My family has a long military history, with my great-grandparents winning the victoria cross in WW2 (airforce equivalent of the medal of honour), fighting at Vimy Ridge and losing a leg in WW1 (the Star Wars "Stormtroopers" were even named after those soldiers), and being involved in the creation of one of the components of the atomic bomb. Learning about the sacrifices they made, and with my mother being a nurse, I have always had the value of duty instilled in me to help others. Additionally, growing up with my dad as a Partner at KPMG running their risk management & IT advisory practice for Western Canada, i became passionate about business, wanting to follow in his footsteps.
With this family history, combining my passion for business, with the value of duty, I think about the biggest way I can contribute a positive impact to the world during my lifetime, and for me, that is entrepreneurship. I don’t do it for money (though I use that as a success metric), and besides my own self-actualization, I do it because I can and because I believe to not do so would be neglecting my duty to society and to myself. I firmly believe that if one can help, one should. That is why I am an entrepreneur. My singular focus is to affect positive change in the biggest way that I can, through entrepreneurship in socially impactful industries, (see which ones here) and helping others succeed, either through consulting, mentoring, or advising.
I treat others how I want to be treated and I try and help everyone as best I can.
I do what I love, and I don’t sell or make anything I’m not passionate for.
To build the next Apple, Shopify, Tesla, etc, some big company, with a big positive social impact.
My word is my bond. When I say I’ll do something, I do it. I believe it's my duty to contribute to society in the biggest way possible.
While most of my peers saw education as just a rite of passage or a means to an end to acquire employment, I saw it as an opportunity to absorb as much knowledge as I could to apply towards my goal of positive change, social impact and entrepeneurship. To that end while many things may bore those just looking for a good grade, I often find even the most mundane things useful, such as inquiring into a filing system an administrative assistant uses, to look for applications to my own businesses for increased efficiency. I have never taken a course I didn't think would be useful in some way, or for a gpa boost. Even in high school, I took 2 extra courses in grade 12 because why not take advantage of free education? For example I physics for fun. That pretty much summarizes my attitude towards education and learning, which I believe is a lifelong process, and knowing what you don't know, is often more important than what you do.
Introduction to Marketing
Economics of Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Government and Business Economics
Introduction to Politics
Money & Banking
Quantitative Decision Making
Introduction to Finance
Introduction to Financial Accounting
Introduction to Accounting
New Product Development
Design Methods for Business Innovation
Management Information Systems
Information Systems Design & Development
Logistics & Operations Management
Management & Organizational Behaivour
Managing the Employment Relationship
The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an introspective self-report questionnaire that indicates psychological preferences in how people perceive the world around them and make decisions. I've found it to be very accurate when dealing with people who don't find themselves close to the middle of any one of the 4 measurements. The test is free and takes only 12 minutes (find it here) but is an excellent tool for self analysis, allowing oneself to focus their efforts concerning personal development, something I am passionate about. I am what is called an ENTJ, also known as "the Commander", learn more about the implications of what that means below (copied from https://www.16personalities.com/entj-personality). I've found it to be very accurate for myself.
Some Famous ENTJ's you may know and that I admire include Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, Aristotle, Tony Robbins, George Clooney, Simon Cowell, Jerry Seinfeld, Gordon Ramsay, Francis Underwood, and Barney Stinson
"Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs
ENTJs are natural-born leaders. People with this personality type embody the gifts of charisma and confidence, and project authority in a way that draws crowds together behind a common goal. But unlike their Feeling (F) counterpart, ENTJs are characterized by an often ruthless level of rationality, using their drive, determination and sharp minds to achieve whatever end they’ve set for themselves. Perhaps it is best that they make up only three percent of the population, lest they overwhelm the more timid and sensitive personality types that make up much of the rest of the world – but we have ENTJs to thank for many of the businesses and institutions we take for granted every day.
If there’s anything ENTJs love, it’s a good challenge, big or small, and they firmly believe that given enough time and resources, they can achieve any goal. This quality makes people with the ENTJ personality type brilliant entrepreneurs, and their ability to think strategically and hold a long-term focus while executing each step of their plans with determination and precision makes them powerful business leaders. This determination is often a self-fulfilling prophecy, as ENTJs push their goals through with sheer willpower where others might give up and move on, and their Extraverted (E) nature means they are likely to push everyone else right along with them, achieving spectacular results in the process.
