Appreciate the people that help you and have helped you. Back in the day I had an amazing mentor his name was Louis Dupuis. For those of you who don’t know, Louis was one of the owners (with his brother Gene) of Prairie Meats, a very large successfully family ran butcher shop in Saskatoon. My company that I was at the time CEO of Buffalo Bill’s Food Products Ltd was a customer of Prairie Meats.
I looked and interviewed many places to manufacture our products before settling into an agreement with Prairie Meats to manufacture our product. It wasn’t just the customer service and product that I was impressed with, it was the business knowledge of the owners of Prairie Meats.
Louis would invite me into his office and we would sit and visit, anywhere from 2-4 hours a week. We would talk sales, the market, operations, marketing, economy and everything else associated with business. I learned a lot from our discussions. He was one of the smartest guys I ever knew in business. He told me how Gene and him had grown their business, their risks, the ups and downs and their successes. I enjoyed listening to his stories about being an entrepreneur.
I asked him one time why he gave me all that time? He said he enjoyed the conversations and one of the last things he ever said to me (I will never forget it) was,”Kid – you know how to work and your doing the right things, keep doing what your doing, never give up on what you want to do!” As much as I valued our conversations at that time, it wasn’t until my late thirties and early forties that I truly appreciated the value of those discussions and how much they forged my desire to be better at business.
Louis passed away when in 2006 when I wasn’t living in Saskatoon. To this day I volunteer on quite a few boards and try and help the upcoming entrepreneurs as much as I can….just as Louis shared his stories and lessons with me.
Rest easy my friend – thank you for all our chats