Lessons from Babylon- The way to wealth

I recently discovered that in my never ending quest for knowledge I had somehow neglected to read one of the all time classic books “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Classon. It was to my great delight that I discovered it under the Christmas tree this year. I was blown away by how some ever so simple principles have stood the test of time and are as true today as they were thousands of years ago when Babylon was the city of cities.

The fundamental principles of wealth laid out in the book are ones everyone should be aware of and use day to day. Many of them have been written about time and time again with each new author adding his or her unique twist to it but the principles remain unchanged. I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you the secret to success in its simplest form.

Take the money you earn and break it down three ways.

  1. 70% of your earnings are for your living expenses

  2. 20% of your earnings are to be used to repay your debts

  3. 10% of your earnings are yours to keep.

Following these three steps for the rest of your life will ensure a rich and prosperous life regardless of your chosen profession. Now let me elaborate on these just a bit.

Rule #1: Live on 70% of your income

In a world of easily accessible credit, the internet and the home shopping channel this is not always as easy as it seems. Living expenses include your rent or mortgage, food, clothing, TV service, Internet service, cell phones, restaurants, cars, jewelry and anything else along these lines you can think of. Today too many people are living well beyond their means and it is catching up to us. 2009 was a devastating year for the financial situation of many people. Those who have been hurt the most are the ones who are living well beyond their means.

The time has come to reign in your spending and limit it to 70% of what you take home each month. This may mean canceling cable for a while. Perhaps you need to ask yourself if you really NEED to access Facebook from your Iphone. David Bach has come up with a great concept he calls the Late Factor. It sums up our wasteful spending pretty well. Read any of David’s books to learn more about what I mean. For today however simply keep your living expenses within 70% of your income and your financial success can be guaranteed.

Rule #2: Use 20% of your income to pay off your debts

Let’s face it, most of us today have debt we have accumulated over the years. True financial freedom comes from paying it all off. Simply take 20% of every dollar you earn moving forward and apply it to your past transgressions and before you know it they will be gone. The trick here is to fight the urge to accumulate new debts caused by violating Rule #1. The amount of money most of us pay in interest each month is an astronomical figure which is preventing most people from becoming truly wealthy. So discipline yourself to hold steadfast to Rule #2 and your financial picture will begin to improve rapidly.

Rule #3: Keep 10% of every dollar you earn for yourself

This is the rule most of us overlook or claim is just too hard to do; however, it is the single most important step in the creation of wealth and financial security. Let me clarify something right off, saving 10% does NOT mean putting it into a jar and then when the jar is full buying a big screen TV. I mean this is to be set aside to create a nest egg for when you are old and grey. This is your retirment fund. This money is not to be touched, not to be spent. It is to be wisely invested and added to constantly.

An often quoted portion of the bible states “For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” (this passage does vary a little from version to version but the message remains the same) In short as soon as you learn to accumulate wealth more of it will begin to find you. Living your life with a lack mentality means you will continually struggle. Learn to accumulate and save and more will be given to you.

I know many of you are living pay cheque to pay cheque and the notion of taking away even 10% of that seems ridiculous and impossible. However, to you I say I bet you are wasting at least 10% on vises like booze, cigarrettes, movies, restaurants, Starbucks coffee, cell phones, cable TV. I could go on but I think you get my point. It comes down to making a decision as to what is more important short term gratification or long term security.

For thousands and thousand of years these 3 simple rules have proven to be successful. Most true rags to riches stories can be traced to following these rules even if it was accidental. Follow them fervently and you will be rewarded. Choose not to follow them life will go on very much as it has for you. In closing I ask the you the question, is my life right now the life I want? If your answer is no perhaps it is time to change a thing or two.



PS. To learn more about accumulation I have a post on the law of abundance you may like. http://chuckbrady.ca/?p=77

Investment Real Estate- The Numbers

by Barry Lenson
Lets’ face facts. Only a small percentage of real estate ventures generate as much profit as the investors were hoping for. And many investments actually lose money.
When ventures lose money, the problem is usually that the investors failed to work the numbers carefully. And working the numbers is not all that difficult. Let’s take a closer look. 

