Sua Truong was born in Can Tho, Vietnam (1970-). His family fled to Thailand during the Communist take-over of South Vietnam in 1979. He and his family was eventually sponsored to Canada in the fall of 1980 to start over. Sua believes that success comes to those who can endure and outlast the trials and tribulations that we face in our life. After many challenging careers that spanned several industries from construction, hospitality and high-tech sector, he has finally set his eyes on the financial services sector. He feels on purpose when he can make a big difference in people’s lives and this industry is where he feels that he can make the most impact.

Find out more about Sua Truong at:


Stefan Aarnio: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the show Respect The Grind with Stefan Aarnio. This is the show where we interview people who achieve mastery and freedom through discipline. We interview entrepreneurs, athletes, authors, artists, real estate investors, anyone who’s achieved mastery, and examine what it took to get there. Today on the show, we have a friend of mine, Sua Truong, rockstar mortgage broker from the West Coast. Sua has written a book and he’s now coaching and helping other people all across the country get their finances together. Sua, welcome to the show, Respect The Grind. Thanks so much for joining me.

Sua Truong: Hey. Thanks for putting me onto the show here, Stefan. I honestly believe that you guys are doing an awesome job in being able to reach out to entrepreneurs. That’s really cool, helping them out.

Stefan Aarnio: Awesome. Well, entrepreneurs need a lot of help. 90% failure rate the first five years, 90% failure rate second five years. So, over ten years you’ve got a 99% failure rate. Now, Sua, how did we end up meeting, brother?

Sua Truong: Well, I run the Synergy Real Estate Network. It’s one of the largest one in the lower mainland of Vancouver. You were a keynote speaker at the REN a few times. Very popular, always asked to come back. So we were very happy to have met you. You guys helped a ton of our clients with investors, and I’m sure they went to Winnipeg to check things out. Very inspiring.

Stefan Aarnio: Awesome, yeah, we got a lot of customers across the country who were coaching and all sorts of things. Great coming out to Surrey, love working with you Sua. Now, for people at home who don’t know Sua Truong, Sua tell us in your own words who is Sua Truong and why should the people at home be interested in your story?

Sua Truong: You know, I come from humble beginnings just like you my friend. Have basically nothing to start with, zero money in our pocket. We’re not fed with a silver spoon. I originally came from Vietnam while the immigrants out there. Actually, we’re refugees. And we’re sponsored by a Christian family, and starting from zero, from scratch; to living in poverce and trailer park… you know, trailer park boys? I’ll haul the trailer park boys. If somebody like myself can go from humble beginnings to making over six figures today, being an entrepreneur and we’re suddenly share. That’s really cool, right?

Stefan Aarnio: Sua, how does… so what year did you come over to Canada from Vietnam?

Sua Truong: 1980.

Stefan Aarnio: 1980, wow. Fill us in a little bit about the refugee status and the stories. I love hearing immigrant stories and refugee stories, how did that end up happening?

Sua Truong: Well, it’s funny… I’ll share you this. I was born with a silver spoon. I was born a wealthy son of a merchant in Vietnam and we had Aunts… Aunties would have people cook, help around the house. Do all the work for us. But when the communists took over the south, they started getting rid of the rich, wealthy Chinese people. Threw ’em out in the street. So, when our parents saw this happening to a lot of people across Vietnam, we said “We’ll take whatever we have with us, and leave the country, now, before that happens”. But the sad thing is, we took our possessions with us, but on our way between… Leaving Vietnam, we got taken over by a bunch of pirates at sea. It’s not Pirates of the Caribbean people, but the real life, real day pirates.

Stefan Aarnio: Real day pirates, okay. So tell me what it’s like to get boarded by pirates at sea. This is a better story than I thought. This show, I’m giving it a gong. Boom, pirates in the story, already, I gotta hear it.

Sua Truong: Well, you know, I was 7-8 years old so it was really frightening when you’re seeing guys come in with giant swords. To me it was huge, because I was 8 years old at the time, right. They basically grab anybody’s hands and take off the watch, take off the rings, and everything. I remember our Aunt had a gold ring or some kind of ring from the wedding. They said “Take it off, give it to us, or we’ll chop off your hands.” I was traumatized from that day. This is not… we lost everything, including whatever possessions we had on us. Even if it’s of insignificant value to them, they take it. Pretty scary.

