The Ambition Project – Calgary Entrepreneurial Podcast
The Ambition Project is a video series in which we interview successful and ambitious Calgary entrepreneurs and talk to them about their struggles, what they’ve had to overcome on their journey and valuable insights they have to share with up and coming business owners. The series will premiere on September 18th, 2018. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay updated or stream an episode on Spotify or iTunes.
Ambition – A Symbol Syndication Original
This is Jonathan Hafichuk’s entry into the 2018 Calgary Professional Videographer’s Association annual film contest. This video is also the trailer for a series we launched in September of 2018, which we are currently calling “The Ambition Project” featuring prominent Calgary entrepreneurs.
Ep 25 – Joel Edwards – Crossing Cloud / Tressl
Joel Edwards is the President and CEO of Tressl, formerly CrossingsCloud. He was born into the surface land business and felt the pain of requesting and tracking down crossing agreements. He started by answering phones in his family’s land company and eventually worked on 300 km long projects. Joel recognized that there had to be a better way and thus CrossingsCloud was born. Tressl is a cloud-based solution that augments and streamlines the application and approval processes for crossing, ground disturbance, and road use applications.
Ep 24 – Megan Stanley – Dogma Calgary
Megan Stanley is the founder of Dogma Training and pet services. Through Dogma (which she has run in Calgary for 14 years), she promotes responsible dog training and is an advocate for reward-based training as opposed to punishment-based training. She also sits on the board of the Canadian Association of Professional Dog trainers and was formerly the chair of the board of directors of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. She often speaks internationally on dog training topics and is striving to have the industry regulated in Canada.
Ep 23 – David Allwright – Dean of the Bow Valley College
In this interview Jonathan Hafichuk talks to Dr. David Allwright, the Dean of Business and Technology at Bow Valley College in Calgary, Alberta. They cover a wide range of topics including how the Chiu School of Business at Bow Valley works with entrepreneurs, benefits and shortcomings of traditional post secondary and college, David’s history working in energy and for the Hudson’s Bay Company as well as how AI is becoming the future of education.
Robert Price is the founder and CEO of Bode Canada which is an online real estate brokerage that makes selling real estate simple, transparent and more economical. Robert was a former executive at Axia FibreNet and worked with them in the telecommunications space for over 11 years before they sold to Bell. He also comes from an entrepreneurial family with his father being the former CEO of Husky before starting Axia. With an amazing executive team at Bode Canada, there is no question they will do big things and change the course of real estate in Canada.
Jordan Fowler is the founder of Urban Measure, a local Calgary company that specializes in building measurements, photography and videography. Jordan has had a wild ride in his years in business and has had both major successes but also faced significant challenges. We talk about advice for new entrepreneurs, how to deal with employee attrition, and how to survive the emotional roller coaster of business.
Ep 20 – Todd Litwiniuk – Scaling The Unscalable
In this interview I sat down with Todd Litwiniuk the CEO of Litwiniuk and company which is a personal injury law firm that now operates with over 80 employees. We talk about how Todd got into law and followed the path of his family. We talk about the influence Entrepreneurs Organization has had on him and how it helped him to be able to scale a typically unscalable business. We also dive into how he managed his transition from working in the business as a lawyer, to the role of CEO working on the business and the struggles that came along with that.
Ep 19 – Vince Fowler – The Framework for Mastery
Vince Fowler is a prominent Calgary business coach, sports coach, speaker and father. He was formerly a paratrooper and is constantly devoting himself to learning more about psychology to better help his clients overcome the struggles they face both in their businesses and in their lives. In this interview we talk about how Vince ended up becoming a coach, his model for skill mastery, his struggles and what he has planned for the future.
Ep 18 – Alex Putici – Building a Coworking Community with Work Nicer
Alex Putici is the founder of Work Nicer which is a Calgary and Edmonton based coworking community. In this interview we talk about how he went from selling alarm systems to opening 4 locations of Work Nicer. We also talk about work-life balance and when you should accept failure in your business.
Adam Thompson is the founder of Friday Sock Co. In this interview, we talk about his previous life attempting to be a comedian and working as a head hunter and how he got into selling socks.
Kyle Shewfelt is Canada’s most successful gymnast in history having attended three Olympic Games and winning a gold medal in 2004. In this interview, we talk about what it took to get to the level he was at and how he came back from breaking both his legs only 11 months before competing in 2008.
