Welcome to the Eventual Millionaire Podcast. I?m Jaime Tardy and today we have Nolan Watson on the show. Nolan is the President and CEO of Sandstorm Gold and Sandstorm Metals & Energy. He is a chartered accountant and was a CFO of Silver Wheaton Corp., a mining company on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchange. Thanks so much for being here today, Nolan.
NOLAN WATSON: Thank you very much.
JAIME TARDY: So you had a great job as a CFO of Silver Wheaton and you helped raise over a billion dollars in debt and equity to fund that company. What made you breakaway from them and start your own business?
NW: I think probably the same thing that causes a lot of people to start up their businesses which is the desire to create your own thing. And by being able to create your own thing you get a lot of sense of pride and looking at the achievements that you?ve made and being able to attribute them to the hard work that you?ve done.
JT: So when did you start it?
NW: Oh we started back at the end of 2008 during the heat of the financial crisis and we officially launched the business in about May 2009. So it has been just about two years since the launch.
JT: Oh, wow. How many employees do you have now then?
NW: Well, we?re a fairly top heavy business. We?ve only got about 14 employees but about 7 of those are executive vice presidents or senior management.
JT: Oh, wow. Can you tell us a little bit about what you guys do and what your business model is?
NW: Yeah, absolutely. We consider ourselves a finance company in the mining industry and other extractive commodities. So what we do is we give people money to go build mines or develop oil fields or gas fields and what we get in return is a contract that allows us to purchase a certain percentage of their production for the life of that and we purchased it at X price. So for example, on a gold mine, we might give someone $50 million and what we?ll get in return is the right to purchase 20 percent of their gold at $500 now. And then we just take the ounce of gold every time we buy it for $500 and we sell it at the spot rate which today is about $1,430 an ounce and so the difference between 500 and that is our profit margin and our cash flow and we continue to reinvest our cash flow into purchasing new contracts.
JT: Wow, that?s excellent. I mean it doesn?t sound like there?s a ton of risk. What risk do you guys run into? I mean if gold tanks I guess that would be a big risk for you but in general, it doesn?t seem like there?s too much.
NW: Yeah, although there is quite a bit of risk in the sense that you?re right, if gold or the commodity prices decrease that?s a risk to us. Another risk to us is that the assets themselves don?t perform so if you invest a significant amount of money into a mine and then the mine doesn?t work, and that?s actually a fairly common scenario in the mining industry when mines don?t work quite as they were originally intended to, but we put a number of mitigating factors into the contracts and so far we?ve never lost money on one of them.
One of the key focuses that we try to do in our business is focus on getting an above-average risk adjusted return for our investors. So more of the risk we take on, we try to get an even better return than that and comparing ourselves and our risk profile to an actual mining company, we?re a lot lower risk because one of the biggest risks in the mining industry right now is that costs are going up, you know, a tire for a mining truck which may have cost $5,000 a few years ago costs $35,000 today. The cost of actually producing its material is going up dramatically whereas if we negotiate a contract or buy gold at $500 an ounce we know we?re buying it at $500 now, this year, next year and for several years to come. So that really decreases the risk to the operating process for our investors.
JT: So while everybody else?s costs are going up, they?re not charging you more also right now?
NW: Correct and that?s the whole point of what we do is we actually lock that in, in the contracted price, on day one, so if we purchase 20 percent of what someone produces for the entire life of the mine and the mine life is 30 years and we?ll be purchasing at $500 an ounce for 30 years regardless of what happens to the costs over those 30 years.
JT: Wow. Okay, but the risk is if it doesn?t last 30 years and it only lasts 5 or 10, you don?t get as much.
JT: Okay. So how did you jump? Is this pretty much primarily what Silver Wheaton did also?
NW: Yes, it?s very similar. We have modified the business model somewhat. We treat ourselves a little bit more like a bank than we treat ourselves like a mining company and we focused on creating a large deal team so of those 14 employees I mentioned, 11 of them, their job is solely to go out, find new contracts, negotiate with companies, value the contracts and that?s really what we are. We just try to grow and increase the size of businesses as quickly as we can.