Stefan Aarnio: The pirates board the boat, they got swords. Where were they from, those pirates?

Stefan Aarnio: Where did they come from?

Sua Truong: Thailand, right outside of Thailand. We were trying to get somewhere, to get the hell out of Vietnam. We didn’t know where and we eventually got to Thailand but before we reached Thailand, the Thai pirates came out. They know, right, slim pickings. Easy for them to go out there to take all this money from all these refugees that are running away from the country.

Stefan Aarnio: Wow, that’s incredible, Sua. Absolutely incredible. Then where did you guys go after the pirates raid you guys, then what happened?

Sua Truong: They at least were nice enough to not kill us or harm any of us. Took everything we had, but they got just to within the coastal water of Thailand, and when the Thai few came out and brought us in… Now, because we’re illegally now entering their space, they took us in but they didn’t allow us to freely roam the country. They put us in a refugee camp in the middle of the desert for many many months, almost a year. You sleep with sand blowing in your face, eating with sand blowing in your face, it’s terrible. I wouldn’t recommend doing that to anybody.

Stefan Aarnio: So how did you end up in Canada? You said a family sponsored you, a Christian family sponsored you?

Sua Truong: We were in refugee camp. It was barbed wire fence, the whole nine yards thing with the guards and all that. Eventually some Christian family sponsored us. At the beginning we were so thrilled and happy that somebody sponsored us out of that godforsaken land. But, coming from 40 degrees celsius to -35/-40 celsius every day, it’s hell. We’re sponsored there to a small little town called Smithers about 3,000-4,000 people at that time. We’re the only Chinese family, well, only Vietnamese family there, there was another Chinese family there that lives there and owns a restaurant. [inaudible 00:06:25] Chinese people having restaurants, they’re up there too.

Stefan Aarnio: So you guys came in and then how did you end up doing what you’re doing now? Sua, you’re a mortgage broker, training, coaching, written a book. How’d you go from being this kid that comes to Canada and how did you end up where you are now?

Sua Truong: We gradually worked and we got better and better. My father eventually found out there’s actually a lot of olive black haired people, Asian people, down in Vancouver when Expo ’86 showed up on TV. Eventually we relocated down to Surrey, B.C., Vancouver area. We did well and my father… Since I was the oldest one in the family of five, he gave me all the family’s money to take care of. So smart, really smart, I thought it was, I invested the money with the mortgage broker. That literally took us for a ride.

Sua Truong: A long story short, it was a scam, EAR mortgage coverage and fallout. I lost my father’s life savings, my friends life savings, all of my money I had at the time. So when that happened to me… My love was in IT field, I was studying for IT. But I said, “If this happened to me, it can happen to anybody.” Because of that incident I decided I needed to make a change and educate myself about this financing stuff works so that we don’t get taken advantage of ever again. That’s when I made a career change into the financial services sector.

Stefan Aarnio: So when you got started out in financial services, where did you start?

Sua Truong: I started working for one of the big banks, CIBC. I was working there for almost a decade. Loyalty has it that if you stay with the company long enough maybe you get the golden watch and all that. That was my first long term job I ever had. I was there for almost ten years, nine and a half years. Then I saw my regional sales manager, who was there for thirty-five, since he was like a kid, get laid off.

Stefan Aarnio: What? It sounds like a wake up moment to me.

Sua Truong: It was a wake up moment to me. But the thing that was really shocking to me was that I was told that her position is no longer required. I don’t know your definition is Stefan, but no longer required means nobody else is going to fill that position, right?

Stefan Aarnio: Right.

Sua Truong: Wrong. Two months later a younger girl filled her role, and she became a regional sales manager. I was like, “What the hell?”.

Stefan Aarnio: They got the younger, hotter version to come in and take over the older lady’s-

Sua Truong: -Not gonna say hotter, but cheaper, alright.

Stefan Aarnio: Oh, cheaper… I get it.

Sua Truong: That was a slap in my face. You know what, maybe if they seem to offer any severance, I’m taking two. I’m out of here.

Stefan Aarnio: Right, okay. So then you hit the ground running. You got some severance and got out?

