en Rama: Tacoma has been waiting for you..

I'm going to keep this short, not because there's not a lot to talk about, but because some of the best things in life are best described in moments. But I will say this...

en Rama

Last night our good friend, Chris Langston, opened up his new bar en Rama in the old Court House Square in Downtown Tacoma.  To say I'm proud of this dude is an understatement. When it comes to small business owners, I'm always one to want to help the little guy. Because I'm the little guy too. And I need help. The way I see it, us little guys are all architects building our future in hopes we can always do what we love but with the overwhelming stresses and anxiety that will never compare to the average "9 to 5". 

My wife Brooke worked for Chris at 1022 back in 2011. Since then, she has had the utmost respect for him. When I first met him, I was very intimidated because he was a bartender with tattoos and I worked for the YMCA. Then I became a business owner and realized that Chris is not intimidating at all, he's just focused on his craft and doesn't have time to look away, let alone would want to. Like Picasso doesn't want to drop his paint brush, he just wants to keep painting. 

Since then, we've followed Chris to every venture he's stepped into. But honestly, he's always had that same look in his eyes. So focused. He wasn't finished. And to the untrained eye, you might miss the artist in the room creating a masterpiece right in front of your eyes.  

However, tonight, Chris had a different look in his eyes. No no no, he is not finished. But, his painting is finally coming together. His masterpiece is flowing and he has hit his stride. He was smiling and enjoying the moment with his old team that he started it all with. For me, there's moments like these that I personally can see...legitimately see. Not where he is now, but the process that got him here. Dude has been focused. He has seen this since the first time I met him in 2011. 

The Man. The Myth. The Legend. 

The Man. The Myth. The Legend. 

Like I said, I'm going to keep this short. I'll leave you with this:

As entrepreneurs we are consistently building something. Our productivity puts food on the table, so we can't stop. Even during the good times, we may miss it because we are so focused on the next project. If we slow down at all, maybe bills don't get paid that month. Maybe I don't get paid that month. But sometimes, there are moments like last night that you have to stop and enjoy it. Embrace it. Fully visualize everything and everyone who got you to this point. Don't get me wrong, things are going to get tough for Chris, he's about to be running the busiest little bars in Tacoma. But I think it was important that he had his moment last night. I'm just thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of it.    

Thanks Chris! 

Tacoma is your biggest fan.


Nicholas Casanova

en Rama:

1102 A Street / Suite 220 / Tacoma, Wa. 98402

"The Go-Giver"

Book on audio. So good.

Book on audio. So good.

Friends, if you haven't read any of my blog posts, THIS IS THE ONE TO READ. This literally will benefit every single person who reads this. And I'm not saying my words will be life changing, but the message I am relaying is what can be extremely useful in your everyday life. Ok let's dive right in:

The Go-Giver

I recently was recommended to read the book "The Go-Giver", by John David & Bob Burg. I read books on Audible, so I typically go on a run in the morning and throw the book on and just cruise. It's a nice way to start my morning. Basically this book is about how to be successful in business without selling your soul to the devil and how to benefit others along the way. Actually it's main focus is about benefiting others. It's beautiful really. 

Finally got my desk back and operating. It's been nice being able to come into my office and jot down some thoughts.

Finally got my desk back and operating. It's been nice being able to come into my office and jot down some thoughts.

What is a "Go-Giver"?

Well the "Go-Giver" is another take on the "Go-Getter". They both have the same goals: success, financial stability, and quality of life. The only difference is the road they take to get there and the lasting effects they've created. I don't need to describe to you what a "Go-Getter" is, I think you're fully capable of Googling it if you are a little confused. But what is a "Go-Giver"? Essentially, I believe the "Go-Giver" is one who produces success through their own genuine strength in helping others and giving their time, wisdom, honesty, resources, networks, experiences, etc. in hopes that they can be a solid VALUE to their circle of people without focusing on compensation. Don't get me wrong, we all need to be compensated for good service but if money is your main focus, you are going to put a cap on your long term opportunity (read this sentence again...let it soak in). In the book they focus on 5 laws that will contribute to a better business practice. Lets talk about those 5 laws real quick and then I'll give you my take on how it effected me and the way I run my businesses. 

