Diversify Your Sources of Income

Bruny Surin

An entrepreneur must pursue several different strategies if he or she is to achieve his or her goals and achieve financial success. In fact, the majority of multi-millionaires have an average of seven different sources of income.

As soon as I started in business, I understood that it was essential to never put all my eggs in the same basket. So, if a sector is experiencing difficulties linked to an economic slowdown, I never find myself caught off guard and my income always exceeds my expenses.

In order to achieve a balanced portfolio, it is essential to differentiate between assets and liabilities.  Active income is what most people receive in the form of a salary in exchange for work done. Liabilities, on the other hand, multiply even when we sleep or go on vacation. Examples include income from rent, shares, real estate and franchises.   Examples include income from rent, shares, real estate and franchises.   

For a businessman or woman, the key to success often lies in these liabilities. They allow us to aim for financial independence or early retirement, to prepare for uncertainties and, above all,  grow our bank accounts. With a financial cushion, it also becomes possible to take more risks and think outside the box in business.

Does the subject interest you? At the beginning of November 2020, I plan to hold a big VIP event in Miami. Speakers from several fields such as real estate, franchises, mentoring, etc., will be invited to present their investment strategies. If you would like to know more, don’t hesitate to contact me.

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Reaching out to the difference

Immigration is a subject that divides more and more people on the planet. Although humanity has demonstrated its fear and rejection of difference several times in its history, social networks have trivialized this practice, and hate speeches seem to be multiplying at an alarming rate.

Bruny Surin

Having immigrated to Canada myself at the age of six, I find this polarization extremely sad. I often hear that newcomers come to take advantage of our country, our comfort, our jobs. Yet, just like me over 40
years ago, like all of us to some extent, they are looking for a better life, not having had the incredible opportunity to live in a safe or stable country.

In my opinion, it is essential to try to understand each other and to be open to differences. It is not because a person comes from another place and that his food, his customs and his culture are different that he does not deserve our respect and our attention.

The argument goes both ways, of course, because an immigrant who tries to get to know his host country and its inhabitants better will find it easier to integrate, find a job and create empathy.

Like me, now a proud Canadian who has represented the country all over the world, all immigrants have something to contribute.

Over the years, I have made friends from all backgrounds. Americans, Jews, Senegalese, Vietnamese, Quebecers, Haitians, Thais and Moroccans form a tight woven network, where poutine and hockey rub shoulders with curries and baguettes. All these new discoveries, new knowledge and wealth have made me stronger.

I may be naive, but I am convinced that by reaching out, we can increase this wealth tenfold and live in an even more harmonious, even more stimulating country.

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The Youth Olympic Games: An Unforgettable Experience

October 19, 2018

The past few weeks have provided me with one of the most rewarding and motivating experiences of my career. I had the privilege of being selected by the Canadian Olympic Committee to act as Chef de Mission for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I would like to thank the COC and the selection committee for this treasured opportunity.

When I ended my athletic career, I set myself the goal of remaining active in sports and the Olympic movement and of continuing to encourage new generations of athletes in all sports. Thanks to the COC’s decision, I was able to achieve this dream.

Over the past few days, the members of the Canadian team and I have shared a wide range of emotions. I had the opportunity to provide encouragement to our young athletes in moments of both joy and sadness. I cheered them through exceptional performances and stood with them in moments of disappointment.

I hope the athletes come away from these Games with wonderful memories as well as valuable life lessons. I tried to impress upon them the importance of practicing their sport with integrity and of always respecting their opponent.

Regardless of their results, this event was an exceptional springboard for these young people. Before the closing ceremonies, I told them the following:

“If your performance was outstanding, have the strength to find out how you can improve further. Following a victory, your finish line should always become your starting line. For those of you whose results were not what you had hoped for, it’s time to roll up your sleeves. Ask yourself what went wrong in your performance and how you can improve it. I hope your disappointment becomes a source of motivation for you.”

