Since his youngest years, Hugo has always been experimenting with all kinds of things and hacking things together. He was always looking for a better way to do things.
In 2006, at 12, he created his first website. At 14, he started a podcast. By 15, he had started his first business and had taught himself web development, web design, and server management.
For the last 15+ years, he worked as a digital performance strategist, marketing director in agencies and startups, growth hacker at a 600+ employee company, owned a personalization marketing agency, and is now a partner & advisor in a Canadian Linkedin marketing agency.
Over the years, despite his failures, solving problems by creating solutions and hunting products has always been a part of him.
Hugo wants to improve people’s life and business while disrupting traditional ways to create a ripple effect in the world.
From the start of Enrich³ in 2018, they consistently provided to heart-centered entrepreneurs custom solutions and backend systems that do the work for them, optimizing the efforts and the results of 6+ figures businesses, in the B2B industry.
As a result it increased their revenue by up to 260% in 6 months, in some cases, and reduced the number of hours the founders work IN the business.
“Hugo helped me go from 65 hours to 19 hours a week. I now have 46 extra hours each week to do the things I love.”
With an optimized business, entrepreneurs don’t have to be “ON” all the time and can now focus only on what they love, while continuing to scale without any worries.
Hugo believes that everything has a way to be done better. Either by using a specific tool, connecting different softwares together, automating it, or simply by optimizing it. Even if it seems impossible, Hugo always finds a solution, as finding better ways to solve challenging problems is right up his alley.
In a nutshell, he’s a happy mix between a CTO, a CMO, and a COO.
Knowing softwares for almost everything, saving his clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in subscription costs and trial and research, some clients call him the “Wikipedia of Tools”.
For more details, visit their website here.
Here we sit down with Hugo, to know a bit more about his journey as an entrepreneur.
Q. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Hugo: As cliché as it sounds, I didn’t choose to become an entrepreneur, the entrepreneurial life chose me. I could have continued to be a great employee, making almost 6 figures, but my desire to have my own “baby” was higher.
I first noticed that desire when I had my first console in 2004. While playing on Xbox Live, I discovered the concept of online communities and clans. As I saw them having their own website, I wanted to create a website for our clan. That’s how I started to learn by myself the necessary skills to be present online.
It then truly became evident when I first tasted entrepreneurship when I started my first business at 15 years old. I was in charge of keeping this “baby” alive as well as making it grow, while contributing to the community.
From then on, I knew that I wanted to have my own business.
Q. How did you get started?
Hugo: Working at Staples, at 15 years old, I got to know another employee, much older than me. One of his servers had broken down, and he suggested partnering up to start a game servers, VoIP communication servers, and web hosting company.
Sadly, this first business experience ended up with my partner trying to steal money. Thankfully, in the end, I didn’t lose any money as I got back my investments from our profits.
This experience taught me valuable lessons, and gave me the clarity of my desire to have my own business, my own “baby”, once again.
It was then the beginning of my true entrepreneurial journey. I started multiple other businesses and side-projects. Even if most of them weren’t a success, each of them served me with valuable lessons and guidance for the next one.
Q. What was your biggest startup challenge? What steps did you take to overcome it? What did you learn?
Hugo: When working with all sizes of businesses, from agencies and startups to big corporations and governments, I realized that most businesses follow trends or outdated strategies.
That’s was one of the reasons why most businesses don’t innovate and don’t work on optimization. I felt my skills and knowledge were only being used at 40%. I needed more, to unleash my full potential. That’s mostly what keeps me from going back to the employee route – the underutilization of my skills, the lack of opportunities to push myself and grow, the stagnation in innovations and improvements.
Now, being a business owner also has its own challenges. I’ve spent a lot of time developing my skills and knowledge, but never related to putting myself out there on the front stage, selling to customers why they should invest with us, or simply communicating our innovative approach in a way that is easy to understand when people have no reference for it. They were my nemesis. I had to learn to overcome them, and I am still working on it.
Through the process of overcoming these difficulties, I invested tens of thousands of dollars in learning these skills that I had never spent time on before.
At first, I saw sales as manipulative, and I didn’t want to participate in this. Quickly, I realized I needed to improve, at least, how I was communicating to others my services. Thankfully, I ended up learning the noble side of selling where it’s not about pushing a product but about guiding people to find the solution they truly need.
