Christan Hiscock is on a personal mission to change the conversation in the business world, moving away from the pursuit of success, to focusing on fulfillment instead. Because if you’re fulfilled, success is a given, but not so much the other way around. He can often be heard saying, “You mean more than you know,” because he believes that as people learn to understand their worth, their fears fade, and amazing feats become reality.
He considers this the foundation for all his achievements as the Co-Founder and CEO of Kardia and leader of 14 thriving companies. Through Kardia, which means heart in Greek, Christan is determined to bring more heart into the business world. Heart in the form of kindness, compassion, and altruism. A heart that fuels, roots, and guides each company to do the right things for its team members, clients, and for the greater communities they serve.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers. They want to know you, some of the background story to bring some context to your interview.
Christan Hiscock: I started my journey in the financial services industry in 2007. During my training, I fell in love with the industry because I saw that it was possible to make an impact on the lives of so many families. For nearly a decade, I thought about ways to change the very transactional financial industry into a heart-centered and educationally focused industry. I then set out to make this dream a reality. I am now the co-founder and CEO of Kardia Financial Group, which was born from the desire to change the financial services industry through heart-centered services that focus on what’s truly important; the people.
I am also on a personal mission to change the conversation in the business world, moving away from the pursuit of success, to focusing on fulfillment instead. Because if you’re fulfilled, success is a given, but not so much the other way around. I can often be heard saying, ‘You mean more than you know,’ because I believe that as people learn to understand their worth, their fears fade, and amazing feats become reality. I consider this the foundation for all my achievements as the Co-Founder and CEO of Kardia and leader of 14 thriving companies.
You are a successful entrepreneur, so we’d like your viewpoint, do you believe entrepreneurs are born or made? Explain.
Christan Hiscock: What a great question! It is a lot deeper than it seems. I think people are born with abilities that make it easier as an entrepreneur, but it’s not the defining factor because you can always learn the skills. For example, if you have a natural ability to keep getting back up after you get knocked down, you’re going to have more of an advantage as an entrepreneur.
You hear a lot of no’s when you start your own business, and you’ll have a lot of people tell you that you won’t make it… not everyone is okay with that. But there are ways you can adapt your mindset to take that energy and transform it to give you the fuel you need to rev it up. No matter what it is, you can always learn and if you’re really dedicated to it, you can even become better than someone who has a natural ability, especially if they’re not also continually honing their skills.
Entrepreneurship is really about the habits you build. It’s never one and done when it comes to business. It’s always layers of growth and an ongoing desire to learn and get better and better with what you do.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Christan Hiscock: I’m an impact entrepreneur. I know I’m here to make a massive change in the world. All my companies center on making the change on a local, national and global level. I have a big vision and, luckily, I have a unique talent for finding the right people to add to my team to make it happen. Impact entrepreneurs have visions so big that they just can’t do them alone.
Tell us about what your company does and how did it change over the years?
Christan Hiscock: Through Kardia, which means ‘heart’ in Greek, I am determined to bring more heart into the business world. Heart in the form of kindness, compassion, and altruism. A heart that fuels, roots, and guides each company to do the right things for its team members, clients, and for the greater communities they serve. By doing so, I believe that the work, regardless of the industry, touches something greater, making shifts in the way people think. In the way, businesses operate. And ultimately, in the way people interact and work together in the world.
Statistically, more than 90% of people in both Canada and the United States are not financially secure. Our goal is to bring education through all of our different divisions and the way that we do things to better equip our clients with the knowledge they need to understand money so that they can create financial freedom for themselves. This ultimately leads to relieving one of the biggest stresses on people’s lives, which will help them think more about things that matter to them, spend more time with their families, and live more fulfilled lives through that process. We help individuals and businesses achieve this by assisting in relieving at least one aspect of stress they may have.
Thank you for all that. Now for the main focus of this interview. With close to 11.000 new businesses registered daily in the US, what must an entrepreneur assume when starting a business?
Christan Hiscock: I think there are two things that every entrepreneur needs to assume and also understand how they work together to grow their business faster. The first is that someone else most likely has already built what you want to do in some format or at least some of the fundamental steps. The second is that you just can’t do this alone. That’s why mentors and coaches are so important if you don’t want to waste time and money building your business. Start working with them from the beginning and you will shave years off your journey to the top.
Someone who’s done it before can help you avoid so many of the pitfalls that they encountered along the way, and they can give you the steps they took to get to where they are now. Building a business will challenge you in many ways, so why add needless struggle when you just don’t have to?
Did you make any wrong assumptions before starting a business that you ended up paying dearly for?
Christan Hiscock: I lost about $350K on a business venture once. It was brutal, but at one point as partners, we needed to make the smart decision to cut our losses. We also decided to take it as a lesson of listening to our gut and making sure we don’t continue down the path of trying to make a business work when it just isn’t working. We could have saved ourselves a lot of time, money, and energy if we had done that early on in that venture. Never again.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what advice would you give yourself and why? Explain.
Christan Hiscock: If I could tell my younger business self one thing, it would be to implement 3- to 6-month sprints in each of the businesses. I would start these companies and implement sprints related to marketing and operations so that we could get the bases built. Rather than have the initial team (which is a lot smaller) work on like five to six projects at a time, I would schedule the projects out over the first three to six months of the businesses, all on a stacked schedule.