At the negotiating table, be it in a corporate environment or buying a car, ENTJs are dominant, relentless, and unforgiving. This isn’t because they are coldhearted or vicious per se – it’s more that ENTJ personalities genuinely enjoy the challenge, the battle of wits, the repartee that comes from this environment, and if the other side can’t keep up, that’s no reason for ENTJs to fold on their own core tenet of ultimate victory.
The underlying thought running through the ENTJ mind might be something like "I don’t care if you call me an insensitive b*****d, as long as I remain an efficient b*****d".
If there’s anyone ENTJs respect, it’s someone who is able to stand up to them intellectually, who is able to act with a precision and quality equal to their own. ENTJ personalities have a particular skill in recognizing the talents of others, and this helps in both their team-building efforts (since no one, no matter how brilliant, can do everything alone), and to keep ENTJs from displaying too much arrogance and condescension. However, they also have a particular skill in calling out others’ failures with a chilling degree of insensitivity, and this is where ENTJs really start to run into trouble.
Emotional expression isn’t the strong suit of any Analyst type, but because of their Extraverted (E) nature, ENTJs’ distance from their emotions is especially public, and felt directly by a much broader swath of people. Especially in a professional environment, ENTJs will simply crush the sensitivities of those they view as inefficient, incompetent or lazy. To people with the ENTJ personality type, emotional displays are displays of weakness, and it’s easy to make enemies with this approach – ENTJs will do well to remember that they absolutely depend on having a functioning team, not just to achieve their goals, but for their validation and feedback as well, something ENTJs are, curiously, very sensitive to.
ENTJs are true powerhouses, and they cultivate an image of being larger than life – and often enough they are. They need to remember though, that their stature comes not just from their own actions, but from the actions of the team that props them up, and that it’s important to recognize the contributions, talents and needs, especially from an emotional perspective, of their support network. Even if they have to adopt a "fake it ‘til you make it" mentality, if ENTJs are able to combine an emotionally healthy focus alongside their many strengths, they will be rewarded with deep, satisfying relationships and all the challenging victories they can handle.
ENTJs’ intelligence, strong will and logical reasoning skills are a force to be reckoned with. Be it a minor obstacle or a seemingly impossible task, ENTJs will find a way – or make one. This fearsome determination and intellect allow ENTJs to overcome many challenges.
Yet ENTJs can be easily tripped up in areas where careful and rational thinking is more of a liability than an asset. Whether it is finding (or keeping) a partner, connecting with other people, reaching dazzling heights on the career ladder or forcing themselves to relax, ENTJs need to put in a conscious effort to develop their weaker traits and additional skills.
It is in the world of careers that ENTJs’ boldness and drive are truly at their best. No other personality type is better suited than ENTJs to be the respected leader of an organization or team, and no other personality type enjoys it quite so much. Combining their vision, intelligence and determination to push ideas through to completion no matter the obstacles, ENTJs are a force to be reckoned with.
In the world of business, the sometimes overbearing level of self-confidence that ENTJs (especially Assertive ones) too often mishandle in their personal relationships is transformed into an admirable authority, keeping people on track and getting things done. Naturally the best careers for people with the ENTJ personality type make the fullest use of these qualities, and many would describe executive positions and entrepreneurialism to be ideal lines of work – any position high enough that they can clearly see the horizon.
Structure and order are key, and if someone gets sloppy, or holds things back with incompetence, laziness or inefficiency, ENTJs will not hesitate to come down, hard. ENTJ personalities pursue their goals with singular vision, and have strict standards for themselves and others that are designed above all else to be effective. This makes ENTJs excellent corporate strategists, and their objectivity and clarity of thought make them respected lawyers and judges.
None of this could work if no one could understand what ENTJs were thinking, and they have the good fortune of being clear and concise communicators, especially in person, making business administration a comfortable fit – so long as their tasks don’t stray too far into routine maintenance and upkeep. ENTJs also have a thirst for knowledge, and they aren’t afraid to use a principle once they’ve grasped its underlying mechanisms. Combining this with their leadership makes ENTJs trying, but effective, university professors.
