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And the Winner is...

And the Winner is...

Last night, our team attended the Business Excellence Awards Gala hosted by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. We celebrated and recognized the outstanding entrepreneurs and businesses in Richmond. Alex, our CEO, was a finalist of the Young Entrepreneur Award and he was accompanied at the gala by Murphy and Joseph, our Sales Manager and our Marketing Manager, as well as his family. The night was gorgeous and enjoyed by all. Dinner at the River Rock Casino never fails, and throughout dinner, we listened to heartwarming, uplifting and motivational speeches, and applauded the finalists and congratulated all the deserving award winners. Then they made the announcement.

“The winner of the Young Entrepreneur Award is…BlackboxMyCar!”

“I would like to thank the Richmond Chamber of Commerce for recognizing me with the 2019 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. I am deeply honoured. This award would have never been possible without the dedication and support of my team at BlackboxMyCar who continue to pour their hearts and souls into their work every day. Our customers are the bedrock of our success, and they’re the ones who keep us going everyday. We would not be here today without them, so we would like to thank all of our customers for the invaluable advice and feedback that they have given us to help us grow over the last 7 years. On behalf of the team at BlackboxMyCar, thank you to the Richmond community.”

I sat down with Alex today for a quick chat about the gala and the award.

What fascinates me the most is not my exclusive post-award interview, or the shiny award that’s sitting on the table between Alex and I, but rather how well this under-30 carries himself. I joined BlackboxMyCar not too long ago and the role I played in this achievement is very minuscule, if any. But from the interview, it’s evident that to Alex, this award means so much more than hanging a plague on the wall, or making a home for the trophy on the office display case, and it means so much more than all the congratulatory messages, tweets and posts he has received since last night. To him, winning this award is a reassurance of his persistence, dedication, and hard work, but most of all, the team that he has built around him.

Kind of a Big Deal

Most startups fail within the first two years, so to survive seven years, let alone succeed, is definitely something to be very proud of; and all whilst still under the age of 30? Alex kept reassuring me that he was never a top student nor did he possess smart business-sense back then. Persistence and hard work are all you need, he said. I guess only those who have been there since day one will truly understand the determination, hard work, the sleepless days and nights and the perseverance that Alex had put into BlackboxMyCar.

If you know Alex, you would have heard stories about how started out as a hobby site while he was still in school. Fast-forward seven years, the hobby site has become the largest dash cam retailer in North America, a strong advocate for safe drivers and safer roads, with partnerships with a number of government departments, including the RCMP, CSIS, Justice Institute of BC, and the FBI, to name a few.

Don’t kid ourselves, all businesses have their ups and downs, and BlackboxMyCar is no exception. In fact, 2018 as a tough year for Alex and the company: challenges with Amazon Marketplace and Google, with a mix of senior staff turnovers. But like they say, when life hands you lemons, grab tequila and salt, and the party goes on! Fast-forward to today, here we are, everyone busy preparing for the upcoming Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Holiday season sales events, and of course the Company Holiday Party that's coming up in December.

Unity through Diversity

If you ask Alex what is his most favourite thing about BlackboxMyCar and what kept him going 7 years strong, his answer: the people. “Everyone is unique, whether employee or customer, and we need to understand that and respect that.” While I can’t speak for those who have left the company before I joined but looking at my colleagues around me, I can honestly say that we all enjoy coming to work every day. Take care of your employees and they will take care of your business - and that is so true.

If I was asked to describe BlackboxMyCar using just one word, I'm thinking about the word 'welcoming." I still remember the day I came into the office for my interview - it was a one of the least intimidating interviews I've ever had. Everyone in the company always seem happy, despite deadlines and crunch times. I still remember things got a little overwhelming for me during my first month and my manager sent me this: we are here to help each other out.

Yes, we are all different, but when we all come together and help each other out, we are a force to be reckoned with. After all, BlackboxMyCar is not just an online dash cam retailer anymore - we are a community of drivers who want safer roads for everyone.

Cherry on the Cake

To Alex, this award means so much more than a plague on the wall, or the trophy, or even the congratulations from friends, family and even the local media. In fact, Alex never thought he would win, not because he didn't want to, but because he never saw the award as an end-goal - it's more the cherry on the cake. "Entrepreneurship is a life-long learning process."

If there was one advice Alex has for other young entrepreneur, it is persistence - be persistent and one day, you'll be a winner, too!

Congratulations, Alex! You make us proud!

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