WhyWeWork BrianVee
WhyWeWork BrianVee

Episode 99 · 1 year ago

#99 Lee Barette - CanadaFootballChat.com - BrianVee WhyWeWork


Lee Barette is the CEO and publisher of CanadaFootballChat.com, as well as a partner with the Football North program. Lee has a drive to help promote and connect high school football athletes to college and university. With his own experience and knowledge, Lee brings much value to business and sports.

Contact Info

Lee’s Profile

canadafootballchat.com (Company Website)

647-990-2476 (Mobile)



leebarette (Skype)

...welcome to why we work with your host Brian V. As he speaks to people like you from all over the world as we together dive deeper into our motivations, struggles, joys, seemingly missteps, hopes, warnings and advice which would be an encouragement to us all to get up, get going on, keep on working. Working is tough, but working is good. Now here is your host to why we work. Brian V. I'm Brian B. And this is why we work today. Have the great pleasure. Speaking with Lee Barrett, Li is the CEO and publisher of Canada Football Chat CFC. He's also been a contributor to TSN, and he is a recruiting expert today. I want to find out more about CFC. How it started and the importance to athletes and coaches alike joined me in my conversation today with Lee Barrett. I'm Brian V, and this is why we work today. Have the great pleasure speaking with Lee Barrett. Good day. Fine, sir. Hey, Brian, How's it going? It's going well. Thank you for coming on here. Doing this with me. Would you start off by just telling us what industry you're in? Maybe in a couple of positions that you have and ah, a little bit about yourself. Yeah. So currently I'm a business owner to businesses, one that's been in operation for about 11 years now. So it was a right from the ground entrepreneur entrepreneurial play where we started. It's called Canada Football chat dot com. So it's it's focuses Canadian football, which is very similar to American football. However, there's some subtle differences in the rules between American football and Canadian football. Our focus is on high school and the high school recruits. So we would have ah, kind of a media portion of the website and then we've we have an events portion. Our media includes a membership which players we rank a bunch of the prospects from across Canada. We rank, uh, we also rank the top high school teams when when we're playing football during the season and then as far as the events, we've got a bunch of prospect oriented events, of course, with our Big Crown jewels being a game on TSN. So that would be like Canada's version of ESPN, and way produced that for the first time in 2019, 1st ever Prospect game or any pre university game, every broadcast on a national broadcaster in Canada. So it was a big deal. And from that game there's already been about 15 kids who go to N. C. A scholarship since playing in that game. So it Z uh, and And since we've been doing the website, uh, kids from Canada and N. C. A scholarships has increased about but 150% since we started ranking them back in 2013. Thea Other thing that came out of kind of obviously learning all this knowledge with regards to CFC myself in a partner, former teammate of mine in university football. Uh, we started a preparatory school. So it's an American, the high school football team. But it's actually located in Canada in the greater Toronto area. And so what we do is we'll play some of the top high school teams in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and we usually have an annual trip that we go down to Florida play I am G Academy, which is, you know, one of the best programs in the country and s I'm doing that for five years. Within the first four years, we had 30 kids get scholarships and just just unheard of in Canada. And it's a total total new a new venture in such that it's just really, um, very unique opportunity for Canadians. Instead of having to go to the States in high school, they could stay in Canada and achieve those goals of getting That s a scholarship. So we partner with the school clerks and secondary school, which is in Mississauga. And so those air, those two things, you know, keep me busy and they're enjoyable there in football and just, uh, obviously I have a passion for football, but I've, you know, e think those businesses have, uh, you know, we've got we built them from a business standpoint. You gotta have a business focus or they're just not gonna They're not gonna thrive like they have. So I think the the business A document in the football acumen combined and and, most importantly, surrounding yourself with good people. So we have great staff in both programs that run it. I oversee them. But, you know, those are the people who doing the hard work and and so the staffs. But I don't know, outstanding job. Um A So far as my background. So yeah, sorry. The just knowing that you're the CEO and that you're doing well with CFC and...

