No need to rationalize it, just listen to your feelings. ”

Lindsay Goulet, Hot Mama Health & Fitness Franchising Ltd.

“My best advice to entrepreneurs is to be open to pivoting. You may think your business will go one way, but something will happen and you need to be open to pivoting in a new direction. Small pivots or large pivots, you just need to be open to it.”

Akhil Sivanandan, Green Story

“The longer you stay in the game, the luckier you get! The keys to entrepreneurial success are perseverance and the ability to deal with failure.

Jenise Lee, CertClean

Fail fast, learn faster! You will learn more from doing and failing than thinking and planning – it is difficult and overwhelming to plan for unknowns! A successful entrepreneur makes quick decisions all while understanding the risks.

Andrew Tait, Tait Laboratories Inc.

“Keep communication a priority. Prioritize as much networking as your time will allow as anyone can be a potential customer, investor or evangelist that shouts about how much they love your business. Take any advice graciously, and pay it forward by offering help to newer entrepreneurs.”

Alex Sopinka, Obie.ai

“Listen to feedback from your early users so that you’re building something people actually want.”

Hin Lai, Sidekick

“My best piece of advice is to find a real, underserved problem and solve it. I see too many people trying to build the next clothing brand, coffee company, backpack company, etc. when those are all heavily saturated.”

Raphaël Vaillancourt, Arbitre-Équipement

“Act now! Stop overanalyzing your market. Get ready to do some work, and do it. At least 70% of your attempts will fail, and it’s ok to fail! If you fail less than 70% of the time, it’s because you waited too long to get to work. Do it, now.”

Tanya Tiger, CRAFT Academy Salons

“Don’t forget to look for or ask for help from your ‘village’. We feel like we’re going at it alone—but really there are so many great resources available to new entrepreneurs, we just need to reach out more. They rarely find you—you need to find them first!”

Maurice Charette, Mojoverse

“Start-up capital is a must, and you need to be willing to work as hard as you can. As long as you have that and a passion for it, it will very rewarding.”

Michael Levy, The Yellow House & Green Isle Catering

“Keep your books current. It does not save you time to ‘do it later’… I don’t care how busy you think you are!”

Julie St-Pierre, Stillwater Speech Therapy

“As an entrepreneur, be ready to define your niche and have confidence in your knowledge, skills, and potential. Honest self-awareness and self-recognition will help you plan the development of a successful business.”

Jonathan Couturier, Distillerie Mariana Inc.

“Always celebrate your little victories with your business partners and suppliers.”

Sasha Freeman, Meadow Gifts

“Don’t let fear and doubt hold you back from pursuing your dreams.”

Joseph Lee, Coastline Market

“A resounding piece of advice we’ve received is to never underestimate the inertia of large corporations, and we agree with this wholeheartedly. The biggest reason why ideas remain as ideas is the misguided notion that someone with more resources, information or experience must have executed on the same opportunity.”

Eric Duffus, BizFix

“Follow your passions and have a meticulous commitment to planning. If you do what you love, the money will come and if you plan it effectively, the money will stay.”

Ricky Goodall, Elevated Academy

“Never look outside of yourself for proof that you can succeed. No one and nothing can determine your success except you. Your intention is powerful beyond measure. If you set your sights on your goal and persist through all obstacles, you will succeed. I guarantee it.”

Joe Veroni, Urban Gardener

“Do the work.”

Kristin Price, Gather & Stay

“Focus on authentic connections and getting to know the people you want to work with without the intention of selling to them right away. Genuinely find out who they are, what they want in life, what’s stopping them, and then find out if they’re a good match for your service. People can smell sales a mile away—if you want long lasting customer relationships, take the time to really hear them from the beginning and focus on how you can serve them.”

Olivia Ongaigui, Pindot Press

“Be opportunistic but also realistic. Learn to distinguish between a passion that you would prefer to keep as a hobby and a passion that you would like to pursue as a business venture. Learn to enjoy all aspects of running a business, and not just the end product/service.”

