Rami Reda’s success isn’t by chance. He is a second-generation business owner based out of Hamilton, Ontario in Canada who has founded numerous successful businesses. Rami knows that it takes hard work and dedication to make a startup grow, survive, and thrive. Throughout his journey, Rami’s enterprises have created over 500 jobs, generated over $500 million ROI for shareholders and investors, and raised over $100 million in investment capital. In the world of business, Rami Reda has made a name for himself by showing what true entrepreneurial success looks like.
Rami Reda is the Co-Founder of GAGE, an innovative company that curates the highest quality cannabis experiences possible for its consumers. GAGE is a publicly traded company, currently employs 400+ people and has helped build one of the best social equity programs in the industry.
Rami’s success as the Co-founder of GAGE is thanks, in part, to learning how to build and expand multiple businesses from a very young age. He is the son of two immigrants who left a war-torn Lebanon to create a better life for their family. From humble beginnings and without knowing the local language, his parents set-up and grew a small convenience store in Southern Ontario which quickly flourished . Their business ventures grew immensely to over 50 locations through the years and it wasn’t long until they started an ATM company, which then sold to the largest company in the country.
Rami Reda absorbed essential business lessons from his parents’ entrepreneurial journey. He would later complement his home education by attending the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University to sharpen his knowledge and business skills. He graduated on the Dean’s List with honors in his Bachelor of Commerce, focusing on Retail, Marketing, Advertising, Sales, and Strategy. He was also given the Honours Award for the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University.
Rami Reda has a storied and varied career with expertise in diverse areas with an abundance of experience in real estate, managing multi-million dollar land development, renovation, and addition projects. Rami has also worked in retail management and distribution consulting and has experience in Consulting, Industry Development, Budget and Revenue Forecasting, Event Planning, Public Speaking, and Financial Services.
Rami’s impressive professional career has not gone unnoticed and he has been recognized for his accomplishments as a Global Convenience Industry Achievement Award Winner and as a recipient of the Top 40 Under 40 for the Southern Ontario Region.
Throughout his entrepreneurial journey and successful career as a business owner, Rami Reda has developed a keen expertise in leadership insights, startups, and everything that goes into building an impressive and successful business.
Where did the idea for GAGE come from?
My wife and her best friend introduced me to my business partner in 2010. We have been doing business together for over 10 years.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I typically wake up between 5 am-5:30 am – no alarm clock, and spend the quiet time in the mornings thinking about what needs to be taken care of.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Execution is everything. If there are any ideas myself or my business partner come up with, we usually share them with one another and then shelf them until the next day. We will then discuss it again, and tweak anything we think is required before we pitch it to our executive team. In another enterprise, I had a mantra for ideas that I have stuck by and that is Dream, Plan, Achieve.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Entrepreneurship. Whether it is Covid related or not, the fact that more people are able to start a business today than yesterday is great.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am fortunate and blessed to have my father’s work ethic ingrained in me, and he was an early riser. My four-year-old son has a similar trait and usually wakes up 10-15 minutes after me every morning.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Patience. There were certain decisions made when I was younger that taught me hard lessons. I am still thankful for these mistakes as they have helped me grow as an individual and entrepreneur.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Putting your money where your mouth is. I have gone all-in on businesses and/opportunities and I have had many questions about the decision at the time. Luckily these large bets are paying off.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Waking up early, and writing your goals as it allows you to remain focused on what you want to accomplish personally or professionally, and not anyone else.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Find good partnerships. I am very lucky to have good business partners who help offset my weaknesses, by providing different perspectives and approaches.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I have been involved in the cannabis space for 10+ years, and the views of the industry and the plant differ today than they did yesterday. Unfortunately being involved early on caused lots of negative views and beliefs about me as a person and entrepreneur. As a result, I had to drown out a lot of that noise in order to focus on what I believed and still believe today is the biggest generational opportunity of our lifetime.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
An app about money management for kids in Canada. I know there are tools in the US but they haven’t come north of the border yet, and it is unfortunate. I believe kids should learn the principles of money, savings, and earnings at a young age and help them carry this knowledge throughout their life.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently purchased Blinkist, a learning app that has text and audio summaries of non-fiction books.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Dropbox is still the king of tools for me, especially for start-ups I am involved in; as it allows me to organize, and collaborate amongst many different individuals and stakeholders.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
4-Hour Workweek changed my mindset overall as an employee and employer. This book allowed me to think outside the box as an entrepreneur and learn to automate, delegate, and prioritize what is important for the entrepreneur.
What is your favorite quote?
“When you make a choice and say ‘come hell or high-water, I am going to be this,’ then you should not be surprised when you are that. It should not be something that feels intoxicating or out of character because you have seen this moment for so long that…when that moment comes, of course, it is here because it has been here the whole time because it has been [in your mind] the whole time.”
I love this quote as it embodies the definition of a winner and champion and having the positive reinforcement of being a winner before you even reach that “goal.”
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.