Sometimes hitting that corporate goal isn’t as glorious as we imagine, and a leap of faith instigated by a career limiting move, may be the right way to start something you're excited and proud of.
About: My mission in life is to be of service to others. Whether that be in the form of helping youth navigate their way through the pressures and challenges of growing into young adults. Or, be it helping businesses have the proper structures , strategies and marketing plans to help them achieve their goals and dreams. I love to learn and I try to do things better today than I did them yesterday. This mindset forces me to be open to new ways of doing things and humble enough to know when I've gotten it wrong. My experience includes: sales, marketing & operations, coaching, consulting & mentoring, strategic development, market evaluation and competitive analysis.
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Olivier: [00:00:00] Sometimes hitting the corporate goal. Isn't as glorious as we imagined and the leap of faith instigated by career limiting move, maybe the right way to start something we're really excited and proud of. Hi, I'm your host Olivier Bousette and today we're joined by Peter of karmaDhrama, a creative agency that works with purpose driven, do gooders, helping them strategy branding, and getting them to market.
We explore his aha to the ups and downs of his agency's amazing journey. And so much more.
Olivier Hey, Peter. Thanks for joining us on Business Not 101
Peter hey, thanks for having me. I love you.
Olivier It's a pleasure. Okay, let's get right into it. Please introduce yourself and give us your sixty second business pitch
Peter sounds good. My name's Peter Georgariou. I'm the owner and CEO of karma Dharma. We're a creative agency that works with a purpose driven do gooders. We like to say we help them with strategy, their branding, and we take them to market so we can help them fulfill theirs. [00:01:00]
Olivier Excellent. And what was your aha moment behind that? What made you sort of decide? This is the agency I want to build.
Peter Good question. I say probably a decade ago. So karma Dharma has been going for five years now. I was working with bell media at a long stint with a big corporate media here in Canada. And I woke up at the VA and it's probably clear career limiting maneuver at the time. But I remember saying to our head of HR, that my reason might as all died.
My reason for being is not degenerate Val shareholder value. And so I just know I needed to get out of there had a bit of the golden handcuffs. I didn't know how to get out. But I got my shot five years back and I started a place that was helping organizations who gave a shit about the world. They wanted to make a difference.
They want to do something other than profit. So yeah, that's what that was.
Olivier Excellent. That's quite a story. I feel that. And so when you decided to launch it, I guess you already had experience, but did you ever run a business before that? Or was it the sort of like I decided tomorrow, I'm just [00:02:00] going to launch an agency and go for it?
Peter Yeah. I'm the poster child. I think of what not to do. So I had run a, I had worked with a ton of businesses, but I'd never run my. And so I just looked at all these people throughout my career, wondering what the difference between them and I was, you know, and I think it was just courage. And a lot of, in a lot of instances, I didn't have the chutzpah to get out there and do it so never had run my own business, seen a lot of business people.
So I went out there without a business plan and just started calling people. I know thinking I can do this. I've worked with a lot of agencies in my life. It can't be.
Olivier Yeah. Yeah. So just, just go for it and launch it. I think that's a Seth Goden said that and I think that's brilliant. It's also a dangerous way to go, but yeah,
Peter well, it's funny, sorry. It's funny. You say that when I speak to students, you know, they often talk about their business plan and their market research and all of these things. And then I have this fear that had, I done all that homework. It would have said the market's saturated. Don't do it.
Olivier Yeah, that's, that's a good point. , I. Myself, I would go back and change a few things and did [00:03:00] more research because it, in my past experiences, I noticed not doing enough research sort of hinder the projects were slowed down as well.
So it sort of brings me to the next question. Since you started, did you have to pivot your project at any point?
Peter Yeah. I think COVID, you know, we've been running for five years out of those five years, one and year three, I'm 47. Now the VA I had a brief and unfortunate encounter with cancer. So that was here at three. And then your four was COVID and your five was. And occupation that should give some people the date and time.
