Last week, I had the privilege of attending Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 under 40 event. This event represents both the pinnacle and the beginning of success for 40 outstanding business people and entrepreneurs in the city.
Instead of giving you a full run down of the event and the winners (I’m sure you can read all about it in BIV), I’m going to give you five lessons that I think we can learn from these amazing achievers.
Lesson 1 – Dare to chase your dream
Yes, very cliché. I know! But it’s very true. Many of the winners of the Top 40 started with an idea of what they wanted to do but no clue of how to get there. Through the tumultuous wave of trial and error, these rising stars stuck with their dream until they made it.
Lesson 2 – You’re never too young to start
Kyle Vucko, CEO and Co-founder of Indochino was one of the youngest recipients of the Top 40 under 40 awards this year. He was only 22 and a student at the University of Victoria when he started the rising start of a company Indochino. Indochino is an apparel company that specializes in custom menswear that you order online. Indochino is on the fast track to becoming a top fashion brand in Canada.
Lesson 3 – Social responsibility and business are not mutually exclusive
Matt Fraser, President and COO of Vancouver’s hottest yoga studio chain “YYoga” believes that success can be found in the simple vision: “to make the world a better place”
Lesson 4 – Success can be found in any industry
I was surprised at some of the movers and shakers that had won the award and started companies in an industry that I knew nothing about. Joshua Zoshi and Benjamin Sparrow started Saltworks Technologies which has begun producing unique innovations in the area of desalinization. Sparrow had the epiphany for a desalinization technology on a train in China. Who knew there was money to be made in salt water!
Lesson 5 – It really is about execution
Having a great idea, does not mean you have a business. A number of the winners of the Top 40 started media/communications/marketing companies. How many of these companies do you think are out there? Answer: Tons! What separates the achievers and the people who sit with a kernel of an idea is work. Lots of hard dedicated work. When you can take your idea, build a company and start monetizing, then you might be on to something.
So in the words Val Litwin, Vice-president of franchise operations, Nurse Next Door and a recipient of the Top 40 under 40 award – “Carpe Diem – just go for it, let’s try something new today”.