YEDaily: Paul Horton

After leaving his career to pursue his childhood dreams of becoming an Olympic snowboarder, Paul Horton knew that he wanted to be in business for himself. Attracted to making his own schedule so he can work to live (and not the other way around), check out the history of his two successful companies, and what’s in the future for them in today’s YEDaily…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I own and operate two companies: Remodal – a cell phone charging kiosk deployed in bars, restaurants, casinos and convention centres (think of is as an ATM that charges smart phones) and CNG Solutions, which transports natural gas to oil services to displace propane and diesel usage. It’s the newest technology used to distribute natural gas without a pipeline.

Why did you start your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I’ve always wanted to be in business for myself and after retiring as a competitive snowboarder, I thought now is the time. The inspiration for being in business for myself is to be able to set up a life where I can enjoy a balanced lifestyle and continue to pursue my passions without someone else deciding how much I’ll make or when I’ll have time to enjoy it.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is definitely building relationships. I’ve always considered myself a connector and I love working with people. I strongly believe in our businesses and this makes the business development role much easier when you believe in the solutions you are providing. The most challenging part is building a strong team and having the right people on the bus to support the growth.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, one of the two companies will be sold and another new venture will be started. We will have developed a business culture that allows for our team to live a full life and have some flexibility. I will be able to enjoy a little more time with my family in the East and my winters in the West, and if all goes well, I’ll still be hitting the odd snowboard cross competition.

What does success look like to you?
Success to me is always looking to play a bigger game in life and pushing the envelope of self-development. Success is not a destination, but rather found in the journey. Being able to reach out and make a difference for others, have a positive impact on the people around you, and enjoy life as you experience it now. Be who you are. Live life with passion and take the odd risk. You only get one shot at this game called life; you might as well enjoy it while you are here.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I would have to say the day I put my “professional” career on hold to pursue my Olympic dream. It took something for me to put my conversations aside regarding what I was giving up and how it would be viewed by my peers, family and friends and just do something that I had no idea what the outcome would look like. The process of putting yourself out there and discovering what stops you and how you operate is something that has and will make a huge difference in everything I do.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Don’t lose site of what is really important in life. Have balance in all areas. Don’t take your loved ones for granted. Cherish the moments you do spend with them. Always have a passion you are perusing, as it will give you energy and drive. Give back to your community. My involvement with charity has given me far more than I ever expected. For me, choosing a charity that was related to a passion of mine (sports) certainly made it easier in the beginning. Now it’s the Special Olympic Athletes and their families that keep me hooked.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I’m currently the Director of the Calgary Motionball Gala in support of Special Olympics. It is important to me because of the difference that Special O makes with the Athletes and their families. It gives them so much its difficult to summarize. From friendship, acknowledgement, acceptance, accomplishment, health, vitality and a strong sense of self all of which has huge impacts on their experience of life. It’s truly a recognition of human potential so often shadowed by a intellectual disability.

What to you is notable?
Honouring your word, making a difference and the legacy left behind by being who you truly are.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone…. Are they still making those other phones? Silly people.

Photo copyright Derek Heisler