Sua Truong: Yeah. I got out, but when I was at CIBC I was dealing with entrepreneurs, which inspired me. It’s funny, I was doing a lot of financing for a lot of small business owners, mostly restaurant owners. Soon I was figuring that “Hey, all these restaurant owners are smart enough to make money, why can’t I do that?”. So I took over a restaurant and I was there for five years slaving it, man. Don’t ever buy a restaurant, whatever anybody or you think about it- don’t do it.

Stefan Aarnio: You know what’s interesting, Sua, we get a lot of guys on this show who own franchises, pizza franchises, some sort of franchise of restaurant, and they all say “Oh my God, get out, it’s horrible.” Every single person, man… I had one guy on this show, Micheal Blank, and he had seven or eight pizza franchises that nearly bankrupted him. It’s brutal. I had, who else did I have on this show? I had my friend Nico Sanchez, he had a Panago Pizza. They’re not even open in Winnipeg anymore, Panago Pizza is completely wiped out.

Sua Truong: Yeah, Panago’s hurt.

Stefan Aarnio: It’s a brutal, brutal, business.

Sua Truong: Any restaurant is brutal because they take away your whole entire life. You go to sleep thinking about restaurant, you wake up… You breath restaurant, everywhere you go. Matter of fact, if you ever have a dream, you’re dreaming you’re working at a restaurant and then you wake up and you gotta go to a restaurant, it’s a nightmare.

Stefan Aarnio: What kind of restaurant was it you were working at?

Sua Truong: It was a breakfast, you know. One of those western type of breakfast… breakfast, lunch, kind of business.

Stefan Aarnio: Bacon and eggs, like a diner.

Sua Truong: Bacon and eggs, yeah. And still, I don’t know how to cook to this day. So, don’t ask.

Stefan Aarnio: Awesome. You go out into finance and from the restaurant did you end up… Now you’re straight up mortgage broker, commercial mortgage broker, that kind of thing?

Sua Truong: Yeah, when I sold the restaurant, I made money. I made double what I invested into it. The restaurant was successfully running when I left. I brought it from two hundred bucks to twelve hundred bucks a day in daily sales. So, it was going well, I just didn’t want anything to do with it anymore. Second kid was coming along, that’s the reason why.

Sua Truong: I decided what I really liked best was, actually dealing with entrepreneurs. Not being one, but working with entrepreneurs, and helping them do the financing aspect while watching them grow, it’s amazing. Because entrepreneurs is one thing, the technical aspect of raising funds; like yourself, you’re on top now, right? Raising capital is a totally different thing. Just because you’re an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you good at raising capital. That’s the one thing I like, to be caught between two different aspects of two different industries to help entrepreneurs. And you know what? If there’s a way to make money being an entrepreneur at it too… that’s when I found out about mortgage brokering. This is perfect, this is something I can do.

Stefan Aarnio: So out of all the things Sua; I mean we get people on this show… the Real Estate people, we get people who own gas stations and hotels and all sorts of different businesses. Why selling money? Why do you want to be a guy brokering money out of all the safe things you can do?

Sua Truong: You know what, out of all the things I’ve seen in life, there’s nothing that has zero inventory with unlimited supply. You know what’s crazier? What’s crazy is I’m lending out somebody else’s money and getting paid to do that.

Stefan Aarnio: I’m giving you a gong for that. I like what you said. Zero inventory yet unlimited supply, I’ve never heard that before. That’s money, right there.

Sua Truong: You need more, you need more? The more the merrier. Actually, what I find now is that the more money you need, the easier it is to get. If you want $200,000, it’s like pulling teeth. You need your wisdom teeth pulled. If you need $20 million, I can probably it a lot easier than $200,000.

Stefan Aarnio: Okay, okay, let’s talk about that. We’ve got a lot of people on this show, here, listening to this show. New real estate investors, small business people wanting to flip one house and whatever. Tell me why it’s easier to get $20 million bucks than two hundred grand.

Sua Truong: If you buy something that is only two hundred grand, it’s mostly like a single home or ranch or small house with one tenant. What happens when you have one vacancy? That’s 100% vacancy.

Stefan Aarnio: 100% vacant, you’re screwed.

