What makes Brent tick?

While it’s only been a month since my blog has existed, I’ve already received dozens of emails from my readers, the majority complete strangers asking me to talk a little bit more about myself within my blogs.  As a result, I’ve made a decision that from now on I’ll also be including personal blogs within the mix starting with a brief introduction about what makes me tick and how I’ve gotten to where I am today.

If any of my personal blogs don’t interest you, please, feel free to skip them.  On the other hand, if they do and if you find that we have mutual interests and are compelled to reach out, even just for a chat over coffee, then give me a call.  If there are three things in life that make me smile every day, it’s family, friends, and coffee!

So then, what makes me tick? It’s story time… jump into my time machine and let’s go back a dozen years.

I was sitting at a desk, happily creating advanced database models that powered payroll, scheduling and email systems within largest telecommunication company in Canada.  Alongside me, was an extremely talented team including my sidekick, Reid Ivens (the other co-owner of our firm), a wonderful caring and extremely talented individual whose responsibilities included ensuring that anything I built was intuitive and easy to use.  I was young at heart, equally passionate as I am now, with aspirations that I still have yet to accomplish but needed to expand my horizons and my experience beyond the technology sector.  Luckily, I was completely aware of this, because one of my strengths is the ability to identify my weaknesses and hold myself accountable to improve them.

Here I was in my early 20’s and the entire world available for the taking, everything is possible and I decided to do some exploring, both personally and professionally.  I sat down and started with the creation of a wheel of life.  If you’re unfamiliar with what this is, it’s a common exercise used by personal coaches to help you to assess who you are today and prepare a plan of who you want to be in the future.  After having performed this exercise, I found that my life was not very balanced at all and I sought to rectify this, one accomplishment at a time.  Still today, every year I continue to perform this self-assessment and review it with loved and trusted colleagues.  Simply put, it helps me to keep myself accountable in my goals (both personal and business).

Brent's wheel of life assessment (2002)

Brent’s wheel of life assessment (2002)

Over the last decade, my wheel of life has encouraged me to explore many different interests that I otherwise would never have considered.  Best of all, these explorations have delivered an abundance of life experience over the last decade that have helped me to become who I am today, both personally and professionally.  I’ve outlined some of these accomplishments so that you can peek into my past (the items italicized are no longer active interests of mine, but I still treasure the life experience that each of them have brought me).



  • Happily married to a beautiful wife (9 years) with the best son ever (7 years)
  • Fitness (5 yrs)
  • Financial independence (2 yrs)
  • Muay Thai (1 yr)
  • Home renovation (3 yrs)
  • Weight training (3 yrs)
  • Biking (1 yr)
  • Snack, drink and coffee vending business owner (5 yrs)
  • Retail store owner (computer store) (4 yrs)
  • Co-owner of Ottawa’s best Internet firm, specializing in presences on all mediums: web, mobile & social media (12 yrs)
  • Real estate investing (2 yrs)

While some of these accomplishments did not lead to the goal that I desired, I don’t consider any single one of them as a failure.  The life experience gained from all of these accomplishments far outweighs the costs of perceived or potential failure.

“Failure is success if we learn from it.” – Malcolm Forbes

The most critical element to success in life is to step outside one’s comfort zone and take some chances.  If you don’t ever take a risk and try something, you’ve already given up on your potential before even giving it a chance to reveal the fruits of your labour.

“Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Pablo Picasso

I realize that by sharing with you the accomplishments that I’ve done doesn’t really teach you anything about me, but rather, just shares with you what I’ve done.  So… back to the original question: what makes me tick?  Why do I wake up each and every day with a smile from ear to ear, happy to be alive and motivated just as much as the last?  Well, in a nutshell, life is what you make it.  As cheesy as this line is, it’s true that “every day’s a gift and not a given right”.  We’ve all been delightfully surprised by the small pleasantries in life, but, at the same time we’ve also experienced the challenges and sorrow of an obstacle that seems insurmountable.  At the end of the day, however, whether it’s going to be a day that is filled with celebration or one filled with challenge, I have to deal with it, so I decide to deal with it with great joy!  I prioritize my tasks each and every day and get straight to work, procrastination is an action (inaction?) that I removed from my hobbies the day that I left college.

As a result of respecting the priorities I’ve placed on balancing my life, and giving every day 100%, over the last decade my happiness continues to grow, my stress steadily diminishes and I sweat the small stuff much less.  I continue to strengthen the bond of friendship with my family, friends and clients and every day my smile gets a little larger (soon my cheeks might tear)!  I am in control of my destiny and every day brings about innumerable new opportunities.  Where I am today is not where I’ll be in 1, 2 or 5 years.  I will continue to expand my horizons and explore life.  The rest of my story is yet to be written… but a few of my aspirations includes writing a book, help others to become financially free, and to be invited to perform a presentation at TED.  Only time will tell if I can accomplish all of them, but, what’s certain is that I’ll learn a lot while trying and I’ll have a great time doing it.

Well now it’s your turn, why don’t you tell me… what makes you tick?

Brent Mondoux
CEO, N-VisionIT Interactive

Ottawa web design

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