It was a beautiful hot summers day, hotter than most in Beautiful British Columbia, and I was going to meet with one of BC’s fastest growing entrepreneurial couples. Both are transplants to BC from other parts of Canada. Both running at full throttle now, espousing the merits of planning out your future and investing responsibly to achieve it.
Chris is more known for the behind the scenes work on the development and analysis, whereas Michaella comes for a strong driven Management background.
This dynamic couple who, claim to be introverts, has built a business working together and teaching other couples how to do the same; building a substantial passive income from an assets under management business in just a few short years.
We have agreed to meet for lunch at the “Secret Location”, an upscale nouveaux restaurant located in the Historic Gastown area. The rustic building has been reworked to have many modern flares and is brightly light with all the natural light provided by the windows all across the front of the restaurant. As I arrive I am greeted by the concierge who walks me to our table , nearer to west along the windows, where Chris and Michaella are already waiting. Chris dressed in a remarkably smart but casual attire of a patterned collared shirt, no tie and a classy dark navy suit, both tailored to perfection, he say’s “I hope you don’t mind we were a little excited to meet with you and thought we’d get here a little early.” Too funny, its me who is excited. Michaella also standing and waiting greets me with a Classy attire of a well cut patterned blouse and a black pant suit sporting a stunning necklace, almost hidden under her scarf. She greets me with a “Great to finally meet with you, I know we’ve been hard to trap down for this, our business is just booming so much. We just got back from a Business Forum in Northern BC.”
Chris ask if I’d like a beverage and our waiter offers us a choice of sustainable greens and locally produce beverages. We order and start to talk about the atmosphere and the restaurant. Chris mentions …”that the atmosphere is really what we make it to be and this has been a key driver to our business success.”
I ask what got you to this point in success? Both of them look at each other and Chris opens with, “Well I’m a doer and initially our strategy was to operate low-key until we have a track record before we start talking about it,” says the Montreal native. “To do this it turns out, was not the best way, we had a learn to get out of our shell and into talking with people. You know, get out of our comfort zone. Comfortable equals what you have; weird – uncomfortable equals growth.”
I asked okay if thats true, whats makes you weird? Well when we really started to grow ourselves, we realized by ourselves it would be harder than with a mentor or mentors to influence us along the , we had a great friend who helped us really develop our plan, not for our business but for ‘our’ future. That was critical, before then we were trying to have business success without personal success.”
“So through this mentor we developed an understanding of what it meant to have influence without telling people what to do and to build a ‘Mastermind Group’ to continue that growth sustainably.”
It’s still a boutique business but it’s moving toward something more significant,” Chris continues. “As part of ‘growing’ I think it’s my duty to share the stories with the next generation, and I’m excited. to do it”
So what drives the growth to your way a doing things? Michaella opens up and says, “It;s essentially a self driven business, everyone wants to be financially stable and independent, so we just guide the steps through the system. Ours is a simple step of expectations based on what a new person we meet wants to achieve. From there our job is simply to ensure they know the next step and the next” I had to interject, “That sounds way to simple, everyone would do it if they knew this was so simple. So why doesn’t everyone? Chris steps in and says. “Well its a do to learn event, and albeit simple, it takes the two things mentioned earlier, the right guide, mentor and master mind group and second, is that it is work.” Yes but you make it look to easy. Michaella, chimes in and states, “That’s because were teach competency and due diligence; so as not to let our new people go into areas which only guarantee defeat.” “I’ll quote Napoleon Hill of Think and Grow Rich, … I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure, unless built upon truth ans justice, therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects… There is more t it, but that gives an idea of why our business is growing, we are focused on being in the service of others; not on making money from others.”
So what would you guide others who want what you have? Chris thinks for a moment, and slowly begins his reply, “I would guide those who wish to have the success we are enjoying to first find themselves in a position where they serve others without the expectation of reciprocation. Realize that growth starts from the world inside, the results are at the far end of the spectrum and not going to be immediately noticeable. To commit to this growth and to personal change, keeping a positive mental attitude in all things and realize your opinion is just that yours, and is probably best kept out of the equation.
Have a definiteness of purpose to what your are doing and be willing to commit to yourself and never, never stop trying.
A basic law of the land, if you want to have more, give more.
Mistakes will be made, but there is where the greatest learning can occur if you commit to the self review process and remain objective.”
So where do you go from here? Chris had huge smile on his face while he answered this. “First we are no where near done growing. Not until there isn’t a financially illiterate person left.
The need is great, as long as there are people who need to retire, pay off debt or need help to find the next steps on their path, our need exists.
The future has us developing a course for high-school seniors based on goal planning strategies with some teaching to combat the lack of current financial literacy . Really it’s a simple course based on simple to apply steps – although it is financially based in has little to do with financial matters, just a tool box for them to understand how the financial tools they are about to receive; loans, credit cards, and the like are structured and how best to use them for their benefit and not to their detriment.”
As dessert was cleaned off the table, I was feeling ready to stop what I was doing and join the cause. These two entrepreneurs have an endearing genuineness about them and I can see why people are influenced by them. I offered to meet with them perhaps in a few years and see how things have progressed. They both agreed this would be a date. We actually set a date, August 15, 2020 to review the road travelled. Looking forward to the journey.