Jay Modi is an entrepreneur with over twenty years of professional business and entrepreneurial experience. Born in London, United Kingdom, Jay moved to Canada in 1997 where he attended Western Canada High School in Calgary. With a passion for the business world, Jay created an organic pasta company while pursuing his post-secondary education. He subsequently launched a real estate “fix and flip” company which became very successful.
Believing he had the necessary business experience to move forward in his career, Jay left the University of Calgary to explore other professional opportunities. Jay has served in an extensive range of sectors including food manufacturing, asset management, film production, and real estate. His most recent endeavours focus primarily on the FinTech and Technology Industries. His company provides financial resources for everyday customers looking for a loan and has been recognized as one of the most successful businesses in Canada.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
It came from companies like Lending Tree in the USA. We also did a lot of research on other companies like NerdWallet, Credit Karma, Internet Brands, and Bankrate. All very successful companies. I noticed that we had nothing of the sort here in Canada, so we took advantage of that market.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I am up by 4:30am or 5:00 am on weekdays. I’ll hit the treadmill, fit in a workout and drink a lot of water to get my system going. I am an active person, so I try to fit in an evening workout in addition to a morning one when possible. By 6:30 am, I’m at my desk preparing for the day. We make sure that we’re organized for the day before the employee’s show up.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Teamwork. We have a great team and tend to just jump right in and start brainstorming with one another. Most ideas are a collaborative effort so we take the time to consider what will work and what won’t. Not every idea is a winner, but we are always open to suggestions from one another and we never shy away from trying something new.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that excites me is of course, FinTech, but also crypto currency. I can see there’s a huge growth curve ahead for both sectors. especially when it’s continuing to thrive as it is now, and since it’s related to my area of expertise, I can see the tremendous potential for both sectors in the coming years.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I think the main habit that makes me more productive is related to health. Looking after my mind and my body is paramount to my success as an entrepreneur. Limiting alcohol, focusing on workouts and eating healthy foods really helps my energy levels, which in turn allows me to function at a higher rate as a businessman and entrepreneur. People underestimate the power of energy and feeling good in business. For me, it is one of the most powerful habits and tools for success. If your mind is sharp and you feel good about yourself, you will make better decisions, you will treat people and employees better and in turn will pull positive energy into both your own life and business.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Pick your business partners carefully. Don’t always trust what others tell you. If you’re going to be dedicating your time and resources to something, make sure it’s scalable and it’s something you enjoy so it’s not work. Listen to your intuition and don’t be emotionally tied to any one business or business idea. Learn accounting and how to read an income statement and balance sheet and learn what positive EBITDA means as that’s one of the most important parts of any business.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I think the traditional banking system will never change. It will cater to a certain profile of person. That’s one of the reasons why Financial Technology has advanced and grown the way it has, while traditional banks have their cookie cutter methods. They don’t want to lend to the majority of people in this world and they stay conservative for a reason. Which is why I think they opposed crypto as much as they did. So, as far as I can tell, the banking system will never change, which will fuel Crypto and Fintech adoption now and in the future.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Healthy food and exercise are my number one keys to success. It frees your mind. When done consistently, it provides stress relief. Also, taking a break from work now and then, and taking a step back from your obligations to see where you are from a higher level is very important. Are you still going where you want to go? If not, what should you do to change it? Are your finances in order? Are you spending more money than you are making? It’s the question(s) that you don’t normally ask yourself that you should, in order to keep yourself grounded so that you can achieve success from a stable and strong foundation both mentally, physically and financially.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Knowing when to micromanage, and when to delegate and trust in the people you have delegated to. This skill allowed me to grow the sales and revenue of our company exponentially. Never can one person do everything by themselves. If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, then you must learn to delegate and you must learn to handle other items yourself. Knowing the difference and finding that balance is key. Also, as a business owner and entrepreneur, sometimes you will have to deal with the small things, this is normal, you must treat your business like your child, there is nothing too small you cannot do to help it grow and flourish.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
In my 20s, I established a multimillion-dollar company that ultimately failed because I trusted the wrong external business partner. As a result, I had to go through an extensive business bankruptcy process. It was very eye opening to me. And overcoming it? Not wasting any time moping about it. I think I had one week after the failure of that company where I sat around and thought, what am I going to do next? But after that day, I didn’t allow myself any more time to think about it. I just went and said, “I’m going to start a new company.” I knew I had to start from scratch, it wouldn’t be easy, but if I worked hard and moved quick, learning from my past lessons, then I would soon be back to where I was. When the ocean spits you out, don’t think the ocean doesn’t want you. That was your mistake, so, just dive right back in and learn how to swim again. Learn from your mistakes and above all, keep fighting, keep swimming, and never quit
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Anything online. The world is a completely different place these days, and the most successful businesses will have an online aspect to them no matter what. So, anything you can start online, such as a drop ship website selling items on Amazon, or an online mentoring company, anything providing goods or services online is a great place to start.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Dinner with an old friend. It allowed me to see how far we have come in my life and how nice it is to connect with them again. It helps me take a step back and see what’s more important in life for what it is. That’s keeping good people around you and having good relationships with friends and family
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Emails have been around for years. Aside from that, Instant messaging on smartphones to connect with my company, all day, every day, is the most powerful tool we use in our business.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Autobiography of a Yogi: Paramahanasa Yogananda , hands down is the greatest books I have read. It’s a story about a Yogi from the East, that brought meditation to the West, into Los Angeles and how his teaching thrived there changing the lives of millions of people in the West. The book is amazing, and I would highly recommend it. It was also Steve Jobs’ favourite book.
What is your favorite quote?
Throw me to the wolves and I’ll return leading the pack.
It’s a quote I came up with in conversation with someone when I was going through some hard times in my early business days, it has stuck with me
- Don’t be afraid of failure.
- Listen to your instinct.
- Surround yourself with good people.
- Always take a step back to assess yourself and then move forward
- Keep moving, keep learning, keep growing.
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.