For the final volume of the Founders series, we passed the microphone over to the audience to let them take control of the event and ask questions from our panel. Attendees were able to ask whatever they wanted to the panel of business owners that included Nicolas Beique; CEO and Founder of Helcim, Mandy Balak; CEO and Founder of The Ace Class and It's Date Night, Alex Putici; Founder of Work Nicer Coworking, and Hannah Cree; Co-Founder of CMNGD.
Since this was our last event of the series, we wanted to make sure that we were able to address the questions that were on everyone's mind.
In addition to the highlight video above, you can also watch the entire event here.
Here are some of the attendee's questions from the evening:
Question 1: What are the tangible things each of you do to ride the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship?
Alex: It's really about the ups and downs, I think a lot of people have a misconception about what balance is. A lot of people go to a beach in their mind, that's not balance. It's this constant up and down journey, to me it's knowing that when you're going through whatever you're going through, know that it's not forever, it's just part of the process.
Hannah: I do two things; I have a file on my computer that says, "when things are going to hell, read this." The other thing is that when things are really out of control, I write down the ten things that I can control that day. Even if it's something simple like I can feed myself healthy food.
Mandy: Celebrate the little wins.
Nic: Pat yourself on the back for getting your first sale, now leverage that first one to help you get the second one. Don't use the Silicon Valley success stories as the bar for what success looks like, because that is a terrible bar to set.
Question 2: What do you take individually from the community and what do you feel that you give to the community?
Nic: You can build a business without a community, but it's a whole lot harder. Networking and community events are new to me, the first nine years of my business were spent in a cave trying to beat my competitors. Now that I am out there and meeting great people, it's so much more fun and positive. I try and give back my time and advice, and what I get is sharing stories and getting new introductions.
Hannah: Community building takes time, and you have to have the right intentions, the mentality of giving before you get is really important. When you show up, and you give, people will show up for you when you need them.
Mandy: You network is your net worth; I think something I do very naturally is build community. All of my businesses have been about building space for people to be real. What I give is a place for people to be real, be vulnerable, and belong. What I take from this community is any introduction that I can get.
Alex: To me community often means culture. Asking what we can do for the community has been a big part of Work Nicer's culture, and as a result, it means we get to keep playing this game.
Question 3: Tell me the greatest part of entrepreneurship for you after a few years?
Mandy: The things that really light me up are the things that you begin this journey for and might forget when things get hard. For me, [today] is an event day. Events are so hard, and they take so much work but at the end of it when I hear feedback, or when I hear amazing stories about how these events are impacting people, it really means a lot. The second thing is when you have a team, and you see growth and leadership within your team, then you come to an event, and they don't need you anymore.
Hannah: Seeing how what you're creating is affecting other people's lives. I don't think entrepreneurs celebrate the wins enough, so we need to talk about it more.
Alex: I'm thankful that I am able to do this because I don't think I would survive in a regular job, so I am very thankful for that.
Nic: My favorite by far is working with my team. I'm working seven days a week, non-stop. I'll finish a new product or mock-up, and I'll be sitting there just waiting to go back to work and show them what I've done.
We have really enjoyed participating in the Founders Series and working with the team at The Ace Class to connect with other members of the entrepreneurial community in Calgary. To keep up with the Helcim team now that Founders has been wrapped up you can subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media to learn about new upcoming events the Helcim Team will be at.