...how things were coming together. And I know even from Katie Connection, you have Clean Utley, Sunny Wolf and Elliot Richardson on your staff, a swell people of whom I know because I went to Katya's well, and even as that, it brings me up. I went there in 96. I tried out for the team and you guys were monsters to me. Like just great athletes. I got cut. But I have no resentment because eventually I did go back and and try out and make the team. But just knowing that you and you even mentioned your partner that you're working with, that you guys were just the Giants tow us as we came up through the ranks. And I appreciate the work that you're doing. But knowing this and getting a better understanding of you, can you go back a little bit? And what would have been your very first job? Even as a teenager? Uh, yeah, even if it didn't make any money. If you're mowing lawns or shoveling snow, just especially think of recruits who are getting into these programs and wondering what hard work looks like to get someone where they are for sure. So going back to my youth, you know, I definitely remember doing lemonade stands or, you know, selling, you know, raffling off prizes based on how maney Jujubes were in a bottle. So it definitely did those little back in the day side hustles as a young kid did the paper roots. Uh, did those I think my first kind of more formalized job would have been a dishwasher. So in a restaurant, I did. The dishwasher has probably 15 or so Did some summer camps like, uh, you know, y m c a kind of affiliated camps. So I did those as well. Um, what would have been your motivation? Even like lemonade stands raffling, what was your motivation? To get out and to make some money or just to be entrepreneurial? Yeah, that's a good question. Um, it's a long time ago, so I think it's just, um just not that long ago. Come on. Well, it's It's long enoughto not remember. Maybe the specific motivation, you know, just it was It seemed like the right thing to do. Just set up a table on the side of the road and Daikin Crescent and Cambridge, Ontario. And and I think of the community was had a bunch of, you know, younger kids in the community. So I think that there was, you know, a few of us that were a little more entrepreneurial. So we were just thinking of ways to make a little bit of money. And I'm sure that, uh I think just being creative back, I've always been a little creative when it comes to the entrepreneurial venture. So I think that's my first creative venture was the not the lemonade stands and creative, but, you know, raffling off a raffle based on how many two jobs or not. Well, even getting a job right is creative in itself, especially as a you know, preteen or something. It is creative to get out there and where other kids could be doing other things. You're taking that initiative. You're taking that step to do so And how? What about high school? Did you have a particular job or was that the dishwashing job carrying through And then what were you starting to think about your education as you went to university? Yes. My parents, um they were they were They kind of approach things. You know, this summer was a time to get a job. But in if I had extracurricular activities during the school year, like sports, then I didn't necessarily. They didn't force me or encouraged me to get a job. So as long as I was active, okay, But if I didn't play sports, they would have, you know, encouraged or forced me or whatever to get a job. So in my high school days, um, you know, more or less of the sports during the year and then in the summers than yeah, I'd have toe get a job. So that's when I would do the dishwashing or the or the summer camps in the high school. So, um you know, and I think, ah, lot of my focus in the high school and university years were on sports, so it probably start playing football, Seeing that we're doing this parallel with one another. Yes, I would have my first started playing tackle football in great eight. We used to play football on the streets where I grew up before that, but I started playing tackle football in great eight. Yeah. So when you started to think about university, what was on your mind for a career? What were you starting? Was that even on your radar? Yeah, I think I just back. Um, my initial plans were to be a high school phys ed teacher. Just again, because I think I enjoyed sports high school and I enjoyed phys ed class and, you know, probably looked up to some of my phys ed teachers. But then, you know, when I got in university that that change. But, you know, that was my first inspiration. And to do that coming at high school. So I went into a Katie with a phys ed getting into the phys ed program, which...

...at that time was a concurrent education program. Meaning you get it education degree concurrently with your physical education degree. So that was the initial motivation. But I was I've zigged and zagged many times since then, but or since university. And I'm glad I didn't go into that profession because it would have been, you know, knowing what I'm an entrepreneur. Really? Um, that would have stifled me for sure, knowing. Speaking of zigging and zagging as a slot back, you would have done lots of that. You had a pretty successful career in university. You made the all decade team from the 19 nineties. Can you speak of your football career? Especially thinking of students, how they may approach it? What's a good way to approach it and how they can look forward to, However, life zigs and zags for them. Yeah, I think, you know, looking at it from advantage of perspective. Mostly glad that I embarked on a sports career that was concurrent with school. I think that helped. And it's one of the reasons that I'm involved with the sports school program now because I really think it helps especially, ah, you know, young male to you know, while you're not maybe motivated with school as much as the sports, it helps you continue to be interested in motivating school because it's kind of a carrot s. So I think from that standpoint, I'm glad because, like my school, you know, I've got a couple undergraduate reason MBA now, but I don't think I hit my stride until my third year university. I think I was just coasting right? And and But I wouldn't have had the opportunity. Probably unless I had that sports, um, background and again fortunate that the sports was connected to a school, right? Not a community program connected to a school because they're really not that I wouldn't want to university. But, you know, I don't think I would have the exact same path. So I think from that standpoint and in the sports just complemented the school in such that you develop skills that you in sports, that you wouldn't develop in a school. So, um, you know the teamwork, especially in a sport that has so many players in it. Like football, you learn the different dynamics of teamwork. You know, obviously competitiveness, discipline, self discipline and some of those things you can get to a certain extent in in school and maybe other settings. But you're it's really accelerated when you're in a hyper competitive atmosphere. Um, and you tend Thio. One of those learnings get accelerated because the pressure of the intensity, the competition and you know what you're trying to do, and then the sport itself, it's ah, it's a dangerous sport. So you have tow. You know, you have to rely on other people to do what they're supposed to do or, you know, it's it's not gonna feel really good. So I think from, you know, looking back to it. Uh, I'm glad that it did play the sports and it really helped me academically, Aziz. Much to just keep me in the academic pathway to until I hit my stride academically. You know, I you know, I hit my stride academic in my third year university, but, you know, and I was a decent football fair, but I probably you know, I had a great last of my 11 years. I had a great 11th year, You know, the other years, you know, we're a cumulatively that helped me get to that point. But so you never know. It's just like a business, right? I mean, CFC for instance. Um you know, actually, Really, I was just going to say to you from a zed. You graduated. How did you find yourself into CFC And how did that start? Thio begin? Yeah. So after my grab my graduation, I e remained at a Katie and I coached and I did another degree. So for the first four or five years after my initial undergraduate, I coached a football. And then, you know, it's it's not a profession or anything, like in Canada. You get a little bit of money and unless you're the head coach, you're not making a livable wage. Eso. Then after that, I got into got into a business. It was like a retail business with some friends. Did that for four or five years was like a supplement store, and that was a good education. That was my kind of my first, uh, business after school. And it gave me a good framework and and perspective on running your own business. I didn't create it, but I end up running it andan After that, it wasn't a great business, so we just shut it down after that fifth year on Ben. After that, I got into did a few other things. I worked for a construction company for, You know, I was a general manager, so I was doing...