But anyways when COVID hit, you know, we lost two thirds of our business from March, April. We dropped by 65% from March, April 20, 20 and slowly rebuilt. We fired our largest client in the meantime, just realized we didn't want to deal with. Profitable jerks. I'll put it that way. That's expletive free explanation.
But [00:04:00] Yeah. we decided to just focus really and hone in on the purpose driven organization. So a lot of charities not-for-profits business improvement areas and the courts, you know, you can be, we don't, we're not against for-profit. I am for-profit and enjoy the benefits. But I, it just couldn't be the profit only motive.
It started to feel a little empty and helping people sell more cars or more widgets, just it was lacking what we were looking for as an organism.
Olivier Yeah. Yeah. Sort of, you need that passion to keep you going. I get that. And sort of looking back at the five years would you say that COVID was your biggest roadblock, your health issues, or was it something in your business that sort of hits you that said I wasn't ready for this. That really caused me to rethink my whole strategy.
Peter My biggest robot is probably true for everybody. I think my biggest roadblock was myself and continues to be right. My biggest, I get my own way. And I can't get out of it. I think up until now and being aware of it, I guess, is a good start. You know, a lot of our clients, it's the [00:05:00] same thing. Can't get them the hell out of their own way.
For myself, it was always looking outside for the way to do it. You know, the imposter syndrome where I've never been in business, somebody else must have this figured out. They must have it more efficient, more profitable, better model. One of my colleagues said I was a framework slut because I'd always be going to the next framework that would help, like we could facilitate with our clients.
Cause these people have got to figure it out. And so it took me a long time to, to trust that we may have our own way. Right. And we may have our own path and a we're avid learners. We're always taking in things. But a little bit of belief and a little bit of faith that we might have something here that might be a little bit different was really the beginning of unleashing our own potential.
I think, as an organization,
Olivier Yes, that's a great, great answer. And I've seen that a lot. Every creative person's jumped on this podcast would say is their own customers blocking [00:06:00] the workflow, blocking the creative flow and that was something that they stumbled across, that they didn't expect when they first started being in the creative agencies. . So that's really interesting.
Peter You know, if I can add to that, if we've got the time, I would say either they know. So we've really targeted who we want as clients. Right? We want a purpose driven organization. We want non a-holes. And we want people with a growth mindset because I I've realized there's a lot of do-gooders and you didn't say it this way, but are very fixed in the way they want to do it.
They just want you to, Hey, I want this and you please go do that for me. But that doesn't allow any room for maneuvering. And then you can also have people that are just darn right. Toxic. And so I'll tell you a big shift moving out of desperation. And into more mission fulfillment. You know what? I've got two young daughters, you, we start a business out of a corporate career.
You're like, holy shit, I gotta get myself moving here. When you move out of desperation and you get rid of the [00:07:00] toxic energy and you get rid of the people who have all the answers, they don't, if you've got the answers and you certainly don't need us anymore, you know? And so you get into this place where, okay.
I I don't add any value and you Mr. Client or Mrs. Client don't see any value in what we're doing. So this is not a healthy relationship, right?
Olivier Yeah. And recognizing it's really important. I think a lot of startups and small agencies don't always recognize it and they sort of have to experience it. I think it's hard to explain to them, like you're going to have to fire customers along the way and sometimes faster than later
Peter a hundred percent and it takes guts. And I, when I was telling you, we fired our biggest client in the summer of 2020. And COVID like, if we don't do this Covid or not, we're going to implode or I'm going to. The anxiety that it was creating for me was just through the roof. I'm like, I don't want to do this anymore.
You know, when you wake up that day, we were like, wait a minute. This is, this person is stealing my love for my own business. And I've chosen to abdicate. That control is a big [00:08:00] moment. And that moment you realize you're not respecting yourself within your business is heartbreaking and you got to walk it.
So you don't have to, I chose to walk that relationship out of self-respect and then to your point, it starts, the energy starts flowing towards people you want to work with, right?
Olivier Yeah, exactly. And this is off topic, but now it sort of popped in my head. How did you go about firing your customer? Like how did it go? Was it by email or did you text him or call him?
