An entrepreneur on the rise, Alex Kaz is the Director of general contracting business, DDSL Builders Ltd.
Q. How did you choose your career path?
Short answer: I didn’t.
There were circumstances in my life that affected my outlook and world view and at some point, I sat myself down to evaluate my skill set and determine the best way to apply that skill set in order to progress in a career. I think it’s very important for people – especially if they don’t know what they’re doing – to sit down and evaluate what they’re good at and how to apply their skills to make money and do something that they find fulfilling.
I found some amount of success and fulfillment running a general contracting business, DDSL Builders Ltd. Essentially, we talk to clients, and they tell us what they want to do – whether it’s a renovation project or a ground-up build, and my job is to find clients, talk to them about approximate costs for things, and source subcontractors to establish a proper workflow.
What we’re doing at DDSL Builders Ltd. can be scaled up quite a lot so I’m looking forward to the prospects for the future.
Q. Who helped you get to where you are today?
Looking back and thinking more broadly, I’d say my friends have had a major impact on my success and drive. It’s very important to me to keep positive people around. I appreciate people who live purposefully, rather than people who swim through life. That base creates a great support network, so whenever I feel like I’ve been stumbling, I have people around me I can talk to.
As far as business opportunities go – I’m thankful for my dad. He developed my work ethic and gave me a lot of my skill set. My work now has a lot to do with him.
More recently, in the past few months, it’s been like someone is casting spells on me in the best way – I’ve found incredible mentorship and guidance and opportunities seem to be flowing my way. It’s very important to have someone around who has more experience than you. It’s important to always keep learning from someone. If you feel like you’ve achieved enough, you’re not thinking big enough.
Q. If you could give your past self some advice, what would you say?
I’d say don’t wait for someone to come and tell you exactly how to do things. If you have a goal in mind or even if you don’t – just strive to be the best. There’s no point in being in the middle of the pack. It’s more fun when you’re trying your best and it doesn’t hurt as bad as you think it will to try your best and fail.
Q. What is the biggest lesson you learned from failure?
I come from a skill/trade background as well as classical music – in both of those fields, it’s important to know the limitations of your body and your mind is a part of your body as well. If you keep going and you burn out and make mistakes, stop. I developed a rule when I was working in the more physical parts of construction– the first time you hurt yourself because you’re tired, leave. You’re done for the day. With music it’s the same – there are countless studies that show you have to have enough sleep to perform from both a music learning and performance perspective. You can’t cram for a music exam or a performance. It’s not the best way to learn or do things. More often than not, it’s a lot more conducive to performance if you take a break.
There’s a toxic productivity concept that is prevalent in our generation. You always feel like you need to be doing and it’s important to take a breath and think about things. Learning physical and mental limitations and giving myself the space to pause and heal before continuing is so important in business and in life
Q. What is your number one business goal to accomplish this year?
Creating a team that can function autonomously on the ground, so I don’t have to be as hands-on with the day-to-day activities of my business. If you set up a team and an environment of self-starters, it’s one of the most important steps you can take. Creating an empowered team that can take on responsibilities and see the business grow – it’s all about developing and nurturing leaders.