Find people smarter than yourself and employ them in your weakest departments.
Luke Schueler, Co-Founder, Owner and COO of Flying Squirrel Sports – Co-Founder, Owner and CEO of Shock Trampoline Park Systems, has been recognized for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in the sports recreation industry.
Flying Squirrel Sports, which is the world’s largest indoor trampoline parks, currently has five locations, in Calgary, AB – Hamilton, ON – Ottawa, ON – Victoria, BC – Guatemala City, Guatemala – with 7 additional locations currently under construction and many more locations scheduled to open throughout Canada and the United States in 2018. The parks offer a number of unique attractions designed to take advantage of the fast-paced fun that only a trampoline can provide. Among these activities are Dunk Hoops, where any player can dunk like a pro, Ninja Courses, Climbing walls, Battle Beams, Slack Lines, Parkour Parks, Rope Swings, Foam Pits, Stunt Jump Air Bags and Dodgeball, which takes the traditional fun and elevates it to a sport unlike any other.
Flying Squirrel Sports cranks up the volume and transforms the park into a black light dance club on trampolines called Neon Lights. These weekly events, which take place from 9 p.m. until midnight, are designed for an adventurous club-going crowd. Guests can access the whole facility and upgrade to the exclusive VIP area, complete with comfortable couches and tables, a private glow-in-the-dark dodgeball court and dunk court, a private foam pits and stunt jump air bags, a private miniature freestyle court, and table service. Neon Lights also features a live DJ, as well as an arcade and restaurant, to make every guests’ experience an unforgettable thrill of a lifetime. Flying Squirrel’s Drey Bar and Cafe makes signature pizzas and food fresh to refuel your crew! These parks are truly one of kind entertainment that is fun for the whole family.
Luke Schueler and his twin brother Cody Schueler are a true definition of Entrepreneurs who founded and own multiple unique companies. The most recent company these entrepreneurs launched is Shock Trampoline Parks. Being connoisseurs in the trampoline park industry for almost a decade has allowed them to identify potential problems the industry faces. Shock Trampoline Park Systems was established to fulfill the need in the industry to create a safer trampoline park. The industry has grown rapidly in North America and has recently expanded into international markets. This rapid expansion has brought to light one of the main issues a park owner can face- injuries sustained by patrons when they lose control and land on trampoline pads that overlay the steel frames. As a solution to this problem, the two entrepreneurs developed and patented the world’s only shock attenuating trampoline park structure. The design includes trampoline shock absorbing suspension mounts, a connection system with a pivoting horizontal bed rail and a German gas shock system incorporated directly into the trampoline framework. These unique entrepreneurs own and operate the world’s largest trampoline parks and manufacture and build trampoline parks for other current park owners and future clients who want to get into the trampoline park industry. Luke and his brother Cody are constantly innovating the industry by developing new ideas to create a fun and safe experience for guests and park owners.
Being such a young entrepreneur, who would you like to thank for your success?
My family is honestly the number 1 priority in my life. My family is always there for me when times are tough and at the end of the day, family is the most important. I also would like to thank my employee’s, they all are rock stars and without good staff I wouldn’t be where I am at today.
What was one of your goals when you started Flying Squirrel Sports and Shock Trampoline?
My ultimate goal for me was to expand our unique business across the world! There is nothing that makes me happier then to offer my unique concept for others to enjoy. When I see their smiles on their face it truly brings a warmth to my heart knowing that I created that euphoria. I also wanted to implement safety on a whole different level. Thus Shock Trampoline Park Systems evolved and now is available to the public. My ultimate goal that I reached was to provide the best experience and safest experience for trampoline park patrons. I believe my new trampoline park structure is exactly what the industry needs and it truly shows our customers that we have taken safety to a whole new level!
What advice could you give fellow entrepreneurs to help them scale their business?
Find people smarter than yourself and employ them in your weakest departments. That insight has so much wisdom packed into it but first it requires a large amount of humility to admit that someone may do it better. I personally struggle with this but recommend anyone who is trying to scale their business to put their stubborn traits aside and get a team with strengths that compliment each other. Give control to your employees with minimal micro management. Your staff will only help you scale correctly if you don’t waste valuable time constantly micro managing them.
You own and operate recreational facilities and you mentioned that your Shock Trampoline Park company has a patent. What advice would you give to an entrepreneur who is considering patenting their product?
Patenting an invention is not an easy task but a time consuming and complicated process. I have patented several inventions and if you do not have experience with patents then you must find a credible patent attorney. First, I recommend you find a patent attorney that you can trust. So many patent attorneys overcharge their clients due to their limited experience. Second, you must find a experienced patent attorney who has patented a lot products successfully. Time is money when it comes to attorneys and if you hire a inexperienced attorney then you will pay the price. Most the time inexperienced attorneys may be cost effective but the time spent on your patent will take twice as long. A well qualified attorney will take half the time and most likely cost the same.
Being a young entrepreneur and owning and operating multiple multi-million dollar companies, how are your stress levels?
As an entrepreneur, most of the time you will have to sacrifice your social life to focus on your goals. You’ll do some of the work you love to do, but you’ll take over every role in the company on a daily basis. You will become overwhelmed, irritable and angry a lot of the times. Remember that your emotions can get the best of you. Nothing ever happens the way you think it will. While your friends are out socializing, you might be stuck in the office working on a project launch that may or may not be successful. But you learn to adapt and prepare for the outcome. Being an entrepreneur does not mean you will be successful but instead refers to the steps you take to reach your goals and sacrifices you make to get there. You need to prepare yourself for the harsh realities in order to realistically plan for the adventure. You will fail at some point. You need to stay positive and realize that your personal life will no longer exist. You will rise and grind on business daily and once you start you can’t stop. The success of your business relies on your motivation and dedication on a daily basis. If you’re not ready to sacrifice your personal life and spend every minute of your day on your business then I suggest to find a 8 to 5 career. I am constantly stressed and always worried about my business’s performance. You not only work during the week but you spend countless hours on the weekends attending to phone calls or issues that need to be addressed. Entrepreneurship is not for the weak but for the dedicated people who will work as hard as it takes to make their dream a reality.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.