First, consider this investment that lost money:

  • An investor named Joan bought a pre-foreclosure property for $180,000 from a seller who said, “Houses like this in this neighborhood should sell for $300,000.” So Joan spent another $50,000 on renovations, then discovered she could sell the house for only $225,000 in the current market. Her mistake? She believed an unsubstantiated statement from the seller (“Houses like this in this neighborhood should sell for $300,000”) instead of studying comparable sales in the current market. As a result, she spent too much on renovations – and lost money.

Second, consider this investment that made money:

  •  Before starting serious negotiations to buy a condominium that was for sale, Jim did a thorough investigation of comparable sales in the complex and the wider area. He learned that the unit he was considering would sell for about $250,000 in the current market. He then toured the unit and estimated that he would have to spend $85,000 to fix the place up before he could sell it. Then he added in a buffer of another $15,000 for taxes and other unexpected costs. Next, he offered the seller $150,000 (the projected selling $250,000 cost minus his $100,000 estimated expenses and buffer). When the seller protested and asked for $225,000, Jim replied, “I am offering you $150,000 because that is what the property is worth to me.” In a month, the seller called and accepted Jim’s offer of $150,000. The deal was done and when the renovations were completed, Jim sold the property for $275,000. After all was said and done, he had netted more than $40,000 on his investment. Success!

Those examples prove that a successful investor only needs to add and subtract! But here is more advice to keep in mind:

  •  Always start out with a realistic dollar figure of a property’s value on the current market. How much will it really sell for, or command as a rental? This your baseline figure. All your other figures must be weighed against it, so keep it firmly in mind. Don’t daydream here, and don’t believe what a seller or real estate agent tells you. Look at comparable properties in the area – and remember to consider only recent data, not sales figures from two years ago.
  • Set a firm budget for your improvements, and stick to it. Even if you want to put in ceramic tile floors, put in linoleum tile instead if the numbers don’t work. Or put sealant on the driveway instead of repaving it. You don’t have to do everything on the cheap, but you do have to refuse to spend more money than you can recoup from your final sale or rental. Don’t get carried away. Your budget must be your final yardstick in every decision you make.
  • Do a realistic estimate of taxes and other recurring expenses, like utilities, association fees for condos, etc. Estimate how much they will run while you fix up the property – and how much they will cost if it takes you six months or a year to sell the property after you have fixed it up. Don’t fudge these expenses, work them into your budget. They are not going to go away.

Sticking to this advice requires discipline and self-control. Yet consider our Chairman, Donald J. Trump. He didn’t get where he is today by overspending on his development projects. He bargained hard to pay the right price, then bargained hard to keep renovation expenses within budget. If you follow his example, one day you too can follow in his success.

World's Largest Yoga Class

Just a reminder that this event is in Vancouver next weekend being put on by a good friend of mine Ryan Cogswell. The details are as follows:

Come be a part of a World Record. In a fundraising effort to help keep kids active, the Vancouver Fitness Guide is sponsoring an event attempting to enter Vancouver into the Guiness Book of Worlds Records for having the most people doing yoga in one place at the same time. Included with each ticket will be an event beach towel and swag bag filled with event give aways. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Athletics 4 Kids www.a4k.ca.

Sunday, Aug 23, 2009 11:00 AM PDT (10:00 AM Doors)
at Thunderbird Stadium, UBC tickets are available at www.a4k.ca



