Growing up on Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island is an idyllic destination thanks to its incredibly diverse landscape. Sam spent most of his childhood here, growing up against the backdrop of the rugged Pacific coastline, temperate rainforest, and picturesque sandy beaches. (and yes Vancouver Island is separate from Vancouver. Check out www.discovervancouverisland.com for more about Vancouver Island.
While the outdoors would be most people’s dream, Sam's home life was less than ideal. He lacked much necessary parental guidance and he, along with his brothers, had to learn how to navigate the world around them by reading books as well as learning through life experiences.
Learning to work…
At age 12, Sam and his brother John began playing hockey, something that would grow into a lifelong passion. To be able to play, Sam had to work to pay for it. He cut grass and did yard work, saving up every penny to buy hockey equipment, pay for lessons and league fees as well as gas for his parents to drive between 30 minutes to two hours away depending on where the games were.
By age 13 he was working at a restaurant and a seafood store. Even though these were minimum wage jobs, they taught him invaluable life lessons.
When Sam turned 18, he began working as a guide at a local fishing resort--a job he was good at and happened to love. He also worked at a grocery store and working for his father’s small roofing company.
But, after six years putting in 70-80 hour work weeks, he was ready for a new adventure. He enrolled at university. No one in his family had graduated University, but it was something he decided would be a good stepping stone towards finding a career.
Starting his first business
With his first year under his belt, Sam came up with an innovative (albeit “crazy”) way to pay for school and possibly get even enough money to buy his very own fishing boat. He was going to start a sports fishing business!
Things didn't work out quite as planned his first summer in business. The company Sam was hoping to do most of his business with ended up not having any work for him. His business was off to a very slow start—so slow it was putting out more than it was bringing in.
For that summer, Sam helped manage his dad’s small roofing crew while doing a few scattered fishing trips. Roofing is hard work and work that he actually enjoyed, but this summer the weather was much hotter than normal—making it a summer Sam will never forget!
There was one very good thing that happened that summer. Sam’s neighbor Bruce worked for a digital advertising agency—one of the most well known online at the time—and Sam’s neighbor was one of the biggest pieces in the business. He told Sam he needed a website—and this was before most businesses had websites. Well, Bruce built a one-page temporary website and that was the start of Salmon Eye Charters online.
The next summer was busier than Sam could have imagined. All the hard work creating a good website that was visible in the search engines paid off. By his third summer he had two boats going.
He continued working hard growing his sports fishing business and establishing himself as the #1 fishing website in British Columbia. While at university, Sam worked on his BBA (Bachelor in Business) with a concentration in finance. People often ask if this was beneficial towards starting his business. Sam’s answer is always the same: “While university may have helped a bit with my mindset, it really didn’t set me up with the practical skills needed to run and expand a business. My most valuable classes were Law and Venture capital for helping my mindset.” There is a saying among some very successful people that Sam believes in.
"If you want to find a career, go to university. If you want to become extremely successful in business and life, do self development and learn business development on a daily basis."
Upon graduating Sam decided the business was on track to pay as much as a starting position as a financial planner.
He had intended on becoming a financial planner, but during his last couple of years at University he was working about 30 hours a week growing his business. By the time University ended he had three fishing boats. This kind of growth in a sports fishing business was not the norm. New clients often remarked how young Sam was to be running a charter fishing company with multiple boats. Most charter owners were at least twice Sam’s age!
The company continued to grow, and Sam added more boats to satisfy the demand. During the busy summer season, he was working 80 hours a week making sure everything was running smooth.
During the winter he traveled and worked on summer bookings. Most people said he had the ideal life and in many ways he did. But, being a serial entrepreneur isn’t always the best use of time!
Within five years of post-graduation, Sam started getting other businesses going that were congruent with tourism and the web. While all seemed like good ideas, there was a lot of extra time spent working that could have been spent pursuing other opportunities.
Learning about life choices...
Sam learned the hard way about the importance of figuring out what goals were important to him. He he alone was responsible for motivating himself and others by taking personal responsibility for the choices he was making.
If we make good choices, these choices ultimately lead us to be able to enjoy a happy and content life or a miserable life filled with regret. Waiting for something to happen outside of our control--that we can accomplish--doesn’t make much sense. While it helps to know the right people, what we do with that is up to us. And, if we don’t know the right people, that is also up to us.
Sam found the biggest way for positive change was setting goals and forming new habits (e.g., daily reading). He also spent more time listening to people who would lift him up and push him to take full responsibility for his daily decisions.
After going through the ups and downs of life, Sam wants to share the good things that he discovered that got him on a better track. He wants to share with you what worked for him.
Along the way, there were some tremendous missed investment opportunities and much wasted time that could have been better spent learning and growing as a person.
One example is when one of Sam’s trusted mentors advised him on an investment that ended up turning out badly. This situation ended up being bad financially and emotionally. There were red flags of course, but when people are close to us, we often tend to ignore the signs. Much if this could have been avoided if Sam had known then what he knows now. Now he doesn't want this to you and so he is giving great advice away in blog posts, videos and weekly tips, so sign up here if you would like to be one of the first to receive the latest. Many people have already change the course of their lives by hearing and reading his life and goal setting tips.
P.S. If you’re lucky you might just get some stock tips as he has been doing well in the stock market since he started investing!
P.S.S. If you’re a frequent traveler, keep your eye out, you might just pass Sam on his way to his next adventure!
Below are a list of companies and websites Sam is involved in.
Salmon Eye Fishing Charters
Sport fishing for salmon and halibut from the west coast of Vancouver Island BC Canada. Salmon Eye mostly does 2-4 day fishing packages for people that fly in from all over the world.
Health Fitness Company specializing in getting people from restricted movements to optimal fitness health. Marc Robinson is Sam’s business partner and CEO of this company.
Nutrition supplements. 1st Supplement is Tuermeric. We have the best formula in the market in our opinion. Active Atoms is part of Evercore.
Discover Vancouver Island:
Tours and Tourism website for Vancouver Island. Insiders guide to the best of Vancouver Island. More info about all the good things to do than most locals would know.
Tourism website for Victoria BC. The best Victoria website to plan your vacation if going to Victoria BC.
Vancouver Island Vacation Rentals
Luxury ocean view 1600 square foot 2 bedroom condos in Ucluelet BC. These are the nicest condos on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Insiders Guide for Tofino BC. Includes info on beaches and trails in the Pacific Rim National Park, fishing, kayaking, hot springs, surfing, zip lining ect.
Insiders Guide for Ucluelet BC. Includes info on beaches and trails in and out of the Pacific Rim National Park including the Wild Pacific Trail. Ucluelet has some of the most spectacular fishing, kayaking, and surfing for Canada.
Salmon Fishing Now
Salmon information website about biology of salmon and different salmon fishing techniques for around the world. a.
Guide to finding the best activities in BC. We are building up this website though it currently has some good info about visiting BC Canada.
Project showing the issues surrounding Southern Resident and Northern Resident Killer Whales around Vancouver Island. The website tries to show the science based approach to making decisions.