How to Have a Successful and Fulfilling Professional Life


Bryan Kane has a deep understanding of how to enjoy a successful and fulfilling professional life.

Bryan Kane (Source: LinkedIn)

In fact, the President of FCB Canada has a rich history of finding joy in the workplace. 

Before he became a C-level executive, Bryan dove headfirst into the world of leadership by participating in the Student Works Management Program, where he honed his ability to focus and learned to exhibit the discipline necessary to become a top performer.

But how does a leader arrive at their dream job? Bryan sat down with Chris Thomson to talk on the Leaders of Tomorrow podcast where he discussed his professional trajectory and shared what he believes all leaders need to do in order to have a successful and fulfilling professional life. 

Stay Open to Change

For Bryan, the path to his current position as President of FCB Canada was far from straight and narrow. In fact, his professional journey took many twists and turns before he arrived at his current position. While some entrepreneurs may have balked at the idea that their aspirations and reality weren’t aligning, Bryan believed that opportunity could be found everywhere.  

“For people who are really goal-oriented and driven, sometimes the blinders get on and they miss opportunity by not being open to [taking] different paths,” he said.

Being open to redefining what success looks like can be instrumental in making or breaking a career in its early days.  

“Three plus three equals six, but so does seven minus one. If you’re trying to get to six, there are different ways [to get there].” 

Be Ambitious

A job that doesn’t feel like a job? That’s the goal. Bryan credits the strong enjoyment of his career to being one of the most important aspects of his success.

“There are a lot of people I know that are successful, and they ended up on a path that they felt that they needed to be on because their parents told them, [or] society told them. They don’t love [what they do].” 

Bryan believes that if someone else is driving you in your career path, you run the risk of plateauing due to disinterest. 

Exhibit Humility

While confidence is key, Bryan has observed over his many years running a business that great leaders are incredibly humble. When a leader fails to respect the value that different members of his or her team bring to the table, they limit themselves from growing past their own level of expertise. A powerful leader is aware that just because they’re at the top, there will always remain a world of information waiting to be discovered by them.

Be a Team Player

If you study top companies across the globe you’ll notice one thing: Few people are wildly successful without the support of a team. In fact, according to Bryan, the majority of formidable leaders are people who want to build and create teams, and who also recognize the unique role that they play within theirs. We couldn’t agree more! 

Are you a student looking to further your development as a leader and enter the exciting world of entrepreneurship? Check out more stories from Student Works participants and alumni on our Leaders of Tomorrow Podcast!

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The Biggest Takeaways from a Summer as a Student Painter


Jessica Franzman is a firm believer in expanding your comfort zone.

Jessica Franzman (Source: LinkedIn)

This past year, the Calgary-raised first-year university student and Student Works operator has truly walked her talk. Speaking with her now, you’d never suspect that she once struggled with self-doubt and uncertainty when she began the Student Works Management Program in January.

Jessica sat down with Chris Thomson on our Leaders of Tomorrow podcast to share the biggest takeaways she gathered from her first summer as a student painter. Rich with insights, here’s what she had to say:

Get Outside of your Comfort Zone

Leaving Alberta behind to attend Dalhousie wasn’t an easy choice for Jessica, but she knew it was the correct one. In fact, she felt that if she stayed in her cozy hometown, she’d never grow. 

Jessica’s evolution since joining forces with Student Works has been astronomical. She went from doubting that she could ever run a business, to overcoming her fears and succeeding as a first year operator. 

Her advice for newcomers to the program?

“Do the thing that scares you the most. Step outside of your comfort zone. If something freaks the hell out of you, go and do it. Right? I was scared as all hell to run a business for the first time and I’ve never been more grateful in my life that I took this risk, because honestly, this will set me up for the rest of my life,” she passionately explained to Chris. 

According to Jessica, getting outside of your comfort zone is how you determine how far you can go as a person. If you couldn’t tell already, she wants to succeed.

Develop Trust

In previous jobs, Jessica felt very challenged whenever she was expected to place trust in team members. A former control freak, she couldn’t muster enough belief in her coworkers potential to stop herself from doing their job for them. 

“I didn’t see the value in building trust with my coworkers,” she expressed. 

However, after many talks with her Student Works district manager about the challenges she faced, she learned that to be a leader, she would need to trust her team. 

“Trust is the foundation of every relationship you’ll ever build.” Bingo!

Nowadays, when Jessica checks in with her team, it’s not to micromanage them. She merely keeps lines of communication open so that everyone on her crew understands that she’s a resource to rely on when things get challenging on the job. 

Jessica serves as an excellent example of the not only professional, but personal evolution that Student Works Management Program participants benefit from. In fact, when asked what’s changed in her life since she began working with us, she notes:

“Everything that comes my way, I see as an opportunity now.”