Then, I had difficulties putting myself out there to promote our business offers. I was seeing it as showing off, which had always been against my values. Once again, I realized it wasn’t about bragging, but about demonstrating proof of our capabilities to potential prospects by seeing results we had with clients, and trust we can deliver similar results.
Down the road, it was always about learning new skills, or shifting my mindset and perspective. In other words, as entrepreneurs, we have to keep learning, improving, and deconstructing ourselves to rebuild better and stronger.
Q. What is the Most Memorable Thing You’ve Done Since you Started your Business?
Hugo: In 2020, through my spiritual journey, I realized I was an equalist, and I wanted to help the least supported entrepreneurs – women, people of color, individuals with disabilities, etc.
To start, I offered to an acquaintance, a 6-figure agency owner, to help improve its business, to scale it more easily, as their growth was stagnating. They didn’t have the structure, the tools, or the knowledge to get to the next level.
Lucky us, we qualified for a new program the Canadian government had created for businesses to apply to get training and be refunded in full for the investment.
After a deep dive into the business, the entrepreneur’s life and its habits, we had all the necessary to start optimizing it all.
With a severe handicap due to spinal muscular atrophy, a rare neuromuscular disorder, which restricts its mobility to only four fingers of its right hand, as well as a respiratory disease, this agency owner was really grateful that “in one consultation, Hugo looked at my calendar and saw a ton of ways I could save time. He helped me go from 65 hours doing ‘in the business tasks’ to 19 hours a week doing what I wanted to do.”
Before working together, its days were packed with repetitive and non-impactful tasks such as managing campaigns and responding to messages. They couldn’t believe they used to spend 10 hours doing this when we reduced it to 3 hours. Now, virtual assistants take care of all of that.
Then, as all coaching sessions were the same for all clients, and as they were doing it on autopilot, we created an entire online training with recorded videos, homework, and a few coaching sessions. Having this course allowed them to now spend only 5 hours per week on coaching, in comparison to 25 hours before.
Finally, the business didn’t have any CRM and project management to keep track of prospects, clients and projects. The team was constantly messaging each other to ask for information on it. And, every contract and offer was different, which made it extremely hard to manage as no one had the same offer.
“We had zero tools. We didn’t know anything about tools. We pretty much were all over the place. We weren’t organized, and we didn’t have any sales structure.”
Once we restructured and optimized every aspect of the business, within 6 months, they doubled their revenue and tripled the number of full-time employees.
“One big part of working with Hugo is that now I really believe I can achieve my objectives.”
Q. What is one book you recommend, and why?
Hugo: One of the first books I got recommended when I started my business was “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.
The title might give the impression it’s about manipulating people, but it’s actually about being a better person in any situation.
As a logical and analytical person, it’s harder to connect on an emotional level with people. Small talk is not something I enjoy. This book helped me better understand the fundamentals of how to create better interactions with other people.
Q. What are your top 3 favourite online apps, tools, or resources and what do you love about them?
Hugo: Selecting only 3 tools is almost impossible, but I’ll give you 3 categories of tools I use on a daily basis.
Automation tools are really helpful to automate most mundane and repetitive tasks. It also allows you to connect different tools together to have a more streamlined business, and to centralize your data.
The Google Drive suite. Google Sheets is the one I use the most to build simple solutions, or quick prototypes. It can be transformed in so many ways and for so many use cases.
Productivity tools are my ally in improving my efficiency. I’m all about finding a better way to do something, including myself and my time. For example, Loom to communicate more efficiently, a Pomodoro timer to stay focused on tasks for longer, and Google Drive to stay organized in one place.
Q. In terms of legacy, what is the mark you’d like to leave on the world?
Hugo: I want to improve people’s life and business while disrupting traditional ways of doing.
In other words, I want to leave this world knowing I helped more people solve their problems. It doesn’t have to be a major problem. If I can make something at least 1% better, that’s an improvement, and that’s what I am aiming to do. Constantly tweak and optimize, creating a massive compounding effect in the end.
On top of that, I want to disrupt how the world functions. Too many suboptimal traditional ways of doing need to be pushed to innovate and improve. Sometimes it might mean breaking apart an entire system, other times, it might just mean to make small adjustments. What truly matters to me is to create a ripple effect in the world.
Q. In one sentence, what’s the best advice you’d give to someone just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?
Hugo: Find your inner genius that is naturally effortless and make you lose track of time. Don’t resist it, listen to your intuition and desires on how to utilize your natural talent to have a business offer you’re passionate about.