My Personal Story

by David Gaudreault, Serial Entrepreneur, Online Marketer, and Personal Branding Passionate

This is the long story that opens the doors of my personal background, with details on where I come from, what I went through and where I am now. I also share a few of the lessons that I learned throughout my entrepreneur life. Enjoy the reading!

I grew up in a very small town in northern Canada, far from the big cities. A small town where there was no cinema, no theater, no museum, and no college. You know in small villages everybody shares a similar mindset, they have similar interests, generally the same religious beliefs, they follow a similar path professionally and personally and it is not a good place to be different, to think big and to have this burning desire to make a difference in the world.

I was an only child in a middle-class family. My father worked for the public state grid company and my mother a stay-home-mom. She was taking care of me and gave me more love, trust, and care than I ever needed. They were (and still are) good parents and I have plenty of respect for them, but they don’t travel, never learned other languages, don’t read books, don’t show much interest in business, politics or in international matters, and they are not very open to other cultures, discovering new foods, etc. So they were not a catalyst in my life for challenging the status quo.  They were comfortable with the routine, which is perfectly fine for them, but it is incompatible with my personality.

That being said, they never held me back. So I left home at 17 years old and flew to the west coast to learn English. For the first time in my life, I took the leap. Leaving home with nothing else, but my pocket size English-French dictionary and my guitar.

At the time, I didn’t know I wanted to be an entrepreneur, because I didn’t know what it was. Instead, I wanted to become an international rock singer. This was THE dream! Being at the center of my own artistic projects, making songs and albums, and going through the world to change the life of people with memorable moments, amazing concerts, jam sessions and so on.

Ironically enough, I don’t like to stay up late, I hate being in the middle of a huge crowd and I don’t feel very comfortable being at the center of attention, but it was my dream at the time!

Going out west was a big move for me because I was young, and I was finally moving away from my hometown. Vancouver is a great city and the Island is a really nice place to live. People are very nice and relax. It was definitely a very nice place to go for a first trip and surprisingly many people speak French over there. But I still managed to learn some English, and it was the beginning of a long learning process.

After I came back in Quebec, I studied computer science in Montreal and for the first time, I realized that I could make useful stuff on my own and make a difference in the life of people with a few lines of code. That was cool! I didn’t like coding that much,  but I liked the idea of creating something new on my own.

So, I continued with this idea in mind and studied engineering at the university for five years where I learned many useful things but the most important was: how to teach myself anything and learn by myself. As opposed to the way we learn at university, so intensively that we barely remember a fraction of what we learn, I think the best way to learn is by teaching ourselves new things every day, constantly and concentrate on things we are passionate about.

If you think you don’t have a good memory, try learning something you really love. Something you are passionate about. Suddenly, you will outperform everybody else!

After university, I decided to leave on a one year trip to South America. For one year, I backpacked in 7 different countries, I met amazing people from all around the world, I volunteered, I learned Spanish and trekked across amazing landscapes, hiked a few mountains, the highest summit I climbed was the Huayna Potosi, at 6000 meters, and I walked through wonderful valleys and deserts.

This trip was a big turning point in my life as it released what I had inside for a long time. As I was traveling, I gained in self-confidence and started thinking about my future and started to draft business ideas. I was analyzing business models of successful hostels I was staying in, coffee shops, yoga retreats, adventure agencies, buses companies, etc.  At some point, I was very close to investing everything I had to buy a land and launch a camping camp in Brazil, but it was too complicated for a foreigner with very limited resources.  So I came back home after one year of traveling, a little after I was horse riding by the Pacific Ocean in Chile ;)

Less than six months after I came back, the stock market was going through the worst crash in a lifetime. Isn’t it crazy how events align in life with amazing timing?  I took the leap and invested all I had left in the stock market. I didn’t know anything about investing, but I trained myself 12 hours a day, reading everything about it with the only idea in mind of finding great companies at discounted prices

It worked great for a while, but easy money never last. I became, what you should never be, greedy! I invested in Chinese companies and I found out pretty soon that abroad companies don’t always follow the same accounting regulations as Western and European countries.

Around the same time, I also launched my first e-commerce business, but I made an important mistake right from the start, I started in a very competitive sector dominated by big companies. And then trying to compete against Goliath, I made a series of bad moves that literally knocked me down.

After a few years, I was burned out, with no money, no more energy and my personal life was a mess. For some time, I paid my bills by burning out the inventory of my non-profitable business, and at some point, by lack of options, I had to resign myself to find a job.

I found a job as a manager for a distribution company and I hated that job so much. I was really at the bottom and I realized that taking stupid risks is not what great entrepreneurs do. Many people are under the impression that entrepreneurs take risks, but the reality is that great entrepreneurs take calculated risks and it starts by learning to make the difference between good and bad opportunities.

Learning to validate an idea and challenge it enough to make sure the odds are on your side before investing your time, money and energy is essential. A great opportunity, for sure, is an opportunity that will allow you to leverage your strengths and personality, and trigger some passion and motivation inside of you. But a great opportunity must also be something unique that will really make a 10x difference in the life of millions of people and for a very long time. Ideally, it is a secret that others don’t see and will bring real value to people. If you want to succeed in business, you absolutely need to learn how to differentiate good long terms opportunities from a flash in the pan

You are better taking more time at first to really measure the ground under your idea than risking to build the foundation of your company on quicksand soil, a weak ground that will consume all your resources viciously from the inside out.

Back to my story, we all have downsides, difficult moments in our lives and what matters is how you get back on your feet. If you are in such a moment right now, don’t try to eat the entire elephant in one bite. Identify small steps and do them one step at a time and each small success will bring you closer to your goals. Then, as you go, you will gain in energy, in momentum and eventually, you will be able to take bigger bites and make bigger steps.

After a while, I managed to come back and recuperate financially and physically. Through the years that followed, I experimented, tried all kinds of different projects and continued to train myself on everything related to business, marketing, finance, and many other business-related topics. After my failures, I approached business and risk-taking very differently and even then, I had successes on some projects and I failed miserably at others. But through failures come success and through experience comes knowledge. After many years, I developed a 6th sense to identify opportunities, seized them and do the right actions, at the right time to turn them into a successful business.

I’m a true believer that each and every one has the potential to change the world by leveraging their natural strengths and talents, and by doing meaningful actions to achieve impactful results. With this blog, my goal is to provide you with everything you need to transition from a normal average person to an entrepreneur and a leader. A positive and motivated person who takes the lead and get into actions to make a difference in the world.

What’s amazing nowadays, is that you can be out of nowhere in a similar situation I was in more than 35 years ago, in a small isolated town where most people don’t share your interests, don’t share your beliefs and don’t share your desire to reach your full potential, but with an internet connection, the world is open to you. You have a privileged access to a world of resources and you can build a million dollar business and have a real impact in the world.

Who knows, maybe you will become a catalyst in your community and an example for the next generation. That is the power of the internet and the power of connecting people together. This is the power of believing in yourself!

Who is David Gaudreault?

David Gaudreault Bio - David's Way

I'm an entrepreneur, a maker, an online marketer...and Personal branding passionate.

I help entrepreneurs develop two essentials for building a successful startup: (1) building a strong personal brand and (2) building solid foundations of passive incomes to gain professional freedom.

I also help entrepreneurs find their big ideas, execute them right, impact millions with their businesses, and change the world.

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