So today’s the big move-in at my new office. After spending the last few months working out of my house, it’s going to be nice to finally have a work environment with a few less distractions. Not to mention when I start having clients come in, it’s going to look a little more professional.
When I decided to lease office space for my work, location was probably the factor that I gave the most weight. From some of my market research, I had determined that the bulk of my immigration target clients are located about 15 miles west of where I currently reside, so I knew I wanted to find a place in that direction. After a simple Google search and some subsequent research, I narrowed my options down to two office buildings that I’d check out. I focused my search around buildings that had what they call “executive suites.” For those that might not be familiar with commercial real estate (as I was before this process), executive suites are basically single offices that share common reception and conference areas. With these offices, most of the services (fax, copy machines, landlines, etc.) are paid for on a per-usage basis. Since you can customize what services you want, it’s nice for someone just starting out who’s looking to minimize start-up costs. You can now even look into cheaper alternatives that have somewhat kept up to speed with digital advancements, for example, you can start sending a fax from Gmail should you wish to not spend unnecessary money on a fax machine that will hardly be used in the future!
The first place I visited was the most affordable of the three and was located right where most of my potential clients live. However, the building was 30+ years old and the interior definitely reflected it. Obviously, with me just starting out, I don’t need the flashiest place in town, but as I pointed out before, this was going to serve as an office for both my immigration and hockey work. If I’m going to have hockey clients visit, I need a place that looks at least halfway modern. For some reason I just kept picturing this building being more suitable for a 60-year-old seasoned tax attorney.
The second office building I looked at was a completely different story. It’s located just a few miles east of the first building, so it’s still accessible to my target area but a little closer to my home. The exterior looked extremely new, with brick walls and a nice winding stone stairway at the entrance. When I walked inside, I started to get a little nervous that this would be way out of my price range. The lobby was open, very clean, and the dÃ©cor was much more modern. The flat screen television mounted on the wall didn’t hurt either. After viewing a few of the offices, I sat down with the building manager to talk money. I was surprised to hear that the rent would only be about $120 more per month than the first place I had looked at. The deciding factor though â€“ these offices came fully furnished. I immediately knew that this was the place I wanted to be working out of. I was able to talk the manager down to waiving all the fixed move-in costs, so all I had to pay upfront was first and last months rent. I’ve got a busy day ahead of me now, but like I said, it’s pretty exciting.
Once I get all settled into my new place of business, I’ll still be finishing up much of the work I had started last week. I still have to get forms filed with the State, submit my insurance application, and put the final touches on some advertising material for the firm. Naturally, all these also cost money, so that doesn’t help, but with a couple of clients already lined up, I’m confident I’m going to see some real returns in the near future.
In addition to my immigration work, I’ve got my next big scouting weekend just over three weeks away and it’s time to start getting things together for that. Beginning December 26th there’s a huge amateur tournament being held in Toronto, Ont. The team from Ontario that I had spoken with at the Bauer Invite will be attending ,so I’ve had this one on my calendar for a few weeks. Fortunately, when you spend your entire life playing hockey, you end up with former teammates spread all over North America. One of my old college roommates lives in the London area, so right now I’m hoping to stay with him while I’m up there (although I haven’t heard back from him yet so we’ll see). The one rough part about the whole thing is that the tournament starts the day after Christmas, which means I’ll have to be traveling on my favorite holiday of the year. Getting where you want to be in life usually requires making sacrifices and I’m sure this is just one of many along the way. At the end of the day though, I’ll be doing what I love – watching a lot of quality hockey – so I guess there are worse ways to spend a holiday weekend.
In other hockey news, last week I made more calls trying to get Matt a tryout contract with clubs in the Central and Southern Pro Leagues. The conversations that I had really didn’t show a lot of promise, but we’re keeping Matt on their radars and you never know what could come up. If fact, this past Friday Matt had heard from a Southern Pro goalie that one of the GMs in the league had been asking questions about him. After another weekend of games, the desperation level on a few of the basement-dwellers should be rising. Although we haven’t gotten any real breaks so far, we just have to keep plugging away and hope for the best.
On a personal note, Bridget left for Kenya on Friday and made it there safely. I spoke to her on the phone for a while last Monday and although we didn’t get into any serious relationship talk, it was great to hear from her. She’ll be spending the next couple weeks administering medicine to patients at a local clinic and I could tell that while she was excited, she was also a little anxious. The living conditions definitely won’t be anything like she’s used to, but it should be a great experience for her. When you spend your life focused on a career in sports, like I have, it’s extremely humbling to think of the amazing work she’ll be doing over there. One thing’s for sure â€“ I’m incredibly proud of her.
For any of you interested, Darren should be posting a copy of Matt’s player resume to the site soon (Editor’s Note: I have posted it at the bottom of this story). Basically I just wanted to give you an idea of what we might send out for a player at Matt’s level. While it might not be the flashiest thing around, coaches aren’t drawn to a player because of sleek graphics and special effects. What we wanted was something that gets to the point, but also has professional touch. Well until next week…it’s time to hit the showers.