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How to Become Notoriously Big Part V: Ain’t Nuttin But a W Thang

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

“You’ve never been on a ride like this before,

“With a new kid on the block to show you what’s in store

“At the same time, coming to find, the houses I pick

“You know and I know this housing flow’s gonna stick”

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The year: 2003

It was 2003 and everything was coming up Jamil.

The previous year, the young entrepreneur had stumbled upon a bonafide cash flow idea where he could connect buyers and sellers together, becoming a real estate investor by pure luck and circumstance.

Young Jamil certainly hadn’t foreseen this change of course in his life, but it was definitely something that was calling to him, maybe had always called to him since he was a child.

This was the era of real estate and the housing market was booming.

In the short first year of business, Young Jamil was growing his skills and bank account. Single family homes were the entry – people needed a place to live in Calgary and families always needed room for growth.

And while Jamil could’ve just gone this route, connecting sellers to buyers wanting to buy little bungalows, this was just a beginning; because not all residents of Canada wanted to live in a house.

Maybe they wanted to live an apartment complex or a condo.

That was the next big thing – apartments.

And Jamil went after the ones he could.

Dear reader, this is the point in the story where our young hero takes the path that seems to be paved with gold, which as we know, sometimes that road doesn’t always go where we think it does.

Young Jamil was, well, young and was making an incredible amount of money.

A hefty amount that did not go unnoticed.

Firstly, there are these things called taxes and the government – regardless of which country or state – will insist upon getting the money for those taxes.

For Jamil, that meant a 50% tax on his income. But who cared, right?

“I’m Young Jamil,” he stated. “I know what I’m doing and I’ll be doing it forever. What could possibly happen?”

As they say, never say piece of cake in the labyrinth.

When Young Jamil got the money, that money was spent – 50% on taxes, 25% on the fanciest of cars, 25% on the girlfriends he had; a 100% of something is still 100% of everything.

Jamil entered 2004 having lost all of his hard earned money.

But something had changed. Young Jamil didn’t want to be the middle man anymore; he wanted to be in control of his destination. And that meant becoming a developer.

So Young Jamil went from being a middle connection to being a developer and gaining four buildings for his next project.

The housing market was on an unbelievable upswing in Canada, and in three and a half years, Jamil decided to go completely for broke.

He used his cash savings to put down payments on each building. Then he went to his parents.

They still didn’t understand this newfound adventure of his - why he couldn’t have channeled this into being a doctor or a lawyer - but developer was somewhat close to engineer, right?

It was mid-2007 and things were looking up – Mama and Papa cosigned on several construction loans, based on pre-qualifying pre-sales. In the midst of hot markets and booming housing markets, there was much rejoicing.

Until the rejoicing came to an end.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The year: 2008

The Great Recession, they called it.

It would be years before the full scale of what that truly meant and the failures that happened on a global landscape were known, but most homeowners, employees, businesses, and investors felt the aftermath before it was being talked about.

Everything was gone.

The US stock market had crashed, several large banking institutions had failed, and millions of people lost their homes.

Including the Damjis.

The budding real estate investing career Jamil had seen himself ‘create’ and build had suddenly disappeared, along with all of his projects, his own home, his sister’s home, and his parents’ home.

All of it…gone.

It was hard to reconcile that just a few years earlier, he’d done like The Jeffersons and had moved on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky…

And now, he was the poster child for Tom Petty – free falling into an abyss of his own making.


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