...the marketing the bookkeeping again, learning a lot of great skills working for an entrepreneur. There was like 10 15 people in the company did that for three years. And then I got in the financial planning, did that for four years, worked for a firm in Ottawa on a firm in Toronto, brokerage in Toronto, insurance company and in Ottawa on and had some great training, some great sales training and then, you know, on. Then I'm after e. Moved to Toronto, worked in BMO Nesbitt Burns was the brokerage on Did It was Mawr. I was in my mid thirties, but the program I got into is more for someone who was 23 or 24 you know, smiling and island 200 times a day and setting appointments. So I just I had the confidence at that point. Met a Met, a person who was a programmer, and it would have been late. It would have been December 2000 and nine. Just got it. You know, the're good thing about financial financial businesses. You know everyone else's business. You know who's happy and making money, who's on the FP and making money, who's, you know, unhappy and not making money and who is happy, not make money. So I wanted to focus on the happy and making money so we got, you know, we started this Internet marketing company. Whatever attacked that man, the internet was a lot different back in 2009, eso we set up eventually within a week or two we come came up with the concept of CFC, took about two months to develop it on the back. And then we launched it on February 10, 2010. So, um you know, So that was my first kind of, you know, entrepreneurial playas faras just starting something from scratch. Just the concept of an idea. And it's evolved. You know, what I thought it was gonna be in 2010 is not what it is right now. It's funny you mentioned this and I'd like to find out how the concept of it in the reasoning behind it started CFC because I remember in high school in a buddy of mine that I played for high school football with he made from his VHS. Like we're talking, you know, 93 94 95 his with his camcorder and just taking a VHS and sending it to schools and hoping people would see him. Besides what the coach might tell other people in just so How did this start The idea of CFC and what are the benefits for people who become members? Yeah, So there's there's two sides. I mean, we started it because there was there was a void in the marketplace, meaning there were some, you know, decent regional websites in Canada. But there was no on. There's some comparable to the United States. There was nothing that was comparable to some of those sites in United States, So there was no national website where everyone could go to find out information on recruiting, too promote themselves because you know the evolution of the VHS highlight films now it was at that time was the YouTube highlight film. Now there's a company called Huddle H U D L. Who's like sports specific and football. So that's where you put your your highlights now and what we enabled the players to do. Even back in in 2010, when we launched the site was to upload their videos so that now scouts could see their videos and there was one central place for the players to then promote themselves, whether it be with their their video or we would write an article on them or something like that, or we'd rank them eventually and on. And then the recruiters. So the university coaches now had a central place to come on, and they would be on daily many times a day, as you know, because we'd have multiple, many, many kids per day uploading their videos. So, you know, initially, when we started the site, we thought we could monetize it. You know, back in the day if you thought you could monetize it with banner ads and stuff like that, but or just sell sponsorship and we tried that. But it just wasn't sustainable, Not something that could sustain Ah, business eso You know, we've We've zigged and zagged a few times, but that was the original concept was a you know, a site that was a central landing platform, if you will, that would have all the recruits players on it and all the recruiters on it. And and then that's the value of fit for the players. You know, they can now promote themselves for free, and then the coaches can confine those recruits so the players can go on, upload their own profile for free. Correct. We've always you know they could do it for free. Now there's some enhanced. So it's a freemium model where there's some free attributes to the site and players gonna always promote themselves for free. Now they want to get more knowledge, or they want to see the rankings and stuff like that. That's when they have to access by a membership. But they could always and we've never, you know, it's never never cost him to promote themselves. So...