The Definition of Wealth

The Definition of Wealth
By: Brian Tracy
If you want to be wealthy, you must understand what wealth is. Here is the best definition of wealth you will ever find. Wealth is “Cash flow from other sources.”
Make Your Money Work For You
What this means is that, you are not wealthy just because you earn a lot of money. You are only wealthy when your money works for you. To become wealthy, your main job is to acquire money and then put it to work making more money for you.
Add Value Continually
The key to creating wealth is simple. It is called “adding value.” Successful people are those who are always looking for ways to add value in some way to a person, a company, a product or a service.
Do It Faster
Here is an example of adding value: Domino’s Pizza. The founders of Domino’s Pizza took a common food, offered by thousands of little restaurants and added a value to the pizza by delivering it more rapidly than anyone else. The added value of speed enabled Domino’s to create a billion dollar empire and made the founder of Domino’s, Tom Monahan, one of the richest men in the world.
Buy It Cheaper Somewhere Else
Another way to add value is to buy something in one place at one price and then make it available in another place for another price. For example, buying a product or service manufactured in Europe or Asia, importing it to the United States and making it available to people to whom it was not available before, is a way of adding value for which you can charge a higher price.
Improve the Life or Work of Others
All manufacturing and marketing is based on this principle of added value. All importation and distribution aims to add value. Performing a service that enhances the life or work of another person adds value. A dentist who takes away pain is adding value. An accountant who saves a client money on taxes is adding or actually creating value. A salesperson who introduces a new product or service to a customer that helps that customer in some way is adding value. All financial success, especially business success, is based on adding value. It is based on the old saying, “Find a need and fill it.”
Combine and Recombine the Elements of Value
All successful business is based on someone bringing together the factors of production, such as labor, capital, raw materials and management, and creating a product or service that a customer will pay a price for that is in excess of the cost of producing it.
How All Fortunes Are Made
Adding value is the way that all fortunes are made. Whenever you see an opportunity to give people what they want at a price greater than it costs you to produce that product or service, you see an opportunity to make a profit, build a business and begin moving toward financial success. Almost any business or occupation can make you financially independent if you can find a way to add enough value.
Action Exercises
Now, here are two actions you can take immediately to add more value to your time and activities:
First, take the time to be absolutely clear about what it is that people want and need to improve their lives and work. The more clear you are about their real needs, the easier it is for you to satisfy them at a higher level.
Second, look for ways to add value to what you are doing every day in every way. Never be satisfied with the status quo. One small idea to add value can be the starting point of a great fortune.

Buck the Trend, Retire with Money

While doing some of my regular reading today in Canadian Business magazine I came across an article talking about the health of our retirement system here is Canada and I was quite alarmed by the numbers they laid out. Fewer than 30% of us make any annual contribution to the government retirement program RRSP. 7 out of 10 of us are putting nothing away each year for our golden years. Of those who are saving the average is a paltry $2780 per year or $231 per month. Compared to what we waste on non- essentials each month this is peanuts.

 I found these numbers to be extremely frightening. Though I knew we were in dire straights seeing the actual numbers in black and white print in front of my face almost took my breath away. At what point did we develop the mindset of thinking someone else is responsible to take care of us when we get old? When did it become acceptable to procrastinate for our entire lives?

 It has been well documented that only about 5% of the population as a whole will ever save enough money to retire comfortably and it is pretty obvious why. The state we find ourselves in has nothing to do with our annual income, nothing to do with our formal education. It has everything to do with our mental conditioning and state of mind.

 I am reminded of Parkinson’s Law which was developed by English writer C. Northcote Parkinson many years ago and it explains why most people retire poor. This law says that, no matter how much money people earn, they tend to spend the entire amount and a little bit more. Their expenses rise in lockstep with their earnings. But somehow, they seem to need every single penny to maintain their current lifestyles. No matter how much they make, there never seems to be enough. It is a downward spiral caused by poor mental programing.

 The only way to escape this spiral is to make a choice, make a decision to become successful and buck the social trend. I am amazed at how someone working minimum wage can never find money to put aside for retirement but can always scrape together money for beer, cigarettes or pizza. There seems to be a strong desire for us to keep up with the Jones and yet the Jones are ending up broke in the end so why try and be like them?

 Want a better approach you can implement easily? If you do nothing else but take 50% of any raise you receive and save that each month I guarantee you will retire a millionaire. Albert Einstein said the most powerful force in the world is that of compound interest. Get it working for you and a million dollars is within your grasp. All you are doing is saving half of any “New Money”, nothing else is changing. We all get raises along the way, the question becomes is it raising you up or keeping you down?

