Morgan Carey of Real Estate Webmasters

I have decided to quit doing the lawn care myself, and have finally found someone I trust and who uses organic products, Yay!  They were out to do the pre-emergent fertilizer and will be doing aeration in a few weeks, whew what a load off my mind.  If you are interested in talking with these folks, here’s the link:

Mr Carey is what I consider a minor celebrity since he was on Dragon’s Den, which is Canada’s version of Shark Tank.  He is a somewhat controversial figure in the way he approaches business.  But you have to admire how he has grown his company and the fact that he wanted to grow it in the town he grew up in, Nanaimo, BC.

The Beginning

Mr. Carey started in an internet based business at the turn of the 21st century, eventually becoming the “SEO guy” (, he helped online casinos, tool manufacturers, Adobe, Digital River, and anyone else who realized advertising online would bring in real money.  He ranked No 1 for SEO consultant.

In 2003, he launched that sold SEO optimization tools to real estate companies.  He started Real Estate Webmasters as a discussion forum to learn more about the industry.  He gained many contacts who asked his company to offer more products such as social media, content, website design etc.

Current Business

Real Estate Webmasters is the only truly custom house in the real estate niche.  They have developed other products, however, that work with smaller budgets $2000 to $100,000 (big end-to-end enterprise solutions).  The company is also offering subscription based software as service products.  They sell to all levels of real estate from franchises to independent ages, brokerages and teams.  They partnered with Barbara Corcoran and developed a $5000 service option.  After working with Barbara, Carey decided to walk away from the Dragon’s Den on air deal, he asked Barbara to invest in his company.  His reasoning was many: she is a titan in business, has experience with investors, selling stock, going public that Carey does not.

Furthermore, they also partnered with Docusign where they are the only website vendor that can integrate with that transaction management product.

Some of Carey’s business tips:

  • Treat your employees well, pay them what they are worth, do not require they work a specific amount of hours of the day, let them determine when and how productive they are
  • Build a supportive culture that celebrates your employee’s successes
  • Offering a wider range of products to customers will increase revenue
  • Add value to your potential client before making the sale
  • Diversify your business ventures
  • Real Estate is one of the few ways to build real wealth


Carey decided at the beginning of 2014 the company would donate $100 dollars per day for a month to a different local charity.  The staff would vote on which charity would benefit, and staff could also nominate a charity to donate with a specific story as to why the charity deserved.  According to, the company has donated to 5 different worthy causes.

Sources: Art of Charm Podcast,

Chad Kroeger of Nickelback

The Band

If you are like most of us, you are not the biggest fan of Nickelback and make fun of them.  People in their 20s do not consider Nickelback relevant musically.  However, you cannot deny that Nickelback is a business powerhouse mostly due to Kroeger’s abilities.  Kroeger has figured out how to make Nickelback a production conglomerate that spans other genres and industries.  Nickelback is a pop-rock hybrid that churns out songs that can dominate multiple charts at the time.

Kroeger tends to the band’s image all the time.  When he takes pics with fans, he has the same pose every time.  His formula for fame includes preshow photo op with radio contest and fan club ticket winners.  They also invite radio station personnel to hang out backstage to make sure he gets airplay before and after events.

Mr Kroeger is known as a song scientist.  He writes about 150 songs per year that other artists’ record, and he keeps the royalty rights.  He knows how to write songs that people can remember after just one listen.  In 2002, Kroeger co-founded record label 604 Records.  That record label has helped dozens of artists become famous first in Canada (due to a nice law that 35% of songs played have to be local to Canada), then can break out in the US market.  Kroeger also collaborates with other artists across the spectrum of music in order to get their songs to a wider audience.  An example is Ludacris and Ozzy Osbourne’s drummer.

The band is being exclusively promoted by 360 deal by Live Nation which is good for 6 years at a hefty price tag. Union Entertainment Group reports Nickelback tours quite cheaply.  They do not have a lot of on stage theatrics.  Kroeger plays the showman quite well during concerts.  He pretends to take shots of liquor during the concerts.  And as soon as the concert is over, they are in the buses and on to the next venue.  Nickelback has a heavy tour schedule.

