About a year ago, I came up with the idea of doing a series of video interviews with Canadian entrepreneurs. Hardly a unique idea, but my take on it was to focus on the experience and process of starting and running your own business instead of just talking about what the business does.
I subsequently put a fair bit of effort into getting everything set up: build a site, bootstrap a platform… all in my “spare” time. Then I stalled. That platform will never be ready because it suffers from the chicken and egg syndrome. There’s no site without content, and there’s no content without a site. Frustrated, I’m solving that problem by redefining it away. This post is the egg.
So, what’s this all about?
As Canadian entrepreneurs, I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit, or get enough respect. Other cultures seem to embrace the concept of starting your own business – of taking a risk – more than we do. Canadians also seem to have an aversion to “failure”. Despite the oft-quoted “entrepreneurs start an average of seven businesses before they succeed”, Canadians seem to look at someone who has tried once and failed as a loser. This is simply not true.
The fact is that there is no adequate school for entrepreneurs, and while it’s possible to take courses that will give you some important skills, there never will be a course that guarantees to teach you everything your start-up needs to succeed. The best way to learn is to try. The business might fail, but the only time there’s a real failure is when the entrepreneur doesn’t learn from experience, or learns but doesn’t use the experience to try again.
Part of that education is to get an understanding of what it really means to be entrepreneurial. One good way to do that is to talk to people who are doing it, and who have done it. This means not only celebrating our successes, but talking to entrepreneurs about where they struggled, and what they would have done differently. Anyone who has read something like Why we shut NewsTilt down knows that there’s a huge amount to be learned from someone who has tried, failed, but come away wiser.
So this is an open call to Canadian entrepreneurs who are running a business in Canada. Successful, struggling, or licking your wounds. I want to talk with you about your experiences, from what led you into starting your own business through what you’ve learned, what you expect to learn, and more. If you faced unique challenges, particularly because of race, culture, or sex, I really want to hear from you.
The process is simple. All you need is Skype and a web camera. First we’ll chat without recording, so I can get an idea of your experiences and where the conversation should go. Then we do a recorded conversation, targeting a 15 minute session length (if there’s really a lot to cover, then we break it up and do multiple recordings). Then I do some post production and upload it to a video sharing/streaming site under a Creative Commons license.
If you’re interested in doing this, get in touch and we’ll set something up.