Libby Znaimer does great interview with entrepreneurs for the Weekend Financial Post. She asks not so much about their businesses, but how they get business done.
It’s must reading for marketers who want to know how entrepreneurs operate. How they really think.
Here are some gems from her Jan. 27 interview with Nick Laperle, president of Sonomax Hearing Healthcare Inc. of Montreal, which develops and manufactures hearing aids and earpieces for hearing protection and digital wireless applications.
Note how entrepreneurs’ missions really are their jobs:
"As founding president of Sonomax, I spend most of my time telling people that hearing loss is a global epidemic and that we have a new technology to put hearing on the same plane as vision and dental. I also build strategic alliances with market leaders. We are opening the fourth of many retail stores [within] Wal- Mart stores in Canada."
On carving a personal life out of a 50-hour business week:
"I start at 8:37 a.m., so I can put my six year- old daughter, Emmalyne, on the bus. It's not a lot of time together, but that walk to the bus stop is often the best part of my day."
(Note from Rick: Nick may actually believe that. But in my experience, few entrepreneurs do. They love their families, but they can't wait to get to work.)
Informal work environment:
"If I’m doing investor relations, I wear a suit. At the office, I dress business-casual, usually sweaters… when I met with Sir Richard Branson in September, he told me he saw no need to ever wear a tie, and sweaters were the way to go!"
"I find meetings painful at best, unless there are issues to resolve and all parties can contribute. I'm an entrepreneur, not a details guy."
Marketers who shroud their identity or muddle their message should take special note of Laperle’s pet peeve: “Hidden agendas. I just wish people told it like it is.”