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Calling all basement innovators! Ask an EIR!

We are starting with some basic questions for our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, Jerome Conaty and Mike Simpson, to answer for this inaugural installation.

Next month it’s your turn to have your questions featured!

Send your questions to info@northforge.ca, (include Ask an EIR in the subject line) and we’ll have Jerome, Mike, or one of our other Entrepreneurs-in-Residence answer them in next month’s issue of Dare To Do!

ASK AN EIR!

Q: In your experience, what qualities do you feel an entrepreneur needs to be successful?

Mike Simpson - North Forge Entrepreneur-in-Residence
Mike Simpson, North Forge Entrepreneur-in-Residence

A: [Mike] To be successful, I think entrepreneurs need to be creative, flexible, action-oriented, and resilient. Creativity is needed to spot something that can be improved to impact the lives of others meaningfully. But often, the initial idea needs some tweaking or adjustment the entrepreneur didn’t anticipate, and this is where openness is necessary not to get stuck. The best entrepreneurs know “how to do” and don’t get lost in endless planning and analyzing… they learn while doing, adjusting along the way with the resilience to keep going when they inevitably face obstacles.

A: [Jerome] Creativity, grit, and persistence.  The first step is to have a creative way of thinking or problem-solving. Without this, there will be no initial “spark.”  Grit – there is not often an easy way into the business. There is a lot of hard work to create an idea and see it come to fruition. This works with persistence.  There is the initial hard work, but it doesn’t stop. You need to know it’s ok to fail.  It’s ok to pivot. There will be so many hurdles that get thrown in your direction, and you need to keep navigating, changing, and overcoming.

Q: In which room of the house do most entrepreneurs start their business?

Jerome Conaty - North Forge Entrepreneur-in-Residence
Jerome Conaty, North Forge Entrepreneur-in-Residence Photo credit: andrebrandt.com

A: [Jerome] That’s a tough one. Traditionally, I’d say the garage.  I’ve started 2/3 of my businesses from the garage.  However, in today’s world, I’d say wherever their office is. This could be on the fly, their living room couch, kitchen table, or an actual office. 

A: [Mike] Hah! I may not be privy to where the ideas first came to them, but the real work can begin anywhere: in a coffee shop, on the kitchen table, in the “living room converted to an office,” in the basement!

Q: Where have you housed your business when you first started?

A: [Mike] During the pandemic, I started a venture out of my basement. I had a modest little office down there with just the essentials: a chair, a desk, my phone and my laptop.

A: [Jerome] My first business started in my basement and then quickly into my garage until we could open an actual location. I find a lot of comfort in this, as a lot of successful business starts have been from a garage.

If you want to learn how to build your business better, faster, and cheaper with guidance from our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, join the North Forge Founders Program today!

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