It may not be a classic rags-to-riches story, but Shaun Furman has gone from living out of his car to networking with millionaires.
Furman, 24, is the founder and host of Millionaire Mentors Today — a web TV show where he interviews "some of the top industry leaders in various fields about passive income business."
The show is aimed at young entrepreneurs and topics include licensing, vending machines, real estate investing and publishing.
Raised in Russell, Man., Furman got a history degree from the University of Manitoba. After graduating, he looked at his options and started a snow removal company with a friend, which went bust.
"After I went completely broke in my first business, I couldn’t pay my rent and I had no place to live," said Furman, who lives in Osborne Village. "I was homeless, living in other people’s houses and basements and I actually spent a few nights in my car."
After brief stints in Calgary — staying with family for Christmas — and back in Russell — working in an electronics repair shop — Furman made a decision.
"I decided I was going to figure out how to do something that allows me to have unlimited income and time and I started reading about real estate, marketing and licensing," he said.
Furman — who spent summers as a teen living with family in St. Vital and also did summer courses at Nelson McIntyre Collegiate — returned to Winnipeg and landed two jobs.
"I walked around the city and picked up all of the empty beer cans from the winter listening to business books and speakers on my iPod," he said.
"I ended up making an additional $2,000 from beer cans and bottles in my first two weeks and it was enough to get me back on my feet."
Furman now combines his time working from his apartment and travelling to network with business leaders, which is often how he gets them to appear on his web show.
"I travel a lot and get to know them by showing up where they are and being genuine with them," Furman said, noting he has spoken at different events and worked as a marketing coach.
"I don’t waste their time, either. I will research their companies, books, media contributions and pay attention to the things they say are important to them. I might even track them on Facebook to hone in on their values."
Despite his work ethic, Furman said his mantra is about balancing life and work.
"My website makes me money while I sleep, which I think is an important concept to follow," he said.
"There are people who don’t always care about more money, but more about time with family."
Professional real estate investor Stefan Aarnio — the only Winnipeg entrepreneur so far to be interviewed by Furman on his website — said Furman is building a successful model.
"It’s very interesting and relevant to today’s market," said Aarnio, who lives in Fort Garry and attended Silver Heights Collegiate.
"For young people, finding mentors and coaches with expertise is a smart and timely thing. To watch 35 minutes of an interview with a millionaire is a priceless."
Aarnio, 26, said Furman has the passion to one day become a millionaire himself.
"I think Shaun will be very successful and he’s going to be a guy to watch. He will certainly be one of the best connected people in Winnipeg, if not Canada. He can be a real powerhouse."
For more information, visit www.millionairementorstoday.com. To learn more about Aarnio, visit www.freedomwayjointvetures.com.