Happy New Year!!
Welcome 2023, we salute you.
And we honoured 2023’s arrival by becoming box-breaking experts.
That’s Nick’s new truck doing one of three cardboard recycling runs after we spent post-Boxing Day unpacking new furniture up at Blue Mountain.
This new house up there is a vacation property for both of our families. After a year’s delay, we finally took possession last month.
It’s been interesting reflecting on this moment.
Some of you may know that back in 2010 we bought a condo on the Adriatic Coast in Croatia when we could barely afford it (turned out to be one of the best property decisions of our lives).
And now we’re adding to that with a vacation home at Blue (where our parents would take us on day trips as kids).
I’m not sure I ever planned for our families to have multiple vacation homes. It’s a tiny bit surreal.
Some of you may know our story, our parents are immigrants to Canada, we went through some rough financial times in the 1990s during a massive real estate correction, and didn’t have a lot of family or a support network in the GTA.
This may begin to come off like we’re “bragging” in some way, but that’s not the intent here at all.
Stick with me…
Today, we take six weeks or more of vacation a year.
We work flexible hours.
We get to work on a subject matter that we love.
We get to help people and work with an amazing team.
Our families participate in our businesses.
We have the flexibility to attend all family events and spend as much time with our family as we please.
We get to travel regularly…just last year it was Miami, Dominican Republic, West Palm FL, Croatia, France, Las Vegas, Orlando, St. Augustine, and Portugal.
I would say that we’re getting to live life on our own terms.
It’s a blessing and we’re very grateful for it.
So how did we get here?
We did two things:
Let me explain…
In our late 20s when I was “killing it” in the corporate world with a very high salary and advancing quickly in the software industry, I would get up early in the morning to read and reflect.
I noticed that if I extrapolated my life forward, into my 40s and 50s, that I didn’t like what I saw.
I saw a life of reporting to someone else, always asking permission to spend extra time with my family, working a job where I could be “outsourced” or replaced quite easily, a lot of stress, no personal freedom, and definitely not an easy 6+ vacation weeks a year.
I saw a 50-year-old who may have had become dependent on “the system”. A 50-year-old who wouldn’t have an asset base to have personal freedom, and a 50-year-old who wouldn’t be able to live his own life as he pleased.
A 50-year-old who couldn’t spend much time with his family…to me this would be an absolutely unacceptable way to live.
I saw myself in my 20s running a system, let’s call it the “high-income corporate life” that was a lot of fun in-the-moment, but that was leading me down a path that I didn’t like at all.
And this vision bothered me; it bothered me a lot.
The extrapolation of my life then over 20 years just continually freaked me out.
I couldn’t see myself working hard for 20 years and being stuck in a life that didn’t look amazing.
That’s when I decided I needed to change “systems”.
Instead of running the “high income corporate life” system I needed to run systems in my life that would create assets for me. Forget income, I wanted to own good assets.
I had to decide what systems I would choose to run in my life that would produce this result.
This naturally led Nick and me to rental properties. It’s the best system for creating assets for yourself that we’ve ever found.
You buy something with some of your own money, but mostly the bank’s money, and then day-in and day-out the rental property works by providing a home and in return paying itself off.
It almost seemed too good to be true. An automatic asset-building system.
Next, I wanted to add a business asset to my life as well.
So Nick and I scoured the planet earth to find marketing systems that would produce new customers in a repeatable and consistent fashion.
By some stroke of luck we stumbled into Dan S. Kennedy who was teaching exactly this.
We took those sales and marketing systems and began running them in the last half of 2006. We ramped them up in 2007, pushed them further in 2009-2010 and really stepped on the gas for the last 12 years.
This brings us to 2023.
This month I turn 50.
Today, we have residential and commercial investment property assets. We have two vacation homes, we have a business asset that produces income, but perhaps even more importantly has a purpose.
And the biggest victory of it all?
We have freedom. We have personal and time freedom. I can spend time with my family as I please. Nick can as well.
It’s a blessing.
Why are we sharing all this weird stuff?
Because every new year we see tons of people setting out new goals for the year. New dreams, new ideas, new plans…all get mapped out for that year.
And our advice on this would be to: STOP IT.
Forget this year.
What do you want your life to look like in 2033? What about 2043?
Where do you want to be living? What do you want to be doing? What does your daily life look like in 2033 and in 2043?
Are you running the systems today that will produce that result for you?
What systems are you running for yourself? Have you really thought about them?
Where will your current life systems lead you in 10 and 20 years?
If you want to have a great 2033, it’s best to start planning for it today.
Choose, very consciously and deliberately, the life systems you are running.
As masses run around reading headlines, freaking out about the latest financial news or just running in circles, you can have a plan.
And having that longer term plan gives you peace of mind.
So if you want to live life on your terms, it’s best to start focusing on the long-term right now.
If one of those systems happens to be building an asset base of rental properties then you’ll want to join us at our upcoming Introductory Real Estate Training Class on Tuesday, January 10.
You can grab yourself a spot and get more details here.
Maybe this is the year we’ll begin working together to make your 2033 and 2043 the best New Year of your life.
Happy New Year, everyone!!
And thank you to each of you who have read our emails or supported Rock Star in any way…you have made many of our dreams come true, thank you.
Hopefully in some small way we’re able to play a part in you living life on your terms.
Tom & Nick