Dragon, Jim Treliving, the f r a n c h i s e baron behind Boston Pizza and Mr. Lube (and one of the stars of CBC-TV's hit show "Dragon's Den"), was always a firm believer in the power of the decision. There is one early decision that he made that forever changed his life.And it all had to do with choosing be-
999102112 111040113 111120912 Stuart Nulman Book Banter Harper Collins, $28. 95
tween Chinese food and pizza. It was a cold December night in 1966 and at the time, Treliving was working as an RCMP officer in Edmonton. After finishing a night shift, he was returning home with his friend Don Spence, an officer for the Edmonton police department, and they were about to stop for a late night bite to eat.Treliving wanted to eat at a local Chinese restaurant, but Spence convinced him to opt for Boston Pizza, a pizza restaurant that was about two blocks from his home, but he largely ignored. After sampling the food, Treliving was impressed by both the food and the service and became a regular customer of Boston Pizza. In fact, he not only took a moonlighting job as security guard for the restaurant, but he gradually started to
Book Review by Stuart Nulman
by Jim Treliving
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learn about the restaurant business through Gus Agioritis, one of Boston Pizza's original owners. By that time, Treliving was tired of the grind of being a police officer, and was looking for a new line of work and the challenges that went along with it.This is where he made another decision: to leave the security of a regular job with the RCMP and take the risk of being a restaurateur and open the very first Boston Pizza franchise (which was located in Pentincton, BC). From there, he managed to evolve Boston Pizza into a billion dollar business with over 400 stores in three countries, and as a result of that, became one of Canada's most successful entrepreneurs. ...And all because of what he calls the"smallest big decision I ever made" back in December of 1966, when he chose to eat some pizza in a local restaurant. In Treliving's newlypublished memoir - which is entitled,appropriately, "Decisions" - he explains how his road to success in business and in life all weighed upon the decisions he made, both good and bad. A native of the small town of Virden, Manitoba and the son of the town's barber,Treliving recounts his life where he was brought up with old-fashioned, small town values.As well, he writes about the rigourous training he endured at the RCMP academy in Regina, and how the importance of teamwork and working with good people played a major role in his early career in law enforcement and later as a successful businessman. But the main focus of this book is how the decisions he made - whether they be unpopular, risky or sensi- ble - were integral to seeing himself through difficult times when Boston Pizza was on the brink of failure, to his eventual mega success. For example, there was his decision not to reduce staff and operations when Boston Pizza was at Expo 86 in Vancouver, and endured the first few weeks when it went through a period of driving rain (which worked to his benefit after the weather cleared up); then there was his decision to establish - and later shut down - Boston Pizza franchises in China and Ontario when he realized they weren't working out the way he and his partners hoped they would; and finally, his surprise decision to turn down CBC's offer to be one of the original dragons when "Dragon's Den" was about to debut in 2006, which he later reversed thanks to the encouragement from his wife Sandi (for which he is probably eternally grateful for). "Decisions" is the fifth book by a member of "Dragon's Den" (along with Kevin O'Leary,Arlene Dickinson, Robert Herjavec and BrettWilson). What makes the book so enjoyable, is that it echoes the unassuming, homespun style that Treliving projects on the TV show. He writes with a great deal of honesty and insight (where he gives the proper credit and responsibility where it's due), and interlaces his life story with his business acumen without any complicated business school principles. As a result, we get a reader friendly, completely understandable look at how to succeed as an entrepreneur in Canada. As well,Treliving shows his charitable nature (his Boston Pizza Foundation donates funds to such charities as the JDRF and the Heart & Stroke Foundation); and all royalties from the sale of this book will also be donated to several charities of Treliving's choice. So whether you know how to make a decision or suffer from indecisiveness, Jim Treliving's book offers practical, inspirational advice to how you can be a success in business and in life just like Treliving, which he managed to do one decision at a time. Stuart Nulman's "Book Banter" segment is a twice-a-month feature on "The Stuph File Program" with Peter Anthony Holder, which now has almost 150,000 listeners per week. You can either listen or download it at peteranthonyholder.co m , or Stitcher.com or subscribe to it on iTunes. Plus you can find it at www.Cyber- S t a t i o n U S A . c o m , www.KDXradio.com , TrueTalk Radio,streaming on www.PCJMedia.com, and over the air at World FM 88.2fm in New Zealand, Media Corp in Singapore and WSTJ, St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Stuart can be reached at: bookbanter @hotmail.com .
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10 OCTOBER 20, 2012 *