As for me, I’m leaving Argentina filled with pride and hope. Canada has a promising future in sport! I hope to be able to accompany the Canadian team again soon!

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A great logo is nothing without good service and good products

September 12, 2018

Since entering the field of business, I have noticed that many new entrepreneurs tend to place a disproportionate emphasis on their brand image and the creation of their logo.

While these are indeed critical to the success of a business, they should never take more energy and resources than the quality of the product, the message, and the customer relationship.

I am personally very severe with this last aspect. When I go to a restaurant and an employee has a bad attitude, my experience is completely transformed, in addition to giving me a bad image of the company, and this, regardless of the pace of the place.

This crucial subject reminds me in particular of my first experience with RedBull. I was still competing at the time, and representatives of the brand, young men and women, came to the stadium to make us taste the products. I clearly remember that they had a lot of interpersonal skills and they constantly smiled.

Initially, seeing the name of the brand that means “red bull” in French, all athletes looked at each other with a skeptical look. It must be said that we were very careful with the new products, given all the ingredients that we were not allowed to consume.

Yet their representatives have been convincing; a marketing technique still used extensively by the company. Today, we see that the latter is worth its weight in gold. In addition to being a guarantee of quality, RedBull ranks number one among all energy drink manufacturers.

Therefore, the priority of entrepreneurs, well before the look of their organization, should always be to provide a good service and spread a message that allows them to target the right clientele. If you lack the means to reach your advertising objectives, it is essential to find you allies.

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Walking toward success, one task at a time

August 23, 2018

I am often asked by many participants who attend my conferences how I managed tasks that I don’t like but are essential to my success.

In the business world, particularly when you first venture out, you must constantly take on responsibilities that are not part of your field of expertise, that make you uncomfortable or that you clearly hate.

As far as I’m concerned and in all honesty, there are two obligations that come with being an entrepreneur that I hate: talking on the phone (I sometimes spend hours!) and meetings. After being closed-in for 45 minutes in the same room, I get restless. Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team (NBA) and a shark on the TV show The Shark Tank, says he also hates meetings which is expressed in his famous phrase, “Unless you have a check for me I don’t do meetings.” Of course, he’s a billionaire and I’m not lol.

I am well aware that the hours which seem to be a waste of time are essential to reaching my goals, to developing opportunities and partnerships for my conferences, to my foundation, to the Surin Collection as well as my real estate investments.

I had the same dilemma when I was an athlete. I remember that I didn’t like to do speed endurance training. We would run on distances of 250 to 350 metres repeatedly with minimal time for recuperation. My legs hurt, I had cramps and my heart would beat very rapidly.

However, this extremely difficult training was necessary. If I didn’t comply, my competitors would and they would surely take the lead during competitions.

Despite the need for these unpleasant tasks, some people will tell you that you are the boss and you can always delegate. But it’s impossible to always delegate. Sooner or later, you will have to get in the right frame of mind to perform these tasks.

For my part, I concentrate on the final outcome and consider these tasks as small sacrifices necessary to my success. And you? What are your tips on getting through your most difficult tasks?

Pour ma part, je me concentre sur l’objectif final, et les considère comme un mini sacrifice essentiel à mon succès. Et vous, quels sont vos trucs pour passer au travers des tâches plus difficiles?

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Dare to dream beyond reality

August 1, 2018

At the age of 17, I had set one of the biggest and most difficult goals of my life, to run faster than my idol Carl Lewis.

Many people just laughed in my face. Nearly 99% of them took me by the shoulders and told me to be “realistic”.

At that time, I wondered what being “realistic” meant. What does it mean to be a realist? How do we determine if a goal is realistic or not? Faced with unclear boundaries, I ignored their advice.

Fifteen years later in 1999, I achieved a time of 9.84 seconds in the 100 meters; two hundreds of a second faster than Lewis. My performance would be the second fastest of all time.