Peter No, you know, we had a conversation You know, no, one's perfect. Right? He, he, this individual has his 50 shades of gray and, you know, we got on the phone and he was struggling and it was type of guy who was arguing with his bills every month. It had been three years at this point. And I said, you know, maybe just need to go on a different direction.
Right. You're not seeing the value. Totally. And I'm going to tell you. I guess I brought the horse to water, so it wasn't confrontational. It wasn't like you suck, you have to [00:09:00] go. We avoided all of that, which was a beautiful thing. It was just a question of helping that person see that he was also in the wrong relationship for him.
Right. It wasn't working for either of us. I hate to say it, but it really was one of those mutual things. Whenever someone tells you that they broke up, it was mutual. You're like, okay, somebody, somebody dumped, the other person must be real here, but this was really one of those things where, okay. I brought the topic up, but maybe I just like open that door because.
Somewhere in this individual he still had at heart, our success. He just, he couldn't get out of his own way. Right. And so opening that door just said, Yeah.
great. And it was, it was clean and it was over, he paid his last bill. There was no issue. And then away we went,
Olivier Nice. That's good. So, that brings to mind. If you could go back and leave yourself a 30 second voicemail of something you should not do, what would it be? .
Peter Yeah, good question. I, my voicemail to me would be have faith. You know, cause [00:10:00] doubt was, was, and can continue to eat away at me, you know, about, are we doing it the right way, the right way for those people, can't see me, massive air quotes here, you know, and finding, excuse me, and finding our way you know, so have faith that you will find your way.
Keep learning, keep reading, keep asking. I'm in a peer group as peer CEO group. So. Always taking a new information, a new ways of doing things. I would actually recommend that to anybody to get a peer group. Cause it can be a lonely place even within a small organization at the top where you're juggling multiple hats.
So, sorry, that's longer than 30 seconds at a view, but I would just say it would be, it would be have faith. You know, and that you have the wherewithal to do it right. Because it is a very scary thing. It's one thing to say, you get up and you go, okay, let's start, let's give her and it's another thing to do.
So in a sustainable way, that brings you joy is very different, right? And, and to be patient with the [00:11:00] process as it's, I've done a very piss poor job at that, but I'm getting there
Olivier Excellent. Excellent. What's the learning process. It sort of leads into my next question. Looking back since you started about five years ago, is there somebody you say oh, I should have hired that person to start right away. I should have spent the money right away on a hiring as opposed to try and do it myself. Then you don't bring somebody in down the road.
Peter Well yet I don't have one person that comes to mind, but I do have my operations manager and Nick. So she, we worked together for
a decade at bell and the best thing I ever did was bringing her on early. Right. So you're thinking, wow, an operations person in a small organization. You know, we're nine full time with about a dozen contractors.
You know, we're not a huge organization by any stretch, but she was the nuts and bolts and the glue. So my biggest joy, my smartest move was hiring someone who had every single skill in the book [00:12:00] that I just, for the life of me, how to be you can't too, or do poorly, or I should say better drains me of all of my energy.
I would say that we've recently hired a creative director and finding another senior person, because I find, you know, as any small business that oftentimes the leaders doing can be doing the sales and the lead consulting and the hair, like, you know, there's a lot of smart people out there. And as a small company, like, am I going to pay the big salary, especially I'm here in Ottawa, you know?
You started the government at 60 K it's if not more with benefits through the wazoo. So just keeping up in this, market's a challenge, but so one on the positive side, hyper hiring an operations person was my best move. My regret to answer your question, I think would be having the courage to hire a more senior individual, even though they'd cost more rather than Yeah, An amazing team. A lot of them have come out of Algonquin's business [00:13:00] marketing program. I can't sit, I, I should be a poster child for millennials, for all the people crap on millennials. I've had nothing but a great experience. But having the courage to hire more senior people early, I think is a good move.