Sua Truong: You’re screwed, literally. What do you do? You can give briefings every month, and it affects your psychology, affects your mental happiness and your physical happiness. You walk around looking like a poor schmuck. Whereas if you owned an apartment building, it’s gonna be about $10-$20 million dollars, chancellors can have 50-200 different units. That means you have 50-200 tenants. Even if the worse case happened in Winnipeg and you get 10% vacancy, buddy, 50 people and you’re still left with 45. No big deal. So, when it comes to financing, the banks and any lenders, private money, hard money, all that stuff, they look at it as “Hey, what’s the risk of me losing money or what’s the risk of me not getting paid?” One unit, 100% risk. Very high. 50 units… Eh, 45 people, still can pay the debt, that’s good.

Stefan Aarnio: So let me translate that, then. It sounds like Sua, the commercial world is more interested in the asset than necessarily the borrower.

Sua Truong: Big time. Matter of fact they don’t even care so much about your personal credit score and all that stuff. I have one client, he’s got a 543 Beacon score, FICO score in the United States. 543 is abysmal. Anything less-

Stefan Aarnio: -You’re almost bankrupt, 543. They’re like, no thanks.

Sua Truong: 543? Your mom won’t loan you the money. His income was zero last year, and the previous year he sold a business, so previously he had some income and last year he had zero income. He came to me and said “Hey Sua, I want to buy a property, I’ve got 35% down.” I said, “You can’t buy no residential property, nobody will give you a penny. If you’re willing to, I can get you commercial property with 25% down, forget 35%. I got him financing and on the A side; with that Beacon score, with zero income, the property finances itself, the bank didn’t even care. He got A credit, it didn’t matter if got A credit or bad credit in that scenario, but they give A ratings, A pricing, meaning the best pricing you can probably get when you have good credit.

Stefan Aarnio: That’s a really interesting thing to say, Sua, because I’ve been an entrepreneur for like a decade. Haven’t had a job for forever, since I was 23, I’m 32 now.

Sua Truong: Very cool.

Stefan Aarnio: My company… we have two corporate credit cards. TD Bank gives it to us, we got a $5,000 limit on their crappy little credit card. We pay it off ten times a month. So $50,000 flowing through this $5,000 limit card every month. Bank won’t give me an increase, but then I go over to BDC, and I bring my companies’ financials Business Development Bank, and they’re like “Stefan, here’s two million bucks, enjoy.” And it’s crazy because my own bank I’ve banked with forever since I 17 doesn’t wanna give me a $5,000 credit card increase, but I go to another bank and they’re like, “Here’s two million bucks, have fun.” Why is that? Why is it that the bank doesn’t wanna give me five grand, but the other bank will give me two million bucks?

Sua Truong: That also depends on the bank knowing you already. Here’s a thing about loyalty in Canada. There is none.

Stefan Aarnio: Whoa, whoa whoa. Boom, you’re getting a gong for that, Sua. Ouch.

Sua Truong: It used to be in the old days, perhaps on my great great grandfather, when they give you a toaster and other stuff when you open a bank account. Nowadays they give you nothing. As a matter of fact, they take money out of your account every month. Just for the sake of giving your money to them. Which I don’t get. So here’s my plan, you can charge me every month for giving my money to you. That’s one thing. Second thing is, now they know your history. Your cash flow is coming in and out. If it’s very little, they don’t like you. If it’s a lot, they love you. If they really know your history, your cash flow, when you count the assets and move far along, they go “This all you have, I don’t think you can be at a 400K from us.” Whereas a new lender, they don’t see that. Right? So you are telling them to take that as face value, whatever you tell them, whatever you show them, financial statements and all that stuff, they take that as face value. So, “Oh, your business is growing, we’ll give you some money.”

Stefan Aarnio: Right. It’s totally different too, with the business. They’re like “This is business income”, when I bring my personal income to the bank I always get as close to zero as I can because you don’t want to pay a whole bunch in tax if you don’t have to.

Stefan Aarnio: Now let me ask you this, a lot of people out there are realtors, mortgage brokers, flippers, lots of self-employed people. You’re successful in the mortgage game, how do you get clients? So, you’re in the finance game, how do you get clients and people coming to you who want your service? I imagine there’s a million other mortgage brokers offering what you’re doing. How do you brand yourself so people come to Sua instead of somebody else?