So Sandstorm Gold, I mentioned we launched that about two years ago. Sandstorm Metals & Energy, that?s the new company. It?s only three months old and it does these contracts and everything other than precious metals and in just three months I got that company up to about $130 million in market gap and I think that we?re going to grow substantially over the next couple of years.
JT: That?s really impressive. How did you start? I mean how did you start two years ago? What?s the first couple of things that you had to do to start it all?
NW: Well, because of the business model, we need large amounts of capital but we also need companies willing to basically sell us these economic portions of their mines or these contracts. So we have to go out and simultaneously convince bankers and financiers to please take us seriously, we trust us, we can negotiate an acquisition of the asset even though we don?t have one right now and then we had to go to mining companies and say trust us even though we don?t have any money. If you do a transaction with us we?ll go get the money. And we were fortunate enough to have a reputation that allowed people to take us at our word and we negotiated the acquisition of some contracts and we financed them simultaneously and we?ve been doing it fairly steadily ever since.
JT: Wow, so it sounds like you have to be a really good salesman in order to have people trust you on nothing. Do you have any good sales advice for people trying to convince people just like you did?
NW: I think sales, by and large, often happens. For large issues like this it?s different than just selling a car when you walk up to a stranger in a car lot. In this type of business a lot of it is by reputation so people aren?t going to do a $50 million transaction without checking into who you are. So I think reputation is key. I think being the type of person who does what you say you?re going to do is key and ensuring that you focus on win-win solutions that the people who have done deals with you in the past are better off because they did those deals with you and that?s how I?ve been connecting myself for the last number of years and so have my business partners and I think that has done us in very good stead and it has allowed people to trust us. When we say trust us we can raise $50 million they do trust us because we?ve done it in the past.
JT: So you did start it with a partner or with partners?
NW: Yeah, there?s a gentleman named David Awram who used to work with me at Silver Wheaton and both him and I came over simultaneously to set up Sandstorm.
JT: Nice. I mean it has been two years but you?ve grown tremendously in two years. What are some of the obstacles and challenges that have happened so far in these past two years?
NW: Well, obviously, when you need significant amounts of capital and you try to launch yourself in one of the largest recessions we?ve ever had, I would describe that as the single largest obstacle that we?ve had to overcome just because people were holding onto money pretty tight at the beginning of 2009 at the end of 2008. But again, it?s the reputation and the relationships that we?ve built over time that has allowed us to do well and I guess that?s a piece of advice I?d have for a lot of people is that it?s not just in the mining game, it?s not just in finance.
It?s in just about every industry where reputation is what will cause you to succeed over the longer term. So a lot of people are trying to make a lot of money really quick but if you focus on character and integrity and those types of things, people do notice it and you will be rewarded from it in the long run even if it doesn?t feel like it?s moving fast enough. So that?s been the number one challenge for us is just raising the capital when we need it and besides that things have gone fairly well for us.
JT: So you haven?t had a mine that?s had issues or haven?t been able to raise the money that you wanted to? Pretty much everything has gone the way you needed it to?
NW: Well, we?ve been able to do the transactions when we needed to or when we wanted to. Every mine, for those people who aren?t familiar with mining, every mine has issues and challenges and problems and the assets that we?ve acquired are no exception but, on average, they?ve actually performed better than the average mine in industry and so have the mines that we?ve done deals on that they?ve gone out and built there are all starting up right now and the ones that are supposed to be producing are all starting to produce now and we?re cash flow positive in both businesses so we?re pretty excited.
JT: Even your three month old business. That?s really impressive.
JT: Wow. Excellent. Well it?s funny, I heard you say on an interview that you know out of like 100 mines you?ll invest in one of them. That sounds like an amazing amount of due diligence on your part. What makes you guys do that?
NW: Well there?s no shortage of poor quality mines out there and/or management teams that get a hold of the poor quality mine and try to put it into production or try to just spend more money to keep going even though it?s losing money. So our team is focused solely on trying to identify those assets that are going to produce well and they?re going to produce for a longer period of time. I won?t get into technical nature but there is so many different things that can go wrong at different types of mines. So we sort of built the due diligence process that?s focused on just identifying these types of things up front. What are the key risk factors and making sure we stay away from anything that?s just too much risk for us or for our investors and I think any type of risk that?s really the key is ensuring that you?re building your asset base with strong assets. So we?re focused on doing that and I think our shareholders are happy because of it.
