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Pharmpreneur of the week Ricardo Ardiles: "I see entrepreneurship as a video game."

If I were to go back and do it all over again, I would have two years' worth of savings built up before quitting my job OR build up a side hustle to the point where it has replaced my income before quitting and working full-time in my business.
Ricardo ARdiles



Majored in accounting and finance, graduated 2010.

Bachelor of Mathematics and Bachelor of Business Administration, 2010

University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University


Co-Founder, Partner - Pharma Tax & Dental Tax

Senior Investment Advisor - IA Private Wealth & Rx Private Wealth

What excites you about being an entrepreneur?

Every day is different and brings a new challenge.

Starting out is incredibly difficult because you are faced with challenges that school doesn’t prepare you for. Marketing, sales, hiring, building processes, doing the work, managing clients, managing staff, getting results for clients, etc. – it’s exciting to put these pieces together but in the beginning when you are a one- or two-person show, you are wearing all these hats and it’s very difficult to manage it all. Even though I studied business at university, it doesn’t prepare you for this. Not even close. But I love it!

I see entrepreneurship as a video game, and I loved playing video games when I was a kid, with your business reaching new levels as you grow. Until you sell the business, there are always new levels you can take your business to and I think that’s also why I love entrepreneurship so much – I want to get to level 10 right away but you mature along the way and learn that you must go through levels 1, 2,….9 first. At every new level of your business, you make mistakes, and it’s very important to learn from them. Entrepreneurship has really helped me grow as a person, as a professional, and for my family. I’m excited to see where we are in business over the next 5/10/20 years.

How has your entrepreneurial career evolved since your graduation?

After graduation, entrepreneurship was always in my mind, but I wanted to get practical experience first. After university, I was more drawn to the wealth management industry but then eventually I started working for a company that did it all: tax, accounting, and wealth management. It was great because it combined everything that I was trained to do in university – accounting & finance, and it was direct client facing. A lot of the lessons that I learned working there, we model in our practice today, so I am thankful for that experience and it’s where I met one of my business partners, Adam.

Our first year in business was horrible! We didn’t have a lot of money to start with, so we did everything ourselves and did not invest in professional advice because we wanted to keep costs low. By far this has been our biggest mistake in our entrepreneurial careers. In year two, we invested in ourselves by enrolling in coaching programs as well as other professionals to help us grow our business and it was a game changer. You don’t realize it in the beginning, but investing in the right professionals early on can really help you take your business through the first few levels A LOT faster than doing everything by yourself. It is one of those things that is easy to say with hindsight but, when you’re starting out, most entrepreneurs cannot afford it, so you’re forced to suffer and feel the pain until you finally say, enough is enough.

To this day, we continue to invest in business coaching and professionals to help us take our business to the next level. As your business grows, there are new challenges to deal with, like hiring for example. Anytime we face a new challenge that we don’t have experience in, we invest in a professional to guide us instead of trying to figure it all out by ourselves and do a terrible job at it. Adam still gives me trouble at times because he still likes keeping costs low, but he knows the return on investment is worth it! 

What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?

I love helping people. Saving money in taxes and how to multiply your money has always fascinated me. Even while I was in university, I was helping my family and friends manage their finances. Seeing the satisfaction of someone after helping them, for example, save a few thousand in taxes, and showing their gratitude towards you is priceless! I love the feeling and it drives me to get better every day so that I can help more and more people. 

Back when I was an employee, eventually I got to a point where I felt I was worth more than how I was being treated. I wanted more responsibilities, higher compensation, etc. and they weren’t prepared to give that to me so naturally the relationship broke down and I was let go. A few months later, the same happened to Adam and he called me asking if I wanted to go into business together. My days of being an employee were over and that’s when we officially entered entrepreneurship.

How do you define success?

I don’t think there is one right answer but if I must narrow it down in terms of entrepreneurship, it is: being obsessed in helping our staff and our clients reach their business & financial goals.

We want clients to achieve what they came to us for and surpass their expectations along the way with superior service. We are obsessed about getting the client results and providing an experience that they do not get at other firms. If we can consistently do this, word of mouth will drive referrals and lead to a more successful business. It’s tough, and at times we make mistakes, but it is what we strive for.


As we grow our business, we cannot forget about our team. We are focused on training & development, process improvement, and helping our staff reach their own goals. I believe that if we invest the time in our staff and treat them like family, that they will ultimately be our greatest advocates and, as a result, take great care of our clients.

That to me is success.

As a successful entrepreneur, what continues to drive you?

My family, our team, and our clients. The goal is to have them be financially free.

This is our first business, so there is still much that we need to learn and implement. Hiring and managing a team is very challenging and we are investing more and more resources into improving how we do things. From just Adam and me meeting with clients to having our team service clients so that we can scale is a huge challenge that we continue to work on today. Ultimately, everything we are doing is driven towards helping our team and our clients get the results that they want.

What are the biggest challenges to being an entrepreneur?

Wearing multiple hats in your business. In the beginning, you’re doing it all and things that I have never done before, like hiring people. No one teaches you these things, so either you try to figure it out on your own and fail, or you pay to learn it, or pay for someone else to do it. We have invested a lot of money into coaching programs and consultants to teach us what do in many of these areas or outsource it completely. Like Biggie Smalls said, more money, more problems. As your business grows, so do the growing pains of managing it.

How do you manage work/life balance?

It’s tough. Most of our clients close shop at around 7 p.m. and want to meet then, which is when my wife wants me to be done to help her with our kids. In the early stages of our business, I sacrificed a lot of family time and vacations to build up revenue. Now that we have grown to a team of nine, I can afford to block out my calendar more to spend time with my family. I don’t work weekends, except for April, which is our busiest month of the entire year.

Our busiest months are February to June, which is when the weather isn’t that great, so my wife doesn’t mind if I work more then. In exchange, in the summer we work less and that’s when I take time off to go to the beach with my family, golf, play soccer, and do everything else that I didn’t do during tax season.

I started going to the gym again a few days a week, which is something I regret not doing much of for the last few years because of Covid. Good health is our most valuable asset and without it, you cannot do anything. I am really prioritizing eating lean and working out this year because it makes a massive difference in my energy, confidence, and in all areas of my life really. 

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

10X Rule, Sell or Be Sold, by Grant Cardone.

Dotcom Secrets, Expert Secrets, and Traffic Secrets, by Russell Brunson

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

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

Start as early as you can because it becomes harder to sacrifice time and money to build your business when you have a family that depends on you financially. After being let go from the firm I worked at, I was thrown right into the deep end of entrepreneurship. We never bought another firm, or got any bank loans to start our business, so we literally started with $0 sales and $0 income. That was extremely tough, and I went through a lot of hardships with my wife during those times because she was still working and earning a paycheque but I was forcing us to sacrifice a lot, including vacations. She could have easily left me but I’m thankful she stuck by my side and is seeing the benefits today. 

If I were to go back and do it all over again, I would have two years' worth of savings built up before quitting my job OR build up a side hustle to the point where it has replaced my income before quitting and working full-time in my business.

LinkedIn: @SherifGuorgui

Instagram: @SherifGuorgui

Facebook: @Sherif Seif Guorgui

Twitter: @Sherif_Guorgui


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