Are you a student looking to further your development as a leader and enter the exciting world of entrepreneurship? Check out more stories from Student Works participants and alumni on our Leaders of Tomorrow Podcast!

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Why the Outcome Economy Inspires People to Work Harder


Austin Trudeau prefers to work within an outcome economy.

Austin Trudeau (Source: LinkedIn)

In fact, the top-performing Student Works Management Program Operator can’t imagine why anyone would ever choose to dedicate themselves to a stable job over a results-driven independent career path.

Why? In the former, you’re not getting out of your job what you put into it.

Originally a painter for a Student Works Manager, Austin absorbed the ins and outs of what it meant to truly grind hard on a crew. However, it wasn’t long until he worked his way up to become one of our company’s most financially successful operators.

With his crews, there’s one key trait he looks for to determine if his painters have the fire in their belly necessary to advance and become operators themselves: Drive. Therefore, early on in his relationship with his crews, he’ll ask them:

“Would you rather work a job with a steady paycheck every two weeks, or work for yourself and be rewarded financially depending on how hard you work?” Their answers provide interesting insights into the psychology of his team.

“If I can learn a skill well, hone down on it, and really prove to myself that I’m doing it well, I can make and be compensated accordingly and that’s really the goal. It’s an intrinsic and extrinsic motivator.” Austin declared recently on our Leaders of Tomorrow Podcast. 

At Student Works, we’re always looking for young talent that shares this value, as it’s a key indicator of a top performer in the making. 

Another trait that sets top performers apart from the pack, according to Austin? The desire to immediately diffuse any problems that arise. Every business runs into hiccups. Solving them swiftly before they snowball into unrecognizable hurdles is the course of action often employed by the best leaders. 

“There’s the story you hear with an operator who goes “Oh, my team quit”, [and I say] I’m really sorry about that, I just don’t know the context of that and I’m sure that something you did or did not do had something to do with that. Of course that’s not something that’s quite polite to say to somebody, but it’s probably close to the truth, because there’s no way somebody up and quit with zero red flags waving” Austin explained. 

By minimizing the delay between problem and solution, entrepreneurs sidestep bigger issues in the making. When you’re operating in an outcome economy, there’s increased incentive to nip challenges in the bud, because you just might pay for them if you try to sweep them under the rug!

Are you a student looking to further your development as a leader and enter the exciting world of entrepreneurship? Check out more stories from Student Works participants and alumni on our Leaders of Tomorrow Podcast!

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James Svetec’s Key Tips for Success


James Svetec has the spirit of entrepreneurship in his bones.

James Svetec (Source: LinkedIn)

After spending a year studying business and entrepreneurship he felt lost. Traditional career paths failed to fit within his idea for the type of life he wanted, and the only thing he could envision working for him was to trailblaze a path that allowed him to work for himself. 

Cut to Student Works. It was here that James honed his natural managerial abilities and learned that there was another way towards success that didn’t involve putting in extra hours to make someone else successful.

Since his days in our management training program, James has founded an impressive online training program, BnB Mastery, that teaches individuals how to earn a full-time income by managing other people’s properties on AirBnB. 

Unsurprisingly, James has collected many valuable kernels of wisdom from his days as a business owner. Here are two of his key tips for success:

Creativity & Brilliance Can’t Replace Hard Work

According to James, regardless of how prolific you are as a creator, no amount of creativity and brilliance replace hard work.

“There’s a difference between someone who wants the outcome, wants to be making the money, traveling, and living where they want, versus somebody who actually wants to do the work,” he said in a recent interview with Chris Thomson on our Leaders of Tomorrow Podcast. 

Anyone who has spent time as an entrepreneur knows this to be true. Putting in the hours, making those cold calls, and harnessing the power of persuasion to get new clients are all crucial parts of building a business from the ground up. It’s not the idea that makes the money, it’s the execution of it!

Manage your Mental State

To be successful, James says, you need to learn where you’re at mentally. Getting to the top will only be challenging if you don’t check in with yourself or understand if you even enjoy what you’re working so hard on.

Yes, BnB Mastery has hit it big, but it wasn’t James’s first business. In fact, there was once a time that he had piles of other people’s used furniture crowding up his living room. Why? He had been acquiring the pieces with the sole intention of flipping them on Kijiji.

Then there was his stint working as a contractor for a company, wherein his employer and him parted ways – both relieved to be set free of the other. 

If James hadn’t determined that those hustles weren’t his destiny by managing his mental state and figuring out what didn’t work for him, he wouldn’t have the successful company he does  today. 

