Episode #8 – Dwayne Stewart – Overcoming Adversity

“Everybody that tries hard and ultimately advances from their lessons, only really learn the good stuff in the deep, dark corners. And they’re not fun to go into, but sometimes you have to.” – Dwayne Stewart

The journey to becoming an everyday millionaire is one of hard work, managing risk, making tough decisions, and often simply catching some fortunate breaks. There are many paths to take but ultimately there are no straight lines to achieving the outcomes we seek.

Dwayne Stewart has seen both great success and with that, great challenge. Dwayne has worked through a level of adversity that would stop most people in their tracks. His lessons learned are insightful and real, and his experiences illustrate that indeed the path of achievement is far from a straight line.

Dwayne is the 3rd generation to have lived and worked on his family’s dairy farm in Abbotsford, BC. Dwayne attended the agriculture program at the University of the Fraser Valley where he focused on business and greenhouse management. He then spent the next 22 years in the construction and development industry.

After he left the construction industry, Dwayne’s passion for agriculture reignited and led him, his wife of 24 years, Diane, and their family to co-founding Valley Hops Ltd and BC Hop Company Ltd.

Today Dwayne’s business passion is focused on the resurgence of hop production in the Fraser Valley but more importantly he wants to play a role and make a difference in preserving Family Farms. BC Hop Company was nominated for a Business Excellence Award in Agriculture for 2016

Having left the construction and development industry to pursue his passion for agriculture, Dwayne co-founded Valley Hops Ltd. and the BC Hop Company Ltd. with his wife of 24 years, Diane. Now he discusses the journey he took to reach his current status and, as importantly, the challenges he’s faced and the many lessons he’s learned along the way. In this episode, discover how he recovered from some recent stumbles and how he works through a level of adversity that would stop most people in their tracks.

Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:

Show Notes

  • [01:15] The truth of the millionaire path.
  • [02:00] Dwayne Stewart: a little background to start.
  • [04:20] Patrick and Dwayne get rolling live at the poolside TEDM studio!
  • [05:10] What is Dwayne’s elevator pitch these days?
  • [06:55] A little bit of history – Dwayne, his family and the entrepreneurial spirit ignited.
  • [08:30] The root of Dwayne’s entrepreneurial mindset.
  • [09:30] An eye to the future with many detours and unexpected twists (and rolls).
  • [12:30] The unfolding of a $28 million construction company. Dwayne shares the peaks and valleys and how it took 100 things to go wrong in the closure of his business.
  • [15:35] Dwayne explains the difficulty of the industry’s structure and how it left him personally unfulfilled.
  • [18:45] Passion, purpose and calling: Dwayne’s realization of what serves him now, was missing in his construction business.
  • [22:00] Facing adversity and shining a light on how to be great in proactivity vs. reactivity.
  • [23:30] A dip into complacency vs. growth
  • [25:05] Life-changing personal adversity comes first for Dwayne in the form of a security threat.
  • [28:00] Dwayne’s wife Diane discovers she has a brain tumour. The difficult path they embark on.
  • [32:25] The recovery process brings new challenges and an opportunity for new, positive transitions.
  • [36:25] A broken business relationship delivers Dwayne #99 and #100 in the finality of his construction business.
  • [39:25] Dwayne chooses mindful responsibility vs. becoming a victim.
  • [40:50] The painful aftermath of the business folding.
  • [42:20] From the ashes comes a new opportunity for innovation and making a difference in an industry Dwayne cares about.
  • [43:25] Dwayne tells the story about his introduction to hops.
  • [45:10] Dwayne’s fight for his heritage spurs a new idea.
  • [47:55] Growing into the hops industry and the importance of building business with a generational structure.
  • [49:30] Dwayne’s passion for honouring the family farm and preserving its legacy.
  • [50:50] Creative solutions and cutting edge machinery.
  • [53:50] What partnering and challenges look like in this industry and the importance of good dirt.
  • [55:30] What conversations and experiences was Dwayne having to get through his dark times?
  • [57:05] Reaching out and the power of community.
  • [59:40] The birth of Hopfest!
  • [62:50] Media attention and humility: drinking your own Kool-Aid or making it strategic?
  • [64:00] Dwayne’s desire to give back and share his lessons for the greater good of others.
  • [65:10] Finding gratitude in differing perspectives and discovering his blind spots helps Dwayen align with what matters.
  • [66:20] How does Dwayne define success now?
  • [68:10] Dwayne and Patrick talk about their perspective on the reality of comparison.
  • [70:10] The support of family that Dwayne has had along the way.
  • [72:15] What advice would Dwayne give his 20 year old self?
  • [73:20] And what is the conversation he would have with his 65 year old self?
  • [74:00] What would Dwayne want his children to learn from his experiences and how is he guiding them?
  • [75:15] Business literacy: Dwayne and Patrick discuss the importance of understanding Profit & Loss statements and Balance Sheets
  • [77:40] Rapid Fire time! Efficient swear words and if not hops then what? Favourite tune, favourite movie.
  • [79:30] Dwayne’s well of gratitude.

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