We recently connected with Eric Amyot and have shared our conversation below.
Eric, appreciate you joining us today. Talk to us about building your team? What was it like? What were some of the key challenges and what was your process like?
Storytelling. It’s all about the story, when the story is true, transparent and inclusive.
Thrijv has been a very large idea from day one. My cofounder, Lea Sisson, and I realized from the moment of conceiving the idea of building a modern day village, a future city, from scratch that it would take a village to build our village. As soon as our vision and mission was identified, we immediately set out to find our own startup tribe. Our tribe was going to have to be stacked with courageous and visionary men and women.
Building a global team of accomplished visionaries sounds as interesting as it is. The people we needed in our team had to be very capable, undaunted by the idea of building autonomous, regenerative and nature-integrated communities, be confident enough to lead others, open-minded and humble enough to accept and test the ideas of the people they would build their own teams with, be aligned with our principles of equitism and planet and people regenerative developments, be unapologetically uncompromising in all of our values, and most importantly, be available to work with a fast-moving startup from day one.
We got lucky, if one would call it luck. One by one, we shared our story, opened our hearts and minds, offered inclusion and transparency, and created an environment of encouragement and empowerment. Best of all, we offered (and still do!) a place where people and their ideas of a better world can be nurtured and leaders of tomorrow are supported.
Eric, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
Thrijv is born of collaboration, partnerships and inclusivity. This story is not mine alone.
I am a futurist, a technologist, a generalist, an inventor and innovator, and a servant leader. My most recent startup was, and still is, in the business of building controlled environment agriculture (vertical farming) solutions around the world.
My cofounder, Lea, is a mindful, intentional and brilliant architect. She lives and builds sustainability, designs on the principles of biophilia, neuroscience and both human and planetary regeneration.
Our team are architects, product designers, software developers, artists, storytellers, builders, inventors, educators, community builders, and more.
Thrijv Designs Inc., our primary focus at this time, has and will continue to design scalable, modular, autonomous, regenerative (carbon positive) dwelling systems. Loop, our first home system, is a curvilinear (tear-drop) design with 10′ ceilings, panoramic windows, sustainable construction, and starts at affordable housing costs in a livable package. It also grows its own food for families, creates its own potable water, recycles waste water, purifies its air, creates and stores its own solar and wind energy, and can scale up or down with the changing needs of a family or business. Thrijv also sells all of the technology and sustainability solutions found in Loop as individual in-fill solutions for those who want to retrofit existing spaces.
Bright, Thrijv’s sister company, is planning to utilize Thrijv’s technologies and dwelling solutions to build the modern villages of tomorrow.
ThrijvWell, Thrijv’s second sister company, is developing a home connectivity and automation application, including wearables, built upon 4-pillars of wellness: self, home, community and planet. The principle is holistic wellness: human and planetary well-being are intertwined and symbiotic. Wellness of one is not possible without wellness of the other.
In order for Thrijv to succeed in our mission to build truly nurturing and regenerative ecosystems, we must be unapologetically uncompromising in our approach.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
I’ve failed more times than I’ve succeeded. The ratio is changing in my favor.
We are, generally speaking, far too afraid to fail. Being conditioned to win at all costs, be the best, dominate, celebrate success, admonish failure: all of these habits enforced by societal norms cause us too often to miss the big picture… There are no failures, only lessons to be learned.
My last startup was big. Annual growth of over 400%. Prestigious clients. Amazing talent. Rapid global expansions. Beating the odds and setting new benchmarks were the norm. After 5 years as the CEO and founder, my journey there ended. It’s a complicated story, and I bore the brunt of the guilt and blame for my departure. At some point we stopped seeing eye-to-eye. Our future was so very bright, but it was corporate. Even a $100M deal couldn’t stop what was coming. I pushed back. I tried to work around it, to no avail. Despite my best efforts, and the support of many talented men and women, they had to move on without me. My company now grows in my absence. In the end, I wanted nothing else to do with a tech startup, let alone start one of my own again.
I learned too much to leave it at that. I acquired knowledge, skills, intuition, and a vision of what the future should look like, for me and for others. For a brief moment I saw myself as a failure. Now I see why I was given the opportunity to learn. Perspective is everything. Always follow your intuition. Never stop failing.
Conversations about M&A are often focused on multibillion dollar transactions – but M&A can be an important part of a small or medium business owner’s journey. We’d love to hear about your experience with selling businesses.
Yes. Several times. Some bore financial fruit. Others provided freedom.
This lesson should be short, if the most important wisdom is to be provided. Watch for and accept change when it presents itself and it excites you.
Selling a business isn’t always about the money, though it most certainly is a perk. Selling a business provides an opportunity to move attention to the next best thing for you. It comes with a severance package of knowledge, network, support, skills, and most importantly, renewed purpose. If you always look at a business as an opportunity to learn, and making money as the bonus, the next one will always be more rewarding.