Olivier Yeah, that's a great point so, okay, so switching a little bit more at now on marketing side, you said you hire somebody in that role. What is the go-to marketing tools, that has been the most successful for you. Is it something that you, you know, you're building campaigns, advertisement, word of mouth.
Peter Yeah. So we're the worst at marketing for ourselves. I've talked to a lot of agency owners and I'm not alone, but I still say where the gov, the new med show see where the poorly shoot cobbler. The best thing that we've done for ourselves is really been speaking against. So we get out there, we've spoken, done a tandem event with Deloitte.
We've worked with the Ottawa community foundation. We've gotten in front of social enterprises. We've done a workshop in the fundraising space for us. It's really been getting out there and paying it forward to a lot of organizations [00:14:00] non-paid engagements, just showing up and supplying content and helping them with their tools.
So our number one would definitely be speaking. But that's mostly because we've done very few other things. So I can't say, I can say it's number one out of a hundred things we've tested sadly, but it's been the best so far.
Olivier Yeah, it's funny how many agencies say exactly the same thing, so you're not alone, but word of mouth and referrals. The next biggest one, I think that's where certainly Canadian businesses. It's probably the most. Right? So even your speaking engagements, as people know who you are, so you've got to come and talk, right.
Peter I'd say everything. I mean, I do a little bit about reach, but I would say all of our growth has come from word of mouth. But if that was the only thing that existed that would put us out of business as an agency for the record. So I gotta go find out that things, but, but Yeah, Word of mouth has been huge, you know, when you started doing good work for good people, and then they tell their friends.
All day long, thus far, I think to take us, however, this is debatable, but to take us to the [00:15:00] next level, I think we're going to have to really shift gears and get up, put a little money where our mouth is and get out there.
Olivier Yeah, that's actually a really good point. Because I feel it's certainly you can do amazing in your territory, but I notice a lot of Canadian companies, they struggled in general, we get really comfortable in our own real year. If you wish.
Peter a hundred percent, I would say we've got a couple of us clients, two or three, one in Toronto. But either you need to get on a bigger speaking circuit or you really need to start attacking national organizations or associations that can help you get your name out there for sure. Being a dual citizen, us and Canadian.
I definitely like getting paid in us dollars for the record. But Yeah. I definitely, I, I think there's only so far we can go in Ottawa, although it's a great market for that as well.
Olivier . So looking at your industry in general, what is one trend that you're really excited about or something that makes you nervous currently?
Peter Good question. I think it's that switched to content. I mean, [00:16:00] this is not a new thing, but it just seems to be where you know, we spend the bulk of our time with our clients is building around thought leadership and expertise and which way to do it. You can do it on things like we're doing tonight on this podcast.
We've got two clients starting podcasts that we're doing with them. You know, helping them blog or write about the topics, helping them find that time. So it's also nerve-wracking at the same time, because, you know, if you're a business owner, you rarely have time. So finding copywriters that are to express your voice is one thing.
But I really, I think, you know, I would have answered you a few years ago, obviously digital and all its targeting capabilities, but privacy laws are slowly, slowly putting a dent into that. And even some of the things we're still able to do and I've done in the past. Creeps me out, you know, I'm, I'm in the industry, but it's also very big.
Brother-ish alleviates. So it's a little bit weird. I remember doing a presentation with Deloitte to charities explaining to them how we could target them, follow them, follow, find [00:17:00] their friends, get into their phones. It just, it was creepy. So, so that part, I hope for that pendulum swinging back to a little bit of the middle.
But I really, I'm really excited about building good solid video and audio content for our clients. Peoples generalized add. I'm tired of hearing that analogy of humans have smaller attention spans and goldfish. You know, it's pathetic. So video seems to be the way to go. So video production and helping them establish that credibility and tone, right?
Not just the what, but how they're bringing it up.
Olivier Yeah. Yeah. That's a great point. I honestly believe video is great because it's where people are consuming it, how they're consuming it. Podcasts are amazing cause you go right to the person. So if you are listening to. They can do it in their own time, walking the dog in the car at home. But I find that video is where people are suddenly want to take five minutes between a meeting.
