Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is James McQueen, whose company, Rumble, specializes in changing people’s lives through tasty, nutritionally balanced drinks that fuel an active lifestyle. What was the inspiration behind the idea? Find out in today’s profile…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
At Rumble, we make super tasty, nutritionally balanced drinks that fuel an active lifestyle. As an entrepreneur in a start-up beverage company, my job entails a little bit of everything: setting up distribution, pitching new accounts, supply chain and operations management, finance, brand development and marketing.
Why did you start working at your company?
I’d had enough of cubicle life in a tower and always had a keen interest in start-ups. I knew it would be a good challenge and my belief in both the team and the product concept were big factors in the decision-making process. Small businesses are sometimes the toughest – building a brand in the beverage space up against the big guys is a big mountain to climb!
What was the inspiration for this career route?
It just happened – I never thought I’d end up launching a beverage company. We are a people-driven brand trying to enhance people’s lives and that’s what I find inspiring. I now have the opportunity to have a real impact on lives day in and day out.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis?
The most rewarding part of the job is hearing how our products have made a difference in people’s lives through customer testimonials. Beyond that, getting out and meeting our customers at demos, customer events, and trade shows are a great way to hear positive (or negative) feedback firsthand.
The most challenging part?
Keeping up with the volume of work (and emails!) and making decisions somewhat in the blind. Managing the needs of the business alongside the needs of investors isn’t always easy. Also, maintaining healthy relationships with colleagues, co-founders, friends and family is an interesting challenge as well.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
Working weekends – like right now! Flying too much for business vs. holiday. Talking shop too much with my partner, friends and family.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Doing this with a much bigger team and more product innovation.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career?
Biting the bullet by listening to my gut and building a business of my own for a change from the ground up. Sacrificing safety and status in order to do it while having the internal fortitude to stick with it and see it though – success or failure.
How did you overcome it?
Sought counsel from friends, family and professional acquaintances whose opinion I hold dear. From there, I sucked it up and went for it.
What does success look like to you?
I already feel successful in what we’ve accomplished with Rumble but I guess each year we reach new milestones in terms of business growth and customer acquisition will feel successful as well. I would love to see Rumble become a household name at some point.
Does Money = Happiness?
Not for me. It’s a necessary evil for sure, but it falls way behind believing in and enjoying what you are doing and spending time with the people you care about.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Buying my first Rumble at Lifestyles Market in Victoria. Before this, my first day working on a trading floor as an analyst at RBC in Toronto.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Just do it and don’t look back. Build a strong network of smart supporters and advisors and trust your instincts. If you think you want to go to work for yourself, or be part of a start up, make sure you really love it because you’ll have to work really hard.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Victoria: Ulla (great food, cozy space); Vancouver: Alibi Room (huge range of beers on tap and a mean burger); Toronto: Electric Mud (best BBQ I have ever had).
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
With my partner and friends and family. On the soccer pitch or running along the seawall. Love to get out and experience new things and places (i.e. travel).
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
Tough question. Maybe Asia – it’s just so different than Western culture and the people are amazing. New York will always have a special place in my heart. Who doesn’t love Europe?
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
Another tough question – so many songs to choose from! Just for fun and an ode to my time spent living in New York, how about Talking Heads, This Must Be the Place.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
Would love to open a boutique hotel sometime in my life (long shot!). Again, I love to travel, enjoy hospitality and people, I’m and into design and architecture.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Through our business, Rumble, we support 1% for hunger where 1% of all sales go towards charities that fight hunger.
What to you is notable?
BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)