Aug 16

Do you want to be more successful? Have a better business/organization? Attract more clients as well as better suppliers and employees?

Then please watch this 18-minute TED talk by Simon Sinek,

His main message is:


You want to attract clients/suppliers/employees who believe what you believe.

So figure out, after you watch Simon Sinek’s talk, why you do what you do?

What do you believe in?

Here’s mine:

Brucie’s why on:

What: I’m a real estate investment and business coach.

How: I help people learn how to be more successful real estate investors and how to build their very own PB4L, personal business for life.

Why: I believe that the only practical way most people can take care of themselves and their families (and thus avoid crushing poverty) is by owning and controlling their own personal business, and via successful real estate investing using a Warren Buffett-style methodology applied to the real estate industry. The richest families in Canada, the UK and, indeed, most other nations have known most of this for at least 5,000 years of recorded history. It’s my calling to bring these twin concepts—PB4Ls and real estate investing—to everyone else.

Tell the world why you do what you do and what you believe in!

Bruce M Firestone, PhD, real estate investment and business coach


postscript 1: answering these questions may also so help in your quest to find your why:

-what are your core skills? what are you best at?

-what do you love doing (in terms of professional development, business, real estate)?

-what are your favorite hobbies?

-what are you currently most excited about?

-what do you hate doing (in terms of professional development, business, real estate)?

-what would you do if you had unlimited resources?

-what is holding you back?

-what are the biggest opportunities in your life right now?

-how can you create more value with less effort?

-if you were to have an extra hour a day, what would you do with it?

-answer this question: if I started over again, I would have ……………………………………………………………………………..?

-my goals over the next three years are to: ……………………………………………………………………………..

-what will your impact be 100 years from now?

postscript 2: the real estate investment coaching Bruce M Firestone does is based on the following adaptation of some of the strategies that Warren Buffett has brought to stock market investing:

1.     Buy targeted smart, well-located properties in industry sectors where large, low cost-of-funds players (banks, REITs, insurance companies, pension funds) are largely absent and in places where the local economy has diverse and stable engines of growth (eg, government, education, health, real estate and construction, tech, tourism, industry, services, maker, retail and entertainment sectors)

“Don’t wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate and wait,” Will Rogers, actor 

2.     Buy and hold… longterm; ignore market cycles; do not flip or you will flip ‘til you flop

3.     Only buy when your heart, gut instincts and head are all in alignment (ie, you are passionate about it, you have a good “feeling” about it, and your analysis shows it’s a good investment)

“Every person who invests in well-selected real estate in a growing section of a prosperous community adopts the surest and safest method of becoming independent, for real estate is the basis of wealth,” Theodore Roosevelt, US president 

4.     Once you have decided on a sector you know and understand, and a business model that works, do three things—FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS on it—the most successful entrepreneurs (not just in real estate but in every field this is true) are those who do ONE thing really, really well and treat everything else they’d like to do as a hobby

5.     Real estate is a local business, so local knowledge is essential—stick to at most one or two geographies and try to cluster your investments in close geographical proximity to each other

6.     KISS—keep your ownership structure as simple as possible (but no simpler) using personal names where indicated

7.     In the beginning, use maximum OPM[1], leverage and other financing

8.     Avoid partners, use debt instead

9.     Distinguish between good debt (mortgage debt, secured debt) and bad debt (unsecured, personal debt)

10.  Raise bootstrap capital (government grants, scrip, strategic investment, supplier credit, sponsorship, self-directed RRSP mortgages, signage, SBL[2]) to leverage your investment

“Buying real estate is not only the best way, the quickest way, the safest way, but the only way to become wealthy,” Marshall Field, department store owner 

11.  Determine the HABU (highest and best use) for each property and develop/renovate/add to that level as well as analyze each property using a spreadsheet to determine its IRR (internal rate of return) and cap rate

12.  Treat even your principal residence as a rental so it becomes an asset not a liability

13.  Add value and differentiation—animate your portfolio to increase cap rates through design/renovation/addition including things such as in-home suites, coach houses, tech packages, home
automation, workshops, storage sheds, proper leasing, micro suites, direct access to the outside, severances and much more… to boost cap rates

14.  Manage your properties well—eg, no deferred maintenance

15.  Before you refinance, get a CMA (comparative market analysis) done professionally to support a decent appraisal then share it with your appraiser beforehand—if he or she refuses to look at your CMA, fire them and get someone else because if you get a low appraisal, it can quickly become a cashflow problem for you

16.  Refinance and pull out funds tax free

17.  Rinse and repeat—it’s the only real perpetual motion machine in the known universe

If you’re not going to put money in real estate, where else?” Tamir Sapir, Manhattan real estate investor 

18.  At some point stop buying and use your cashflow to increase amortization so you can pay off all your debt faster

19.  Once your mortgages are paid off, never pledge your portfolio for anything else—it’s your “iron reserve,” a PB4L, treat it as such

20.  Pass on your portfolio efficiently and effectively to your heirs using joint titles.

“Now, one thing I tell everyone is learn about real estate. Repeat after me: real estate provides the highest returns, the greatest values and the least risk,” Armstrong Williams, political talk show host

[1] Other people’s money.

[2] Government-guaranteed small business loans.

ps thanks to Gerry Small for sending me Gary’s video.

pps please also refer to Find your passion,

ppps here’s a “why” for one of the young people I coach who provides rental property (roommates) to nurses; her why is:

to bring safe, affordable, practical, tech-enabled rental housing to busy people who want to be near their work plus shopping, transit, recreation and entertainment, and also want a landlord who really cares about them and supports them.

note: while you are searching for your why, it might be useful to ask yourself—WWSJ do?

note 2: finding your why might also help you cope with the three certainties in life–death, taxes and change (I added the latter).

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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.