1. Law of Value

Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

We all have experienced great service at a coffee shop right? I'm sure you have a certain barista that you always chop it up with. However, there are other employees who work there that you might not connect with as much. Doesn't mean they are bad employees, it just means they are performing to meet expectations. However, YOUR barista greets you by name when you walk in! They have your drink memorized! They ask how work has been going this week! And because of social media they know you were in Mexico a few weeks ago and chat you up about the amazing food there! Now this particular barista is getting paid as much as the other ones, but the amount of VALUE they produce is much greater! Which, an employer will eventually see this and most likely recognize their value and they might be getting a raise soon. DON'T FOCUS ON THE MONEY, FOCUS ON THE VALUE YOU PRODUCE.

2. Law of Compensation

Income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them. 

So basically, "your compensation is directly proportional on how many lives you touch" (Go-Getter; John David & Bob Burg). So what they are literally saying, the more people that you sincerely serve and give your time, energy, wisdom, resources, and maybe just a helping hand, based on that number increasing, so does the money in your pocket. However, once again, the main focus and goal has to be sincerely to serve others, not "well I'll serve just because I want the money".  In a world where building up your own platform, portfolio, resume, social status, etc. is held up so high and the higher we rise we feel the more money we are entitled to. These aren't bad techniques, just a different path and maybe more in line with the "Go-Getter". So if you get to a point where you feel that your compensation is not where you want it to be, then get out there and serve more people and serve them WELL. 

3. Law of Influence

Dictates that influence grows when one places a great importance on others needs.

This law made me really think for a little bit. Because at first I read it as: How do I influence people to do what I want. But that is not the direction the book is wanting you to go. But instead, it's saying: Your influence on others will grow or strengthen based on your sincere effort to serve others. In other words, the more people see that you are being generous with your time, money, wisdom, etc., unconsciously their impression of you improves and they may be more willing to work with you in the future. You have influenced them without even meaning to. Once again, not focused on the dollars in my pocket, but how can I serve more people as fast as possible.

4. Law of Authenticity

The most valuable gift to offer is oneself.  

This law is probably my favorite. Only because being myself is something no one else can do. I'm literally the best in the world at being myself. In a world where, via social media, we can be anyone we want to be, authenticity is a rarity. Gary Vaynerchuck said something along the lines of "we should document more rather than 'create'". The more transparent we are, the more we show our scars and our failures along side our victories, the more people will want to listen to you. Its funny how you can sit down and have coffee with someone who you might not know all too well, and if you come out and just spill the beans and tell them all of your failures and struggles and just be honest with them..well you will first see them get a little uncomfortable because being open or authentic with people you don't know is not the norm. But then, that person will start to relate with you. They will see your scars and say "Hey, I have those scars too...", and all of a sudden they see YOU so much more clearer. In business, I'm more willing to work with you if I know your struggles, if I know you've been hustling, if I know that you go to your other part-time job after your done working with me. Tell people your story, you'll be surprised how many people want to hear it. 

5. Law of Receptivity

In order to continue giving effectively, one must stay open to receiving. 

This law is pretty simple. In order to give, someone has to receive, right? It's a cycle and if the other person doesn't fulfill their part, then the cycle will end. So, as you strive to be a good "giver", also strive to be a good "receiver". When you receive a gift or a favor from someone, do not say "Oh no, you didn't have to do that!" or "No thank you save your money!". Instead, say "THANK YOU!!!!" and tell them how much you appreciate the gesture. Your appreciation is just as important as the actual gift itself. They want to know they you are truly thankful for the time and consideration that they put into this specific gift or favor. So the next time someone gifts you something, let them know how truly thankful you are.


Write it down.

Write it down.


I am not the best giver. I struggle sometimes with thinking I can't afford to give. However, I'm learning that GIVING doesn't have to always be a financial burden. And with that, I'm trying to get out there more and be a resource for the people around me. Just a listening ear and be open about my life experiences. I've learned that my business will only grow the more I give up my time for others. Working in real estate, giving your time to your clients is part of the job. However, how can I exceed my expectations? How can I give true value? How can I perform like the barista who makes your vanilla latte with just the right amount of syrup like you like it? As I move forward, I'd love to connect with more people and be a resource for them in the world of real estate but not merely just as their agent, but as a friend. We all know it's much easier to walk down that road with someone you truly trust rather than some random agent that you don't know. 

I'll leave you with this:

GIVING is much easier than we think. Making meaningful decisions to GIVE can change your life as well as someone else's. In the business world you may think this is too "cheesy" of a concept to ever really see a return on investments. However, if you're already thinking about the RETURN, you have missed the point. Give because you can. Serve others, and serve them well. May your actions reflect sincerity and the "return" will be better than you ever could have imagined. 

