University of Victoria | January 23, 2018
In January, the UVic Commerce Students Society (CSS) invited me back to speak and share my story as an alumni and as a business owner. On my first visit in November 2016, I met a large group of bright and talented business students and was impressed with their appetite to learn. After the event, I encouraged the students to reach out; in fact, one of the students who did was hired onto my team.
This time when I came back I was excited to share the journey of my latest venture HoneyBadger, and meet a new group of talented students. I saw a few familiar faces and we had a great turnout with UVic Bitcoin Club and UVIG (University of Victoria Investment Group) joining. I shared my experiences and the bumpy road to success. No surprise, this year's hot topic was cryptocurrency, bitcoin and the like. Last year, when I came to speak at UVic, HoneyBadger was just beginning with 3 kiosks in Vancouver. Today, the business has 45+ kiosks across Canada and is the largest Bitcoin ATM network in the country. As an entrepreneur, I've had many business ideas that I've pursued, and while HoneyBadger has been a success, many other ventures have not been so. The important take away is that you must put hard work and drive into whatever you do, and learn from your failures. The success of my cash management business or HoneyBadger is what is seen on the surface, but what you cannot see is the effort and challenges we overcame to get here. I spoke to these challenges, to the successes, and the failures, and hope that themes of devotion and persistence were echoed to the students. Your peers or colleagues may have an advantage with a better upbringing or business opportunity, but you can control your work ethic and ultimately your success.
Finally, I shared my tips for what I look for when hiring and ended with some laughs. I was thoroughly impressed with the in-depth questions asked and the engagement of the students. I look forward to coming back again next year.
Thank you to Katharine Lazar and the CSS team for having me!