Episode 20 : The Right to Succeed on Your Terms
At 35 years old, Frank Silla was co-owner of the family business in the telecom industry which he was passionate about. Raised in an entrepreneurial family, Frank never doubted he would follow his parents’ steps, but when he got there, he quickly realized that the way things were done didn’t reflect his own vision of success and his aspirations. This is the story of how Frank gave himself the right to walk away from this predestined situation and seemingly ideal situation to build a company his own way and achieve success on his terms.
Frank’s Growth Story Book Title:
“The perfect Storm”
Our timing is right, our people are great. It’s not easy, not perfect. But we strive to be the best at what we do. We know that our people care about this business as much as we do, so in this hectic world that we live in, through ups and downs, at the end of the day, it’s a perfect storm.
What you’ll learn:
- Frank was born and raised in business with both his parents being entrepreneurs. His mom is still in business actually, at 73 years old, as she owns a small restaurant in Old-Montreal called Bistro Silla. His father was in the telecom business.
- Frank went to university even though he knew he was going into the telecom business. He initially wanted to go get experience working in a company that’s not his family’s but ended up going in right away because his dad got bladder cancer.
- After his father retired from the business, Frank and his brother only stayed partner for 3 months. Frank decided to leave the company to preserve their brotherhood, as being in a family business had always been challenging.
- At 35 years old, Frank left the family business with no other plan in sight. He wasn’t happy with the direction they were taking and felt they lacked vision. He wanted to see further than making money. He wanted true success and greatness, which is now what Voysis is all about. But before going into business again, Frank went five years without a salary.
- “My parents came here with nothing. Whatever they had, they’ve built. My dad was always working, my mom was always working. So it’s installed in you at a young age that you get up in the morning, you brush your teeth, and you go to work.” – Frank on the influence of having immigrant parents on his vision of hard work.
- “The phone industry has changed so much since my father’s time, and it has changed for the better. It keeps on changing every day, as we speak.” – On how now it’s really more like an I.T. business, except it’s a phone, not a computer.
- “Family is very important to us. At the end of the day, it’s all you have. Everything else comes and goes.” – On family as one of his core values.
- “For me this is passion. When I speak to clients, it comes out of my skin. Customers are impressed. I’ve never done anything else. Even if I didn’t have Voysis one day, I wouldn’t know what to do, nothing else interests me as much as what I’m doing today.” – Frank on his longtime passion for the telecom industry.
- “If it was easy everybody would be in business” – On the challenges of being an entrepreneur.
02:05 – Franco Silla is president and co-owner with a partner of Voysis IP Solutions.
03:00 – Voysis IP Solutions is a telecom company that has today grown into a hosted telephony supplier company.
04:00 – Frank grew up in Montreal-North in the Italian community.
10:50 – His dad’s company was named GH Communications.
11:10 – In 1994, Frank and his family started a company called GHC which at the time was selling long distance services. They after sold this business to a public company in 1999.
20:20 – He started Voysis in his basement, with his partner Eva, an ex-colleague from GHC. She is an engineer and Frank is a sales guy.