For Darrell Heaps, CEO of Toronto-based Q4, having a “hustle and grind” mentality is crucial to growing a startup.
At the latest FinTechTO, Heaps talked about what that actually means for Q4, and why taking risks and moving quickly are critical to growing any company.
Heap said hustle is when entrepreneurs move quickly and use their time efficiently, even when they don’t have all the information they need.
“For me, hustle is rooted in the one simple fact that there’s only a limited amount of time that you have,” said Heaps. “Time is the only finite resource that we have in building a company, and every moment that you spend doing whatever it is that you prioritize, you’re never getting that back.”
“Make those decisions. Put yourself out there. Take risks, but do it quickly.”
Heaps pointed to his early days at Q4 when he would spend more time fighting with the co-founder and debating frequently when it came to making important decisions, noting that these issues “suck up time and suck up your opportunity.”
Reflecting on these experiences, Heaps said that in order to grow and scale a company, founders and their teams need to be more decisive, make decisions more quickly, and really sell their businesses.
“When I think about hustle early on and even today, it’s about closing a business,” said Heaps. “You need to be the guy or woman who gets on the phone and gets the deal done. Make those decisions. Put yourself out there. Take risks, but do it quickly.”
In his presentation, Heaps’ also noted that hustle doesn’t work without grind — two key words that he says are posted on the walls inside Q4’s office.
“Being an entrepreneur and starting a business is not easy and it does not get easier.”
“The idea of grind and owning that is really important in growing as well,” said Heaps, adding that it takes both hard and smart work to grow a company. “You can have a great idea and move it forward…but if you’re not willing to put the work in, it’s not going to work…You have to be really committed to the grind. You have to continue working at it. Things don’t happen overnight.”
Heaps also stressed that while people move things forward and companies grow, it doesn’t always mean the work gets easier. “Maintaining those growth rates becomes increasingly more difficult going into this,” said Heaps. “You have to accept the fact that being an entrepreneur and starting a business is not easy and it does not get easier.”
Q4 provides a communication and intelligence solutions platform for investment relations. Heap said the company, which raised a $22 million Series B round in May 2016, has grown to about 200 people across offices in Toronto, New York, and London, and has around 1,000 clients.
Watch the full presentation below:
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