It all started on April 27, 1981 (my 8th birthday). The snow was almost melted from the lawn of our modest family home in Saskatoon and as always, I was excited for my father to return home from work as we usually spent the hours before dinner telling each other about our adventures that day. Of course, given the momentous occasion, the expectation of a new BMX bike or fishing rod lingered in the back of my head while I waited for my father to pull up in front of our house at 4:30 pm, as he did every day. But as he arrived and the engine of his truck turned silent, I knew today was going to be different than I expected. There was no bike or fishing gear, just a big hug from my dad and the soft spoken words "happy birthday son, let's have an early dinner tonight then I will give you your present."
Needless to say, I think speed records were set, as the food didn't have a chance to dirty my plate before I devoured it with anticipation of my upcoming gift. "Did you taste it?" My mother asked. I was so excited that I couldn't comprehend what she was saying and simply looked to my father to see how much food he had left to eat. He must have been as excited as me, because his plate was clean and with a smile he took me to the garage, where my present was hiding. "Son", he said with pride, "I bought you a landscaping company for your birthday" and he handed me a brand new snow shovel and lawn rake.
Now obviously I thought this was some kind of sick joke... and what the heck is landscaping company? You can imagine how confused an 8 year old boy must have felt, however, realizing that my father did everything with purpose, I knew that after my initial shock was over, he would explain the meaning behind his gift...and he did. "You see son, in this life you need to earn money" he explained slowly, with a heavy emphasis on the word earn. "And to earn money, you must provide a valuable service", he continued.
The area we lived in was filled with huge trees and elderly people... a combination that I soon learned, would allow me to provide a valuable service and stable income. As the snow melted away in early May, many of our neighbours had leaves on the ground and my father urged me to knock on their doors and ask if I could rake their lawn (which included bagging & disposing of the leaves), which many of them agreed. "How much do you charge?" asked one neighbour, "$2 per bag", I replied and after filling one and a half bags, he handed me a $5 bill and thanked me for an excellent job. HOLY SMOKES.. I WAS RICH!!
Knowing that I was doing something that helped people was a great feeling and it wasn't long after that, I realized the connection between value and profit. So in the following years, every spring and fall, I would rake leaves and in the winter I would shovel sidewalks and driveways to earn my spending money. Those many years of door knocking, meeting people, understanding their needs, negotiating price & terms and being referred to their family and friends, created the foundation from which I provide my real estate services today.
I hope you enjoyed this story, it’s 100% true. Please call me if you need someone who is willing to earn your business and trust.
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