...initially it was just, you know, they're Prospect video with some information. Now we have more of an interactive player profile where they could go back and updated at any point in time. It has a lot more information. Um, we did a big, big database improvement during Cove it, and we took advantage of this time about a 99 month project. That air just enhanced it, but it's always been free for kids to promote themselves. What is some of the feedback that you're getting from some of the university coaches, even high school coaches, of the benefits of this, especially traveling like if you don't have to go to this little small town, this little small, which is still a nice thing to do, and it's good experience and it shows your dedication to the player. But having this resource, especially as you said all across Canada, must have many benefits. Yeah, so, like anything, I mean the top top recruits, you know, everyone's going to know about them. So where our site is really help? Not that it hasn't helped those top recruits, but it really helps that situation that you just said it could be that that's student athlete who's in a smaller town. It doesn't get the exposure. You know, they can either promote themselves on our site or they come to our events and sometimes their events or for those people again that don't may be playing a highly competitive region, but they they're good and they just have to play against, you know, people of of a higher competitive stature. So, yeah, it definitely has, You know, it Z it's it's made it more accessible for kids, no matter what their geography is. So that's one thing where we always wanted to do, and we're proud that we've been able to facilitate that. What about for you personally, what is some satisfaction you're getting out of the results over the last 11 years. And but where there's some difficulties, what are some struggles that you're having that you, you know, that you could probably overcome? It's just going to take some time. Yeah, so I think the the satisfaction that I've gotten out of it, obviously it's kind of like your own little Plato. You get Thio, you're in control of what you're creating eso I think from that standpoint, have been satisfied with being able to be creative, being able to Yeah, you know, be a leader in this space and on just we've always wanted to make something that's sustainable, You know, every we've seen for years and years. People try to do similar stuff, but they just never had a business plan or, ah, vision where we always had a long term vision. That's why we're still around. We weren't there for the, you know, looking at a year or two down the road. We were looking at many years down the road, so our vision has been important, and not that we haven't had to change what we're doing and illiterate many times. But just having a long term vision Um so from that standpoint, that satisfying because we've done things that no one's ever been able to do the TSN game was, you know, took five years of building relationships, you know? How does that work? Are you grabbing top recruits? Putting them together is what does that look like? And probably 2019 to 2020 is kind of because of Colbert puts a damper on things. But you guys air continuing your plan is to continue this throughout in 2020 we still picked a roster. We still did selection camps. Uh, we could do them socially distance. Kind of like the NFL combine because a lot of it's just running and testing and stuff like that. So we were still able toe announce rosters this year, the first year that we had it. As you know, I'm looking at the two teams. Um, you know, it worked out very, very well. It it went beyond our expectations. One because my staff did an outstanding job. That's probably the biggest thing. TSN was a good partner in such that they ran a you know, professional great broadcast, like they would with any other We had two great play by playing and the color commentators for an ideology and Dwayne forward who took it seriously and knew the kids names and and did a really good job. What you think from the kids perspective, this is huge. This is huge, right? So to take it seriously, would, you know, be a no brainer because this is maybe some of the biggest games that these kids will ever playing. Yeah, absolutely there, you know, for a lot of them, it's the only time they'll ever be on TSN. Andi and I think until it was actually really happen, people still didn't really understand what we're doing. And it's like anything in life until it actually happens. It's, I would say, it's fake until it's really so. It's so once that happened, it kind of people are like, Well, this this is a big deal and this is this is a, you know, quite a game changer. So eso again, that's the satisfaction...

Definitely was. That was a satisfying day. Seeing that and threw, it was really, you know, the top of our mountain kind of Azaz faras what we could do in events. You know, that that z gonna be always be our biggest event. And it's not something I don't think we could I would do on the on the event side of things for sure. So, yeah, so those those air kind of the highlights, a Sfar a satisfaction. And I think the challenges, like anything that's new, is you have a lot of Doubters, right? You have a lot of Doubters and you just have to be able to filter that stuff because it's again. It's what is the biggest contention that you're getting from people in their doubts? What is what is probably the top thing that keeps popping up? Well, I think that evolves over time, right? And it has evolved over time. So I think just people doubting the initial concept that it would work quote unquote, meaning that it was sustainable in something that's a long term entity. The Canadian sports system is such that it's set up that, uh, sometimes being a private enterprise in the Canadian sports system is a challenge, because everyone think that that it should be done publicly if that makes sense. Eso I think sometimes, um, you know, certain public associations think they should be doing what we're doing. Uh, that's maybe not necessarily the what they should be doing so on. And, you know, sometimes people just not knowing Yeah, you know, just again. Monkey. See, monkey do right. They think they look at those things so well, we should be doing that, Not them kind of things. So that there were some of the challenges I would think a challenge. Maybe the American recruiters and I have no idea how they work being someone that was never recruited. But the idea that people coming up from the states and grabbing the best of the best and then people may say, Well, as you're saying that it may not work because you're not dealing with the best. But I would say that you're dealing with some of the most intelligent athletes in North America because they're not only athletic, but they're academically sound. Or at least as I think you and I experienced. We get on that track eventually because we're following that care and we're doing two of the same things together. Yeah, if football's interesting in such that North America Anyway, um, the reality is is in the comparing in the United States and Canada is very different than what the perception is. You know what I mean by that? Just because we have our university football on our professional league in Canada doesn't mean we're on par with United States. There's there's still a huge gap. The analogy. I like to use its like Canadian hockey and Hungarian hockey. You know, it there is that gap. But that doesn't mean there isn't some great players that can compete. They just have to get into the system and be able to compete. So, um, you know where sometimes, um, you know where we're open to all the opportunities that these players have. And sometimes you have people opposed to that, too. It's like anything, you know, that if there's, ah, you know, whatever country, if they're losing their athletes to another country, then those, um, potentially coaches in that country might see that as a bad thing on. And sometimes we get pushback from that kind of stuff, too. But again, because we're laser focused on on the players, our vision is, you know, all about player advocacy. So, um, you know, from that standpoint, uh, I think that you know, because we're so focused on player advocacy that those things don't really distract us. Is there a way, Lee for I'm thinking of like a Danny frame. We're Godfrey Ellis, who came out of the Kedia who did not play football at all and then went off to the CFL. They're just just athletes, natural born athletes. They worked on it. But is there a way for, say, CFC, too? Dive into that pool as well, Like just getting some people who might be some good bodies that you can develop into great athletes? Yeah, I mean the difficult. Yeah, I think it's difficult for us because usually the players who come to our website or ones that are already in the system and those players were talking about that are outside of the system. So use what happens has to happen with those players. They have to be identified by someone you know, usually a coach or or a friend who's playing the sport. I think with regards to Danny, if he was, you know, growing up now, he would have played high school football or because there's just more football in Nova Scotia, as there was opposed to back then. You know, Godfrey...

