The Entrepreneur Vancouver

33921621_10157368167345410_3706110649605029888_nWhat I learned at the Entrepreneur Vancouver Event where 24 local successful business people presented on their experiences.

No one could help but be impressed with the environment, mood, and tone of the event, which was top notch making attendees feel like VIPs. Everything from the red carpet, the free headshot, and ice sculpture in the foyer to the greenery, lighting, and multiple stations was well planned out to ensure optimum traffic flow, networking opportunity, and the feel of being at an extra special event.

The seating was casual with couches, outdoor U-shaped seating, comfortable chairs, and even a white hanging wicker chair straight out of the 70s. I spent the last couple hours trying not to fall asleep while lying on the comfortable pillow – I really need to buy myself something like it for my room.

What I learned:

Kelly Deck from Kelly Deck Design reminded me how much time, effort, and tenacity it takes to be successful. Staying kidless as long as possible is important to building a successful business as an entrepreneur. Support from family and the tenacity to keep going even when things happen that cause you to lose more than win for a short term, will bring opportunities in the longterm.

“Shine a bright light and it will attract people.” -Kelly Deck


Matias Marquez from Buyatab‘s story taught me that finding a need in the marketplaceand building a solution can bring you success, no matter how young you are. His business impressed me so much, I passed the name on to my 19 year old son to keep on his radar. I think he could learn a lot from Matias.

Sara Padidar and her partner Katie Reiach of Talk Shop, shared their story about losing passion for the business and how to get it back. The most important lesson they learned was understanding the data and positioning their business based on the numbers to find solutions to make life easier and more profitable. As a data geek, I concur with this advice.

Karri Shuerman’s story is something out of a movie or fictional novel. She’s someone I’d love to sit down with and listen to all her stories about life, love, and her business Chambar. Some people have the most interesting stories and she is one of them.

“If you learn to relax, you will float to the top” – Karri Schuerman

Joseph Tolzmann’s story of an immigrant with no english was a lesson in miscommunication. Communicating with employees, customers, and strategic partners is vital to avoid costly mistakes and keep clients happy. Especially when you own a restoration company.

AJ Woodworth of the Glamoury shared her interesting story of leaving a career in the entertainment industry and finding opportunities by networking with the right people.

Sean Millington is another person who has countless interesting stories to share. His career spans professional sports, film, and business. Once you hit a certain level of success you will find it hard not to be lonely and isolated. Every Entrepreneur struggles with the isolation of the position.

Carla Heim of BDC informed the audience about B corp certified businesses, which use business as a force for good in this world and are well run and transparent.

“Entrepreneurs believe their responsibility is larger than just making money.”

-Carla Heim

Elizabeth Reid of Boughton Law gave the audience some free legal advice when it comes to employment contracts the termination clause is the most vital clause.

Julianne Keu of The Incubator shared her struggle with depression. Many Entrepreneurs suffer from it due to the amount of effort, work, and lack of self care. It isn’t easy to own a business and be responsible for others. It can result in some dark moments in our lives.

Jason Baudreau of Vela Wealth‘s story was filled with inspiration when it comes to finding your passion in life. His top advice was to never stop learning and to bring closure to things in your past so you can move forward into your future.

I totally identified with Julie Kim‘s story about parents who want to push you into a mould that you don’t fit into and caring insecurity into everything because their voices tell you that you aren’t good enough to be in the big leagues. Not to mention the limiting beliefs of others in your industry who give advice that has you second guessing what is appropriate and what is not.

“Struggle is not a Virtue” – Julie Kim


The guys from the Daily Hive were interviewed by Sharad Khate about why they started their digital media company, what they learned, and why they remain loyal to Vancouver. This local to national success story is an example of content inbound marketing success. Their company continues to stay true to their values.

Cybele Negris is the most impressive women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and surprisingly, she struggles with imposter syndrome. This lady, who runs a successful internet business, has won the top 100 Most Influential Women in Canada enough times to get into the hall of fame, the top 40 under 40 a few times, and the top 100 profitable companies awards on more than one occasion, along with a host of other impressive awards, feels like an imposter. The lesson I learned from this – keep showing up, even if you don’t believe you belong in the sandbox.

Rob Madsen of U-lock Storage told his story of being a second generation Entrepreneur in his family business. He believes in helping his employees find their passion and then help them to live that passion, even if it has nothing to do with his business. Sounds like a good place for people to work at.

Almost Perfect

This quality event was almost perfect, it missed the mark by not attracting a diverse enough audience of entrepreneurs. Most everyone I met were employees of the sponsors and not entrepreneurs themselves. The majority were millennials with few mentors in the room.

Will I go back? Yes. I found that I learned enough to get motivated and push through to find opportunities. There were lots of nuggets of advice to help business owners move their business forward. They only need to get the word out, considering it was only their 2nd year and the room was packed… they are doing a good job.

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Shannon Peel is a Professional Marketing Manager and Storyteller. Her company, Shannon Peel Marketing, helps Independent Professionals and Small Businesses define their personal brands and tell their story through different channels. Click to find out more:


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Shannon Peel

Marketer / Author

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