Thanks for reading.


Nicholas Casanova




The Dream Team

The Dream Team Roster: Dan Bennett & Me.

The Dream Team Roster: Dan Bennett & Me.

So here you have it folks, I got a job! Once again, I don't know who has been reading this but I'm going to assume everyone and go from there. After about 2 months of studying to become a broker, I passed the test and about 2 weeks ago I became officially a licensed broker. I can LEGIT sell you a home! It's pretty crazy. If you asked me months ago, back when I started this blog, if I thought I would be going into the real estate biz...well, I'd probably roll my eyes for a second, sigh, and then eventually say "there's no way". Fast forward about 8 months later and I'm a broker! Never saw it coming guys.

Surprisingly, staring into each other's eyes wasn't as awkward as it could've been. All I could think about is "Rick (my father-in-law/Dan's brother) is gonna give us shit for this"...

Surprisingly, staring into each other's eyes wasn't as awkward as it could've been. All I could think about is "Rick (my father-in-law/Dan's brother) is gonna give us shit for this"...

In my previous post I mention how & why I got into real estate, so I'm not going to repeat myself. Give the last post a browse if you haven't read it (wink).

So here I am, working with a great brokerage right here in Tacoma (RE/MAX Exclusive), being mentored by my uncle, Dan Bennett, who is not only 13 years experienced but also is genuinely one of the hardest working dudes I've ever met. He's a robot and yet he does everything so casually and calm. On top of that, my wife Brooke has been a flipping superwomen when it comes to running the shop basically on her own and her support for me has been so incredibly helpful. I have so many people rooting for me and I can't tell you how much that means to me. One side of that makes me feel a little pressure, but mostly, I just feel an abundance of LOVE. So I just feel freaking BLESSED right now! Even though I haven't produced a single dollar..this just feels right.

"You can always tell a man's character by his shoes." - Someone said that once probably...

"You can always tell a man's character by his shoes." - Someone said that once probably...

The Dream Team

Why am I so excited to work with Dan? Well, other then the fact that he is like the coolest dude and he may be the best cook I've ever met, he also sets an amazing example of how to run your business by creating genuine relationships with your clients. The real estate industry sometimes gets a bad rep, maybe even can be looked at like a "car salesmen" type of industry. However, Dan has done a great job at sincerely caring for his clients as well as educating himself in real estate. There is basically nothing that can happen that Dan hasn't already experienced in the world of buying and selling homes. So to have a mentor like him guiding me through the trenches, well it's best case scenario for a rookie like me and I'm going to take FULL advantage of the opportunities that are coming my way because of him.

The Rookie

But don't get me wrong. I am the rookie, I have a lot to learn, and at times it can be overwhelming. However, I am not just the young kid taking a leap and trying something new. The last 4 years running my business (uxctacoma), I've been preparing for this. Being in real estate, you are essentially running your own small business. So you have to have certain skills to be able to be successful. Such as: time management, accounting, marketing, you must be resourceful, you must know how to communicate with your customer, you have to be creative, tech savvy, and having a big network helps too...the list goes on. So for the last 4+ years I've been building all of these skills and as I go into this next chapter, I can't help but to feel prepared and equipped to be successful. Dan is going to be able to give me a wealth of knowledge, and his name alone offers me credibility from day one. I am going to do my best to utilize everything I've learned not to change his business but to ADD to what hes doing. I think together we can do CRAZY things in the world of real estate and I couldn't be more excited for what is next to come.

If I could give any advice of what I've learned on this journey is this:

There are moments in life when we lack clarity. Maybe you're just not sure where your head is at. Maybe your hesitant to take that next big step to do that passion project of yours. Maybe you just got fired. Who knows! Clarity is the biggest factor in moving forward in life. Sometimes finding it can seem impossible. I say, instead of being in your own head all day trying to "figure it out", GET OUT THERE. Talk with your close friends and family about life; theirs and yours. Get their support because you're going to need it through this process of finding clarity. Once you have their support, GET OUT THERE MORE. Start meeting people you don't know. Meet people within the industry you want to get in and also meet random people from other industries. You will find, when you meet someone who is making a living at doing what they truly love, it doesn't matter what industry they are in. The steps it took to get there are the same. Whether that's taking a risk, leaning on people, never giving up, never settling, and (HERE IS THE KEY FACTOR, GRAB A PEN, WRITE THIS DOWN) giving to others as much as possible. When I say that, I don't necessarily mean money, but instead give people your time, your wisdom, your experiences, your resources, etc. Just be transparent. People are more willing to work and help you if they know who you truly are.

