The Entrepreneur Podcast
The Entrepreneur Podcast

Episode · 10 months ago

Legends with David Patchell-Evans of Goodlife Fitness


Adversity is an essential part of great stories, and few things spell adversity like muscle damage, broken bones, shoulder and chest injuries.

Arriving at Western in the 1970s, David ‘Patch’ Patchell-Evans, BA’77, LLD’12, was all set to pursue a degree in business before a horrific motorbike accident intervened. As he took the long road to recovery, Patch discovered the life-changing power of physical health and therapy. Today, as the head of one of the largest health clubs in the world, Patch is helping people across Canada (and beyond) find the good life.

You are listening to the entrepreneur podcast from Western Universities Morissett Institute for entrepreneurship, powered by Ivy. In this series, join me, Eric Morse, as we uncover the stories of our entrepreneurial legends. These western founders have revolutionized industries, built recognizable brands and added richness to lives across Canada and beyond. Discover their origins, their greatest moments, their deepest challenges and what makes each of them tick. Welcome to the legend series. Adversity is an essential part of great stories and few things spell adversity like muscle damage, broken bones, shoulder and chest injuries. Arriving at Western in the S, David Patch, Patchel Evans, was all set to pursue a degree in business before a horrific motorbike accident intervened. As he took the long road to recovery, patch discovered the life changing power of physical health and therapy. Today is the head of one of the largest health clubs in the world, patches helping people across Canada and beyond find the good life. It's quite a business. You've built their patch, and I want to get to that, but US want to start. You know way back, maybe early days, and get caught up with your story and this is one of our legend podcasts and we're really happy you joined us today. So thanks so much. Thanks. I guess qualify as a legend. Does that mean I have to be good or old? I think it to be good and probably old doesn't hurt either. Okay, Hey, let's just start from the beginning. was, when you were growing up, was being an entrepreneur on your radar and and if it was, you know, when was the earliest? You kind of thought about that. My father got, I was a child, in a car accident that I actually saw, and so my mother had to look after three kids and three boys. It wasn't a lot of money. So, you know, I never it never occurred to me. I didn't know what an entrepreneur was. I don't think people talked about it six years ago. What I knew was I didn't want to be hungry and I knew that my job as the oldest boy was to help look after the family. Okay, you know, so at eight or nine I started to do paper roots and shovel snow and it, you know, cut grass and all that kind of stuff, and the benefit of that is you could kind of do it on your own time and you could do it as fast and as hard as you wanted to. So you get rewarded if you get paid five bucks to cuttle on. You got rewarded if you did a fast because you made money quicker. Sure enough, and I can make a lot more money that way. I could then. I think back then you get paid a two bucks an hour or something was it was a way to be more successful quicker and when I wanted to. And you started, you had a paper route and you kind of, even at that time, understood leverage. I think you had a couple of kids working for you doing their own paper routes. So in Tron at the time those three papers, the good mail and telegram and the Star, and so people bought one of the other. So what I did is I got all the papers on all the streets that I could walk to, and so then when I delivered, I was carrying all the papers instead of just one. So we're do. I got rid of the redundancy right all right. And then I also noticed that most people didn't like to go to the door and ask for money and go to the door and still someone by the paper. So I spent a lot of time in doing that and then I hired other kids that went to school with me to actually deliver the papers. I still delivered the globe in the morning because not too many kids wanted to get up a five and deliver the globe. But by you know, what happens is when you collect the money, people are worried about people not paying. Let's also when you get all the tips. Right. Thank so that was a good insight. And some of these people would actually have all three of my papers. Wow, because some people want to read the paper all the time. Right.