They jump onto TikTok or, you know, Instagram. So I think video does have a lot of strengths, but I agreed in the [00:18:00] sense that it, it takes away your concentration, because it takes you a little bit longer to get back into what you were doing.
But I personally. Wastes a lot of time on Tik TOK. So I shouldn't say anything against it. All right. So switching gears just a little bit, as you an as a business owner and entrepreneur, what is one thing that makes you really productive
Peter my number one on productivity is deep work, time blocks. You know, I think to your point where there's. Overload of information, but a deficit of attention. And so I can get caught in emails or responding to our team slack channel and all of this. So my go-to has been for a while is hitting actually bridgehead prior to coming into the office for a couple hours, you know, either hit the gym, do a run and then just an hour and a half to two hours of, you know, so.
Concentration music and either writing or whether we're drafting vision, mission, and values for an organization or [00:19:00] a we're writing a strategic plan, or these types of things are really hard for me to do with lots of interruptions. I have undiagnosed add. I'm sure I am bouncing with my monkey mind from all sorts of tasks.
So I, if I can just hone in on a spot and if I don't book the time block IDB, I don't get there. And it's the first bounce cause it's so easy to run from crisis to crisis to crisis. So that's been my number one go-to and having the discipline to stick to it remains a challenge, but if. And it's there and preventing people from booking over it.
That's another thing, but yeah, I've got it in the calendar
Olivier Yeah, that's excellent. That's a really good one. Time-blocking is really important. I find for me too, because otherwise I will just drift off and start doing something.
Peter a hundred percent.
Olivier It's good to know that I'm not the only one though. All right. What is one business tool that is super important to you? That really keeps you focused and productive?
Peter You know, right now we've, we've switched [00:20:00] the agency over to Asana, our project management tool for the agency. You know, we were using integral something different before.
I think that's been a monumental shift for us because we'd have client meetings and we'd. We'd have either meeting notes from the meeting or follow ups and people would have, if you're like me, you'd have paper.
Now I've shifted to at least writing my notes on the iPads. So it's digitized, but it took me a while to get there. That's a recent thing. I feel a sauna and that project management software has really been a game changer where we can build out our project. Our clients can be shared into the projects so they can have visibility a hundred percent of the time into where things are at.
We can assign things back and forth. Things don't fall through the cracks anymore, or if they do it's, they're still sitting there. And there's someone who owns that. That's been a huge shift for us.
Olivier Yeah. Truly important. I think it's finding the right software for sure that can run on multiple levels and people can understand it.
Peter Yeah. but it's [00:21:00] funny. Yeah, we're small, but we have our outside contractors, So you can have anywhere 5, 10, 15 people in a project, then you'll have people on the clients. I just wanted to add, or maybe nuanced to your point Olivier is sure the software. But back to something I was saying earlier is like, how do you want to manage that project?
Because we've had people in the agency work with the sauna and their past agency life or whatever. And they would set it up very differently. Right. The way you're setting up the projects and how you think about things can also influence the client experience. So yes, the software and then B how do you want to, or first, how do you want to organize information and how do you want that client experience to roll out and then just layer?
I mean, we could have picked 10 different softwares and Nick pulls her hair out by reviewing all these frigging project management platforms. So I'm glad that's over for now. But less the software and more how you want to think about the client experience
Olivier . Yeah. that makes a lot of sense I find sometimes we think too much of our backend and then we [00:22:00] try to force it down onto the customer. So it's, I agree working with the customer first, seeing how they're going to experience it and how you interact. It's the same thing. When you have a sales heavy organization.
I find too often if administration controls the whole workflow, it doesn't translate very well for sales or to the customer and vice versa. So it's something that has to find balance. And that thing there's a lot of work that goes into that. So.
Peter It's funny. You say that the best. I remember when I went back to business school, the, the person. He was talking about information technology. And he said the best CIO is at any level are not technology people, they're business people using technology for solutions, but they were business first. Right. And to your point, it's software is not going to magically friggin wake you up and then you've got it all figured out.
