I am excited that the Financial Post has given me the space to pursue my passion of writing to business owners and entrepreneurs young and old. It is my goal to provide you with a glimpse into the entrepreneurial world and the challenges that entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners face, not just day to day, but hour by hour and even minute by minute.
My opening title is an homage to a true Canadian legend: Astronaut Chris Hadfield captivated millions in space with his YouTube posts about life in space while he was commander of the international space station. His book An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth is filled with life lessons and leadership best practices.
I hope to provide entrepreneurs and business owners alike with common sense advice that isn’t another “top 10 ways to get you to read my column.” Living the entrepreneur journey every day just as you are, I hope gives me the street cred needed to occupy this space and more importantly, listen to what you have to say and help with any challenges you might face.
The saying “it’s lonely at the top” is very apropos when it comes to owning and running a business. Starting and growing a company is not easy. Anyone who tells you otherwise hasn’t done it or failed miserably trying. I am here to help you navigate around the landmines that no one told you about when you started. Do I have all the answers? Hell no. But if I don’t know the answer, I will find someone who does and will share their wisdom with you.
There are six functional areas of a business: Strategy, finance, operations, information technology, sales and marketing and human resources. All of these exist in your business. Just because you don’t pay attention to them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Work your way through these at your company and see if there are any challenges you might like a fresh pair of eyes on and send me your questions. I will answer as many as I can in this column. Of course, names and companies will be changed to protect your privacy.
In business, as in life, we have people we count on to guide us. Call them mentors, parents or confidantes: The important thing to remember as you work in your businesses day to day is that you take time to work on your business as well as in it. I am here to help you do both.
Chris Hadfield said, “Almost everything worthwhile carries with it some sort of risk, whether it’s starting a new business, whether it’s leaving home, whether it’s getting married, or whether it’s flying in space.”
Let’s work on managing some of the business risk.