...came from another country that didn't have football, so I mean so from their circumstance, I think they they kind of got into it when they did. It's just, you know, football's unique and such. That it has so many different athletes is faras. Their skill sets in their body sizes. So those two specific examples or the bigger lineman type which there just aren't as many of those people out there a supposed the small guys like myself. So, um, you know, I think if you if if it's all about opportunity. So I don't know if CFC as the opportunity to, you know, necessarily e think what we can do as a maybe a second order, um, consequences again, making so much excitement around playing the sport that you know, their friends and people you know, their friends attract them or or, you know, they're just happened to see Oh, wow, there's a prospect came on TSN and football. So again, it's just that kind of exposure to the game that I think we can you know, not just on our own, but we can help that part of it as faras exposing athletes to the game and hopefully getting them to play in a system somewhere that, well, that's what it takes to, you know, you're walking down your high school hallway and you're like that guy must be a football player like football. No. Hey, we have a place where you CFC, for instance? But why don't you come join the football team? And that's and that's how it works. Ah, lot of sports work that way, the thinking of people getting into work and more of your your profession, your job and your experience starting your lemonade stand raffling, you know, working as a dishwasher, starting your career and work and just, you know, dabbling in jobs and then a couple of the jobs that you have changed into. Do you have any tips or advice for people? Who are you getting into work one way or the other? You're talking like for like a young 20 year old young kids, young kids. Yeah, well, And for the young kid part, I think of parents who listen to this that can give some advice to the small Children like you're not too young to go start a lemonade stand you're not too young to go to the local restaurant and start washing dishes and also not to be afraid of. For people who are not happy in their job, they don't see it going somewhere. So they switch careers. Yeah, e think with, you know, the teenager or somebody even in their early twenties. I think there's more opportunity to do their version of the lemonade stand. So there's so many, uh, side also is you can do online now. Eso I think from that standpoint. And I do think the younger generation therefore because there's lots more opportunities. They are more entrepreneurial thing. Maybe we were back in the day. Maybe, maybe not. But they have more opportunities, right? We're our side hustles when we were young with a lemonade stands the, you know, delivering newspapers and all that. That stuff, you know, it doesn't really exist. Lemonade stand could to a certain extent, but delivering newspapers definitely doesn't, um, so I think there's a lot more opportunity for them, and I just you know, the big thing is just do it. You know, just don't make the mistake where you're getting yourself to leverage during debt. You know. So you know, I would just say for someone who's before they're ending, school is just started to dabble of things. You know, You look at something like, you know, sports cards. You know, in the last year, the value of sports cars has gone up, you know, tripled. Right? So just, uh, it's partly that's because of Kobe, but partly because the the markets mature too right? And so there's there's lots of things you can do. You can, you know you can, you know, sell, you know, fulfillment by Amazon. You know, there's lots of side households. You can dio start a website and, you know, you could do whatever, right? So I think that's I would just recommend someone having a side hustle a Z early as possible. That would be my first thing and then, you know, for as they get through their education, I think a couple things one is there's so many distractions now for, you know, phones, etcetera. You know, obviously we've got to pandemic going on a swell. So I think the first thing is they gotta, you know, evaluate their own mental health from the standpoint that they're not getting pulled in too many directions. So I think the less distractions you have, the better Cem Times s, I think, just evaluating your mental health. I think everyone is more aware of mental health. And we were when we were coming out. So e think evaluating that, Because you have to have to be an entrepreneur. You have to have a strong constitution because it's competitive. You're no one's going to care about you. How well you do and and everyone's gonna be. You know, if you have a good idea, people gonna be...