Andrew George, Culture Shots Functional Foods

“Don’t forget to eat! It’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of business then its 8pm… fuel your aspirations.”

Bianca Cloutier, C3

“Accept criticism, regardless of who it comes from, and learn from your mistakes.”

Tamara Robinson, Mint + Chopsticks

“If you’re passionate about something, then go for it and share your talents with the world. You may succeed or you may fail, either way you did it and gave it your best. Success is mastering the art of trying and never giving up.”

Frédéric Leduc, Immune Biosolutions

“Surround yourself with great partners, mentors and investors that understand your mission and will challenge/guide you to be disruptive and bring new solutions!”

Doug Murphy, BuckitLife

“Make sure to stop and smell the roses every once in a while and reward yourself for your hard work!”

Headshot of Choice Health Centre founder, Saba

Saba Chishti, Choice Health Care

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Don’t ever assume that you should know something and be afraid to ask for clarification also don’t be afraid to ask your competition or mentors for their advice.”

Paul Demarco, IntrigueMe

“Make sure you have a product or service that people want to buy and that you can sell. I see so many entrepreneurs operate on investment capital without proving there is a viable market. If you lead with revenue, then you can make the leap when the time is right.”

Julie Delisle, Beeye

“Manage your business around projects. Silo mentality and business as usual are less effective and settle very quickly in a company. We saw that even in our own business, even though it was created by graduates from a master’s degree in project management and our product is project and team management software. Bring together multidisciplinary teams around initiatives and set deadlines!”

Michael Kolla, Soul Oilfield Services

“Every time you think you made a mistake when you took the risk to start your business, ignore it and then do it and do It again! You can spend your whole life talking about it. But in the end, it only gets done by doing it!”

Shadi Hagag, Trans-Plan Inc.

“Go for it. Follow your heart not the money, don’t take anything personally and remember; you are your own limitation”

Candice Hattebuhr, Ultra Luxe Massage

“If you are a young entrepreneur like me, you know that a lot of people hesitate to take you seriously, so put on your boss pants, talk in a confident tone, make eye contact, and show them you know what you’re doing and that you deserve not only their attention, but their business as well.”

Ravidass Ian Miller, Sacred Arts Wellness

“Hard work doesn’t always equal more money. Have a daily meditation practice, eat well, and don’t work more than 40 hours per week. When you feel your best you can handle stress better, get inspired easily and you radiate success to the world, all leading you to making more money.”

Leon Chung, Mochanopoly Board Game Café

“As the community gives to you, don’t forget to give back to your community. Kindness and philanthropy is the key to a good business.”

Owen Alto, Alto Collective

“Mistakes are the key to success. Every time you make a mistake, you are afforded the unique opportunity to learn something new and important. By recognizing and learning from your mistakes, you gain valuable knowledge another company might not have. This will give you a competitive advantage down the road.”

Jonathan Natavio, Porter

“Trust your instinct and surround yourself with an incredible support system. You have a unique vision and your support system whether it be your team, mentors, advisors, family or all of the above will help you reach your vision.”

Matt Kostan, Owners Academy

“Develop your inner locus of control. This means that you believe you’re responsible for your own success. You don’t blame others, you don’t blame bad luck or let anything get in your way. Keep taking action until you get the results you want. Your business is a movie where you get to write the entire script.”

Kiera Fogg Little Box of Rocks Owner.

Kiera Fogg, Little Box of Rocks

“When you’re first starting out, DIY as much as you can. Not only will this help you to keep costs down, but teaching yourself as much as possible gives you the ability to effectively oversee staff when you eventually do hire out for those tasks.”

Ludiwine Clouzot, Ecoloodi

“There are many ways of being an entrepreneur and you know what works for you. Always follow your heart and you will go through the many ups and downs of this amazing journey!”

Samantha Hallaran, Rituals of Love Bridal Inc.

“Always focus on your customer: how your service makes them feel and how your products meet their needs.  You are nothing without your customer!”

Michael Garant, Royal Machine Solutions

“Follow your passion in business and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Make sure you work hard.”