Just you know, there wasn't water, there was no internet, you know. So there so in every direction I could walk and, you know, half an hour, forty minutes, I had all the newspapers. Wow, great story. So then you came to Western University as a student. You came to study business, but something traumatic cap and that change that path. Can you kind of walk us through that story? Well, the too part I don't tell people out very often is in high school one of the ways I figured out how to make money was to book rock and roll bands, okay, and so like Friday nights I used to rent a hall somewhere and, you know, get all my high school students to buddies to party. But in the middle of the summer before university, I booked a big concert and it reigned all weekend and I lost all my money. So I came to actually went to hero on college and I was walking through the college with my girlfriend at the time and the guy thought showing us the closest and here's the cafeteria. It's all you can eat, and I looked at him like he was crazy. I said, what's that's all you can eat? Is it okay? Sign me up. That's how I got to Western. Okay, as I thought I can make a lot of money in the rock and roll business, but you know, I'd lost a bunch and it had these different government loan programs. And then at western I thought I'm going to take business and learn all about business and, you know, enrolled in economics and business twenty it was called back then. I don't know what it's called now. And I had this bad motorcycle accent and I ripped the part the right side of my body, you know, for off my Deltoy Brooke, my clavicle, you know, ripped off my chest muscles. My right arm still doesn't go totally straight. Yikes. But I went to the Kennedy Fawlo a clinic for physiotherapy couple times a week and I was training. I mean I was taking Rehab, but all these Olympic athletes were around me training like crazy and I said to David Wise, who was the guy in charge of the time, you know if I came off to when I get better, and he looked at me like I was kind of crazy. Sis. Of course, of course we get better, right. And so, long story short, I end up coming four hours a day and so I got off the description of disabled, took up rowing the following fall to build the right side of my right shoulders before inches lower than I left back up in the experience made me passionate about fitness and I had all these people helped me through that Rehab Journey and I thought I could give back that way. And so as I when I got it accepted into the business school, I thought, you know, I know I can do business. Yeah, I need I need a skill. So I said I'm going to go back, I'm going to switch from business knisiology, and I remember the professor at the business school look at me like I had two heads, like what are you thinking? Well, he probably didn't realize the the extent of your business educate Pale already by that time. No, no, but you know, he said you're going to become a teacher. You know, I said no, no, I'm not going to come teacher and I'm gonna look at for People's fitness. And he thought I was crazy because you gotta remember, this was a long time. It was s five right, okay. And so when I took my kinesiology courses, was called physy at the time, I was focused on I was going to help I was going to help people, right, so it really drove the focus. And then, because I've got an accepted the busines school, I could take my options two courses of a year in the business school. Even when I went to do my master excited physiology, they let me do that. Oh Great. So I had this unique combination, right, and then I started a snow powing business and university and that gave me hands on experience, you know. And then I got the business school to do analysis on my snowpoying business, is one of their which became a case study, right cool and you learn anything from that, well, do anything good with the case. I learned the process of thinking things out. The different papers you took talked about unique selling position, or my unique selling position was I would have the snow plot by seven o'clock in the morning, no matter what, and I would take small lots that other people didn't want,...

...but charge as much of the big lot got it as most guys didn't want the incommunianes. Sure, and then I paid people that were in Phys ed with me or on the sport teams with me. Well, because they're going to work all night. But I pay them more for working fast. You know. So if you see, if you saw someone speeding in the middle of night and some small lot in London, that was one of my guys, you know. And but I did it to write. People do things you can't do. So if it's good, if it's snowed, I didn't sleep usually for two three days. Right. But you know, back in one thousand nine hundred and seventy six, seventy seven, I was making seventyzero bucks a year going to school. Wow, see you already, even even though you didn't really think of it as entrepreneurship, necessarily you'd figured out a way to make money to pay for school and to do a lot of the you know, the things you were doing outside of school, I'm sure as well. Yeah, and then money, borrowing the money. Had five trucks of the time and having to establish a relationship with the bank. When I went to borrow money for that very first fitness club. Is Is my banker said, I think that's a stupid idea, but we trust you that you'll pay it back for the snow plower money. Okay, so the first ten years brilliant that I had the fitness club business. I still snow cloud. Yeah, really interesting. So that I've lived off that, not off the business. So tell me about buying that first first game. It was a gym that you were a member of. Is that? Is that right? Yeah, I was training for the Olympics and the Olympic ruin team said, if you want to keep your carding, that's money the government gives you if your high level actlete. Yeah, we keep that. You need to work out of this nomics fitness club. Okay, so I'm going to this place. I don't need this. You know, I'm doing all this stuff in Fazette