JT: Excellent. So let?s go back a little bit. What type of background did you have like growing up? Did you always know that you were going to be successful growing up? I know, good question, right?
NW: I wanted to be successful. I didn?t always know I was going to be successful. I think that the older I got and I think it was somewhere in the university where I started to figure out that the people in life who are successful, although there are exceptions to the rule, the vast majority of people are ones who just have worked super hard at the right types of things so not just working hard but working smarter, for long periods of time and I remember I was trying to study for an exam and was trying to figure out how to increase my grades because I wanted to make sure I got a good job coming out of school and of course a student with straight A?s he said, ?Nolan, I figured out the secret to doing well in school and in life and I?m getting straight A?s because of the secret.? I said, ?Oh that?s fantastic.? He goes it?s a secret and he said, ?You have to know everything.?
JT: I love that.
NW: But it?s true and you realize that there really aren?t shortcuts and you just got to work hard and you got to study harder than other people and then when you get out into the workforce you got to work harder than other people if you want to get promoted faster than them and when you get to your own business you got to work harder than the other people who are starting up businesses and failing. Certainly, my life story has been very true to form in that sense. I?ve had to work late nights. I?ve had to pull many, many, many all nighters. I?ve had to rent hotel rooms across the street from my office because I didn?t have time to drive all the way home before I showered and came back to work. It?s been a lot of work but it?s been very rewarding and I wouldn?t do it any other way.
JT: So it sounds like you had some major goals and you were willing to do whatever it takes to hit them.
NW: Yep, absolutely.
JT: So do you actually set goals? Is it something where you got out of college where you go I want this promotion, I want this promotion and set goals and especially in your business you must be setting goals now too. How do you set goals?
NW: Yeah, I actually, I?m fortunate enough to have a group of friends who also try to be very aggressive with their careers and we actually sit down once every three months and we write down our goals. Everything from one month to three months to one year to five years and we hold each other accountable by things like ?Hey you wrote that down three months ago and it has been three months and you haven?t done it, what?s going on?? Or we?ll say, ?You just wrote down a five-year goal and that?s way too easy you should be able to accomplish that in the next 18 months and make a harder goal.?
So I find writing them down and knowing at the end of the day that someone is going to call you on it if you don?t do it is actually very beneficial. It makes you do things to not only think about what you?re trying to do and therefore guide some of your actions, it also makes you know that someone is going to call you on it if you don?t do it so you end up doing it.
JT: I love that. See, it?s funny because I know a lot of my audience assume people that are millionaires are way, way up there and do everything they want to do and are always accountable to themselves and never have, never need anything at all and that?s not the case at all so I love hearing you say that. What other benefits, it sounds like you guys almost have like a mastermind group where you meet and stuff like that. What other benefits are in that group of yours?
NW: Well I think it?s a diverse set of people but there are some people in that group that are in my industry as well so we?re able to help each other when we need to make contacts or get things done within the industry. But I think just the pushing at the end of the day, having someone that pushes you is useful and myself, personally, I am an intrinsically motivated person so I?m the type of person I think is going to work hard and do well even if someone is not pushing me. But despite the fact that I am of that nature, having another A personality type person push you makes you do that much better. It makes you accomplish that much more. So I advise it regardless of how intrinsically motivated you are to find someone else who is a real type A personality and get them to push you.
JT: Excellent. So what do you think separates a successful entrepreneur from the entrepreneurs that don?t succeed or fail in companies?
NW: You know, I would say that there are two things. The number one and by far the most important in my mind is just pure work ethic without giving up in the sight of failure. I know when we started our business it was not only a huge amount of work and a significant amount of travel, there was a couple of times when we were pretty sure it was done and over and had failed and I know there was one point where we had negotiated a bunch of contracts and gone out to raise the money and it didn?t look like the money was there and we had been on the road for weeks trying to raise the money and it looked like we weren?t going to get it.
Once that happens once, the business is kind of dead. But we went on the road and we decided we were not coming home until we had the money and we went to a different city every day for six weeks and that?s, literally, I mean we got so desperate we were going to cities trying to find money.