The only problem is, it takes time for ENTJs’ skills to be recognized, and stagnating as low-level employees will have them bouncing off the walls and deeply unhappy. People with the ENTJ personality type crave leadership and responsibility, growth and opportunity, and genuinely enjoy managing others to get a job done. ENTJs are visionaries and leaders, not grunts or day-to-day administrators. Getting that to be recognized is not always easy, but ENTJs are probably up to the task.
For people with the ENTJ personality type, the workplace is all but a natural habitat. ENTJs’ efficiency and clear communication are valued, their leadership is admired, and their ability to simply get things done is unrivaled. That being said, some situations are more appropriate for ENTJs than others – these qualities all point to a managerial or executive role, making any position of comparative powerlessness highly undesirable.
ENTJ personality types are strident ones though, able to adapt themselves to just about any hierarchical relationship by doing what they do best: asserting their opinions, taking the initiative, and accomplishing feats that others thought impossible.
Subordinate positions are challenging for ENTJs, and it takes active management to ensure their satisfaction and engagement. Ever the high achievers, ENTJ subordinates set out to learn new skills and to seek out new challenges and responsibilities, eager to prove that nothing is impossible with a little hard work. If things get a little slow, ENTJ personalities may slip into periods of absentmindedness, but when they feel involved in the projects around them, they prove well organized and well prioritized.
ENTJs hold themselves to very high standards, but a lot of what sets this tone is feedback from their environment – namely, criticism from their managers. Objective, rational statements about what is done right and what can be done better are helpful to ENTJs, and far from resenting such criticisms, they appreciate them. Opportunities for growth keep people with the ENTJ personality type engaged and productive, and so long as their managers recognize this as their primary responsibility, it will be a fruitful and satisfying relationship.
Among colleagues, ENTJs are sociable and greatly enjoy sharing ideas and critiques in their frequent brainstorming sessions. Natural leaders that they are, ENTJs tend to assert themselves into positions as representatives and project leads, considering their objectivity and charisma the perfect qualities for these roles. ENTJ personalities enjoy working with equals, but people must demonstrate that they are equals – anyone ENTJs view as being less competent or driven will see only condescension and arrogance.
ENTJs are strong-willed, even dominant, and though they enjoy inspiring and tutoring others, the energy they bring to the process can seem overbearing. When these roles are reversed, ENTJs’ mentors should bear in mind that their students are very rational and respect firm confidence – hand-holding, emotional appeals or wavering indecision will likely burn the bridge then and there. In a partnership, what is best is what is most effective, and time wasted sugarcoating reality is just that – time wasted.
ENTJ managers are confident, charismatic communicators, and they communicate but one vision: to get the job done as efficiently as possible, and to the highest standard of quality. All else is subordinate to that objective, but the means by which ENTJs achieve it cause others to adopt this cause as their own. ENTJs are natural leaders, and their ability to formulate a strategy and to identify the strengths of each member of their teams, incorporating those abilities into their plans so that each individual fills a unique and important role, makes them able motivators.
But while these efforts boost morale and satisfaction among ENTJs’ likeminded subordinates, they are still crafted to achieve that ultimate goal of timely and exceptional work. Those seen as inefficient by their ENTJ managers, or who demonstrate themselves to be lazy or to produce shoddy work will know in no uncertain terms of their failure to impress. The only way to recover is to comply, the only alternative is to find a new manager to impress, somewhere else.
As in most aspects of their lives, in friendship ENTJs seek personal growth and inspiration, and they often have a plan for how to accomplish it. Friendships of circumstance, built on things like shared routines, are not ENTJs’ preferred method – rather, they pursue their friends, seek out individuals who share their passion for deep, meaningful discussions, and who enjoy learning and development as much as they do. It is not always easy to be ENTJs’ friends – they demand a lot from these relationships – but they pay a great deal of attention to their friendships, and it is unlikely that it will ever feel stagnant.