Sua Truong: For one, I teach brokers how to broker. Most brokers have it all wrong. The definition of mortgage broker is an intermediate between you the client and the bank. So, it’s a conduit. We help you find you the money. But the problem is that the educational system has taught mortgage brokers to become an extension of an employee of the bank. Now, there’s only a certain limit amount of lenders that pays these brokers. So, they’re limited to the amount of financing that they can get because… I’ll give you an example.

Sua Truong: BMO, CIBC, RBC, they don’t have brokers or anything. HSBC, same thing. But I do business with all of them. But 98% of mortgage brokers do not do business with those banks because they don’t get paid by those banks. Here’s what I mean. Because only mortgage broker lenders friendly to the mortgage brokers will pay these mortgage brokers. So a lot of times, they put these blinders on and they only focus inside the broker channel and they basically work inside a box. When they come to me, I’m telling them, “There is no box, stupid”. You’re working for the client, don’t worry about who’s in the box or out of the box. If you can provide financing for the client, however whichever way, Sua gets paid and I teach brokers how to do this. A lot of them don’t understand this fact, they’re so limited in their understanding that, “Oh, I HAVE to use these lenders”. Who said? Who says that? It’s not in the manual. The educational system is wrong, just like school is wrong. They don’t teach people how to think outside of the box. It’s all inside the box mentality.

Stefan Aarnio: So, let’s talk about school, Sua. It’s one of my favorite things to bash on this show. I got my paddle, I got the gong, I got the sound board, boom. I love bashing the school system, so, why do you think the school system is wrong for what we’re doing, being entrepreneurs? I think we live in a world now. It’s like a hundred years ago, everybody has to be an entrepreneur. In the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, in America, you didn’t have to be an entrepreneur. I think we’re going back to farms, we’re going back to making little crafts and stuff that people always did in history. Why do you think the school system isn’t set up to train people to think the way they need to think?

Sua Truong: Well, you really have to look at the source. So who is doing the teaching?

Stefan Aarnio: Dude, we’re getting deep here. We’re getting deep. Tell me about the source.

Sua Truong: The source is who’s up front teaching the students, right? Now, I would ask my teacher who is teaching business, I said, “Have you ever ran a business? ‘No.’ Have you ever successfully started up a business? ‘No.’ And you’re teaching about business? ‘Yes.’ Alright I’m asking for my refund.” Most students don’t realize this, that most of the people that are teaching are not there to help them how to become successful business people. They’re only teaching them how to learn. That’s all I see is educational system teaches them how to find… how to educate yourself, how to learn. The recipe book, you’ve got to go find the recipe book. Recipe book is written by people like Stefan Aarnio, Sua, or anybody out there, right? Brian Tracy, for example, the school system does not teach us this. They teach you how to become a good teacher, if you want to be a teacher.

Stefan Aarnio: It’s true, man, it’s true. I’m just laughing, here, Sua. I’m playing the soundboard. Man, I wish you could hear the sounds I’m playing while we’re doing this. Now, what you said is you gotta go to the source; the teacher in the school system is not actually doing whatever they teach. That’s why there’s mentors. Mentors have done it. Teachers haven’t. Teachers are virgin sex therapists.

Stefan Aarnio: Something that I think is worth talking about is… Who wrote the teacher’s textbook on what to teach? If you go up the ladder, you go up the food chain, who’s writing it? I think school is one of the most brilliant scams of all time because Carnegie and Rockefeller, the industrialists a hundred something years ago, needed workers. So, they created the school system to get people off the farms. Make them obedient, make them listen to the bells and whistles and go to the factories. Think about this, Sua. If you had a big factory and you needed workers, you had to indoc… train those workers somehow to come work for you. And then the scam gets worse because now they make you go to university, pay a hundred and fifty grand in the states to get trained for a chance at a job. What? With unbankruptable student debt. Insane, isn’t it?

Sua Truong: Yeah. Suppose they graduate, they can’t the job that they want anyway in the first place.

Stefan Aarnio: Dude, it’s wild. We had my friend Shawn Allen, do you know Shawn Allen out in Ontario?

Sua Truong: Yeah.

