Episode #44 – Mark Warkentin -Deeply Rooted & Joyfully Engaged

“Love extravagantly, work usefully, live joyfully.” – Mark Warkentin

Mark Warkentin grew up deeply connected to his family and his faith. With his father a pastor, the family moved around as the need arose, bringing them to California and many different cities and towns in western Canada. Mark considered a degree in engineering but eventually felt called to law and attended school at the University of British Columbia.

Mark is a founding partner at Linley Welwood LLP, the current president of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Abbotsford Police Board, a real estate investor and a long-term member of the Real Estate Investment Network. His legal practice covers a wide spectrum of expertise including the many areas and nuances of real estate, business transactions, financing, corporate, and commercial law. His work in public service feeds his desire to contribute, give back and be an active part of his community.

First and foremost, Mark is a committed husband of 23 years to Brenda and a father to two children all of whom do their own extraordinary work. He maintains the deep roots set down by his early life experiences as a part of the faith community in Abbotsford.

Mark has always had a natural curiosity which has prompted him to become an intentional and thoughtful person who takes deliberate action. Mark is quick to share his experiences, knowledge and insights with investors, clients and podcast audiences alike and finds joy in the contribution he can be to the people in his life.

  • Show Notes
  • [02:12] Patrick introduces his next REIN Member guest in person at the poolside studio: Mark Warkentin
  • [03:40] Patrick and Mark dive in to their conversation!
  • [04:05] Mark’s elevator pitch – who is he, and what does he do?
  • [05:50] A brief run-down of where Mark hails from and went to school.
  • [06:49] The dinner-table “lawyer’s club” was the first spark that fuelled Mark to pursue law school.
  • [07:54] With his Dad’s work as a pastor, and his Mom’s involvement in the church, Mark’s family of five was connected to their faith community from BC to California then back to Alberta and Saskatchewan.
  • [09:11] Did the moral compass of growing up as a pastor’s son direct Mark towards or away from his faith as he became an adult and started considering his own path?
  • [10:53] Once Mark chose the legal track he jumped in cold and learned as he rolled (a tactic he’s not quick to recommend to his current students).
  • [12:53] Mark explains a bit about the qualities of a good litigator.
  • [14:43] Merging two law firms to start his first practice proved to be a whole new training ground for Mark with some tricky infrastructure to navigate through.
  • [17:19] Mark shares key points from building his business: know, like, and trust who you’re going into business with; trusting and mindfully acting on your instincts with hiring and firing; investing in young talent; work on your business, not just in your business.
  • [20:13] Patrick and Mark riff on partnerships, whether they are co-ventures with partners or joint ventures in real estate; the partnership is not just about the transaction, it’s about who you’re in it with.
  • [21:21] ATTENTION REAL ESTATE INVESTORS! Big joint venture learning moment ahead…Mark runs through a joint venture checklist for the real estate investor listeners. The overarching learnings – keep it simple and keep your ego in check.
  • [27:20] The importance of knowing where your joint venture capital is coming from to protect all parties.
  • [29:29] Before entering the deal, ensure your “money partner” is looked after, ensure you understand their risk tolerance and that all parties know where they stand if the market does not perform well and the asset decreases in value.
  • [31:55] Getting back to Mark, he delves into his relationship with his wife Brenda, how they met and the significant role she plays in his business.
  • [34:52] The deliberate way Mark and Brenda show up for each other and for their kids.
  • [38:00] Patrick and Mark go a little deeper to discuss the longevity of their marriages; the connection and grace, plus the challenges.
  • [40:29] Patrick shares insights from his own relationship and an interesting exercise shared with him by one of his coaches.
  • [43:35] Mark shares his philosophy about money, its positives and its pitfalls.
  • [46:11] Patrick also shares his philosophy and Mark expands on that to talk about generational legacy.
  • [49:13] What is Mark’s practice, and his routine? How he looks after himself and is starting to pay attention to what brings him joy in all areas of his life.
  • [55:18] Mark elaborates on working in more time for what lights him up, brings him joy, and being in contribution; which feeds his life in a more balanced way.
  • [56:22] Being in public service as the president of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, what learnings has Mark gleaned from this experience and does he feel he is making a difference?
  • [61:06] The important self-awareness required to overcome the obligatory “shoulds”, to fire up our meaningful strengths and be of service in the most effective way.
  • [62:11] Mark shares the value he sees in self-reflection and meaningfully showing up in his life.
  • [63:39] Building a culture of openness and truthful conversation for high performance in teams.
  • [66:10] Creating a strategy to objectify the problem and not make it personal. This is equally as important in business relationships as it is in personal relationships.
  • [67:26] Mark discusses how he applies this strategy in his world as a Board Member and he and Patrick outline some best practices when it comes to running intentional meetings. (First rule: don’t have them, if you don’t really need to.)
  • [72:13] Mark and Patrick explore human resources and development which goes back to consciously creating a culture for the stars in your organization to show up.
  • [75:33] Mark explains the dynamics between he and his partners in Linley Welwood, how they work together and the value of having a third party come in if they need support within their partnership.
  • [80:03] Succession planning, measurables, candid conversations and self awareness – all key aspects of being in business; particularly with partners.
  • [82:15] The value of a long-term partnership where the players get to know what they can count on each other for to create magic.
  • [83:26] Finishing up with some of that roarin’ rapid(ish) fire! Recommended books, Mark’s own inspirational quote, favourite swear word, alternate profession, message at the pearly gates, weirdness scale, what he’s not very good at, room/desk/car, favourite musical artist right now and favourite movie.
  • [87:30] Mark’s gratitude.

Connect with Mark Warkentin:

Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:
Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce
Linley Welwood LLP
Power of People Skills by Trevor Throness
Rising Strong by Brene Brown
Real Estate Investment Network
Good To Great & Built To Last by Jim Collins
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Managing The Professional Service Firm by David H. Maister

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