I started my journey out of my moms basement (sound cliche?). I was 24 and had just graduated from University. With a great team by my side, we built this thing from the ground up. Lots of fun, lots of passion, and lots of late nights :)
Sole Power Productions is Canada’s premier boutique entertainment and production company. With a roster of over 250 performers, producers, technical staff, and managers. We also specialize in artist management. We specialize and execute over 2500 events annually. Sole Power has been a preferred supplier at such venues as the Four Seasons hotel, the Park Hyatt hotel, the Royal Ontario Museum, The Art gallery of Ontario, Arcadian Court, CN Tower, as well as numerous high end restaurants, night clubs, and event facilities across Canada. We are also proud to work with and support numerous charities, and charity events. This includes The Pencer Brain Trust, Pogo Gala, Booby Ball, Hunt For a Cure for Leukemia, Walk for Israel, Rena Foundation Gala, Imagine a cure, Three to Be Gala, Kinder Gala, Crafting for a Cure, Diabetes of Hope, Rockin’ For Pogo, Camp Oochigeas, Sick Kids Hospital, Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation, the Manifesto, UJA, the Unicorn Gala, Leave Out Violence (LOVE), Put Up Your Dukes, CAMH, Motoamore, and many more. Our clients portoflio include MTV, Roots Canada, Red Bull, Air Canada, Toronto Argonauts, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Toronto Blue Jays, Bell, Rogers, Molson, Labatts, Nike, McDonalds, Sony, Adidas, Hugo Boss, BMO, CIBC, Manulife, KPMG, Deloitte, TD Bank, Scotia Bank, and more.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about? I never needed to be "the man", my circumstances with a former employer didn't feel right anymore. One of my closest friends had gotten into a terrible car crash and another man in the car died. That situation gave me an instant "live for today" mentality. I didn't want to baby step, or move slowly - I wanted to go all in at full speed.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them? Trying to get recognized, and given trust to get a job was hard. I had to "fake it until I made it", in many ways. If clients needed me to do something, I would do anything to get the job done. I built it organically, and then one day I woke up and realized I did'nt have to "fake it" any more.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I just read the Beastie Boys book. I always loved those dudes. So creative and talented. I remember their website was really one of the first forms of social media. When websites first came out, people would build one for big dollars, and then let them live. The Beasties made daily updates on the site and spoke to their fans about every day happenings. Basically Facebook, blogs, Instagram and Twitter - but 20 years earlier. Not sure if they get enough credit for that.
I also like to read biographies. I'm not huge on theory, and I don't read "how to be successful" or "how to make money" books. Each story is it's own and needs to travel down its own path. I like to hear about actual practices or stories. I would recommend the same.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
I think all of us deal with the "You work too hard and too much" people in our lives. Only an entrepreneur gets it. It's not about how hard, or how many hours, or how many weekends spent working…it's about the end game. The reward, the success. That's the daily drive. What am I supposed to do, watch tv, lol?
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Hard work. 1000 times out of 1000 - no matter what anyone else says. I've never been the smartest, funniest, most talented, etc.. I just work extremely hard.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I am a bigger picture thinker today than I ever was. I think globally not locally. I see success in a project as a whole, not in daily wins or loses. I used to get too upset or excited when I had small victories or losses. Now I think of it as losing a few regular seasons games, but still winning the Super Bowl. I had to learn to grow from mistakes in order to really be able to understand achievement.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Work hard and stand out. It’s pretty simple. If you put in the hours and make yourself, your product, your vision will be heard and/or seen and its just a matter of time until you will find your success. And team work makes the dream work! Can't do great things on your own!