Graziella Panessa, Redchurch Café + Gallery

“Deeply prioritizing aspects of the business you feel comfortable with as many of us gravitate towards parts we enjoy because it’s easier or more fun, make sure to tackle challenges and hard questions. Get it done, do it right.”

Steve Black, TechBoomers.com

“Build meaningful relationships with new and different types of people whenever you can, even you don’t think they will benefit your business in the short term. It will help you work toward building an engaged network of influencers, mentors, partners, and more.”

Adam Shepperdley, SHEPP Industrial Design Inc.

“Being a Product Development Consultant and Professional Industrial Designer my advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to fail. Yes, Fail! Stay Positive, stay inspired, fail early, fail often, prototype your ideas and Learn from your mistakes. Every time something doesn’t work it’s a huge learning. Leverage failures and keep positive.”

Jonathan Harvey, Manutech

“Entrepreneurship is about solving problems and learning on the go. It’s exciting to learn new things, and as entrepreneurs we should be learning something new every day. That’s part of the gift of entrepreneurship.”

Justin Adam, Miniature Massive

“Surround yourself with great people.”

Eryne Sarabin, Tycoon Event Planning & Promotions

“Never underestimate the power and need to celebrate your small successes—no matter how little they may seem. As business owners, our worlds are inundated with constant challenges and risks. Being able to recognize, and appreciate, small wins along the way is critical for maintaining motivation, staying focused, and reminding yourself that you got this!”

Eric Boudreau, Escape Capers YYC

“Don’t just assume that if you build it they will come. A great product is an important foundation for your business, but getting people excited about your product will be the key to your success.”

Fadi Eid, Jamjar Folk Labanese Food

“Never give up is a cliché that holds true, your most powerful tool is resilience against failure. Always listen to your instinct but never blindly act on it, put it to the test of numbers and logic, your sanity will thank you in dividends later.”

Taylor Abrahamse, Silverthorn Studios

“Be brutally honest with yourself about your business intentions. If you’re building it to survive, be your own boss, etc. you will never feel alive doing it. Integrity is keeping your word, and having what you’ve given your word to make something possible for others that deeply moves you.”

Michael Kennedy, Social Enterprise Institute

“Don’t be afraid to lead with your heart on your sleeve. Our world needs more people who demonstrate an authentic, vulnerable approach to leadership. Also, remember, entrepreneurship can be very tough – know that you are not alone, ever. Far too many business leaders put on a brave face and suffer in silence. Don’t. Reach out to your peers, friends and family.”

Xavier Roy, Le Fridge

“Try it while you’re young! The experience will be priceless and if it doesn’t work, guess what? You’ll still have your whole life ahead of you. Do it, work hard and be patient.”

Courtney Rose, Rose Gold Body Piercing

“Positive thinking is key. Rather than thinking how can I make a living and be rich, think how can I serve and truly add value to people’s lives and make a difference!”

Nicole Qiu,
Ben’s Clinic

“Ten year business goal, five years strategy planning, three years financial assurance, these things will assist your business growth with confidence.”

Alex Kingcott, Shareworthy Content Lab

“Being an entrepreneur means you’re the boss, and you’re responsible for your own performance review… and the rewards! Set benchmarks and attach rewards to each. Otherwise you can be so engrossed in the ‘work’ that success passes you by. You need and deserve to celebrate along the way.”

Matthew Smith, Modern Gravity Float Studio

“Having developed self-awareness in business is like having an app that tells you, real-time, what your talents are and what you suck at. You’ll understand your faults, limits and weaknesses—along with leveraging your natural aptitudes—allowing you to build the right team to support your vision.”

Roi Jones, The Jellyfish Float Spa

“Exercise patience. Being patient has its rewards in terms of growth, relationships personal and business and long term health. Patience does not imply, sitting on the couch and watching your favourite television show. Establishing healthy routines along with patience and gratitude is key to success.”

