Monday, March 29, 2010

Professor Bruce M. Firestone: How to Start a Personal Business for Life

How are you going to give yourself a fallback position when everything else in your life fails you? You're going to come Sunday, April 25th from 3-5pm, to Tabaret Hall, room 325, at the University of Ottawa and listen to Professor Bruce M. Firestone speak to this issue!

Professor Bruce M. Firestone (whose CV is online at: has agreed to be our next guest speaker; he will be giving a talk on "How to Start a Personal Business for Life". Professor Firestone is the Founder of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club and Scotiabank Place; Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa; Real Estate Broker and Mortgage Broker, Partners Advantage GMAC Real Estate, Brokerage; Executive Director,; Columnist, Ottawa Business Journal.

I was lucky enough to take Professor Firestone's Entrepreneurship class at Carleton University a few years ago. At that time, I had no idea who he was. Little did I know I was to be learning from an innovative Ottawa celebrity with a varied, rich business background. Professor Firestone's course was the spark for me to dive into the business world.

To learn more about Professor Firestone, take a look at his blog: or follow him on Twitter at:

And if you really want to be fully prepared for this opportunity, you can do some advance reading. Prof Bruce has written extensively on the concept of a Personal Business for Life (PB4L) which you can download (as a Word doc) from:

Monday, March 15, 2010

My SMART residual income goal setting

What does a person need do to create the amount of residual income they earn?

A great first step - decide on your vehicle(s), not necessarily the four wheeled kind, and set a goal.

The SMART way to set a goal is:


My personal goal is $30,000/month in residual income by December 31, 2010 through my real estate investments, my realtor tools and training business, my property management business and my online investments. Notice how this goal satisfies all of the SMART criteria. We had a discussion in one of my classes about the "Realistic" criteria. I think it just needs to be realistic to you.

Since my goal like $30,000/month doesn't just show up in my bank account one fine day without doing anything, (heck - you have to buy a lottery ticket to win it), I have to plan for it so I know what actions to take to reach it. When you know exactly how much you want through your business, when you want it, then it becomes simply a matter of math and focused action.

One of my businesses, as some of you know, is property management for small investors - like those who have a portfolio such as single family homes, duplexes and triplexes.

For example, if I wanted to make $10,000/month, every month, through my property management business by December 31, 2010, I would need to figure out how many "doors" or units I would need to manage. If I charge 6% on rental income and I assume that the average rental price is $1000/month, that means that I need to manage 167 units. I have 40 weeks before my goal date, so that means that I need to get 4.2 doors every week until the end of the year. Now I know about how many clients I need to sit down with every day and how many contracts I need signed.

Simply put, be SMART about your goal and take the plunge.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Paul Blacquiere - thank you!!!

Paul Blacquiere's talk on how to make residual income through mortgages and real estate joint ventures was fascinating and very informative. The highlight for me, as a person that is starting out, was how to use my own money that I thought was trapped in RRSPs, RRIFs and LIRAs to get a rate of return of around 10-12%.

Paul also talked about Real Estate Joint Ventures and how investors can make money through cash flow, market appreciation, mortgage paydown, forced appreciation and tax benefits. Paul discussed about what goes into both sides of the joint venture transaction, the person putting the joint venture together as well as the investor.

Paul had raving reviews and I'd like to thank him for his meticulously prepared presentation which he did specifically for our group - FOR FREE, for his time and for all of the questions he patiently answered in detail.

We are very grateful for his wealth of information he very graciously shared with us! Thank you again Paul Blacquiere.