ENTJ friendships are built on ideas, and a lot of what they find enjoyable is the repartee of putting thoughts forward and defending them from assault from every angle. People with the ENTJ personality type are very smart and highly critical, and they won’t back down if they are put on the defensive – in fact, there’s no better way to earn their respect.
It’s not easy to stand up to a personality as big and blustery as ENTJs’, and they too often find that others crumple under the force they apply when they really start to enjoy themselves.
Only the most hardened rationalists are able to hold their ground against strongly expressed ENTJ personalities, who neither need emotional support, nor understand others’ need for it. This lack of sensitivity is ENTJs’ chiefest weakness. Their tendency to challenge their friends, question their conclusions, and dismiss emotional arguments as irrelevant is especially difficult for Feeling-oriented friends to cope with. Either a point is supported by logic and reason, or it is erroneous.
More enlightened ENTJs recognize that if ever there was an area where they could learn from others and improve themselves, it is in the realm of emotional sensitivity – to dismiss any aspect of personal growth borders on hypocrisy. Friendships with people from the Diplomat type group can be especially rewarding for ENTJs, as the shared Intuitive (N) trait fosters an instantaneous connection that can bridge the chasm between their uninhibited logic and the recognition that cooperation and conciliation can often accomplish more than that logic ever could alone.
Still, the bulk of ENTJs’ friends will likely fall into the Analyst category, as all of these types share the same passion for logical, far-reaching ideas and critical debate. Anyone who can match ENTJs’ ability to brainstorm and theorize will find an honest and dedicated friend. Anyone who can’t, as with many Observant (S) types who often question the point of such discussions, will find themselves ignored – perhaps a situation that is best for everyone.
As in other areas of their lives, ENTJs approach dating and relationships with a set of goals and a plan to achieve them, and proceed to do so with impressive energy and enthusiasm. People with the ENTJ personality type are in it to win, and will gladly take leading roles in relationships from the start, assuming personal responsibility for how smoothly things go and working actively to ensure a mutually rewarding experience. Romantic relationships are a serious business, and ENTJs are in it for the long haul.
This sense of personal responsibility means that ENTJs put a lot of energy into their relationships, and they show their creativity by always having something new on the agenda to keep things interesting, especially in the dating phase. At the same time though, ENTJ personalities keep their eyes on the long term, and if they determine that a relationship is heading towards a dead end, they will cut their losses and move on in what will seem to their partner an abrupt end to the attention they had been receiving.
This occasional ruthlessness with personal relationships is ENTJs’ primary weakness, and if they aren’t careful they can develop quite the reputation. Sensing others’ feelings and emotions will never be a comfortable skill for ENTJs, but it is critical that they work consciously to develop it, both for their partners’ sake and for their own healthy emotional expression. If they don’t, they risk dominating and overruling their partners, and this insensitivity can easily break a relationship, especially early on.
But as all goes well in the dating phase and a future is deemed viable, people with the ENTJ personality type continue to impress with their creativity and energy. Their authentic confidence makes ENTJs’ sex life dynamic to say the least, and they often push to explore new ways to express their affection with imaginative enthusiasm. Yet ENTJs tend to have these innovations planned in advance, with some structure and predictability to their sex lives, leaving the true spontaneity to those less organized personality types.
ENTJs are extremely growth-oriented, and will seize any opportunity to improve themselves, listening to and acting on criticisms, so long as they are logical ones, and always striving to improve their knowledge. At the same time, ENTJs expect this of their partners, and it is surprising to them that others, especially Feeling (F) types, don’t always share this attitude. Still more surprising to ENTJ personalities is others’ active efforts to avoid these tense situations.
ENTJs in particular would do well to remember that their approach is just one angle of a multi-faceted spectrum of alternatives. While ENTJs may view criticism as the most efficient route (and they’re often right), they should bear in mind that their partners may be more interested in emotional support and growth, an area of self-improvement that ENTJs themselves too often avoid.
As with most things, balance is key, and ENTJs should strive to meet their partners half-way, whatever their needs, be it through honest criticisms or steady emotional support and praise.