We also explore the very dark time he went through after retiring as an athlete before deciding to open Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics and the struggles associated with entrepreneurship.
Ep 14 – Mike Sherrard – The Purple Realtor
Mike Sherrard (better known as the Purple Realtor) is a local Calgary realtor and entrepreneur. Through creative use of social media, personal branding, and a purple BMW, he rapidly built a real estate business and a name for himself.
In this interview, we talk about his transition from being an engineer into real estate and the struggles that came along with that. We also discuss his thoughts on building a personal brand, the future of real estate and the new business he just launched called Pivotal Hype.
Kyle Friedman is a serial entrepreneur, the founder of Zoom Painting, Zoom Living, Ash and Oak and currently sits on the board of EO Calgary (Entrepreneur Organization). He has a history of starting different businesses ventures as well as comes from an entrepreneurial family. Zoom Painting was recently listed at number 86 on the Maclean’s Growth 500 list for fastest growing Canadian companies.
In this interview, Kyle talks about how hard he had to work to get his first painting business off the ground, the importance of building a good brand and how cash flow and financials can impact a business.
Andrew talks about his past ventures, struggles in entrepreneurship and what it has taken to build YYC Cycle into what it is today, as well as their plans for expansion in the future.
In this interview, he talks about what makes the Japanese knives that Knifewear sells undeniably better and the struggles that have come with opening 5 knife stores plus a store of interesting products known as Kent of Inglewood. We talk about his ideas on work-life balance, how to remove yourself as a bottleneck in your business and his plans for a book and large scale expansion to different countries.
Boris Vujanovic is one of the two partners who started WestMaids which within two years has grown to mid six figure revenue almost entirely due to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). In this interview we talk about how his family came to Canada and how he went about rapidly building his business to the point where he pretty much works exclusively in a business development roll and is relatively hands off.
Charles Osuji is the managing partner at Osuji and Smith Lawyers in Calgary, Alberta. He came to Canada from Nigeria and challenged the Canadian bar. After this, through hard work and dedication, he worked his way up through the ranks to eventually making partner. Shortly after, he bought out his partner James Smith. Charles, at the young age of 31, is a shining example of what you can accomplish if you’re hungry and willing to work. In this interview, we talk about the struggles he faced as well as the advice he has for new entrepreneurs.
Jeremy Fokkens is an internationally published and award-winning photographer based out of Calgary, Alberta.
In this interview, we talk about how Jeremy went from traveling the world and dancing on a cruise ship to becoming an award-winning photographer. We discuss how photographers can set themselves apart in the industry and the importance of embracing passion projects. We also examine Jeremy’s ideas on how photographers should price themselves and the importance of providing and demonstrating value.
Shawn Freeman is a local Calgary entrepreneur and founded of the TWT Group which provides IT services for small and medium businesses in Calgary. In this interview we talk about what it took to get his business off the ground, how he gives his staff unlimited vacation time and developing your companies values.
Kim Orlesky is the founder of the KO Advantage Group which runs the KO Sale U. She is an expert in high-value business to business sales. In this interview, we talk about how she got into sales, what she has learned along the journey and some actionable sales tips for businesses.
Ryan Townend started William Joseph communications in Calgary, Alberta, providing marketing businesses of all sizes. After this, he expanded to other cities and now has four locations. In this interview we talk about the ups, the downs and the hurdles that come with rapid growth.
Andy Fennell is the owner of Gravity Espresso and Wine Bar in Inglewood, Calgary. Andy started Gravity just before the recession in Calgary and managed to overcome the struggles of a changing economy. In this interview we talk about work-life balance, creating a solid business plan and what to consider before opening a coffee shop.
Nelson Liem is a Calgary entrepreneur who started a very successful barter network in Calgary called Exmerce. Nelson is one of the nicest and most helpful people you’ll meet which is surely one of the contributing factors to his success and a strong part of his personal brand. In this interview, we dive into what it has taken him to get to where he is, the struggles along the way and the other ventures he has embarked on.
Graham Sherman didn’t come from money. No one gave him a permission slip that said, “Hey Graham, you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur!” Graham struggles with the same human issues as the rest of us. From risking everything to finding the balance between family and business, Graham discusses the origins of Tool Shed Brewery, his love for Craft Beer, and how his approach to a successful business was to strengthen the people of the Calgary Community.