Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bart Egnal, CEO of Ther Humphrey Group, located in Toronto, ON, CA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Humphrey Group is a leadership communication training company. We help you inspire others every time you speak. We're also passionate about helping leaders create diverse, inclusive teams. We do our work through coaching and courses that teach practical leadership communication skills.
Tell us about yourself
I joined the business in 2001 out of University. My mother, Judith Humphrey, had founded the company in 1988 and was doing great work herself. When I came in, I learned to coach and write for executives and saw the opportunity to build a team and business that works with individuals and whole companies to create a culture of inspirational, inclusive leadership.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Continually evolving, transforming the business to drive growth, and seize opportunities.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Having few true peers. As the owner, you have to often make challenging decisions that impact people's lives - sometimes creating great opportunities and other times telling people they aren't suited to the future of your business. Recognizing that you will have to make these decisions and will inevitably disappoint and upset people is tough. It can feel very isolating when you must make these decisions rather than being part of a group of peers.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, cash is king. Specifically, revenue is vanity, profit is reality, and cash is king. High margin = safety = sleeping at night.
Second, know what business you are in. Be focused and earn the right to have more customers.
Third, manage your own energy. It's a "long war," and you need to manage your energy.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Owning a business (now I have a second one, too, the Niagara Institute) has been the most rewarding challenge of my life. I am grateful for the many incredible mentors who have helped me on my journey and encourage any current or potential entrepreneurs to cultivate their own mentor network.
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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