Sime Sandhu graduated in 2001 with a bachelors in aviation science and then went on to fly as a commercial pilot both in Canada and India. In 2009 he returned permenantly to Canada, frustrated with the lifestyle of the aviation industry. With an interest in business, he took over his parents pizza restaurant, retiring them in the process. From that point, Sime has acquired and built several businesses and even ventured into real estate; successfully performing multiple flips.
Learn more about Sime Sandhu at:
Stefan Aarnio: Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the show Respect The Grind with Stefan Aarnio. This is the show we interview people who have achieved mastery through discipline. We interview entrepreneurs athletes authors artists real estate investors, anyone who’s achieved mastery and examine the work to get there.
Stefan Aarnio: Today on the show a friend of mine Sime Sandhu. Met though mutual friends. Sime’s a serial entrepreneur in the Manitoba area. I’m from Winnipeg he loves Winnipeg too and you know. Sime he’s been in pizza business. He’s been a pilot. He has a very successful real estate and got a gas station operation. All sorts of stuff going on. So Sime welcome to the show, Respect the Grind. Thanks so much for joining me.
Sime Sandhu: Thanks so much for having me.
Stefan Aarnio: Awesome. So Sime for people at home who don’t know you. You’re a local serial entrepreneur. Let’s hear a little bit about your story? How’d you get started? Everybody always wants to get started with this stuff. How did you get started?
Sime Sandhu: You mean get started in the whole business game or just [crosstalk 00:01:15]
Stefan Aarnio: The game you know real estate. How did you get started just in life? I mean, did you go to school? Did you go to college? Did you learn this stuff?
Sime Sandhu: Yes. Sure. Well, I grew up in … Born and raised in South end of Winnipeg with three siblings. Dad immigrated to Canada in ’72. So growing up you know typical middle class life. Went to [inaudible 00:01:36] eventually UW. Ended up spending two years at UW not really big much, kind of figuring out what I wanted to do. All my siblings are going into the medical field. It just did not really interest me too much.
Stefan Aarnio: Right that’s the immigrant dream. Come to the new country, become a doctor, kids become a doctor, dentist, lawyer. I got an immigrant dad so-
Sime Sandhu: Oh yeah [oh okay 00:01:59]
Stefan Aarnio: It’s the same thing I heard the same stories.
Sime Sandhu: Yes. So I was kind of going in to that field I was doing psychology actually. Ended up completely dropping out of UW and going into commercial aviation which interested me a couple years before that, then it kind of fell off. So I pursued that. Did commercial flying for about seven years, in India. Did my training here in Toronto and Winnipeg. But the job opportunities were better over there over seas so I went there for about seven years. Got tired of the grind, I guess and flying. But the pay way good but-
Stefan Aarnio: Let me as you this Sime I got two family members going through aviation right now.
Sime Sandhu: Right.
Stefan Aarnio: You think it’s worth it?
Sime Sandhu: No.
Stefan Aarnio: Okay let’s talk about that. Why is aviation not worth it today in 2018?
Sime Sandhu: Well I think … I wouldn’t say it’s not worth it. I would say that you have to have a really good passion for it. For me it wasn’t, this like I grew up with this passion for flying. I wasn’t seven years old [inaudible 00:02:58] and I want to be a pilot when I’m 20.
Stefan Aarnio: Right right.
Sime Sandhu: There were like my instructors that was a pilot that was just born to fly. He’d just been flying from a small age. He didn’t even need any training. If you put him in a plane he just knew, how everything worked. He didn’t need five years of schooling he was just that guy that [crosstalk 00:03:19]
Stefan Aarnio: Just an artist. He just knew.
Sime Sandhu: Yeah he just knew. But for me it was more of a learning curve. I had to train every day. The cost is huge so you creating about a hundred probably about 30 thousand dollars for your licenses.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow.
Sime Sandhu: Yeah. It’s a pretty long grind. You don’t finish flight school and then you’re going to fly for West Jet. You’ve gotta really build time, you’ve got a go up north or fly Cessna’s or, whatever you want to fly to get those hours to get that experience. So then an airline will actually look at you.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow. So did you get to the commercial level where they were on West Jet or Canada Air?
Sime Sandhu: For sure yeah I got to that level by going overseas. It wasn’t going to happen for me here. It would have taken three times the amount of time here. So I ended up kind of taking the short cut. Going to India …
Stefan Aarnio: Right. I’ve heard about that if you go to India or Africa speed it up. Cause they just throw you in a plane right away you’re …
Sime Sandhu: Yeah it’s not the safest steps, but that’s right really [inaudible 00:04:18] India hasn’t had any, scares. They’ve done really well in terms of hiring pilots from overseas.
Sime Sandhu: But yeah so went to India and did my training there and finished it up and spent a lot of time there. And back and forth to Canada because my parents were still here. Eventually moved back and they had the pizza place. I was still actually coming here half the time of the year helping them deliver pizzas. And then I’d go back and work in India for the other half of the year.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow so entrepreneurial family. Now is both your parent from India?
Sime Sandhu: They are yeah.
Stefan Aarnio: Okay so we got entrepreneurial dad entrepreneurial mom, come here now. Were they engineers or doctors back home?
Sime Sandhu: No, no, not at all. My dad was a farmer. He came in ’72. He actually ended up [inaudible 00:05:03] in Vancouver and then he settled up here. But he worked at Kumar Encrypting for about 20 years.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow.
Sime Sandhu: Still there. But then he ended up going to the states and farmer [inaudible 00:05:16] cousin to do restaurants. So he did that for a couple of years. But then he moved back because it didn’t work out and that’s when the pizza place came up. So they bought that in 2003 I think.
Stefan Aarnio: Okay.
Sime Sandhu: And they both ran it for about seven years. And then finally when I decided to actually move back and sell it for them is kind of when I started getting out of the whole flying gig.
Stefan Aarnio: Okay awesome. So, for yourself went to college UW. Business college in the states [if you’re in 00:05:45] Canada state university. Didn’t really like that went to flight school. Parents had a pizza business you stepped in at the end you kind of sold it. What happened next?
Sime Sandhu: So after I sold the pizza business I didn’t really know what to do. Actually that was probably the most difficult time of my life. Cause I had an education but with a bachelor of science, you pretty much will have anything …
Stefan Aarnio: Well bachelor of science is a BS degree. BS stands for bullshit.
Sime Sandhu: Yes.
Stefan Aarnio: I got a BA that’s barely able. PHC poor helpless and desperate.
Sime Sandhu: I’ve never heard that but that makes sense yeah. So I had a BSC but I had a BSC in aviation that’s not gonna apply to any real job here unless … Even if you have to go to the airport, they don’t care about that kinda stuff they’re working minimum wage and this is going back you know five six years ago. Or obviously more than that but …
Sime Sandhu: So then yeah I just didn’t know what to do so I was hopping around to minimum wage jobs. I was working for a call center here and there. I mean that was probably the most depressing time because, you know you have a skill set but you don’t wanna do it anymore. But then you don’t know exactly what to do how to start. So that year probably was the most difficult time for me in my life so far.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow okay so you’re in the darkest of the abyss. You don’t really know what to do. No applicable skills. I went through a similar period of my life graduated from university I had an English degree. I remember I was graduating with this Chinese student from China at the business school said to me “Well why are you studying English? You already speak English.” And I was like “Good point.” An immigrant mentality.
