Entrepreneurial Spotlight

Canadian Athletes Now Fund’s Jane Roos on Raising Millions for Canadian Athletes

In this series, we profile entrepreneurs approaching the top of their game, and ask them how they got there. This week, a former track athlete looking to help elite athletes secure funding.

Jane Roos’s athletic career ended when she was involved in a devastating car accident at the young age of 19. But, the once-promising track athlete saw a need for up-and-coming Canadian elite athletes, and founded the Canadian Athletes Now Fund. CAN Fund’s goal is to raise funds for promising athletes to pay for proper training, coaching, nutrition and living expenses.

Also an artist and owner of the Jane Roos Gallery, Roos has helped CAN Fund raise over $40 million and has proudly supported 80 percent of the Canadian athletes at every Games from 2004 to 2018.

Here, Roos talks about her motivations, daily schedule and having boundaries.

Q & A

What do you enjoy most about the industry you’re in?

Both my gallery and CAN Fund are about giving people opportunity.  I love asking people to be a part of someone else’s success. 

Best advice you have ever been given?

You’re always going to have problems so have problems that are worthy of a great life. Right now my biggest problem is getting Canadians to care enough about our athletes and be a part of our $3 Million Matching Campaign by Eric & Vizma Sprott.  That’s a problem worth having! 

What is your favourite quote?

“Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible.” – Claude T. Bissell. 

What is the lesson you took the longest to learn?

Having boundaries. If I am saying “yes” to something it means I am saying “no” to something else. So my “yes”es are something I care about.

What makes it all worth it?

Watching the ripple of the impact we create. 

What long term goals do you have?

My short-term goal is to raise $10 million by the end of 2019 to impact the lives of hundreds of Canadian athletes. My long-term goal is to play full out, to keep creating with the purpose of changing people’s lives and to be an incredible mom, wife and friend. 

DAILY GLIMPSE

5AM- 8.30AM: Morning lattes, drop my girls off at school and do a morning walk on the boardwalk in the Beaches. I often invite a friend to walk with me, it’s a great catch up and quality time. I also love to paint early in the morning.

8.30AM- 4PM: There are so many moving parts to running a national charity CAN Fund, my gallery and family that I intentionally block certain times of each day to complete specific tasks. My days are very intentional with hundreds of athletes relying on CAN Fund for financial support I am constantly meeting with people.  Either on the phone or inviting them to my Gallery. We have a really unique office set up in downtown Toronto where my Gallery and CAN Fund are two distinct spaces but are attached.

4PM-11PM: As a family we eat together every night and each person shares what they are grateful for, how they failed and what they are looking forward to the next day. I try to schedule my business meetings over breakfast and reserve my evenings for me. 

When I’m with my family there is no multitasking, I’m present and focused on being the best mom I can be to my 7 and 14-year-old daughters. Same with my work and art. Scheduling date nights with my husband of 19 years is key. For me it’s family time and then gratitude.  I write down what I am grateful for. 

I'D RECOMMEND

BOOK:

Tools of the Titans by Tim Ferriss is the ultimate notebook of high-leveraging tools. I recommend it to every entrepreneur.

TELEVISION:

Brene Brown: the Call to Courage on Netflix. Her incredible humour, wisdom, storytelling on what it takes to choose courage over comfort.