what do I need? These guys talks and I went and worked out and I found out this circuit style equipment, intense training was really good, and so I would ask the guy a lot of questions. I would ask questions about training, asking question about his business, and I was had done my thesis and fourth year on opened up a squash club and I've done all the analysis of it at the time. So I was asking some pretty pertinent questions and he looks at me and he goes, ask Me Damn questions. But it's just buy this business, all right. Not at the time I didn't. I thought I'm as a lot older, but it was only about ten years older than me and his daughter now works for me as gentleman. That's fun. But you know, at the time, you know he was in a different industry and he just thought I'll open this up. They were open up across the country and it'll be easy, when nothing's easy right, right, and you got to be good. So I opened it up and everyone said, what are you going to do different? So well, I'm actually going to look after people. I'm actually going to get them in shape, because fitness clubs back then we're focus on selling memberships and not unchanging lives, and that became my model. I. We're going to change your life for the better, right, you know, and that's that cultural difference of making it a reward for the time you put into exercise and making sure you got results. That's how we grew from one club to, you know, almost five hundred. That's amazing. It's amazing. We're their other experiences while you're at university. That kind of shaped your journey as an entrepreneur. Yeah, you know, when I think of the different things, I think of the case, the program that they use. To assume they still do that at the school. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it's so I learned to think how people can think differently about the same thing and weirdly enough it is. I went to here in college, as I mentioned, and they had all these courses. I didn't take it western. I took a huron and they were all liberal arts courses. Sure, and you know, I took a few courses in the philosophy and sociology, which I never would have occurred to me to take then. We thought, you know, the relabeled bird courses, you know, really easy, but what they did is really make you think, absolutely right. And when I took the case studies in...

...the liberal art stuff and I started to think, how can you make a difference in people's lives? Because, you know, I thought anybody can do a business. You know, that's kind of arrogant to think, but I thought, if you're going to do a business, what I learned from the snow plowing was what was my unique selling position going to be in people's hearts and in their bodies? Okay, right, well, how do I make their leisure and the physical activity, their social activity, their psychological activity all make their lives better, you know, and created a culture in the company aimed at improving people the way they wanted to improve you know. And then I took all kinds of courses in sales, because is a athlete in a business school. You get arrogant and you think you know how to do it right. Right, world your oyster at that point, right, yeah, but when you actually go and try to sell something, I quickly figured out that I wasn't, you know, I was telling people, I wasn't selling, I wasn't getting inside of their heads, in their hearts. So I took all the top motivational salespeople in the world. Back then I went to virtually every course. So I thought of that as my independent study, right, and so I took the background that I had business school, the background I had in the liberal arts and then the school hard knocks, which is how did you actually make it work? Yeah, and put them all together. Right, yeah, fantastic. So I guess that was entrepreneurship. Yeah, it's a good education and yeah, it was a great there was a great professor. I took a course in entrepreneurship at the school. Took it in the master's programming. There's a great professor there. His name was Rust Knight. Yeah, right, you know Russ? Yeah, I do. Yeah, you know, and I'd go back every once in a while and say, rest what do you think? You know and you know, and I bounced stuff off him and then he gave me the we had used my snokene business the case study and then when I was going to open up my second club, use as a case study for business business. Course. Yeah, I got so much out of that, right, because now I was in defending myself. My idea is against people are only a couple of years younger than me and most cases a lot smarter. That but you know, to have that challenge to your way of thinking was really useful. Yeah, you know, and sometimes teaching is such a such a great way to learn, right, because you just have to think about it in ways that maybe you wouldn't otherwise. Yeah, it's not just a great way to learn. Is If the teacher asks you the right question. Right. I think that's the gift of the teachers that you have there, is they ask the right question. Yeah, that makes you learn right. Yeah, and you know, the fun thing about the case method, for me anyways, patch, is that, you know, hopefully I'm asking good questions in my students, but but I always find I learned something new every time I teach a case from there, from their creative way of thinking about a problem. And, as you said earlier, everybody thinks about it a little differently, and that's that's so much fun. For sure. It's whenever your resume I thought, okay, here's a guy that is thought about what people are thinking about. Well, thanks, I tried. Well, so you bought that First Club in seventy nine. How do you go from one club to four hundred and fifty, the best known brand in Canada? You know what's what led to that transition, that growth. Well, the first thing you have to do. In my case, I didn't have very many staff, as you have to do head one style, part time. So you have to do everything yourself, right, right, you know. And one of the hardest jobs I learned was cleaning the whirlpool when it was twenty