NW: And we did it and so I would say one of the things that I?d recommend is just never giving up and not only working hard but when it looks like there?s no hope, just keep on going and good things generally come. But, you know, the other thing is a little bit less exciting, the other piece of advice that I would give which is make sure you?re efforts are focused in the right way in a good business model. I know having gone through the accounting school I?ve audited, probably 50 to 60 businesses in about 20 or 30 different industries and I would say the vast majority of businesses out there actually lose money and it?s a few that are truly successful and have good business models that make most of the money.
So, there?s a lot of people out there that think they have a good idea but haven?t thought it through well enough. So I would strongly encourage people to spend a lot of time planning and thinking things through, making sure they have a good business model, making sure that they?ve got good products for other similar types of things that can make money before they start spending their entire life?s efforts trying to get it to be successful.
JT: That?s great advice. I know you said it wasn?t as interesting but that?s the cost of everything. That?s huge. So what sort of common issues did you see for those companies and why they were losing money? Was it just solely the business model and it never would have worked or were there commonalities that you saw between them?
NW: That?s usually a combination of factors but there are already some businesses out there that they?ve changed management five or six times. They?ve had some really smart people in their defense, great management teams and bad management teams and everything in between and the businesses still lose money. So, there?s a lot of industries out there that are just tough. There are businesses out there that are tough. But certainly, I?ve seen the best business model screwed up by a bad management team so you really do need a good business model and you need a good management team.
JT: So what kind of business models do you think are the best ones to work on? I understand yours, of course, but are there any others that you really think are really the best way to go to minimize risk and failure?
NW: Well there?s different ways of looking at it. I think when people start up new businesses the type of business that they typically think is sexiest, for lack of a better term, are the one that they?re most excited about starting up is the type where they make a little bit of money from a lot of people and they assume that they?re going to get 150,000 subscribers to whatever they?re doing or a million people are going to use the product and that type of stuff.
And when those business work, there?s no question that they?re truly sensational and the people make huge amounts of money but I would say, if I had to guess, a thousand people fail for every five that succeed in those types of businesses and I think the types of businesses that tend to make millionaires over and over and over again are the ones that have a really high gross margin and require a lot fewer customers or clients. So those are the ones that are a lot easier to succeed at and are a lot more manageable businesses at a lot higher success rate.
JT: So that?s great advice. So what do you think about cash flow? I?ve had a couple of my audience members ask me, ?We want more information about cash flow.? So how do you guys handle cash flow and as an accountant, I mean, you know a lot about cash flow. Give us any tips that you might have in that area.
NW: Just in terms of its importance or how to manage it?
JT: Yeah, how to manage it and how important it is because I know a lot of people that are listening don?t know how important cash flow is.
NW: Yeah, well there?s a saying cash is king. There are a lot of businesses that would be successful I think if they had managed cash flow properly. Most people don?t even realize that usually for the first little while in starting up a business, even a good business will lose money or consume capital for the first little while and so managing that cash flow and ensuring that you budget properly for all of the costs someone is going to encounter in the early stages, early years of their business is key because if you run out of money before you sort of reach that critical mass or that tipping point then it was all for naught and you wasted a lot of time and a lot of money and a lot of years and so managing that, budgeting for it, planning for it is key.
I think one of the things that I?m focused on literally on a weekly basis is matching up the amount of cash that I?m going to have to pay for companies that I?ve committed under various contracts we?ve entered into, the actual cash flow that we have coming in and literally we want that, we know if not every day, then at least every other day and just monitoring it is absolutely key. A lot of people they just, six months off they figure out, we?ll figure it out between now and six months from now. Once you get within one or two months of being in a cash crunch it?s usually too late to find any reasonable solution.
So monitoring it, figuring out solutions long in advance is absolutely key to a business?s success and that?s one thing a lot of entrepreneurs I think miss and it?s not someone?s actual strength. They need to have someone on their team who can focus on that and whose strength it is.
JT: Excellent. So your business, three months old, profitable. Would you suggest and tell me more about this, on where that tipping point is and do you just try and make that tipping point as soon as humanly possible?
