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Adapting to change

The topic of the hour is, of course, the coronavirus. We are still in isolation, but some of us are slowly getting back to our activities.  This deconfinement must be done gradually to avoid a second wave of contagion.

Meanwhile, while this is happening, you should really think of ways to reinvent yourself depending on the activity sector of your company. You should ask yourself how you can, as the expression says it so well, “turn on a dime’’ in order to adapt to this new reality. I am aware that this is extremely difficult. There are some of us who have lost a job permanently and others, temporarily. We have the help of the government which alleviates some of the stress, but the damage is done and we can all feel it.

So the message I would like to share with you is try not to tell yourself every day that it’s difficult, but rather try and find ways to adapt to the situation. For example, my job is that of a speaker.  I have at least fifteen conferences which have been postponed and for the moment I have no source of income.  Seeing that the trend right now is online communication, I signed up for a university online marketing course.  Virtual communication will only increase and I want to learn and improve myself in this area.  I learn how webinars work, and I will use that medium to offer my conferences on different themes to my clients.  This is an example of how I am adapting to the current situation. 

In addition to my conferences, I am also a sports coach level 3 certified from the Coaching Association of Canada, NCCP and I’m thinking of offering my services to companies.  There are many things that I can do virtually such as exercises with clients; keep moving in business. When I was an athlete training with the same technique for ten years, I suddenly had to adapt to another racing technique.  Time evolves and so do the techniques, so I had to adapt and trust the process which allowed me to get to another level.

We must expand our horizons and be ready to welcome change. So no matter what field you are in, get your brain working; learn, read more, work on yourselves, do not stay at home and nurture negative thoughts because this increases the risk of depression and psychological distress. I don’t really like to talk about that subject but it’s a reality.  You have to tell yourself that we’re all going to make it and that we’re all going to succeed.

Bruny

Being a true leader is not an easy ride

I am convinced that it is in difficult times that we see who the real leaders are. With the COVID-19 pandemic and being in isolation, many people feel vulnerable and helpless, and may experience overwhelming frustration.

This is why it is necessary to look inside yourself, find your inner strength and keep your chin up to keep get through this.  When faced with a difficult challenge, it is normal to be tempted into making bad decisions, or even resort to cheating in order serve one’s personal interests.

I have experienced such dilemmas many times in my career. When I was an athlete, I had very few resources. When I started to be more popular and give interviews on television, people immediately thought that I was a millionaire.

However, I had difficulty making ends meet. I even had to borrow money from a friend at some point to meet my basic needs. When I was finally able to repay him, I gave him twice the amount he had lent me, even though he bluntly refused.  It was the fair and honest path that I wanted to take for the rest of my life.

Throughout my career, I have competed against athletes who cheated. When I couldn’t keep up with them, or if I got injured more than they were, I could have chosen the easy way and taken illicit substances that would have allowed me to break records, win more medals and win millions of dollars.

Choosing to be a man of integrity is the wisest and most rewarding decision of my life. I have had great success, and I can look at myself in the mirror and honestly say that all I have achieved is the result of my own efforts and persistence. I am very proud of that.

I was also faced with the same situation in business. At one time, I had a dietary supplement company. It was an extremely difficult industry. I knew that several companies were mixing their protein with other, lower quality products. I could have done the same thing, and consequently lower my production costs and increase my profits. It wasn’t in my nature to cheat my clients, I just couldn’t do it. None of them would have ever known.

Today, the coronavirus also faces us to chose between our individual values and our collective values. Even if you are young and healthy, you must join in the effort by staying at home as much as possible. It is time to dream of the future, to make choices that will allow us to be more resilient. We have to be brave, roll up your sleeves and be ready to work and duplicate our efforts when this is all over.

Let’s stay strong, together, we’ll get there!

Bruny Surin

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.

Go get it!

Bruny

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.

Go get it!
Bruny

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!

Go get it!

Bruny.

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.

Go get it!

Bruny

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?

Go get it!

Bruny.

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!

Bruny.

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!

Bruny.

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.

Go get it!

Bruny.