MARTIN PARK. . .
Martin Park, who’s owned and operated businesses since he was 21, lives by an adage particularly suited to tough economic times: “There’s always a solution.” He’s always been a builder, he says — of treehouses and skateboard ramps as a child, of businesses as an adult.
The business coach and entrepre-neur is one of a list of presenters and speakers at this year’s APEGGA Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting,
April 23-25 in Calgary. His presentation, Business Growth, is part of a professional development stream on leadership and performance.
His first company was a technology startup. Then he ventured into audio production and the hospitality industry. In 2004, he founded Evolve Business Group Inc., and has remained its president and a participating business coach.
Mr. Park brings 17 years of strategic management experience, sales and business coaching to his Evolve team.
As an Action International business coach, Mr. Park has won a string of awards. He is recognized internationally for his work developing both business coaches and their practices around the world, including Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain.
In addition to international recognition, Mr. Park was selected as one of Calgary’s Top 40 Business Professionals under 40 in 2004 by Calgary Inc. magazine. The co-owner and operator of five successful businesses, he is currently involved in businesses in Calgary and the U.S.
The PEGG asked Mr. Park about his philosophy of coaching and business, and what attendees can expect in his presentation on April 24.
Q You’ve enjoyed — and continue to enjoy — a lot of personal and professional success. What clicked with you, and at a young age, to make that happen? Was there a transformational moment, or do you just “have the gene?”
A Wow, is there a gene? I think as a somewhat typical first child I am driven and ambitious. One of the key things I did get from my family, and even friends, was the belief that I can do just about anything if I set my mind to it.
I was taught to focus on success and then look for improvements. It is always a more positive and effective way to approach your life.
I was a builder as a kid. I built tree-houses and skateboard ramps. That became business when I dived into my first business at 21. I was blissfully ignorant of what I would face but believed I could find a way to make it work.
That attitude of “there is always a solution” has helped me immensely. Business and success can be tricky and complicated. Always starting with the belief that there is a way has been instrumental.
From a young age I had the awareness that I was pretty lucky to have the abundance of abilities I have. I also have a connected belief that you have a responsibility to use those talents. So that is a perspective that has guided me internally and driven me in my career.
Q Were there mentors or coaches who pointed you in the right direction?
A Yes. My immediate ones are people like my father, his friend and my grandfather. Outside of those people I actually feel I’ve had a lack of mentors overall. But I would say that there have been people who have come into my life at certain times where they have offered words of advice, encouragement and guidance.
They include my friend Carol, my friends who are entrepreneurs and even my banker — I know, can you believe it?
Q Things are tough in the job market and the economy. Why is this the right time to branch out into new areas of personal and professional development?
A This is tough for those people who opt to sit back and have a tough market forced on them. What I mean is that some people will focus on the seven per cent of people not working while others will focus on the 93 per cent of people who are
Sales are tougher to find but that means a return to ideas, efforts and innovation to create opportunity. People still buy; they change their criteria.
Personal development is critical now more than ever. It is the time when your performance has to show new skills, new ideas, innovation and a great attitude. While others in your industry, office or team shrink at the challenge, an opportunity is created to rise up and stand out. You must be looking to do things better and differently to gain the edge. More challenge in the market, industry or office means that the people at the bottom are in trouble.
Top salespeople aren’t. Top performers aren’t. So expand your skills and mindset to be at the top and be safe.
QThis is big subject and a short day. Tell me about the takeaways attendees will leave your seminar with.
A We are focusing on personal growth and performance. The day is not a rah-rah session. With a background as a manager and business owner, I focus on pragmatic and practical ideas people can implement in their day-to-day work.
We are going to look at the basic barriers that people have trouble getting around and give them some step-by-step actions to take to crush those barriers and move into a new performance level.
We are going to address the mindset you need to have daily to reach top performance. We are going to look at how a company grows and prospers based on the growth of the individual.
It sounds like it could be heavy but I make it entertaining, interactive and humorous.
Q Why are you doing this? You’ve got and had other businesses on the go. What’s rewarding about this one?
A I love the idea that all my businesses either give people good experiences or improve their lives in some way. My restaurants are focused on giving people a good experience. As a trainer and speaker I am committed to giving people tools and ideas that they can implement immediately to make a difference in their lives.
When you do that, what business could be better? I have more thank-you notes from being a trainer and speaker than most people will have in a lifetime. It is rewarding work.
A Council Briefs item on page 12 of the March PEGG contained incorrect information on what the designation replacing Registered Professional Technologist will be. Contrary to the item, Under One Act, Two Associations, each R.P.T. will become a Professional Licensee.
The PEGG regrets the error.