Michael Luckhoo obtained his business degree from Western University before pursuing a career in aviation. He spent twelve years gaining valuable work experience in complex project management and cross-departmental collaboration. Confident in his knowledge and abilities, Michael ventured out on his own and founded Blueprint Health – a meal delivery service based out of Toronto, Canada. Motivated by his success, he also took interest in the cybersecurity and blockchain sector. As a forward-thinking individual, Michael saw an opportunity in digital assets and has worked alongside various organizations to promote consumer interaction with the technology. Michael’s current goal is to bring decentralization and emerging technology to countries that have yet to benefit from this new era.
What do you love most about the industry you are in?
I enjoy interacting with other people on a daily basis. Working with a group of like-minded individuals is motivating and makes me want to come to work each day. We don’t know where this venture will lead us but we are excited for the adventure.
What keeps you motivated?
That goes back to the “people first” principles that I have. It is important to always put others first and make them feel as though they are valued.
Outside of my current position at my company, I am a global advisor to a technology center out of Nigeria. There is a young man there named Japhet. He has not had much in his life, but he was awarded this center to revitalize it and to start a community and incubation center in his town. I get updates daily of him taking pictures and cleaning the place, building it out, and getting the community involved. It is just amazing to see. It is a very humbling story. The goal is for him to teach people in his community about the building blocks of building a business – pitching, putting up a website, and providing technology.
I think what keeps me motivated is that one day I’ll be able to help more people like him. Whether it’s from experience, whether it’s from financial freedom, I will be able to help and really guide people that don’t really have the privileges that we have. That is probably my biggest motivation. I almost feel like it is my duty to do that.
How do you motivate others?
I think we have a strong sense of inclusion at our company that motivates and empowers our employees. We always encourage individuals to take on bigger roles and to take ownership over certain projects. I am also very vocal about open communication. It is okay to fail, so long as you use it as a learning opportunity. An open door policy helps everyone feel as though they are an essential member of the team.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
I’ve had a lot of role models through the various stages of my life, but I would say my granddad has always been a really big role model to me. He was always helping others and positively contributing to the community. He was always a gentleman but also wise and patient. My mother was a great role model as well. She was one of the strongest people I knew. She and my grandfather both passed away when I was younger. Although they did not get to see me in my business career, they always taught me to think outside the box and to try new things, which is fundamental to what I do.
In a business sense, Frank Sinopli really helped open several doors for me. He was a friend that really understood me on a personal level, and he saw my flaws right away. He reminded me of the importance of putting your own oxygen mask on first before helping others. It wasn’t just a structure of creating business and having a business plan that he helped me with. He encouraged me to have the will and use creativity to find a way forward. You have all the greatest ideas, but that doesn’t really hold value until you can execute, and you have to find ways to work through it. There was something about him. He would light up the room and could convince anybody. I just admired him.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
I have tried my best to change the way I think about certain days of the week. For example, on Monday nights I encourage everyone in the company to go out and have some fun. I think that everybody gets worried about starting the week, and I think Monday should be your most fun day of the week, so I try to turn that around.
I always remind myself, regardless of the day of the week or if it is the weekend, come in excitement. Just having fun on Monday was something that helped me keep that balance. I would also encourage taking care of your body. Working out and staying fit really helps you to be more productive.
What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?
I always tell others to stay hungry and to stay humble. I always want more from people. I want them to be the best version of themselves and to keep me accountable to be the best version of myself. Having that ability to level people up and to be demanding, I think that is part of leading and being an example. I also think that it becomes contagious. People want to express better traits, to level up, and in a sense to be competitive with themselves.
In our company, we empower each other. We never throw anyone under the bus. It’s about supporting the team. If you have a responsibility that you need to get done, like own it, just really, truly own it. Those are the qualities I hope as an organization and I hope as a leader that I can express.
What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?
Keep asking questions and continue networking. It is tough to find the right entry point. I think I kind of fell into it by meeting people. The way I started was by networking, making connections, and going to conferences and just learning more. There is also a wide range of online communities as well.
Even once a month to this day, I still connect with my mentor to see if I am on the right track and to help myself to improve. When you are getting into a business or a newfound field such as this, try to connect with somebody without necessarily trying to find a job or work experience, but just to simply ask questions and pick their brain. The quality of being curious goes a long way.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to others?
Change is good. A lot of people in the world right now have experienced a lot of change and a lot of hardship and a lot of training growth. But change can be good and a positive thing to embrace. It helps to strengthen us.
Outside of work, what defines you as a person?
I have an inner kid. I’m definitely a joker and still a kid at heart. It’s helped me to keep my perspective open and keep trying new things.
Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?
As a company in five years, I see us being globally recognized within the blockchain and big data industry.. I would rather the brand itself stand for something.