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Living the Laptop Lifestyle in Fairview

Power Engineering 101: Empowering Power Engineers

By Kelly Pippin | Photography by Raven Creative

The idea of a “laptop lifestyle” may conjure images of sandy beaches, exotic cities and jet-setting entrepreneurs roaming the globe. This could be true for Power Engineering 101 co-owners Robbie Wyness and Jolan Dreyer. Their online business gives them that freedom and flexibility, but they choose to stay where their roots are deep—in Fairview.

Robbie Wyness and Jolan Dreyer

“I always say there is something in the water that drags us back. I had a fantastic upbringing, and that is something I wanted for my kids,” said Dreyer. “There is a sense of community and trust that keeps us in Fairview.”

Although these co-owners are Fairview-based, the company hits a much broader market. According to them, Power Engineering 101 is the biggest provider of education resources in their field in Canada.

Power Engineering 101 provides online resources designed to help users bridge the gap between what they learn in accredited schools and the requirements to pass the mandatory provincial exams. Users can access course learning materials, practice exams and a network of tutors.

Since its launch in 2016, Power Engineering 101 has grown from a one-man operation to a team of more than eight across Canada.

In the early years, company founder Wyness faced several obstacles including revenue loss and lawsuits from competitors. His innovation and belief in the demand for his services kept him pressing forward to build the business to the successful platform it is today.

According to the co-owners, in 2022, Power Engineering 101 is on pace to generate $500,000 and help over 1,500 power engineers across Canada pass 2,500 exams and enter the field successfully.

“I personally struggled myself and watched so many peers fail to get through the required exams,” said Wyness. “The pass rate is around 50 percent, so I knew there was a big gap in the education that needed to be filled.”

There are numerous online businesses offering service-based products, so getting traction in this space is no small feat. This makes carving out a niche key.

“I was working remotely in and out of camp for eight years, and I realized that I could help fellow power engineers in their careers and also live a better lifestyle working online myself,” said Wyness.

Dreyer joined Wyness in the business in 2020 for similar reasons. They were fellow farm kids who met in kindergarten, and their paths had taken similar routes. Now, these paths have merged, and they have a common mission with Power Engineering 101.

“Our field lacks quality resources,” said Dreyer. “Even when I went to college, I was essentially teaching myself from the textbook. My desire to join the business was based on the struggle I went through.”

The pair say they don’t have defined roles within their company. Instead, they blend their contributions and put forth a strong work ethic and thoughtful ingenuity. Dreyer credits their successful partnership to open and honest communication.

As online learning becomes more mainstream and users look to more flexible and efficient ways to get the education they need, Wyness and Dreyer envision ongoing growth for their company. Their plan is to branch out with more services, including linking newly accredited power engineers with employment connection services.

When starting a business, or steering it in new directions, Wyness has advice for eager entrepreneurs.

“Find something you’re passionate about, then go find a problem,” said Wyness. “Before you build anything, see if somebody would actually pay you to solve that problem.”

Wyness and Dreyer have recently launched a venture for people wanting to provide their own online, skill-based platforms.

Still in its early stages, is already helping entrepreneurs launch their own businesses. Wyness and Dreyer say they carefully choose their clients based on the potential they see.

The duo explains that takes on the initial cost of building the platforms. In return, they get a 50 percent return when the platforms start to turn profit, which means they are equally invested in the success of the business as the partner businesses are.

In essence, is not unlike Power Engineering 101. Both companies evolved from a desire to help others succeed. By standing behind their products, identifying what the market needs and responding to feedback, the pair have created much-needed resources that support their laptop lifestyle—right at home in Fairview.

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