Right? You have to have that client experience and how you want to work to organize the information first. And then we'll find there's a million tools that can work. I could have picked other ones and it would have been. It's a very different approach.
Olivier Yeah, that's a really good point. So little [00:23:00] bit of a switch of a gear cause something that I get asked a lot. Did you have a mentor when you started this? Did you have a mentor group you would go to, I know you mentioned a peer group, but did you ever have a mentor business coach?
Peter I did not go the business coach? route. I remember speaking to the former director of the executive MBA program at Telfer. And he was like, Peter, you know, some people I was early on in the business and he's like some, some people have, you know, a go-to person and I found this, this is his words. He goes, I found that having a mentor posse always worked better.
It's like having like this group of people with different opinions and different life experience. So two years into the business, With that in mind, someone approached me for, to join tech Canada. So there's tech, the executive committee, and then there's EO similar type organization, small pod of 15 to 16 CEOs that get together monthly with the speaker series and issue processing.
Right? All of these people could bring [00:24:00] their garbage and this is what's going on left right. And center. They could bring it to. And, you know, for me, I'm still in it three years later, and that's been the biggest game changer, both from a constant influx of
Anything you could think about, about your business, whether it's culture, you know, whether it's finance, whether it's MNA, whether you name it, we've covered this topic, but also.
The bigger point is watching all these people process their issues, whether it's an HR, whether it's expansion, whether it's new products, it really doesn't matter. You just realize that we're all living the same shit and we're all, we're all going through these same things. Nobody's got the answers.
And one of my buddies who introduced me to the group, he's like, Yeah.
Now that you're in, you're going to figure out, nobody's got to figure it out. You're good, dude. You're good. Don't worry about it. You're good. So it took a little pressure off because I, I still, you know, I sit with the title next to my name and I, I use it [00:25:00] mostly just because it opens doors.
It makes me feel somewhat awkward because not that I haven't earned it, I guess, but. I don't know, it feels superficial at times. I just want to have a conversation and it creates hierarchy and these conversations, I said, I still feel I got a while to go to earn that title. But I'll tell you on LinkedIn, I'm glad to have it.
Cause people respond a lot quicker than they do when you have like assistant. That says a lot about society. But anyways, my group has been phenomenal to my growth and the people that they've introduced me to and the speakers that I've been able to follow up with and speak to, it's just opened a lot of doors and reduce a lot of blood pressure.
Olivier Nice. Yeah. That's that sounds like it. Keeping with that theme then Because that works for you. Do you have something in place for your team? Like a emotional, physical wellness program or anything.
Peter We're working towards our policies. What we spent a lot of last year was bringing in coaching into our culture. So at two levels Olivier it was, I wanted to really bring, [00:26:00] I think what's going to differentiate us, or what does is that we want the experience for our clients and I'll come back to my staff on the second to be both transformational for the organization, as well as for the.
Because imagine you're, you're engaging with us and it's something where you're growing as a person, as well as helping your company. Is there a way we can meet somewhere in the middle of you know, strategic consultants and creative shop and coaching which is not what we do, but somewhere in that middle.
So we're both holding space for the individual and the organization. Well, to do that we have to be able to own a coaching culture within karma Dharma. And so we've brought in a coach. We're about to start a new program and we really offered that up. So what is it that can help us stay curious a little longer, a little more empathetic in how we treat each other and how we see the day to day.
Keep us a little more human. So that's been a big focus of ours as far as the wellness per se and policies. We're not quite there yet. But we're really. [00:27:00] We're really toying with the idea of unlimited personal time off. You know, because we have people either with family issues or sick days, and we don't have anybody abuses it, the system.
So what if we could take the pressure off if you need that time with your kids or whether you need that personal burnout day after the last two years, we've all lived. Can, can we afford to give that and you know, and Nick and I say, can we afford not to really? So that's been something that's been. Implicit and everybody knows, but we're working on making that more explicit.
