StartUpHere Toronto Cafe launched by Mayor John Tory and Ten Thousand Coffees. It aims to provide a mentoring platform to local entrepreneurs and small businesses. The launch had a panel of speakers that included:
Dave Wilkin, Founder, https://www.tenthousandcoffees.com
Ilana Ben-Ari, Founder, Twenty One Toys http://twentyonetoys.com/
Evan Charmichael, Founder, http://www.evancarmichael.com/
Laurel Walzak, Founder, Fitneff http://www.fitneff.ca/
Here are 5 awesome Key Points (in my own words) that I learned from the discussion:
1. Toronto is a hub for Entrepreneurs
Evan Charmichael mentions nothing irks him more then startups thinking they need to re-locate to places like Silicon Valley. Toronto has so many resources and tools available for entrepreneurs to succeed. There just needs to be a better awareness that these resources are available.
2. Take Action on Advice
Find ways to follow up with mentors. Be proactive, show them the next time you meet with them that you achieved all their advice and tasks you guys discussed. This shows that you value their time and advice, and haven’t wasted their time.
3. Don’t stay Comfortable
If you’re not finding yourself in uncomfortable situations, then you’re not doing something right. Being uncomfortable is o.k it just means you’re moving forward. Push yourself to get through it.
4. Have more than one Mentor
Mentors can not only help with with career advice, but there are some mentors that help just YOU as a person.
Know that you can have different mentors for different roles and does not need to be one person. Find different mentors that fit different phases of your life and career. As well, there can be ‘aspiration mentors’, mentors you never met, but you read, learn, watch about them for inspiration and education.
5. Fear is Normal
Fear is natural part of growth. Understand that everyone has fear, it is part of life. You push on, if you don’t feel it you’re not pushing forward. Mayor Tory shares a quick story on his experience starting as the CEO of Rogers Communications. He mentions that he was in a giant board meeting and everyone’s looking to him for answers. He mentions he’s unsure of the decisions and he was terrified. This was a great perspective because it showed a certain humbleness to him. As well, that even at the highest level of leadership you can still be afraid.
#StartUpHereTO – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
The panel continued after with round table conversations with various mentors in different industries. I had an amazing one on one chat with Greg Thompson the Founder of Laser Quest. If you’re a Small Business Owner or Entrepreneur in Toronto the Startup Cafe website can be found here: http://startupheretoronto.com/startup-here-toronto-cafe/
Were you at the event? Leave a comment or send me a message, let’s connect!