Mike Gata, CEO Fata & Associates
Mike Fata - Entrepreneur, Investor, Author and Mentor
What's your industry?
Food & Beverage
For people who don't know you, can you tell us how you ended up sitting where you are today?
After a 100Lb weight loss Mike got interested in health and founded Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods in 1998. Serving as Chairman of the Board and CEO until 2016, Mike helped guide the strategic sale of the company to Tilray for $419 million dollars in 2019. Since then, Mike has celebrated and supported other business ventures as an entrepreneur, investor, advisor and mentor.
Mike is an author, speaker, and has won numerous awards. Currently Chief Executive Officer of Fata & Associates, Mike is now host of Founder to Mentor podcast, Lifetime Member (Past Chairman) of the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), Lifetime Member (Past Chairman) of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO Manitoba) and investor/advisor to a portfolio of world class companies.
What does your daily routine look like?
Here’s what having my Best Day Ever looks like for me:
• Seven to eight hours of sleep
• Two to three hours of warming up, stretching, weight training and core exercises, and usually some cardio, ending with more yoga and stretching
• Thermal therapy like time in a sauna or a hot bath, usually with some breathing exercises and meditation, alternating with cold showers or cold dips in an icebath
• Work, both for my portfolio companies and for my own aims, for four to six hours a day
• Mentoring new entrepreneurs in the field of healthy foods and wellness
• Shopping and cooking for my family, and spending time together
What excites you most about what you do?
Continous improvement in everything I do.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you on your journey in business?
Actually enjoy the journey. It is must more rewarding than the destination.
What's been the hardest part about the path you've taken and how would you advise someone facing a similar situation to overcome it?
Overcoming imposter syndrome over and over during different growth stages of the business during my transition from entrepreneur to CEO. I overcame it by doing personal work on myself physical, mental and emotionally healing, mindfulness practice with meditation. So ultimately when the imposter syndrome feeling would come up I could acknowledge it as a feeling and then carry on without it affecting me.
Are there any well-known Books, Podcasts, or Courses that you credit your current success to?
Good to Great by Jim Collins: Teaches how companies that achieve sustained greatness have disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action.
Have you ever used a business or executive coach?
I have had consultants that have helped with business process, quality management systems, strategic planning, etc but have never personally had a business coach.
It seems like there are a lot of people offering business coaching these days. In your opinion, is that a good thing?
If the coaching is beneficial to the clients growth then it is a good thing.
People can sometimes confuse a coach with a mentor. Can you help us clarify the difference?
Similar and I am both, but coaching is generally a paid position, while mentorship is probono.
For any entrepreneurs or executives looking to work with a coach, where are the best places to find a great one?
Usually in the field as good coaches are in the same industry as you. Trade shows, conferences and industry events. Linkedin is also a valuable tool.
What 3 qualities would you say separate a great business coach from a bad one?
Relevant experience to the challenges you are facing. 'Been there done that" is better than theoretically speaking.
Being current on your business and industry. Dinosaur coaches that were successfully a decade ago don't always understand the current environment.
Great fit for you personally. You don't want a super aggressive coach if you are a laid back person, and probably vice versa.
Do you think someone can be a great business coach without having many years of experience?
Not ideally. Without experience coaches are usually drawing on business theory.
What do you think the world of business coaching will look like in 20 years' time?
AI will play a bigger role in coaching.