Originally from Iran, Ardeshir Omanian immigrated to Canada at a young age. With virtually no support system in place in his new country, he had no choice but to forge his own path with very little assistance. After trying his hand at a number of different vocations and trades, he eventually found that he had a knack for construction and property development. Ardeshir Omanian spent some time becoming acquainted with the industry before starting his own home construction and development business. After some time had passed, his company grew successful to the point where he was asked to provide consulting on outside projects, which he gladly did, prompting the present incarnation of his business.
Currently, he is embarking on a challenging and lucrative new venture which he calls “the inevitable next step”: the planning, development, and construction of mixed use residential boutique condominiums. Beyond that, Ardeshir Omanian sits on the boards of directors for several other companies. He is also an avid world traveler, as well as a cigar lover.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
When I entered this market, it was not nearly as saturated as it is today. There was a lot of irregularity and people needed much more direction, and there was nobody really around to offer help or support. The demand was there, but nobody was filling it. That’s how I got the idea to create a construction and development consulting business.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Every day is different for me depending on where my current projects take me. I find staying organized is the best way to maintain productivity.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The best way to bring ideas to life is to work with the right type of people. A bright, hard-working, and loyal team will assist greatly in finishing a project properly and on time. Also, I don’t cut corners thinking it will make a job simpler because, inevitably, it just never works out and the project will likely end up being more work than if it had been done the right way in the first place.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I don’t know if this is necessarily a trend, but I enjoy the way so many new social media tools enable new businesses to grow and connect. This network never previously existed and I think the new tools available to entrepreneurs to connect and explore are opening a new world of opportunities.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I think one habit that contributes to my productivity is persistence—being able to push through a difficult situation and maintain a positive outlook. It’s important to have a strong will and look for proactive solutions to problems rather than giving up.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The best advice I could give to my younger self is to not give up when something feels difficult. If you push hard enough to overcome a difficult situation, it is always worthwhile.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
There is always a lot of sacrifice that comes with success. A lot of people don’t believe this, or don’t want to believe this, but I think that is always true.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I would recommend that every entrepreneur diversify both their business practices and their investment portfolios as much as possible if the option is available to them.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
This is not necessarily dependent on myself, but it’s always important to network in order to grow any type of venture. It’s great to have the opportunity to meet lots of people and it’s impossible to tell where some of those unlikely friendships will lead you. A chance conversation at a convention or industry gathering may well lead to a new contract, or even a future partnership.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When I was younger and first starting out, I attempted to take on too many different ventures at once. I was unable to provide the attention that was necessary to complete everything correctly. I had to take a step back, reevaluate, and change certain plans. I had to prioritize, take on partners where necessary, and reorganize everything. But it all worked out.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
This is a complicated question to answer because you can give someone a great idea and they can make an absolute mess of it. On the other hand, some people have the ability to take an existing idea and completely repackage and improve it. That’s why it’s always good to look at things and think about how you can improve them.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently gave $100 to my favourite charity. Money donated to charity is always the best money spent.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I’m a big fan of Google. It’s nothing fancy but I find it to be very user friendly. I like how seamlessly it all integrates together. Also, smartphones are a blessing. Having such easy access to everything in one convenient location at all times really helps me to stay organized.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom. It’s a very brief read but it packs a strong punch of wisdom into such a short book.
What is your favorite quote?
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill
• Self-reflection is important.
• Perseverance is important.
• Evolution, both in business and in oneself, is critical.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.