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Considering my young age (I’m 25), I’m very lucky to have had the opportunity to do—and watch my father do—business in a few different countries. Continents, actually. We have done business in Iran, countries in West Africa, Central America and in Canada. Doing business in different countries, with different systems and mentalities, brings a lot of joy and experience. I’d like to share some of the differences, perks and cons of making money in a country like Canada vs. making money in countries like Iran and Togo. I will also explain which is my favourite and why. Doing business in Canada: Cons: High financial risk Very expensive in terms of start up funds, rent, and all other overheads Extremely competitive (especially Toronto) Takes much longer to succeed High wages High taxes High labour costs for the business owner Always at risk of other big companies taking over the industry   Pros: Happier employees Safety Contributing to the well being of the society because of those high taxes Healthier life in terms of pollution, water, etc… Quality of life Insurance Reliable contractors Government guaranteed loans Doing business in 3rd world countries: Cons: Unhappy employees No safety Dealing with a broken society In danger of all sorts of diseases Low...

John runs an independent and growing transportation infrastructure practice out of NOBO. “After 20 years as a transportation executive in the government and corporate world, I’m enjoying the entrepreneurship and freedom of my own business,” says John. “NOBO is key to my growth and success.” John is a former Vice-President of Metrolinx and the transportation division of several consulting engineering firms. A few years ago, he took the leap to provide his own transportation planning, policy and investment consultancy – leveraging his public and private sector experience and professional networks. He’s since grown a market niche attracting new clients in the Indigenous and municipal sectors, as well as international firms seeking to launch in the Canadian market. Why NOBO? John cites his top five reasons: “It’s steps away from my home and clients in downtown Toronto. I love being part of a creative, growing business community right in my own neighbourhood. The everyday interaction with the NOBO team and other members is always collegial, fun and inspiring. It’s an extremely comfortable natural place to feel like my second home. And the flexibility of coming and going as I please is unbeatable.” John also enjoys bringing his clients and prospective clients to NOBO. “The boardroom, café-kitchen, lounges...

I grew up to my teens on rock music, influenced by my cousins. The Doors, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Metallica and everything in between. They spoke to me the way that pop music never could. They spoke the truth, their minds. I was never interested in the clean-cut, good looking music that was full of pretentious and artificial beauty. In my heart, even as a little kid, I wanted to break out of this fake bubble that everything is beautiful and has to be. Instead, I was curious to learn about the dirt, the real feeling of heartbreak and the ecstasy of true love. That’s what led me to learn that all of business is not beautiful. It could be unpaid invoices, troublesome employees, an empty space and so much more than having schedule freedom and being your own boss. And that’s why I’m able to relate with the freelancers at NOBO because I relate to both their pain and glory. Later on, in high school, I was introduced to the world of Hip Hop. It spoke the same language, just in a different way, from a different place. The two genres became my to-go music because of their naked, bold...

I’m a believer of practice, creation and forward moving. I believe that nothing is perfect, and it will never be. To me, attempting to create perfection means killing that project and frustrating myself in the process.  As entrepreneurs, we learn as we go and we get better every day at what we practice. I’m flawed as a human being, and I try to embrace my flaws and improve, but I won’t be able to create a perfect product or service simply because I’m not perfect. Instead, I try to create an environment that is humane, fun and progressive. And NOBO is proudly imperfect. Some of the world’s greatest creators are imperfectionists. Filmmakers such as Woody Allen, Abbas Kiarostami, Clint Eastwood and many more. These acclaimed filmmakers all have at least one thing in common, and that’s finishing the movie in the best of their abilities at the time. Respecting their current instincts instead of swimming in the ocean of more possibilities.  There are also great perfectionist creators such as Steve Jobs, but I think that most of us would agree that (even though I’m a hardcore Apple fan) all Apple products are flawed. The iPhone is nowhere near a perfect product, it’s flawed,...

A company or an entity really begins to shape when you find a name for it. Once you name it, you start building a character for that name. You start to mold it with your beliefs and the things you stand for.  Of course, we intended to choose a name that’s easy to say, but I wanted it to mean something to us. I began by mumbling random words to myself with two syllables for about ten minutes and then I stumbled upon NOBO. I called a few people to see how it rings in their ears. And then I looked it up on Google to find a meaning further than the sound. Boom, Northbounder. It felt like the name found us. It meant that we are journey focused. What does it really mean to be a Northbounder? It means being on a productive mission. It means going further and higher in life, while embracing the journey. Having the energy of a hiker to achieve our short term and long term goals. The things you learn, the people that you meet and the community you build on your way up is really what that experience is all about. And so we are NOBOs,...

It’s 8:00 am on a lovely summer day. Although, it’s Monday. I open my eyes to the ceiling, the alarm is buzzing through my ears. It’s showtime. Need to get back to work after a Sunday well spent with friends and family. All the tasks and promises come roaring in my mind, and all the deadlines that will keep me busy throughout the week. I do the whole yawning, stretching my legs out ritual. And finally, I get my head around the fact that the weekend is over. Now, on this lovely day, there are three things that I need: Caffeine, a proper space & confidence. These are three important elements that will help me dance through my tasks and to-do lists. I push my feet into the NOBO doors, I make myself some freshly ground Detour coffee. I used to be a barista, and my coffee means everything to me. It has to be bold, rich and fresh. I pull the magical espresso shot, down it in 10 seconds, and finally, really wake up to start the day. One of the major characteristics that we value as the NOBO community is trying to build each other’s confidence. Encourage other fellow NOBOs, and...

This blog post will explain to you why I’m in a relationship with NOBO, and what that relationship is. But before all that, I will need to explain a little bit about myself. I was not the most quiet or trouble-free kid for my parents. A true and authentic class clown. I was thirsty for laughs and never paid attention to what was going on on the whiteboard. And just like many kids that age, I changed my mind on what I wanted to be when I grew up. I went from wanting to be a policeman, a firefighter, a mechanic and everything in between until I finally made peace with myself and pursued acting. I loved it, and still do love it. But as you probably know, it’s very tough to make a living as a struggling actor. So then I started working for my dad, managing projects to help with my financials. Not to bore you with too much detail, but I always enjoyed community. My goal has always been to be around a community of creatives. That could be in business, art, technology etc. A few years ago, I was introduced to the world of coworking by a friend of...