Steve Ladurantaye

Team Manager at Zonda

Steve Ladurantaye of Ottawa, Ontario, is a veteran Canadian media professional and journalist.

Steve is currently a team manager for Zonda, where he manages a team of journalists and sponsored content writers who cover Canadian real estate. He also runs his own media company, Minerva Media, where he works with high-profile clients to enhance and rebuild their media properties.

Steve has previously worked for print and online newsrooms across Canada, including the CBC, The Globe and Mail, The Kingston Whig-Standard, The Peterborough Examiner, The Ottawa Business Journal and The Ottawa Sun.
For his reporting, he’s won several National Newspaper Awards: For explanatory journalism in 2006, for breaking news in 2010 and for business journalism in 2014.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

I spent years covering the future of the media industry, which meant I spent a lot of time with smart executives talking about their plans. I found that over the years that paired well with my first-hand experiences, and I wanted to find a way to offer those insights to other companies that may not have the same window into the rest of the industry that I’ve had.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

No two days are alike — and it really depends what the workload is looking like. Right now I’m focused on a full-time role and have put aside consultancy for a little bit, but when I pick it back up I like to do a “day job” during the day to keep my skills relevant, but also include time for working with clients.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I think it’s important that everyone buys into a concept, so I spend a lot of time talking and communicating about what we’re trying to do and why we’re doing it. Once everyone is onboard, it makes it much easier to execute.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I think organizations — particularly nonprofits — have a chance to really step up and fund meaningful journalism about their industries in a way that’s never happened in this country before.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Perseverance. My experience has been that it doesn’t take much to rattle people. One or two failures and it’s easy to just give up. But success is usually just on the other side of those failures. You have to keep going, especially when it seems like you’re not getting anywhere.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I’d tell myself to slow down and have more patience. Things don’t happen overnight and if you push them too hard they come apart, despite the best intentions. I’m not saying not to work hard — quite the opposite. I’m saying that we often worry a little too much when we’re young, even when things are going exactly the way we planned.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” is a punk rock masterpiece.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Go over fine details. They can make the difference between a well-executed project and a flop. And bring other people along. If they aren’t on board, then the best plan isn’t going to work.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Relationships are really important. I’ve found you can grow your business more effectively by nurturing existing relationships than you can by going into situations cold. Even with the incredible technology we now have for connecting to each other, it’s still pretty clear that most people are more interested in building out from their existing network, whether we’re talking about social media or real-life interactions.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I always find it hard when a contract ends for whatever reason — it’s hard to let go. These aren’t failures — that was the intention all along — but I find it hard to walk away. I overcome this by reminding myself of our intentions going in and being happy with the results we’ve achieved.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I was having a lot of trouble motivating myself to finish moving houses and paid for some packers to come in and finish the job. Peace of mind and job well done.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

This is going to sound really boring, but Google’s G-suite really does form the backbone of all the work I do each and every day. It’s so simple, so well integrated, I can’t imagine working without it.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

“Never Split The Difference” by Chris Voss. It’s an essential guide to communicating with other people written by a former FBI hostage negotiator.

What is your favorite quote?

One day at a time.

Key Learnings:

  • Relationships matter. Cultivate them.
  • Pay attention to the details and explain them to your peers.
  • Leverage technology (G-suite)
  • Listen to Avril Lavigne