3 min read

Spinach Pay - Chad Agate

I am an extremely driven person that is focused on making the vision I have for my life real. Every morning that I open my eyes, I am grateful I get to do that.
Spinach Pay - Chad Agate

Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chad Agate, founder, and CEO of Spinach Pay, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

The majority of my time is spent running Spinach Pay; a payments company focused on legal vice verticals like cannabis and gaming. The Spinach Pay suite of payment solutions allows vice companies to offer more ways for their customers to pay, including account-to-account, buy now, pay later, and crypto payments. The rest of my time is spent advising young entrepreneurs.

Tell us about yourself

I was sentenced to 5 years for drug trafficking at the age of 19; as a convicted felon, I couldn't get a regular job anywhere. I realized that if I was going to be successful in life, the only real option I had was to become an entrepreneur. Since then, I've started four different businesses - an information security company, a voice over IP PBX company, a digital marketing agency, and a payments company. In between, I served as the Chief Technology Officer for a publicly-traded cannabis company.

With Spinach Pay, we saw a gap in the market and knew we could fill it. I'm extremely lucky to have such a strong team of pioneers in payments, cannabis, and technology. The team really is my not-so-secret weapon. I make sure I hire people that are much smarter than mean, that buy into our vision, and then I get out of the way and let them execute relentlessly.

I am an extremely driven person that is focused on making the vision I have for my life real. Every morning that I open my eyes, I am grateful I get to do that.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I've been lucky enough to have a couple of successful exits from my companies, both my information security company and my marketing agency. I've also been lucky to have some pretty spectacular public failures and not-so-successful exits; those really make you appreciate the wins. It was also pretty cool to ring the bell on the Toronto Stock Exchange, which is not so bad for a convicted felon.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Accepting the fact that as an entrepreneur, EVERYTHING IS YOUR FAULT. Period. It's both a liberating and completely terrifying notion that took me a long time to understand. As soon as I started taking the everything is my fault attitude with my businesses, we really started crushing it. If an employee didn't execute how I expected, I started looking in the mirror and saying, "Okay, we didn't execute well here. What can I personally do differently to ensure that this doesn't happen again?" "We didn't make our numbers. What can I personally do to ensure that we hit them on the next quarter?" The reality is "why" doesn't matter. When you aren't hitting targets, investors don't really care about why. They just want to know what you're going to do to get back on track. You don't have the option of missing payroll; employees don't want to hear "why"; you just have to make it happen.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Get clear on your vision. Document it and deeply commit to making it a reality.
  2. Stay healthy and fit; entrepreneurship can be challenging at times, and you don't have time to get sick.
  3. Don't be afraid to put in the work; 98% of the people in the world don't put in the effort to see their vision through. Be a part of that 2%, and you will enjoy true prosperity.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Being successful in business and life, in general, takes quite a bit of mental toughness and discipline. I have been able to achieve the things I have achieved by:

  1. Surrounding myself with people that are much smarter than me. When there is something, I need to learn or understand, I used to spend a CRAZY amount of time trying to figure it out for myself. What I've learned now is that hiring coaches and advisors that have been there is WELL WORTH the investment.
  2. I develop systems around my life, from a strong morning routine to my diet, to my training, to how I conduct meetings, and how I make decisions. When we get tired, scared, frustrated, or whatever life throws at us as entrepreneurs, we can get sloppy and make mistakes unless we have strong systems around us. You are only as strong as your system.

Where can people find you and your business?

Website: https://www.spinachpay.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chad_agate/

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email community@subkit.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.