And that is why I am where I am now, because of the people around me that I continue to lean on. I am very grateful and very eager to give back whatever I can to those who are looking for clarity. It's out there, you just have to keep going. In the process of searching, you'll meet some really rad people.

Thanks guys.

Oh and if you want to buy or sell a house hit me up on my beeper! ( me 253.232.2959)

Watch this vid and get stoked: 

Photos by Jaquilyn Shumate of GRLS Studio

Video by: Bryson Foster



It's like my first day of school...

It was last June or July when my wife and I realized that I needed to step away from our business and find other work. For the simple reasons: we need a 2nd income, I was getting crazy bored and felt under utilized, and lastly, Brooke and I CAN'T work together anymore
(I go into more details in my previous posts). With Brooke and I on the same page, thank God, I created this website/blog. I started to essentially brand myself. Not knowing if people would even catch on, I knew it would be a good way to create new conversations. Because at this point, the one thing I did know, was that whatever job it is that I'm "supposed" to be doing, I'm not going to land it merely because of ME. What I mean by that is, with all of my successes in the past, I have so many people to blame! I did not get to where I am today because of "natural talent". I have been molded by the people in my life and by my life experiences. I knew if I'm going to jump into a new challenge, I'm going to need to lean on the people who have always supported me, and even more so, I need to put myself out there and build new relationships. I figured, that if I could meet with people within the Seattle/Tacoma area, tell them my story, and also offer my support in their life, nothing but good could come out of it. I figured I could either sit behind a computer and scour through craigslist jobs for hours until I found something random or I could go out and build new relationships with people and expand my own personal network. And all the while, if I can provide any sort of help, encouragement, resources, advice, etc., then I have succeeded. My idea of networking is "How can I benefit YOU?"...not the other way around. However, I will say, each conversation I have, I learn so much. Not just "entrepreneurial" wise, but just LIFE. I always hope that my contribution to the conversation is a little helpful, because I always walk away so inspired. 

I do have BIG NEWS, but before I get to that I have to say a few things. As I was meeting with people, writing on my blog, giving advice as well as soaking in wisdom; I realized clicked. I love meeting new people, working with them, and using my skill sets and resources to help them however I can. Everyone I have met over the last 7 months have been very vital to my self growth. I have had the pleasure to create new relationships that I never would have had if I was looking for a job on Craigslist. Two people in particular who planted a seed in my head was Ruthy Taylor of Mosiac Home Group, and Chris Sommerville of WFG National Title. Basically, these two successful entrepreneurs challenged me. Whether that was presenting me with the questions "What makes ME so special?", or "What is my WHY?", but also with not settling for what I have and to maximize my opportunities based on the skills that I have acquired. At this point my head was going bonkers and I needed to reach out to my uncle/business mentor, Dan Bennett of Dan Bennett Homes & Re/Max Exclusive (13 years building relationships & selling homes ). 

Our conversation went a little like this:

Me: "Dan, do you think that I should get into the real estate business & do you think I would be good at it?"
Dan: (takes a swig of his beer) Uh yea! I think you would be great at it---and I think you should come work WITH me!"
Me: (jaw dropped--takes big swig of beer) "Seriously?!"
Dan: "Yea! It would be a blast!" 

You have to understand that I went to chat with Dan to get advice, at no point was I thinking he'd suggest something like this. And I have told my wife that if there was a way for me to work with Dan or his wife Debbie, I'd do it in a heartbeat. So when HE suggested this with so much enthusiasm...well, like I said, JAW DROPPED. 

There's more to the story...

You see, back in 2004 Dan got into real estate with his dad, Dave Bennett. Instead of retiring, Dave told Dan to come work with him at John L. Scott and he'll teach him everything he knows and he'll do whatever it takes to make Dan successful in this business. His dad didn't want to bring Dan in to bring his self more business, he solely wanted to look out for Dan's future and wanted to create financial opportunity for him. Basically, he was trying to be a good dad and put some money in his son's pocket. Now, Dan is not only one of the nicest dudes you'll ever meet, but he is also one of the best realtors in the area because he cares so much for his clients. His success no doubt comes from his hard work and dedication, but without his dad mentoring him in the early years, his life would not be what it is today.


