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  • Writer's pictureRoger Pierce

Janine Harris on Building a Successful Video Production Business

In a recent episode of The Unsure Entrepreneur Podcast, I enjoyed connecting with Janine Harris, the spirited founder of KeyRing Media, a Toronto-based animation and live video production company.

Her journey from solo entrepreneur to accomplished business owner illustrates the immense value of persistence and vision.

Janine began her entrepreneurial adventure in 2008, transforming KeyRing Media from a fledgling startup to a respected creative force, servicing notable clients like Toyota and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. "I started as a solopreneur with a vision, and now we service some of the biggest names in the industry," Janine remarks during the podcast.

She candidly discusses the early days of her venture, reflecting on the hardships and the steep learning curve she navigated. "The first year, I made no money. It was all about staying true to my vision and understanding that it was a long-term game." This period taught her the importance of resilience — a quality she considers essential for every entrepreneur.

"I just knew that I was meant to do this."

Understanding what personally drives you can be as vital as any business strategy. And Janine’s belief in her path remained unwavering, even in those early start-up years when the money was low and the risks where high. "I just knew that I was meant to do this," she recalls. "It's not about the business that I was running — I was meant to be my own boss."

Clearly a people person, Janine says networking has played a big part in her business growth. "I was smart enough to get involved in a networking group," Janine recalls. In fact, that’s where I first met her — at a mid-town Toronto B2B chapter of Business Networking International called Business Connections One. "It's about building relationships, not just collecting business cards," Harris says about networking. She believes that robust networks are foundational for long-term success.

One of KeyRing Media's clients has been with them for 15 years.

The role of client relationships also came up frequently during the interview. Janine views her ability to maintain long-term relationships as a key asset. "It's invaluable to have clients who trust you year after year. It’s not just about securing a contract; it’s about building a partnership that grows." Now 15 years into a relationship with client Toyota Canada, KeyRing Media continues to supply a regular video series that educates salespeople at dealerships on selling cars.

At the end of our interview, Janine offers encouragement and a dose of reality to budding entrepreneurs. "The path of entrepreneurship is rarely a straight line. It requires guts, constant learning, and an ability to bounce back stronger from setbacks," she says. "You've just got to believe in yourself because there's going to be bad days."

Listen to my full interview with Janine Harris on The Unsure Entrepreneur Podcast.

[photo: Janine Harris]

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