There is often a negative connotation surrounding the idea of regional entrepreneurship. Yet the reality is, anyone who wants to go into business outside of the central business districts now has access to a multitude of resources. Despite what many may think, location does not limit possibility and opportunity. This can be proven with the story of an entrepreneur who had the willingness to do things differently, in an charming area outside of the city. The story of this entrepreneur demonstrates to us that the fire of entrepreneurship can burn just as bright in rural areas. No matter where he may work, it is his passion and ambition that makes him an entrepreneur that we are proud of. This is the story of Adam, the man who challenges the misconceptions surrounding regional entrepreneurship!
Originally from Bas-Saint-Laurent (Lower St. Lawrence), Adam Pajot Gendron decided to go into business in Rimouski, in the RCM of Rimouski-Neigette. Since he was looking for a pleasant area for his family to live in, he felt like the only answer was to move outside of Montreal. He first considered Chicoutimi and Sherbrooke,but then made the decision to move to Rimouski in order to live closer to his relatives.
Through a series of events, Adam ended up creating his own company, Tortuga Films. Adam began working in the television production industry in 2001 in Montreal, and when a film project he desperately wanted to create was denied, he decided to produce it himself.
“The person for whom I worked for didn’t care about making that film. I told my girlfriend that if we wanted to create our film, we had to do it ourselves! So we decided to produce it on our own.”
Adam then learned that he needed to incorporate his company in order to secure funding for the project and comply with industry regulations. His film then went into production and became a great success!
Two years later, after the film was completed, Adam found himself at a crossroads. He had no desire to return back to work, having been bitten by the entrepreneurship bug. His journey had just begun!
“Once you’ve experienced being your own boss (…) I have a hard time imagining returning to a 9 to 5 job. I love managing multiple things at once; I don’t want to do just one thing for an employer.”
It was at that time that he officially launched his business. Adam was ready to take on new projects just two years after incorporating his company. Even though the initial idea was to only produce that first film, he now had to set everything up for the company to become fully operational.
“Our start-up really happened 2 years later, after completing our film. We had no business cards, no website and no office space at that point.”
Adam got to work by writing a business plan to establish a structure to his new venture. According to Adam, developing a business plan was a crucial step and important exercise that he recommends to all young entrepreneurs launching their own business.
“Writing my business plan was a struggle, but I’m now proud to have done it. It allowed for us to see where we could go and what the potential of our company was. It was a time for reflection. ”
Additionally, Adam found mentorship to be extremely beneficial and rewarding during his start-up period.
“I loved being mentored. It was great to be able to talk to someone during tough stretches. Having an outside ear and perspective is important. We were able to solve some problems that seemed overwhelming but that ultimately were not.”
When asked what a typical workday is like for him, Adam laughs. We all know that the life of an entrepreneur is eclectic, but is there such a thing as a typical day? Even so, he mentioned that his time is always divided between the office, his family and business development. He goes home every day for lunch and for a 10-minute power nap before going back to work. This type of lifestyle is possible because of the accessibility of living in this area. Regional entrepreneurship makes it possible to increase your quality of life. Adam finds it amusing that his lifestyle has influenced others to relocate as well.
Even though Adam’s story seems fairly straightforward, it is because of his values and his ambitions that he has become an accomplished entrepreneur, as launching a video production company in Rimouski is not a common feat. He is always the first one to point out that most of the companies in his field are based in Montreal. Adam decided to go against the grain to change standards within this industry and imagine possibilities that were invisible to others. Regional entrepreneurship is about believing that it’s possible to do things differently and having undeniable leadership.
“We’re in 2016! Everything you need to start a business is available in any region! We have all the infrastructures we need! Nowadays, we use the internet to send video files!”
Looking back on his career as an entrepreneur, Adam is satisfied with what he has accomplished and enjoys the independence that comes with it. He loves that he has no pre-established schedule and can decide what to do with his time. His ambitions for the future are limitless as his company is currently in a major growth phase with plans to expand internationally.
“I’ve always seen my video production company as a place that creates useful, interesting and entertaining content, all at the same time. These past few years, our production volume has greatly increased. We’ve gone from one or two films per year to two films and two series per year, plus corporate videos. Our next objective is international expansion.”
Adam’s story is inspiring for a number of reasons. First of all, it was through a series of unforeseen circumstances that have made him become an entrepreneur and achieve goals he never thought possible. It is through his unrelenting desire to create his film that has led him to take that leap.
Entrepreneurship can be the necessary medium to help move your career forward and achieve your dreams. Becoming an entrepreneur allows us to push ourselves further than we once thought possible. In his efforts for international business development from Rimouski, Adam is an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs. He believed in the potential, in the expansion, and in the economic viability of his projects in this rural area.
An entrepreneur’s love and pride for where he lives is a central factor in the success of regional entrepreneurship. Adam’s journey is an inspiration for other entrepreneurs who are hoping to follow in his footsteps and to develop projects no matter where in the world allowing their great ideas to mirror the breathtaking landscapes around them. Adam Pajot Gendron dispels the misconceptions surrounding regional entrepreneurship and proves that doing business is the same, no matter where you live. It is through their ambition and leadership that we celebrate the stories of successful entrepreneurs.
Written By: Jean-Philippe L’Écuyer, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Futurpreneur Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org