Coming From a Family of Entrepreneurs…
This quick blog is going to dive a little bit behind the scenes into my personal life as a child growing up in a family of Entrepreneurs. I’m going to approach this with the most humility I can possibly provide… So here we go!
Growing up in my household was unique… Between my 2 older brothers and I, we always aimed to have the best collections.. i.e. sports cards, pogs, lego, coins, toys, books, cd’s… believe me when I tell you that EVERYTHING was a competition hah!
My father was an antique carpenter who learned the craft during his time spent living in Italy where he and my mother met. I can clearly still remember my dad telling me he worked for the best antique carpenter in Bologna (City in Northern Italy) for next to free as long as the carpenter would teach him everything he knew about how to properly restore and build antique furniture. This left a big impression on me as I thought to myself “why would you work for next to free?” Well, today I get it… When you truly love what you do the money is of very little to almost no importance… I mean sure we all have to eat, put food on the table, a roof over our heads… But myself, I’ve worked many jobs I did not enjoy… Including freezing in 50 degree’s celsius below, outside for 12 hours at a time in Northern Canada on an oil rig. During my time out there, myself and my colleagues believed we were making good money which was justification for our frozen cold suffering… But I remember thinking back several times when I was cold and saying to myself “My old man worked doing what he loved for little to no money, but he loved it… I don’t love this and I’m getting paid well”.
Growing up with my old man around we would ALWAYS have garage sales where my brothers and I were able to showcase our best collections to strangers in hopes to make some pocket money so we could jump back into the world of collecting with some dollars to our names… I still recall setting up for hours thinking “today is the day”… Setting up my stand, displaying things how I wanted, negotiating and seeing the smile on peoples face when they bought something that I had to offer was truly remarkable and something I’ll never forget.
As I got older, that feeling of satisfying customers never left me. Through Junior High and High School, I can recall loving when it would snow aggressively because I would grab a snow shovel and begin knocking doors to shovel walkways and driveways in return for $10-$15… Cutting lawns, cleaning eavestroughs, whatever I could think of to generate a few dollars and provide a service which people needed…
I still remember when my old man took me to the Dixie Flea market one day to scope out some furniture for him to buy… I ventured off on my own as I normally did and stumbled across a stand where they were selling Throwback Jerseys of old basketball players (The Mitchell-N-Ness ones) which I’m sure many of you remember… I realised that I could buy these jerseys for about $30 each, and kids in my high school were buying these for $100 per!! My mouth started to salivate and I quickly had my dad lend me a couple hundred dollars to make this investment. I still remember him saying “are you sure?” I said “yup!”. A few days later I was in the middle of my school class pulling jerseys out of the backpack to showcase to my classmates… Hah! After a couple of days, I paid my old man off and said: “we need to go back and get more”.
Throughout my childhood, my dad would always pull over and pick up furniture from the side of the road… To tell the truth, I actually used to be embarrassed… But as I got older I realised what my dad would do with that furniture… He would transform it from someone’s trash to another person’s prized possession. In the process of doing this, he would also put food on the table… I quickly grew to appreciate his never-ending hustle and hunting for the next piece to be showcased in his store.
I was always taught to not display or flaunt success, but to be humble and extremely conservative. I think this is what always made me want to rebel in a way and have that new pair of shoes, or the nice car, or the new in-style name brand clothes… because I never was given them as a kid because we were taught to keep your money in the bank as long as the food is on the table and the house is warm..
This brings me to a day recently when I purchased a new car… I mean I’m a real estate agent, I need a car right?!? Hah, I mean I need something not only that I am comfortable in, but something that my clients can be comfortable in as we galavant across town on showings for their next to-be-home… So I decided to get myself a 2017 BMW 320i, man did this feel good. Getting a comfortable, classy and sleek car was a great feeling! UNTIL I had to bring it home to my family… I was actually embarrassed about my new car, can you believe that?! When I went to see my grandparents in North York for the first time with my new car, I actually parked 5 houses down the street so they wouldn’t see it! Hah… On my way out I clearly recall them saying “where did you park?” and me saying “just a couple houses down” as I shuffled quickly to pull off without them seeing.