Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tyler Hayden, Founder of Team Building School, located in Halifax, NS, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a high-energy keynote speaker, bestselling author, and team-building expert. My customers range from Fortune 500 and Inc 5000 companies to associations and private businesses. My customers are typically managers and meeting planners who are looking to increase engagement and retention of employees.
Tell us about yourself
I've been a full-time motivational speaker since 1996. I'm a certified professional speaker (CSP), which is an earned designation held by only a small percentage of speakers worldwide. I travel internationally, keynoting events, and deliver consulting and team-building tools remotely.
I started my business as an Outward Bound-style wilderness leadership development school. I was taking clients rock climbing, white water paddling, and performing in-house team-building events. A couple of months into the business, I was asked to perform a keynote presentation ... I was 22 years old. I became hooked - absolutely loving the opportunity to share knowledge, story telling, and listen to groups laugh and learn simultaneously.
Since then, I've written over 25 books; some are even best sellers. I've consulted in team building and change management programs for major manufacturing and banking companies. Cool programs like an internationally rolled out short humorous video series on cyber security, writing team-building programs for my competition and building an online school to help share my team-building tools with managers and leaders who aspire to have greater engagement within their teams (www.teambuildingschool.com).
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have been doing the work-life balance dance for 26 years. I was traveling and working remotely with my family before it was a thing. We went to Australia, New Zealand, the USA, the Caribbean, and more. My daughters have been able to come with me on my work trips and see amazing destinations and build an appreciation of the amazing world we live in.
Further, I was able to be a present dad to my two daughters while they finished grade school -- working my business around their school schedule. One of my keynotes is Livin' Life Large (TM) - living every single moment of every single day. And I've done just that, from jumping off cliffs in the Swiss Alps to Naked Wilderness Survival in Canada's North and Swimming with Great White Sharks in Australia, and Flying Trick Airplanes over the Grand Canyon. My accomplishment has been living passionately and working to help others to engage in finding their passion.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Beyond finding enough time to do all the things I want to do... the major challenge with being a business owner for me is the administrative part - from sending contracts, bookkeeping, SEO, etc. I have always run a small shop, only hiring occasionally for special projects... so for me wrangling my ADHD so that I can focus on the admin has been a double-edged sword... it's hard for me to be motivated for me to do -- but it keeps me intimately connected to every piece of my small business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do something you love, and find a way to bill for it.
- Stay in your lane, and lead with "yes" when you get an inquiry.
- The more fun you have, the better a business journey will be.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Check out this page for more cool tidbits and bio: https://www.tylerhayden.com/meettyler.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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