Winning Words: 542 Entertainment Inc. owner and president Billie Jo Aasen

BCBusiness will announce the 2017 30 Under 30 winners on April 13. In the meantime, here's what a 2016 winner had to say last year

Credit: Adam Blasberg

BCBusiness will announce the 2017 30 Under 30 winners on April 13. In the meantime, here’s what a 2016 winner had to say last year

To help us choose last year’s 30 Under 30, we sent each candidate a series of questions to see what made them tick. Here’s how Billie Jo Aasen, who founded 542 Entertainment Inc. in 2012, responded.

What motivational quote gets you going?
“Spend a few years living like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life how most people can’t.”

Beyond family and friends, who inspires you to succeed?
“There are too many to count, to be honest! I guess I’d really have to say I get inspired every time I hear a story of someone starting from nothing and building something everybody said they couldn’t. Or somebody doing something that seemed impossible at the time. Inspiration is everywhere.”

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“When I was 24, I built my first music festival in the U.S. I risked ALL of my money and a good portion of my sanity. I had a more than full-time job at the time, but I was a big believer that it’s now or never so I jumped, head first, into the festival. Saying I was stressed out was the understatement of the century. I flew out to see my dad about a month before the show; I was more afraid than I have ever been. I was afraid I was going to screw it all up, lose all my money and never be taken seriously. I asked my dad if he thought I should throw in the towel; he laughed and said, ‘Honey, life is like a measuring tape. You’ve used about a quarter of it, so what do you want to do with the rest? That’s all you need to ask yourself.’ To this day when I have a major decision, I always think about the measuring tape.”

What’s the worst advice you ever received?
“Don’t try to compete with the big boys, they’ll eat you alive.”

What’s your biggest fear?
“Sharks. I have a completely irrational fear of them.”

What’s your biggest regret?
“Not booking Florida Georgia Line (at a very low fee) when I had the chance to get in at the ground level. No one really knew who they were yet, and that was the year they blew up and started selling out arenas. I listened to my partners and decided to take the ‘safer’ bet. I’ve become much more of a risk taker since then.”

What’s your favourite TV show right now?
Madam Secretary. No matter how stressful my day is, that show proves that my problems aren’t the end of the world.”

Favourite magazine? 
“I don’t really read a lot of magazines, but if I do, I like to dive into a good Cosmo.” 

What song is on repeat on your device right now?
“I’m in the music business so it’s very hard to say what will be on repeat at any given moment. Today it’s a mix between ‘Confident’ by Demi Lovato and a few of the good ‘ol throwbacks from Alanis Morissette.

A little-known fact about me is…
“?I am a HUGE cook—I absolutely love it. There is something about the kitchen that calms me. I am also a closet tea granny.”

Meet the 2017 winners at the 30 Under 30 celebration.