Authority Magazine
Published in

Authority Magazine

Bruce Fikowski of getting Assist: “Give to a cause in which you believe, or better yet, give your time. It is the most rewarding feeling on the planet!” with Marco Derhy.

Give selflessly and often! No man or woman is an island. We’re all part of the human race, and we’re all struggling to get by. Regardless of how miserable we might feel in our darkest moments, there is always someone worse off. Give to a cause in which you believe, or better yet, give your time. It is the most rewarding feeling on the planet!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Bruce Fikowski, CEO of Get Assist, Inc., Founded in Calgary, Canada. GetAssist is an online network that harnesses the consumer trend toward private and purposeful online social interactions. Bruce started his career bussing tables at a resort in the Rockies and eventually became Controller, with significant challenges, including beating cancer twice. He passionately supports small businesses, local philanthropy, and reclaiming the power of social media. He offers a unique perspective based upon a lifetime of personal and professional successes and failures.

Thank you so much for joining us, Bruce! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

GetAssist started with my attempt to hang a light in my dining room in 2015. After putting it off for the longest time, I searched for a service provider on the internet, but no companies would come out to do the job.

Even after hearing “no” so many times, I knew there were thousands of small businesses that would be happy to do the work. Small businesses needed a platform to connect with those that needed them. That’s where GetAssist comes in. I decided to create my own social network, and I decided to do it differently.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?

The more I give, the more I receive. We are creating markets that didn’t exist before. I find that entrepreneurs don’t wait for a demand to undertake a project. They fulfill a need that’s not being met. They fix things you may not even have known were broken. In many cases, they create demand.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you started? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Funniest mistake? Ha! Creating GetAssist has been the most sobering experience of my lifetime. All I can say is don’t underestimate what can go wrong, and don’t stress when it does. Work through it as though success is inevitable. Be relentless.

What makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We are the only platform that connects businesses and society on a single network. We’re purposeful social media.

Second, other networks profit from collecting and selling data, but we’re 100% dedicated to protecting user privacy—private means private at GetAssist. We don’t collect any personal information, we don’t share or sell any personal information to third parties, and we don’t run advertisements anywhere on the platform.

I grew up in a rural town, and I’ve seen how the world of business leaves small enterprises behind. I want to change that. In Calgary alone, 56,000 small businesses mostly rely upon referrals to get work. GetAssist stands up for them and gives them a voice. We reject the pay-to-play system and instead built a business model on grassroots affordable pricing.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them thrive and not “burn out”?

Take a holiday, a sabbatical, or whatever’s necessary to rest and shed all baggage before committing to an endeavor. There’s no turning back once the wheels are in motion, especially after you accept investment money. Your investors, your employees, and your family demand that you succeed. If you’re not prepared to sacrifice everything in pursuit of your dream, then you’re not cut out to become an entrepreneur.

On the other side of the coin, to the victors go the spoils. Celebrate like Lindsay Lohan when you finally achieve what you set out to do. Never, ever apologize to anyone for your success. There’s a massive reason why some people do better than others — it’s called commitment and the willingness to tolerate risk. They somehow know when to take their foot off first base and race to second at full speed without ever looking back.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a person to whom you are grateful for helping you to get where you are? Can you share a story about them?

None other than my gorgeous and charming wife, Kim. It requires a special person to put up with the hours, the travel, and fits and starts that come with building anything of value. Kim has stood by me with her unwavering support since day one. I would be nowhere without my co-pilot and best friend.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Giving back is an unequivocal part of supporting small businesses. GetAssist donates three percent of its revenue to local causes. We also host charity events such as our “Fill-the-U-Haul” for new immigrants in Winnipeg and partner with Calgary's #BetheChangeYYC homeless advocacy organization.

I give back both in and out of my business whenever I can. A few years back, there was even a sales gal who had her car break down on her way to work. I needed her work, and she needed a car, so I bought her a new one.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote?” Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

Teddy Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena.”

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

It’s so easy to criticize the efforts of others until you walk a mile in their shoes. For every great accomplishment in my career, I suffered many more devastating setbacks. All the while, we’re operating in a fishbowl watched closely by investors, employees, and the public. The pressure to win the day in and day out can almost become unbearable at times, but we plow through the hardships and generally come out on top.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company,” and why? Would you please share a story or example for each?

  1. You can’t do anything without a plan. A poorly planned project takes four times as long to complete. Do the hard work of sketching out a path to victory, or it might not ever happen.
  2. You can work less and probably earn more through another employer than by starting your own business. Entrepreneurs are willing to accept risks for their business and all of the heartburn that goes with them .
  3. Don’t be afraid to be the least experienced person in the room. That’s how you learn.
  4. Get a notebook on day one. Write everything down, even the bad ideas. There could be a book in there one day.
  5. Overcapitalize. Figure how much money you’ll need to stay in business for the next three years and then quadruple it. Only then do you stand a chance of coming out on top Running out of capital too early is the top reason businesses fail? At some point, investors will stop pumping money into a distressed company.

Finally, you are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most good to the most people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Give selflessly and often! No man or woman is an island. We’re all part of the human race, and we’re all struggling to get by. Regardless of how miserable we might feel in our darkest moments, there is always someone worse off. Give to a cause in which you believe, or better yet, give your time. It is the most rewarding feeling on the planet!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can find us @GetAssistApp on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Of course, check out our GetAssist Social Community on GetAssist.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Marco Derhy-Inspiring Stories....

Marco Derhy-Inspiring Stories....

834 Followers

Entrepreneur | Author | 20 years in publication | Interviews Content Creator with Media Impact | Writer|Film producer|Founder@ Derhy Enterprises. “God is First”