Running a multimillion dollar company taught me nothing about owning my own business.

Running a multimillion dollar company taught me nothing about owning my own business.

Community User Blog | Posted by Graeme Macrae - May 7, 2013 at 11:18 pm

I started my company Ideal North with a partner in November of 2007, then came the October 2008 global economic meltdown and by 2011 we were soon in trouble. We had massive debt, no sales, no answers and my business partner, accountant and lawyer were all saying to declare bankruptcy…, good times.

Previously I had spent 17 years as an operations manager of a multimillion dollar company, I was the go to guy in the company for all the answers…, and here I was, the owner of my own company with no answers. 17 years had taught me all the right things to do in business in order to be successful, but those things were just not working now.

The global economic situation had changed all the rules, everything I had learned about business, while sound in principle would not work now, it wasn’t a matter of following new rules, I just didn’t know what the new rules were and all the so called economic experts out there didn’t know either, often contradicting each other.

I turned to famous entrepreneurs for guidance, reading their bios how they were able to get through tough times. In the end I was drawn to a Donald Trump quote, he said the most successful business people he knew were not the smartest or brightest they were the ones that never quit, he has seen so many quit too soon.

Even though I still didn’t have any answers, I still had belief in myself and hope. Also all those years of playing competitive sports taught me in order to win a championship there can be no quit in your vocabulary. So I bought out my partner, kept my accountant and lawyer and began the search for answers. Still keeping in line with Ideal North’s core values, I relaunched in January 2012 with a new product line offering Canadian made knitwear with patterns celebrating Canada’s heritage yet all at fair pricing. I know crazy, right? Compete directly against cheap imports during a global recession, well, so far it’s working and while it is slow going, it is all going in the right direction.

For me it is all about offering a brand with a purpose and building it up one customer at a time. The key is to get and keep people talking about your company, talk to everybody. Remember, customers who will say "no" to your products and people who don’t even deal in your products are still all potential sales agents for your company. I can just imagine these people at a party, in waiting rooms or at their kid’s soccer game, where ever a conversation might occur, could potentially trigger a mention of my company or product. Does this happen? Well, next time you are at a function try to catch yourself in what you are talking about, you might even find yourself talking about Ideal North. I invite you to visit my website for more details about my company or visit my Facebook page, I welcome all honest entrepreneur feedback.

Keep the Entrepreneur Belief (KEB)       

Tags: belief, inspiration

Paul St Laurent
May 10, 2013 at 12:06 am

Good job Graeme.  Thx for posting.

Yolande Grant
May 12, 2013 at 12:58 am

Great encouragement

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