|An Underwater Entrepreneur|
An intrapreneur is an employee working for a company. An entrepreneur is an employee risking personal capital. It's rare to meet someone who is accomplished at both at the same time. That was the case of 42 year old Toronto advertising executive and Northern Ontario resort owner/operator Bill Blakey.
As an advertising entrepreneur he worked at one of Canada's largest agencies, 'McCann Erickson Event Marketing'. Bill was the best. His projects included General Motors sponsorship of the '88 Calgary Winter Olympics, the annual 'Arnold Palmer Cadillac Golf Classic', The Molson Indy. Plus many other major national events. I think you get the picture.
For relaxation, and as a means to get away from it all, Bill took up scuba diving. "They can't reach me by phone when I'm underwater."
Not one to do things in half measures, Bill became proficient to the point that he began teaching diving as his hobby. Soon, the hobby became a profitable business to the extent that five years ago he bought 'The Will Robb Lodge', a run down hunting and fishing lodge on Georgian Bay and began fixing it up for the exclusive use of scuba divers. "It needed a lot of
T.L.C. to return it to rentable condition. It's in great shape now. In fact, I just bought the marina next door."
Word spread among scuba divers about Bill's lodge and you can imagine the rest. The lodge is fully booked months in advance. It was a lot of work for Bill, juggling two successful careers. "I really enjoy it. It's something that opens a lot of doors. It requires a lot of time during the summer but I know that somewhere down the road there will be a final payoff and it will have all been worthwhile."
Well, it appears that the payoff is coming faster than even he imagined. On January 11th, 1991, he resigned from the advertising agency, obtained a cellular telephone franchise, agreed to consult for three major clients and will devote more time to his hobby which has now become his profession.
Bill is fulfilling the dream of most of us. It did not come easy, nothing worthwhile ever does. Someone once said ... that if achievers are distinguished by anything it is by the simple fact that they 'act' on thoughts most of us at one time or another have had.... That certainly fits the description of Bill Blakey, another Canadian Achiever.
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