Stefan Aarnio: So it’s almost like a-was it a post-grad depression here where you’re like [inaudible 00:07:28] things? You’re not really sure? How did you find your next venture?
Sime Sandhu: Yeah definitely. I was working some bad jobs and I don’t wanna say bad jobs but for me it was a huge step back. It wasn’t anything good for me it wasn’t anything positive I was just trying, not ask my parents for money. Even though I had money saved up from flying I was like I can’t just sit at home all day. So I ended up eventually can’t remember exactly how it all unfolded cause it’s been so long I have a really bad memory but I needed up … I think the best thing that actually happened was me going in to a boxing gym. So [Panama 00:08:08] boxing is where I box probably three to four times a week. And that really helped me get some confidence back to talking with the … Actually the overall [inaudible 00:08:19] club his name is Harry Black. He’s a mentor of mine. I think just boxing and speaking with him the odd day and just listening to him, kinda got me out of that depression phase.
Sime Sandhu: And then as I was going to boxing I was noticing some condos for sale in the exchange district which at that time was just kind of coming up. And through some connections I ended up finding that there was a condo for sale, but that the developer was buying it back from all these people. So I ended up actually buying this condo with the money that I had saved up. And actually flipping it right away back to the developer for a huge profit.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow so give people at home the kind of money you made for that very first deal?
Sime Sandhu: So on that very first deal probably I made over a hundred thousand-I actually probably, close to a hundred and 30 thousand. So I bought it for about 200, but this is like one off thing. Actually there was two units, that I could’ve bought. But the realtor was saying “Hey listen there’s a condo for sale. And the developer is converting all these back to apartments.” If you buy it you have good chance to flip it. So I took the chance on one of them it was about 200. And the next day I got a call from the developer wanting to buy right before I had even actually closed on it.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow. So did you ever close on it? Or did you-
Sime Sandhu: Yes I gave you the whole speil the reason I wanna live here, it’s my first place.
Stefan Aarnio: Oh man.
Sime Sandhu: So anyways I ended selling for over I think 330.
Stefan Aarnio: Was it like the last unit he had to buy in building?
Sime Sandhu: That was the second last unit.
Stefan Aarnio: Oh man if you had the last one too-
Sime Sandhu: I should’ve bought both of them. Actually I told him my mentor to buy that one but we just had started building a relationship then so he wasn’t really sure about who what I was or what I was doing. Anyways that was kinda got me in the condo game. Eventually I bought one more in [Ashtown 00:10:18] which is just down the street. Kinda the same thing there. Didn’t make as much. But did the same thing there ended up buying a house close to my parents house and making a little bit of money there. Yeah that’s kind of how the whole real estate thing started.
Stefan Aarnio: K now you’re in real estate sort of, doing odd jobs investing I wanna say with your pilot money. [inaudible 00:10:40] saving money is a real thing.
Sime Sandhu: It’s a big thing.
Stefan Aarnio: It’s a big thing. Is that a cultural thing you got from India from your dad from your mom? Or is that just you your personality?
Sime Sandhu: I think it’s a cultural thing. My dad still tells stories about how-I’m sure your dad had the same stories about how they use to save money. I think our generation obviously different time. You can’t compare the 70’s to now.
Stefan Aarnio: Well in the 70’s money was gold.
Sime Sandhu: It was gold.
Stefan Aarnio: It was real value. And prices stayed flat because it was gold. And money is deflating or gold is inflating and it’s all … Saving money’s a stupid idea nowadays you’ve got to hedge it all the time. I call it the immigrant hustle, you’re working you’re working and just frugal I got this frugality from my dad. He’s from Sweden. He came here and just frugal poverty mentality. And I got that frugality.
Stefan Aarnio: My dad’s so cheap he says the other day “You can’t take old gas back to the gas station.” I’m like “Yeah man you can’t.” My dad would buy old discount baking discount bread. I’d [say he’s on the 00:11:54] bananas and romaine diet he buys all cheapest stuff. He says “Don’t buy what you want buy what the stores selling to you.” So everything’s discount discount whether it’s [crosstalk 00:12:01] kitchen’s on sale.
Stefan Aarnio: K so you got into real estate you started doing this and then what happened next man?
Sime Sandhu: From the real estate I was approached by a friend to look at a business for sale which was looking at, businesses that I could cash flow. That I didn’t really need to stress about wasn’t something new or a big risk. So I partnered with him and we purchased a 50 diner it’s a big Esso hotel slash joint by [inaudible 00:12:32] Park.
Stefan Aarnio: Okay so this is a big gas station kinda-
Sime Sandhu: It’s a big gas station it has a beer vendor it has a motel lounge.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow beer vendor dude that’s great.
Sime Sandhu: Yes.
Stefan Aarnio: You’re a drug dealer now.
Sime Sandhu: [inaudible 00:12:43]
Stefan Aarnio: Marijuana that’s good legalized right.
Sime Sandhu: Yeah.
Stefan Aarnio: Okay so you got this big hotel motel beer vendor. And that kinda thing did you buy just cash? Or vendor finance? You had to go to the bank?
Sime Sandhu: So I had to go to the bank for sure. Bank’s will finance up to I think 70 percent of it. The good thing is with that business is I had such good history. So it was a great financially strong for 30-40 years for whatever it was. So it wasn’t that huge a risk on our part. Did have to come up with a lot of cash. That’s probably, and if I was to back [inaudible 00:13:19] 2009 I actually started working for a company, it’s called Scandinavian Building Services. So I started that along with the whole real estate thing.
Stefan Aarnio: And what do they do at Scandinavian Building Services?
Sime Sandhu: So it’s a national janitorial company. You can kind of compare it to like a [inaudible 00:13:37] almost
Stefan Aarnio: Oh yeah they do a lot food courts like maids come out and clean.
Sime Sandhu: So we do a lot of commercial buildings in Winnipeg. We did the MTS Center so all the Jets games concerts. We do all the Home Depots Good Lifes. They do probably about 40 million square feet across Canada.
Stefan Aarnio: I was gonna say it’s crazy it’s called Scandinavian Building Services. I’m Scandinavian [crosstalk 00:13:58]
Sime Sandhu: Well honestly the guy who actually own the company in the 80’s was from I think Sweden. And the owner of the company [inaudible 00:14:08]
Stefan Aarnio: I was thinking it’s like the pizza business called Omar’s. Which one of you guys is Omar?
Sime Sandhu: Nobody actually. The previous owner was Omar.
Stefan Aarnio: Okay cool. Cool. So you had a building cleaning services. By the way I think that’s a brilliant business. I always says that-
Sime Sandhu: It’s a great business.
Stefan Aarnio: Two ways to make money. One is stuff people don’t know how to do, build an iPhone no one knows how to make that. Or stuff people don’t wanna do. Porta potties janitor you know just all the jobs people are like no thanks. And it’s interesting. I have a real estate business and I teach people real estate for just one hour and [inaudible 00:14:41] knows how to do it. Everybody wants to be in there and everybody wants to know how. I would love to have a porta potty business where nobody wants that business. There’s no seminar where how to open up a poop business. Learn how to be a janitor.
