Coaching, Consulting and Mentoring

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Jun 06

As I get older I find myself doing more real estate, tech and
startup coaching, mentoring and consulting and less doing. That is as it should

A coach might send in the plays (after s/he gets team buy-in as
well as their prior agreement) but it’s the team that actually executes the
plan. The team has to approach their investment (of their time, energy, money,
luck) like a business not a hobby. In real estate for example, many people view
it more as a hobby and, as a result, don’t have the kind of experience they
should have.

don’t take responsibility for my actions, unless it’s someone else’s fault,

anonymous client.

To use a coach effectively, you have to include him or her in
your decision making process. You have to remember, “Hey, I think before we do
this, we ought to ask…”

Anyway, here is my 10-step coaching process for a typical

1. we figure out an overall strategy together;
2. we
create a biz model, value proposition, functional program and design so
that the harder you work, the more money you make;
3. we look
at what resources you need (finance, HR, Internet, other) and how to get them
often using unconventional sources, for instance, of bootstrap
4. we make sure you have a guerrilla marketingsocial media and sales strategy that works and is cost effective;
5. we set
6. you
execute the system and plan;
7. you
track your metrics* and report back to me;
8. we
decide on any mid-course corrections;
9. we
celebrate success;
10. we
figure out what comes next.

(* Startups that set
goals, track their metrics and are held accountable grow 7x faster than those
that don’t according to Startup Genome
Report 01
, Max Marmer, Bjoern Lasse Herrmann, Ron Berman, Silicon Valley,
California, 2011.)

That is my 10-step program although it can and does vary
depending on client and project. There are many more things that could be
included here but following this outline has led to a lot of success for my
clients, students and others so it must somehow work.

I believe in coaching and, if there is one thing I could change
about my career, it would be that my mentor died young (when I was 30) and I
never found another until I was in my late 50s.

Estate Case Study**

A client of mine recently purchased a residential condominium in
downtown Ottawa. She was going to rent it out for $1,800 a month. When she
totaled up her costs (mortgage, property taxes, insurance, condo fees,
maintenance and so forth), she was looking at losing $375 per month, every
month. She was also considering hiring a property manager who would take 8% of
her monthly gross revenues so that she would not have to collect rent, deal
with tenant issues or be involved with Ontario’s RTA (Residential Tenancies
Act) which can be a nightmare. This would increase her monthly cashflow loss by
$144 to $519.

One thing I tell my
clients (all of them not just real estate but tech, services, etc.) is never
buy anything that
loses money or for tax losses. Make money, every month, and pay your taxes–
that’s a good news story because you are then profitable.

Here’s what we did instead:

a. turned the condo into a furnished apartment with all services
(Internet, Netflix, etc) switched on;
b. put it out there for rent as an executive travel apartment renting for $125
per day or $3,500 per month (+HST).

Now she is covered by the much more forgiving Innkeepers Act and
she has turned a $519 monthly loss into more than a $1,000 per month NOI (Net
Operating Income). Over the next five years that she expects to keep the unit,
that’s a $90k turnaround.

Now that’s coaching.


(** Some facts changed for privacy reasons.)

Dr Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (Civil), M Eng-Sci, Phd. Founder,
Ottawa Senators; Author, Quantum Entity Trilogy, Entrepreneurs Handbook II;
Executive Director,; Broker, Century 21 Explorer Realty Inc;
Entrepreneurship Ambassador, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa.
613.566.3436 X 200. bmfirestone @

Follow Prof Bruce on
Twitter @ProfBruce and @Quantum_Entity and read his blogs and

You can find his works at

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on Facebook via and as well as via LinkedIn at

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are summarized at

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four chapters of book 1 (we are all ONE) of the Quantum Entity Trilogy or send
it to your friends for free from:

Free previews are also
available for Chapter 1 of book 2 (Quantum Entity | American Spring) and
Chapter 1 of book 3 (Quantum Entity | The Successors) from and

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Prof Bruce’s current
motto is: “Making Each Day Count

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.