In this article, we look at the world of grants today:
- Major grant announcements
- Lessons from my mom and how it led me to grants
- Lessons I’m learning that can help you win grants
I missed most big “waves” in my time.
In the “.com” era, I was in university. That blew up.
I didn’t buy a house in Alberta in 2003 and sell it in 2006 – remember those years?
I didn’t invest early in Facebook or Bitcoin.
I missed investing in 2008 because I quit my job to study politics in the Ph.D program at the University of British Columbia.
Right or wrong, I’ve always followed my heart over my “brain.”
I’ve been curious about how governments work and societies function, which eventually led me to understanding government grants.
In 2012 I started my own “business.” It wasn’t much of business, it was more “I started a job for myself.”
I worked long and hard doing all types of things: press releases, fact sheets, research, writing, awards, and – you guessed it – grants.
When I started writing grants back then, it came as natural to me as a double chocolate donut is to coffee or tea.
I had graduated first-class honours in political science, received an Ontario Graduate Scholarship to study my master’s degree in politics, and worked at the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for nearly four years.
Grants were easy, and no one really seemed to understand them.
From 2012 to 2015 I struggled with my little “company.” I was exhausted.
Long days, evenings, and weekends. I just wanted to survive, and maybe impress my mom or at least make enough money someday to really help her.
I knew that I was on to something about grants.
I prayed and asked God to help me to take a leap of faith and go “all in.”
All of a sudden, I came across Deborah Cox at Microbusiness Training Centre.
This company provides Self-Employment Training.
I called Deb. “What do you do?” I asked. “We teach people how to be entrepreneurs and grow successful companies.”
“Can we meet today,” I asked?
“Sure, come by this afternoon.”
I maxed my line of credit and went ALL IN.
I met Deb every Friday for nearly two years. I would never have been able to get my business off the ground without her and Microbusiness.
GRANT TIP: Did you know today that same program is completely government funded? Learn more here: http://microbusiness.ca/.
In November of 2015 I incorporated Alberta Business Grants Ltd.
Things started to get more focused. I wouldn’t say easier, but I had focus. I would only write grants from now on.
Lots of grants existed, but something big happened in 2016.
The Paris Accord.
Canada committed to reducing GHG Emissions.
What does that have to do with grants?
Grants reduce risk and create incentives for entrepreneurs to invest in green technologies.
You can win grants from basically start up to commercialization and beyond.
Grants can be as little as $4,000 to more than $10 million.
Money seems to be just pouring out of government right now.
I want to give you some grant advice.
GRANT TIP: Only focus on one grant at a time. While I can find you 50 grants for any business in agriculture, environment, or technology, you should focus on one grant at a time.
Grants range from employee, exports, to product development.
If you start doing multiple grants, watch out. Just think how busy you are now. Imagine two large grant applications happening at the same time in your small organization. Not fun.
MEETING THE GRANT AGENCY
Grant agencies are helpful, but you need to know what you are doing. You can’t “wing it.”
Grant Tip. READ THIS NEXT SENTENCE SLOWLY: GRANT AGENCY STAFF ARE OVERWHELMED AND OVERLOADED, SO YOU NEED TO MAKE THEIR LIFE EASY. Our 15-Steps to winning your grant agency meeting is the best product on the planet for this meeting. You can learn more about this process here: https://albertabusinessgrants.ca/blog/2018/3/24/three-steps-to-winning-in-the-grant-tank?rq=three%20steps
IS THIS THE WAVE TO FINALLY CATCH?
I don’t know. But I do know there is no better time than now to become a green entrepreneur.
If you are an entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur reading this blog, I would encourage you to read The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. We are reading it as part of my ISI mastermind.
Aside: if you’re a man looking for excellent mentorship, accountability, and a life of success and significance, I strongly urge you to join the ISI mastermind: www.viewfromthetop.com
I’m writing this blog on a flight to Nashville. Although our mastermind meets weekly by Zoom, we have two meet ups a year in the USA.
Reading these books and getting the right mentorship is critical to be in a place to catch any wave. None of it would happen if I didn’t follow my heart early on. But as I’m learning, life happens along this journey.
By getting my business and personal life more “right,” I was able to get engaged over the Easter Weekend to my best friend and sweetheart.
As for my mom, she didn’t live long enough to see how everything played out. She passed away a year ago. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. She was a huge advocate of following your heart, not brain.
If you get anything out of this blog, I hope you get yourself right, follow your dream to make the world a better place, and start that business or take that big leap you have been dreaming about.
I’ll leave you this week with the note I wrote late one night before I flew back to Alberta from my mom’s place in New Brunswick. She would pass from liver cancer a few months later. We only get one shot at this life, and I hope you make the most of it in a good way.