Pop Quiz, Monday with Brian Kirkwood

Start small & study yourself. Create processes that can be replicated. The most successful business does not rely on the being the smartest in the room.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Brian Kirkwood

Brian Kirkwood

What is your job role?
Adviser/Angel Investor

Tell us about your company?
I look to engage with young companies that have high growth potential. Then, get to know them, learn about challenges they face & try to find ways to help out.

What do you love most about your job?
I find it rewarding to help uncover insights that could add value. A side benefit is, I am always learning something new that I can add to my toolbox. Plus, you never know when an excellent opportunity presents itself.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I try to be an opportunity catcher. In my earlier career as a trader, you could not force making money. You had to be patient & prepared…..some call that the definition of luck.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I don’t have co-workers per se, but I try & align myself with other successful Investors/Mentors/Founders. Then you can share ideas, experiences & look for opportunities. Everyone has unique ways to look at things.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
When you love what you do, every day is fun.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
It seems Startups are always two steps away from disaster, trying to help them navigate the waters is one of the biggest challenges. Also, protecting my time so I can focus on top priorities.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
When learning to trade, you have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror objectively. It did not matter if I won or lost there are still lessons to learn; which I could then file in a mental toolbox.

The most success I experienced as a trader was when I created a rules-based method. I could then use them as a feedback system for when things worked & when they did not. My success or failure was not dependent on how smart I was, instead of how well the rules were followed.

I found that liberating.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Start small & study yourself. Create processes that can be replicated. The most successful business does not rely on the being the smartest in the room.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:


Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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