M. Jean-Guy Furois
Yan and Sébastien Gagnon, owners of GG Telecom Inc.
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Jean-Guy Furois is a true CYBF ‘business godfather’ - an experienced business person who regularly meets with a young entrepreneur to share knowledge, listen and coach. And mentees Yan and Sébastien Gagnon of GG Telecom have achieved a lot under his guidance. GG Telecom designs and manufactures motion detected digital cameras and pocket size wireless motion detectors and receivers that are available in stores internationally.
Jean-Guy is the founder and past President of Graphicor Ltd. Six years after he sold his business to his employees, a close friend of his told him about the mentoring work he was doing. Needless to say, Jean-Guy’s friend inspired him to become a mentor himself. He says that he uses many skills in his mentoring relationships: “I help by being a good listener and eagle-eyed. I inspire trust and give advice to my mentees without dictating actions. I also offer constructive criticism and compliment and praise them for good work.” He adds, “I embed in their mind the notion of excellence in everything they must do.”
Jean-Guy recalls one of his most powerful moments as a mentor to GG Telecom. Three months after he started with them, he encouraged them to participate in an exposition in Montreal. But Yan and Sébastien had no money to invest in such a trade show. Jean-Guy encouraged them to find the money somewhere because the returns would be tremendous. They finally found the money, and with the help of Jean-Guy, they connected with many potential retailers and distributors. It was then that the entrepreneurs realized the potential of their young company and the value of their mentor’s advice.
However, the challenge wasn’t over yet. Jean-Guy once again pushed them to their limits. He suggested that they capitalize on the success of the trade show by calling and visiting all of the important retailers in Quebec that had visited their booth .Again, strapped for money, Yan and Sébastien thought they couldn’t do it. But it was the wisdom of Jean- Guy that made it happen.
His advice was, “Do as I did when I was your age. Sleep in the car, buy a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter and make sandwiches out of that. In life one must make sacrifices in order to attain one’s goals.” Upon their return, the entrepreneurs signed up retailers and orders, which more than paid for their expenses.