Q&A With Chukwunonso Merah, Founder of EZPZ

Chukwunonso Merah

After a long career in sales, a love for working with other people and Chukwunonso’s involvement in a few ventures, the concept for his own company call EZPZ was born. This company plans to tack two things; it will level the playing field for those who are really good at what they do but average at marketing themselves and it will take the risk and guessing out of home renovation projects for consumers. The company will be launched soon and will be based in Calgary, Alberta.

 

When you are older, what do you think children will ask you to tell stories about?

Sometimes I wonder if when I am older children will ask me what it was like to see a rainbow in the sky. I remember a time when we looked up and saw an abundance of stars in the sky.  Pollution and climate change are having a big effect during my life time and I often think about its implications for the next generation.

 

When did something start out badly for you but in the end, it was great?

Many years ago, when I got my first few customers and eager to close the deal I not only under quoted on price but also agreed to a fixed fee for what was generally hourly priced work in the industry.  I lost money on each of those deals and got some negative reactions from the competition so yeah it was bad start.  But with a little experience I was able to correct the pricing model with confidence and deep understanding of the importance of balancing the number of customers obtained and a fair price.

 

If your job gave you a surprise three-day paid break to rest and recuperate, what would you do with those three days?

I would try a new experience. There have been many times when I thought that certain activities would be too risky or uncomfortable, which I declined.  Others I kept away from based on the circle of friends I had.  Looking back, I think that each experience should be explored so I would spend the three days camping or perhaps I would try skiing.

 

What tips or tricks have you picked up from your job?

I learned the virtue of patience from my current role and from working with people in general. Working in the field of sales you see the value in always delivering on our promises.  A great tip is to under promise and over deliver to your customers.

 

What advice can you give to someone wanting to start a business?

My advice is to find a mentor.  Find someone who is successful in their chosen field and learn about how they became successful, what has his or her path looked like and what did it take to accomplish their success.  Also, I think equally important if not more is to also find someone who is in a different field for fresh view and new take. Often time we can suffer from group think and it can get old or tiring.

 

What problem are you currently contending with?

Work life balance is a challenge I think most of us contend with. Historically I have tried to give one thing a 110% of my focus and energy. Now I have learned to start looking at life like as gardener; I come in a water this a little today and that a little tomorrow and it’s an approach that works well.     

 

What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of?

I can watch the movie A Knight’s Tale with the late Heath Ledger over and over again. I first saw it when I was younger and the story of young man’s quest to change the circumstances of his life based on his birth from peasant to Knight and make his own position in life was admirable. He trains and proves his talent but is then arrested and spared in the end. It’s a fun medieval adventure to watch with a great message.

 

What artist or band do you recommend when someone asks about music?

I mention Masego and FKJ, both are great artists. I would also definitely recommend Fela Kuti who was a very brave Nigeran musician with a message in his music against corruption.  He was imprisoned for his music and his outspoken message, but his influence was far reaching, and Jay-Z produced a board way musical based on him work.

 

What food have you never eaten but would really like to try?

I actually enjoy a variety of different types of food, in particular South American food and say there is a certain food that I am longing to try. I have been lucky to try a lot of different kinds of food to date.

 

What are some of the best vacations you’ve had?

I loved a visit to the city of Montreal. It was during Jazz Fest and the city had an amazing vibe and night life. There is so much beautiful architecture to also see in the city. In the future I would like to visit South Asia; Vietnam and Thailand would be great vacation destinations for me.

 

What are you interested in that most people aren’t?

Going back to Nigeria and democratizing education for greater access to a lot of people is a deep interest of mine. Self directed learning has really opened my mind and helped me to move my life in the direction I wanted to and so many people around the world don’t have the same access to education and training that we do.  I saw a story of a young man in Nigeria who built a car out of spare parts and scraps; what if his resourcefulness and raw talent is met with an education just imagine what he would be able to do.

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