How to be a #BadAss Entrepreneur?

sumu sathi

How to be a #BadAss Entrepreneur?

940 788 BluntTRUTH by Sumu Sathi

How to be a #BadAss Entrepreneur?


Have you wondered why some entrepreneurs just kill it and some are just so boring and no one knows about them?  Let me clarify what I mean by a #badass entrepreneur before I get into the details.


Definition of a #badass entrepreneur:

An entrepreneur who inspires others by doing kick ass things.  They are not afraid to push boundaries and empower others. Their entrepreneurship journey includes helping others and motivating the communities they live in.  Failure is a part of their vocabulary and they wait to stomp on it and use it as a stepping stone. They make money with purpose.  Their love for their business is what leads to the revenue.


Who came up with this definition?

I did.


Here are some qualities that you need to adapt to be a #badass entrepreneur:


  1. Get your life and business values aligned – if you suck at your personal life, then you will eventually suck in your business life.
  2. Make sure that your business is you! You cannot just build a company without knowing who you really are.  Do some soul searching and be confident of your personality.
  3. Think about the world! What problem in the world are you solving?  Be a useful individual that makes this world a better place.  You don’t have to be Mother Teresa, but you should make a positive impact.
  4. Be resilient – no matter how many times you get knocked down, get up! Go after your goals again.  Have a whiskey shot, put on some dance hall reggae and be Rocky Balboa!
  5. If people don’t believe in you, then show the middle finger to them and still do it! Who cares if you fail? It ain’t their dream. When you fail, just get into a fetal position, cry, throw a pity party and then move the f*ck on.
  6. Create a #badass tribe that will be there for you! Don’t worry if you have none right now because trust me those weirdos will find you.  My #badass entrepreneur tribe found me and now I can’t get rid of them 🙂
  7. Prepare yourself for a lonely journey.  Entrepreneurship is a lonely road and you have to suck it up.  The best way to cope with this is by turning into a crazy person and doing self-talks.  Those self-talks are going to keep your sanity on those bad days.
  8. Do not compare yourself to your competitors.  Be a spy and find out what they do well and what they suck at.  Then go out there and exceed the expectations of their customers and yours.
  9. From day one, think about how you can give back and help others.  A badass entrepreneur is one who cares about other people and not only about themselves.  Even if you are not financially secure to help people, try to give your time to lift others up.  You don’t need to wait until you make it to do that.
  10. Believe that you are a #badass.  Break glass ceilings, question useless traditions, empower young people, have a bigger purpose, believe in your dreams 200% and fall in love with your business!
  11. Get a #badass coach or mentor you resonate with to empower you! Yes! You need to invest in #badasses to learn the art of being a #badass.


Here are some #badass entrepreneurs that I had the pleasure of interviewing. 


Tracey Nguyen
Toronto based blogger/ influencer and founder of LipstickAndMuffiin.Com ( A Media Company that helps female entrepreneurs build their online empire)


What is your definition of a #badAss entrepreneur?

A badAss entrepreneur is someone who can make things happen and strive through it all. We all know that the only difference between the unsuccessful and the successful entrepreneurs out there is the excuses that they make for themselves. Life happens. Bad things happen. A badAss entrepreneur will say “Bring it on, life!” while others will quit.

Mention a time in your business when you made a #badass decision and why.

My BadAss decision was when I decided to start asking for how much I think I am worth. Being a creative entrepreneur is not as easy journey. Some people will understand and appreciate your creativity while some expects that for free or at a low cost. When I first started my digital marketing business and was quite new, I had a client who purchased my service. I worked on my strategy for her to re-vamp her brands and half way through it, she decided to change her business from beauty to sports. She then, demanded a refund and cancelled her service although the work was 80% completed.

I had to learn to stand up for myself and demanded her to understand the value of my work and that it wasn’t my responsibility to refund her on a decision that I was not aware of at the point of both parties entering into this contract.

To be honest, I have thought about refunding her to make her happy and as we always say “Customers are always right!” I was worried about the headaches I would have to deal with.

However, when I think about the years of experience and failures I had to go through to get to where I was, I decided to stand up for myself. Looking back, I felt pretty proud of the “young” me to stick to my values and my worth.

As entrepreneurs, the biggest asset we have is our belief in our value and our ability to succeed because if you don’t, who else will believe in you? If you are new to the entrepreneurial life and reading this, remember to never let anyone take advantage of you, your hard work and your talents. Don’t worry about one bad apple! If you are really who you say you are and you continue to work hard for your dreams and your goals, the right clients and the right customers will come around.

What are the pros and cons of living a #badass entrepreneur lifestyle?

The pros?

You can live authentically and can really live your passion as an entrepreneur. Thus, you will also gain a lot of authentic and long term relationships with other people/ clients/customers. People who understand you will love and support you more. The best part is, you will inspire many other people out there to live their dreams and stay true to what they believe in.