It's not a silver bullet, but I think creating a an environment where people feel included and they belong and they can take the time they need when they need it. And there's not this ridiculous, fake pressure to show up and flex on the daily about how many hours you've been jamming. Which is ridiculous, but so, yeah, w we've been shifting, we've always had that in our nature and now we're really documenting it as the team.
Olivier Yeah, that's really interesting. That's a great point. It's I asked that question because [00:28:00] it was something that one of the guests had brought up what they did. And I was kind of really surprised the conversation, swung around where more and more people are talking about it. And it really does have a positive impact for a lot of employees, they know that they can count on their team. They can count on their employers. They can count on the management team to take it seriously.
How they feel. I think that, wasn't the case like 10, 15 years ago. Like if you felt down, you kept it to yourself. Whereas today I think it's a lot more open to say, okay, I need time off for myself. And companies are a lot more open to understanding that
Peter yeah, I think then the beautiful feeling, if you're going into work and these people have your back and all of a sudden it's frigging basic, but it's human nature, right? Olivier we we've lost touch. You know, we've set as goals for ourselves that we want to be the beacon for organizations in the future.
Right. We want to be. The example or an exemplar for how companies could, and air quotes should be run right about the role they can play. There's a great book, not the one I'm going to recommend, but reinventing organizations by Patrick which [00:29:00] just talks about the evolution of the role of organizations in our society and what they can be for people and, and really air quotes.
Should I hate the should, but the role that they can be. Respectful of their people be purpose-driven and still generate a profit. And, and in that order so yeah, there's a real opportunity for that. And I think we're just coming back to where we should have, we should have always been so to speak as, as we shift out of the post-industrialized worldview of hierarchical organizations and shifting into something that's a little bit more holistic in human.
Olivier Yeah, that's really well said. All right. So you just opened a door for my next question. That's perfect. What is one book of business or non-business that really had a positive impact on your business?
Peter So that was a hard to pick, you know, when you sent over the questions, I was like, it's hard. The one I've really gravitated to of late is beyond entrepreneurship by Jim Collins so wrote good to great and built the last and all of [00:30:00] those. And what I love about it is that fact, and I, I actually this in conjunction and I read them back to back with the infinite game by Simon Sinek.
And they were both talking in different words about people, purpose and profit. They had different approaches to the three, and I've mentioned it a little bit to. But what I really loved about beyond entrepreneurship was pulling from the aggregate research of what's worked. It's not just, Hey, this is my opinion.
You should go hug a tree and do some good out of you. It'll be the world needs it. It was really taking a look at performance back research as well about about purpose-driven companies. And it gives you a tool kit to really dive in and. You know, get into your true essence about why you wake up in the morning and why you do what you do and why people should give a crap about what you do.
And so I would recommend it to anybody. It really does open that door, even if you're a little bit skeptical and you're thinking it's a little bit, woo, new age stuff. [00:31:00] It really isn't the data, the data backs, the fact that if you know, good research fine, but if you start with the heart and why you're doing what you do.
And it gives you, sorry, framework slut alert here. It gives you the framework to kind of just map it out for yourself. And I'm super simple, plain English, not this crazy MBA framework stuff. So highly recommended for everybody.
Olivier That's excellent. Yeah. That, and I think that's great. I haven't read either one of those, so I'm going to put them on my list. I use audible, so
Peter Me too.
Olivier and when I'm walking my dog so I have to check those out. All right. Next question one. I like, if you couldn't have a coffee with anybody, any business guru, who would it be and why?
Peter You're asking me today. So I reserve the right, if we talk in a year or something and to change this answer I really fascinated with the scale of an organization and what I mean by that is so I'm watching, well, watching, reading a little bit about Elon Musk, not the personality, [00:32:00] but I was just talking to a friend about how does someone go raise all this money?
And start this crazy company, like space X, maybe less Tesla, but it's sort of the same thing. This desire to change the way we do things on our and how do they, how do you even do that? How do you go raise all that money? How do you do that? Because I'm fascinated and dedicated to human transformation at scale.
