Each week at Embrace Disruption we introduce you to an influential person in the digital, blogger, arts, culture, film, or media world! Every Thursday, you can check back at EDPR to find out who we think is particularly amazing at ‘embracing disruption’ within their respective industries.
This week, we’d like to introduce you to entrepreneur Ross Simmonds!
What’s your official job title and where did you go to school?
I’m an entrepreneur, digital strategist, content marketer and public speaker depending on the day of the week. I went to Saint Mary’s University in Halifax where I studied marketing.
Elevator pitch. Describe yourself in a nutshell (or sea shell, or any shell for that matter)
I’m a work-hard play-hard entrepreneur who has a passion for marketing, communications, start-ups and trying new things.
I’m the founder of a start-up called dreamr, which creates and delivers fun and social experiences to people looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of work and just get out and let their hair down to do something fun.
At the same time, I work for myself as a marketing consultant helping a wide range of businesses with their ongoing marketing initiatives as it relates to digital, social media and content marketing. I’ve worked with businesses ranging from Fortune 500 companies you have in your cupboards and fridge to start-ups that are being featured in TechCrunch and are called the next big thing.
Why did you pursue what you’re doing now? What was the inspiration?
As a kid I spent the majority of my summers at summer camps and when I got older I became a camp counselor. This triggered my love and passion for getting outdoors and trying new things as much as possible. At the same time, I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit dating back to when I was in high school when I started my first business selling caps out of my locker. From there, my entrepreneurial endeavors continued into University where I started a Fantasy Football blog and sold sports memorabilia on the side. I feel as if these experiences have shaped me as a person and represent my passion for both business and getting out of the office and doing new things.
What is the best part of your day-to-day?
As an entrepreneur, I get to meet some amazing people. I get to work with some awesome individuals and get to work on some amazing projects. Overall, I’d say that the people I work with and meet on a regular basis are the best part of my day-to-day. Actually, hmmm… Coffee is also one of the best parts of my day-to-day but I’ll give the people I have a chance to work with a slight edge.
What’s the most challenging?
Saying no is the biggest challenge. I’ve got a lot of things on the go and deep down, I really want to help as many people as possible. The challenge is, there are only so many hours in a day and if I spent all my time helping everyone else and not working on my own projects and for my existing clients; nothing would get done.
If you took a look in the cliché crystal ball, what do you see for yourself?
No idea. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
How do you embrace disruption in your work and personal life?
I chase it. I strive to be uncomfortable and help my clients understand the importance of doing things that aren’t in their comfort zone. The reality of it is, when you do things that scare you, great things happen. When you do things that are expected, you get expected better yet, average results.
What is the most memorable moment in your career?
The most memorable moment thus far was when I made the leap from the 9-5 to full time entrepreneurship. I had a great job, great benefits and had some great opportunities ahead of me but I was getting comfortable. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling I had on my last day.
Do you support any initiatives or charities?
Yes! As I said earlier, I was a camp counselor and a camper as a child. I’m a big supporter of both the Boys & Girls Club and Tim Hortons Children Foundation – I love both of these organizations and what they represent.
Tell us what you see yourself doing at 65 years old.
I want to be that sixty five year old who has a bunch of awesome stories and a few scars or injuries to go along with them. I can see myself at 65 opening a school specialized in 90’s pop culture where kids can learn a few business lessons from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and personal branding tips from the Rock.
Just for fun: if you had to pick one app in the whole APPVERSE, what would it be?
8Tracks. It’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.
Check out Ross Simmonds blog, http://rosssimmonds.com/