The cons?

Haters! Be prepared to have haters! You will have less friends and supporters but you will have higher quality of friends.

When you believe in yourself and start to succeed in things that others can’t, they will hate because they can’t do what you do.

Tell us about a time when you failed miserably and the steps you took to get back up

I can’t even recall a time when I failed miserably! I failed way too many times to even start. I used to hate failures. I used to feel ashamed about my own mistakes. Until one day I realized that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without all these experience. For someone who is going through a tough time, I can really share a few things that I always do to get myself back up:

First step is to realize that the fact that you failed to the ground only means that the only way for you to go is UP!

Second step is to reflect and learn from your mistakes! Each time you fail is a blessing in disguise. So re-evaluate, re-direct and re-strategize but don’t quit. Fail forward! Don’t fail backward!

Third step is to seek for the positive influence in your life. That friend, or mentor who will tell you to dust it off and try again. Don’t find comfort in the miserable people! They will want you to stay down there with them and you will never find the strength to get back up.

Last but not least, remind yourself of your WHY, remind yourself of the reason WHY you started at first place. If you have a strong WHY in your life, for me, it has always been my mom, you will be able to get back in no time. Because when I think of my mom and the life we will be able to share with each other in the near future,  I realize that I have no other option but to get back up and keep going.

Mention two people in your #badass support group and explain how they help you with your journey

They are my mentor Andrew Chee and my idol, my best friend aka MY MOM!

Andrew is an amazing example of a #badass entrepreneur. He has an incredible success and story of his own. His journey to success alone has always kept me in check and inspired me so much to improve myself everyday to become a better person and a better leader and business owner.

My mom and her entire life devoted to fighting for women’s rights in a country like Vietnam is an inspiration of its own. She has been through so much more in life, sacrificed so much for me and my brother. She is the reason why I am pursuing my passion for empowering women and have the strength to go through whatever that happens in my life.

My mom always said “It doesn’t happen what happens to you but what happens through you.” She is a totally a #BadAss!



business coaching

Muraly Srinarayanathas    – Chief Strategy Officer of COMPUTEK College / Director for Community Engagement at

What is your definition of a #badAss entrepreneur?

A person with a unique vision who defies the odds and makes their vision a reality. It’s your energy versus the other energy, either you are sold or you sell…a #badass has the audacity to know their vision to be true.

Mention a time in your business when you made a #badass decision and why.

I just launched an online program strategically partnering with Udemy where students can for a minimal subscription have access to over 2000 online courses from trainers around the world. I’ve been criticized for this decision because people can’t understand why I would offer programs virtually for free when I run a college. I believe in our product, I believe in our instructors and our programs because we deliver and our students succeed. You can go on Youtube today and “learn” about all the programs we offer for free. But, that doesn’t mean you have the knowledge and practical skills you need to succeed in your career. There is a space for online courses definitely but instructor led face to face education is not going anywhere.

What are the pros and cons of living a #badass entrepreneur lifestyle?


Everyone will doubt you and at times you will doubt yourself.


One of life’s greatest pleasures is doing what people say you cannot do.

Tell us about a time when you failed miserably and the steps you took to get back up

There are no failures only lessons to learn. I’m constantly learning….the bigger the lesson the stronger I become. I learned a big lesson during my time in Bangladesh. I made changes to our product pricing in order to leverage the volume lower prices would bring. However, lower prices meant the commission was reduced. The reduction in the commission led to our top sales people jumping to another company.

I didn’t fully understand the motivations of my team. Mistake. I didn’t communicate it effectively and continued to push the change. Mistake. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the all the sales people back. It was a tough blow to my ego and of course a huge loss to our bottom line. I made changes to the system again to adjust to the market demands…once I understood them better. I also introduced new products with even higher commissions than before which brought some of the old sales people back but also a new motivated group.

Mention two people in your #badass support group and explain how they help you with your journey

My Family – My Father practically showed me how to make my dreams come true by doing it himself. My Mother, pushes me constantly to do more and gave me the “who cares what anybody thinks” attitude….”just get it done”. My Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends…. all give me tremendous support. No one can touch me. No one can do what I do. Not because I am a special person but because when I make moves I have a powerful force which is my family behind me.

My Wife – There are not enough words in the world to explain how lucky I am to have Dasha as a partner in life. I can talk to her. She believes in me. She respects me as I respect her so when she tells me I’m doing something wrong I listen and if I tell her she is wrong she listens. Trust me, we don’t always agree but we talk about it and that’s important.

It is vital to have a support system. Not people who criticize you or people who just agree with you. You need a support system comprised of diverse people whom you respect and who respect you.



