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Reflections on resilience from Business in Vancouver’s latest Forty under 40

Forty under 40
Posted 2022-03-17
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Five alumni from the UBC Sauder School of Business were recognized for their impressive careers as changemakers when Business in Vancouver released their annual Forty under 40 list in late 2021.

In announcing British Columbia’s most accomplished young business leaders, Business in Vancouver noted, “This year’s cohort of Forty under 40 award winners have shown leadership, resiliency and resourcefulness in the face of unprecedented upheaval and uncertainty.”

How do these five superstars remain motivated in the face of challenges? What techniques do they employ to overcome obstacles and keep moving forward? Striking a balance of vulnerability and optimism, they share their reflections on resilience.

Adam Segal

CEO
Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc.

“When faced with extreme challenges, I often remind myself that ‘tough times never last, but tough people do.’ Success can be more satisfying when you’ve overcome adversity to achieve it. But on the flip-side, it’s important to have a strong support system – whether it's someone to simply listen to you after a tough day at work, or offer advice to help you work through a problem. If you need help, don't be afraid to ask; it's not a sign of weakness. Try to surround yourself with people who are supportive and uplifting, but also those who will not be afraid to challenge you. There have been times over the years where I’ve questioned myself, and my self-confidence was waning, but my family, friends and mentors have given me much-needed perspective and reminded me of the many wins and successes as well. Daily exercise is a self-care method I find helps alleviate stress and gives me the energy I need to persevere and push forward."

Adam Segal

Crystal Hung

CEO and Founder
Icon Marketing Inc.

“I’ve always had mentors from other industries who help guide me through challenging times. Being an entrepreneur is like building an airplane while it’s taking off. You have to solve problems every single day and that’s why mentorship is so important. People consult many doctors when they’re sick, and the same philosophy applies for business. When faced with a challenge, I seek advice from many experts and ask for help. Early in my career, I was so focused on building my business and getting it to a place where it was stabilized. But I always nurtured my relationships and that’s what made me feel supported. For me, that’s what self-care looked like.”

Crystal Hung

Mark Adams

Vice President, Studies & Technology and Global Mining Market Lead
SNC-Lavalin

“Whenever I’ve faced challenges in my career, the number one thing that has kept me moving forward is staying confidently focused on the big picture. I’m very vision-oriented, so I try to set goals that are two and three steps ahead and align everything I do towards them. When I have a setback, I’m able to re-group to a back-up idea that still aligns with the larger plan. I’m also very fortunate to have a strong support network of close family and friends I can rely on to provide advice and encouragement, as well as professional leaders who believe in me and that I can learn from. Finally, I always try to remember that a challenge is an opportunity to grow and, if you use it right, adversity can motivate you in an almost unstoppable way next time around.” 

Mark Adams

Michael Tan

Vice President, Finance
Damon Motors

“Motivation can be sapped by many factors, including fatigue, frustration, and lack of capacity. Some of the techniques I have adopted to remain motivated are to focus on the big picture – as you can get so drawn into the details and minutiae with the accompanying dead-ends that you can lose sight of what your end goal is. It is important to remember that progress is not always linear, so it is essential to celebrate the accomplishments and even the most minor wins. The most challenging technique to remain motivated is learning to say no, which I have not yet mastered. For many people, being ambitious is part and parcel of success which leads to scope creep or taking on additional tasks and projects. However, you only have so much time and energy, so remaining focused and protecting your capacity helps act as a shield on your motivation.” 

Mike Tan

Ben Lightburn

CEO and Co-Founder
Filament Health

“As an entrepreneur, much of my success has come from believing in my own conviction to do things that other people think are impossible. In many careers, but especially as an entrepreneur, you are often told that your goals are unrealistic. It’s crucial to trust in yourself and to be comfortable with the uncertainty that comes with forging something new. That trust also applies to building a strong team to support you. I have had the privilege of building two successful companies thus far in my career, and neither would have been possible without the support of people that I trust to execute my vision. Great leaders hire great people and empower them to do their best work.”

Ben Lightburn

On behalf of everyone at UBC Sauder, congratulations to these five alumni on this well-deserved recognition and celebration of your accomplishments!