Nickelback does have a few philanthropic causes it supports:

Obakki Foundation Celebrity Supporters & Events

Established by Treana Peake – wife of Ryan Peake, Nickelback guitarist – the Obakki Foundation supports humanitarian causes by finding and nourishing creativity in all pockets of the world. It offers people hope, empowerment and the chance to learn and grow. It’s about giving people the opportunity to be creative; to use thoughts, ideas, art, and fashion to stand up and participate in improving their own lives — and the lives of their family, friends and neighbors. All proceeds go directly into our projects. Not just a percentage of the profits, not just some of the money – every dime goes back to the community

STOMP Out Bullying Celebrity Supporters & Events

STOMP Out Bullying, a national anti-bullying and cyberbullying program for kids and teens, is a signature program of Love Our Children USA, the national nonprofit leader in fighting violence against children since 1999.
Created in 2005, STOMP Out Bullying™ focuses on reducing and preventing bullying, cyberbullying, sexting and other digital abuse, educating against homophobia, racism and hatred, decreasing school absenteeism, and deterring violence in schools, online and in communities across the country.

Mike Lazadiris

We recently had some roof work done, we had to have all the flashing replaced around our skylights and chimney due to leaks during rain, (Great Company, highly recommend My roofer happened to have a new generation Blackberry, which I teased him about until he showed me all the cool features it had.  That reminded me of the person I am writing about today, Mike Lazadiris.  One of Canada’s most influential businessmen.  In fact he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, and member of the Order of Ontario.

The Beginning

Mr. Lazaridis was born in Turkey to Greek parents.  They immigrated to Canada when he was 5 years old.  Lazaridis showed extreme intelligence during his schooling years.  He took various honors classes for university while also taking an electronics and shop class where he read all the manuals for the new equipment that was donated to the school.

He attended University of Waterloo studying electrical engineering and computer science.  He learned all the topics that he needed to know to develop smart phones.  Lazaridis also attended a class about quantum mechanics and relativity.


  1. Won contract to create project for GM, 1984;
  2. founded Research in Motion, Ltd. (RIM), 1984;
  3. created Digi-Sync Film KeyKode reader, c. 1992;
  4. created the Interactive Pager, 1996;
  5. wrote “white paper” for concept behind the BlackBerry, 1997;
  6. launched the BlackBerry to marketplace, 1999;
  7. used wealth to fund the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Canada, 2000;
  8. funded the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo;
  9. Added new features to BlackBerry, 2001, 2002.

    Read more:

After founding Blackberry and Research in Motion, Lazaridis was able to fund the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. It was anchored around two pillars of 20th-century physics; relativity and quantum mechanics.  Mr Lazaridis stated “Two years later we formed the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo as an experimental centre devoted to the emerging science of quantum information.”  This institute was developed to research and learn about ways to produce clean energy, to produce electronics that exceed Moore’s Law.  And to support scientists who learn about the universe and the applicability that may be 50 years away.

Mr Lazaridis also founded Quantum Valley investments which is a $100 million venture capital firm that only invests in companies that use quantum technology which he believes is the future.

Entrepreneur Characteristics

  • A Risk Taker, he dropped out of University to pursue the offer from GM.
  • Innovative, he researched and revolutionized an entire industry that had not really been optimized.
  • Determined, from a young age Lazaridis studied electronics and computing.


In 2000, Lazaridis founded the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and has donated more than $170 million to the institute. In 2002, at the University of Waterloo, Lazaridis founded the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC).He and wife Ophelia have donated more than $100 million to IQC since 2000.

In 2015, Wilfrid Laurier University was given $20 million by Lazaridis for a new technology-focused management institute at the renamed Lazardis School of Business and Economics. In 2016, Lazaridis Hall which is a new facility at another location on University Avenue in Waterloo, will house the School, as well as the new business management institute.

Neil Young

I have to admit, I did not know that much about Mr. Neil Young.  This attribute to my age, when he was “Rockin’ the Free World,” I was too young to know it.  He is a prolific song writer of important topics, and overall a really cool dude.

Early Years

Neil Young was born in Toronto Canada in 1945.  He lived the majority of his life in Winnipeg after living in the US for a brief period of time, and moving several times in Canada.  He was heavily influenced by the rock and roll and folk music heroes of the day and formed a bad while in junior high.  Mr Young dropped out of high school and toured around Canada as a member of several bands, first The Squires, and then the Myrnah Birds.  When Myrnah Birds disbanded, he left for the US in 1966, and formed the band Buffalo Springfield.  Buffalo Springfield released 2 albums; Buffalo Springfield ( to critical acclaim) and Buffalo Springfield Again, but the band had strained relationships especially with management, and split up in 1968.  This band helped form folk rock and country rock sound.  He eventually joined the band Crosby, Stills, and Nash in 1969.  He made records as a member of the band, but also continued releasing solo albums.  The band played Woodstock that same year, with Young refusing to be recorded on camera.

