Interview with Frank O'Dea
In one of your keynotes you claim that hope, vision and action is all it takes to overcome dark times in life. Don’t you also believe that some people are just luckier than others?
Of course, I believe in luck, but without Hope Vison Action there is rarely luck, unless you win the lottery. But even then there is hope and vision and the action of buying the ticket. We have all heard the expression, “the harder I work, the luckier I get.” For the most part we make our own luck.
What in your opinion are the most difficult challenges a business has to face in its starting phase?
There are so many challenges to starting a business, from adequate financing, to good people to understanding the customer and so much more. But the overriding challenge is having a vision of what you see for the business ten years down the road. With that vision in mind it is so much easier to make the right decisions as obstacles and challenges arise along the way. When we opened our little coffee kiosk the first day, we were not opening a store, we were opening a chain.
Can you give 3 tips for becoming a game-changer in an established industry?
- 1) Write down the things that you think are most important to industry customers, then go ask a number of good customers to do the same. I guarantee that your list will differ from your customers’ lists by 25% to 50%.
- 2) Stop doing the things that they think are not important
- 3) Replace some of those things that will attract non-industry customers.
Many years ago Ryanair created a game changer when they learned that a lot of people were OK to forego seat selection, to accept smaller seating space and land at secondary airports. That company increased the size of the pie. That’s a game-changer.
What clients have you worked with in the past?
Ford Motor Co, Sunlife, Investors Group, Toppers Pizza, Pharmasave, McDonald’s, Remax, Rotary, Goodlife Fitness, National Healthcare, Urban Municipalities Association, Mission Services of London, TD Securities, Farm Credit Canada, Halton Housing, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, Provincial Trucking Association, Toronto Police, Brandon Chamber of Commerce, to give you a cross section of the hundreds of organizations that have hired me.
What do you personally gain from being a public speaker?
I learned, early on, that my story was helping, inspiring and giving hope to people in their personal and business lives. It is a great gift to be able to do this, in fact, it becomes a responsibility and I believe that it is our responsibility to leave this world a little better than when we got here. It is a wonderful feeling to know that one has helped people, most of whom one will never know.