 The only thing standing between you and a comfortable retirement is yourself and your poor mental programming. Still want to be like the Jones? What is it going to cost you in the end? Your dignity? Your self respect? Perhaps your marriage? Finance worries is the single biggest cause of divorce in our society. Are you one of the 70% who is not saving anything? Perhaps it is time to change your thought patterns because remember. If you always do what you have always done the results you achieve will remain consistent. Change your thoughts, change your approach and you can buck the trend and be in the small percentile who can actually enjoy retirement.

Market conditions drive strong June housing sales

VANCOUVER, B.C. – July 3, 2009 –

The combination of low interest rates and more affordable pricing helped propel Greater Vancouver home sale numbers to the second all-time highest total for the month of June. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment properties increased 75.6 per cent in June 2009 to 4,259, from the 2,425 sales recorded in June 2008. The figure is just short of the record-breaking 4,333 sales which occurred in June 2005.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined 17.9 per cent to 5,372 in June 2009 compared to June 2008, when 6,546 new units were listed. However, new listings increased 13.5 per cent from May to June of this year. Total active listings in Greater Vancouver currently sit at 13,252, down 27 per cent from June 2008 and 2.9 per cent below the active listings count at the end of May 2009.

“Price reductions and low interest rates have created an improvement in affordability, which is causing the number of sales to rise to levels comparable to 2003 to 2007,” Scott Russell, REBGV president said.

“Many people who were reluctant to purchase a home last fall and earlier this year are returning to the market because they see conditions that appeal to their personal and financial needs,” Russell said. “However, the current marketplace is such that buyers are more inclined to walk if they don’t like the terms of an offer.”

Residential benchmark prices, as calculated by the MLSLink® Housing Price Index, declined 8.2 percent to $518,855 in June 2009 compared to June 2008.

The number of sales of detached properties increased 81.6 per cent to 1,667 from the 918 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The benchmark price for detached properties declined 8.4 per cent to $701,384 in June 2009 compared to June 2008.
The number of sales of apartment properties in June 2009 increased 69.3 per cent to 1,790, compared to 1,057 sales in June 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property declined 8.2 per cent from June 2008 to $356,880.

The number of attached property sales in June 2009 increased 78.2 per cent to 802, compared with the 450 sales in June 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit declined 7.3 per cent between June 2009 and 2008 to $441,620. For more information on real estate, statistics, and buying or selling a home, visit http://www.rebgv.org

Crafting your marketing message

In sales and marketing one of the most important elements is the message you put forth to your perspective clients. The key component often over looked by many professionals when it comes to message is the only thing that matters is your prospects perception of your message. You must make your prospect crystal clear about the benefits of using your product or service or you will never make a sale.

Let me give you a very simple example using the sentence

“I didn’t know he stole the car.”

The meaning of this sentence can change dramatically with emphasis being placed on any one of the words, let me explain.

Supposed I put an emphasis on the first word and say “I didn’t know he stole the car” which can be taken to mean my friend may have known but I did not know personally.

Or I could put emphasis on the word know and say “I didn’t know he stole the car” which can be taken to mean perhaps I assumed he stole it; however, I did not know for certain.

I could also put emphasis on the word car and say “ I didn’t know he stole the car” which can be taken to mean I knew the man was a thief I was just not aware he had stolen a car.

This example can be powerful if you really learn the lesson detailed in it. At no point did I change the words I was speaking, all I did was change how I emphasized the words. This change in emphasis managed to change the meaning of the entire sentence in each case.

So I ask you the question, how clear is your marketing message? Are your prospects lining up to buy from you or are they giving you a confused or indifferent look? Talk to a few trusted friends and ask for them to critique what you are saying. Is your message being received the way you would like it to be? A few minor tweaks can dramatically change your results.

Remember all that matters is the perception of your client, how they hear it is what matters. Show them a well defined, easy to understand benefit and they will buy. Confuse your client and they will do nothing.

Don't lose money

Don’t Lose Money!
By: Brian Tracy

Throughout the history of American enterprise, you’ve heard the words, “work hard and save your money.” Work hard and save your money. It is the oldest rule for success in America. It’s so important, as a matter of fact, that W. Clement Stone once said, “if you cannot save money, then the seeds of greatness are not in you.”