So how can we. Continue that evolution and transform who we are and what we do, but at a large scale, beyond my nine people and little hole in the wall here in Ottawa. So I would just be, I would like to dig in dig into the scalability and that stuff. I'm reading, scaling up at the moment. Just fascinated with taking that idea and then getting it funded to the point, like I've understood, I've done VC pitches.
I, I, I get, I get it in principle, but there's something that just next level to be [00:33:00] able to take that type of vision, scale it, operationalize it and make it a reality that fascinates me.
Olivier Yeah. So Elon Musk, a few people have said that. And it's funny because it's our kind of running joke because. We say it I'll either get Elon Musk or somebody like Warren buffet, but so if Elon Musk ever listens to my podcast, he can reach out to you
Peter Yeah, that'd be great.
Peter I, you know, it's funny because I, I don't follow. I'm not like a business group. I don't follow a lot. Most of what I do. Is really more personal development and trying to increase my awareness as a leader. So I can just bring it on the daily. So you asked me a business person. So that's, that's what came to mind on that.
But most of the people I look up to that I'm trying to emulate, never ran a business.
Olivier Yeah. Yeah, it could be, you know, it's an open question. It's got a fun question, but it's true. It's somebody that you would love to grab coffee with and just pick the brain. And I think he does have sort of a unique personality [00:34:00] and a unique take good and bad but he's definitely someone who interesting
Peter I don't even care about the person. You know, it's funny you say that I don't care about that. And I'm not the 80 hours of where we, 80 hours of work a week and named my kids some weird Astro assemble. I can't remember. My wife brought it up the other day. I don't give a crap about any of that. I just want to understand how do you take idea to a worldwide scale on a business model where there is not in, you're losing money for the first X amount of years, because space X, the space X making money.
I don't think it's making money.
Olivier I don't know, actually. Yes. I can't say
Peter Yeah, there's yet to be paying space, travel to the point where he's in the black, but he's still running this crazy ass business. I'm facinated
Olivier yeah. All right. So last question. How can people reach out to you? What's the best way to reach out, to and connect with.
Peter show me an email. email@example.com. It's a funky name. It's hard to forget. It's kind of like my last name. You can't pronounce it or write it. So you can find karma Dharma. K a R M a D H [00:35:00] a R M a.ca. Lots of it. Find me on LinkedIn. Give me a shout. Happy to grab coffee, prefer in person, but also do virtual, wherever you at.
Olivier Excellent. And we'll be putting all that on the show notes as well.
Peter Sounds good.
Olivier Thank you so much for joining me tonight. It was amazing. I loved it.
Peter Okay. I have a question for you Olivier. Can I shoot it back to you?
Olivier Go ahead.
Peter All right. So you can cut this part. If it sucks. What's your, what, what do you leave tonight's interview with? What was most valuable?
Olivier You know what just listening to the point when you said, you know, that you're learning and you're sort of, because you're taking this company and it's taken to a new level. I mean, it's obviously it's five years, it's profitable. It's working, you have nine employees. And to listen to this, the doubts that are still there five years in reaffirm, my entrepreneur side, my founder side cause I to get that sort of, am I the right person to do this?
And I tend to jump in, try something and if I lose the money, I took like, like almost going to casino, I'm okay with it. But sometimes I feel like, am I doing this right way? So when I get to listen [00:36:00] to people like yourself who say, you know what, I'm still doubting myself five years.
It sounds weird, but I feel like, okay, it's all right. It's normal. I feel very confident. So that's why I take away from these conversations. So in a weird way, it makes me feel good.
Peter Welcome to the club, man. Nobody's got a fully figured.
Olivier That's it. I appreciate it. Thanks again.
Peter Thanks for having me out to be a great time.
Olivier: I want to thank you for joining us today. We hope that these podcasts give you some insights from the stories and experiences of the founders, entrepreneurs, and business owners who share with us. And we hope that you find some useful takeaways that help you along your own business journey. Like always please follow and leave us a review until next time.