Stefan Aarnio: Shawn Allen was on the show this afternoon. He took my platinum program, he’s flipping thirty houses this year. Bought tons of doors, over forty doors, he’s got all sorts of stuff. Great guy.

Sua Truong: Very nice.

Stefan Aarnio: Shawn has an MBA. He’s like, “Stefan, the stuff that you taught me isn’t even available in the MBA program”. Shawn Claremont, another one of my students at my class this weekend, he’s got an MBA. We’ve got all these guys with MBA’s. If you’ve got a damn MBA you should be pretty smart, but apparently not. The school system doesn’t work.

Stefan Aarnio: Sua, you’ve got kids right? Do you have two daughters?

Sua Truong: Yeah, I’ve got two daughters.

Stefan Aarnio: We had Vietnamese food once or we had some food. Me, you and your wife; very beautiful wife by the way, and your two little girls. What do you train your kids about money? You’re playing at a different level, you’ve got a book, you’re doing stuff different. What do you train your kids about money with those little girls?

Sua Truong: It’s funny. Growing up, I never had the luxury of money. But, when I had the girl one day, I was playing around with cash, and how much I make. The older one’s 15, she always cares about, “Dad, how much money will you make?”. I said, “It’s not about how much money I make, it’s about how I view money”. Money is more like a… It’s easy, it comes easy to me because I know how to make it. It’s like using the smartest brain, you create some value. I show them, “Here’s a thousand dollars, let’s go downstairs.” I went downstairs, threw it up in the sky and said, “Whoever catches them, gets to keep them.” The little one dived, the 8 year old dived and grabs a whole bunch of money. The old one’s going, “Really?” I said, “Yes!”. So there’s a hesitancy about the value of money is or what to catch or what’s going on. The older one; the more educated you are you have to misunderstand what money is.

Stefan Aarnio: Like too good to be true, is that what you’re saying? She thought it was too good to be true?

Sua Truong: That’s exactly it. Isn’t of saying money is just as easy to make. Look at the little one, she doesn’t care. She doesn’t wait around. She makes it happen. So I said, “If you take action, like your little sister, you’ll make money. You sit around and wait like you, you get short… you get shafted.”

Stefan Aarnio: I had this girl, she was 18. She came to me and she said, “Stefan I want to work for you. I want to work in your home staging business. I want to be a designer.” So, she’s 18. Gorgeous girl, beautiful girl, smart girl, in the Asper School of Business here in Manitoba. Good parents, good everything. I go for lunch with this girl, I said “Okay, what do you wanna do? ‘I want to start a business’ Great, you’re 18 sounds good. What kind of business?” She goes, “I want a social media business.” I’m like, “Great start that.” “Yeah, I’m going to start it with my boyfriend.” I said “Okay, what do you study in school? ‘Marketing and finance, or something’ Okay, so why don’t you start the business, start it right? ‘Oh… well I don’t know, I don’t know if I can. I don’t know, I don’t have a degree yet. They didn’t teach me this. They didn’t teach me that. I just don’t know…'”

Stefan Aarnio: I’m sitting there, and I’m going- the school is making her dumb. If she was broke, if she was hungry, if she was like your eight year old daughter she’d be jumping at the money and just grabbing it. But instead now she thinks there’s this artificial piece of paper she has to get to actually do something. It’s crazy because I got behind the camera here I got my friend Luke. Luke has been doing my social media. He’s 18. Well, he’s 19 now. Same age except he’s not going in the school system getting drunk on this idea that there’s going to be a magical degree that’s going to save him. It’s not Disneyland bro. This isn’t some magical Disney wonderland thing.

Stefan Aarnio: Switching gears, Sua, you’re a guy I really admire because you’re building a brand. I appreciate that. You’ve got a book now. Tell us about the book.

Sua Truong: The original book that I taught is… That I wrote and after teaching the concept is thinking differently. The Confessions of a Bank Financier is teaching about how you can work outside the bank, work without the bank. A matter of fact, I teach at the end of the second book with Brian Tracy that I co-authored. It’s Uncommon. I expand on that. It seems like common sense to you but not many people use it.