NW: Absolutely. I mean that?s the goal of every business. Sometimes it?s a lot harder than it sounds though so Sandstorm Metals & Energy has only taken a few months just because of the nature of the assets that we bought making it cash flow positive. For Sandstorm Gold it took probably 20 months or longer before we started becoming cash flow positive. So sometimes you?re fortunate and it works out right away and sometimes you got to be more diligent and more prudent for a longer period of time just sort of keeping an eye on the bottom line and watching the cash come in and the cash go out and ensuring that you?re not going to have a shorting point and time in the next 12 months.
My rule of thumb of business is if you think that you?re going to need money for the next 12 months and you don?t have a solution for where it?s coming from, that?s the only thing that you should be focusing on because eventually that?s what?s going to kill you if you don?t get a solution to it.
JT: Wow. So you went through 20 months of that though with Sandstorm Gold. What was that like for you just working on the numbers every single day just trying to get it to become profitable?
NW: Well we were fortunate enough that we had made significant cash on day one and technically, if the mines work, eventually we would become cash flow positive. So it?s just a matter of the money that we have between now and then was minimal enough that it was never going to sort of jeopardize our position. So we kept G and N down to an absolute minimum until we got our cash flow positive. In fact, myself and my business partner, Dave, for the first year, we didn?t even draw salaries from the company. We got ourselves to a $100 million market cap without drawing any salaries just because we didn?t want to take any cash out of the company.
JT: That?s impressive. Good to know people that have $100 million companies have to do that too. Excellent. That?s excellent. So as you grew, I mean, did you just keep, did you start with as many employees as you have now or did you just essentially grow? Did you start out with just you two doing everything and then have grown to where you are now?
NW: No, we started with just Dave and myself and a couple of bookkeepers who were doing our financial statements because we were a public company and then as the business grew and as we acquired more contracts and as we knew we wanted to launch a second company we started hiring on people. So it?s actually just really in the last 12 months, so 12 months ago we only had about 5 employees and we?ve gone from 5 to about 14 in the last 12 months and growing quickly. So I think 30 to 40 employees is probably where we?ll one day max out even if we are a multibillion dollar company just because of our business model. At some point, the additional employees don?t really add much more value but we certainly have been growing fast and I like it.
You know, 14 employees doesn?t sound like much. It?s a small team but we like it that way. There?s a lot of banks that could do the same job with 150 employees but we?d rather have 14 who work super hard than 150 who only work 20 hours a week and pretend to be working.
JT: Very good point. Excellent. I mean so you guys, your costs are pretty low if you only have 14 employees and you?re making these huge deals. Is it just that, I mean I hate to say this, sounds like there?s not a lot of work or you?re working like 70 or 80 hours every single week trying to do it all yourself. Is that really what it is or is it just the business model so in synch that you don?t need that many people?
NW: Well, it?s a combination of both things. First of all, most of us do still work 70 hours a week or so and in terms of costs, it actually is, you know, some of the employees is pretty expensive to maintain and that?s because of, think of our business model. A lot of people would go and try to find cheap employees and people willing to work for 50 or 60 or $70,000 a year but what we?re asking people to do is go out there and talk to CEOs, value mines, do due diligence from a financial perspective, determine whether something is worth $80 million or $60 million and you want to make sure you have a smart person doing that because if you?re going to pay $20 million because trying to save $50,000. So our average senior executive all in with base and options the total compensation is probably closer to $100,000 a year per person.
JT: Oh okay.
NW: And so it?s, we focus on hiring fewer but more highly skilled people and that?s another common mistake I think people make is they?re pennywise but pound foolish. So I think if we were to try and save money with some of our senior executives we?d end up paying it multiple-fold by doing bad deals or paying too much in a new deal.
JT: Wow, that?s a really good piece of advice. Yeah, I mean I know a lot of people, especially just starting out in their business want to keep all their cash close to their chest so they?ll be like oh well let?s see how cheap I can get an employee that?s good and that?s really not the best way to go about doing it. So it?s good to hear that?s what you guys did. Excellent. So how do you find people like that of that caliber and if they?re of that caliber already, is it that hard to find a really good person that fits for you or are they all like cream of the crop and it?s pretty easy to find a good employee?