Caroline Hébert, Immo-Match

“Multiply by 20 the expected amount of work to set up and structure your company. The number of times you will have to pivot, readjust and start over during the first few months of your company’s life are greatly underestimated. But it’s still worth it!”

Headshot of Sandra

Sandra Chabot Weber, Whole Life Balance

“Nothing will prepare you for the intense personal growth that comes with entrepreneurship. While you wait to hit those external milestones of success, the most important aspect to be developing is your ability to trust yourself. Why? Because you need to have your own back when overcoming the endless mistakes and setbacks. Remember, success is born out of mindset.”

Nathan Romagnoli, Eco Cremation & Burial Services Inc.

“Followers have never advanced the world. It’s the revolutionary, creative minds that forge new paths for others to follow. Ask yourself are you a follower or a revolutionary?”

Samia Abbes, Me Samia Abbes, Advocate, Lawyer

“You should have a good mentor in your specific field who can challenge you so that you can come with the best of you.”

Mary Ruth, Mary Young

“Calculate your risks, plan and strategize. When you’re about 80% confident take the leap and go for it.”

Constance McInnes, Rock In Opposition Studio Inc.

“Be fearless in your pursuit. Trust your gut, and remember no one knows your vision better than you.”

Lydia Gallant, Senthé

“The perfect moment to start your business will never come by just waiting for it. Yes you need to do your research and prepare for your project, but there comes a time you need to stop waiting and go for it.”

Joelle Boutin, Atelier ëdele

“Know yourself and respect your capacities (and accept them). By knowing your strengths and weaknesses, you will be able to better choose who you need to collaborate and work with and you will choose people that complement you (and your business).”

Reid Hemsing, Two Wheel Gear

“Everything starts with your product. Listen to customer feedback (even the bad stuff). Improve it until it is actually awesome. Then work on promoting it.”

Vincent Nault, Lumed

“Share your idea with the entrepreneurial community. The chance of finding an ally, resources or a good feedback outweighs the risk of having your idea stolen. Be patient, being an entrepreneur is not always as crazy as it looks in the movies.”

Alex Ethans, Eph Apparel

“Ensure you have a market large enough to support your pursuit.”

Brennan Turner, FarmLead

“Don’t worry about your product/visuals being 100%, but instead focus more attention on your customer being 100% satisfied.”

Jennifer Peddle, Beautiful You Laser & Advanced Aesthetics

“Don’t be afraid to take that next step or leap of faith, it’s scary but if you can’t get your mind off of a certain idea or business venture there’s typically a reason why. Everybody has something inside that excites us, listen & find yours & make it a reality.”

Kathleen Cassidy, Queen Bee Games

“The ups and downs of entrepreneurship are worth the ride. Stay focused, determined and remember why you started. You don’t have to know everything. Keep learning, and your growth will explode in so many areas guiding you through each stage of your business.”

Michael Louca, Louca Paralegal Services

“Believe in yourself; it is the best marketing tool you have. Clients are people who believe in your business. Since an entrepreneur IS their business, it means your clients believe in you.”

Valter Cid, Cat Digital Solutions

“Do something you’re passionate about. Passion greatly increases your chances of success. Plus, life is short. Do you really want to invest time and energy into something you don’t enjoy doing?

Allison Chislett,
IDesign Ltd.

“Trust your gut! I’ve learned over the last few years that this is what drives you, deep down if a business decision, opportunity, or even hiring of employees, if it doesn’t or does feel right… go for it!”

Laurel Sliskovic, The Sociable Scientists Ltd.

“Create and nurture a professional team of talented, trusted, and inspiring people to work with you as mentors, coaches, and/or the ones you can turn to when you need business advice. Also, be one of those team members for another entrepreneur.”

Yana Barankin, TAMGA Designs

“Building a business from the ground up is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll have good and bad days, but never give up, great things take time.”

Keri Lewis, Interior Freeze Athletics  

“Don’t be afraid of innovation or change in your business practices; the transition is never easy, but it is always worth it!”

