Today’s Notable Young Professional is Eric Janssen, whose company, Intellitix, delivers advanced and secure RFID technology to events and festivals all around the world. We caught up with him to find out what inspires his work and what advice he would share with other young professionals…
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I’m the Chief Revenue Officer of Intellitix. We work with the biggest festivals and events in the world to put your ticket and your wallet into a wristband like you may have seen at Coachella, Tomorrowland, Bonnaroo, etc.
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
Opportunism. I’ve been continually willing to throw myself down a corridor toward opportunities that are in exciting, high-growth industries.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Witnessing our cashless technology on display at Tomorrowland in Belgium being used by over 180,000 raving EDM fans.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
At this moment it’s hard to think beyond Intellitix but I’d like to prioritize teaching once again. I was once a lecturer at the Ivey School of Business and would like to share some of my learnings growing sales and marketing teams at high-growth startups by teaching a course or starting a program focused on this.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Focus. Many people are constantly thinking about the next opportunity versus maximizing the opportunity that they’re currently in. You can do everything on your bucket list, but you can’t do it all at once. Prioritize and focus on one career path or business opportunity at a time.
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I’m passionate about giving back to the young entrepreneur community. I was previously a co-founder of the incubator at Western: BizInc, now Propel, and volunteer to mentor entrepreneurs at Ivey as an Entrepreneur in Residence. Anything I can do to inspire more young people to start and grow businesses, I’ll do.
7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Skill gaps. In starting or growing companies, you’re often charting a new path and learning as you go. Something that has been really helpful for me is starting my own mastermind group of people who do exactly what I do every day (selling and managing a team). My groups typically meet monthly over a bottle of scotch to talk about the biggest challenges we’re facing and brainstorm solutions together.
8. What does the word notable mean to you?
Notable means remarkable: something important you’d take note of and share.
1. Where is your favourite place to wine / dine in your city and why?
After living in Toronto and New York, I’ve recently settled down in Windsor, Ont. and my favorite place is Smoke and Spice. They have some of the best BBQ I’ve had in my life.
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
Based on my travel schedule, it’s Air Canada or Hotels.com! Most played song is Leather Jacket by the Arkells. My wife and I rented an RV and experienced the authentic Bonnaroo experience this summer. The Arkells was our favorite act and it turned into our 2016 summer anthem.
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
Gary Vaynerchuk. He’s a no bullshit guy who makes you want to get after it every damn day.
4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
I travel a lot for work, so my favorite personal trips are to unwind. Italy for the food and drink is at the top of my list. This month I was in Las Vegas, London, Munich and Zurich.
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
WhatsApp. I’m considered ‘the glue’ in our friend group: always bringing people together with made-up holidays (‘Friendsgiving’), and events (massive multi-day Christmas parties) and I hate missing out on these when I’m travelling.
6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Sour dinos. There’s something about the Costco-sized candy pack that reminds me of being a kid.
7. What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
Car washes. I’m a bit OCD about keeping my cars clean but don’t make the time to wash them by hand as much as I should. I wish I spent more on meals to cook at home. I love to cook but often cheap out on ingredients.
8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Carving your own path and living by your own standards – not someone else’s.