The 21st century is moving at the speed of light. The marketplace is becoming increasingly diversified, as consumers face more choices and options than ever before. Many brands are struggling to keep up with their competitors, and wind up jumping into a rat race to the bottom where the only noticeable brand differentiator is price. And many of advertising's most time-honored tactical methods are losing their punch, impact, and power to influence minds in a real way.
As someone with ADHD, who grew up with reading difficulties, sitting down with a book was never my go-to pastime. I preferred hands-on learning over classroom education -- so when I traded in my textbooks to run my own business, I don't think anyone was surprised. But even though I believe experience is the best teacher, there are always opportunities to learn from the experts (whether you're in startup or 30 years into your business).
For our COO Erik Church, it's a five-hour flight. He lives in Toronto and works in Vancouver, putting 2,000 miles between home and the office. From his perspective, his flights offer him a rare luxury he'd never find at the office: 10 hours a week of focused work, free from interruption. He believes anyone can do the same.
As the founder of Microsoft, there are few people on the planet who have helped to guide technological progression (at least in the realm of computing) as much as Gates over the course of his 42-year career. The thrust of his argument is this: if robots replace human workers whose pay would otherwise be taxed, why then should the labour of the robots not also be subject to taxation?
I have always approached achieving a work-life balance like investing for the long-term. Just as market volatility means every day can't generate gains for your investment portfolio, you can't expect to perform professionally at peak levels all the time. Don't be too hard on yourself and expect professional perfection and growth all the time. Like successful, long-term investing, a life well-lived requires balance and consistency between home and office.
In today's connected world, the Internet and social media can provide millions of more appropriate and qualified mentors. Indeed, the web has democratized mentorship and made it easier than ever to solicit guidance and advice from people all over the world who have previously beaten down a path much like the one you're trying to follow.
Many in venture capital preach the gospel of raising equity, saying that a small piece of a large pie is better than a large piece of a small pie. This is often self-serving. Although sometimes raising equity makes sense, entrepreneurs are too often on the side of parting ways with equity too easily, so that isn't the best advice.
I have seen firsthand how important life insurance is when a tragedy of losing one's spouse occurs. Thankfully, in our particular situation, we had conducted our annual review with our life insurance advisor a year before he died, made sure our life insurance coverage was still adequate and updated our wills with our lawyer.
The emerging legalization of marijuana is an opportunity for continued and new business success in First Nation communities. As parts of the U.S. have started legalizing the sale of marijuana (and Canada is on its way), cannabis capitalists are flocking to invest in dispensaries and other marijuana-related projects.