Samantha Brookes is the CEO and Founder of Mortgages of Canada and has more than 16 years of experience with home purchases, refinancing customer mortgages, consolidating homeowner debt and providing home equity loans. She was recently named in the “Top 100” by Real Estate Professional Magazine and can be seen hosting her own YouTube show Samantha TV. She is also a regular contributor for The Huffington Post where she shares vital tips on real estate, mortgages and financing with Canadians. You can find her featured in various media outlets including Business News Network, CTV’s Your Morning, The Globe and Mail, Bloomberg, Rogers, The Star, CBC News and others.
My first job ever was… My first job was in my early teens. I was a bus girl and dishwasher at a small family restaurant in Kitchener, Ontario.
I decided to be an entrepreneur because… When I first started, I was working full-time managing a health department and doing mortgages on the side. Over time, I started to see my income from doing mortgages triple my total salary. Then a friend of mine advised me to put all my efforts into my own business, because with my knowledge and motivation – there was no way I could lose. I took a look at the numbers again, scratched my head and started executing a business plan.
My proudest accomplishment is… Being a mother. There is no greater gift! Everything I do, I do for my kids. I want to be absolutely certain that when I am no longer here they will never be without. Sometimes when people lack the resources they need to survive, they compromise their character by doing things that they wouldn’t necessarily do if they had what they needed, and I never want my family to be put in a situation like that. It’s so important to me that I provide them with security and a promising future.
My boldest move to date was… Leaving my secure full-time job to pursue my dreams of becoming a full-time entrepreneur.
I surprise people when I tell them… I come from a broken home. My father was abusive and to no fault of his own. Knowing everything I know now, I’ve learned that there are always deeper, underlying factors that affect a person’s ability to think and act in a respectable behaviour. He sadly didn’t have the resources needed to address his untreated mental health disorder. This has helped me to understand human behaviour and to be patient with people over the years.
My best advice to people starting a business is… Make sure you diversify your income by setting up separate accounts to prepare you for the “entrepreneur cycle.” Sometimes when that dip happens it can hurt! Also, make sure you have a business plan. This will help you stay on track and prevent you from engaging in meaningless activities that will cause you to lose focus. Define your brand, have core values, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and ask for help.
“Make sure you have a business plan. This will help you stay on track and prevent you from engaging in meaningless activities that will cause you to lose focus. Define your brand, have core values, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and ask for help.”
My best advice from a mentor was… Write it down! Write out your task list, ideas, goals, dreams, predictions and intentions! When you are able to physically see and visualize exactly what it is you want, your life will change.
I would tell my 20-year old self… If you want to make something happen, you have to do it yourself! No one can make you happy, successful or satisfied except you.
My biggest setback was… Becoming a victim of identity theft.
I overcame it by… Learning everything I needed to know about the what, where, when, why and how this could happen to me or anyone. I took that information and set out to help others who may find themselves in a similar situation. I also used that information to help people with compromised credit purchase homes so they could restart their life again in that way.
Work/life balance is… I’d be lying if I said I’ve mastered this. I have not…but the times that I do, I love spending time with my family and going on family vacations.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… That I have a speech impediment — I stutter. The trait is on my father’s side and both my brothers and I do it.
I stay inspired by… Having a purpose…period! In order to stay motivated you need to have a purpose, every single day.
The future excites me because… Every day excites me, not just the future. I live in the now, for the present moment is just as important as the future.
My next step is… Continuing to build my personal brand and become a household name in real estate across the country. I want to be able to be the resource Canadians need to make informed decisions about real estate and building wealth through real estate. I know it’s a big challenge, but it’s a challenge I’ve already written down on my list and I’m working at it everyday to achieve it.