Daniel Eberhard didn’t know he was going to change Canada’s financial industry when he set out to help his brother save money.
But that’s exactly what he did. Noticing his friends and family being taken advantage of with unfair practices many of us had accepted as the norm such as hidden account fees, he decided to solve the problem. From this, Koho was born: a Canadian tech company shaking up the financial market and giving people back their power over their incomes and savings.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Daniel to chat about how he got to where he is, and what drives him forward.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
First thing I do when I wake up in the morning is my gratitude practice with my girlfriend.
Finish this sentence: I couldn’t do what I do without…
being outside in nature.
How did you get started?
I got started in this business because I felt like the way the bank worked in Canada was unfair. And then I asked 10 of my friends for their bank statements and my brother had paid $85 in bank fees in three months and he didn’t know it. That felt unfair to me. Koho the manifestation of that I guess.
What kind of Notable are you?
I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve started a handful of companies. This is my third one. I love my job because of the people that I get to surround myself with who are super talented and hardworking and smart.
Why do you love your job?
I love my job because it challenges me in ways that make me grow every day.
What do you want to be known for?
I don’t know that I need to be known. I just want to try and be productive and useful to my community. Ambition means the courage to be successful on your own terms.
Now that you look back, are there moments that stand out as defining moments in your career?
I remember getting on a plane after we closed our series A and flying home. Up to that point had been two and a half years of hard work and I didn’t know if we were going to get there a couple of times. I will never forget that little celebration. Another moment I will never forget is when I was 18 and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I booked a short notice trip to Australia and I remember standing in Byron Bay, which is the easternmost part of Australia. I remember feeling a sense of confidence and competence in what I was going to do with my life.
What is one of the things you are most proud of?
I would say one of the things that I’m most proud of is that I have lived what I think is a professionally useful life, without having to sacrifice my values. I still have spent two and a half years of my adult life with a backpack on. So I’ve got to travel a lot and has still built some companies that I think are useful and productive and helpful.
What is the worst mistake you ever made?
I think the worst mistake I ever made was not getting value aligned with the people that I was going ultimately going to spend a lot of time with. And I think I’ve fixed that.
Any pivotal mentorship moments stand out for you?
I don’t know if I’ve had a pivotal mentorship moment as much as I’ve had like a thousand of them. I believe in mentorship. I believe in coaches. I’ve worked with coaches for two years and philosophers for two years and I lean a lot on resources that help me accelerate my own learning.
Yeah, I think, um, one of the key steps that I took was the second business I ran, which we launched and was doing great out of the gate and was a business that probably could have been profitable and been a good business, but ultimately didn’t feel like a useful business to build and felt kind of boring because all it would do was, was make money. And not be useful. And so I shut that business down and, and I think that was a really good decision. I think I read a lot across a broad spectrum of ideas and then I get to it. A lot of that informs how I think about leadership and finance and banking and technology, but certainly, the people that I get to work with. Um, so, so I would say like my breadth has been incredibly useful in my career.
What are your “Notable Life” goals?
I don’t have long term life goals. Instead, I have a sort of philosophy. And my philosophy is value, clarity and meaning. “Value” means that I want to be useful to my community and that’s the value that I bring. Um, “meaning” means that the things that I do, I will have a relationship to that are energizing to me and relevant to me. And then “clarity” is just me continuing refining what those two things are and how I define them
Any secret talents?
Woodworking! I work with furniture a lot to like unwind. I even built some of the offices at Koho.