As with other Analyst types, ENTJs’ best matches are with other Intuitive (N) types, with one or two opposing traits to create more balance in the relationship. Mature ENTJs are able to recognize and adapt to the needs of their partners, and know that even the most rational individuals have emotional needs that must be met. Fortunately the same logic that dismisses emotions is also able to recognize that a conciliatory attitude can be the best tool to get the job done. With their strong senses of responsibility and dedication, people with the ENTJ personality type are sure to make this effort, resulting in long-lasting, satisfying relationships.
Swiss psychotherapist Carl G. Jung used the word “Archetype” to refer to the recurring patterns found in our universal stories. He identified the themes, symbols and imagery as part of the human psyche. More recently, Dr. Carol Pearson built out Jung’s work with a body of research that examined 12 Archetypal attributes within organizations. These brand archetypes are used by the best companies to personify their brands in a way that can be easily interpreted and distributed by marketers, product managers, and other staff. The same brands archetypes used by organizations can be applied to one's personal brand, based on which one someone most personally aligns with and is interested in working in. For me, that is the "Magician" (eg. Disney, Apple (Steve Jobs pretty much dominated this), Polaroid, Red Bull, Smirnoff, Staples, Dyson, Axe), which will likely be the brand archetype of my next company as well. Find which one you most align with here, and read more about the "Magician" below.
Goal: To make dreams come true, understand the laws of the universe
Greatest fear: Unintended negative consequences, things not going according to plan
Weakness: Becoming manipulative
Talent: Finding win-win solutions, imagining a better future
AKA: The visionary, catalyst, inventor, charismatic leader, shaman, healer, medicine man, intuitive, wizard, inventor, transformer
Voice: Expansive, moving, articulate,
What customers FEEL: “I want to experience that,” “I’m on the cutting edge,” fascinated, enchanted,
In the year 2000 the Harvard Business review published the findings of a study by the Hays Consulting Group that showed 6 different classifications of the different management styles leaders. The article is locked from non HBR subscribers but you can find a good summary of the results here. To give you a good idea of what I'm like as a manager, below are the styles I primarily use in order of how often I've used them based on these findings and from my own self-reflection on my previous experience.
I help develop people for the future. If this style were summed up in one phrase, it would be “Try this.”
I mobilize the team toward a common vision and focus on end goals, leaving the means up to each individual.
I build consensus through participation. If this style were summed up in one phrase, it would be “What do you think?”
I expect and aim to model excellence and self direction. I hold people to the same standards as myself.
My management style is authoritative when I’m confident in something, democratic when I’m not, and coaching always. No matter what we do, I will hold you accountable to constantly improve yourself, through your own incredible work and through working with other amazing A players, all sharing the same mission; affecting positive change. There’s no better way or as diverse an environment to learn in than working in a startup. Let me help you grow.Less
The best teams start with the best people, and the best people don’t need micromanagement. When you work with me, you’ll be given the autonomy to do your best work with the direction and vision to make it happen, in an exclusive team of diverse A players to learn and grow from.Less
Respect is one of my top personal values; I believe that you should treat everyone how you want to be treated, and I want to be treated like one of the best, which means you will be too. Additionally, the idea that work should feel like “work” is archaic and bizarre. When you work with me, I make sure it will be something you enjoy doing; I like to befriend my colleagues.Less
What use is a career of great work if there’s no one to continue to build on your legacy after you retire? The best people often had the best mentors, and the best mentors often became better themselves for it. Steve Jobs mentored Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett mentored Bill Gates, and Dumbledore mentored Harry. Do some good. Mentor Harry.Less
The higher you climb and the more successful you get the further away you go from the ground. Mentoring an ambitious young entrepreneur can help you stay relevant & innovative in a rapidly changing world, because it gives you access to a fresh outlook free from being anchored to older, more established, and possibly outdated schools of thought. If you happen to have kids, and don’t fully understand all their jargon or culture, mentoring someone in their generation can help keep you up-to-date and holistic.Less
