What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Everyone can pinpoint a moment when they’ve stumbled upon words of wisdom that altered their life path. Like a key opening a lock, it’s as if something just clicks, and all of a sudden, everything makes sense.
Rob Saik, founder and CEO of Agri-Trend Inc. and a participant in the Strategic Coach® 10x Program™, fondly remembers the words that were a game-changer for him: “Build your own brand.”
These words came from Jack Donald, former president and CEO of Parkland Fuel Corporation. Today, the corporation is Canada’s largest independent marketer of fuels.
Rob, forty-one at the time, remembers sitting next to the business mogul in awe. He had come to a crossroads in his career, and the wisdom Donald shared gave him the courage he needed to take the next step. “I wasn’t sure if I should take the harder route and go out on my own,” he says, “or merge with another company.”
Their conversation about establishing a personal brand, even with the temptation of falling under a larger corporation, had a profound impact on Rob. He realized the importance of constructing a brand that would maintain the integrity of his vision: “I built a brand, and a culture, and I’ll always defend it.”
Agri-Trend Inc. was built and grown with a concentrated effort on extending Rob’s personal vision of the perfect brand.
It was about much more than a logo to him.
He asked himself, “How do our clients feel? What tone does our company set with them? What is the culture around the brand? Is our team proud of what we’re doing?”
“Regardless of who we’re collaborating with, we wanted our own message to stand out,” he says. “We’re about fun, professionalism, pride, and, all in all, being a cutting-edge firm.”
Aside from being an inspiring entrepreneur, Rob exemplifies the importance of being true to yourself—and your passion. His highly successful business revolves around who he is as a person, and he’s created immense value extending far beyond his company to the broader community by being a champion for agriculture.
Following the release of his Amazon bestselling book, The Agriculture Manifesto: Ten Key Drivers That Will Shape Agriculture in the Next Decade, Rob is about to embark on another important project as executive producer of a documentary film called KNOW GMO.
“GMO technology is one of the most important tools agriculture has available in meeting the Earth’s future demand for food,” says Rob. “Most people know very little about it, and if you google ‘GMO,’ everything you read is negative. We need to provide people with a different perspective on this technology.”
Rob’s decision to trust his gut and listen to the advice from his mentor allowed him to grow Agri-Trend Inc. to meet his personal values—a good indication that success aligns with who are we internally. It’s a lesson in life and business.