Episode #55 – Joel Sherlock – Slowing Down for Greater Impact

“Doing a little bit more diligence upfront gives me more security and comfort… I get really excited but I’ve learned to slow down and say ok excitement is needed and that’s step one and then logical diligence is step two.” – Joel Sherlock

A serial entrepreneur and business leader, Joel Sherlock is a born connector who builds great teams and delivers the expertise to execute.

Joel has been at the helm of nine successful start-ups and corporate exits, including one of BC’s top private real estate brokerages, a national first action sports e-commerce company, a successful corporate consulting firm and a few private equity funds. Joel’s time is now focused on Vitalis Extraction Technologies, a Kelowna BC based global leader in supercritical CO2 extraction technologies and industrial equipment, the impetus for which was provided by his involvement in commercial real estate.

He is Chairman and Co-Founder of Spectrum Asset Leasing and Doventi Capital. Doventi Capital in Vancouver is the private equity fund Joel co-founded to support professionals in the growing legal cannabis market. Spectrum Leasing in Toronto is an asset backed lender designed to support entrepreneurs and manufacturers in the world’s fastest growing market.

Born in Winnipeg Manitoba, Joel’s early years were spent working hard on the farm and studying finance at UBC and Harvard Business School with a stop at BMW becoming the number two salesperson in Canada. With offices in Kelowna, Vancouver and Toronto plus a rigorous travel schedule, Joel loves to balance that out with a few days on the farm, with no phone or internet. Philanthropically Joel contributes to Charity Water and ME to WE and sits on the board of a number of charitable organizations including The Mel and Mart Zajac Foundation, Zajac Ranch for Children (Vancouver).


