Abby Tobias is proof that youth and inexperience don’t have to be an obstacle to achieving success in the entrepreneurial world.
The 30-year-old president of event company Sole Power Productions has spent seven years helping produce events for the likes of the Molson Indy, YTV awards, Much Music Video Awards, the CHIN picnic and the Grey Cup and he also donates his time and resources regularly to charity events and foundations.
Tobias started DJing when he was 15 and struck big success at age 17 when he started managing a group of dancers called Boogie Brats.
“I never had a real job. I was doing $50 gigs and I was in heaven. I thought I was rich,” Tobias said.
At the age of 23, he started Sole Power Productions in his mother’s basement with a few thousand dollars, contracting out DJs to high-profile events. Today, Sole Power produces more than 300 events per year.
Alongside his love of music, Tobias always had a powerful entrepreneurial spirit that he credits for being the driving force in his life.
“I was never money-hungry but I’m definitely success-hungry — I never wanted to be second-best at anything I did. I work harder than most people and I think that’s why I have success,” Tobias said.
Tobias has a degree in Radio and Television from Ryerson University and says he’s learned business is all about passion and perseverance.
“I’ve never read a business book on how to get rich. It ultimately comes down to being passionate about what you do. My passion drives me — I’m that guy that doesn’t go to sleep until the day’s work is done,” he said.
Tobias has worked with charities like the Pencer Brain Trust and POGO, which provide relief and resources for people living with brain tumours and other cancers. He produced Breakin’ for Cancer in 2007, which raised $40,000 for cancer research and created the Guinness World Record for the longest break dancing circle (24 hours).
He also started a charity program at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children that provides musical instruments to kids in need and he frequently donates to the Israel Emergency Fund on behalf of clients.
It’s all part of Tobias’ belief in good karma.
“I think if you’re good to others then they’ll be good to you,” he said.
Recently Tobias was a presenter on the hit show Dragon’s Den, where inventors and owners looking for investors present their business ideas to wealthy judges. While he can’t say what his episode, airing sometime in October, is about, he admits he felt a little jealous being on the defensive end of the business table.
“I joked with one of the producers that I don’t want to be on Dragon’s Den, I want to be a Dragon!”