...copying you and stuff. So you've got a really strong, you know, a sense of self. You have a strong now, uh, you know, So you have you have that That would be my first actually thing. You know, just work on yourself, get yourself better, but just limiting your distractions. And but as far as getting into the workforce, I think the biggest thing is to do is start working. Yeah, and it sounds simple, but, you know, don't overthink it. You know, I'll sit down with someone they say, you know what? Should I take more school on? No, no. Get out there. I mean, you get your whatever you think you need to get from an education standpoint. Think it out there. Start working because, um, you need to learn how to work. You need to learn how toe work with people. You need to learn how toe show value in products or services. You need to, you know, just understand the whole work things. So don't don't worry about where you're working. Don't worry about your title. Just get out there and start working, and then you'll figure things out. Things will figure itself. So once you and you know people talk about, follow your passion. I don't know about that. Find something you're good at. Find something you're good at. Follow your passion. Just It's easy for some rich guy to tell you to follow your, you know, find something. Just let it all go. Go follow you. Find something. What do you figure out what you're good at and just make sure you're in. Ah, you know, in an industry that's on the uptake instead of on the down. Take on. Then surround yourself with good people. It's the the idea to is find something you love to do it sounds good, but we don't always love what we're doing. Right. So we have to make that Christian Christian clear, especially the passion and the love. Okay, it's good. But we really just got to get down to it and work. Yeah, and sometimes you just you'll you'll enjoy that. You enjoy the process, and you'll you'll enjoy getting better. The biggest thing. You know, uh, continue toe. You think you know the thing that the fallacy is when you're done school, you're done your education. But you're always learning, right? So I've learned Maurin this decade in the last decade. Then I learned and you know, when I was going through school and school gives you a nice base and framework, but it z again schools. It's very much idealistic, right. So you have to get out in the workforce to really understand what the rial, how it really works. You know, the idealism of an education gives you some frameworks, but they're not. You gotta fill in the blanks. You gotta fill in the gaps and learn how to work and learn how to, um, you know, And if you're an entrepreneur also sometimes you, uh if you follow the masses. I'm not sure you're an entrepreneur because really entrepreneurs or usually starting things that other people just couldn't see, you know, because they're just seeing whatever else in society see. So, uh, it's not necessarily, you know, if you if you realize that by doing these side hustles, if entrepreneurialism is not for you, that's fine. You know, there's a demonstrate, a business owner and entrepreneur. They're not necessarily the same. The same people. Sometimes they could be. But, you know, business owner could just be someone who bought a business and runs it well, but they don't necessarily entrepreneurs creative, and it could start a business. So I think you just gotta learn. You know what you're best suited at, what your best skills air. It's okay to be an employee and and so OK to be an employer. Eso it's it's just get out there and work and try a bunch of different things would be and have a good framework for your own mental health and and build your skills because the more skills you have, the more stable your you know your mental health should be, but also just it'll give you open up your opportunities, Lee. What about character? This person? Whether the employer employee, what about character that you have found is essential in the workplace? Yeah, I think you know, character trade, I should say. Yeah, I think. Biggest thing is, um you know, I think if you're, you know, kind of have an entrepreneurial mindset. It's, you know, obviously could start your own business, but you could work within a company That's maybe more entrepreneurial gives your, uh, chance to be an entrepreneur. And if you're not, you know, you know, if you don't have those frameworks than you know, corporate life is fine, right? And where it's very regimented and you kind of know the pecking order and how you're going to get to the next level. Soas faras character traits, I think I think, um, you know, I think everyone...

...has to be a hard worker. Is, um you know, uh, you know, I think that's an obvious one, right? I don't think there's no matter what you do, you you want to be a hard worker. But I think the biggest thing is just having a curiosity and continually learning. Especially if you're an entrepreneur, right? But I think that would be helpful no matter what you're doing. As we get older and looking back, As you said earlier and you had mentioned that you've received your master's degree as well a couple of bachelor's degree, how do you value in knowing our bodies? How do you value education and exercise throughout our lives? Yeah, I think, um, I think exercise and nutrition are underrated, as's faras being able to achieve, You know, your peak performance, no matter what you're doing. Um, and some Aziz, you get older, you will be forced to recognize those things. Maybe don't recognize them when you're younger, because your body just bounces back much quicker. But, you know, I work out more religiously now than I did 10, 15 years ago. I eat much better than a now than I did 10, 15 years ago, because I need that energy to perform at peak performance. And I want to perform a peak performance every day and and I enjoy being a peak perform every day. So, um so as far as just the exercise nutrition, it's What do you do, Lee? What do you do nowadays for exercise? Now I I would. Three main things that I do. I don't do any sports. Everything dynamic. Just my body just is, um that was more for my twenties and teen years. But don't you Don't you miss strapping on the helmet? Uh, I don't miss strapping on a helmet. E missed the competitive sports. Sure, the helmet. I was, You know, being a guy who was not a big guy. And you were talking about big guys, I took him enough hits. I do. I do, miss. You know, I miss playing squash, you know, on that kind of stuff. Just being competitive, which I did play a little bit squash after my football career. But I miss the competitiveness of sports and the camaraderie sports sort of two things I miss. But as far as what I do now is is pretty static stuff. This faras all I 2 to 3 times a week, I'll get in in the gym and lift weights, uh, 2 to 3 times a week. I'll do some swimming laps, swimming to some laps and get my cardio because that's just easier on the body on then. Um, absent flows. How much, but I try to do some yoga to do the stretching part of it. So those are the three main things that I'll do get it walking to, depending on time of year. If it's colder out, I might not do as much in the winter, but get a walking here and there. Do this miking and stuff like that. Those would be my main exercise regiments. You mentioned education and how important that is. Is there any other? Because I find even with the idea of passion and love, some people say, Well, universities not necessary. Just go out and do what you know that entrepreneurial go get it plays the world. But do you have? Do you have advice on that about education, whether formal or informal for people? As you said, it's lifelong learning but mentioning the skills that people have and how they could develop them. Yes, I think there's formal and informal talk about the informal first. I think you know, I think you know, even the last I've taken advantage of called this my once in a lifetime sabbatical with Covitz. So I've taken some courses from Warton I've taken Scott Galloway. Professor Scott Galloway has of course. Of course I took. That was great. I've read. Yeah, Yeah, he's definitely someone I follow and listen to on this podcast, etcetera. And then, um, done a bunch of reading a bunch of books, business books and some enjoyment, but mostly just a lot of business books. Uh, you know, I tryto come up with, like, a a mentor board of directors. So, like a Warren Buffett or Charlie Munger? Scott Galloway. You know, just that's a great idea. Good with those people. Yeah, I didn't come up the idea. I'm sure someone else did, but I liked it meant or board of directors. Yeah. So just people that you admire and I was successful, whatever your definition of success is and really try toe consume all that they've, you know, put out there, whether it be written books or, you know, watch old, uh, Berkshire Hathaway. Uh, you know, their general meeting. I'll watch all those. Just the nuggets in there. You learn or tremendous. So, um, I think that Z learning is key, I think, and it comes with, you know, podcasts. Uh, I'm looking at getting...