A few quick tips to do this from James? Leave work at work & recognize that the customer isn’t a jerk, he’s merely a reflection of how you could be showing up better.

Are you a student looking to further your development as a leader and enter the exciting world of entrepreneurship? Check out more stories from Student Works participants and alumni on our Leaders of Tomorrow Podcast!

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Three Key Attributes of Highly Successful People


Dustin Taylor has been fully independent since he was 16 years old.

Dustin Taylor (Source: LinkedIn)

Yes, you read that correctly. When his family fell upon hardship in his teen years, they lost their home. However, while Dustin was on his own during this period, he refused to surrender to his circumstances. 

Determined to make something extraordinary out of his life, he threw himself into his studies while bulking up his resume with a host of extracurriculars that helped build him to be the well-rounded and talented individual he is today. 

Dustin’s path to Student Works was decorated with many twists and turns, from the restaurant industry, to studying nutrition, to even a stint in car wax sales. It was through these experiences that he gained the transferable skills he brought to his painting business. Oh, and did we mention he grew that endeavour to 130,000 in his first year?

That’s right. Dustin impresses, and we need leaders like him now more than ever. Here are the three key attributes of highly successful people, according to the formidable Dustin Taylor:


One of the first things you notice when you talk to Dustin is his warm and positive disposition. It’s no surprise that he lists having a good attitude as one of the top things that high performers are doing better. 

Having the perspective to spin every obstacle you face into a mountain you can climb, if only you just trained a little harder, is pivotal to lasting success. There’s no escaping the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. But how one overcomes the hurdles is what distinguishes a true leader from their peers.  

Work Ethic

One of Dustin’s favourite quotes comes from the motivational speaker Les Brown, “You must be willing to do things today others won’t do, in order to have the things tomorrow others won’t have.” Truer words!

The leaders who aren’t afraid to take risks, put in the at times grueling hours, and grind hard to make their dreams a reality are the ones we read about in Forbes 30 under 30. 

At the end of the day, nothing meaningful can come without hard work, and if it does, watch out! Dustin warns it’s probably not worth it. 

Willingness to Learn 

A fatal flaw many business owners possess is the false belief that they have it all figured out. If you think you’re the best and you’re holding onto that title in your head, like clockwork, your position in the market will begin to slip.

Knowing that there are always new skills to develop and things to learn is instrumental in separating top performers from others. Dustin refers to this as “The Student Mentality”, claiming that fostering a willingness to learn allows leaders to accept their failures as they come, and view them as merely “the first attempt at learning.” 

Are you a student looking to further your development as a leader and enter the exciting world of entrepreneurship? Check out more stories from Student Works participants and alumni on our Leaders of Tomorrow Podcast!

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How to Build a Dream Team


Mo Fathelbab (Source: LinkedIn)

Mo Fathelbab knows a thing or two about team building. 

After leaving behind his inspiring position as the Executive Director of the Young Entrepreneur’s Organization, Mo founded the Forum Resources Network, a venture that guides executive-level forum groups through a process of personal and professional transformation by providing expert meeting facilitation, training and resources.

Regardless of whether you’re a C-level executive at your company, anyone who works in a team environment can benefit immensely from Mo’s helpful tips for building a powerhouse dream team and sustaining stronger relationships in the workplace:

Be Vulnerable

Across the board, one thing Mo is certain of about relationships is this: People get nowhere without vulnerability.

A good leader understands that their team should never be expected to share more than they do. However, there are plenty of avenues to connect to your team that may not be as challenging as you’d imagine.

One suggestion Mo puts forth is to sideline your instinct to give advice when an employee comes to you with a problem. When you merely give advice, you rob your team of the chance to know you. 

Instead, opt for a more personal approach! When a colleague or employee comes to you with a problem, reflect upon your own similar past experiences, and share how you overcame the hurdle they’re currently facing. In doing so, you’ll become humanized in their eyes, and may even influence them with your story.

Avoid Cliches

While trust falls and treetop treks are novel and exciting, they shouldn’t be solely relied upon as a company’s team building strategy. Real team building is confronting the tough questions, together. 

Ask yourself and your team, do you foster a relationship with your coworkers where you can count on one another? Do you feel comfortable stating your honest opinions? Do you have an authentic relationship to these people in your office that you communicate with every day? If not – there’s room to grow! 

In Mo’s book, The Friendship Advantage, he provides readers with a relationship testing tool to help assess their interpersonal relationships and uncover areas in which they could improve in order to have more meaningful connections in the workplace. We encourage you to try it!

Are you a student looking to further your development as a leader and enter the exciting world of entrepreneurship? Check out more stories from Student Works participants and alumni on our Leaders of Tomorrow Podcast!

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