Entrepreneurship is not intuitive
Today the Rainforest gathered to hear from experienced entrepreneur Colin Christensen. According to Colin, entrepreneurship is not intuitive; success comes from tons of conversations with clients, good mentoring, seeking external input and having reliable friends around.
Colin has been in and around business his whole life, from his parents running a business when he was a kid, to working within entrepreneurial ventures in a variety of roles. This experience taught Colin the value of hard work and lead to Colin buying and starting numerous businesses, some of which failed, but each of which provided him with an opportunity to learn and grow his skillset.
As an entrepreneur, Colin says that everyone expects you to be successful, but this is not always the case. Colin shared one such story of failure, and the journey leading into that. Years ago, Colin had an opportunity to choose between a business that he was creating or to build from an established franchise. He chose the latter, a golf training franchise, and raised a total of $4.5M, at which point things started falling apart. After contracting flesh-eating disease while being treated at the hospital, which nearly killed him, their landlord terminated their lease while in the process of building the tenant improvements. At the last minute, Colin met an investor who committed another $3.5M which helped keep the company afloat. Colin again ended up in the hospital for a hernia a few months later at which point the angel investor due diligence process ended abruptly when the franchisor shut down their operations. By the end of it, Colin lost his house, declared bankruptcy, and lost all of the investor money. For fun, he also experienced a kidney stone during this time.
How does an entrepreneur deal with this kind of failure? It certainly isn't an easy conversation to start another company after such a failure, let alone having the internal fortitude to get yourself back into the fight and overcome the little voice in the back of your head. Having a strong group of supporters around you to give you the support of a shoulder, a hand up, or perhaps more certainly goes a long way.
What you learn, the experiences we go through form who we are. Failure is a central part of that and Colin wants people to be more open in talking about failure, looking at failure as a learning experience and not as a bad thing or a total failure.
Colin refuses to accept the status quo of the world. He’s constantly reading (about 500 books a year) and studying to find out why things are the way they are and what can be done about making them better. After having started, sold, failed, grown and invested in businesses over the last 20+ years, Colin curated a freely accessible model designed to be the best way to start and grow a business called The Whole Entrepreneur – with the crazy goal of defeating the unnecessary failure in entrepreneurship worldwide.
While his day job is helping entrepreneurs from startup to $20M build meaningful profit and love their life through his business THNQ, he is also launching a pilot project for microlending and entrepreneur development in Central America; building a construction incubator/accelerator, and reinventing drywall.
Colin’s kaizen mindset stretches through family, marriage, church, business, life, fitness, the way we learn, the way we grow, relationships, humility, philosophy, technology and more.
Colin's central core value is entrepreneurship. As an advocate, he is a part of the Rainforest Initiative in Alberta, several mentoring groups, supporting the development of entrepreneurs globally through HOPE Worldwide and his class on innovation and entrepreneurship is the most sought-after program for school-age kids through the Career Pathways at the EPSB.