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Cameron Chell’s captivating message of overcoming adversity


BCBusiness + Power of Success

Power of Success: Tony Robbins and speakers at Vancouver Convention Centre July 27

Not everyone gets the burden—or the chance—to rebuild their life from scratch. Cameron Chell did. And his journey is an inspirational tale that might surprise you.

“I don’t know if I will ever have the same financial status that I had back when that’s all I ‘cared’ about,” he says. “It’s not the same kind of priority that it was, but in terms of having a great life and a family and not living on the streets anymore, I now have greater happiness than I ever thought was possible.”

Recovery often is first measured by the depths of despair. For Chell, who had amassed a fortune and business success at an early age, the low point came when he thought he would die on the streets of Vancouver. Plagued with addiction, hounded by street thugs, he just tried to survive every day.

“At the moment I got clean, I didn’t realize it,” he says from Venice, Calif., where he now lives with his family and from where he has co-founded several companies, including Slyce and UrtheCast, which was named the No. 1 fastest growing technology company in Canada for 2016 by Deloitte.

“For some reason in that moment, I knew I was absolutely going to be dead. There was no question about it. And frankly, I just started running.”

But it was not the lone-wolf determination, or the headstrong pursuit of the entrepreneurial idealist that set Chell’s course in motion. It was a collective: it was friends, family and former colleagues who could step up, help out, be creative and solve problems.

It is the same with business.

“At no time is it possible to do it on your own,” he says.”

Chell joins the top leadership speakers—including Tony Robbins—at the July 27 Power of Success event in Vancouver that features motivational subjects from inspiration and health, to strategizing and modelling for success.

“Being successful and making money—none of it is bad,” Chell says with a bit of a laugh. “But when you can do it and let your ego go and not be the centre of attention, then you’re not lonely, you’re not isolated, you’re not protectionist—all the things that money often does to people.”

It used to be the blueprint for entrepreneurs—that allure of the autocrat.

“I remember growing up in the ‘80s and being in awe of Donald Trump and The Art of the Deal,” he says. “At that time, it was the epitome of success. People and society don’t respond to that in a sustainable manner. It’s more about how to build a sustainable team that can create.”

It is a market adjustment—a way that business leaders are headed, driven as much by the fact that the world really is a smaller place, which means it is easier to collaborate.

“At the core of every human, there are two things we really have to have to create joy: Love, because we can’t live in isolation; and the ability to create,” he says.

“It’s not just you who’s going to do this,” Chell says. “It’s the people you put around you who are going to do this. And it can’t be done with a leader who’s expected to be infallible and perfect.”

Chell joins Robbins, Niurka Iam, Dr. Scott Wilson, Phil Town, Ryan Mitchell and Vivian Risi at the July 27 Power of Success event at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Created by BCBusiness in partnership with Power of Success