Week 14 – Dan Goy

Week 14 - Dan Goy

Week 14 I had the pleasure to meet with Dan Goy of Baja Amigos RV Caravans and Tours.

Dan Goy of  Baja Amigos RV Caravan Tours and his wife Lisa just got home from his 6 months of RVing in Southern California and Baja Mexico.  Usually I like to do these meetings at a local coffee shop or restaurant but we decided that I meet him at his home.  I liked this idea because I was curious to see his winter office… his RV.  When I walked into his house I was greeted by his 2 dogs that they adopted in Mexico.  Walking into their home, you would think that you’re walking into a cantina in Baja.

Who is Dan Goy? 

“I was raised in Burnaby BC.  I spent 22 years in the same house.  I went to elementary school, high school.  I spent a couple years at SFU.  I majored in archaeology before I became an electrician, because those are so related.”  I added that they are quite similar as we both chuckled.  “I became an electrician as my dad was an electrician.  My dad was heavily involved in the electricians union.  In fact he was working for the union when I became an electrician.

My dad was not only involved in the union but also politically and I kind of  followed suit.  I became an electrician in 1976, joined the NDP in 1971 so it’s been a long time in the labour movement and very active in politics.  We bought our first house in 1982.  In fact, we signed the papers on December 1st, 1982.  Within 3 weeks I was laid off.  That was a bad time to be laid off in the construction industry.  I hadn’t worked in 18 months.  Subsequently we lost the house.  We bought it and lost it, because interest rates were around 16% or something ridiculous like that.  So even though the mortgage was nothing really, the interest rates were brutal.  Anyway, we lost the house and decided to go to Mexico.  So that’s how it relates.

I asked him to tell me a bit more about his business.  “I’m the driving force behind the business, but its Lisa and I.  We’re a team.  I couldn’t have done any of this without her.  I couldn’t in my past life and I couldn’t today without Lisa’s support.  So one is Baja Amigos RV Caravan and Tours.  There are RV caravans around the world.  Alaska, Africa, Australia and of course Mexico.  We focus specifically on Baja California.  So what we do is we take people on Baja and we take them on a tour with their RV’s to Cabo San Lucas and back to the US border.  We provide both Wagon Master services and tour guide services.  The wagon master services are getting the people from point a to b, b to c and so on, on Baja and getting them into the different RV parks or beaches or those kind of things.  The tour guide services are when we get everybody parked, I take people in the van on sightseeing excursions.  Sometimes shopping, sometimes to missions and museums, sometimes to beaches, sometimes to Wal-Mart, depending on what it is we are doing.

That’s our winter business.  Our other business is our summer business and it’s called South Fraser Shuttles and Tours.  I do some charter work, I do some shuttle work but we are really trying to focus on the wine tours.  I am also looking at adding a pub crawl locally here in Surrey.  What’s unique about out businesses is it’s not uncommon for people to have more than one business.  It is uncommon however for people to have a summer business and a winter business.  That’s a pretty challenging dynamic to operate.

On to the questions…

Raj Thandhi of Fronte and Sentre Communications asks.

Q:   What is the one must read book for someone just starting their business?

A:   I actually went back to the stuff that I did with SEEDS and the book that I really enjoy was The Entrepreneurial Journey by Thomas O’Malia and Margaret Whistler.  What I liked about the book was their stories and the diversity of experiences the people had about what it took for them to go forward.  What it took for them to be successful.  I found that to be of real interest and value, to think about the businesses we were going into and how it would apply to the things that I am doing.

They also talk about the value of continuing to evaluate what it is that you are doing.  I found that with Seeds, where I did my business course, the group engaging the group in evaluating what you’re doing, how you’re doing and prying out of them recommendations, thoughts and comments is critical in the success of what I was doing.  And I continue to apply that.

I asked Dan to give me a question to ask another business leader. 

“How supportive is your spouse for your business?” 

So I asked him.  “The only reason that we could do this is because Lisa was 110% onboard.  I couldn’t do either business without her.  It wouldn’t be possible.  Not just the support but the actual participation.  She helps with all the planning.  She does all the social media.  She is the Vice President of Finance.  I’m the marketing guy and she keeps all the numbers together.  And now she is doing a lot of the outreach stuff.

I think part of business failing is because both people aren’t totally committed.  “When’s it going to make money?’  For me, Lisa has never asked that.  We asked each other, how much longer we can do this but there have been no negative overtones about it.

In Conclusion…

Usually I like to post 3 questions and answers here so I somewhat abbreviate the answers.  Dan has such a passion for his businesses and for the people of Mexico that I decided to expand on his answers a bit more than I normally do.  It was a real pleasure meeting with Dan and getting to know him better.  Both of his businesses are terrific and I wish him all the success in the world.

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About KevenMcTaggart
I own a small business called Anything on a Clock. I started Anything on a Clock in 2007 when my son was about a year old.

2 Responses to Week 14 – Dan Goy

  1. pollac says:

    I have watched Dan’s growth and progression from day one. He carefully crafted his business plan, then put it into action. Within the second year, he was finding a way to fill the summer months, and began South Fraser Shuttles and Tours, which is becoming as successful as Baja Amigos RV Caravan Tours. Whatever Dan does, he does a first rate job. Hats off to a true entrepreneur.

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