degrees below zero. As you know, the filter was on the outside wall. Reach it for us, you know. So I learned a little bit about construction that way. Right, sure. And then I've as I went through my lease that I inherited from the previous on, I realized this is so onesided. Yeah,... know, and so I had to learn how to read leases. So here I had to learn how to make a world will work. Then I had to learn how to negotiate with the landlord and say this is unreasonable. This is a major graduate degree, wasn't it? Yeah, you had to know the nuts and bolts of how to do something and you had to know the literal part of how to interpret the two things. Right, HMM. And then people coming to sell you advertising and you quickly realize I don't have a clue, right, so I joined things like the advertising and Sales Club okay, so that I would, you know, in the concept that you have in school of continuous education, that's what you start. You got to put in practice right, right. I joined the advertising sales coming I learned, Oh, I need to network, right, right, and I need to make contact with people. Well, this is what sales is. I need to take these courses, right, yeah, and and then I had come back, but honestly, to the business school library, and it's still okay, this is what I need to know. Take it for books in the same diligence about you know that you would have how do you understand this physiology problem and it's busy business problem. I had this unique way of looking at things from a business school perspective, in an exercise physiology perspective, because I trained and how do I get people in the best shape their lives and such and such peer to time and I applied that same logic of I want to run a marathon in this day, is I want to open a business on this day. And what did all the backward steps to do? Right, the combination of skills really worked out. Well, yeah, absolutely well. How did you go about? I mean, I think you've really changed the person of Gym's across the country. Right that they were always fragmented. It was kind of always one off. There were a couple of change but they didn't have the best reputation. How did you tap a peace of it? What I start off with having core values for the company, and the number one core value is carrying. And you know, we grown to about twenty clubs and we're being influential, but there was it's negativity that came from many other clubs not operating ethically, as you're just implying. Right. So I created a thing called the Canadian Association of this professionals. Okay, I knew I couldn't change the ownership's mind, but I could influence everybody that worked for them. Okay, interesting. And I knew if I made everyone in the industry get better, not not made but gave the opportunity for any ruining the industry to get better. People being what people are, people in the fitness industry want to help people, like if it's like a teacher, it's like yourself. If you didn't want to help people, you wouldn't continue to do this. Right. Right, absolutely. So people at stay in the fitness inustry inside of them they want to help people. So the role of camp at Pro Canadian finish professionals was provide courses and materials, Opportunity for instruction to develop people's talent to deliver what they want to deliver when it didn't exist. It's one thing to take a course in school, it's another one to know how to deliver it to a person. Sure, so I got people sitting me. Well, why are creating these courses? Is Going to educate all your company competitors? It's in my job is to stay ahead up of my competitors, no matter what, whether the course exists or not. But if the whole industry can get better, then I'm going to be. I'm going to do okay too. There's no way I can run all the fitness clubs in the country and realistic, right. Right, so, because there are a little barriers to entered running a fitness club, you know, in terms of absolutely not like a telecom company. Right. So, by educating everybody in, everybody became better. Yeah, more Canadians become fitter, which was my goal anyways. Right, sure, it helped them on all fronts. Yeah, and he really became the leader in the industry. So you know, by doing that, more people are going to want to work with you, for you and hopefully join the gym as well, as that triples down. Yeah, we can leader in this dry Canna, but camp at... is the fitness leader in the world. Yeah, that's fantastic. You know. So I have the most clubs of a single individual anywhere in the world. Is that right? That bad? I can't think of an organization of twenty clubs or more owned by one person. But I'm also one of the few people with a practical degree. But can you geology for Zaid that runs finnis clubs, because a lot of times people don't combine the two talents right right now, and I think it's that combination that you've had through your work and through education that has is really such. You a part that way. Yeah, I mean in the university quite us, the created that melting pot that allowed me to get these things. What lessons might you have learned, you know, going from one to four hundred and fifty, or it's more than that now. I think you know. Any lessons that you would share in terms of how do you grow that quickly or things that you had to learn along the way? All kinds. So for me the key was how do you do one club as good as you can? Yeah, and basically I always think of my business as one member at a time, right, so I always want to keep every member. HMM. But everyone's important and I try to think medically professionally, like every life counts. Right. Absolutely, with that, add to you develop enough people one location, you could open a second. You can make more money if you have one location in one look more money prolocation if you just focus on location. But it's not convenient for the population if you do. If you I just had one location in west London, for example. Yeah, and people from eastland would have to travel away. So then the next stage was build it and then build it