Tragedy Pushed This Entrepreneur to Make a Difference
Brian Hansell, president of Hansell Consulting Group, says he has met two types of people: those who believe they can’t make an impact on the world because they don’t have a lot of resources and cash, and those who don’t worry about it, instead simply going ahead with making that impact.
When Hansell’s 18-year-old son, Paul, lost his life to suicide in December 2010, Hansell decided he wanted to create a foundation as a way to give back and honor his son. Hansell’s consulting business helps organizations create wellness initiatives to improve the culture among their people. With that knowledge, research and the support of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), Hansell established the Paul Hansell Foundation.
“Our mission is to promote programs that are aimed at the mental and emotional wellness of youth,” Hansell says. “The notion of starting a foundation is that if we can positively affect one life, it is a success. Barely a week goes by when I don’t hear of the positive impact that the foundation has had for someone and their family.
“While I will never get over the loss of my son and best friend, I need to find my way past it. The foundation in memory of Paul helps to put a face on mental health and wellness. It serves as a constant reminder that we all have mental health to consider and that we need to do something for ourselves in that respect every day.”
EO has also helped the business owner grow as a leader in other ways. A 20-year member, Hansell has served as president of the Toronto chapter and as the organization’s global president; he also is the founder and president of EO’s Southwest Ontario Chapter.
“Leading a group of entrepreneurs has its rewards,” he says. “None greater than learning that the greatest successes come from leading within and helping our members continue to define and build this organization.”
This article appears in the December 2015 issue of SUCCESS magazine.