Giving your time to a good cause is scientifically proven to increase your likelihood of being in good health, reduce your likelihood of depression, and increase your happiness. It makes sense; someone wouldn’t want to be mentored by you if you weren’t worth being mentored by. Recognition feels good. Are you worth it? True leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders. Are you a leader?Less
I don’t pretend to know everything, but I’ve been educated in entrepreneurship (essentially risk management for new enterprises) at the best business school in Canada, and I’ve spent that time trying to figure out exactly what I don’t know so I can surround myself by people who know those things. Everything I do is backed by data, best practices, or industry experts, because when I don’t know something, I know how to find someone who does or a resource to tell me. Entrepreneurship is risky, but what I’m all about is minimizing controllable risk, so you can rest assured your money will be in good hands.Less
Warren Buffet, one the best investors in the world, got that way by investing in people and investing in the long term, not just a quick exit. I’m a business guy; I want to build a company, not just a product. I’m in it for the long haul and think strategically on how to get there. The best companies are not the ones that only think 3 years in the future to attempt to get a quick exit, and neither do I.Less
I don’t just want your money and connections to help see a vision through and a business created, I want your wisdom, your guidance, and your ideas. It's a marriage. The best boards are aligned in vision with their executives, and the best executives respect this relationship. I will as well. Startups can be notoriously unprofessionally ran, especially when it comes to legal and corporate oversight. To me, doing these things well are a priority, and that means I give them the time and priority they deserve. After all, happy investors, happy life.Less
"Connor is one of the hardest working, and brightest individuals I've met."
- Philippa Swartz, Research Analyst, Rapture Events
'“Insanely talented” is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Connor."
- Navmeet Jassal, Human Resources Manager, Rapture Events
"I have never met someone more dedicated to succeeding and creating a positive environment than him."
- Eli Mallin, Event Manager, Rapture Events
"Truly a force to be reckoned with."
- Andrew Lee, Property Manager, Sonder (previously Flatbook)
"There was always something to learn from him, and he was always willing share his insights."
- Conner Bryan, Sales Representative, Rapture Events
"He is also one of the most hardworking people I've ever known who would choose work over sleep."
- Adrian Salcedo, Event Representative, Rapture Events
"Connor is one of the most organized and dedicated entrepreneurs I know by far."
- James Cohen, Co-Founder & CEO, PartyWell
"Connor is a brilliant problem solver, even while under immense pressure in a very dynamic environment."
- Johnny Gong, Logistics Manager, Sonder (Formerly Flatbook)
"If there's one thing I know for sure about him is that he hustles. He knows how to scale a business."
- Layne Lafrance, Co-Founder & CEO, Ping
"I am overwhelmed by his motivation, broad knowledge and passion for all things business. A future leader for sure!"
- Jarrad Penley, Business Analyst, Pernod Ricard
"Connor was an absolute pleasure to work for! He is a natural born leader and has a knack for bringing out the best in his team."
- Zain Haq, Growth Manager, Rapture Events
"This is a guy who regularly thinks in big ideas, and then will follow up on those big ideas by making a detailed plan on how to go about achieving them."
- Joe Stewart, Life-long friend
"Working with Connor forced me to observe his unmatchable ambition and commitment to all he is involved in. Connor does not disappoint."
- Michael Colacone, Music Manager, Rapture Events
"Connor is one of the brightest and most motivated entrepreneurs I've met. He is dedicated and knows how to envision, plan and coordinate a project, end-to-end."
- Alejandro Esquivel, Software Engineer, Aida
"His tenacity and work ethic are unparalleled."
- Prasenjit Das, Vice President, Talent, Rapture Events
"I would recommend Connor to anyone who is looking to build a solid foundation for their company."
- Connor Smith, Vice President, Operations, Luminari
"His optimism was inspirational and his critical thinking was crucial to our operations."
- Wes Dunham, Human Resources Director, Rapture Events
"An absolute pleasure. Connor takes feedback extremely well and is always eager to hear constructive criticism and improve accordingly."
- Intishar Jashim, Staff Accountant, Rapture Events
"He fostered a culture where you could tell the executives, and especially himself, cared about the people under them."
- Tony Hui, Data Scientist, Rapture Events
"He was always the man you would talk to if you needed anything."
- Lynden Grosso, Musician, Rapture Events
"Connor was a pleasure to work with and had outstanding customer service."
- Dana Szalkai, Customer Service, UBC AMS