NW: It?s very tough to find good employees. I think that one of the things I decided a long time ago in my career is most of the people that are just looking through the want ads and going through recruiters and those types of things are the people that don?t have jobs or aren?t happy with their jobs and they?re the ones that tend to be not happy for a reason, either hard to make happy or their boss isn?t happy with them and they know it and so we try to stay away from all those and try to find really tough employees. So we actually focus on attaining good people that we know their reputation and we know people that know them and speak incredibly highly of them and people who already have jobs and are happy in those jobs and are not looking for new jobs and then we go to them and offer them a better job and try to pull them away.
JT: Excellent advice. So I also saw in an interview, I think it was your corporate video that you said you guys like to have fun and no offense but normally when somebody is listening to something like this, you?re the CEO of Sandstorm Gold and Metals & Energy, it doesn?t sound like the funnest place to work but it really seems like in the videos I?ve watched you in, you really have a good personality for that, that you do want to make people have fun especially since you?re working 70 hours a week. How do you guys try and make things fun still?
NW: I think it?s a combination of just the general atmosphere but also the people that you hire and attract to the company. So we?re looking for people who are very, very good at what they do but fit into the culture and like to have fun as well. So we, April Fools was not too long ago here and there?s no shortage of practical jokes pulled on everyone all day long and we do everything from running to push up contests to birthday contests and how long can you hold your breath underwater in a hot tub on a weekend. There?s hundreds of little things and it?s all day long with everyone and just creating an atmosphere with people to be themselves and of course everyone is incredibly professional in all of the meetings and when we?re sitting in front of CEOS of other companies we do a really good job and we?ve got a good reputation for being professional but when it?s just us we like to have fun. There?s no question.
JT: That?s great. I mean that?s the thing. You usually see people that are only professional and I feel like you can?t do that all the time 24 hours a day every single day if you?re going to like your job and really by where you are and be present where you are. So that?s sounds great. I love that you guys do practical jokes and stuff like that at a $100 million company. You?re going to have people calling you because they?re going to want to work for you now. So what do you think is, in general, over your entire life, like what?s the worst mistake you ever made?
NW: Well I?ve made lots of them. I don?t know that I?d necessarily classify one as the worst but I think that?s one of the very important things for people to understand and it took me a long time to grasp is that you are going to make mistakes. You?re going to make mistakes everyday and don?t ever pretend that you?re perfect and that?s one thing that I?m clear with our investors is they, when we start talking with perspective investors, some of them say all right well I?ll consider investing but if you ever make a bad investment. We correct them right there on day one and say well just to clarify, we will make a bad investment at some point and just because we?re not perfect we are going to make a mistake. Our goal is more than 9 times out of 10 to make the right decision and every now and then we are going to make a bad decision.
If I had to pick one mistake in my life that I made was sticking around a little bit too long at a previous job that I had where I was working 100 hours a week or so and wasn?t spending any time with my family and it got to the point where I never saw, I would literally go weeks, even though I was in Vancouver, I?d go weeks without seeing my daughter. That was probably the one key mistake I?ve made. I?ve mentioned this before, working hard is a key to success but if it does get to a point where you jeopardize everything from a family perspective then there?s no point working out because that?s kind of a job at the end of the day and money is the means to an end and if you ruin everything because of it then what was the point of all it?
So fortunately I caught myself before it got too late and definitely able to salvage everything and spend a lot of time now hanging out with my daughters and playing Wii with them and a whole bunch of things. But it?s good and I would just give that recommendation to people to don?t forget what they?re working for.
JT: So how old are your daughters?
NW: I have two daughters now, 4 and 2.
JT: Oh wow, that?s awesome. I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old boy and a girl. So I know how busy you must be. Wow, that?s crazy. Even though you do work a ton at work, you must be extremely busy every second you get home because I?m sure they?re tiring, right?
NW: They are absolutely exhausting but it?s in a good way. They?re a lot of fun and I cherish every moment so it?s great. It?s a lot easier now than when they were infants and they cry all the time. Now that they?re 4 and 2 it?s a lot of games and a lot of the bouncing and putting them in the hot tub and swimming in the pool and riding the bikes and it?s great after a really long work week or a long work day, a lot of stress, being able to come home to a family that?s a destressor is just simply, I can?t say enough about it, it?s great.
JT: That?s excellent. Gosh, so you?ve got a lot going on in general in your entire life. How do you find time for yourself? I mean you?re either a dad or running a huge company.
