Editor’s note: We don’t usually post personal essays on MI’s website, but we couldn’t pass on this one. Whether you’re a hockey fan or an entrepreneur looking for a fresh business perspective, we hope you’ll agree.
Last Wednesday, I was meeting an old friend for lunch in downtown Toronto. We’re both from Edmonton; we were classmates at the International Space University in Strasbourg, France. And we’re hockey fans. So I said, “Let’s have lunch at Wayne Gretzky’s.”
We didn’t expect to meet Wayne himself, but that’s what happened. One minute I was eating fish tacos. The next minute, my friend’s pointing with his fork: “Dude, Wayne Gretzky’s right behind you.”
I was in Grade 2 when Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup in 1987. One of my classmates was the daughter of Andy Moog, the team goalie. He brought the cup into class after the Oilers won so we could all touch it. I grew up playing street hockey in Edmonton and idolizing Wayne. We all did.
So you’ll understand that we had to stop him and say hi. We just had to.
And then we were stunned when he put his glass down on our table and spent 20 minutes talking to us about his various business activities.
My hands were shaking as we left the restaurant an hour later. But here’s five things I managed to take away from this surreal and wonderful experience.