To get you excited for the Action Entrepreneurship Community Exchange in Calgary on February 10th, we thought we’d chat with one of our panelists that will be joining us, Paul Nielsen, CEO of Dumprunner Waste Stystems. We will be interviewing Paul live at the Community Exchange about some of his biggest successes, lessons and failures as an entrepreneur. To register for the Community Exchange in Calgary or in your area, click here.

What inspired you to start Dumprunner?

A realization that I was never going to be happy career wise unless I was directly responsible for my own destiny (or lack thereof). This is the nice answer. The actual inspiration towards entrepreneurship was sparked by an incident at my last job working for a petrochemical firm. An internal client of mine kept losing a transit number for her truck route, so in good humour, I resent her the manifest for the 3rd time using gigantic 72 font. Yes, it definitely wasted a few sheets of paper. My client loved it. Others did appreciate my solution. A supervisor came to visit me, and took time out of their day to point out my incorrect usage of both size and font in that email, as it violated corporate policy on communication protocols. Seriously… this actually happened. So I guess the move to being my own boss was manifested out of desperation to escape the font police.

How has networking and connecting with other entrepreneurs and mentors helped you and your business succeed?

Alberta is unlike anywhere else to do business… everybody knows everybody. It’s absolutely incredible how connected the business community really is. Contacts are everything, because so much depends on character referrals as a way in the front door.

What has been the most rewarding milestone for you as an entrepreneur?

Creating a corporation that personifies the values of Dayle and myself. That, and being able to acquire a fleet of grown up size Tonka Trucks and heavy equipment capable of destroying stuff. Fantastic therapy for the soul.

If you had one piece of advice to help entrepreneurs expand their professional network, what would it be?

Be genuine. ‘Nuff said.

What’s your mantra or words you live by?

Problem. Challenge. Crisis. Opportunity. These are all the same thing. It’s our attitude towards solving the task at hand that determines our viewpoint.

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