Advice from the business trenches | RENX


The North Saskatoon Business Association (NSBA) holds an annual event called Lessons I learned to which they invite local business leaders to share their journeys.

There is take out every time I attend. Sometimes the ones that resonate with me the most come from unlikely people.

Business growth is often so focused on the bottom line that we miss the forest for the trees, as the saying goes. Trevor Thiessen from Redekop manufacturing spent a few moments on the platform to describe his “a-ha” moment.

He realized that his career growth came at the expense of his family life. He was missing more than he was really enjoying his success at work.

After a break, Thiessen decided to assess how best to use his time, weighing his decisions according to whether they were meaningful or insignificant. It’s a concept that certainly can’t be measured in dollars or cents, he stressed.

To me, that equates to not working so hard that you forget what you are working for.

“I wonder . . . “

Don Flaman shared some of the advice he gave himself during his family business career at Flaman sales.

He qualifies his decision-making by asking himself: “Am I making money doing this?” Or “Am I having fun spending my time this way?” If all else fails, “Am I at least helping someone else?”

If it does not meet any of those parameters, Flaman said he would reconsider the original decision and the efforts he is putting in.

I myself have used a variation of these questions when I needed a boost in shifting gears.

“Hard work is the strongest lesson learned”

I am always amazed at the prospect that a female business leader brings to a discussion.

Colleen Mah left her government post to enter the business world with her husband at North Ridge Development Corporation.

Mah weathered the ups and downs of the residential real estate market with any timely luck, she offered, but most of all hard work. No good fortune can replace doing the job the old fashioned way.

Mah’s story about managing work and family commitments really touched me.

“It’s a more interesting zoo when the animals are not all the same”

Office eccentrics are part of the team and they should be embraced, explained Tony Zuck. Zuck is one of the two partners of the Communication Zu solidify.

Variety is the spice of office life and culture. Encouraging and celebrating individuality can create a better and brighter workforce, Zuck added.

We can each bring something special to the table based on our previous experiences.

This is my third legitimate career. Who thought my journalism or teaching background would prepare me for a career in real estate?

But here I am.

Business success rarely follows a straight line, and following the advice of those who have been there before can avoid some missteps.


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