Saving Is a Discipline
Why is it that saving money is so important? Because saving money is a discipline and any discipline affects all other disciplines in your life. If you do not have the discipline to refrain from spending all the money that you earn, then you are not qualified to become wealthy and if you do become wealthy, you’ll not be capable of holding on to it.

The Law of Attraction
A principle with regard to saving your money is the law of attraction. The law of attraction is activated by saved money. Even one dollar saved will start to attract more money. Here’s what I suggest that you do. If you’re really serious about your future, go down and open a savings account. Put as much money as you can into it, even if it’s only ten dollars. And then begin to collect little bits of money, and every week go down and put something into that account.

Attract More Money Into Your Life
You will find that the more you put in that account, the more you will attract from sources that you cannot now predict. But if you do not begin the savings process, if you don’t begin putting something away towards your financial independence, then nothing will happen to you. The law of attraction just simply won’t work.

Invest Your Money Conservatively
Once you begin to accumulate money, here’s another rule. Invest the money conservatively. Marvin Davis, self-made billionaire, was asked by Forbes Magazine, “How do you account for your financial success?” And he said, “Well, I have two rules for financial investing.” He said, “Rule number one is, don’t lose money.” He said, whenever I’m tempted, whenever I see an opportunity to invest where there’s a possibility I could lose it all, I just simply refrain from putting the money in. Rule number two is, whenever I get tempted, I refer back to rule number one. Don’t lose money.

Get Rich Slowly
George Classon says, in The Richest Man In Babylon, that the key is to accumulate your funds and then invest them very conservatively. One of the characteristics of self-made millionaires, one of the characteristics of old money in America is that it’s very cautiously, conservatively and prudently invested.Don’t try to get rich quickly. Concentrate rather on getting rich slowly. If all you do is save ten percent of your earnings, put it away, and let it accumulate at compound interest, that alone will make you wealthy.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do to apply these lessons to your financial life:First, open a separate savings and investing account today. From this day forward, put every single dollar you can spare into this account and resolve to never touch it or spend it for any reason.

Second, whenever you consider any investment of your savings, remember the rule, “Don’t lose money!” It is better to keep the money working at a low rate of interest than to take the chance of losing it. Be careful. A fool and his money are soon parted.

The 80/20 rule

A good portion of our everyday life is based on the 80/20 principle (or 80/20 rule) which is also known as the Pareto Principle. Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto first formulated this theory in 1897. Pareto was studying incomes and money and discovered that a small portion of the population had a large portion of the money. Pareto referred to this phenomena as the “unequal distribution of wealth”, and developed several mathematical formulas to quantify his this maldistribution.

The work of Pareto was later taken and expanded on by an industrial engineer by the name of Joseph Moses Juran. Juran took the work Pareto had done and made it into a more universal law with his work on what Juran called “vital few and the trivial many”. Juran had worked much of his career as a quality control engineer and he observed that often 80% of a problem is caused by 20% of the causes. It was Juran who is actually credited with coining the term “The Pareto Principle”. In his paper The Non-Pareto Principle Juran explains it this way.

“It was during the late 1940s, when I was preparing the manuscript for Quality Control Handbook, First Edition, that I was faced squarely with the need for giving a short name to the universal. In the resulting write-up2 under the heading “Maldistribution of Quality Losses,” I listed numerous instances of such maldistribution as a basis for generalization. I also noted that Pareto had found wealth to be maldistributed. In addition, I showed examples of the now familiar cumulative curves, one for maldistribution of wealth and the other for maldistribution of quality losses. The caption under these curves reads “Pareto’s principle of unequal distribution applied to distribution of wealth and to distribution of quality losses.””

Thanks to the diligent work of Duran we can now see how the 80/20 rule can be applied to any area of our lives or our work. As he points out “the trivial many” are the areas we do not need to spend our time or energy on as they are just not all that important to our end result.

The first time I can remember consciously using the 80/20 rule to my advantage was in my grade 10 math class. That year I had 2 teachers who would alternate months in which they taught, on of which I liked, one of which I did not. At this stage of math class the equations were beginning to get quite complex and multi step. I discovered however that with creative thinking I was able to skip most of the steps in the process and still come up with the correct answer. In essence I was doing 20% of the work but still coming up with the desired effect. One of my teachers saw my gift and encouraged me to continue using it to my advantage. It was he who coined the term for me “The Chuck Method”. The second teacher however saw things in an entirely different light. He decided that even though my answers were correct he wanted to grade on compliance to the system and would give me 20% on the tests because he could not come up with how I got to my answers.