communially. HMM. More you know. That led to being dominant in London, that it led to be dominant in different parts of on Taro than dominant Ontario, than dominant Canada. You know, and I quite I took the same techniques down to New Zealand and we're now, you know, we've been there four years over the biggest group of clubs of New Zealand. Well, one of the things we talked about a lot. Patch an entrepreneurship is then this idea of what got you here may not get you there. And we often talk about talent on the the management team, the systems, the processes you have in place. You know. Can you tell me about that? You know, how did you get your operation so that you could handle, you know, clubs across the country? I was in the sport of Rowing Right now. I had played hockey and I played football and stuff like that, and rowing you can only go as fast as everybody in the boat. So it doesn't matter how great you are individually, the boom only faster if everyone's not going together right. So that was my ads worth business. And then I tried to surround myself with people that were better at different things than I was. Like early on, a guy that was a fireman. His name was John Conley is and his wife's He's passed away and his wife still works with me, Diane. He saw me working fixing finish equipment. He says it's driving me crazy watching you try to do that. Let Right. So he became my second employee. Was fixing equipment for me on in size and but he was really into computers. Okay, you know, I'd get all these checks and that every month, I'd be righting all the checks and he saw me doing that one night at three o'clock in morning. Goes well, once just put that on a computer. This was one thousand nine hundred and eighty. Okay, but John on the side had become great at computers. Back then there were radius at computers. So we were actually we created a system for doing withdrawals before the mortgage companies were Dona, you know. So it was this technical side a little bit implemented right. And then I'm a pretty driven person and I'm go, go, go all time and I need someone to balance me out. I had a great employee was working for me in her name is Jane Rodell. She graduated from Western to choose, a high level athlete of Western, and she was really kind of... the ying to my Yang to believe in the same stuff. But then she would say, okay, here's how we implemented piece by piece. Okay, I did. I didn't have time to do the piece by piece right, right, I'm running. Yeah, I come running in jam and make sure this stuff got followed through and got followed up on right, absolutely cretic. So, and she's Jane, still with me fantastic. That kind of charge the company. So that led to developing great people that stay with you. So my upper management team, if you came from the fitness side, there's nobody in upper management team that hasn't been with me twenty plus years. Wow, right, that's a real statement. And when they've come from other sides, like Pat Jacklin, who's my Staffo, you know she's been with the me and I think, twenty years too. That speaks a lot to your culture patch. You know. Can you tell me more about the importance of culture and how do you keep people around that long? People don't want to leave, people don't want to go places. If your culture is fun, really helps. So you know, I'm the chief entertainment officer, right. So back to your rock and roll days. Yeah, but on a scale one of ten. I enforced constantly that we're tense. We have to be tens to help people become tens themselves. Okay, you know, I teach people about how to engage with people, talk to them and elevate your spirit, and that culture is one of the things that keep everybody in the company. Most people want to have lives of meeting. So if I, if I do the right things, they can fulfill the purpose they have to have a life and meaning inside the environment of our clubs. Right, the first person you have to look after is your staff, and if you look after your staff, they'll look after your members. And I want them, you know, and I want the members to be look after our way. I'd want to be looked after, absolutely. So it's just care for each other, right. Yeah, happiness is one of our values, perseverance is one of our values, integrity, right, fitness, of course, you know. So all these things are crucial and important to the picture. Yeah, and I you know, Gosh, we've been through so much over the last guy eighteen months now. That culture, I'm sure it's been a big part of what's seeing you through. But if we think about this past year, goal pandemic, it's not your first crisis, it's your toughest, given it the government forced you to shut down. How do you lead during a crisis? You gotta believe, you know, the key part of my success has been believing in myself to making other people believe in themselves. And let's believe in ourselves as a team. So you got to believe that these things are temporary. It's like injuries. I'm injured, I will get better, you know. I have to do the Rehab, yeah, after the training and have to work out, but I will get better if I do those things. So with Covid it's, you know, let people know you have their back. Let them know you get it. You know, make sure you pay the same price. I do. Like when covid started, we paid our people for two weeks, even when we had to close. Yep, and I stopped paying myself then. I still not pay myself. And does that make a difference? Everything makes a difference, sure, but psychologically makes a huge difference. Right, it's no different when I started be able to do every job and being everybody's shoes. So I don't agree with the way we've done things. I believe fitness is a right. The the opportunity to look after your health should not be taken away from people. They're a way to do it right. Yeah, so I think that's been totally done wrong. A lot of people suffered because of it, I think mentally and obviously physically, but I think mental health. A lot of us, myself included, you know, need the workout. Yeah, they've proven for fifty...