Sime Sandhu: It’s so true, absolutely.
Stefan Aarnio: But you’re making money doing all the jobs no one wants to though. Having staff in that business is it hard to keep staff? Cause nobody wants to be a janitor?
Sime Sandhu: You have to have a good network. So when I started in 2009 I had no experience I completely BS’ed my way through the interview. No experience whatsoever. My cousin’s actually in the business. So before going in to the interview I actually discussed with him something that I thought we should know. Got the job. And that job actually helped me just have a good monthly income. Cause the real estate stuff doesn’t turn over right away right.
Stefan Aarnio: It’s like feast or famine or it’s like a little bit of cash.
Sime Sandhu: Exactly. So that helped me … I wasn’t working eight to four. I still had that job actually after all these years just because the company’s so great and again I don’t have the eight to five grand. It’s just, I set my own schedule. So I have to do so many things per month I get them done. It’s a salary job and it gives me flexibility, to do pretty much do whatever on the side.
Stefan Aarnio: So you’re still doing the janitor business?
Sime Sandhu: Yeah still have a great network of people that we still clean all-we’re getting more and more national contracts by the year. So company to me is the one that I probably would have left by now. Company who just so great that it’s been very difficult for me to just say “I’m done.” That will happen I know it will happen. But it’s not gonna be happening four or five years ago if I have it in the three or four years.
Stefan Aarnio: So what’s keeping you? Is it the golden handcuffs like the money’s great the culture’s great or it’s fun or-
Sime Sandhu: It is the culture yeah. So money’s good I wouldn’t say that it’s amazing that I’m killing it by any means. But it’s the culture it’s the family environment of the little company. It’s how they treat us. It’s been a little difficult to say goodbye to them. Even though financially I’m fine and I can say “Yeah I’m done.” But again-it sounds like I’ve been wording it that I have to do all the things. If it was a more stressful I probably would’ve said “I’m done with it now.” But the fact that it doesn’t take up a lot of my time and again I’m earning from it, so it’s fine for now. Maybe in the next three four years.
Stefan Aarnio: Well I love the businesses that you’re selecting. It’s just you know janitor’s is never gonna stop. No matter how bad the economy gets you gotta clean buildings. I have a office building and my offices and we outsource the janitorial because none of my employees are typically good at it. If I pay them I’m overpaying. The job’s done poorly. So I have to have an outside cleaning service.
Stefan Aarnio: I was thinking about it today I should open a property management company and of course, the cleaners it’s just a job that no one thinks is glamorous so it’s smart. And then the other thing the gas station the beer vendor not going out of style ever. Right?
Sime Sandhu: No, no.
Stefan Aarnio: You’ll be there for 50 years and more. Making money every day. How much of your time does it take to run those businesses?
Sime Sandhu: Like on a weekly basis you mean?
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah is it very active? Is it semi-active? Is it passive?
Sime Sandhu: It all comes down to the team I think. It all comes down to who you hire and the quality of people that you’re putting in to these different businesses. Like the janitorial thing I have a really good team. So I could call them at three in the morning. For example I did the MTS Center it’s a very high demand client. They’ll call us after a Jets game and they’ll ask us to do extra things. They’ve done a really good team. The gas stations I probably visit them maybe once or twice a week, and maybe for like an hour or so. So it’s very absentee. I love absentee businesses. Sometimes I’m a little too absentee I should probably be there a little bit more than I am.
Stefan Aarnio: So what kind of person do you need to run a gas station for you? Cause I guess stealing’s a thing there’s [crosstalk 00:18:44] there’s cameras there’s mirrors. There’s probably crazy customers and drug addicts showing up. What kind of person do you have to hire to run a gas station in a trustworthy way?
Sime Sandhu: You know even people that I thought were completely trustworthy ended up being not trustworthy.
Stefan Aarnio: Oh let’s hear that entrepreneurial story because that’s every entrepreneurial’s [crosstalk 00:19:06]
Sime Sandhu: Well I think it was fault of mine cause I easily trust people. I think people are just like me and I think I’m fairly trustworthy. So if I’m hiring somebody I would assume that they’re going to be the same person back. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way there are people who will just steal from you. That’s just part of the [crosstalk 00:19:24]
Stefan Aarnio: So what’s your stealing story? Don’t name any names but what happened? I know at all my businesses we don’t handle a lot of cash. We don’t handle cigarettes or inventory or beer or stuff that walks out the door. So stealing’s not a big part of my business cause everything’s digital and it’s hard to steal digital money. But with you what was your experience with stealing? Or horror story?
Sime Sandhu: Well just keeping a really close eye on your numbers that’s probably is something that … But I think my partner is the one that actually was … He’s always thinking someone’s stealing from him, even though people aren’t.
Stefan Aarnio: He’s a little paranoid.
Sime Sandhu: He’s a little paranoid yeah. I’m probably the exact opposite. So he got a little paranoid which made me think “Okay let’s look into this finally.” He also sits and watches cameras more than I do. So that was it we just started watching surveillance of the employees, which we’re allowed to do. And we started to see some really shady stuff happening at wee hours of the morning when we’re probably sleeping.
Stefan Aarnio: So what we’re they doing taking a Slurpee for free or …
Sime Sandhu: No no it was actually a very elaborate scene. It wasn’t small stuff. Usually we allow staff to have drinks and stuff we’re not completely paranoid about them having a fountain drink or a Slurpee. We’re not like “Hey you can’t do that.” Cause I think if you treat them properly they’ll also treat you properly.
Stefan Aarnio: Slurpee’s like 10 cents.
Sime Sandhu: Exactly.
Stefan Aarnio: Costs nothing.
Sime Sandhu: And especially at that business we would actually also offer them a free meal, that we would cover.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow. What kind of meal you talking? Chicken wings or what?
Sime Sandhu: Diner food right. Chicken fingers and frees and something that they could actually eat during their shift right.
Stefan Aarnio: Dude that’s a great job for somebody. You get a chicken meal and some Slurpees-
Sime Sandhu: Some food if they … We thought we were being nice. But one employee or a couple of them we’re actually just giving away free drinks in the bar. That was probably one of them.
Stefan Aarnio: Alcohol stuff is huge.
Sime Sandhu: Alcohol is definitely huge. Or over pouring. If you go into the whole night club that’s huge.
Stefan Aarnio: Well you gotta weigh the alcohol. That’s what I’ve seen it people weigh it with scales and that has to match your-
Sime Sandhu: [crosstalk 00:21:34] where they’ll actually measure what you’re pouring out. And then if you have a digital meter-it’s pretty complicated. But we ended up having to implement all those things because it just wasn’t stopping.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow. [crosstalk 00:21:47] was it alcohol sales? Like you said it was elaborate? Tell me about that.
