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Bryan and Sarah Baeumler are among the top specialty TV celebrities in the world, running 14 businesses across three countries and raising four children. While their projects and lives have been broadcast on HGTV Canada over the last 17 years, the work they have put in to start, manage and grow their businesses is largely behind the scenes.
In a recent RBC Small Business Talks webinar hosted by Tony Chapman, Bryan and Sarah shared stories, tips and lessons about their early days and their path forward as a couple and as business partners. It’s a must-watch for anyone looking for inspiration to start a business or to take their business to the next level.
5 tips for starting and growing a business from Bryan and Sarah Baeumler
1. Put in the work (there are no shortcuts)
Bryan’s father, a small business owner himself, told him a long time ago there are two kinds of people who will survive any kind of adversity: Farmers and fishermen. “To have fish on the table for dinner, you have to cast every inch of the shoreline at every lake you can get to — you can’t cast two lines and give up,” Bryan relates. Farmers, meanwhile, plant their seeds, patiently water, fertilize and nurture them until they’re ready to harvest. Patience, endurance and hard work are essential ingredients to starting a business.
2. Trust your gut
“I think in all entrepreneurs, we have a gut feeling we rely on more often than not,” says Sarah. In fact, both Baeumlers encourage business owners to trust their instincts versus follow the path others expect of them. “There’s a part of business and all of life that is a gut feeling,” says Bryan. “Sometimes you have to jump to find out if you can fly.”
3. Train for endurance
While hustle is key to starting a business, endurance is essential when you’re in it for the long-haul. After all, owning, running and growing a business comes with a number of peaks and valleys, and managing through the valleys takes strength and stamina — but ultimately enables you to come out stronger than before. It’s an approach the Baeumlers have followed for years but was particularly relevant when both a hurricane and global pandemic hit just as they opened the doors to their Caerula Mar Club resort in the Bahamas.
4. Plan and prioritize — but know you can change your mind
Running and building several businesses at the same time requires some artful prioritization on the part of the Baeumlers, particularly as they also raise a family. As Bryan says, “We only ever have 100 per cent to give — you need to split those percentage points up between all the important things in your life.” He also adds that you can have a bad day, decide something isn’t working and change course. “Life isn’t on a blueprint,” he explains.
5. Surround yourself with the right people
Being in a position to prioritize, to endure tough times and manage for change requires the right team of people in your corner. They revealed that when they tried to expand too quickly and didn’t put the right people in key positions, they had to spend a great deal of time and money cleaning up after poor decisions. Having the right people in place can also allow you to focus on the aspects of the business you love most, and that you’re best at.
Want to get the full story? Listen to Bryan and Sarah Baeumler’s experiences, lessons and tips here .
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