How I became an entrepreneur (The TalentEgg Story)

by

When I was growing up, I remember the car that was always parked in the driveway neighbouring my best friend’s house. I remember it because it had a peculiar license plate:

ENTRPRNR

At the time, I had a vague idea of what entrepreneurs did- they started businesses- but I didn’t care much to learn more and certainly never thought I’d be one myself.

That’s because, at the time, I was set on becoming a career actress. That was my goal and nothing was going to stop me.

What I’ve learned over the past 2 years is that the traits I displayed in that time- in my passion to become an actress- were entrepreneurial traits and ones that were very indicative of what was to come.

And so in some ways, it was clear as a teenager that I might become an entrepreneur.

However the story of TalentEgg, and how it actually came to be is an incremental one– it is a story of unknowingly identifying a problem that I was myself experiencing, stumbling upon a solution in a different market, and adapting that solution to fit the Canadian market.

It started like this:

In January of 2005, I was in my final year of my BA and was at the Queen’s Pub with some friends, discussing plans for graduation. The shocking part- and why this particular day still stands out- was that none of had plans that involved the work force. We were all either a) confused or b) going to grad school. And in the case of us that chose option b), it was in most cases a result of being a) (confused).

I personally ended up at the London School of Economics, and within a year had earned myself an MSc in Economic History, and was ready for the next step.

This time around, however, things were different. Armed with my Arts background and good interview skills, I was easily able to transition into the workforce in England. Not because I had a masters, but rather because there were very good services in place to help students make the transition from school to work. In particular, I used a web site called Milkround.com to find a fantastic entry level job in London.

I spent the next year working for an entrepreneurial consulting firm before making the decision to move back to Canada. I thought about my career options in Canada, and often thought of how awesome Milkround.com was and how we had nothing like that in Canada. After some thought, I decided that I was going to bring some of the efficiency of the British grad recruitment market- and in particular, sites like Milkround.com– back to Canada. I spent several months researching the industry, learning about how the Canadian market was different than the British recruitment market and adapting the TalentEgg services accordingly.

After the months of research, 45 versions of a business plan, countless cold calls to employers and career service professionals, PR outreach, and several web-related breakdowns, the first version of TalentEgg was launched in April, 2008.

….An iterative, incremental process indeed.

And this is how I became an entrepreneur. I had displayed the basic requirements for the job at a younger age- I had executed on an idea. And when I stumbled upon a good idea several years later, I executed again.

So what does this boil down to? How do you become an entrepreneur?

Simply (have the energy and conviction to) execute on a good idea.

Share
About the author

Lauren Friese is the founder of TalentEgg.ca. She graduated from Queen's University in 2005 with a degree in economics and had no idea how to make a successful transition into the workforce. She ended up at the LSE in London, England, and after earning an MSc in economic history, used Milkround.com – a British graduate recruitment website – to find a great entry-level role in consulting in London. She thought Milkround was fantastic, and that it was a service sorely lacking in Canada. And so the idea for TalentEgg was hatched!