20 Under 40: Ryan Seeley
Meet Ryan Seeley, 37, CEO of Premier Business Consulting and one of our 20 Under 40 Class of 2023 recipients
RYAN SEELEY STARTED Premier Business Consulting in 2019 to make the quality of the “big four” accounting firms affordable and attainable to smaller enterprises. In the past two years, the firm has more than doubled its employee count and is anticipating a 300 per cent year-over-year growth by the end of 2023. Committed to Canadian newcomer support and advancement, Premier offers services to clients in over a dozen languages.
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What do you rank as your top accomplishment in business?
The large-scale lockdowns from Covid began the second month after the company’s founding. Immediately I had to pivot the business to survive the new realities of what clients were needing to get done. This was heavily focused on accounting, taxation and applications for loans and grants. With the company having survived and grown during that period, I would say that having hired a team that is now managing a large portion of the business has allowed me to focus on scaling up. Ultimately, being positioned to pivot from doing what we had to do in order to survive, to now doing the things we want to do, has been the biggest achievement.
“Seek guidance from people who want the best for you, who have walked in your shoes, who have overcome the challenges you will encounter. The rest is just noise”
What advice would you offer to your younger self?
Don’t allow criticisms from people you have no desire to be like impact your way of doing things. Seek guidance from people who want the best for you, who have walked in your shoes, who have overcome the challenges you will encounter. The rest is just noise.
What’s left on the professional or personal horizon?
A major goal professionally has always been to be an integral part of a management team that takes a company public — I want to be there when the company is ringing the opening bell of the stock market on its first day of trading. On a personal level, no matter the growth of the business, to maintain being present for my wife and son, and future children.
You’re marooned on a desert island — what’s the one thing you’re bringing with you?
A Wilson volleyball comes to mind…but practically speaking, more likely a toothbrush.
If you weren’t working in your current field, what would you be doing?
Since my age likely now prohibits me from joining a boy band, I’d like to be a writer. I think it would be fascinating to travel the world and learn from the older generations what makes for a truly happy and meaningful life. Putting those various topics into a book would be a fun and interesting experience. Interview by Kieran Delamont