August 26, 2020
Meet Patrick – Operation Entrepreneur boot camp graduate
Patrick Lamothe began looking for a way to link his passion for climbing to a business venture. While leading a course, he got an idea about how to build an indoor climbing facility that would better replicate the outdoors. Patrick sent the word out about his idea to like-minded enthusiasts – and the response was overwhelmingly positive. With Patrick still serving full-time, a partnership structure seemed the best way to share responsibility for the business.
Eleven collaborators developed a partnership contract and opened Altitude Gym, a climbing facility in Gatineau, in 2010. But Patrick wasn’t ready to coast on his success. After five years in business and his transition looming, Patrick applied to boot camp and attended the 2015 session in Halifax.
Though his business had been successful to date, he attributed it to good timing, relentless work and a little bit of luck. As Patrick says, “a business is made up of multiple areas that need to work together. It is critical to understand a business’ essence and scope in order to run it properly.” Patrick believes boot camp was valuable for those who can apply the learning to real-world business issues.
“Go into it with your eyes open and be willing to listen and learn from the experts.”
He focused on the company’s value proposition, its overall vision. “They were small details, but they are the foundation of the business, what everything else is resting on. Climbing the ladder of success by planning.”
At boot camp, Patrick learned that in your own business, it’s best to focus on what you’re good at and what you enjoy – and hire for the rest. To be successful, you should try to work with people who have different perspectives, different strengths than your own. Patrick would encourage anyone with a business idea to go for it and believes budding entrepreneurs need to realize that it’s not simple, it’s a lot of work. Lots of people have great ideas, but don’t have the confidence or time to implement them.
With his involvement in Altitude, including the opening of a second 35,000 square foot facility in Kanata in 2017 while serving in the military at the same time, it’s not surprising that Patrick says that the toughest part is maintaining work/life balance. “A venture like this takes all your energy because it’s your passion. I’ve lost balance many times, but you have to make time for family and friends.”
Patrick was released in April 2018 and is now busy with running Altitude Gym’s two locations, working on various real estate projects and continuing his business education. Check out Patrick’s climbing gym at altitudegym.ca.
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