I would also tell myself to dream extremely big and bring in executors early. I would encourage all entrepreneurs to do this, as it will help them expand their businesses much quicker.
What is the worst advice you received regarding running a business and what lesson would you like others to learn from your experience?
Christan Hiscock: I saw a speaker at an event once who talked about not bringing on partners because you end up giving a percentage of your business away or losing money. While I get where he was going with it, I don’t think it’s always the right thing. When you have a really big vision, you just can’t do it yourself; you need to surround yourself with good people and sometimes that means taking on a partner. The key though is to make sure you bring in the right people and that you vet any partners properly so that they align with what you’re doing and your bigger vision. If you want to go really big and stay there, you just can’t do it alone.
In your opinion, how has COVID-19 changed what entrepreneurs should assume before starting a business? What hasn’t changed?
Christan Hiscock: I think COVID-19 shone a BIG spotlight on the fact that digital marketing has to be part of your business plan. The people who were able to increase their digital presence were able to grow their business fast! The ones who waited for things to get back to ‘normal’ struggled and they still are.
Like the saying goes: change is the only constant. There will always be disruptors, and if you want real growth, you have to be willing to disrupt your business yourself. It makes you more agile, and that’s why I have a three-phase plan for every business I start. The first phase is getting it off the ground and getting the right team in place. The next phase is all about building the systems and processes to streamline productivity and profitability. The final phase is breaking it all again to get better. And you keep doing it. When you’re actively looking for ways to disrupt your business to make it better, you become more agile. It’s not easy and you won’t always be ready for what comes, but you will get your feet under you a lot faster.
What is a common myth about entrepreneurship that aspiring entrepreneurs and would-be business owners believe in? What advice would you give them?
Christan Hiscock: A common myth is that all entrepreneurs should chase the idea of ‘success’. This should not be the main goal in entrepreneurship, as the whole idea of success is a façade created and reinforced by other people’s ideals and the media. If success is your main business goal, you will never feel satisfied and like you have achieved enough.
Every single time you take a step in the direction of someone else’s ideal of success, you run the risk of living a life that’s less than. You have been duped into thinking that success equals satisfaction, but the issue with this mode of thinking is that you won’t feel truly content in life no matter how much money your business makes. Thus, it is so important to start having a very different conversation: why FULFILLMENT is the ideal we should all be focused on achieving in our business endeavors.
Think about it… if you’re deeply fulfilled, isn’t success a given? Fulfillment is intrinsic; it’s defined by your values, what you value in life (such as helping others), and your natural gifts. If you make these factors your north star in your business journey, you will elevate all that you do. On the other hand, if you take a step away, you will pull yourself away from the very things that make you great and from your true purpose. There’s power in that knowledge. There’s more power when you choose to let it be your guide.
What traits, qualities, and assumptions do you believe are most important to have before starting a business?
Christan Hiscock:n I think that to be successful, an entrepreneur must be passionate, relentless, and impactful. In business and entrepreneurship, you need to have passion — if you are passionate about it, that means that your endeavor is something that drives you deeper than just making money. It is more of a core thing in your life.
As an entrepreneur, you need to be relentless because it’s a world out there! A lot of stuff is going to happen, so you have to be relentless for your passions and to accomplish the goals that you have. You must also stay true to what you’re trying to do and realize that it’s not always going to go perfect. Things will go wrong, and you have to learn to adapt and grow in those areas.
Being impactful is important because it calls you to ask yourself if the actions that you’re doing inside of your company and elsewhere are making an impact beyond you. It calls you to work towards a higher standard for our world. Ask yourself, is my action positively impacting the environment? Is it impacting my interpersonal relationships in a positive way? Is it impacting the economics of our city or our town? There are a lot of questions that you have to ask yourself if you want to run an impactful company.
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from?
Christan Hiscock: There are so many great books that can prepare you for entrepreneurship, but if I had to go with the one I would go with ‘You 2: A High-Velocity Formula for Multiplying Your Personal Effectiveness in Quantum Leaps’. It’s a short book that is all about taking quantum leaps in your life’s endeavors. I named one of my first companies Leap Ventures as well because it’s all about taking leaps to progress.
You have shared quite a bit of your wisdom and our readers thank you for your generosity but would also love to know: If you could choose any job other than being an entrepreneur, what would it be?
Christan Hiscock: I’d be an Athletic Director and Coach at a middle school. When I was in school, I was labeled the Troublemaker, with a capital T. I even got kicked out and had to do my last year in a new school. The principal at that new school saw leadership skills in me that no one else saw. Because of him, I coached an underdog team to win the city championships. I’m still so proud of them! They had heart when nobody else thought they could do it. And that principal believed in me when no one else did. I want other kids to see their worth in the same way. When we can do that for our kids, we can make huge changes in the world so much faster. So, that’s absolutely what I’d do.
Thank you so much for your time, I believe I speak for all of our readers when I say that this has been incredibly insightful. We do have one more question: If you could add anyone to Mount Rushmore, but not a politician, who would it be; why?
Christan Hiscock: Richard Branson because he’s all about making a positive difference in this world and I think it’s something we should all strive to do. He has strong family values, a keen sense of adventure, he empowers great teams, and philanthropy has been a huge part of his business from the very start. I admire that.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Christan Hiscock for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Christan Hiscock or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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