Melanie Dalley, PhysioNorth

“When starting up, keep your focus on one main venture and do it well. Make sure that venture is something that you enjoy and are good at. Once established, you can always expand in the future.”

Melanie Talastas-Soriano, Insahyu Training & Therapy

“Keep your passion alive for your business. Always remember why you are in the business and how far you have come to get to where you are today. Nothing in life and business is easy, so embrace every minute of every day.”

Founder of Tranqool

Saeed Zeinali, TranQool

“Focus. Focus. Focus. Through your journey as an entrepreneur, you will come across a lot of opportunities. Define your key goal and stick to it. Of course be open to learning, but, filter inquires and opportunities and say ‘no’ if they are not in line with your goal.”

Russ Higgs, Kettle River Brewing Company Ltd.

“Treat suppliers with the same respect you would offer your clients. It pays to be in their good books. They’ll be more inclined to rush things if you’re in a pinch, offer more attractive terms, and forgive you when you’re late on a payment.”

Jayevan Foster, Empire MGMT

“If you want to get something done, DO IT YOURSELF! It’s always great to delegate tasks, but at the end of the day, the person in the mirror is the one you can trust and rely on most.”

Troy Arseneault, The Anchor

“Always keep moving forward. If not your heading in the wrong direction.”

Chris Prendergast, JamStack Inc.

“Stack up your credibility one brick at a time, until the very best are excited to work with you. It’s all about credibility.”

James, Tshirt Printing Toronto

“Start today. The easiest way to achieve your goals is as simple as starting them. The world has a weird way of having everything fall into place once you take the first step. After that, good or bad, the ball will start rolling and things will start happening for you.”

Alyssa Bertram, easy period

“Trust your gut. Be open to advice, listen and learn but at the end of the day get quiet to hear what you truly want to do next.”

Stephanie French, The Pie Shoppe

“Make sure you absolutely love what you do and find a partner that can make you laugh. My sister Andrea finds humour in everything, and that’s what sometimes gets you through the toughest days.”

Emin ösün, INT Machinery Inc.

“You used to be a trade person, now you want to become an entrepreneur. Change your mentality! Think like an entrepreneur, act like an entrepreneur. Don’t lose yourself under workloads or pleasure of getting the job done by yourself. Focus on the mechanism that can get the job done on your behalf.”

Bobby McDonald, Parlay Ideas

“Identify your unique talents and double down on them. Then hire people you can trust to fill the gaps.”

Matt Schachtebeck, Wins Above Replacement

“There are always reasons and barriers to not do what you want but if it is something you really believe in, you will always be willing to push harder and move to the next step in building your entrepreneurial dream.”

Founder of Gentstone

Blessilda Urbi, GentStone

“Create a structure and have discipline. Tasks that you HAVE to do become things that you WANT to do and this creates habit. The habit will set you free. Having structure and discipline helped me overcome my struggles with finding motivation.”

Ryan Tonegawa, Fumio Photography

“If you don’t know, ask! Identify your shortcomings and seek out experts to help you learn. Entrepreneurs wear many hats but when needed, a knowledgeable expert can help you to navigate unfamiliar waters. Whether it’s a friend you trust or paid professional, sometimes a simple conversation can create creative solutions.”

Roseline Filion, Immersia Escape Games

“To build a solid base with a team that you trust and brings complementary skills to your business. The first reality check you’ll get as an entrepreneur is that you can’t do it all. Don’t be afraid to surround yourself with people that are smarter then you.”

Hamid Heidarali, Hamid Design Build Ltd.

“Listen to your inner voice! Trusting that voice is all you need in fulfilling your entrepreneurial spirit. At times, you may become scared of unknowns, competitors, etc. Do not let these get to you. Follow your inner voice, and things will fall into place the way you dreamed, even better.”

Jacob Farjou, Trainsmart Wellness

“Take your adversities with a smile, see them not for challenges and limitations that they pose, but rather embrace them with the acknowledgement that they are needed in order to fully appreciate the success that is to follow.”