Sime Sandhu: Yeah well the convenient stores theft is probably the most elaborate where they were … I can’t even remember exactly what they were doing but they were faking, pricing an item. And then they were punching it in to the till as if it was sold. But it wasn’t really sold. They were kind of putting it in the back. And then they would take it in the back out. We had to [inaudible 00:22:12] we didn’t even know what she was doing. And she actually ended up, cheating didn’t confess to it until we told her that we had it on film. And even then it was a bit of a back and forth. And even then we didn’t want to fire her we’re like because you’ve been there for like 15 years.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow. So she came with the business?
Sime Sandhu: She came with the business right. So there’s some employees who actually still there that came with the business who are the best employees. And we really know that they’re solid. And they run everything for us.
Stefan Aarnio: So you took her out front of the gas station and cut her hand off everybody and [crosstalk 00:22:51] I’m just teasing. In the old days what they hang people for stuff like that. Okay so great man that’s crazy. Now I was speaking to a mutual friend and he was saying you’re doing land deals now with Tim Hortons. Tell me how that works.
Sime Sandhu: So eventually I ended up after the 59 er I got into another gas station in [inaudible 00:23:14] that’s where the first Tim’s happened. So we built the Tim Hortons there it’s a little gas station/Tim’s kiosk at the drive through.
Stefan Aarnio: Do people sit down there? Or it’s just-
Sime Sandhu: There’s no seating but you can walk in and pick up. They have double A drive through in the back there’s a little …
Stefan Aarnio: So Tim Hortons is your [inaudible 00:23:34] which is a major Canadian, coffee bar donut bar thing. So you own the land under the Tim Hortons?
Sime Sandhu: Yes.
Stefan Aarnio: And you’re leasing. Are they a good tenant?
Sime Sandhu: They’re a great tenant. The only issue is having them as a tenant is the amount of money you have to fork over to get them in there. So it’s just not as easy as … If you’re an Esso dealer you have an in with them because they have a partnership with TDL they’ll open up [crosstalk 00:24:03]
Stefan Aarnio: And you’re Esso?
Sime Sandhu: I’m Esso yeah.
Stefan Aarnio: You’re Esso so then corporate offices says “Hey Sime we wanna put a Tim Hortons on your land-”
Sime Sandhu: You approach Esso and you would say “Hey this would be a big slot for you.” Your Esso contact will submit an application form to TDL. They’ll review a site. They’ll see if there’s a space for drive through cause that’s mandatory. And if they approve it then you a long list of things to go through in terms of getting approvals and stuff.
Stefan Aarnio: So then you have to go to the bank get the lease and improvements. And you have to get what million two million dollar loan probably to build a kiosk?
Sime Sandhu: Yeah well a kiosk is about half a million.
Stefan Aarnio: Oh that’s cheap. That’s cheap.
Sime Sandhu: I thought it was actually it was over because we actually ended up doing the construction in the winter time it was bad idea.
Stefan Aarnio: Right so you’re [crosstalk 00:24:46] gas and the soil [inaudible 00:24:49] off.
Sime Sandhu: It was a bit of a mess. Probably lost about a hundred thousand just in that build. The cold came in a little bit less and it ended up just going up. And you’re kind of at their mercy then they want you to pay the construction bill.
Stefan Aarnio: Right. The labor has a lot of power.
Sime Sandhu: Absolutely.
Stefan Aarnio: In this country. That must be a great monthly residual income.
Sime Sandhu: It is yeah.
Stefan Aarnio: I have a friend [inaudible 00:25:17] he leases out to Starbucks, eight thousand bucks a month for a Starbucks lease. And I’m going “Wow that’s pretty good lease. That’s nice stuff.” So I imagine it’s pretty good too.
Stefan Aarnio: So Sime one thing I love about you man is I have so many people on the show who are, they’re creating stuff they’re making stuff. They’re doing something wild in entrepreneurship. And what I love about having you on the show I think entrepreneurship is either one of two things it’s either the jobs that people don’t wanna do or the jobs that people don’t know how to do. So many people are innovation side are trying to make the next, software or the next magical thing. I’m like that myself. But what I love about you is you’re just like a timing guy. You just come in work hard do the work. And it seems like you’re just winning over time.
Stefan Aarnio: Talk to me a bit about timing and the hard work?
Sime Sandhu: It’s not that I’m not into the whole being innovative at least something bigger. I’ve always thought about that and I still want to do something like that. I just purchased another gas station this year it’s in the city. It’s not that I wanna keep buying gas stations. That said I think this is my last one cause I’m kind of tired of it too. It’s not an exciting business. You just buy them and then just sit there collect a cheque. Right cause they’re investments just like real estate is.
Stefan Aarnio: That’s the dream though. That’s the dream.
Sime Sandhu: That’s what I like cause I know in 20 years those businesses will still be churning out money.
Stefan Aarnio: What happens when Tesla electric cars come out? You thought about that?
Sime Sandhu: We have thought about that we think that’s still quite a ways away.
Stefan Aarnio: Or the one I’m worried about cause I’m more the downtown parking right now I’m going parking parking parking. I’m buying downtown buildings. And I buy them for parking more than the building. Cause I love parking. Parking the tenants have no rights. You tow em that’s it. With parking I’m a little worried now cause there’s self driving cars coming which won’t need to park at any one place. And I’m thinking about “Man is my parking gonna go outta style?”
Sime Sandhu: I don’t think so I think you’re pretty solid with parking.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah downtown. Downtown parking.
Sime Sandhu: Oh yeah. Self driving cars and all that stuff that’s quite a ways for them to be, cars to be automatically moving themselves. I did a Tesla test drive in California last year I mean it’s great but, on a large scale I don’t know how that’s gonna effect our gas lines and stuff like that. Honestly you don’t make a lot of money off gas anyways. You make a lot of the money off the store sales off the cigarettes off your beer and stuff. So if gas has to stop tomorrow I think we’d still, be okay.
Stefan Aarnio: Right. Well I guess just the hook to get people in the door to sell [crosstalk 00:28:26] chocolates and cigarettes.
Sime Sandhu: You don’t make anything off chocolate but yeah.
Stefan Aarnio: What’s the biggest money maker in gas station?
Sime Sandhu: It’s usually the store or as we found out this past year maybe a car wash.
Stefan Aarnio: Whoa. Tell me about the car wash business. [crosstalk 00:28:40] car wash business.
Sime Sandhu: Oh it’s great. So coin car washes are amazing. So somebody sees a coin car wash [inaudible 00:28:47] they’re amazing because especially with our climate here with the warm and then it’s especially during the months of November through the April.
Stefan Aarnio: There’s salt on the roads it’s dirty it’s [crosstalk 00:29:00]
Sime Sandhu: Washing a car right.
Stefan Aarnio: Nice. Okay so you have one of the automatic car washes people drive and it sprays them?
Sime Sandhu: No it’s actually a coin car wash.
Stefan Aarnio: Where you take a hose and [crosstalk 00:29:10]
Sime Sandhu: Own car.
Stefan Aarnio: Okay so you’re charging what five bucks for a self cleaning? How much do you charge?