In 2003, following the evolution of Usain Bolt’s career, I predicted that this great athlete would succeed in achieving the 9.60 second mark within five years. Again, they told me I was crazy. Five years later, we heard the same thing from Bolt, that he would reach this goal. He was also told to be more realistic. At present date, the world record stands at 9.58 seconds.

I have experienced this lack of faith dozens of times in my career; from winning the gold medal in the relay in 1996, to my decision of going into business. This is why when I meet young people today, I make it my duty to tell them that they have all the potential to go after their dreams. I also encourage businessmen I network with to remove such words as “realist”, “achievable”, and “durable” from their vocabulary.

I like giving them the example of Nike, the biggest sports equipment supplier in the world with whom I collaborated in the creation of my own competition shoe. The founders of this huge firm started like everyone else, at the bottom of the ladder, selling imported products from Asia while travelling across the United States by car. Little by little, they started promoting their products during track and field competitions and sponsored athletes. Their road to success was extraordinary, but not unachievable.

I like giving them the example of Nike, the biggest sports equipment supplier in the world with whom I collaborated in the creation of my own competition shoe. The founders of this huge firm started like everyone else, at the bottom of the ladder, selling imported products from Asia while travelling across the United States by car. Little by little, they started promoting their products during track and field competitions and sponsored athletes. Their road to success was extraordinary, but not unachievable.

As Walt Disney used to say, “If you can dream it, you can do it”.

Go get it!


Succeeding from scratch

January 16, 2019

I am constantly inspired by reading and listening to documentaries about people who have succeeded beyond all expectations. I like to follow and understand their path, and draw parallels with mine to see how I can improve myself as an entrepreneur, business coach and speaker.

Recently, I had the opportunity to watch a film and a documentary about two courageous and innovative musicians who impressed me a lot and offered me new perspectives on my career and my journey.

The documentary called Chasing Trane, available on Netflix, focuses on the career of the famous saxophone player John Coltrane. Born in misery, at a time when African Americans were oppressed and did not have the same rights as whites in the United States, the musician realized the impossible.

Determined to succeed, he diligently practiced visualization, seeing himself pushing the limits and achieving his goals. As a true athlete would do, he set up the his own training camp. He retreated in his little studio for almost two weeks, taking breaks only to eat. This practice yielded incredible results. Today, John Coltrane is nothing short of a legend.

In the feature film Bohemian Rhapsody, we follow the famous group Queen in a retreat outside their hometown. The musicians hope to avoid distractions and create historical music. Mission accomplished! It was during this retreat that Freddie Mercury composed some of the most incredible songs in his repertoire.

It is through such examples that I recommend to the athletes and entrepreneurs I meet to commit to an annual training camp. This habit allows them to step out of their comfort zone and free their minds to focus solely on training and personal improvement.

Whatever your purpose and field, leave out negative thoughts. Forget your lack of resources or lack of time. Do like John Coltrane and Freddie Mercury. Work, put the necessary effort, choose a positive and rigorous mindset and you will succeed. When there’s a will there’s a way!

Go get it!


Fast implementation: we must act today

July 4, 2018

“ Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy. ”
– Wayne Gretzky

To succeed in business, or in any field, I am convinced that it is necessary to always seek to improve and acquire new knowledge. That’s why, as part of my conferences, I encourage people not to hesitate to attend conventions, train or mentor.

To succeed in business, or in any field, I am convinced that it is necessary to always seek to improve and acquire new knowledge. That’s why, as part of my conferences, I encourage people not to hesitate to attend conventions, train or mentor. The goal is not only to become more efficient and better equipped, but also to follow the evolution and changes that affect your respective environment. However, acquiring new knowledge is not enough; you also have to be able to apply them.

Indeed, a client recently told me that after attending a conference, he felt his motivation increase for a few days at work before it returned to normal. He hoped to find a way to conserve that energy longer.

