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Hi Nathaniel! Thanks for taking the time to catch up with us today. Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
Sure! I’m currently working as a Regional Sales Manager for a company called Z-Scalar. In this leadership role, I’m the point person for everything that has to do with generating new businesses, keeping customers happy once they are on board, and ensuring we deliver on everything that you promised your customers.
Outside of work, I’m really passionate about helping people find out what they want to do, in terms of life or work. When I was finishing school, I was lucky enough that some of the professors at my school had written a book on discovering who you are. I went through a full-on process that helped me understand what role I wanted to pursue after I graduated.
I find that in casual conversations, you can start to give people pointers. I love to just sit with my friends, family, whoever it might be, and help them discover their potential. For example, my mom lost her job over the pandemic and I helped her find ways she could navigate into different fields of work, based on her transferable skills.
That’s amazing! The ability to identify opportunities is so important. Why are you passionate about supporting young Canadians who are seeking entrepreneurial opportunities and careers?
After I’d been working for a few years, I realized it’s so important. For me, it wasn’t actually about starting a business. I have that ambition, but it’s more what I find to be the “entrepreneurial spirit” … or things that help young people when they get into entrepreneurship.
An entrepreneurial opportunity or career path could be starting your own business, it could also be entrepreneurship within your work environment, or being the one who’s willing to stand out and find a unique way to solve a problem. It could be that you’re trying to find a job and it’s about getting creative in that process, or maybe you lost your job and it’s about figuring out how you are going to survive for one month until you find a new job.
All the different skills you learn in entrepreneurship actually equip you to survive in any situation – not just in starting a business.
Absolutely! Those skills are so transferable and can apply to so many aspects of life. So we’re curious, when we say “a more entrepreneurial inclusive and innovative Canada”, what do you envision?
I think there are a few pieces to that. The entrepreneurial piece is a little bit of what I just said where it’s about survival and having a group of young people coming up that are willing to look at things with a different lens and to have a process to solving problems. That’s really what I think is important in entrepreneurship.
When you add the inclusive piece, it’s understanding that you’re going to have a ton of blind spots as an individual, and you may think that you have the greatest idea, and this is the way to approach it. You may have even gone through the whole process to get to that point, but you need to learn that other people’s opinions and viewpoints vary greatly from yours.
You can fall into groupthink and totally overlook different, important aspects. I think we see this all the time – for example, you might see a politician who goes on vacation on the wrong weekend just because he didn’t have someone to call that out before he made the decision. Or it could be that a company delivers a message, and it is completely received wrong with the entire group.
If you had sat down with a wide group of people, you wouldn’t be in that situation, and maybe you could have delivered that message differently, or that thing you did could have been more positive. In some cases, you could have done the exact same thing with a different approach, but without the inclusivity of having everyone at the table, you miss that opportunity.