Showing posts from October, 2012

How To Sell An Idea To Smart Money

One of the most common ways to become wealthy is to come up with an idea that requires capital (such as buying a building or a company) and pitch it to a sophisticated investor. If the investor wants to back the idea, the pitcher may get a piece of the action for coming up with the idea and seeing it through. This is the same as a ‘carried interest’ in the private equity world. I learned this lesson from Fred Wright, a legendary Canadian investment banker, a few years ago when I asked him for advice on creating personal wealth. Fred is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and Chairman of Capital West Partners, Western Canada’s leading independent investment bank. In his past life he was President of Pemberton Securities when it sold to RBC. Fred is a wonderful guy with a sterling reputation. When I sought Fred out for advice few years ago, he told me his secret to institutional sales. His advice was this: “Never presume to know what smart money thinks is a good deal. Just be humble, say why y

Billionaire shares the greatest correspondence lesson ever

My big bro Adam (pictured) has become a budding businessman after several years of thumbing his nose at commerce. This is a good thing as he’s very talented and competitive. Adam now has to deal with frustrating client emails, the way I used to in spades running I made a million mistakes as an entrepreneur in my early 20’s dealing with client emails emotionally. But then a few years ago I met an extremely successful real estate financier who taught me a different approach. “Hi Tommy, Thanks for your email” he started every message he wrote to me. “Wow, that’s nice,” I thought. It didn’t matter what came after those first words, I was completely disarmed by his gentle opening. This man had been around long enough to know that he would catch more flies with honey than he would with vinegar, as the saying goes. And he obviously caught a lot of flies. Here was a billionaire becoming completely humble to a 25-year-old. I have adopted this lesson for my own emails, and I haven’t h