Bruce Croxon, the newest addition to CBC's Dragons' Den, co-founded online dating service Lavalife in 1987 and sold the company for more than $100 million in 2004. Since then, he has closely monitored the technology sector and has also taken an interest in the personal wellness industry, operating Vida Spas in Whistler, B.C. He also sits on the board for the Trans Canada Trail.
A fervent entrepreneur, Croxon credits his upbringing with a Jamaican mother and British father as a key part of his success.
Bruce Croxon shared some of his experiences and business tips with CBC News.
CBC News: What was your first business experience? What did it teach you?
Bruce Croxon: I was a paperboy for The Globe and Mail. It taught me the importance of following through on your commitments. There was many a cold morning when I didn't feel like getting up. But people were relying on me for the newspaper. Oh, and the job also taught me to always pee before leaving the house!
What elements make a small business successful? What skills do you think a small business owner needs?
Focus, focus, focus. The entrepreneurial tendency is to assume you can handle everything. Having too much on the go at once, that's the kiss of death.
There's a lot of talk about Canada lacking in innovation and productivity -- what do you think needs to happen to fix that?
We need more venture technology investment from the [financial] institutions. The time is now.
Coverage of the latest small business news, trends and issues, as well as advice from experts on everything from starting and marketing a business, to managing staff and improving the bottom line.
What was one of your biggest business setbacks and what did you learn from it?
There have been many. My general learning has been that you need to press on.
What did you enjoy most about being a small business owner? Anything you dislike about it?
I like that, as a small business owner, you acutely feel all the wins and losses, big or small. I also dislike that you acutely feel all the wins and losses, big and small.
What's your best advice for balancing life and work as an entrepreneur?
What other advice do you have for small business owners in Canada?
Keep grinding. It will come.