...years that if you exercise a regular basis you make twenty percent more money, twenty percent more productive, twenty percent happier minimum. Well, right, you know, we know in this is one of the failers of our school system. If kids exercise and regular basis, they get better marks. Right, oh, but what do we do? We cut back on Physi right, I think you know something Magic's going to happen. It's not right. People's level of self esteem is higher when their bodies work right. It's not about having a perfect body, it's but having a functional body, because when you have a functional body of a functional brain. Yeah, what you know? I've heard you in the past talk about activity and how important it is just to the regular operation of Your Business. It's had to be really hard to keep that up throughout the pandemic and keep your you know, your top team positive about what the future is going to hold. Totally. It's hard, but I mean running marathon's hard, but you can do it right. firstually anybody can run a marathon if you can run a mile and if you can't walk a mile, and then you'll learn how run a mile and then. But it's having the tenacity to put one foot in front of the other. Right. So my people have been incredible at just saying, okay, Sun came up today. What are we going to do? One of my favorite quotes is Leonard Cohen. The doors got a little cracker, the windows got a crack. I can't remember how it goes that, something like it's in right. Right. So you just got to look for any glimmer of hope. Boy, people up right. Yeah, so if there's a covids going crazy Alberta, how's it doing? A Pi? So I don't burn it, we could be like Pi really soon. You know, I wrote a thing called the twenty one leaders guide to resilience. Okay, you guys resilience, right. So at the start of Covid I said, okay, what am I going to do? So I started getting up two hours earlier. I got ten development, psychologically improving, motivating books and I would read five pages, ten page, of twenty pages out of each one, all from different walks of life, right, and I read these and then I shot down notes. So every morning for the first three months my morning was focused on how to be better. So then I wrote this guy and I shared it with it my staff and with anybody that wanted it. Cool, if anybody wants it, can have it. But it was about taking twenty one minutes a day to set your day for success. Well, I know a little a little bit of stretching, a little bit of minute a minute and meditation and minute of thinking about this, that kind of stuff. With the whole idea it was like exercise for the heart. Yeah, it's heart, mind, body, but to move he to that stage. So you would be hopeful. Yeah, and you've got everybody at seeing a back to that culture thing. Everybody is training on something, doing a shared experience and looking, you know, you know, towards the future. I think that's tremendous. Yeah, it's as you know, you have to be student history to write. Yeah, so this isn't the first plague. Europe in the Middle Ages was devastated, but half the population or more being killed. Right, right, how do we not have that happen? Yeah, for sure. And then how do people get out of it? So I talked about the roaring s are coming. All right, it's a hundred years later, but the next raring twenties are coming, right, yeah, and then I talked about you know, people realize now that the hospitals are not designed for your health. The designed for you when you're sick. Right. So your job is not to go in the hospital. Yeah, it's not to go in the hospital find out, you know how to get unsick. Your job is not to go there in the first place. You know. And you can be the unlucky one that gets cancer, you can be the unlucky one that gets something else, but all those things are reduced if you're healthy. Absolutely, and your mental attitude is a big fact of this. Your mental attitude can only be positive if your physical capability is positive. Absolutely, and which... why I believe finish should be considered an essential human right. So to get through covid it's like getting through a marathon. Same deal, right, one step at a time, one step at a time, if you don't know what's coming up. So this is like a marathon over a mountain, through stream in the dark. Right, right, right, and all we know is that there's a finish line, but we don't know where it is. Yeah, that's the hard part, isn't it? We know that I'll finish, because it always has. Yeah, and finance want to be standing here and healthy when it finishes. Yeah, financially, spiritually, intellectually, socially, that kind of stuff. So it's the balance of all those things all the time. Like how do you make a prudent financial decision so your business is still a here in three months, six months, whatever it is, and also a decision that is for the positivity of the people work for you and for your members. Yeah, that's hard. That's that's the daily that's my daily grind. Yeah, I'm sure the the opposition forces. So let's look forward now a little bit. You know, four decades you've been doing this good life fitness, built an amazing business that affects, you know, people in their daily lives. What keeps you going? You know, up I didn't get in the business to make money because I kind of thought I would make money from my snowbott business, right. You know, as I developed that, I thought, okay, you can make money doing this, but you're only going to make money if you make a difference in people's lives. So I was so lucky before I read about it, I was doing what I love, you know. So I would have done it for free. Right. So that takes us forward to now. Is My job now is to prepare my successors, you know. So I spend my learning curve preparing it and it goes back to when I'm has picked entrepreneur of the year in Canada