Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Steve Lowry, whose entrepreneurial realm spans the fields of law, finance, media and tech. We caught up with him to discover his favourite spots to wine and dine in Toronto and Vancouver, and what advice he would share with other young professionals…
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I run Discover Media House, a platform that matches advertisers with the perfect channel for their message.
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
Possibly the movie “Catch Me If You Can.” I’ve been a lawyer, banker, media company owner and tech entrepreneur. I’m not sure I’m fully qualified for all of those roles, but it’s fun to try them out!
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Installing taxi cab screens in all the major Canadian media markets with my two business partners in Play Taxi Media, my first start-up.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
In five years, I’ll still be hustling like there’s no tomorrow; in 10 I’ll be working at whichever Fortune 500 wins a highly contested auction to buy Discover Media House; and in 20 years I’ll be writing books about the most interesting business stories of our time.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Tons! I’m always keen to talk to any entrepreneur that wants to chat about their business. Ideally over a coffee at some hipster place on Queen Street.
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I’ve spent time at the Harbour Light soup kitchen in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Having lived for years near that neighbourhood, I’ve seen what incredibly challenging circumstances many of the people there are dealing with.
7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
I once had an investor contractually commit to investing a substantial sum of money in a company I was working on. They promised they would follow through on the contract for several months but never did. I think the way to deal with something like that is to become even more flexible than you think is possible. If you continue to believe in your goals, the setbacks tend to stretch you, not stop you.
8. What does the word notable mean to you?
The point at which the buzz inside an organization gets overpowered by the outside buzz surrounding it.
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
I now call two cities home: in Toronto it’s Terroni, and in Vancouver it’s L’Abattoir. I like places that are either simply authentic or, on the other end of the spectrum, artfully engineered.
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
If I need a break from emails and calls I’ll go to a site called Ultralinx. Photos of beautiful designs and inspiring places enable me to refocus. When I’m ready to hit it again, I play “Lose Yourself” by Eminem.
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
If a podcast counts as social media, I’d say Tim Ferris for sure.
4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
Australia – they have thousands of kilometres of coastline packed with surf breaks and they make funny advertising. I’d like to see Portugal next. Again, a good ratio of beach to land and some incredible history to go with it.
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
I’m anti-FOMO. Totally against it. The best experiences come from finding out what’s truly meaningful to you and optimizing around that – either with the resources you have, or finding out a way to get more resources. See Tim Ferris podcast above.
6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
90s action movies. No, gluten!
7. What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
To be honest, I don’t have a clear view of success yet. I find my interests and desires change over time. I suppose success is the point where you’re no longer chasing some big, challenging goal… but then again, who really wants that?