Unless you’re one of the lucky few who was born into wealth, you likely have to work for a paycheque.
The same is true for entrepreneurs. Some are fortunate to start the type of business that generates income almost immediately. Others have to keep working at a ‘day job’ in order to finance their dream of launching a successful venture.
On tonight’s episode of Dragons’ Den, you’ll see an example of both.
Sunshine Tenasco-Brazeau is a mother of three, trying to support her family off the fruits of her labour. She’s managed to create a small business based on a product she creates, and about which she is passionate.
She’s getting by, but barely. In order to continue putting all her energy into her fledging business, she’s come to the Den for a small injection of cash to buy a machine and hire staff. That will increase her productivity and her profits.
Another entrepreneur has to work hard at a regular job to support his family. Henry Omedi has a night job working 13-hour shifts as a truck driver. But he’d love to spend all his time pursuing his passion — manufacturing and marketing his golf invention, ideally raking in the cash.
The Dragons are the first to acknowledge that building a business doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen for free. They all held regular jobs for years before they transformed themselves into independent multi-millionaires. And they definitely appreciate hard work, knowing first-hand how much time and money an entrepreneur must invest to make it work.
They express concern that Henry’s been working on the same concept for almost a decade, and has spent $380,000 of his hard-earned money creating his product.
Henry says he can improve a person’s golf swing in five minutes, and has created a tool to do it. The Dragons point out that in a saturated market of golf products, Henry’s invention will struggle for market share.
But he’s definitely persistent: “I’m willing to do what it takes,” he pleads to the Dragons.
To which Arlene responds, “At what risk, Henry? Your family’s risk?” She clearly fears that his expensive dream will cost more than it’s worth.
Dragons’ Den is definitely about dreams and what can be accomplished when people have the guts and savvy to make dreams a reality — but it’s also about money. And it’s the biggest factor investors consider when deciding whether or not to help finance a dream.
Dianne Buckner is the host of Dragons’ Den and the weekend anchor on the CBC News Network. Watch Dragons’ Den at 8 p.m. tonight on CBC.