...into a new business venture, so I've just been consuming all these podcast making notes on DSO, There's different forms of learning, whether it be audiovisual or text that you can and in part of the learning, is learning how you consume and how you learn things. So, you know, whatever is best format for you, I think is great. It's faras the formal education. I think. I think the big thing with that it depends. You know, formal education gives you the ability to, you know, basically no, I guess developed pathway for career. I think when you get beyond high school, really, you take a post secondary education. Whether it's college or university, Thio enable yourself to get a pathway into a career. Um so therefore, it's it's necessary toe. Have certain degrees. Um, do I think that someone with a degree X y Z is better than someone with a degree ABC or someone without not necessarily. But I don't make the rules, you know what I mean? So if if it's just society thinks that you need a certain education standard, um, you know, on depending on the country or in right, uh, and and degrees do allow people to, you know, depending on their current social economic status to, um, you know, get to a higher one. So it z and as faras you know, within a degree itself, you're gonna have good teachers and teachers. You like teachers you don't like and classes you gravitate towards and clocks you don't. And it's gonna be different for different people. Right? So one teacher that you like someone else won't like. It's just that's just how it works, right? So I think e think the big thing is looking at it as a pathway to get you somewhere. What about your goal, Lee? Whether it's for CFC or career goal, I know you have some other irons in the fire is Well, what is your overarching goal? Yeah, I think for my businesses thio that they're sustainable, which means at some point I have to accept them, right? I think you, when you create a business, you create it to sell it, not necessarily because that's the strategy you're looking to employ. But if you don't sell it, it's going to die, right? It's it's not gonna exist. So I think from those standpoints I have to make them those companies able to survive without me and I owe that to, you know, I think the value the proposition that the business has now I think you go to the current employees, Um, so that it is sustainable. You know, hopefully I live for many, many more years, but, you know, if you get hit by, you know, the old hit by a bus adage and and hopefully that those could go on and so I want to set them up. You know, it's kind of like someone raising a child, right? At some point, they're gonna leave the house. So the same thing with these businesses, So I want to set them up that they're sustainable. Andi can't operate without me. So those are the big things I'm looking at now. So we're developing Cem Learning management systems within CFC to really ensure those things that again they can operate without me. Because again, I have such a great staff that I don't do a lot of day to day stuff within CSC. Um or, you know, big picture kind of look at what's the next thing around the corner. So I think those are the big things with with those businesses is toe maketh, um, you know, uh, to be able to exist without me. What about you? What do people? Maybe they don't understand about you. And if they understood this, they can get a better appreciation of the work that you're bringing to the table. Yeah. Uh, um, Yeah. So I think you got you stumped me there. Who is Lee? Who is Lee? That they don't know. Yeah, I guess, um, you know, focused and motivated to deliver some value where there didn't exist before, and with both of the business that I created, I created I could say that, you know, there there was there was nothing like a CFC, And we've made a difference in hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of potentially thousands of families over the course of 11 years. So that really, um, you know, motivates me on then. You know, with regards to the football North, the newest of the ventures, you know, we've, you know, we're changing kids lives is faras, you know, kids getting an education paid...