So I asked him what he was doing with the new apprenticeships he had faced during his training. His answer: nothing special. This behavior is not unique. Nearly 98% of people who think of taking action never put it in motion.

So here’s my tip: every time you learn something, make sure you find out how it can be adapted to your particular area and put it into practice quickly. This is the only way to progress.

My thinking is: what can you do today to be better tomorrow? Be constantly on the lookout for an aspect of your personality or work method on which to stake. Do not wait until tomorrow. Act now, apply your knowledge from the acquisition.

So you will always want to learn and gradually you will become a true expert.

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Together, we go farther

May 23. 2018

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. ”

  • Andrew Carnegie

I’m pretty sure you’ve already noticed that geese returning from the south in the spring fly in a V-formation. The strategy, which protects the weakest and allows each bird to take advantage of the airflow created by its wingmate in front, allows the flock to travel 70% faster than if each member undertook this great voyage solo.

For geese and for humans, cohesion within a team is crucial. Throughout my career, I have seen examples of this everywhere in the sports and business world: the strength and potential of the group. la force et le potentiel du groupe.

For example, during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, my team won the gold in the 4 X 100 metre relay. No matter what the results each runner had achieved previously, no matter that Donovan Bailey was the greatest sprinter in the world, we each had to give our 110%. Each of us held the same importance on the team. If it wasn’t for the combined efforts and respective strengths of each, there would not have been a gold medal.

That’s why when I take on something new, I am constantly looking to surround myself with people I can trust, and whose ambition and drive matches my own. Thanks to our common values and goals, each member of my team challenges me to push myself even harder and do the very best I can.

To establish a strong sense of teamwork within my troops, I try to keep a few things in mind. First, that team cohesion cannot be improvised. You need to build mutual trust between teammates, and allow them to understand their respective strengths, weaknesses and interests, both inside and outside of work. This knowledge and comradeship becomes an opportunity to define shared goals and cultivate mutual respect.

No human being possesses all the qualities needed to obtain the best results alone. Even the greatest athletes and entrepreneurs rely on a team that helps them manage their time better, stay on top of new trends and foster a mindset to ensure they achieve their best performance.

Alone, we go faster. Together, we go farther.

Go get it!


Overcoming failure

May 4, 2018

“You will sometimes fail. There will never be a point in your life when you are too successful, too old or too wise to fail. Accept failure and let it put steel into your soul. Be made strong by your failures and be made grateful by your success. Like night and day, both will surely come to every life.“
– Tony Parsons

Failure is a part of everyday life for both athletes and entrepreneurs. Because of this, our career success depends largely on our ability to get past these hurdles.
In fact, I strongly encourage the people around me to ban the word “failure” from their vocabulary.

Having faced difficult situations many times in my life, I’ve come to think that maybe they should be seen as excellent opportunities to refocus… and fight back even harder than ever!

I’m convinced that we need to see obstacles in our way as new challenges to meet, like a test to see how willing we are to succeed. And, believe it or not, we always come out stronger in the end. If we look at it this way, we do not have to let defeat overshadow us.

The only mistake we can make is to give up before we’ve reached our goals.

There are numerous examples of this in sports: in 1999, I finished dead last in my category during the World Indoor Championships.

Five months later, I became the second-fastest sprinter of all time.
During his first year on the national team, speed skater Charles Hamelin had to be cut. Five Olympic medals and a world championship title later, I think it’s safe to say that Charles really knew how to pick himself up and turn this into a learning experience.

In business, I’m sure you’ve heard many stories of entrepreneurs who managed to grow their company even while it was teetering on the brink. The example of Howard Schultz is particularly remarkable: banks refused to finance his project 242 times. Today, Starbucks is one of the most profitable multinationals on the planet and has completely revolutionized the coffee industry.

So, I’m curious: how do you get past roadblocks in your life?

Feel free to share inspiring examples and effective strategies on how to overcome setbacks with me.

Go get it!