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Look at what is ahead of you and learn from what is behind you!

That was one of my favorite pieces of advice during lunch with Jim Treliving.

jim treliving

A chance opportunity put me in the very fortunate position of a one on one with Boston Pizza CEO Jim Treliving.

On November 15, 2011 National Philanthropy day, the day in which Boston Pizza donated $1 million to JDRF, the day in which Jim was rushing between meetings, business deals, speaking engagements and filming of new television shows,  Jim was kind enough to sit with me and offer up some great business foresight.

Boston Pizza alone now has system wide gross sales over $1 Billion and is in the process of more local and international expansion.  If you are not aware, Jim Treliving makes it a bit of a hobby to look at different business ideas, but Boston Pizza was his first big deal that he knew would be a winner.  Jim wrote down the name of 5 people that had the money to invest, then he put together an iron clad presentation and told them he wanted them to be the bank, but he wanted to run the business.  That was the start of this Canadian tycoon’s huge success which now stems to over 50 businesses and a celebrity status because of the success as a “Dragon” with the Dragon’s Den.

Needless to say, you can learn a lot from a role model like this! 

And yet when I sat across from Jim he was just another great guy.  Jim is a father, a grandfather, a husband and a friend.  He has a very fun history, and he lives his life to the fullest.  We talked about friends he has lost from sickness and tragic accidents, and then we laughed about some of his stories of the past.   We talked about his wife, his grandchildren, his children and his business ideas.  Jim doesn’t hold back and you can tell he is proud of his business success, but it is his family and friends that are truly Jim’s biggest passion.

As a past RCMP officer, Jim has an instinct about people, and with his history of business ventures, a true insight for what business just may make it.  When I asked Jim what attracts him to his different business options, he says the thing that catches his attention is 1stthe people involved and 2ndcan this make money?  You put two yes’s together and he may just be willing to take a look at the investment.  But not before he does a lot of homework (and of courses offers up this same advice to anyone of us starting up a business or looking to get involved in a business!)

One of his tricks is to ensure you look at every aspect that could go wrong, and then expect that to happen.  This will ensure that you are prepared, but he forewarns, don’t hold back!  You have to go for it to make your dreams reality.

Jim talked about how he has sat with Warren Buffet and if he had made different decisions in his life how he could have had even more.  But as Jim says “Look at what is ahead and learn from what is behind you!” 

Some of the top business advice I took away from lunch include:

  • Don’t be shy, Warren buffet puts on his pants the same way I do.  You and the richest woman in the world both put on your skirt the same way, we are all just people.  Don’t ever think you are smaller than anyone else. 
  • Ask for what you want. 
  • Swim with the fish, and don’t be afraid to change.
  • The harder you work, the luckier you will get.  But not everything will work all the time!
  • Have great people around you and honest people.
  • Listen to what people tell you!  But don’t always ask your biggest fans for advice, go to others that don’t know you or your business so that they can think outside of the box, and be prepared to take that constructive criticism and get back up!
  • When I told him we call that putting on your “big girl panties” he said yes but you have to make sure they are snuggy!
  • Have fun – if it is not fun don’t do it.
  • Work Hard and Play Hard
  • And coming from his RCMP background, he got into the amazing work habit of “WORK TILL YOU GET IT DONE” doesn’t matter how long it takes, know what you have to do and just get it done.

One more thing, Jim is a true believer in going to the top, if you want something go to the top of the company to ask for it, get on a plane, or knock on a door to get in front of the right people.  But be sure you have a short, powerful presentation to show why they need you…

Remember, this “Dragon” still puts his pants on the same way we do.  So go for it!

For all of you as well in network marketing, guess what, 25 years ago, Jim was an Amway representative and his wife carried on in the business for some time to help bring in extra money when Jim was an RCMP officer! 


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