Sua Truong: Here’s what I mean. A lot of mortgage brokers view the bank reps and the bank advisor and all of the people working for the big banks as enemies. Enemies of the state kind of thing. We don’t want to talk to them, those guys are bad people. When I look at them, I say “I look at them as an extension of how I can get finance for my client”. No matter who financed it. Indian state bank, Korean bank, Chinese bank, I don’t care. They’re lending me money, I’m not lending them money, so I don’t care. Well, it’s a risk to me. So I teach them that if you view them as a friend and find a way to work together. It’s sort of contrarian thinking is what I call it. [inaudible 00:29:30] The contrarian way is reach out to your competition and say “Look, I know you can’t finance every deal. Those deals you can’t finance, let me take care of it. So you don’t look like a bad guy and I become part of your team. I’ll be an ambassador and vice versa. When I have a client that I cannot help inside the broker channel lender, would you get help with my clients? My clients who pay me to see I’m not taking any money from you, don’t worry about it. Pre client documents, everything done for them. They’re so thrilled.

Sua Truong: First time I ever met one of these guys I said “I’m just curious, the only reason I’ve come to meet you with this coffee is because I’m curious.” He said “No broker has ever reached out to me to have coffee with me. They actually hate us.” I was like “I’m not one of those”. Apparently, I didn’t get the memo. Over the years… and when he answered of course earlier I didn’t get chance to answer this.

Sua Truong: I get a lot of referrals from other bank advisors that can’t get deals done. All the time. When RBC or TD or CIBC sends me a client, guess what that client thinks? I need to talk to Sua. They don’t have to go anywhere else. So imagine getting from someone like Shawn Allen in Ontario. He’s got a client that’s in Winnipeg, he’ll go “Well I can fly out there and think scarcely minds that kind of guy. I’ll take all the deals…. I don’t care if I’m stepping on toes or they won’t tolerate, I’m gonna go there and do the deal myself.” But he was smart enough… he said “You know what, I’m gonna keep the staff and staffing in the union 25-50 I don’t care. Whatever the cab is. I get to do no work and he’s going to pay me”. So basically what I’m thinking is the same way like you, if I get the mortgage specialist and banking employees do my underwriting, do all my work, do all my paperwork. I get the loan approved? A little piece of leather to show the client, the client pays me. How much work did I do?

Stefan Aarnio: That’s beautiful man, you’re printing money.

Stefan Aarnio: So Sua, what’s better than… Question for you, is it better to have a great brand or is it better to have a great business?

Sua Truong: That’s a good question. Now, if you asked me when I was in the restaurant business, I would probably say not the business. If you have a great brand, you can monetize it wherever you go. So if I took that name that I had, Snack Shack, I sell the business there, I can move across town and open up another place. That brand has a reputation and I can bring it with me. Throw it up on a sign somewhere, and people think that “Oh, it’s relocated”. Businesses meanwhile, can still print money… I think for branding it’s more powerful of a business. Businesses still make money. In my line of work, my business still prints money. There is no brand towards that side. My coaching side is a business with a brand. I think now I can take that brand across Canada and to the United States eventually and across/around the world. My business is limited to the geographical region because licensing requirements and all that other [inaudible 00:33:23] stuff.

Stefan Aarnio: Going back to the beginning, today you got some salt and pepper in your hair. Going back to 16 year old Sua, what was a piece of advice you’d give yourself if you could go back in time and tell young Sua?

Sua Truong: Fail more in business. Don’t worry too much about it. It won’t kill you. Failure isn’t fatal. Not trying is fatal. I had a ton of ideas that I didn’t do and I should’ve done it. You can’t go back to do it anymore because time has gone.

Stefan Aarnio: That’s exactly what I’d say to myself. I wrote to my letter to myself and it was the things I didn’t do I regretted and didn’t do soon enough. Those two things. Brutal, man.

Stefan Aarnio: Top three books that changed your life, Sua. What do you got, top three books.

Sua Truong: I knew you’d ask about, so I brought them with me. I think the safest thing to say, it’s probably everybody’s favorite, How To Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. This is one of the few first books that I read in my whole entire life that made me change the way I think about how I work with people. Anybody that has not read it, read it.

Sua Truong: The other one is Simon Sinek. It’s great you understand people but if you don’t understand yourself, you’re screwed too. This one here helped me a lot to figure out what I’m doing and why the hell am I doing it. Is it for me, is it for money? Is it for pleasure or what is it? It helped me figure out that the more that I help people start with why and meet up with people, understand them better that way. This is the money.