Sime Sandhu: So ours are a little bit different. Instead of driving in and putting in coins and then the meter runs and then your line wash stops it’s actually a ticket system. So before you enter the wash you take a ticket out. And then it’s 79 cents a minute. So basically you’re actually kind of renting a stall …
Stefan Aarnio: And you say this is like a phone sex 79 cents. And so when grandma goes in there and she’s really slow, it’s gonna be like 15 bucks for a car wash because she’s just on the timer.
Sime Sandhu: Yeah we do have specials during the week. Between Thursday and Sunday it’s six bucks for a certain amount of time. But it really just helps to police people washing their car. If you go to the coin car washes a lot of the time you’ll have attendants that we’ll be like “Okay you’re done. Get out.” Because people will just take up a stall wiping your car down to dry it. So we didn’t want to have somebody in there staring at people yelling at them “Hey your time is up. Line up outside.” So with our car wash the line up is so quick cause people they wanna get in they wanna wash it and they wanna get out. They don’t wanna spend money-
Stefan Aarnio: Because they’re on the timer.
Sime Sandhu: They’re on the timer right so they take their ticket out they go inside they do their quick wash. Another thing is if you don’t have coins, you’re good. Because you can just go inside turn the dial to whatever you want it just starts. You can go for as long as you want, or as short as you want. When you go inside you pay for it and you’re out.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow so the car wash comes with the gas station. Part of gas station comes with car wash.
Sime Sandhu: The one we bought this year came with a eight bay, coin-sorry not a coin but I’ll just call it a coin.
Stefan Aarnio: And so I guess the bank must love assets like that. Cause car washes aren’t going out of style, gas isn’t going out of style. People buying, beer or lotto. You make a lot of money on lotto?
Sime Sandhu: Lotto is not great no.
Stefan Aarnio: Because it’s government owned?
Sime Sandhu: It’s garbage.
Stefan Aarnio: It’s garbage.
Sime Sandhu: The lotto is just there. I added lotto to my [Sy 00:31:18] Max store and it’s just … It was a hassle just to get it. And then they finally approved the site and then it was kind of a waste of time.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow. So Sime I love this story. And I love the development from being a not so awesome student of the U of W to the piloting thing which I think is a dream for a lot of people. My dad spend a hundred grand on his pilot’s license. And totally was a flop couldn’t really get a job. Pretty much had to go bankrupt after. It was horrible. My brother’s become a pilot right now. I’m watching him do his hours flying up north being gone-
Sime Sandhu: It’s tough. It’s definitely tough.
Stefan Aarnio: Super hard man. And now you’re a success man you’ve got these real solid recession proof businesses which is great. What do you think had to change in your mind between being a student or piloting thing to having a portfolio of businesses now? And real good stuff. What had to change from point A to point B?
Sime Sandhu: I think it was just seeing my parents, struggle so much you know? And seeing especially in this day and age you have so many TV shows you have Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den and so much more, young people that are doing a lot of entrepreneurial stuff. Like you for example you just don’t want to work the eight to four. I think the last time I did that was probably when I was 20 something. Literally 20 something and I’m 34 now. So I can’t even think back to how it used to be to get up in the morning and have to go in to do a job for somebody else. So with the restaurant business maybe opened my eyes to some degree about how it could be. But even that was a pretty big hustle. You’re there open to close. They’re there super early to prep and stuff.
Sime Sandhu: So I think when I made the decision to stop flying I really needed to do something. It was either you have to figure out what you want to do. And I think I did get lucky I didn’t get up int eh morning and I was just like “Oh yeah I’m gonna go out and I’m gonna buy buy this condo. I’m gonna flip and make a lot of money.” So you do have to get lucky. But I think it was just a realization that I just need flexibility in my life.
Stefan Aarnio: Right. That’s such a great story. You’re young you said 34?
Sime Sandhu: 34.
Stefan Aarnio: I’m 32. And I think what you said is really true. People have this laptop lifestyle fantasy-I’m trying to hire a social media manager right now. Never say “I wanna work from work from home.” I’m like “I want in house around business around culture.” I got nine guys working in one room for 10. But I want that person coming in and working every day. I wanna see them working. And everybody wants the laptop lifestyle. Everybody wants “Give me mailbox money in the mail. I wanna be an entrepreneur I wanna flip houses.” Whatever, BS idea they have.
Stefan Aarnio: And you’re proof that just straight up, showing up working hard doing it finding good opportunities is really where it’s at. What do you say to all the people that want the laptop lifestyle? Does it even exist even?
Sime Sandhu: The laptop lifestyle? Like the kind of lifestyle that we have you mean?
Stefan Aarnio: Well sort of man I go into work when I want. I leave when I want. What I’m saying is there’s people out there that think they can skip the work. This shows [crosstalk 00:34:43] the grind you can’t skip that.
Sime Sandhu: Absolutely. I agree with you 100 percent. I have friends that they want to do so many things but I’m like “Well what are you doing to get to that?” It’s like they just, they think it but as soon as they walk out the door they’re not thinking about it anymore. So they’ll go to their job but after their job social life is more important. Other things take precedence over “Hey I wanna not go to that job tomorrow. I wanna not go anywhere tomorrow.” But they just don’t get after that. And I think some people are just wired to work for somebody.
Sime Sandhu: I talk with my siblings who are all physicians and they’re earning well, but they’re working for somebody. So they’re working and all credit to them they’re smart people and they’re earning well and they’ve done great. But at the end of the day they have to get up in the morning and they have to go to the hospital. And we need doctors so all the power to them but that wasn’t for me. So for them to get out of that lifestyle was very difficult. There are doctors who will invest on the side but I feel like their thinking is so specialized it’s very difficult.
Stefan Aarnio: Right and they got a lot of programming. Like the doctors in this country actually work for the government. So my mother’s a teacher she works for the government well government teacher. My dad was an entrepreneur. It was a great source of friction in our house because we had the government mentality versus the private enterprise. Now the people out there that you see that want this but maybe they don’t do it. What do you think causes them to not, take the lead? Or to fail? Or to just never take action? What is it holding people back? Cause you’re on the other side of this. I’m on the other side of this. We both went through that leap. What do you think stops the average person from just doing this?
Sime Sandhu: I think it’s the fear of failing for sure. And then also not being able to take risks. People just are comfortable. They’re making, so much money a year and they’re comfortable with that. And that’s enough for them. The people that want to do more they just don’t put the time in. Even in the janitorial business I had to do some stuff, that’s really crazy.
Stefan Aarnio: Tell us about it. We’re all here to hear [crosstalk 00:37:08]
Sime Sandhu: When I first started this janitorial job I had no network of people that I have now. So to send people to a job or to call em or to text them to go do something for me now that’s easy right? I can do that. But when I first started I had nobody. So if a site was to call me and say “Hey nobody showed up.” I had to go in and do janitorial work. And for me, that was like “What am I doing?” Because I’m an educated person what am I doing running into a [inaudible 00:37:40] at three in the morning. Wouldn’t even tell my parents cause they didn’t even know what I was up to.
Stefan Aarnio: Right what would they say? Cause they want you to be a doctor right. So that’s like if you’re not a doctor, you better be dead.
Sime Sandhu: And they’re like “He’s back from flying but he’s running out at three in the morning and he’s cleaning. What is he doing?”