I use this story because I believe it really illustrates why so few people actually put the 80/20 rule into practice. We live in a society that places emphasis on compliance more than creative thinking. When we try to develop something new it is often shot down as disobedient. I believe that each one of us has the power to challenge this system. This is one of the major reasons why the 80/20 rule is so powerful is, 80% of the population is willing to accept things as they come and don’t believe that they deserve anything better. It is the top 20% who will not accept this and they increase the gap between the haves and the have nots. It has been said that one of the biggest problems people face is not that they aim to high and fail; it is that they aim to low and succeed.

One great example of putting the 80/20 rule to a very positive use is the Windows operating system we are all familiar with. The Windows desktop is a fantastic example of the rule in action. On any given computer there are hundreds of programs installed but most are rarely used. On our desktop we have a small number of programs we use on a regular basis. It is much more convenient to have things like our web browser in an easily accessible place, but we don’t need every program there.

There are plenty of examples in our everyday world of the 80/20 rule being used, often times by each one of us. The real power of the rule however comes into play when you begin to make a conscious effort with each decision you make during the day. As soon as you become deeply and innately aware of the power the 80/20 rule has over your life the sooner you can begin to unleash to power it contains.

The secret to success is knowing what are your 20% activities which are producing the 80% of your results. Doing more of the productive activities in your life will allow you to earn more in less time and have more free time to do the things you enjoy.

The Network Insider: Fight or Flight – Battling it out in the travel industry

Below is the most recent email newsletter from a local company called Atomica Creative. http://www.atomicacreative.com/ In this edition Tatsuya Nakagawa of Atomica is interviewing a good friend of mine Ryan Phillips so I thought I would pass along the article in its entirety.


Summer is travel season, so it makes sense for us to explore innovation in the travel industry. Hard hit by a variety of technological inventions that have transformed the way people book travel and whether they travel at all; an economy that discourages any type of expenditure and the miscellaneous impact of oil prices, terrorism and accidents, this is an industry that needs to innovate to survive.

Our guest this month, Ryan Phillips of Flight Centre Business Travel, brings not only his insights about the travel industry, but also some interesting observations about how marketing and sales have changed… and stayed the same – plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Even in this low touch era where deals are as likely to close over the web as they are in person, effective sales people understand that personal contact can make all the difference in whether the deal gets signed or not. The rise of social media sites have been a boon to those companies that recognize the consumer need for personal contact and travel industry companies have been some of the first to understand their value. JetBlue and Southwest Airlines have both harnessed the power of social networking on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites and brought a new level of transparency to the industry.

They have been some of the leaders in using social media and find new ways of using these technological innovations to increase customer satisfaction every day. As the hassle factor and the economy together strive to make leaving home an unpleasant experience, those who truly understand the nature of innovation stay one step ahead.

Our guest Ryan Phillips, when asked to name an innovative company, chose Nine Inch Nails and their strategic use of free distribution and selected copyrights. Of course, my immediate thought was, “wow what a leap from travel to music!”” But in reality, it’s often innovations in a field far removed from the one in which an individual works that drives creativity. The Post-it Note, famously it is said was inspired when the inventor was singing in the choir. Maybe it’s something about music. Whether or not music has anything to do with it, we all know that we live in an era when consumers’ access to information is unparalleled, so the old rules of first mover advantage are falling by the wayside. In a matter of moments any concept, promotion, advertisement or idea can be copied and disseminated to the target audience. Which make the ongoing relationship that much more important. Relationship is key in the low touch century. Ryan understands that and shares his ideas on how his company strives to develop strong ones with their customers.

Interview with Ryan Phillips

What is your role at Flight Centre?

