“Rare Air”: Words of Wisdom on Success and what it takes to Get There

Written by Gene Wright. Posted in News

There’s so much media attention focused on business owner’s challenges in today’s economic environment I felt it might be a good time to search the World Wide Web for articles on business owners who have done well to see what advice they shared on achieving success. I hope these “sound bites” help to balance the ledger. There’s always someone who just never quits and provides great inspiration to the rest of us.  I hope you enjoy their observations.

“If you can get your business to a million, you can get it to a billion.”

Heather Reisman: Indigo Books and Music Inc. 244 stores, 7,000 employees, $1 billion in revenue.

“When I asked Robert Lantos, who ran Alliance and was an investor in Galaxy, if he wanted to see the business plan, he said “No, you’re the business plan”. That put a lot of pressure on me because I had to deliver.”

Ellis Jacob: Galaxy Cinemas (Now Cineplex Entertainment.) 130 theatres, 10,000 employees, $1 billion.

“Almost all of the people I’ve hired, they start at the bottom. You have to learn how things are done on the floor if you want to manage people. I only know one job where you start at the top: when you dig a hole. And guess where you end up? In a hole.”

Frank Hasenfratz: Linamar Corporation. 39 manufacturing facilities, 16,200 employees, $2.8 billion.

“The words, “That’s good enough” don’t exist in business. You cannot rest on your laurels. The auto business suffered badly by making a product that was inferior. They learned their lesson. Quality first, as Ford would say. And I think that true in everything we do.”

Ron Joyce: Tim Horton’s. 4042 stores, $2.9 billion revenue.

“I can remember my grandfather saying “Don’t sell the skin of the bear before you kill it.” Meaning, don’t spend more money than you have. Money is the thermometer of an enterprise. You don’t take actions that don’t make you money.”

Cora Mussely Tsouflidou: Chef Cora, 4000 employees, over 120 franchises

“My dad always said, hire people better than you, and keep them. You don’t want to have turnover.”

J.R.Shaw: Shaw Communications, 14,000 people, $4.7 in revenue.

“I didn’t have a goal, except one: to conquer the world. Before I launched in 1972, I did a marketing study that was a catastrophe. Nobody believed in the Lise Watier beauty line-and that gave me the adrenalin to prove them wrong.”

Lise Watier: Lise Waiter Cosmetics, 2009 locations, 162 employees, $55 million revenues.


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