Flying high in the business world is never easy. But Dragon’s Den’s Bruce Croxon has worked hard throughout his life to take to the sky and soar.
Croxon is a small town guy you may well recognize. His achievements including his work as a former investor on the CBC show Dragon’s Den, and as co-founder of the Internet-dating site Lavalife cements why.
Croxon always had business in his blood. “I think business picked me; I’m not sure I picked business,” said Croxon. From a very young age he knew he wanted to be entrepreneurial, and follow in the successful footsteps of his father.
His father was an immigrant, who came to Canada from England with a Grade 8 education in the 50s. He was a humble man who turned his excellence in math into jobs bookkeeping for Canadian Tire and a car dealership. Finally when the opportunity arose he opened his own car dealership, and parlayed those profits into land.
Croxon took his father’s entrepreneurial drive to heart and started off his long road to success by being a Globe and Mail paper boy. When it came time to put himself through school he took up a job tree planting which is “very appealing to an entrepreneur,” because the business model of “get paid for how much work and effort you put in” is the basis for being an entrepreneur, Croxon said.
But his expertise in business lies with investing and growing companies. And Round13 is where he gets to showcase exactly what he can do and why he is so successful. It was also around the time Round13 was started that Croxon stepped into the television spotlight and became one of the most loved “dragons” on the hit CBC-show Dragon’s Den. These ventures complemented each other. Both examined start-up businesses and helped build them into successes, which is what Croxon thrives on doing.
During his time on the show Croxon used his love of green living and his investing expertise to help many small businesses become successful. One of the more notable businesses you may remember from the show is Balzac’s Coffee.
How you can make it too!
But what makes a successful entrepreneur? Well, according to Croxon, “You need to have the mindset.” When looking at a business he wants to know that the person in charge “has the resiliency and the stamina to do what it takes to get back up after being knocked down,” because that’s what business is to him, and what Round13 is all about.
Round 13 was named after the 1975 boxing match between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali which, Croxon says is “the toughest round of boxing in the history of the sport.” During that match Ali won by being the one to get up off the stool. To Bruce that’s a story to live by and it brings up the question “after being knocked down, do you have what it takes to get up off the stool,” which, to him, shows who is a true entrepreneur.
For students out there who want to take up business Croxon is an idol. A man who has worked hard his whole life and modelled himself after people he admires to become who he is today. But working hard isn’t enough and being a business success doesn’t come easy or come often. If there’s one thing to take away from Croxon it’s “pick something you enjoy doing, because at the end of the day you have to work hard so it might as well be at something you like.”