The idea of a ping pong social club may sound a little out of left field, but SPiN Toronto has already proven that the city is overtly curious over the concept...and its doors haven't even opened yet. Ryan Fisher, a 32-year-old ping pong advocate and aficionado, is set to launch SPiN Toronto within the next month under the SPiN Galactic umbrella, and with support from partners like Susan Sarandon, the thought that SPiN Toronto won't be an immediate success seems absurd. Find out more about this Young Entrepreneur and SPiN Toronto's operating partner in today's feature...
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
SPiN Toronto will be a place where people can socialize, and be a part of a community of like-minded individuals who come together around the game of table tennis.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
I’ve always loved ping pong, and I’ve always noticed how much fun people have when playing. It’s a passion of mine to bring the elements of sport, people, socializing, and hospitality together.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I find it really interesting meeting people and learning about what they do, who they are, what motivates them, how they see the world. It’s great what people my age are doing these days. We are creative, passionate, and have a yearning to take on challenges. I’m surprised how many really good, down to earth, genuine characters there are in our city. All of that and getting to play lots of ping pong!
The most challenging part is finding enough time to keep in touch with all of these people, and at the same time dealing with all the different aspects of starting a business. There is not enough time in the day!
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
I hope we have SPiN locations in six to eight cities across Canada; that we promote and grow the sport of ping pong and create a league where the top players from each SPiN city play against each other.
What does success look like to you?
My family being proud of me.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I’ll answer that when my career is over.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I’m learning all the time, so I can only speak from what I know up until this very second...
Have a clear vision, and be passionate about that vision. Surround yourselves with great people who each have an expertise and share your vision. Nothing is more powerful, gets more accomplished, and executes a plan better than a solid team of like-minded individuals. You can’t do everything yourself, so build and lead an army of good people. Be willing to learn from them!
Always realize that no matter how good or bad things seem at any moment in time, waves of emotion, luck, inspirations, struggles, success, challenges, etc. will always continue to roll in. If things are great, know that hard times could be around the corner, so be prepared. And as tough as things may be, better things are coming as long as you work hard to get them. Don’t get too high or too low, stay focused on the goals you have and always stay grounded and humble.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I’ve been lucky enough to have the influence of being around and working for the Firkin Group of Pubs who have been very active in donating to various charities over the last two decades. Their new charitable partner is CAMH, which I think is fantastic. Living in the Queen/King West area for the last several years, I really feel for people stricken with mental disease and substance abuse. We’re all human, and have issues we deal with every day. When people suffer from diseases that aren’t physical, or can’t be diagnosed or seen on an x-ray, we tend to not pay as much attention to them. Mental disease is a hugely difficult thing to live with. I hope to continue to support charities which deal with these issues, in the hopes of educating the average person and also so that we can all better understand what kind of struggles people with mental diseases have. I think we need to engage this issue and provide solid support for those inflicted with mental disease.
What is Notable to you?
Feeling passionate about whatever you do, and being genuine towards people.