about ten years ago. And as I was talking with the time, they said you're the only guy who hasn't sold. Okay, right, and I said, well, how did I get picked? Then says because you've grown so much. You've learned how to be somebody different at each stage. Right. Look, so now my job is to leave a legacy inside the people that work a good life. So if, you know, I fall off mountain, hell scheme, things will look after right, right. And so that's what I'm learning to do. And for an entrepreneur that's really hard. Yeah, because you want to go do it. So I'm trying to think, okay, how do I become entrepreneurial, about creating people with different skill sets that can run the company. So no one's going to know all the stuff I know because they didn't start from nothing, right, and go to with it. Right, and it's, I logical that one person could do stuff anymore. But if I can develop in all the different components of the industry the same attitude of carrying hmm, or whether you're driving our technology or driving our construction or driving our people department. If everyone's got the commonality of culture, then they can fulfill the mission of their particular part of the business. Yeah, he said something. I think it's really important their patge. I mean, you've gone through a trajectory, right, a life journey that no one else has, and so you have a body of knowledge that's different than you know. I think a lot of people don't understand the patients that it often takes for an entrepreneur to build that team below them because, you know, you forget. Oh Gosh, yeah, it took me ten years to learn that. That was thirty years ago, but it took me a long time to learn that. And so there's some patients that they goes along with building that team and and I think the entrepreneurs to build the best teams, you know, recognize that and give time to their teams to really make it work. So you've obviously interviewed a few. It's you're...

...absolutely right, it is patients. Yeah, you know, in the risk I see in the classification of entrepreneurship now. Yeah, sometimes it like it's mixed up with get Ridge quick, right, and so when people talk about being entrepre entrepreneur now, I often think they think they're going to be a tech entrepreneur, come up the idea and get rich quick. All right, so gaze to not get rich quick now, right, you know, Steve Jobs to not get rich quick. Yeah, and I like to remind people at Ninety nine point nine percent of all business started are not tech businesses. Yeah, and you know in that ninety five percent of businesses failed by the fifth year. Right, right, so it really if you're going to work for yourself and be an entrepreneur, pick something that you actually really care about, because if you're thinking about how to cash out, you're probably never going to cash out, and I think that's a great lesson for our students and for all entrepreneurs. Frankly, it's going to be hard, it's going to take time, and so you better love it. Yeah, and you gotta like people. Yeah, you're not going to do this by yourself. Now, if, let's say you're really good and engineering and that's so good with people, get some people on your team that make up free weaknesses. The number one thing with entrepreneurs to get people that back up your weaknesses and your weaknesses. Might be stronger the most people in that area, but they're not the level of if you want to be huge and great at Your Business, your strength becomes a weakness unless you have people that are better at you than you write. Like surround yourself with people that are better you, because the skill set that of being a Prenur is that weird ability to see something other people don't see and create something. HMM. So most of the time people are going to agree with you that. The same time, you got to be willing to sit back. And so ifay, you don't agree with me, should I be listening harder? Yeah, it's a great same same patience you talk about right, absolutely, you know. So it's great that people talk about being on two nurse and you know, one of the things they need to think about is leading with your heart, not your head. Yeah, you got to have both, right, and too many people leave one at the door, for sure. Yeah, and it doesn't really matter what is because you're going to deal with people. Yeah, even if you're making robots, there's people somewhere in that joy's going to buy the robot, right, you know. So it's it. There's always a sale of all yeah, there's which means there's always a connection with people involved. Pass this is this has been a lot of fun for me. What's one last thing that you might share with our listeners, whether they're students or maybe somebody a little bit later in life thinking about starting up a business? I would think about how you're also going to give back. Okay, so one of the things I noticed is even when I started the business, we we've funded charities, charities, you know, I was in the boys and Girls Club group, for example, a nonprofit in my area. Right that I couldn't make a difference. So think about ways that you're going to give back, ways you can socialize and give back. I didn't know it at the time, but when I look back and has two major benefits. You create a social group outside of Your Work Group. Yep, when things are Shitty, and there will be shitty times. Yeah, that socialist thing you've been also fills up your heart absolutely. Like my business helps people and if you're doing something really love, it's almost always going to help people in some way. Right. So, if you're if so, if you can say to yourself on the darkest days, I'm helping the people that work for me, I'm helping the people that buy whatever we sell and I'm also giving back in some way. Yep, you know, I've tried to get back in a lot of different...