Mabel Wong, Dermaly

“Be brave enough to follow your own vision, even if people around you don’t understand.”

Peter Hemsworth, BZLY

“Take ownership over everything you do. Understand that you control your own fate. Outside factors can influence your success, but ultimately it’s you who holds the reins. You can always take action. Adjust. Be creative. Own your mistakes, and celebrate your wins.”

Barry Hartman, 505-Junk

“There is no better time than right now to get into entrepreneurship. If you’re healthy, living in Canada, and have the intelligence to create ideas that positively impact the lives of others, I consider you to be one of the luckiest humans in the world. Start your business.”

Laura Siegel, Laura Siegel Collection

“Stick to your core values and protect your brand image at all costs.  Perseverance is the key to success. Don’t give up despite whatever anyone else tells you. Listen… really listen to everyone. Think about the world around you and give back a portion of your success to a worthy cause.”

Matthew Moore, Premier Athletic Therapy & Sports Medicine

“Be open to the opportunities that present to you! It is easy to have blinders on, having your business route planned, but new and exciting things are always revealing themselves and I encourage you to evaluate them and incorporate those new opportunities if they work!”

Danielle Beck, Beck Music

“Being a successful entrepreneur is all about building relationships so get out there and network! And it’s not necessarily about selling your services—often the value is in finding someone who provides a service that helps move you along. And you can build an invaluable support network!”

Andrew Oh, Mint Ultimate

“Successful people don’t make excuses to delay initiation or progress. They do it, even if they don’t know what the first three steps are—they’ll try and find a way. If you’re not in that mode, this isn’t important enough to you.”

Rodrigo Pancine, KIAI Agency Inc.

“Create and publish quality and easily usable content that gives for free to your target audience ideas and suggestions that helps them grow their business—they will love you and engage with you.”

Dylan Fidler, Apex Valet Services

“There was a reason or a passion behind taking the chance, on yourself to start whatever it is you started. There will be failures, upsets, and setbacks, and when those times come; remember that reason, find that passion, and push yourself. That’s the real reason we took the chance.”

Mike O’Callaghan, Georgian Tree Experts Corp

“Opportunity is everywhere. But it’s usually disguised as hard work. At the start of your business, you need to work harder than everyone else doing what you do. Once established, you need to work smarter than your competitors. Innovate!”

Jean-Philippe Dauphinais, Rablab

“Surround you with the best partners/persons you can find. One man game in 2017 is over. Putting yourself at the center with the best people to help you achieve your goals is a must.”

Emna Ghariani, Chechedoo Inc.

“The most important thing to always keep in mind is that there are no problems, only solutions. It’s a learning process and a challenge. Be creative and trust yourself. Always adapt and seek for advice. You have what it takes to make it happen!”

Desmond Hsu, TrueBlue Mobile Software Inc.

“It’s not all hockey stick growth. Just because other people don’t see your vision, doesn’t mean you should give up.  Believe in yourself and be a doer not a thinker.”

Matthew Teichmann, GlowShack

“Things become easier for those that dedicate their time, energy, and passion towards a new venture. Remember, ‘easier’ doesn’t mean there won’t be any hiccups, because there will be. Sometimes hardships appear unpredictably, so get back up, learn from the issue, remember your dream, and move forward.”

Emily Fan, Tubify

“First things first, second thing not at all. To me this means know the value of saying “no” to things is so important. Remember to have focus even when you are lost in the daily grind.”

Sean McNeill, McTavish Academy of Art

“It does not matter what industry your business is in, it will primarily exist to be of service to others. Stay Creative and work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed just make your absence felt.”

Jade Ross & Erika French, Balance Fitness

“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, they grow you as a person and as an entrepreneur. Learn from each one, take the criticism and fix it. Along the road you will face good times, and bad times. Learn from the bad times, and allow the good times to flourish you as a business owner. Enjoy the journey of the entrepreneurial process, not just the destination.”

Matt of Canada Rope & Twine

Matthew Moore, Canada Rope & Twine

“Create a healthy balance of high energy, passion, and patience! Push the limits and filter what people criticize and what they may offer as advice.  Steer the ship as there is a reason you chose this path.”