...for because they're, you know, the proficient in in the academics where they're eligible to get into the school or the program, But they're proficient in a sport that really, again helps them, you know, get to another level. And now, depending on, you know, again, the socioeconomic circumstances. But if you're going to United States and you have to pay that out of pocket you were talking $250,000 American for some of these schools over the course time of time. And and they're getting those educations, obviously for free because of the athletic scholarships. So those things motivate me is is really out in that value. But it really making a difference in a young And with these, you know, obviously it's young men. Um, but making a difference in these young men lives because, you know, I think it zero is good for society. At the end of the day, I think you won't say it because it's a sign of it, of humility as well, because you said you're not that big and that's physical. But I think on, um, or intellectual emotional level, you're hanging out with some pretty big guys who, your partner, Larry, just stand, is your contributor to TSN. You're the CEO of a company, so some humility is well that you bring to the table, which I think is most valuable when dealing with anyone. What about for you, Lee? Is there any adversity that you have faced in your life that adversely, positively or negatively affect your work, but also using that as an encouragement to other people who are facing adversity in their work? Yeah, I think there's there's different degrees for sure, and I think everyone experiences it. Um, you know, I think it's just the challenges of, you know, just figuring out your path and and and and figuring out what you're good at and figuring out you know, well, when your entrepreneurial and you're looking and you and you like, kind of leading the charge. Um, you know, we're educated to be in this formalized corporate system, either public or privately, but we're not educated necessarily to be entrepreneurs or or encouraged the entrepreneurs. Eso it's it's more difficult to figure that out. S o. I think from that standpoint, you know, the first two years um uh, CFC was funded on my credit card, you know? So I mean, when someone because of that base and because of that struggle, it makes everything else Ah, a little more sweeter right, because, um, you know, people see the end product, but they didn't see the beginning product and eso it, it grounds me. But it also, you know, if you get any negative feedback that's unwarranted, then it just really doesn't bother you because you know where you've been and you know, so I think it gives a good perspective. So I think from that standpoint on, obviously, you know, Kobe, both my businesses air affected from cove it because both of them are non essential a t end of the day, you know, sports is non essential. Um on and whoever is defining it, I would say that, Yeah, I think it's essential to, you know, uh, as far as, um, the betterment of, you know, specifically the participants, their physical and mental health and and long term, it will help them. But, you know, within the definition of a pandemic, its's deemed as unnecessary. And, of course, understand why So, you know, I think all the adversity that I've gone through in other parts of my life prepared me for this and no nothing. There's been no business course that I took that ever mention the word pandemic. Um, you know, So there was nothing that prepared me for a pandemic. What prepared me with the challenges in the adversity that you spoke about that and have a good support system, a good partner that supports me. And and so I think from that standpoint, this is part of that adversity. But again, we looked at it from a whole different standpoint. We took advantage of this. We developed a database that is now second, none better than our American competitors. And we did it were creatively church coop program at an MBA. Students who have the skills to develop it. So we took advantage of it.

So we're we, you know, don't never felt sorry for herself. One second, right? So we said, All right, perfect. Timeto get some projects, then. Probably on the back burner that we should have been doing. So we didn't lay off any employees. Everyone was paid full wage, and we just moved on. You know, our revenue wasn't full, but we knew just be a temporary thing. And we so we know when we come out of this will be much better shape Pond. So again, didn't feel sorry for ourselves one second, you know, frustrated here, and they're absolutely. And when you don't have sport being played, that really drives your businesses. However, um, just put her head down and try to get better. You should have that as your tagline. CFC started on my credit card, so we're so we're here for you. That's right. That's right. Is there anything that we haven't touched upon? Lee, that maybe we've missed any ideas for student athletes coming up looking at, to be placed somewhere, any sort of advice or suggestions for them? E think when it comes to the student athlete, I think it's, you know, do your homework. Educate yourself on sports. Surround yourself with good people, which is difficult if, definitely if you don't understand the sport. It's difficult to do that sometimes, because you'll get opportunists that will lurk around and, you know, not always there. The best adviser you know parents, you know, be supportive. But don't be protective of their kids. And what I mean by that is support them in their education or sports ventures. But it's their venture, not yours. So, as a parent, you know, just be supportive, you know, be there for to help them through the good, bad terms. And but remember, it's not them playing and give them their space. Thio to fail and succeed. I think that's important so that that helps them in their future. Because I know that that was given that that available that space was given to me, and I'm better for it. If that space wasn't given to me, then I wouldn't be a zoo. Good for it. So parents give you, give your kids from space, let them succeed and fail and and let them get out there and do it on their own and s. So I think that's important. And then, you know, So I think from, you know, and then they're just If someone's to get into the workforce to start working, you know, figure it out. Just start working. Don't overthink things. Don't make things too complicated. Just get out there and start working to find out what you're good at and keep learning the How can they reach you? Or what are some of the businesses that they can contact to get more information? Yeah, so the businesses Canada football chat dot com Um, you can visit that football north dot c A If you want to contact me, uh, info at Canada football chat dot com will eventually get to me. So you could definitely people can use that. My staff We'll get it touch, get it to me. But yeah, it's visit those websites. Check him out. Um, and feel free to reach out to me at any point time. I'm on LinkedIn Liebert b a r e t t e So love to hear from someone. Lee One final question. And that is why do you work? I enjoy it. I enjoyed it gives you purpose. And you know, I love I just like creating a business that gets better every day, you know? So I enjoy getting better every day and enjoy working to get better every day and enjoy a business that gets better every day. Lee Barrett, CEO and publisher of Canada Football Chat CFC I appreciate the time that you have given me and I appreciate the work that you dio. Thanks, Brian. I've enjoyed it. Thank you for listening to this episode of why we work with Brian V. Be sure to subscribe, follow and share with others so they to be encouraged in their work. I hope that you have yourself a productive be a joyful day in your work.

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