Joanna Track calls herself a “startup junkie,” with the consulting firm Good Eggs & Co., news site The Bullet, style website Sweetspot.ca and fashion retailer eLuxe among her creations. She shared some of her knowledge and insight in a previous issue of The Edge: A Leader’s Magazine, and this is part of that interview.
What sorts of challenges did you face when starting your businesses?
Money is always a challenge. Unfortunately, the reality for women is that most venture investments go to men (95% to be exact), so raising money is difficult. For Sweetspot, I ran it on a shoestring, so I didn’t require investors. eLuxe was a hugely capital-intensive business so I spent most of my time trying to bring investors in. I did not enjoy that part of the business at all. That’s why when I launched The Bullet I went back to a model that has low capital requirements.
Throughout your career you’ve overseen multiple business ventures at one time. How are you able to manage more than one endeavor at once?
For me it’s been all about having the right people around me. I called my consulting company “Good Eggs” because I believe that success in business is all about the people. I feel blessed to have built teams of the most incredible people in the business.
Is there a place for traditional media in the current digital landscape?
Yes, I believe there is still a place for traditional media. Many people still love magazines and newspapers (I’m one of them). Though I’ve moved my daily reading habits to online, there’s nothing I love more than combing through the Sunday New York Times or digging into a feature article in Vanity Fair.
Are there disadvantages that Canadians face in digital entrepreneurship? What advantages do Americans hold?
Americans have the advantage of 400 million eyeballs! But Canadians are very patriotic, so I feel that when Canadian businesses (like us) provide Canadian consumers with local, relevant content, they are very loyal and appreciative.
Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs just starting out?
Be patient. No success happens overnight. Learn from others. I’m not a fan of people jumping into entrepreneurship before working somewhere else first. There is so much to be gained from seeing how other businesses operate, making connections and getting experience.
Maureen Simpson | Contributing Editor