Ask the 40: Biggest lessons learned

Each month, BIV Magazine asks Forty under 40 alumni for insight on a chosen topic

What is one of the most valuable things you've learned in your career? | Hakinmhan/Shutterstock

Learning doesn’t stop when we exit the classroom and it doesn’t stop when we reach a certain age. For the education issue of BIV Magazine, we asked BIV Forty under 40 alumni for one of the most valuable things they’ve learned in their careers. 

This is the longer version of an article originally published in the February 2020 issue of BIV Magazine, which can be read here.

Every person you encounter counts
– Sarah Bundy, CEO, All Inclusive Marketing Inc.

Be more patient. To achieve your vision, you must take baby steps
– Zeeshan Hayat, CEO and co-founder, PrizmMedia

Not to listen to advice from people who haven’t had a long time to think about my business. Free advice is seldom cheap
– Tea Nicola, CEO and co-founder, WealthBar

Say what you do and do what you say
– Lori Pinkowski, senior vice-president and senior portfolio manager, Pinkowski Wealth Management at Raymond James Ltd.

Be humble and listen
– Adrian Fluevog, CEO, John Fluevog Shoes

“Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it” – Sir Henry Royce
– Will Granleese, director and portfolio manager, Antrim Investments

Building the right culture requires daily effort
– Karina Hayat, president and co-founder, PrizmMedia

Never stop learning. What got you here, won't get you there
– Cody Green, founder and co-CEO, Canada Drives

Work hard and know your worth. Don't sell yourself short.  I now realize that the fear of failure is a self-constructed prison
– Sarah Leamon, founder and senior associate lawyer, Sarah Leamon Law Group

Know that we tend to judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intent. So ask lots of questions and keep an open mind
– Luke Aulin, CEO, RTown

It's important to chase opportunities that you feel stretch your skills and capabilities – it's amazing how often you realize how capable you are
– Nat Cartwright, co-founder and COO,

To truly become great at something you have to never stop practicing and learning your craft.  Leadership is no different
– Amit Patel, vice-president and general manager, Turner Construction Co.

Technical skills predict 10% of your outcomes at best. The greatest successes and difficulties in life will be people-related
– Chris Goward, founder and CEO, Widerfunnel

To be obsessive about caring for your customers. Always
– Dana Matheson, president and CEO, C&D Logistics

Never stop learning
– Caitlinn Dunne, co-director, Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine

There will never be a better time than now. Be curious. Never settle for being average
– Dan Burgar, founder and president, VR/AR Association – Vancouver chapter

Change is inevitable. Learn to embrace it and use it as an opportunity
– Andy Kokaji, director of immunology, Stemcell Technologies

Teamwork. Working as a team and extracting the best out of people is a skill I couldn’t live without
– Kevin Mazzone, general manager, The Lazy Gourmet

Rather than trying to improve our weaknesses, it’s much more efficient and effective to lean into someone else who has those strengths
– Elizabeth Mah, founder and lawyer, Paperclip Law

Be authentic in your professional life. There's no "right" way to lead a team, to negotiate a deal or to pitch for business. I became so much more effective once I found my own style
– Alexa Blain, managing partner, Deetken

The importance of kindness and respect within the workforce
– Kylie McMullan, principal, Finch Media Canada

To keep documentation organized. Especially during negotiations, it is so critical to keep every piece of correspondence
– Ravi Beech, CEO, Valley Acrylic Ltd.

Being ‘busy’ or critical to everything in a business does not equate to success
– Sara Padidar, co-founder and principal, Talk Shop Media

Learn to say No. Manage your work and life load to about 90% so that you can say ‘Hell Yes!’ to great opportunities when they arise
– Salima Remtulla, vice-president of operations and corporate strategy, Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd.

It's all about building relationships. Building strong relationships means learning what these are and being authentic with people
– Chantelle Krish, director of communications, programs and outreach, Office of the Lieutenant Governor

No one will treat my business like I will.  The business always needs an owner’s eyes on it
– Michael Richter, president and co-founder, Troico

How to learn. I now devote a lot more time to books and in-depth study
– Chris Nicola, president and co-founder, WealthBar

When you face adversity or setbacks, remain solution-focused and remember that, regardless of the sense of enormity in the moment, things are always smaller in the rear-view mirror
– Steve Rio, founder and CEO, Briteweb and Nature of Work

Listen twice as much as you speak: two ears, one mouth
– Sara Hodson, founder and CEO, Live Well Exercise Clinic

The power of connection and mentorship. Utilizing your peers to build knowledge and staying active within your field to gain new insights is key to career growth
– Jasmine Byrne, vice-president, Big Mountain Foods Ltd.

To do my best with the time that I have and know that, if successful, the business will live on long beyond my time
– Joel Abramson, chief strategy officer, Fully Managed

A shorter version of this article was first published in BIV Magazine, which can be read here.