We’re liviing in exciting times, almost as exciting as it must have been at the beginning of the industrial revolution.

Anybody who’s out looking for a “job” these days will tell you there’s a new kind of revolution taking place and it’s happening in the world of work. ?This revolt began with words like “downsizing”, “rightsizing”, “elimination”, “merger”, “restructuring.” As recently as 15 years ago, the definitions of these words would have been very different than what their common meaning is today.

For some, the sudden “elimination” of their work creates a real crisis. They head into the employment centre at 48 Owen St. in Barrie and discover a whole new world has replaced the individual employment counsellors of years past. What’s available now is an absolute plethora of workshops and seminars and opportunities to grasp the new reality and run with it.

It’s my personal belief that the people who see the crisis and look immediately for the opportunity within it are the people bedst prepared to enter the new work revolution that we’re experiencing. That gi ves new challenge to parenting as we look at how to ensure that our children have the right attitudes to take them as far as they can go.

Mike Salnek is the father of four daughters, and a man who found himself “caught” in the new reality. He’s also one of those individuals prepared to take personal risk for long term gain. Mike’s background is in property management with the huge Cranberry name in the Collingwood region. Cranberry is almost synonymous with Collingwood as suites, condos, hotel, resort, waterfront units etc envelope this vacation area. Mike rose through the Cranberry ranks to become Assistant General Manager to a General Manager who was no on-site. Effectively it made him the major decision-making at Cranberry when it came to managing the properties.

Then the word “rightsize” popped its ugly head and Mike looked around for the opportunity within this crisis.

Seizing opportunity doesn’t happen without effort. Real change isn’t a surface move.

Mike and his family, wife Judy who is self employed with Cedar Pointe Window Fashions, and daughters decided to reduce their monthly outley for maintenance of lifestyle. They moved from their country home into a new townhome unit in Barrie. And Mike set up his home office in the new place and set out to build a regional reputation in property management. ProGuard Property Management started as an idea inside a head, and one contract at a time, is building to offer Mike everything he could want in the world of work.

Mike’s a people person. He uses those skills comfortably as he listens well to people on all sides of the fence. In a way he works in mediation as his end goal in property management is to ensure that properties meet the best standards they can and serve their tenants effectively so property owners reap that benefit.

Mike knows that business people renting a commercial unit will do better when the surrounding property is well enhanced. And a business that’s doing well serves the commercial property owner with a good economy and stable rental income. To manage property well, everyone has to win. Mike Salnek is adept at ensuring that everyone wins... the property owner, the tenant, the tradespeople who perform contract work at sites, and the property manager as well.

When Mike brought his entrepreneurial dream to the federal government’s Self Employment Assistance Program, he first had to convince himself that he could move from working for someone else to working for himself. No doubt that he had the property management skills. But, did he have the skills to find the contracts, sell himself to deliver them, maintain the associated records and paperwork, and think about new ways of doing business?

In a nutshell, that’s what separates the employed from the self employed... Mike’s now loloking for opportunity all the time. He’s active in the community. He knows he has to give before he’ll receive. He is finding new opportunities within traditional markets and growing his business effectively. He knows how to ensure that a property owner gets the best possible service while the property user benefits proportionately.

What a tremendous example Mike is to the rest of us as we face new ways of finding and doing work. He’s shown courage, tenacity, commitment and adaptability... all strengths that, if fostered in our children, will prepare them to work in the new reality.

Welcome to the revolution.

Thanks, Mike.

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