Sooooooooo with all that said, I couldn't be more happier to say that Dan is going to show me the ropes of the real estate business just like his dad did for him. I am officially taking classes online and hopefully as of March 1, I will be selling homes with Re/Max Exclusive here in Tacoma! I know it may seem sort of random to some people, but it isn't at all. I love working with people, I love my city, and I want to be able to utilize my skill sets and resources to help the people around me! This allows me to do all of that as well as continue to work for myself essentially. 

I'm back in school. It feels weird to be taking classes again, but surprisingly very interesting. This is a book, opens right to left. #schoolstuff.

I'm back in school. It feels weird to be taking classes again, but surprisingly very interesting. This is a book, opens right to left. #schoolstuff.

I couldn't have asked for a better opportunity: continue to work in the city I love; work with Dan, one of my biggest inspirations; and potentially create a little more financial freedom for Brooke and I. This is a big leap for me and a BIG RISK. I'm super scared and extremely excited. But I am already loving the challenge.

In the end, I'll keep building relationships and I'll just start selling houses on the side ;)


P.S. I can't sell you a home now but Dan Bennett is waiting for your call! Feel free to reach out to him by clicking his name above! Tell him Nick sent ya! 


Nicholas Casanova (soon to be Realtor with Re/Max Exclusive :)










Next Chapter....

I recently purchased a new journal. The power of writing out "To-Do" lists every morning is incredible. This blog post wouldn't have happened otherwise...

I recently purchased a new journal. The power of writing out "To-Do" lists every morning is incredible. This blog post wouldn't have happened otherwise...

Wow. Life.

My last post was on October 11th. We talked about "Business & Marriage".  When I say "we", I mean ME, not sure if anyone is reading these, but it's healthy for me to write. I don't necessarily need an audience to speak, sometimes I just need to speak. Today's one of those days. 

"This is my part no body else speak, this is my part no body else speak. This little light of mind GLORY BE TO GOD YEA!" - Chance The Rapper

The last 3 months have been extremely busy.  All of my time and efforts have been focused on UXC.  Which isn't a complaint, I just haven't been able to blog or meet with any local creatives as much as I'd like.  It's funny how we can dive into something super passionate, excited, and eager, but then LIFE comes at you and is like "Hope you had fun! Get back to reality!". What I've learned is, during the last 3 months NOT connecting, NOT writing, NOT saving time for my own personal thoughts, I've been stagnant. Just merely operating. Even though our work life and personal life has been none stop, when I was writing and meeting with people almost every day, something felt right. The stars were aligning and for the first time in a while, I felt I was on course for something different, something new. Working with people, hearing their aspirations, me telling them my struggles and vice versa; I loved it. Getting to know new people brings a joy to my life. Also, diving deeper into the relationships I already have is so incredible. We think we know the people around us because we say "Hi, how's it going?" and they reply with "Good! And you?". But when you sit down for a beer and chat life, business, marriage, sports, etc., you get so much more than just a "I'm good" response. I want to be more helpful to my neighbor. I want to be that guy in the movies where he knows every body and could connect you with everybody. Because if I can't help you, I want to be able to introduce you to someone who can. Whether you're an entrepreneur or not, you're my neighbor.


What's my take from this? Well, I see 2017 being a huge year for my professional career, or whatever you want to call it. "Huge" meaning different, change, new chapter, NON-STAGNANT. Through everything I've experienced in my professional life and personal life, I've been able to generate a wealth of relationships that I am truly blessed to have. Now I think, whatever the next chapter is for me, I want to utilize all of my experience, resources, and relationships to help the friends I have now and the friends I haven't met yet. I feel that all the past chapters in my life have been preparing me for 2017. It's like I've been building an army of relationships, skills, entrepreneurial tactics, problem solving "weapons", etc..  With a week left in 2016, I feel equipped, motivated, confidant, underutilized, and anxious (also 10lbs over-weight). I'm ready to hit the ground running. I'm ready for new challenges. With new challenges, also comes with new failures. However, I appreciate failures for what they are. For me, they are lessons, and with every lesson, I become stronger. So I celebrate my success as much as my failures.

2017...Let's get to work.


Short, but sweet. Does this connect with where you're at maybe? If so, let's get coffee!