I was born in Poland during communism in the 80s... food rations, bread lines and all. My father who was in his early 20s at the time was arrested for importing and selling corn (yes corn). Running a business was a big "no no" in those times.
When I was 6 we escaped that world & immigrated to Canada, landing in Toronto; where we arrived with a few suitcases and even fewer dollars. My father was a master mechanic but without a word of English the only work he could find was sweeping the floors of an Audi dealership. He learned the language by picking up car parts for other mechanics at the service counter. He found a way. My mother, a brilliant woman was finishing her studies in medicine when we made the move to Canada. Her qualifications didn't transfer so she took any work she could while adjusting to a new culture and pushing for recognition in her trade in a new country. She found a way.
With those experiences serving as a backdrop the entrepreneurial bug bit me hard early in life. I knew it as a little boy that if I wanted to accomplish anything in life it was up to me.
Before my 10th birthday I was hosting yard sales with stuff lying around the house that was collecting dust. When the inventory ran out I found a newspaper route in the neighborhood. Each Sunday morning, I would wake up at 4am, wipe the crust out of my little brown eyes, pick up my bundle & make my deliveries. Some mornings in the middle of a Canadian winter gave me an opportunity to practice my survival skills!
Fridays after school I would walk the route again & collect payment from my customers. If they didn't pay... I didn't get paid & I still had to pay for the newspaper. This was a tough lesson for a kid to grasp.
I RAISED $40 FROM THE BANK OF MOM AND DAD
After a few weeks of working the neighborhood, perfecting my pitch & building a customer base I raised $40 from the bank of mom & dad. I had more customers and needed capital to expand my operations. A small newspaper cart was going to take my business to the next level.
When I couldn't get more delivery routes, I spent my weeknights riding my bike to a nearby golf driving range right as they closed.
The field was covered in white gold.
There were many areas that the golf ball picker couldn’t reach & each night I would work the field picking balls by hand, filling milk crates to the brim for $2 a crate.
It was hard, repetitive work so a lot of people quit. I kept showing up and eventually landed a full-time gig during the summer months.
Most of my friends played video games while I worked from sunup to sundown tending to the facility, selling memberships, coordinating the seasonal staff, and resolving conflicts. The hours were long and managing people (and personalities) was something I'd never done before. In hindsight it was tremendous training early in life.
Back in the classroom, like most of my friends I went through school wondering "what the heck do I actually want to do with myself?!?" Whatever it was I knew I had to be be fired up about it.
Analytically inclined, competitive, & looking for something to immerse myself in I gravitated towards business. I worked a few jobs & internships to see what I liked but my real next venture was in my early 20s when my best friend & I bought a rental property together. We renovated it, rented it out & despite all the mistakes we made, we still managed to make some money!
I WAS HOOKED ON REAL ESTATE
My learning curve was steep as shortly thereafter I was recruited by a real estate based private equity firm focused on large scale acquisitions. Barely old enough to grow facial hair (let alone know how to buy apartment buildings) I took the opportunity and ran with it!
Since then, I’ve had the good fortune to work with several proven and talented entrepreneurs across various industries employing a wide range of revenue models. Like every entrepreneur out there trying to create something from nothing, I've experienced success and learned expensive lessons along the way.
Today my team and I focus on acquiring larger multifamily apartment buildings throughout the southern US.
I continue to invest in my personal development & seek out the right people to mentor me along my journey.
I started with nothing more than an unrelenting work ethic & an absolute conviction that I will win.
Your key takeaway from reading my story should be that you can do this.
I didn't have any contacts, money or special skills when I started. I just made the most of the hand that I was dealt.
Make sure you take advantage of all the resources on this website as you progress towards your goals to create the life that you want.