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How to survive business success

  • Communications
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  • Oct 25, 2018
How to survive business success

How do you know when you’ve “made it”?

Entrepreneur and author Kelsey Ramsden, MBA ’04, isn’t sure you ever really do.

“We think we’ve made it when we get degrees, money and the things that tick boxes, but the truly driven and ambitious people are always curious and never ‘done’,” she said.

That feeling of never being done is a point of frustration for many entrepreneurs. With all of the advice for navigating failure, where do we turn when navigating success? During the J.J. Wettlaufer Lecture in Leadership in Toronto on October 24, Ramsden shared her insights for business leaders and entrepreneurs on reinventing the mindset that led to their first success – so they can do it all over again.

An entrepreneur’s work is never done

"Success is not absolute. To me, saying I am successful means I am done," she said.

Twice named Canada’s top female entrepreneur by PROFIT Magazine, Ramsden has founded and scaled businesses in civil construction and real estate. She hosts a podcast and speaks globally on the subject of innovation and how to future-proof you and your business. With her new book, Success Hangover, hitting shelves October 30, she’s not slowing down any time soon.

For Ramsden, her awards are just touch points on a trajectory that is non-linear.

“I can list pages of things I have done, but what matters – what drives me – is the silver thread that goes through every single thing I do that brings me joy and profit and purpose,” she said.

Her silver threads are the new intimate connections her business ventures allow her to create, and these keep her focused and on a path of continuous growth.

“For me it’s about creating something from nothing and leaving a tangible object or experience that otherwise would not have existed.”

Ramsden sat down with us to discuss key takeaways from the event and what's next for her. Listen to the interview below.

The J.J. Wettlaufer Lecture in Leadership

The J.J. Wettlaufer Lecture in Leadership was established to express our profound appreciation and to pay tribute to (Jack J.) J.J Wettlaufer, a long-time faculty member who played a pivotal role in shaping the School. Jack was a faculty member for more than 40 years, was dean from 1963 to 1978, and helped develop the School’s first executive programs. He died in 1992, and the former executive development centre in Mississauga was named in his honour.

Listen to an interview with Kelsey Ramsden