Why we have a yellow sticky tab for a door sign

05-Sep / Articles / 4 COMMENTS / by cdobbin

In September of 2009, I was a VP for the Atlantic Provinces with BMO Harris Private Banking.  It was the best job I ever had.  The clients were great and my colleagues were great.  One afternoon, I took the biggest professional risk of my career.  I gave my notice and quit with no plans but to help the bank find my replacement and spend a month on the beach with my wife and kids.  It was the best move I ever made.


After leaving the bank, people began asking if I could help them arrange financing. Precipice Capital was born. Initially, I worked out of my unfinished basement in my underwear (boxer briefs) with nothing but a laptop and a cell phone. I took on projects where I believed that I could represent the owners and turned down projects where I thought my reputation would be at risk. That strategy paid off. Quietly and very much under the radar, the firm grew. We advised on large transactions like Secunda Canada, raised equity for a select few high growth companies and arranged for financing in a number other cases. The benefit of being an independent firm is that we can move quickly, make decisions without bureaucratic delays and get to the task at hand.


In the last three years, I have seen the struggles of Atlantic Canadian companies across a number of industries from start-ups to mature businesses and I have had the pleasure of advising on a number of successes. Through it all, and over the past fifteen plus years, I have garnered an enormous amount of experience.  That experience should be shared. By way of this blog, I will delve into the topics of entrepreneurship, the struggles businesses face, the myriad of touch points relating to financing and transactions, and what we must do to be successful.  Like we do in Entrepreneurs’ Organization, I hope to interview entrepreneurs that are willing to share their experiences to help those in similar situations.


I would ask something of you. Get involved, leave your feedback, spark a conversation and don’t be shy. I welcome different perspectives on issues based on experience. You can leave feedback directly in the comments section or you can ask me to address certain issues in a future post by emailing me directly at cdobbin@precipicecapital.com. Some posts will be written and others will be by way of video.


We serve entrepreneurs, owners and management teams of privately-held businesses. Many of them have started and grown their own successful businesses. We have a sticky note for a sign because I remember where we started and know that others appreciate a firm that keeps everything in perspective.

  1. 4 Comments
  2. Wanda Webber
    Oct 16, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Hello, Chris,
    I was just reading about Precipice Capital online. As V-P Policy for the PC Party of NS, I would be interested in meeting with you to discuss the struggles of Atlantic Canadian companies. The Ivany Report may have covered these issues, however, I am not sure not that. I would appreciate it if you would contact me at 902-469-1016. I know John Hughes on a casual basis, having lived in the same downtown Dartmouth area.

    • cdobbin
      Apr 13, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      Wanda, feel free to call any time. Always interested in helping entrepreneurs in the region and happy to share my insights.

  3. Jonathan Seller
    Apr 13, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Keep the yellow sticky! Its a great sign and shows that the focus is on the business and not on the window (or door) dressing.

    • cdobbin
      Apr 13, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      Thanks Jonathan. A credit to 3M for developing sticky notes. The sign has been in the same place now for 3 years. Goes to show that when simple things are done right, they have lasting effects.

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