Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shannon Ferguson, co-founder, and CEO of FanSaves Inc., located in Ontario, Canada.

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

FanSaves is a digital platform that offers fans discounts and deals from the sponsors of their favourite teams and organizations! Think Instagram meets Groupon. We work with teams and organizations and their sponsors to give deals to their fans, and we love that we get to help three different stakeholders!

Tell us about yourself

I began my career in sports marketing in 2012, which led me to work at agencies in Montreal, Calgary, and Toronto. In late 2015, my Mom passed away, and I decided to move back to my (small) hometown to be closer to my support system but quickly realized there weren't many careers in my field. I decided to start my own Marketing & Events company after a long period of unbearable grief, which became my first solo venture and allowed me to follow in my Mom's footsteps, as she too was an entrepreneur. I ended up signing the local minor professional hockey team as a client. It was through work with this team that I met one of the players-turned-Marketing Director (after breaking his finger in a fight), Kris McCarthy. Together we ran the marketing and sales for the team. After realizing businesses were asking for a digital sponsorship asset that we didn't have, we decided to create FanSaves. Not only are we co-founders, but we're also life partners, which I believe has contributed to our success.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As a woman co-founder and CEO in sports tech, it's often an uphill battle to prove yourself. Being able to grow and scale-out a startup across North America has been an incredible feeling. It has really helped me find my voice and become an advocate for women entrepreneurs, which is something I'm really proud of. FanSaves is now working with nearly 50 teams, we have over 600 businesses and brands on the platform, and we're currently raising a $1M Seed Round. New things are happening every day with our company, and bigger accomplishments keep flowing in, which is sometimes surreal. In September, I was featured in Forbes, which has been on my bucket list for a while, so that was a pretty cool accomplishment as well.

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

For me, it's been having to constantly overcome obstacles, objections, and rejections and to really find my backbone. I've always been resilient, but I've had to become stronger than I ever knew I could be because growing a startup tests you, and you really have to dig deep. A lot of people see the good news and positive things we share but what they rarely realize is that startup life is a constant trek uphill. Once you get over one peak, there's just another one that becomes visible in the distance. You have to really know your vision, and you have to believe in it with every morsel of our soul so that you can hold tight to it during this wild ride.

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

  1. Just start: As a recovering perfectionist, I used to put things off if I knew they couldn't be done perfectly or disguise it as needing to do more "research." Stop making excuses if you have an idea, and just go for it.
  2. Celebrate the small wins: Oftentimes, you might be the only one celebrating your small wins, but enough small wins add up, and I guarantee people will notice. A lot of people say they're too shy to share their wins on social or publicly but stop thinking that you're boasting and start framing it as you're sharing news that your community who would love to celebrate with you.
  3. Standing still is still standing: Even if your business is growing slower than expected or on some days, you can only get through 1-3 tasks, it's okay. As long as you still get up, stand up and keep going, that's what matters. Sometimes standing at all is the best you can do on a given day, and sometimes, that really is enough because at least you're still standing.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Life, as well as business, is not designed to be lived in a straight line from point A to point B. Just because your path becomes twisty or your business seems to be on jagged terrain doesn't mean you're a failure. It is during these times that we gain our most valuable lessons and find the strength we didn't know we had. And most times, the rollercoaster ride (while it can be scary at times) is definitely worth it!

Where can people find you and your business?







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

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