Mon, 25 August 2014
In this episode of the Boiling Point, Greg and Dave sit back to reflect on our first 16 episodes. Dave points out that Ken Blanchard once said, "feeback in the breakfast of champions." That doesn't include audio feedback, right?
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Thu, 21 August 2014
Introducing Boyd Sharpe
Boyd Sharpe is the true Renaissance man. As a young man, and graduating with a degree in theatre arts and a bachelor of education, his father asked him whether he was prepared for a career as a teacher. Boyd thought about it and responded that he wanted to have 10 jobs across five career paths over the following 30 years.
He’s definitely on his way. Boyd was a teacher for six years before he retrained in IT. He was a web designer and systems analyst, and then retrained as a project manager. Most recently he trained to become a professional MMA fighter and a producer with Greg Hemmings in their recent series Cubicle to the Cage. All of the above, plus becoming a basement quail farmer, boat builder, and podcaster on the BS Show.
Boyd is the type of person who is constantly looking for a new challenge and has to move on from situations after they become easy and boring. He has a drive to push himself to his limits and to move past fear. What inspired him to do this? When Boyd was working in IT within the health care system, he became introduced to Dr. Rob Rutledge, who is an oncologist and head of the Healing and Cancer Foundation. Dr. Rutledge believes in a holistic approach to cancer treatment which includes medical intervention but also technique to improve mind, body, and spirit. Boyd made a website for Dr. Rutledge and for five years filmed the doctor during talks and interviewed terminal cancer patients. What was ingrained in him during this process was Dr. Rutledge’s teaching of being mindful, reducing stress, reframing negative thoughts and how to make the most of life. He also learned from the patients that only by facing your greatest fears could you transform yourself as a person.
What did he fear and how was he going to face it? He was scared of being beat up and of being in a cage with a trained fighter and defending himself publicly. He teamed up with Greg and produced and starred in Cubicle to the Cage, which is a series that took ordinary people with “normal” jobs and within 14 months Boyd was in a professional MMA battle. Training for MMA is in complete contrast to the way people normally live their lives. Most try to live avoiding conflict, struggle, pain, and suffering. MMA training is completely opposite; everyday is sacrifice, pain, defeat and training at techniques you perform the worst in. This taught him to treat challenges as opportunities to become better and creative.
In this episode
We hear about Boyd’s exploits as a man of many talents. We learn from his experiences in MMA and from his current attempt to boycott technology including TV and social media. Boyd tells us why he thinks the people over 40 years old were more successful in gaining a pro fight in CTTC. Greg is inspired by Boyd’s energy and the concept of pushing himself to become better as a person. Dave appreciates Boyd’s “practitioner” mentality, which keeps him off the sidelines and in the game.
Mon, 11 August 2014
Introducing John Wesley Chisholm
Here is a math equation for you, what does an accountant plus a rocker give you? A television producer named John Wesley Chisholm. After finishing university with a finance degree, John Wesley had the intention of becoming an accountant. At the same time his part-time band, The Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra gets a big record deal with MCA records. Initially, John Wesley thought he could balance his two careers, but he found it difficult to commit to either one. But he had an idea about telling the world about the thousands of Shipwrecks near his hometown of Halifax. He pitched the idea to the Discovery Channel and was able to sell his idea to them almost immediately. Just like that John Wesley was a successful TV producer, he created Arcadia Productions, and the course for his career was set.
John Wesley admits that he is a “professional bullshitter.” It is common to believe that we live in the information age, but John Wesley believes we actually live in the misinformation age. Everyone has their version of the story of the world, and as consumers of stories we all have to sift through what we are being told and make judgements on what to believe and to what degree. John Wesley calls this, “the age of story wars.” When John Wesley pitches an idea, he has to convey that he has a great story to tell, but he also had to pitch that he was the perfect person to tell it. Everyone has to pitch their story in order to achieve their goal, whether it be a grocer saying they have the best fruit or a plumber who has the best fix. As an additional benefit, when you sell on story you don’t need to compete on price. Crafting an effective personal story takes creativity and confidence. It is about finding the courage to express why you do what you do, and the passion for others to believe you. Leaders need all of these attributes to attract devoted followers.
After you have your story, John Wesley believes you need to be persistent. He admits that he is a 99% failure at his job. For every hundred ideas for shows he might have, only one becomes a TV show. He has to start-up and close about 17 to 20 companies a year because each show is a separate company. Persistence doesn’t mean being stubborn. John Wesley has the ability to take “no” for an answer and move on to new ideas. The broadcaster, his customer, wants nothing more than to see him succeed. They want him to give them the greatest story they ever heard and they want to write him a cheque. This is until you say something, “stupid or boring.” This is a great lesson for all entrepreneurs; your customer wants to give you money if you offer the product or service they need, especially if your story is great to start with.
John Wesley believes the secret to happiness in life is the secret to success in business. He believes that no one ever became happy from sitting around trying to make themselves happy. If you concern yourself with others and what they need or desire and try to help you will find happiness. If you take the same approach to business, you will be successful. This means you need to have a keen ear to what your customer truly wants and provide it.
In this episode
Mon, 4 August 2014
Introducing Ed Webber
Ed Webber is a veteran of old-school family business in Nova Scotia. He started in his youth by helping out his father but at the age of 16 his father died. This left his family strapped for cash, and Ed was forced out of school and into the workforce. He began running a gift shop out of a local hotel, and through the years went on to the buy and sell business, as well as opening a breakfast and lunch joint. But after getting married and having a child, Ed wanted better job security and decided to take a job as an area manager for a firm, which rented televisions in hospitals. From there he grew into a regional manager and then with a few partners became the companies only franchisee by starting VistaCare Television Services of Canada in 1989. By 2003, Ed was getting a bit bored with hospital TV rentals and decided to leverage the reputation of VistaCare Television to start a high-end cabling and fiber-optic construction firm. He formed VistaCare Communications Services of Canada and sold VistaCare TV in 2007.
Ed’s vision with VistaCare Communications was to set a new standard in the cabling industry in Nova Scotia. He took a risk and changed the way worker in his company would be paid from piecework to hourly wages and demanded the best quality of work. Soon companies were willing to pay more for the quality of work provided. Ed was able to hire the best technicians because they now could make a consistent pay cheque and were able to show this to banks in order to get mortgages for themselves. In nearly a decade of running VistaCare Communications, the company grew from a single employee to 125 with over 100 trucks on the road. Along the way, Ed never had to layoff a single employee because he built the right team and invested in them.
After Ed sold VistaCare Communications, he and his son (our producer Matt) have gone on to start Edible Matters, a restaurant in Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia. His knack for finding opportunity told him that a restaurant was just what the community needed and that it should focus on quality food, bought locally and seasonally whenever possible. Ed has exported his practical philosophy of business to EM and continues to run the business with “do onto other” mentality.
In this episode
Ed imparts some of his pragmatic, logical approaches to business. He cautions of some pitfalls of starting a family business and also tells us why some good ideas fail. Greg tells us how he met Ed, and how he became a mentor and was challenged by him. Dave is inspired by Ed’s belief that you can’t win everything, but you can win sometimes if you just keep trying. Everyone is reminded that by treating members of your team the best trickles down to your customers feeling like they are important.