Zhen Liu

“Family Support is an Important Part of my Success.”

Zhen Liu is a family man, but he still finds the time to lead a multimillion-dollar business with an average annual growth rate of 30%. One of the secrets to his success? Joining TEC Canada as a member in 2017, where he discovered our unique model, exposing him to valuable ideas, concepts, and growth opportunities he never would have learned on his own.

Early Beginnings

Zhen grew up in China and moved to Canada 24 years ago, settling in Winnipeg where he started a family. Reflecting on his decision to stay, he humorously acknowledges a local saying: “If you stay in Winnipeg, there are two reasons: love and work. That’s absolutely true in my case.”

After completing his degree in commerce, he embarked on a career in financial administration. However, an opportunity to pursue his long-held dream of entrepreneurship presented itself. Inspired by his desire for independence and ownership, Zhen was faced with a pivotal decision. Encouraged by his wife to seize the opportunity, she reminded him, ‘If you don’t start, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life,” so he took the leap.

Silex Fiberglass Windows and Doors

With the support of his family, Zhen started Silex Fiberglass Windows and Doors from scratch in an 1800sq/ft warehouse. Since then, it has expanded four times and Zhen has adjusted his leadership style with every iteration.

After six years of business, working tirelessly, their revenue reached 1.8 million. Deeply motivated by seeing growth in his company and employees—witnessing the opportunities he could provide and the smiles on their faces as they arrived at work—Zhen knew that to reach the next level he would have to move “from more hands-on to a visionary, delegation, for-cost leader,” and that’s when he found TEC, or rather TEC found him.

Discovering TEC and its Impacts

Zhen met his current Mentor’s husband who introduced him to TEC, and he decided to give it a try, “that’s probably the best decision I have ever made.” His Mentor (“TEC Chair”, as we call it), Joanne Sigurdson, encouraged him to take a step back and shift his focus from working in the business to working on the business. His TEC Small Business group was pivotal in his business’s growth, helping him develop his R&D department by understanding the importance of innovation in his industry and offering expert advice and encouragement. This new endeavor provided his company with new revenue streams and proprietary technology, their VisionPlus Collection. Zhen reports that his company’s revenue is now close to 10 million, not so small anymore.

Taking time away from work as an entrepreneur sounds intimidating, but not for Zhen. Having a diverse peer group of non-competitive business owners who share similar challenges has provided him with a wide range of expertise, from accounting and legal to construction and manufacturing. For Zhen, TEC retreats are the best use of his time. He has even enrolled members of his team into TEC’s Emerging Leaders Program, as he believes that his people are his greatest asset and strives to support their growth as individuals. 

“It helps us share the same vision. When we’re looking at things, we’re in agreement, we’re on the same page. It’s easier to communicate as we share the same values and ideas.”

Among all the benefits Zhen finds in his TEC Small Business program, the one-to-one meetings with his Chair prove to be some of the most valuable. “It’s fantastic. I feel very lucky that I met Joanne… She listens to my needs. In different stages, she’s provided different help.” Notable examples of her impact are the development of a five-year strategic plan, setting yearly leadership-style goals, and even checking in on the rest of his team while she visits him on-site.

Zhen found an indispensable team of like-minded leaders in his TEC group. Together, they find a way out of isolation and share in each other’s challenges and successes. Fill out the form below to join the TEC Small Business Program and reach your next level of business excellence.

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