...ways over period of time and I look back, when it was given a PhD by from Western it was in recognition of all the stuff I'd given back. It was so it's so interesting because they weren't giving me this degree because I've been awesome and business. It was because I'd taken some of that talent and give back to people. And then I was so lucky in the chancellor was Joe Rottman, and he and I got to talking and I said, I asked him what you just asked me. What it needs. You Man. He says, come and see me. Oh yeah, cause I went saw im on my birthday. Okay, he spent like four hours with me telling me a story. Rights, he says, patched, the best part of my life was after I was sixty when I started to spend more of my time giving away money than making it. It's cool. And after he died, about three or four months after he died, I sent a letter to his wife just telling her how much I appreciated that day. Wow, so I happened into that by accident. One of the first things that Western they had a special Olympics thing, the Winter Special Olympics, and it was like early on the first year, and I volunteered. And so I had this boy that I was looking after WHO's only, I think, a year or two years older than me. He had down as it was super nice and had a great day teach him how to cross country ski and everything was all Western. Right. So I went back to her on college, having dinner that night and I'm telling the group that I'm with about my great day at the Special Olympics, right, and then the woman sitting across from me, her name is sue callen, or her name is sue callen now. The man who became her husband was a good buddy money's at one side of me, and they had been childhood sweethearts from Saria, Ontario, and they both look at me kind of funny. Said what was his name? I said his name and it is that's my brother. You can wow. Right. So fast forward, like would have been three, twenty five years later. Hmm, I have a special needs daughter. You guys of your autism, and I'm getting people to help with US and sees one of my first volunteers. Wow, so that's great. I didn't you know. I didn't know at different times I've been drawn to help the special needs community. Yeah, that I would end up, three years later, lucky enough to have a special needs kid of my own. Sure, and that's special needs kid taught me half the stuff that has made my visit successful, and the number one thing it taught me you talked about patients. Yeah, and it taught me to focus on happiness. It is amazing. Patchy, it is a circle, right, and I think people, and especially aspiring entrepreneurs, too often lose sight of that. You know, your reputation is critical, your network is critical, you're that idea of social capital, which I think is kind of what you're talking about, and giving back, and you know all of those things help you so much as an entrepreneur and ways that you can never know, and and and as a person as well, as you've pointed out. And there's a fun site to it too. It's like I'm sitting, we're doing it. We have conferences all time FIR staff and I'm sitting beside a woman, Rochelle, who's helped organize our conference so she's fairly new to our company, couple years. She's talking. I looked in our said did you work at the seeps? And you know, for people listen to this arm from London, the seeps is like the beverage, beverage institution of London. That's right, for many years and I used to work there. Okay, right, and so I see this is a very fun place to work, right. Yeah, you know, and I tried to keep that culture in good life. But I thought her job was to help at this conference make sure we hate fun perfect, and so sitting I get to talk to I go no, wonder. Yeah, right, like what you're talking about. What goes around comes around. Right, absolutely, and Michelle still with me, doing a great job. Yeah, and we're still a fun... to work for because I start off every call without a scale to one, to tail. What are you are people in good luck believing themselves? Yep, then they can influence other people to believe in themselves. Absolutely, you know, what a great business. You know. I can't wait to see what the next four decades springs and wish you all the best and share your positivity. And in terms of getting through the tough times, we are right now. Thanks so much for the opportunity. Really appreciate it. You've that touch. Thanks so much. Take care. The entrepreneur podcast is sponsor by quantum shift two thousand and eight alum, Connie CLARICI, and closing the gap healthcare group. To ensure you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast player or visit Entrepreneurship Dot uwo Dot CEA podcast. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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