Chanile Vines   – Owner of Vines Play, a Toronto-based Marketing Firm specializing in the wine industry / Creator of iTAV, a dementia resource aggregator aimed at helping caregivers better navigate Dementia care.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

What is your definition of a #badass entrepreneur? 

My definition of a #BadAss entrepreneur is an individual who decides that against all odds to give all their dreams life. To build a business that will allow them to live a full life. A person who is in control of their emotions and who refuses to be a prisoner of their past decisions. Someone who breaks boundaries, open doors and leave those door open for others to walk through. Even more important a person who knows to give thanks. If you have the privilege to build a business then be a #badass and help others too!

Mention a time in your business when you made a #badass decision and why.

I honestly can’t think of a moment where I had to really level up and show off my bad’s probably coming soon. But I definitely flex my #badass muscle every single day; every sales call I make, every time I fulfill my contracts beyond my clients’ expectations, every time I feel i’m at a roadblock and I find ways to navigate it.  Every time I get a no and that doesn’t stop me.

What are the pros and cons of living a #badass entrepreneur lifestyle? 

The pros: ability to work the hardest you every will in your life (that’s a positive trust me!). To get to see exactly what you’re made; because we are more powerful than we think.  The people you will get to meet and access to opportunities you never dreamt of having. The ability to make the impact you want.

There are no cons. It’s not an easy road but I count the struggles amongst my blessings. I have an opportunity to build the life I want because of that it is very hard to give the negative any life.

Tell us about a time when you failed miserably and the steps you took to get back up

The first thing I did; I pulled up google and typed “what to do when managing a failing project” to see the steps other people took.  I was working on a research project and every step we took a new issue surfaced. Here are the steps I used to manage this difficult moment:

– First,  make sure your manager or clients are aware of the issues and how that will impact the final outcome.

-Keep communication open and stay away from blame game.

  • While keeping the entire goal in mind attack each issue and focus your effort on the next best step.
  • At the end, assess  the full project ask for feedback and use that to make the changes needed to avoid a similar situation.

Mention two people in your #badass support group and explain how they help you with your journey

Busola Akin Olawore – She is also a #badass entrepreneur, one of my best friends and my closest confidant. I can’t express fully how important it is to have at least one person you can be completely honest with. We share business struggles and help each other navigate tough times. We also keep each other accountable and celebrate our wins!

Myliek Teele – she is a virtual mentor but has had one of the biggest impact on my life. She built a very successful business called curlbox, from scratch. She mentors and teach so many women. She has a great podcast where she shares business tips and her journey. We tend to gravitate towards certain professions because we see people that look like us excelling  in these space. To see a young black woman crushing the business world means I can do it too; representation matters because it inspire us.



Lita Mae Button

Lita Mae Button (AKA BadAss Button)   – Professional Boxer – 45 Amateur Fights & Professional Boxing Record of 1-1 /  Fitness & Wellness Coach (FAB Female Entrepreneurs Award 2017) /Registered Nurse  

What is your definition of a #badass entrepreneur?             

My definition of a BadAss entrepreneur is someone who does not give a Flying F*ck about what other people think of them. They are out to make a positive impact in the world one way or another while moving towards the goals of their business.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Mention a time in your business when you made a #badass decision and why.

I invested time and money in trying to put together an northern cottage experience fitness retreat. What I did not realize at the time was that I needed to fully grow my business profits and growth in the city first before expanding my energy and time at a location that requires more traveling time and financial investment.

What are the pros and cons of living a #badass entrepreneur lifestyle?

The pros are, you are responsible for everything that happens, which means you have control of what goes on. You don’t have to deal with other people telling you to do things one way or another or exploiting your time for their own gains. The cons is that it can get lonely and your financial gains can be inconsistent and you really have to be resilient in your bounce back ability when things are not going the way you would like.

Tell us about a time when you failed miserably and the steps you took to get back up.

I don’t believe that failure is actually failure, but only the opportunity to learn from your mistakes so you try and not repeat them again. To be completely transparent, this last 8 months feels like a bit of a failure to me. Because my business growth has been slightly stagnant due to taking on two different businesses in the same industry of fitness. I have been doing a lot of the tasks myself and not delegating. I am currently working on asking for more help to have more energy and time to invest in growing the marketing needs of the businesses, so I can help more people with their health.

Mention two people in your #badass support group and explain how they help you with your journey.

Lois Horsby. She is a volunteer with the Rock Steady Boxing at Undisputed group and also a member of my On The Button Club. She has been an extremely a valuable emotional and physical support for me and understanding the value I give in helping peoples lives with boxing exercise. Mairianne Millar has been a role model, friend and life coach over the years of growth. No matter what happens I know that she is always there to help support me in pushing myself out of my comfort zone and to bounce business ideas off of.

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