Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with James Svetec, Co-Founder of BNB Inner Circle, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

BNB Inner Circle helps people to build long-term wealth and cash flow by investing in Airbnbs. We exist to help current and aspiring investors identify, purchase, and manage high-cash-flow properties for short-term rental.

Our members are a wide range of people. We have members with a 9-5 job they like looking to supplement their retirement. Some are looking to gain cash flow quickly to replace their salaries. Some have existing successful businesses or portfolios and are looking to balance and scale their investments and exposure.

But all of them are looking to acquire their next short-term rental successfully alongside us, learn from our past successes and mistakes, and get the playbook to shortcut their success and wealth.

Tell us about yourself

I’ve always been entrepreneurial-minded. About seven years ago, I started managing properties for others on Airbnb. My company grew to have 35+ properties under management, and I began teaching others how to create their own Airbnb management business. Fast forward a few more years, and the BNB Mastery Program has nearly 700 members.

A few years ago, I connected with Riley Oickle. I had the Airbnb experience and wanted to begin investing in them, but I needed to gain that knowledge. He was very good at investing in real estate and wanted to start investing in high-cash-flow short-term rentals. It was an excellent match for both of us. We now have properties across Canada. In 2021, we began working with a private group of investors who wanted to learn from us.

Later, we focused full-time on teaching more investors how to build an Airbnb portfolio successfully. There’s demand for it, sure, but we also really enjoy that process of watching students see success. Having an impact on others’ lives is incredibly rewarding, and it’s something Riley and I make our biggest priority.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I’m naturally detail-oriented and data-driven. I love tinkering with systems, taking a big-picture plan, and turning it into specific, repeatable steps. It’s what got me my success as a property manager and what’s helping me as an investor.

As a business owner, I can’t be in on every detail all the time. I have to step back and work on the business. We focus on training leaders in the company, which allows us to work on and grow the business correctly. Leading from the front is critical, and stepping forward into that role to drive the success of our company has been very satisfying.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The unexpected. We can all make plans, but things don’t always work out that way. But in business, the game is problem-solving. The game is setting goals and adjusting based on results.

Staying disciplined is something I take pride in. But I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t difficult at times to expect the unexpected. With investing, protecting the downside is a philosophy I strongly believe in. In business, sometimes the downsides can show up, no matter how much you prepare. Then it’s up to Riley and me as leaders to adjust.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. First, focus. Remove all distractions and anything else that takes away from that focus. Maintain the ONE thing you need to be doing, and then do that thing. This can also apply to focusing on your strengths. I’m choosing to focus on my strength - short-term rentals - so I partnered with someone who can focus on their strengths that complement mine.
  2. Second, discipline. At BNB Inner Circle, we’re big on our say-to-do ratio. This includes keeping your word to yourself. If you say you’re going to do something, you need to do it. And that includes parts of your business you know you need to do.
  3. Third, understand your audience. It applies to management students, investors, and business owners. Know who your products or services are for and what they need. This helps you stay focused on what you should be doing and eliminate everything else.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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