Middle Years

Young was able to buy a ranch in rural northern California where he resides today.  Throughout the 70s Young collaborated with many different bands, formed another band, and joined back up with CSNY for a reunion.  His music is very heavily influenced by what he experienced in life from his friends drug overdosing, the loss of the 1960s folk ideals his generation had, his breakup with his first wife Carrie Snodgrass, the downside of success, and the underbelly of the California Lifestyle.  Mr Young also has used his music as a voice for political activism.

In the 1980s Mr Young formed a couple more bands experimenting with different types of music.  The first type was a very electronic/synthesized sound Young was trying in order to communicate with his first son, Ben, who has severe Cerebral Palsy and cannot speak.  The second major genre of music Neil Young was trying out was country rock.

Late Years

In late 198s-1990s Neil released an album that featured distortion and feedback, and he is credited with being the Godfather of Grunge.  He continued to collaborate with many artists from different genres during this time, and he continued to produce music with an activism and political unrest theme.  In the 2000s, Young released albums in a rapid fire manner.  Still continuing with themes of activism and toured heavily.

Other interests

Young is active in his beliefs, he helped start Farm Aid with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp, and he remains on the board.  Farm Aid annual benefit concerts to raise funds and provide grants to family farms and prevent foreclosures, provide a crisis hotline, and create and promote home grown farm food in the United States (source Wikipedia).

He also helped  found The Bridge School an educational organization for children with severe verbal and physical disabilities, and its annual supporting Bridge School Benefit concerts, together with his ex-wife Pegi Young (née Morton)(source Wikipedia).

Lastly, Mr Young has also been environmentally active by rebuilding his Lincoln Continental into a hybrid engine.  He fueled his tour buses on the Greendale Album tour with bio-diesel fuel.  He is a vocal proponent of Monsanto (behemoth pesticide corporation), and the Keystone XL pipeline which may pipe oil sands from Canada down to Texas for processing.

Michael J Fox

Michael J Fox

Mr. Fox was born in Edmonton, Canada in 1961.  He left high school during his eleventh grade, and headed to Hollywood, to try his hand in acting.  He had several famous roles in the 1980s.  He played Marty McFly in the Back to the Future Trilogy, and he played Alex B Keaton on Family Ties.  He also played M Flaherty on Spin City.  He won awards for his roles in Family Ties and Spin City.  Fox left Spin City due to worsening Parkinson’s symptoms he publicly disclosed in 1998.  He had been battling Parkinson’s since 1991 and had started the Michael J Fox Foundation for finding a cure for Parkinson’s.  He is a very active advocate of the foundation, and Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet presented him with a honoris causa doctorate for his work in promoting a cure for Parkinson’s disease on March 5, 2010.

Mr. Fox has furthermore written some books on his coming to terms with his disease and how his life has evolved since leaving the public eye.  His first book: Lucky Man:  A Memoir (2003) is a description of his childhood, his rise to fame with his film and television career, and his campaign to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.  The book has an honest take on this incurable disease.

Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist (2009).

  This second book picks up from the first book.  It takes a look at his daily struggles with Parkinson’s disease, not as a complaint, but as a matter-of-fact.  Mr. Fox has been able to find the upside and stay optimistic due to his disease.  He wrote this book to tell all of us that everyone has struggles, to find the good in the struggle, and to keep faith that a good outcome will happen with your focus.  The book has four themes: work, politics, faith and family.  Michael states his relationship with his wife, Tracy Pullan as well as his children is stronger now because of his disease.  Mr. Fox has reinvented himself since he has left the limelight, and started working with his foundation, one could argue for the better for us all.

 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned (2010)

His latest book is written toward recent college graduates.  He describes some of the other famous people who eschewed a formal education.  He also describes life as a high-school dropout and starving artist living in Hollywood.  He has since gotten his GED and received honorary doctorates.  He compares his school of hard knocks life to some of the more common subjects in high school and college: economics, living the life of a poor actor and comparisons to US economy; comparative literature – comparing TV and film scripts to their full length book counterparts; political science – his ongoing support of his Parkinson’s foundation; and geography from his personal life.  It’s a short, but good read.