Business Development Manager with Flight Centre Business Travel (FCBT) which specializes in corporate executive and employee travel. Essentially I work with companies to identify ways that FCBT Travel Consultants can help streamline processes while offering a personalized service, 24 hours a day. I frequently talk to my clients and the most common feedback regarding their experience with FCBT is how our travel consultants are very responsive, friendly and knowledgeable. I would love to take all the credit for that, but I really do owe it to the team I work with.

In your opinion what are the key trends affecting the travel industry?

The current economic climate is definitely affecting the travel industry both in terms of personal and business travel. On the leisure side, people are trying to get the most value for their travel dollar in terms of inclusions and options. In terms of corporate travel, a large majority of companies have much stricter travel policies, which is another reason we are seeing an increase in business. We have an excellent process in place which allows for simple, yet effective, ways of tracking company travel policies.

What is the greatest marketing or sales advice you’ve ever received?

As an extremely ambitious new young sales representative very early in my career, I can remember meeting with a client to do a sales pitch. After the pitch the client looked at me and told that he was interested and that I should call him back in two weeks. Feeling pretty proud of myself I sat back and waited and after two weeks made the call and asked him if he would like to go ahead. His response was “sorry we went with the competition.” My manager asked me why they decided that way and I couldn’t answer him so he asked me to call the client back and ask why. With a damaged ego I picked up the telephone and called the client and explained to him that I was new to sales and I wanted to learn what I could have done differently. The client explained to me that the competition had come in to talk to him on several occasions during the 2 week period and every time he met that person it made more sense to work with him. Approximately one year later that same client was looking to replace another piece of office equipment and I was given the opportunity to present a proposal. Recalling the conversation we had one year earlier, I followed all his rules and ended up winning him as a long standing client who still currently works with my previous employer and stays in touch with me.

If you could go back in time and change something, what would it be?

I have always been a true believer that all that has happened in my past has been a big contributing factor to my success today. Although we never want to forget our past, we never want to live in it. Live in the present with an eye on the future. The short answer to your question is nothing.

What is an example of an innovative company that people have never heard of?

This may seem like a strange answer, but Nine Inch Nails (NIN), yes the music group! Many people know of them but not many know them as an innovative company. Their marketing tactics have been a true inspiration for me in thinking outside the box. They are almost single handedly changing the music industry. Trent Reznor the mastermind and front man of NIN is paving the way for
new and old bands to connect with fans.

Taking tactics like this and applying it to a corporate business environment would allow us to connect with clients on a whole new level. Who in their right mind would think that by giving away an album for free would end up leading to it being the bestselling album on Amazon in 2008 and generate $750,000usd in three days? http://arstechnica.com/media/news/2009/01/free-nine-inch-nails-albums-top-2008-amazon-mp3-sales-charts.ars

List a few of your favourite business sites.

Stockhouse Is a great took for looking at market trends and learning about new and upcoming business. http://www.stockhouse.com/index.aspx

CNW Group is a good resource to find out what is happening in the Canadian business market. http://www.newswire.ca/en/

The Flight Centre blog always provides up to date travel information and advice. http://www.flightcentre.ca/blog/

iGoogle is an amazing tool which allows you to create your very own customized page with 100’s of different widget options. It’s the first place I start every morning! http://www.igoogle.com

Linked in has always been a great place to keep a database of contacts I have connected with along the way.http://www.linkedin.com/in/ryphillips

BIO: Ryan Phillips joined Flight Centre Business Travel as a Business Development Manager after more than 10 years of working in Business Development with a range of companies from those in its infant stages to Fortune 500. His extensive experience in all ranges of companies allows him to appreciate the importance of creating long lasting relationships while developing effective strategies for increasing profitability.

Ryan attributes his success as a Business Development Manager with Flight Centre to his passion for understanding that each of his client’s travel needs are different. As a frequent business and vacation traveler himself, Ryan strives to ensure that his clients are provided with the unbeatable service of Flight Centre’s Corporate Travel Consultants. Ryan is an avid supporter of the community and the people around him. Outside of work he enjoys volunteering for a local children’s charity, as well as being involved in regional and community projects.

Ryan Phillips
610 Robson St.
Vancouver BC


Tatsuya Nakagawa
Atomica Creative
Strategic Product Marketing

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