Jim Treliving From Dragon’s Den Shows Entrepreneurs How To Make Decisions

jim trelivingI just finished reading a fantastic book entitled Decisions: Making The Right Ones, Righting The Wrong Ones by Jim Treliving. Most people know Jim as the pensive and wise businessman on the hit CBC series Dragon’s Den and owner of the massively successful Boston Pizza and Mr. Lube franchises.

As an accountant you have to understand that, people expect me to be a statistics kind of guy but the truth is that I really like stories. Everybody has a story and they can be much easier to relate to than numbers.

I like how Jim uses the book to discuss the turning point he reached in his life that made him think about being an employer that creates jobs versus an employee. It was a pretty big decision for him considering he had a solid job working for the RCMP, collecting a pay cheque and a pension…but he wanted something more.

Jim Treliving: Taking A Leap of Faith

You have to admire how difficult that decision must have been for him. Working for the RCMP is a great career with a lot of respect in the community.  Despite all of the benefits of staying with the RCMP, Jim realized that it simply wasn’t meant for him.

We all go through that at some point in our career. You might have a great job, great income, great support network…but end up making other life changing decisions that people close to you will question. You need to maintain the strength to make these decisions and move forward with them.

jim treliving

With no time to waste, Treliving thrives on the skill of making important decisions quickly and effectively.

Jim became a decision maker and talks about how he moved forward in that direction in his book. One of those first major decisions happened to be to open a Boston Pizza in Penticton, BC, about 45 minutes away from where I am in Kelowna.

When he decided to take over that restaurant from the previous owners, he committed to working bizarre hours (often for free) to increase his knowledge and to becoming the best franchise owner in Boston Pizza. Whatever it took, Jim was willing to do it.

Funding The Dream

It’s great to have a big dream but how will you fund it? How do you get there? We have all experienced this problem at some point or another and quit immediately because we might lack the necessary funds or resources.

jim treliving

Jim Treliving stands in front of the modest Penticton home he lived in when he first began his journey.

Sometimes it’s challenging to expand your point of view and think about where to get the support needed for success. Fortunately, Jim was able to pull it all together, , open up Boston Pizza successfully and resolve problems as they came up.

That being said, things didn’t come easy for him.. Many people often look at success stories like Jim Treliving and are afraid to compare themselves to him because they think they aren’t capable of doing the same. Anybody can do it as long as they believe in themselves and make proper decisions along the way – Jim does a great job of pointing this out in the book.

Finding The Right Partner

His original business partner was his best friend at the time and opened the franchise with him, but things weren’t working out so well. Problems began to arise when they added a third partner.  As a result, Jim had to make a tough decision: letting his original partner and best friend go from the business.

jim treliving

Before Dragon’s Den, finding the perfect business partner wasn’t so easy for Jim Treliving.

I can only imagine how difficult this decision must have been for someone who has such high morals and an intense loyalty to his friends.  To have to part ways with your best friend, who had been your business partner since Day 1, must have been nothing short of heart wrenching.

Was it the right decision in the end? Well, they ended up expanding and growing to see new levels of success, so I think it’s safe to say that he doesn’t regret it.

What If I’m Wrong?

You might think that Jim Treliving has never made any significant mistakes considering where he is today but that is certainly not the case.

For example, they expanded way too fast in all of the wrong places and made some really bad decisions through this process but what did they do with those bad decisions?

jim treliving

Jim’s perseverance and will to face dire situations with a committed, problem-solving attitude were key to his success.

They closed down the poor locations, reevaluated how they made the decision in the first place and learned something from those bad decisions so that they would be much further ahead the next time they went through the process. That is such an important lesson.

You are going to make mistakes in business, no matter what. What’s important with this whole mistake issue is deciding what to do about it. Did you learn anything?

If you make a mistake and you don’t learn anything then you’ve just wasted a mistake. If you make a mistake and learn from it then you are going to be more successful as you move forward.

A Highly Recommended Bookjim treliving

I found the book to be a very easy read, written in a storybook-style. After each story there is a checklist for decisions that they mention in the chapter to help summarize what you should have learned.

Jim Treliving talks about how he became an expert decision maker because that’s the difference between successful business people and unsuccessful ones. How entrepreneurs make their decisions and what they do with them determines their level of success, which is probably why he called the book Decisions!

If you have the chance, sit down and read this book. You might just learn a thing or two.

 

 

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