Episode 128 - From Franchise to Finance Minister: Cathy Bennett's Entrepreneurial Journey

In this inspiring episode of "The Real Bottom Line," host Wendy Brookhouse is joined by serial entrepreneur Cathy Bennett, whose extensive career ranges from successfully running the largest female joint venture in Canada within the McDonald's franchise system to serving as the Finance Minister of Newfoundland. Cathy shares invaluable insights into the lessons learned from her time in the fast-food industry and how these experiences propelled her into a diverse array of business ventures, including construction, real estate, and even venture capital through Sandpiper Ventures, focusing on empowering female entrepreneurs. Throughout the conversation, Cathy emphasizes the critical importance of strategic exit planning, the power of mentorship, and the necessity of fostering a supportive team. Her journey not only highlights the multifaceted nature of entrepreneurship but also sheds light on the unique challenges and opportunities faced by women in the business world.

Key Takeaways from the Episode:

  • The Value of Franchise Experience: Cathy attributes much of her success to the foundational skills and disciplines learned from the McDonald's franchise system. "You get to refine your problem-solving and your strategic thinking very significantly with that type of intensity."
  • Diversification and Opportunity Seizure: From owning McDonald's franchises to launching a venture capital firm for women, Cathy's journey underscores the importance of seizing opportunities and diversification. "Where I saw an opportunity that financially made sense, and where our team had the capacity to expand, we expanded."
  • Strategic Exit Planning: Cathy advises entrepreneurs to start planning for the sale of their business from day one. "The day you buy a business, you should really be thinking about it... because at some point, that time is inevitable."
  • The Importance of Team Building: Highlighting the role of her team in her success, Cathy stresses the importance of hiring people who complement your skills and weaknesses. "Just because you see it quick doesn't mean you see it right."
  • Challenges for Female Entrepreneurs: Cathy discusses the bias in venture capital and the challenges women face in accessing capital. "Only 2 percent of venture capital money actually ends up with women... there is bias in decision making."
  • Mentorship and Empowerment: Cathy shares stories of mentorship and its impact, emphasizing the importance of empowering the next generation. "It was a similar path that I walked when I didn't have the capital, but ultimately a partnership was an opportunity for me."

Quotes from Cathy:
  • On making decisions: "It's really difficult not to make really quick decisions when every lunch hour... is a make-it or break-it type of experience."
  • On the importance of a supportive team: "If we became stagnant, then the opportunities for [the team] became stagnant."
  • On entrepreneurial mindset: "I got really aggressive on opportunity... it provided more opportunities for that team."
  • On diversity in venture capital: "We investing in companies that are trying to solve very, the biggest problems of the world today."

Join us for the Bottleneck to Breakthrough 5-Day Challenge, designed specifically for ambitious and growth-oriented business owners who are feeling overwhelmed and hitting revenue plateaus. In just 60 minutes a day, over the course of 5 days, we will provide you with the blueprint to go from bottleneck to breakthrough by reframing your relationship with time. This challenge will help you break through revenue plateaus, spend more time in your zone of genius, and build a more valuable business – even if you feel like you've tried everything and are time-starved. 

Join the Bottleneck to Breakthrough 5-Day Challenge. Here's what you'll learn each day:
Day 1: Design Your Ideal Day
  • Explore what your ideal day looks like as an entrepreneur and how to allocate your time based on entrepreneurial time rules
Day 2: Unlock Your Genius
  • Shed tasks outside your zone of genius and focus on activities that energize and fulfill you
Day 3: Master Letting Go
  • Analyze tasks and activities, determine their fit in your zone of genius, and understand the cost of holding onto them
Day 4: Leverage Your Time Blueprint
  • Build a step-by-step process to shed undesired or time-consuming activities, explore delegation in a new way, and escape business jail
Day 5: Build Momentum
  • Learn how to execute your ideal day by chunking down activities, overcoming forces of perfection, procrastination, fear, and ego, and amplifying growth drivers for your business.

Creators and Guests

Wendy Brookhouse
Wendy Brookhouse
The Financial Planner for ambitious growth oriented Entrepreneurs
Shaun Whynacht
Shaun Whynacht
I’m the founder of Blue Cow Marketing and father of an amazing little boy. helping other business owners overcome challenges is my passion.
Episode 128 - From Franchise to Finance Minister: Cathy Bennett's Entrepreneurial Journey
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