Known by some as Accelerated Payments “Man of Mystery”, Adam is Head of Business Development in Canada. Kat caught up with him to talk about market movements, the gym and comedy.
Right before Accelerated Payments, I was head of business development at a SAAS company specialising in payroll and HR. It was a challenging role responsible for building a sales strategy for a 10year old company whose success was purely SEO driven. They had never had a sales team before. It taught me a lot, particularly how to deal with different departments but it also made me realise how much I enjoyed and wanted to stick with start-ups. I like that there isn’t an inborn state of play going on all of the time. People can say – let’s change the whole company today – if it’s going to work it’s going to work.
The last 10 days in the Canadian market could not be any busier. I think that there are a few factors that are lining up for us. Canada is opening up to business, everyone’s just getting back to it – not laissez faire, but the energy is always there that life goes on. Those businesses that wouldn’t have survived have gone for good. Those that survived are taking full advantage of the idea that they can do business again. It’s obviously a great time if you’re lending money as no business really has any right now.
We’ve also put a lot of effort in putting our name out there, working with Ailbhe (in Marketing) to get the advertising and PR going, Ben (Ingram) is working his broker network. It’s all working brilliantly. With the fruition of all our hard work and COVID coming around, is coming to pass so much so that we can barely do our daily check in calls. We used to have relatively slow days so could offer help between the team, but now everyone is so busy we’re almost getting on each other’s nerves – obviously in a professional way – saying “I can’t do that right now!” I think everyone is pretty excited – deals are just happening! We’re going to have to hire more people in 2021. Growth is always exciting – we’re hitting the numbers. I’m of the mindset, if the company is not growing then you feel, how can you or your career possibly grow? How will your skillset grow? I feel the opposite of that right now. I love being in a company where we’re on the button on what’s new and what’s next.
My ultimate responsibility is that the Canadian market hits its targets, as a sales team and as a whole. Creating and implementing a strategy around that, a constantly evolving strategy that’s for sure!
Working out is my biggest passion. There is no question about it. Prior to working in tech I had spent a decade as a General Manager for a group of sports clubs in the Toronto area which involved three clubs and managing 50 or so staff. That led me to opening my own gym, running it for three years before I ended up selling it to Good Life, the biggest chain in Canada. I work out every single day, it keeps me calm and makes me happy. Obviously COVID has changed my normal routine. Working out at home doesn’t have the same effect as sweating it at a gym. The gyms are opening again – I cannot wait to get back in there.
But, on the flip side I have always worked remotely. Even at my previous company, I was working remotely two or three days a week. When I started at Accelerated Payments it was 100% remote work already – COVID has been no issue whatsoever. For me, nothing has changed in work, certainly not in a negative way. I’ve spoken more with my international colleagues – which has to be a plus!
I also do stand-up comedy. When I was younger, I used to have stage fright where my voice would shake. That’s why, around five years ago, I decided to do an open mic night. I felt free. Once I figured out I could survive speaking to a room full of strangers, I was addicted! I’ve found it a great tool to prepare for a big board meeting or just before pitching to a new company. I give myself a pep talk saying “Hey, listen, if you can get laughed off a stage you can easily talk in front of this group!”
I love writing, I write a lot. I used to write scripts, in fact, pre-Covid I had a pitch development deal with the CBC here in Toronto. They essentially buy your pitch document, then bring in their own writers while you stay on as the producer. It was a great experience, not a career takeover or a passion project, but something I worked on in my spare time. Unfortunately, when COVID struck I knew it would be parked forever. That’s an industry that has taken a huge hit, everyone is out of work at the moment. When the world opens again it will be the professionals who have been in the industry for 15 years who will get the contracts, not those who are doing it as a side project. It’s the same with stand-up comedy, the time slots are filling up as soon as they come online.
Since joining Accelerated Payments all the other side projects have lost their luster. The need for a pipe dream that gets you through the day job you don’t like, suddenly, it’s not needed anymore.