Stefan Aarnio: He’s cleaning toilets.
Sime Sandhu: Yeah it was that. So going back to your question I think it’s just that it’s just not wanting it enough almost.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah I think hunger plays a huge-
Sime Sandhu: Hunger’s huge.
Stefan Aarnio: I have an office in a very sales driven company. I got my education in sales driven. I got my real estate company sales driven. Sales and deals and money. Some of my guys in my office are making three hundred thousand dollars. Some of them are making a hundred twenty thousand. A lot of people come in and they make 40 thousand last year they make 40 thousand the year before. They made 40 thousand the year before. And they come in to sales which is mini entrepreneurship it’s the beginning right? And they’re like “Oh man I wanna make a hundred and 20 grand this year.” And I said “What’d you make last year?” “I made 40.” “Okay well what did you make last year?” “40.” Sure enough as soon as they make 40 grand on a job stop working.
Sime Sandhu: They stop working.
Stefan Aarnio: They stop working. And it’s just pure hunger.
Sime Sandhu: Right.
Stefan Aarnio: So what keeps you hungry? What keeps you going? Cause you look good you’re in shape you’re dressed well. You probably got some money in the bank. Why do you keep going?
Sime Sandhu: Well do I keep doing it? Yeah I just a lot more. I think maybe that gets a little too much sometimes people wanting more, materialistic things. I think the social media generation that we are in right now what you see, is a lie. But you see things on Instagram and you see people doing these crazy things and you’re like “Oh well why can’t I have that?”
Stefan Aarnio: Right so the Lambos or the bikini girlfriend.
Sime Sandhu: Right you just see-
Stefan Aarnio: Mexico trip. Yachting.
Sime Sandhu: I’m not saying that influences me a lot, but even if you see something and you’ll think about it it’s still kind of in your head. You still kind of keep it there.
Stefan Aarnio: Subconsciously right?
Sime Sandhu: Helping my parents which is being more. Helping other people helping, my family back in India pushes me more. I wanna do things back home. So that takes money. I can keep doing the businesses that I’m doing right now but it gets boring so you have to keep in mind fresh and you have to keep it going. I’m just gonna sit and home and be like “Here [inaudible 00:40:10] I have three gas stations. I have this job on the side. And I’m just doing the same thing all day that I’ve kind of become the same people that I’ve looked at and said ‘Hey why aren’t you doing something more?'” So I can’t just, sit on my laptop from eight to four and just watch TV or [inaudible 00:40:25] become boring.
Stefan Aarnio: So let me ask you this Sime I was reading a book by Dan Kennedy one of the greatest marketers. I don’t know if you read Dan Kennedy or not. And he was talking about marketing to the affluent. Now I imagine you’re an affluent gentlemen. And one thing he said about affluent people is they all have something, that they will just splurge on. Arnold Schwarzenegger owns an army tank. He spends a lot of money on his cigars. And then every affluent person has something that they just won’t spend money on “No thanks.” Like they buy the cheapest toilet paper or the cheapest on sale baking or whatever they buy.
Stefan Aarnio: What’s something that you will just spend money on just a guilty pleasure? And then what’s something that you’re just like frugal no matter what? No matter how rich you are if you’re a billionaire you still would buy discount toilet paper. What’s those two things?
Sime Sandhu: I would probably say maybe, cars maybe.
Stefan Aarnio: You a car guy?
Sime Sandhu: I’m a car guy but nothing stupid. I got my parents a really nice car which is a big thing for me.
Stefan Aarnio: Okay. What’s a nice car? What did you buy?
Sime Sandhu: [crosstalk 00:41:30] Audi.
Stefan Aarnio: I was gonna say Audi that’s parents car. You bought your parents an Audi.
Sime Sandhu: Yeah. So that was a big thing for me once I was able to get them to retire, I wanted to get them something really nice. So that was kind of a big thing for me. Yeah I would say cars but I’m not … I would probably say clothes. I can’t spend a lot of money on clothes it blows my mind. I’d say anything really brand. I know cars I’m spending probably 30 K for a Benz more than if I was to buy a better car with more options. But it’s like a Honda, and I want that brand right?
Stefan Aarnio: I was looking at-I was at 529 [Stakehouse 00:42:12] in the parking lot and there’s this car. I was like “Is that like a Hyundai Genesis? Or is that a Mercedes?” I’m sure it’s cheaper than a Mercedes right?
Sime Sandhu: [inaudible 00:42:23] but you’re paying for the brand. I think brand wise for cars I don’t spending the money cause I just want to buy something really nice. But when it comes to clothes I’m just like “Forget about it.” If I see a t-shirt and it’s a Hugo Boss t-shirt and it’s 300 dollars and I’m like “It’s a white t-shirt.” And I can’t believe people spend money on that type of crap it’s just insane. At least for the car you’re in it every day it’s gonna feel nice to get in to every morning. But you throw a t-shirt on and it’s a t-shirt like what does it matter-and back in the day there was quality behind it. But now it’s all completely changed it’s all fast fashion. It’s all in Bangladesh or in Pakistan or in India or in China. I mean first it was China now it’s all [inaudible 00:43:14]
Stefan Aarnio: Vietnam or something.
Sime Sandhu: Somewhere else yeah. So I think for me clothes if I’m buying something I’m like just … I was in Philadelphia last – that I went to Uniqlo. And they had a-this is from Uniqlo. And they had just regular stuff for decent prices. It’s a 15 dollar t-shirt I was like “Okay fine that’s a decent price.” And I’m not saying that I won’t buy a nice suit now and then that you’ll wear until [crosstalk 00:43:45] right yeah exactly.
Stefan Aarnio: Like I got 27 suits in quality [crosstalk 00:43:48] because for me it’s a power and influence tool. Now I’m like you man I go to Walmart and I buy boxes of white tees and I think they’re like six for six bucks or something. I remember when I got off stage I was traveling and doing a seminar. I got up stage and this girl I was seeing this girl and she’s in my hotel room. I take off my suit. I put on my white cotton tee I got for a dollar at Walmart and I’m like “Man I love this white cotton tee. I love this cotton it sits-I love this cotton tee.” So I get in bed cause it’s night time I’m ready to go to bed. And she’s like “I wanna cuddle you.” I’m like “Okay fine.” I cuddle. She comes up to me she’s like “I wanna take off this white cotton tee.” I said “No you can’t take off my white cotton tee [crosstalk 00:44:30] cotton tee.”
Stefan Aarnio: And it was funny cause she was so insulted cause it’s a one dollar t-shirt. And I just wanted to feel the cotton on my skin after having the suit on all day. It’s funny that she got insulted by it. So clothes is something you’re not in to. But you think a car is more of important to you?
Sime Sandhu: Yeah I’d say like a nice car, that would be something that I would probably spend some nice money on. But besides that like every day clothes and stuff I mean no. I just can’t see spending a lot of money on everyday clothes. Especially branding and stuff.
Stefan Aarnio: So Sime changing gears a bit what’s a moment where you thought that you were gonna fail this whole thing was gonna come crashing down? Was there a moment where you’re like “Oh my god I’m not gonna make it?”
