I was born in Toronto, Canada into the least entrepreneurial, most risk-averse family, one could ever find oneself in. The son of an ex police, turned intelligence (CSIS) officer, and university lab manager, at a young age I was exposed to a world of security, predictability & public service.
Relocating to Ottawa, Canada at the age of 3, for my Father’s work, I regularly refer to myself as the “black sheep” of the family – always wanting to explore things I didn’t understand, which prompted my interest in private industry, technology, startups, and basically anything that wasn’t stable, secure and (probably) what someone with my upbringing would have been expected to fall into.
Having a passion for technology, and being naturally charismatic led me down the path of sales, early on joining telecom giant, Bell Canada as one of my first, serious career choices. Starting in retail, moving from retail sales, to team leader, business, corporate and finally enterprise sales, I found that I had an intuition for positioning highly complicated, technical items and assets to individuals, and enjoyed implementing incredible digital transformations of organizations with Saas and UC solutions to the tune of millions of dollars in closed-won deals.
This was when I first understood the magnitude of massive implementations at a F500/F100 level, selling millions in solutions, developing an incredible understanding of the technology and business landscape with the largest of organizations. To give you a scope of the types of work I was doing at this point, some of the clients I was selling complex solutions included, Berkshire Hathaway, Luxottica, ULINE, to name a few.
All throughout my time at Bell, I always enjoyed the concept of a side hustle and realized that the reality of work at the time was much different than the career progression and security my parents enjoyed. From an early age, side hustle (although I had no idea it was called that, at the time) was part of my core DNA. Don’t ask me how or why, but I always knew that either working for myself, or working for a startup / smaller organization was the potential for huge upside that I needed to feel fulfilled in my career. Pensions and retirement didn’t seem as attainable for someone growing up in the 90’s and I realized very early on, that if I wanted to enjoy my life, a steady paycheck was not going to do it. Although I regularly worked on sales and marketing (mostly social media) contracts for side clients (throughout most of my working career), it was not until much later when I seriously pursued starting my own venture.
It was at that point, I made a decision, moving to a smaller organization with potential for huge upside, still in the telecom space. Continuing what I was doing at Bell, I joined a smaller Toronto firm, originally as enterprise sales, closing deals with Brinks, Porsche, Miele, Lindt (& Sprungli).
That’s when everything changed.
I’ve always had the attitude that has driven everything I’ve done in life.
“If they can, why not me?”.
Easier said than implemented, the basic premise that has driven everything that I have ever done, is derived from the fact that we’re all human. We all started with the same capabilities (not environment, not privilege, but overall, we can do more or less, the same thing, learn the same things, invest the time and energy to master the same skills).
I simply realized that the sum of an individual, the monumental perception they’ve accrued over years of trials, tribulations, learnings, choices, career iterations, failures, success is what we see, when the building blocks of whatever that person’s success is, are actually quite simple to deconstruct and break down. Once you can understand the items, learnings and pathways and deconstruct them into smaller manageable, and actionable items, life is no longer complex, it’s just mapping out the steps to a very long game, that anyone can win, with the right playbook and personality.
Taking that mindset into my career at Digitcom, the Managing Director who brought me on moved, very early onto a new opportunity which left a void. Knowing full well this was an opportunity, I acted.
Analyzed the current strengths and weaknesses of the commercial organization, planned out a roadmap for future success, after educating myself on all aspects of the business, especially those that fell outside my core area of expertise, and put together a playbook.
I presented this to the, then CEO, created my own role in the organization leading sales and acted out my own commercial playbook, resulting in expansion of our sales force, a remodeling of our sales & marketing initiatives and organization, and 110% attainment to top line revenue targets, and a successful exit to a private venture firm.
With the new firm in place, it was my time to find something new. I attempted to start a few businesses, took courses, explored everything from drop shipping to consulting.
All of these efforts being extremely unsuccessful, highly stressful, incredibly time consuming and ultimately all failures, as are most startups.
