Matt Balfe | Crux Management Consulting
I have the wonderful opportunity to meet and photograph all kinds of amazing human beings.
While they are in studio, it is a privilege to learn about their businesses, or the work they do, their family, their interests, and hear a little bit about their story.
Matt Balfe has nearly 20 years of construction industry experience in various roles covering operations, sales, logistics, business development & strategy. Having worked in all levels of management across North America for both multi-nationals and SMEs, Matt's experiences bring a broad understanding of what causes companies to both struggle and succeed. Matt launched Crux Management Consulting, to share his passion for business by helping others with theirs.
What inspired you to develop your idea?
I don’t think that what I do is necessarily earth shattering or ground-breaking. There are lots of consultants out there that do lots of great work. What I started to focus on initially was small to mid size businesses in the construction industry that just didn’t have the bandwidth or personnel to accomplish projects that were important to them. This just came from talking to those in my network locally, and that seemed to be a common theme.
How have your priorities changed from when you first started?
My priorities in life have changed significantly over the past year. Our immediate family went through a significant health scare which has made us reprioritize our work-life balance and what that looks like moving forward. Careers are still important, but it is certainly viewed under a different lens now than it ever was before.
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?
I really don’t like looking back and playing “woulda, coulda, shoulda” – that being said, owning/operating your own business eats up a whole lot of time that I didn’t expect. So, maybe some sage advice on that would have been helpful!
What challenges did you have to overcome at the beginning of your journey?
A bit of hesitation and self doubt. There were times where I would question what the hell I was doing, trying to start my own business. It all just seemed crazy, since I had only every worked for large corporations my entire career.
How do you define success?
Right now, it is about being happy, having fun and helping people and/or their businesses. If I can achieve those things, everything else should fall into place.
What is keeping you up at night?
My kids. Municipal snowplows. The Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup drought.
Describe some of your key routines or habits that you have to keep you going?
- I schedule everything, as far in advance as possible. In a busy househould, staying on top of this is critical to work-life balance.
- Do something active, every day (walk the dog, spin class, rock climbing)
Do you, and/or, how do you find time to develop your creative process?
It’s important to carve out time in your schedule for this, so it doesn’t become an after thought. In 2023 I am trying to be significantly more engaged on social media. Lately, I have been doing a lot of note jotting when stories or thoughts pop into my head. I am trying to make some time daily to review these, toss out the garbage and craft some of the goodies.
What are some hard choices that you had to make to get where you are?
Throughout my professional life, before I started my own business, I did a lot of relocating and special project assignments to further myself and advance my career. For me, when those choices were made to change roles or leave a company, I was always most impacted by the people and relationships that were left behind.
What book and/or podcast are you enjoying right now?
I am currently reading Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss, and everyday I try to listen to The Bridge and The Daily.
What is one thing people would never guess about you?
I really enjoy baking. I think the pandemic amplified this because what the hell else was I supposed to do? I grew up with a mom that was (and still is) an incredible baker. Aside from eating it, I am most fascinated about the precision of baking. How the proportion of each ingredient is directly impacted by another; the sequence of steps; the timing. If you decide to wing it, it is probably going to flop. There is a bit of a business metaphor in it now that I see myself writing this.
What is one thing you wish people knew about you?
I am introvert in an extrovert’s clothing. I was very shy as a kid, and really had to work on finding my confidence and voice later in my teens and into my 20’s. It is still something I find I need to work on to this day.
Bonus question: What recommendation would you make to parents considering an “Elf on the Shelf”
Good grief. I could write a book on this topic. To any new parents considering this, please think about the next 10+ years of your life. For 24 consecutive days…every December…for many years, you are going to be responsible to ensure that this Elf is moved around to a different location in your home each night. And each night it must be doing something different, something funny or mischievous. Now, think about this and ask yourself – “Do I have the mental, physical and emotional fortitude to perform this task?”
Where can you find Matt:
Peter Istvan Photography
Peter is a professional headshot photographer. Available in studio, or on location. Serving Parry Sound, Muskoka, Sudbury, North Bay, Barrie, Toronto, and surrounding areas.