  • Show Notes
  • [02:04] Patrick introduces his next guest to The Everyday Millionaire: Joel Sherlock
  • [03:30] Let’s get right to it! What is Joel up to and what does he do?
  • [04:53] Joel provides an extended remix of what he does in Kelowna and his path from commercial landlord to solutions provider {albeit initially reluctant} for an emerging medical cannabis industry.
  • [07:43] Initially investing in real estate and his client’s inventory, Joel then stepped into new territory by financing the equipment and went further still to create an equipment manufacturing start-up. Entrepreneurialism is in his blood.
  • [09:28] Joel delves into the commercial aspect of his real estate and the checks and balances he undertook to ensure their asset was protected.
  • [10:51] As a commercial landlord, Joel had to examine the long-term viability of his inherited hit-and-miss tenants in a tenuous industry vs. new tenants who were bringing forth an emerging, potentially risky but profitable business in legal medical cannabis.
  • [11:54] Joel expands on the extensive diligence he undertook with the medical cannabis business from the chief of police to the patients themselves. Still with hesitation he decided to move forward with it.
  • [13:15] Patrick and Joel focus in on the necessity of slowing down to do thorough diligence with our investments, even when it appears to be a no-brainer opportunity. It provides far more security and peace of mind.
  • [16:01] The extraction business. Joel takes us through the process of how it works, then how he identified and crafted solutions to an issue with his extraction equipment investments.
  • [18:24] Joel came to realize he didn’t need to replicate himself to expand his business; he needed to acknowledge the weak spots in his own skillset and recruit the best people to fill the gaps.
  • [20:44] Where does the name Vitalis come from?
  • [21:26] Although there is a diverse customer base for the extraction equipment they manufacture, Vitalis focuses on the hemp and cannabis industry due to the explosive growth in that market. Joel further explains their philosophy on exceptional service, a unique quality in the manufacturing industry.
  • [23:46] Joel discusses his early mentor in real estate who was a game-changer in his life and brought him in on crucial conversations and learning opportunities.
  • [25:58] Successful Entrepreneur Tip: be the dumbest person at the dinner table! And do the work in between the dinners to get invited back and become a better leader.
  • [28:17] Joel takes us back to his upbringing in Winnipeg, his parent’s philosophy of work and independence and his start in the business of real estate and real estate investing.
  • [31:23] Playing to his strengths, once Joel got into his brokerage, he recognized the need to bring on a buyer’s agent for working with homebuyers while his focus was on strategy and numbers.
  • [32:51] The practical side of numbers is what attracted Joel to finance and business starting with University.
  • [33:29] As a necessity to appease the bank and get mortgages at the age of 20, Joel began a career as a salesperson with BMW at which he exceled. It also provided tremendous learning opportunities and spun into a deeper real estate involvement.
  • [36:28] How does Joel hold himself within the realm of sales?
  • [37:46] Operating from survival mode can lead down a dangerous path of making business, sales and relationships all about the money. It not only results in a difficult mindset to overcome but acts more as a repellant to success than attracting it.
  • [40:44] Leadership: how does that show up for Joel? He shares some of the wisdom he has gained so far.
  • [42:53] Joint Venture partnerships and communication. Joel and Patrick do a deep dive into the importance of critical conversations to have and assumptions to mitigate upfront before even getting involved in a joint venture. Even when millions of dollars become available to you, and you don’t want to upset the apple cart, that is the critical time to get clear and manage expectations; even if you think it’s an unshakeable relationship.
  • [49:16] As much as we may hear it from mentors and leaders, investors often don’t heed the advice of experience and must learn the difficult lessons first-hand.
  • [50:36] Joel illustrates a personal experience of just such a difficult lesson learned.
  • [52:00] What are a couple of the biggest mistakes Joel has made that turned into a blessing?
  • [53:55] Joel shares what he truly loves about real estate.
  • [54:59] In his current working environment within manufacturing, Joel recognizes what gets him excited about the business and ultimately where he excels within it.
  • [56:16] Sparking his ignition: Joel talks about what lights him up and how exploration and learning keeps his interest peaked.
  • [58:32] Joel paints a picture of his current risk tolerance and how he approaches it.
  • [59:20] Legacy has now become a bigger driver for Joel than money, but being value-driven first, continually setting goals, and having fun while doing it is equally fulfilling.
  • [62:18] Mindset is the foundation of success. Joel notes that when your mindset is off, be aware of it and learn from it but don’t let all areas of your life be at the mercy of it.
  • [63:25] By defining who he is, Joel understands he is 100% responsible for the outcomes in his life and neither relies on others to see things his way nor puts his happiness in the hands of others.
  • [67:18] The surprising path into the cannabis industry, was a definitive fork in Joel’s road, not only for the sheer disbelief that cannabis is a daily topic of conversation but also the significant learnings and skills he has acquired as a result.
  • [69:05] Joel describes the money conversations between he and his partners; their approach and a real example.
  • [71:51] Ego showed up in a less than positive way in Joel’s younger years, but he has come to learn no matter how much money you have, someone always has more, which keeps him curious instead of competitive.
  • [73:05] Surrounding himself with solid friends early on who valued one another beyond ego, provided a foundational support for Joel to stay grounded.
  • [75:01] Is the success he experiences now in his life, something he imagined as a kid growing up in Winnipeg and working hard {or as describes jokingly, providing slave labour for his parents}?
  • [76:21] Joel shares one of his favourite charity endeavours, the fun of having an event AND doing good plus the great work being done by two of the charities he supports.
  • [80:20] Joel does his best to fit in exercise between all the travel he is currently doing but considers himself a C+ student in that area. Patrick shares a great tip from a previous TEDM guest, Olympian athlete Leon Taylor, that even 30 or 60 seconds of activity will keep our brains hardwired to a daily routine.
  • [82:10] Measuring and being accountable to his wellness coach helps Joel to stay aware and put in necessary corrections, while his Dad’s early influence keeps him in touch with healthy eating.
  • [83:04] What are some of Joel’s habits around inner work?
  • [84:42] Rapid Fire kicks into gear! Impactful books Joel has read, the versatility of his favourite swear word, favourite inspirational quote, messages at the pearly gates, ranking high on the weirdness scale, what he’s not very good at with a hot tip about Evernote, room-desk-car, favourite tunes, favourite movie and his top travel tip!
  • [92:30] Joel’s gratitude.
  • [93:23] Final words of wisdom.

Connect with Joel Sherlock:

Linked In




Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:

Vitalis Extraction Technologies

Charity Water

ME to WE: Free the Children 

Day One Journal (App)

Five Minute Journal 


Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia)

The Saint, The Surfer & The CEO by Robin Sharma

Simon Sinek

Richard Branson

Napoloen Hill


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