The Big Questions – Nik Wever, GAIN Media
Guelph & Area Independent & New Media (GAIN Media) is an event & festival booking, promotion and band management company that focuses on the arts, music, those that create them and the movements that matter.
Q: When was the moment you first knew you were meant to be an entrepreneur?
When starting GAIN Media (then called GAIN Music) in 2011 I never felt as though I was an entrepreneur, but rather that I was helping fill a void in the local music scene by providing shows and spaces to host events for local bands and musicians. I always felt my title or role was more of a facilitator than anything else.
Over the years though, I’ve come to realize that as an entrepreneur a big part of what you do is facilitating and without this aspect projects and goals won’t be reached.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you have faced starting your business?
The biggest challenge has always been getting others to believe in the bigger picture. For me that means being able to see beyond obstacles like money and understanding that investing in our community and its artists and musicians is pivotal in keeping the local arts and music scenes thriving.
It’s why we’ve always offered pay what you can (pwyc) options on our shows and do what we can to keep all our events affordable to the average show goer. This, along with other initiatives, have helped us continue to attract a wider and more diverse audience to shows we host while also bringing new patrons through local businesses doors where the events and shows are hosted.
Q: What is the most important piece of advice you would give to others who are starting their own
The biggest wins have always come from our continued involvement in local and community events and getting to work with local organizations like JamSchool, Kaleidoscope Music, KronikNoise & Onyx over the years.
Getting to work with larger organizations like Visit Guelph, the Guelph Arts Council & the Downtown Guelph BIA has also been a highlight.
And of course being invited to be a part of local events and festivals such as Hillside, HOPE in the Street, Kazoo!Fest, Guelph Jazz Festival & RiverFest Elora are all huge wins in my books too!
Q: What is the most important piece of advice you would give to others who are starting their own business?
Be kind, even in business, and be humble. You never know where you’re going to encounter someone again down the road. Every industry is smaller than you’d think!
Sticking to goals and objectives is important, but sometimes things change, and you have to learn how to be adaptable, flexible and patient. Especially with expectations.
Q: What was the biggest key to your success? How do you measure success?
I’ve always been one who follows through on what I say, and I feel that’s been my biggest key to success. Following through and getting the job done. There might have been hiccups along the way, but I always treated those as learning points as opposed to failures.
Q: If you could go back in time, is there anything you would change about your entrepreneurial
It’s hard to say that there’s anything I would change because everything is a learning experience, even when they seem like failures. I think the biggest thing would be to remind myself of that because it’s easy to get down on yourself even when you’ve made progress.