Jonathan Azouri, a Canadian entrepreneur, serves as the co-founder and CEO of CatchCorner by Sports Illustrated. His dynamic career took a significant leap in 2023 when he earned a well-deserved spot on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.
Jonathan studied at McGill University, graduating in 2016 on the Dean’s Honor List with a Bachelor of Commerce. His profound enthusiasm for both sports and technology has seamlessly converged to form the nexus behind his growing company.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
Every day differs. The commonality between each day is checking in on all the many moving parts and ensuring there is a communication flow across all operations. Where I can, I delegate to ensure productivity.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to light by mapping out each step: the logic, then the process, then the design. After that, I take a look at edge cases of what else could be impacted by the new idea being implemented in order to link the idea into the system.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Brands becoming more transparent!
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
This one might sound simple but it is my signature move: I use a yellow writing notepad. There’s a daily to-do list, weekly, short-term planning, and long-term planning. There is no task that I need to do that is not on one of those lists. Long before I co-founded CatchCorner, this has been my top productivity hack.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Fail quickly. Failure should be embraced as it is inevitable. The reaction to the failing situation is the most important – how quickly and thoroughly you understand and pinpoint what went wrong, how quickly you move on and pivot.
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you.
20 years from now no one will live in downtown cores.
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
Utilize tools to keep organized. Select tools that work best for you. This allows for task management, time management and optimizing resources.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
When I feel overwhelmed, I work until the problem is gone. I do not finish my work day until the list on my yellow writing pad is complete. It’s happened once or twice, but rarely ever.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?
Focus on quality.
We launched in 2019, and not even five years (and a global pandemic) later, I am in awe of the incredible growth we have witnessed. We first saw success in the Toronto market, we then replicated and refined our formula across other cities in North America, and we now have over 350,000 listings available for rent. Our unwavering focus on quality is what has allowed us to scale.
We center our efforts on delivering an exceptional product, partnering exclusively with top-north facilities and collaborating with impactful brands. We are proud to work alongside the most trusted name in sports – Sports Illustrated – to maintain our commitment to the quality of the CatchCorner experience.
What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?
I wouldn’t call it a failure, but initially on my journey I had a very challenging time with delegating tasks. It took many obstacles and pain points to learn this invaluable skill.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I pursued the only one I’d want to!
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Figma. It’s a great design tool for mapping out my ideas and processes.
What is the best $100 you recently spent?
I recently spent $100 on tennis equipment. I like to play tennis at the end of my work day as a form of exercise. The added benefit is that it allows me to compartmentalize the different areas of my life to improve my work/life balance.
Do you have a favorite book or podcast from which you’ve received much value?
I always learn impactful lessons while listening to the Inside the Inspired Podcast. Gaining insights from the varying experiences of accomplished professionals serves as an invaluable source of my motivation.
What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?
I recently enjoyed watching The Lincoln Lawyer series on Netflix . It is captivating and immersive, showing the audience how dedicating substantial amounts of time to a particular pursuit can lead to an ever-expanding realm of discoveries and revelations.
- It’s important to have a work-life balance
- Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks
- You can learn so much through failing
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.