Sime Sandhu: It could’ve been the same time where I was looking at buying the first gas station just coming up with the amount of money that I had to come up with. I think just, building relationship is huge. Cause I would never had bought that gas station if I didn’t build strong relationships with really good people that would trust me with a hundred thousand dollars without going through a lawyer. I mean how-like in this day and age for somebody to trust you with a commissary note which doesn’t mean anything but it’s done up on a Microsoft Word [crosstalk 00:45:51]
Stefan Aarnio: Napkin.
Sime Sandhu: Yeah pretty much so I think buying the first one is always the most difficult cause you had to raise so much, cash. And you don’t have half a million dollars cash. No matter how many years I was flying for I wasn’t going to save half a million cash. Right so you have to know, how to get that money. And I’m sure you teach people how to raise money right? That’s for me that was me raising money was my parents and investors all these other companies that I worked for that trusted me and, gave me money. And obviously I paid it back but even for them to take that leap of faith like “Here’s a hundred and 30 K.” Not securing to anything it’s not the bank where they’re gonna secure everything.
Stefan Aarnio: Securing as your first borns [crosstalk 00:46:41]
Sime Sandhu: Personal guarantee your life.
Stefan Aarnio: Sperm bank everything.
Sime Sandhu: Yeah. So that’s-yeah I would say that’s the first one.
Stefan Aarnio: With your investors now I do teach people how to raise money and I’ve got students who have raised three million five million a year, a hundred grand whatever. What do you pay your investors? You pay them like five percent return or 10 percent? Cut of the business? How did you end up paying your investors back?
Sime Sandhu: It was usually something that they, would negotiate. I think it was probably between eight and 10 percent probably.
Stefan Aarnio: Okay so that’s pretty sternad that’s a good standard [crosstalk 00:47:12]
Sime Sandhu: But then on top of that I think I even ended up giving them a little bit more just because I felt so indebted to them for what they did. It still actually blows my mind people we’re actually able to … Cause I know I’m a trustworthy person. But people get burned all the time but trusting people that they feel that are trustworthy.
Stefan Aarnio: Well I think in business … Keith Cunningham great author. He’s actually guy who helped trained Robert [inaudible 00:47:40] Bishop. He says in business there’s crooks and there’s class. And you might be a trustworthy guy and yet you’re not a crook, but you might be a clown you might mess it up and still lose the money. And it took me a long time cause I’m the same as you now I’m an upfront dude. I’m like “Okay here’s the deal.” I’m pretty straight with people that’s just how I roll. But I’ve also screwed it up a couple times where I’ve legitimately burned the bread. You know we were baking bread I burned it or legitimately screwed it up. And that’s something I never thought about was like well I’m not gonna steal your money, but the deal could actually go bad. And that’s a whole another thing. And unfortunately every doctor’s had patients every baker has burned bread. I think architects if they screwed up all they could do is grow vines, cause they screwed up.
Stefan Aarnio: Now Sime if you go back and talk to yourself at 13-14. If you go talk to yourself at age 16 17 18 what’s a piece of advise you give yourself?
Sime Sandhu: Oh man we’re not prepared for the real world. I swear coming out of high school coming out of junior high we’re not prepared at all. School doesn’t teach us anything about, being financially free how to deal with your finances how to save. It’s something to seek it’s not common sense you know. You have to teach. We learn everything else but they don’t teach us the real world stuff. They don’t. And it’s horrible because I have friends that are so struggling with stuff I’m just like “Common you can’t struggle with that anymore.” They’re over 30 now. And people still struggle with that.
Sime Sandhu: And if I was to look bad I would probably tell myself to learn these things that I had to learn much later in life.
Stefan Aarnio: Right cause start it early. I wish I started in vacuum sales at 16 and dropped out of school and started at [inaudible 00:50:10] like 16 man I got to start at 22. With that I think it’s interesting a lot of young people out there just people in general they got food gas rent, and clothing. And that’s all they have on their mind on their monthly bank statement. But they still can’t balance it. What do you say to those people? Because I’m sure you already have hundreds of thousands of transactions a month in that bank account. And that gets hard man you got four [inaudible 00:50:35] to cash and you gotta make sure your GST’s paid your PST your payroll. That stuff gets complicated. And I don’t know if it’s a [inaudible 00:50:45] being your entrepreneurial hundred grand in your bank and the next day you wake up you got zero cause all your source interactions and whatever came out [crosstalk 00:50:51] yeah and you have a heart attack.
Stefan Aarnio: What do you say to people that can’t balance four things on balance sheet?
Sime Sandhu: Like you mean they just can’t stop spending you mean?
Stefan Aarnio: Well I don’t know what it is man some people … Dude I look at some people and they got four things to pay for. It’s like “I got my gas I got my rent I got my food I got my [inaudible 00:51:10].” How do you not make your rent? You got four things bro. [crosstalk 00:51:16] grow up or what is it?
Sime Sandhu: They definitely have to grow up. That’s number one. But people just spend money on nonsense stuff though. I have friends that they’ll buy something or they’ll be like “You know I’m gonna buy this.” And I’m like “That’s a hundred and 80 bucks.” And it could be Christmas it could be whatever holiday I don’t really care I’m like “You buy that for yourself.” I’m like “You have that. Or you have something similar to that.” But people can’t stop from spending on-and I think Ken [O’Learhy 00:51:46] says this a lot spending money on just garbage.
Stefan Aarnio: Like coffee.
Sime Sandhu: Like coffee right.
Stefan Aarnio: Eight dollar coffee.
Sime Sandhu: Eight dollar like the six seven dollar Starbucks. But maybe that’s a little extreme, cause people wanna have a coffee. But his principal behind it is very simple right because people will spend, 200 bucks plus on a t-shirt or on this coat but they have a winter coat they bought last winter. I’ve had the same winter coat for I think the last eight years. I’m still wearing the same coat. I spent 700 bucks on this coat I bought in Edmonton, at some annual meeting. Like when I first started with this company I needed a coat. I had some coat from Buffalo which ripped up. I went to this really high end store in West Edmonton Mall. Saw this coat loved it. But it was super expensive. I’ve had the same coat-I still have the same coat. But people will buy a 60 dollar winter coat or over a hundred dollar winter coat every year it seems. We’ll just spend money on stuff and I’m just like “Why are you buying that? You have that already?” And it’s just like we [inaudible 00:52:50] into a ball.
Stefan Aarnio: Right and that’s why I asked about splurge. Cause every rich person like Warren Buffet. Warren Buffet eats-world’s richest investor he eats cheeseburgers from McDonald’s and a egg McMuffin. He’s a pretty frugal guy but boy does he spend money on airplanes. Like his fancy thing that he [inaudible 00:53:07] on his private jets. Which is way more than 200 dollar t-shirts right?
Sime Sandhu: Yes. But he can though right?
Stefan Aarnio: He’s earned it.
