Keep in mind that perfect is the enemy of good and don’t be afraid to fail and fail quickly.
Gordie Dhaliwal is the owner and president of Legendary Developments, a leading home development corporation based in Canada. For more than 20 years, Gordie has maintained a strong foothold in the real estate development industry. He earned his degree in Financial Management Services as well as Finance from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. His career focus has long been to build unique and modern homes that he himself would be proud to live in.
Gordie spends much of his spare time with friends and family. In addition to watching Canadian sports teams, Dhaliwal is also interested in American football. Over the years, Gordie has built a company with an outstanding reputation in the Canadian home development market.
Where did the idea for Legendary Developments come from?
We wanted to name the business something that embodied our mission which was to create industry leading structures that people wanted to live and work in. When something is legendary, it’s timeless, it’s awesome, it’s something you want to be a part of. That’s the idea we were going for with the name.
What do you do in a typical day to stay productive?
A typical day for me is spent focusing on the broad vision and direction for the business. We have various project managers, administrators, contractors and sub-contractors that handle a lot of the day to day that I used to be involved in. Now I focus on things like strategic positioning for new projects, working with local governments and the public to work out logistics for new projects, and then making sure my top managers have what they need to get their jobs done.
How do your projects come to life?
It all really starts with a creative vision and there are a lot of people that give input on that. We start with an initial consultation. Our team offers this for free and we work with a client on what their overall goals and objectives are for a given project. Next, we move to the architecture and design process where we bring the client’s vision to life on paper so they can really wrap their heads around what things could potentially look like. After that we move to a contract and proposal process where we give our best estimate as to what things will cost.
City planning and approval is a crucial part of the process. If local governments and the public are not on board, the whole project can be stalled. Once we get the green light, we move to interior design and selection. This is where the client can pick all of the custom build selections for their home. Finally, we finishing and after care which is where all of the construction takes place.
What is an exciting trend you see?
We are seeing a lot of people who want to make their living space their own. In the past, when people went to buy a home, they usually picked what was on the market. That’s great for resale but the cool part about custom homes is that you have a chance to make things more modern for both the home owner and the environment and that’s good for everyone.
What do you do almost every day that makes you a successful entrepreneur?
I get up early in the morning. I know that sounds simple and that it wouldn’t do a whole lot but you would be surprised at how productive you can be if you make a commitment to yourself to even get up just one hour earlier than you usually to every morning. The other part of that equation is making a commitment to work on something. Whether it’s your exercise routine or a side job or whatever. If you set aside the time to grow and be successful (and you do it when no one else is awake to bother you), your life will change.
If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?
I would tell myself to not waste time. The worst thing anyone can do to you in business or in your personal life is waste your time. You can always make more money, or buy more stuff, but you cannot get your time back.
Tell us something that no one agrees with you on but is true.
Everyone always tells me I’m crazy when I say education is not a ticket to success. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big believer in education and the opportunities it affords people but I’ve seen a lot of really brilliant people go nowhere because they didn’t have the basic common-sense skills that you don’t necessarily learn in a university.
What is one thing you do as an entrepreneur over and over again that you would recommend to others?
Fail fast. Keep in mind that perfect is the enemy of good and don’t be afraid to fail and fail quickly. Obviously, you want to avoid failure if you can but if you have to fail, the faster you do it, the faster you can learn your lesson and be on your way to success.
What strategies do you use to grow your business?
This is sort of a combination for me. It’s a combo of radical transparency and going above and beyond for our clients. People are naturally mistrustful of custom builders and contractors and for good reason. There are a lot of bad actors in our industry. I promote an almost unnatural level of transparency in everything that we do. I’ve even been known to let clients see the cost we pay for materials and labor. I also make it a point to under promise and over deliver on a regular basis to our clients.
What was one failure you had as a business owner and what did you do to overcome it?
In some of my first home building projects, I way underestimated what it would cost and ended up eating a lot of that loss out of my own savings. Even though I made that mistake, the key thing I had to overcome it was persistence. Had I quit right then, I never would have moved forward and become the success that I am today.
Do you have a business idea you can give away to readers?
As it relates to the construction industry, there is a huge need for materials storage before a project. Sometimes we suffer losses of 5-6% on materials that get damaged in weather, stolen, or just turn up missing. If there was a person or company that offered to protect those materials until they are needed, I would pay for that.
What is the best $100 you spent recently?
I recently spent about $100 dollars on a stock investment course that gave me pointers on how to manage my retirement money.
What’s one piece of software you cannot live without?
I use Boomerang for Google religiously. It’s web-based software that allows you to schedule emails (among other stuff but I use it for the email scheduling). Often, I know I need to send an email to someone so I’ll write it today and schedule it for when I need it to go out.
Can you recommend a good business book?
I would read the “Goal” by Eliyahu Goldratt. It’s an excellent, excellent business book.
Please tell us your favorite quote.
“To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” Douglas Adams said that.
● Don’t be afraid to fail
● Don’t waste time
● How productive one can be when waking up an hour earlier then they should
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Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.