Jason Broz, Fix Bindings Inc.

“Find out exactly what you think your start-up will cost. Calculate it to the dollar to the best of your knowledge and then add 10%. That will be an accurate assessment of all of the hidden costs of starting a business.”

Graham Mann, Lean Systems

“Find amazing mentors and peers. We’ve been very lucky to have amazing people to learn from, and push us, and it makes all the difference.”

Phil Ortwein, Philosophy Fitness

“As a young entrepreneur, I found it a huge help to find as many mentors as possible. From accountants, to field experts, use free municipal/city resources, and utilize their knowledge base. When it comes to start-up expenses, a great and simple rule of thumb is to add 50% to what you predict is your start-up costs. If this is a budget breaker, reconfigure your numbers.”

Joshua Green, Mysa Smart Thermostats

“Do something you’re passionate about, solve a problem, and validate the market.”

Elaine Guérin, Elaine Concept

Be patient and persistent during your business launch. Building a strong clients base can take a few years.

Jacquelyn Hollohan, Revolution Fitness

“I never imagined taking on so many different roles within a single day. Be prepared for financial stress, always have a plan B, and enjoy your flexibility and new found responsibilities!”

Celine Juppeau, Kotmo

“Have amazing close entrepreneur friends with who you can share your doubts, thoughts, joys and fears. It will allow you to move faster and better!”

Maggie Bergeron, Embodia

“Bootstrap your company (at least at first) while it presents unique challenges, it lights a proverbial fire under your ass to work hard and work smart. When you don’t have millions of dollars to spend on hires and resources, you have to dig deep and get creative.”

Sugarshan Jagannathan, Social Travel

“Keep it real. Identify your best customer type and focus there for the first 6 months. Measure all efforts on why you cannot have a lot of them- that is your single source of truth and that is how funders think.”

Jasmine Pickel, Atlas Communications

“Build a great team! As the saying goes, who you’re with is who you become, so make sure you have a group of passionate, hardworking, enthusiastic team members.”

Timothy Audy, Expanding Imaginations Child Care

“Plan for success, set your goals, put everyone’s needs before yours, life your life and your career with integrity.  These are the key components to success. Be passionate about what you do, and never give up. Walls come up in your path but so do opportunities, learn to know the difference and react accordingly. Above all else, have fun, love what you do.”

Bob Wang, Legacy Advantage CPA

“Test your ideas before fully committing all your resources. I see entrepreneurs who want to scale quickly and commit all resources on an untested idea. Slow down. Create a prototype (product or service) with as little commitment as possible. This way, if it’s wrong, you can still pivot.”

Eric Tang, Exclusive Dry Cleaners

“Seek guidance and advice from others but at the end of the day, you know what’s best for your company and business. Be the visionary leader of your company and follow your instincts.”

Gwen Lim-Brydson, Motion and Still Inc.

“Please be kind. Running a business is difficult and it’s only made easier if you remain thoughtful, humble, and generous. Your initial team and the first few people you connect with will be your strongest supporters; treat them with respect, highlight their accomplishments and forget their mistakes” .

Michel Jodoin, SoumissionRenovation.ca

“Every day you should be improving your business even if it’s something very small. 1% improvement everyday means you’ve improved your business by 37 times by the end of the year!”

Guillaume Thibault, Via Logistics

“You should not be afraid or failing, but be afraid of not trying. If you start thinking that nothing is impossible, you can achieve anything.”

Skai Dalziel, Guusto

“Talk to customers and potential customers every day and build what they need.”

Erin Fitzpatick, RADLEY Prep

“Listen to your customer. As an entrepreneur it is easy to get wrapped up in your own ego, and forget to focus enough on the specific wants and needs of the person actually buying your product.”

Graeme Luey, #Hashtag Gallery Ltd.

“Be good to people, but don’t let them take advantage of you. The more people you help, the more that will be willing to help you.”