Sua Truong: Since I don’t do a lot of real estate, I do a lot of sales, I do a lot of interacting with brokers who do a lot of business with clients and I have them broker; how to deal with brokers and with a lot of clients. Most of my business is B2B right now; my coaching business. Even as financial advisor, I have coached them as well. The one thing that has helped me a lot to help people is this book, called Influence. If you never read; if anybody hasn’t read it, Psychology of Persuasion, my God. There’s stuff in here that is deadly. If some sales guy can get a hold of it… If a car salesmen gets a hold of that stuff, you’re done.

Stefan Aarnio: Those are all money books, man. You just brought out three heavy hitter books. I got to give you some props, man. When somebody pulls out books like that, you know he’s a smart guy. You know he’s a top guy. We gotta wrap up here, pretty soon, Sua.

Stefan Aarnio: One thing I like to ask everybody. It’s one of my favorite things to ask on the show. I asked what you would tell yourself going back in time. But there’s a whole generation of young people out there; your daughters, these young people coming up. What’s the one thing young people need to succeed these days?

Sua Truong: What’s the one thing young people need to succeed these days?

Sua Truong: Focus.

Stefan Aarnio: Bro, I’m giving that a gong. Focus. Man, Sua, it was a four gong show, bro.

Sua Truong: Yeah. The problem with people today is… Maybe social media has something to do with it. They’re instantly… Ding. Oof. I’m talking to you buddy, what the hell? Leave the freakin’ phone down.

Stefan Aarnio: Hey, what? I don’t have my phone up. Oh!

Sua Truong: Yeah, not you. But I’m just… When you’re meeting somebody, you’re talking and they’re asking questions. Next thing they do is stare at that… There’s a notification or something, and they’re picking up the phone and wait a sec- That’s a total sign of disrespect. For a small thing like that, a lot of these I guess younger generations don’t realize that… They don’t think it’s a problem. But when they deal with somebody who is of influence; for example, yourself or me. Anyone of influence, when they give you some time, that time is very very important. I can’t get that back.

Stefan Aarnio: That’s your inventory, man. [crosstalk 00:37:26] Perishable inventory.

Sua Truong: Exactly. I can get rid of a thousand and make ten thousand back in a short period of time. But I can’t get that hour back. A lot of them, they don’t realize that, when they don’t value time by not keeping focus… It’s not just a disrespect but they lose the ability to make money and add value to them as a person.

Stefan Aarnio: Let me tell you why I love that answer so much, Sua. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates were both at a dinner party with very rich, powerful people. And they went around the table and they said “Name one thing that brought you all your success.” Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, top three richest people, both said focus. That’s why I gave you a gong, man. It’s your money, bro. I really appreciate that.

Stefan Aarnio: How can someone get in touch with Sua Truong if they wanna know more?

Sua Truong: Easy. They go to and they can get a hold of me. If they want… that’s for my commercial financing program that I teach. If they just want to e-mail it to me, it’s very simple. It’s

Stefan Aarnio: Cool., I like that.

Stefan Aarnio: Sua, thank you so much for being here on the show. It’s been a pleasure. Respect the grind, my friend.

Sua Truong: Been a lot of fun. Respect the grind, yourself. Thanks, Stefan.

Stefan Aarnio: Thanks, Sua.

Stefan Aarnio: Hey, it’s Stefan Aarnio here. Thank you for listening to another episode of my podcast, Respect the Grind. If you like the content on this podcast today, you are gonna love my new book, Hard Times Create Strong Men.

Stefan Aarnio: We live in an age right now where the men have become weak. Society has become weak. The mindset has become weak. What does it mean to be man? Whether you’re a man or a woman, you’re gonna find value in this book, Hard Times Create Strong Men. Which reveal the philosophy and the power of what it takes to be strong in today’s market economy. Go ahead and get a copy of Hard Times Create Strong Men at That’s gonna give you a special offer just for podcast listeners. That’s Get the book, you’re going to love it. It’s going to change the way you think. I’m Stefan Aarnio. Respect the grind. We’ll see you on the next episode.