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Pharmpreneur of the week Mark Mantel: "Being an entrepreneur is an adventure."

The entrepreneurial journey is an ever-evolving adventure that presents new challenges and opportunities. I am driven by the constant quest to push boundaries, create meaningful solutions, and drive positive change within my family, colleagues, and industry.
Mark mantel



Chief Executive Officer, Juno Pharmaceuticals Canada and Omega Laboratories.

What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?  

The driving force behind my decision to become an entrepreneur was a deep-rooted passion for creating a meaningful impact in healthcare and driving innovation. I am a hustler by trade. I have always possessed an innate desire to challenge the status quo and take calculated risks, which are essential qualities for an entrepreneur. The pharmaceutical industry captivated me due to its potential to make real change in the health of others and improve the well-being of individuals worldwide. By combining entrepreneurial spirit with the vast opportunities in the pharmaceutical sector, I have been able to channel my passion into developing solutions and making a difference in people's lives. 

How do you define success? 

For me, success is not solely measured by financial gains or material possessions, but creating solutions that address critical needs, improve the lives of individuals, and leave a legacy of positive change. Creating an uplifting future for those around me and having the ability to “enjoy the moment” is key.   

It involves fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment, nurturing talented individuals, and building a sustainable business that can adapt to evolving industry landscapes. True success, in my view, lies in making a meaningful difference while finding personal satisfaction in the journey of entrepreneurship and positively impacting the lives of those around me.  

As a successful entrepreneur, what continues to drive you? 

The entrepreneurial journey is an ever-evolving adventure that presents new challenges and opportunities. I am driven by the constant quest to push boundaries, create meaningful solutions, and drive positive change within my family, colleagues, and industry. Witnessing the transformative change of our endeavours fuels my motivation to continue pushing forward. Moreover, the fulfillment I derive from building and empowering a talented team, and the satisfaction of seeing our collective efforts make a tangible difference, serve as powerful driving forces that keep me committed to the entrepreneurial path. 

What are the biggest challenges to being an entrepreneur? 

Being an entrepreneur is an adventure, but it is not without its challenges. The path is often strewn with obstacles and uncertainties. It requires a delicate balance between risk-taking and calculated decision-making, as well as the ability to assemble and inspire a team of highly motivated individuals to drive positive change. Entrepreneurs are constantly learning, facing financial constraints, and withstanding the pressures of failure. Additionally, the dynamic nature of the business landscape, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, demands constant adaptation to changing regulations, market trends, and technological advancements. The ability to stay ahead of the curve, retool, and pivot when necessary is crucial. 

What advice would you give to colleagues who want to become entrepreneurs? 

First and foremost, don't shy away from your distinctive qualities; let them guide you towards your objectives and go with your gut. Cultivate a diverse network of brilliant minds who are different from your own way of thinking and allow those minds to challenge you. 

Encourage open discussions, actively seek out diverse perspectives, and foster collaboration that bridges boundaries. It is through this process that you will ignite ideas and propel yourself toward ground-breaking ideas and novel solutions. 

In the face of challenges, remember that perseverance is key.

Entrepreneurship involves both triumphs and setbacks. Embrace failure as a valuable teacher, win or learn. Let perseverance be your guide on your journey to meeting your personal and professional goals.  

Stay hungry, stay humble, and treat others with kindness. Regardless of the heights you achieve, never let success dull your appetite for growth. Maintain the hunger to grow and improve.  

Lastly, spread enthusiasm and positivity wherever you go. Let your contagious attitude light up every room you enter. Inspire your team, clients, and partners with your unwavering belief in achieving your objectives, goals, and ultimately dreams. Enthusiasm acts as a catalyst, propelling your dreams into reality and infusing others with the energy and passion needed to accompany you on your journey. 

What books/resources do you recommend for every entrepreneur to check-out? 

"Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World" by Adam Grant: An exploration of unconventional thinking and the power of embracing your authentic self in the world of business.

"Shoe Dog" by Phil Knight: A memoir that chronicles the thrilling tale of Nike's founder, offering invaluable insights into perseverance, determination, and the spirit of entrepreneurship. 

How do you manage work/life balance? 

I define success as “work-life integration.” I know it is cliche but when someone finds the opportunity to work a role they love, then it isn’t work at all. I embrace my work with enthusiasm, but I also cherish the experiences that life offers. To achieve balance, I prioritize self-care and make time for my interests outside of work. Engaging in hobbies, connecting with loved ones, and pursuing adventures fuels my creativity. 

Remember, my dear colleagues, success flourishes when the mind and spirit are nourished! 

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