NW: I gave up on that a long time ago.
JT: Well and that?s what I?m wondering. I mean I know you need to work really hard and I understand that and working long hours and stuff like that for a purpose and maybe not forever kind of a thing makes a difference but what are sort of the goals that you have now?
NW: I think what I have now is good. I think balance longer term is definitely required so I mean 60 hour work week not bad at all. I actually get up really early for week and find that that?s probably the best way to get a long work week in is to start the day very early and to do a little bit of work on weekends but not too much but I definitely think that there?s some balance there now. Going forward, more of the same and grow the business and I honestly think that the Sandstorm group of companies including Sandstorm Metals & Industry are going to be multibillion dollar companies and I think that Sandstorm Metals & Energy in particular has the potential to be one of the larger companies in Canada.
So it?s going to take a long time, it?s going to take a lot of work and probably a number of years but I think we?ll get there and we?re going to keep working hard at it and it?s not only is it a lot of fun but it?s very rewarding to see something like that get built so yep we?re going to keep working at it and you?ll probably see me at that job for a long time.
JT: That?s excellent. That?s huge. I mean that?s a huge, huge goal and you seem like such a real person. I mean I think that?s one of the reasons why I do these interviews is a lot of people that aren?t millionaires assume that you guys aren?t real people. I know right, that you?re superhuman and are able to do everything but you still have kids and you?re dealing and you?re working through all the failures and everything that you?re going through and all the amazing successes that you?re heading with huge goals in front of you. So it?s great. I really appreciate you coming on. So the last question is what?s one action that everyone can take this week to move them forward towards their goal of a million?
NW: Well I think it?s nice to make being a multi-millionaire a goal but I think that there?s a thousand goals before that to get to there and so my recommendation would be set those goals, be realistic and work tirelessly until you accomplish something and that?s setting the goal for something you don?t even have to do this week, you can do it in the next hour and don?t stop working until you accomplish that goal and once you get that accomplished set the next one and just keep going. It?s not easy getting there and it requires a lot of not only diligent work but work with force I put into it. So goals are critical and if you don?t have them you probably aren?t going to get there.
JT: Excellent advice. Well where can we find more information about your companies online?
NW: Well there?s, probably see the website at Sandstormltd.com. That?s S-A-N-D-S-T-O-R-M-L-T-D.com and then there?s a humanitarian organization that I run as well called Nations Cry and there?s a website called nationscry.com, N-A-T-I-O-N-S-C-R-Y.com.
JT: Oh gosh I know it?s the end but do you mind telling us a little bit more about that because in my research I didn?t even hear that. So now I?d really love to hear more about that.
NW: Absolutely. My wife and I and a few of our friends, we started up an organization called Nations Cry and I?m the president of it and we are focusing on trying to build schools in Africa and a country called Sierra Leone. There was a war that ended about 12 years ago or so and trying to rebuild and the government has no money and there are no junior secondary schools or senior secondary schools in most of the cities in the country. We just finished building our first one and just bought 10 acres of property and going to be over the next few years building a large junior secondary and senior secondary school off of one of the largest cities in the country and working with some of the politicians there and it?s a lot of work but it?s a lot of rewarding work.
So I?ll be going down there next month and going down there a few months after that and helping build the project and ensuring that we?re building in the right places but it?s good. It?s a great cause and I?m one of those believers that you can?t just give money and give food to people who need it because they?re poor because it just sort of, although it lessens pain, it doesn?t solve a problem. So we?re focused on education because we think that education allows people to get jobs and create economies and it?s the economies that create taxes and it?s taxes that allows government to be able to build their own schools and build their own hospitals and those types of things. So I think education is key to turning around a society and helping them get going if that?s what we?re focused on.
JT: Amazing work. That?s really impressive. Awesome. Well thank you for telling us more. And so if anyone wants to donate to your cause, I mean I love knowing that you?re the president, can they just go to nationscry.com?
NW: Yes, absolutely.
JT: Excellent. Well thank you so much for being here today, Nolan. I really appreciate it and I hope you have an amazing day.
NW: Not a problem. Thanks, Jaime, you too.
JT: Take care, bye-bye.
NW: All right, bye.
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