In business, a single moment can change everything. A decision, action or external occurrence can transform a company’s entire trajectory. Sometimes, in a bad way. But other times, with some smarts, vision and a little bit of luck, it can take your firm to a whole new level.

Veterans of the PROFIT 500 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies—the 2014 entry period for which is open until March 31—know a thing or two about the second scenario. And they’ve been all too happy to share what they learned from it. In early 2013, PROFIT senior editor Jim McElgunn asked a cohort of 14 veterans of the PROFIT 500 ranking to share the turning point that changed everything for them. Here are their responses, in no particular order:

Want to add your story to the list? Apply now for the 2014 PROFIT 500. (But hurry; entries close March 31, 2014!)

What single turning point has defined your business? Was it good or bad? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

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