If you've done any traveling this winter you know the most important thing to pack is patience. After two huge weeks of Dragons' Den audition travels, starting in Surrey B.C. and ending in Halifax N.S., I've completed my first ever "coast to coast" - but not without a few roadblocks along the way.
First of all let me say that travelling and hanging out with folks across the country has been amazing! After a good day of pitches in Surrey, I danced all night with fellow producer Michelle MacMillan and a handful of Vancouver's finest. In Penticton, a gracious group of pitchers pretended that they didn't see me walk (full) into a janitor's closet thinking that it was the bathroom. While auditioning in Charlottetown I got to meet CBC uberpersonality Boomer Gallant (with his world famous biscuits in tow), and in Saint John, a pub owner and Dragons' Den superfan totally made our night with great local brew and free pool. Yes Canada is chock full of awesomeness!
However, sandwiched between all that maple leaf love were a few challenging and icy "situations". Plenty of delays plagued the trip but the worst came on our last night in Halifax. After a full day of auditions, me and my East Coast tag team partner Katie Cumby were ready to wrap it up, shut it down, and get on the first plane home. That's when the cheese hit the grater. After six hours of keeping our fingers crossed, our flight was finally cancelled at 2AM, leaving us stranded. What was once a quaint eastern airport turned into the Asylum from American Horror Story.
In these kinds of moments, different brands of approaches tend to emerge. There are those travellers who form a line (even if not instructed to). They need order and expect someone else to get them where they need to go. There are also those, tired and out of patience, who drop their bags, throw a sink through the window and run into the sunset. They don't get very far. Finally there is a third group. These travellers are patient. They take a breath, grab their phones, crack open their own laptops, and #GDB (Get Down to Business).
When you think about it, the same can be said of entrepreneurs. There's a handful that are just "out there". That's not at all to dismiss this method - sometimes it works - just look at Donald Trump, Richard Branson or our own Kevin O'Leary. There are also those who wish to line up, follow procedure and inch along waiting for someone to help. Finally there are those who #GDB. They are the ones who accept whatever challenge is put in front of them. These are the creators, the innovators, and the people who see the problem and harbour the patience to produce their own solutions.
If you don't know which kind of entrepreneur you are, and are curious to find out, all you have to do is follow my simple two step plan.
Step One: With just under a month left of winter, book a flight, any flight, somewhere in Canada.
Step Two: There is a great chance you too will be stranded somewhere. That's it. Stand and wait and within forty-five minutes - kapow! - you will know which kind of entrepreneur you are!
For even better results, and 'cause I have to wrap this up, I recommend contacting your local chamber of commerce and taking advantage of all of the amazing free help they can offer!
Thanks again to everyone who came out this year, from coast to coast it has been a great group of pitchers and best of luck to all those who make it into the Den!
Posted on Mar 6, 2013 1:02:40 PM