That being said, I did learn many lessons.
One positive that came from that was when I partnered with several peers to start the firm Bedrock. The premise was simple, we were all executives who were successful in various fields, technology, accounting, sales, marketing, hr, operations, who aligned and worked with highly disruptive entrepreneurs.
We worked with several organizations, but the most interesting group was the Creative Destruction Labs, a startup incubator based at the University of Toronto, very similar to Y Combinator, one of the more well known start-up incubators based in the US.
We worked on various sales, marketing and operations strategies with some of the most innovative and disruptive founders and organizations, in industries ranging from biotech, fintech, space, robotics, ai, machine learning, blockchain and others.
Working with some of the most innovative companies, with disruptive bleeding edge tech, allowed me to map out playbooks and lessons learnt, from the largest of sales and marketing organizations and implement them in accordance with the cultural nuances, realities and budgets of early stage start-ups.
This also widened my understanding of how start-ups operated and the range of growth, funding and scaling strategies, that helped me advise several other organizations (outside of CDL), on best practices to take a product to market, develop demand and scale.
Throughout this time, I started focusing on building my own personal brand, speaking about some of the work I was doing, as well as the things that I implemented for some of our clients, learnt out of my past experiences in sales, marketing and leadership.
Today, I have more than 250k combined followers across social media, producing content daily on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and more.
This lead to numerous career milestones, including being invited into the Forbes Business Development Council and Revenue Collective, two communities entertaining successful sales & marketing executives. I was also asked to panel and judge the Stevies, the foremost sales, sales enablement and revenue focused industry awards program as well as panel and judge the Canadian Marketing awards, highlighting some of the top marketing campaigns, globally.
I have also had 100+ contributions and pieces I’ve written on leadership, technology, sales and marketing documented in notable publications such as Forbes, WSJ, Hearst, Hackernoon, The Startup and many others.
In addition to written pieces, I’ve also been afforded the opportunity to speak at various events internationally, on business topics including, Startup Laurier, G2 Reach Summit, Freshdesk Summit, UpLevel & others.
It was during this point in my career when I further extended the reach of my own personal brand by starting my podcast, originally focused on business, sales and marketing, but then expending into other fields, the podcast was appropriately entitled “Success Story”.
The goal of the podcast was to interview incredible, successful individuals and to learn their own strategies, insights and ideas on what it takes to “make it”. I wanted to provide an outlet for individuals to learn from the best, in the same way that I enjoy learning.
Unpacking the lives and playbooks of people to understand “how they did it.
On the Success Story Podcast, I have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.
I sit down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.
The format of the podcast, is long form, casual and unscripted highlight the wins, losses, success and struggles of our guests. The goal is for us to unpack the playback incredible individuals have written over the course of their life in hopes that the listeners can learn life lessons, and insights from some of the most prolific, influential people of our time.
Past notable guests include; Guy Kawasaki, Anthony Scaramucci, Jack Canfield, Leven Rambin, Patrick Bet-David, Grant Cardone, Oren Klaff, Joe Vitale, Vernon Davis and 100+ more.
Although the growth of my own personal brand, the success of the podcast and my time consulting with Bedrock have been incredibly rewarding, this is just the beginning.
I will always continue to grow my brand, speak more, write more, publish more, build my podcast as well as start, grow and scale new businesses, work with new people, on new projects and continue to do what I do best.
Try, learn and implement new things, ideas and concepts, hopefully bringing modernization and enlightenment on process, scalability and revenue attainment, to more business & success minded individuals globally.
Currently, I head up sales and marketing for emerging Saas products at ExciteM (Grass Valley OEM), bringing a careers’ worth of sales, marketing, technology and leadership experience to take emerging disruptive Saas products across a global organization (100+ sales and 400+ channel partners), building a new business unit from the ground up.
I still post content, podcast and build my own brand; allowing me to speak, write and advise clients as I continue to pursue my own career as a sales & marketing leader, who is forever a student and practitioner of all things business, revenue and success.