Sime Sandhu: And if you’re working a minimum wage job or if you’re working as a manager in some store to make like 35-40 K a year, but you want to live like you’re earning a hundred K a year, that’s you know …
Stefan Aarnio: Well I think that’s one of the hardest things about our generation is a lot of kids have lived at home for too long. And then they get a job like a decent job making 40 G’s let’s say and they live at home and they’re not paying rent. And they’re not really paying any tax. And then mom and dad or the real world hits them and suddenly like 40 grand in net let’s say or whatever they’re making tips as a waitress at Earls or Starbucks or something. That money’s pure money. And it’s like making a hundred and 20 grand. Then when they go get their real job with the real rent and the real mortgage and the real car loan they’re making nothing and they go “What? I was living on a hundred and 20 grand lifestyle and now [inaudible 00:54:04] on 40 G’s.”
Stefan Aarnio: Let me ask you this Sime what’s top three books to change your life?
Sime Sandhu: Top three books?
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah.
Sime Sandhu: I did read, I forget what his name is one of the guys in Shark Tank? Herjavec?
Stefan Aarnio: Herjavec yeah.
Sime Sandhu: I’ve read his book. Forget what it’s called. I’ve read one Donald Trump book.
Stefan Aarnio: Which one?
Sime Sandhu: I think it was the Art of the Deal.
Stefan Aarnio: Oh the original.
Sime Sandhu: [crosstalk 00:54:30] right.
Stefan Aarnio: That was a good book man. Trump love him or hate him he’s really good at real estate. And he’s a really smart guy. I was reading part of A Comeback I ordered it on Amazon a couple weeks ago. Cause I was watching documentary how Trump was a billion dollars in personal debt at one point. And it was how it got out of that. He went on the stock market, he issued bonds at [Saks 00:54:53] and it’s crazy man it’s a learn for me. Very bright guy. Yeah people will get excited about him but in business very smart. So Art of the Deal?
Sime Sandhu: Art of the Deal. Robert [inaudible 00:55:07]
Stefan Aarnio: His book.
Sime Sandhu: I forget what it was called. And then one that I got from the owner of the company that I worked for I can’t remember but I can get you the title but I think it was The Handshake or something like that. I forget what it was actually called.
Stefan Aarnio: Okay man that’s cool. I love hearing people [crosstalk 00:55:22]
Sime Sandhu: I don’t read a lot I actually do a lot more of Audible now cause I drive around so much. I love Audible.
Stefan Aarnio: Right if you’re in the car Audible’s-so what’s [do you listen to on 00:55:32] Audible?
Sime Sandhu: It’s another business so I think it’s-the NBA book …
Stefan Aarnio: The [inaudible 00:55:41] NBA or … Personal NBA?
Sime Sandhu: I think it’s the Personal NBA. So I did that one. And now I’m on to a new one. I also like books about lifestyle and stuff how to de-stress, especially if you’re in a very high stress role. Or how to live very minimalistically, it’s very do everything [inaudible 00:56:05]
Stefan Aarnio: It’s almost spiritual where you got less things. I wanna write a book I’ve written five books. I’ll write a book called Do Less. Just the art of doing less having less and just, clean white space. Last question here for today Sime what is the one people need to succeed these days? I think you’re a millennial I’m a millennial generation Z. What do young people need to succeed these days?
Sime Sandhu: Just pick a career that’s actually gonna make you some money. I think a house … I hope my friends all listen to this [inaudible 00:56:37] pick a career that’s actually gonna earn you a good income. Don’t go into something that’s not gonna earn you anything and then you’re like “Well I can’t buy, X Y Z because I’m not making enough money.” Cause to go back to school when you’re over 30 it’s very difficult. People do it and they’re over 40-50 right. But especially in our generation we’re so lazy already for us to go back to school it’s like next to impossible. People do it but people that are doing it they’re like the previous generation to us, they have that work ethic where they think “Okay I’m gonna go back to school when I’m 36-38.”
Stefan Aarnio: You’re talking about generation X?
Sime Sandhu: Yeah. Our generation I feel like we’re just-well people that we’re coming now just pick a career that’s actually gonna make you some money. Don’t go into something that you’re just like “Whoa, it’s a struggle.”
Stefan Aarnio: So for the people at home what’s some of these careers that you think right now that would be a good thing to have? And you gotta think ahead 2018 again 10-20 years what are some of the careers that you think would be great?
Sime Sandhu: I think anything in the IT field is huge. Anything in [inaudible 00:57:45] is huge. Those are some great fields. I love business. Getting in to real estate. Investing early in your life. If you’re working a job. I have friends that are even in their early 20’s I’m like “Invest now.” If you’re working at a job and you’re making like 50 K a year, 60 K a year that’s not bad for somebody that’s 24-25-
Stefan Aarnio: That’s amazing. Average Winnepegger’s 25 grand.
Sime Sandhu: Yes exactly. So somebody that’s at 21-22 and just got lucky somehow. Or even if you’re making a little bit less, reduce your lifestyle to something where you can save money and you can buy that one crappy condo. But hey maybe even in a couple of years or buy that really bad house. But at least get your money somewhere where it might grow, in the next five six years whatever. Don’t just rent and just live that way. I [inaudible 00:58:42] save the money and just start [inaudible 00:58:46] early cause it’s so much easier when you’re in your 30 and stuff and you’ve already worked hard in your 20’s. You can do what you do in your 20’s, you can still party and stuff but you can party in your 30 but it’s actually kinda better cause you can party properly. Go to different countries and do it instead of just doing it in your background.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah your one loser friend’s backyard. Yeah I love what you said about investing. I look at I remember 2008 when I started my real entrepreneurial journey, I could bought Apple stocks after they crashed for like 70 bucks. And [inaudible 00:59:19] 600 bucks [crosstalk 00:59:21] I was looking at Facebook stocks I think it was 15-16 bucks. Now it’s what like 80-90 bucks. And just the discipline of putting money away and investing. I’ve got this new mentality I’ve got two things with it. With real estate I’ve bought 40 to 60 thousand dollar every week we buy something. And [inaudible 00:59:41] flipping the contract [inaudible 00:59:43] but now I gain I’m buying 50 units in [inaudible 00:59:48] just to duplexs to try to [inaudible 00:59:49] goals. I [inaudible 00:59:51] in neighborhoods. Good neighborhoods. Hipsters yuppies. Still lots of opportunities.
Stefan Aarnio: And my whole mentality is just load up with good debt let other people pay it off. Even if the building never goes up, I never paid off the loan. And that’s exactly [crosstalk 01:00:06] hold it forever never sell it. It’s gonna pay off. Even if it doesn’t go up, you win. And those suites, will never be empty because it’s a good area. And you’re doing say the gas stations you got good corners good spots. It’s just never going away. People need food. They gotta use the bathroom. They gotta buy their chocolate or their cigarettes. You’re there here we go. Sime thank you so much for joining.
Sime Sandhu: Thank you so much for having me.
Stefan Aarnio: How can people get in touch with you if they want to talk to Sime Sandhu?
Sime Sandhu: Like you mean social media stuff?
Stefan Aarnio: Anyway man. I mean [inaudible 01:00:40] morse code-
Sime Sandhu: I think Instagram is probably the most easy way. Sime 49 S-I-M-E 49. That’s my handle. Otherwise yeah.
Stefan Aarnio: Awesome. Thank so much for having me. Respect the Grind Sime loved having you on the show.
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