Million-Dollar Advice from Millionaire Investors

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Want to be a millionaire? We sat down with Codie Sanchez, Alex and Leila Hormozi, Mikey Taylor, Cody Davis, Christian Osgood, and other multimillionaires and distilled their most critical investing, business, and entrepreneurship advice into one episode. But we couldn’t unleash all this wealth-building content on any old episode, so we packaged it up and made it into our episode 800 special!

This time, we’re not just hearing from one successful guest but dozens of them as we get their take on the biggest mistakes, the worst wastes of money, the best advice they’ve ever received, and whether or not you’re too old (or young) to get rich. You’ll hear what’s holding them back today and the one thing they wished they had done earlier that would have made them millions more and saved thousands of hours.

Stick around because this episode is a masterclass on making your first (or next) million from investors who are playing the game better than anyone else. Be sure to keep an eye on the BiggerPockets feed, as these full interviews will be released over the next few weeks! 

David:
This is the BiggerPockets Podcast show, 800.

Leila:
In the very beginning, it’s lack of resources and knowledge, that I feel like was holding me back. Then now I would say that it is overwhelm of resources and knowledge.

Codie:
The most important thing isn’t that you have success young. It’s that you stack the deck in your favor, and the way you would do that is by learning as much as humanly possible, young.

Mikey:
First business we ever started, we had to raise money for. There was this guy who told us that he would help us raise money and he said, “I’m going to raise the money, but I’m taking the equity now.” We gave him equity before he performed. He didn’t raise any money. We ended up selling the company, and that cost us about two and a half million dollars.

Rob:
Whoa.

Mikey:
That one hurt.

David:
What’s going on everyone? It’s David Green, your host of the BiggerPockets Real Estate podcast. We are the biggest, the baddest, and the best real estate podcast in the world, and we have a special episode for you all today. Episode 800, quite the milestone. We wanted to do something special for you guys, so we’ve gift wrapped billions of dollars of wisdom on real estate business and life, to answer questions that you get to benefit from.

Rob:
We talked to people like Cody Sanchez, Layla and Alex Hormozi, Cody Davis and Christian Osgood, and they absolutely delivered this episode. They gave specifics, they told stories, and they had so much fun with it. There’s value in here for every single investor, no matter what phase or stage you’re in.

David:
Rob, I’ve already made it home. Why are you still at the airport?

Rob:
Well, I woke up at 4:00 AM, and my flight got delayed, and got delayed again, and then it got rebooked, and then it got canceled. I am hanging out in an airport lounge, having a mojito in beautiful, tropical Atlanta, Georgia.

David:
Your favorite to has always been a mojito. I’m glad that there’s something to take the edge off of that hellacious traveling. Hope you make it home safe, bud.

Rob:
Yeah, it’s a little awkward. Everyone’s like looking at me talking to a microphone. I feel very weird about this, but hey, I’ve surrounded myself with all the wisdom from all the people we’re about to listen to today. Because of that, I feel very secure. I feel very wise, and ready to take on today’s episode.

David:
Before we get to today’s show, today’s quick tip is simple, ask more questions. I’m not saying how can you get a piece of somebody else’s pie, but ask how they did what they did, how they accomplished it. That might just make someone like you more to where you could get deeper into their world and find more success.
But since today’s episode is literally an entire episode of quick tips, we’re going to get right into it. The first question that we ask these millionaires was, what phase of the deal cycle do you think people snooze on?

Rob:
True to form our friend Codie Sanchez kicked it off with the hot take.

David:
This is the BiggerPockets Podcast coming at you from the Spotify studios in downtown LA.

Rob:
All right, Codie, is there a phase of the business deal cycle that you think other people snooze on?

Codie:
I think every business and every deal is really easy to get into and hard to get out of. The problem is people get excited, and they want to do a deal, and everybody tracks the time to execution. “I have 50 doors by the time I was 24,” or, “I bought my first piece of real estate inside of a year.” I think that’s a terrible metric. Is it a good deal? Not just a fast done deal. I think that’s the most important thing. It’s much easier to just keep learning and execute on one deal really well, than execute on a bunch fast.

David:
Alex and Leila Hormozi also answer this one. It turns out their advice actually works for real estate and for dating so you know that it’s real wisdom.

Rob:
Is there a phase of the business deal cycle that you think other people snooze on?

Leila:
I actually think it’s after you have gotten a verbal consent to a sale, or to an acquisition, or whatever it is, and prior to them… it actually happening. I think it’s, say the person verbally agrees to yes, and then people feel like, “Oh my gosh, thank goodness.” A feeling of relief, the work is done.

Alex:
Oh, that’s okay.

Leila:
Then there’s a four or six week, or eight week, or 12 week in a business acquisition gap where people forget about that. They’re like, “Oh, they already said yes, so it’s done.” No. That’s when I think you need to start bringing in people from the other side. Whomever they’re going to interact with after the sale, I say bring those people in immediately once they’ve said yes, and then start integrating them in and start treating them like they’re already a customer, or a partner, or whatever it is, because that’s actually where I see a ton of drop off, because the person feels like they just said yes and then they’re expecting, “Treat me like I just said yes.”

Alex:
Yeah, definitely.

Leila:
But a lot of people just treat them like, “Oh, my work is done.”

David:
You propose. She says yes. You’re like, “Great. All right, back to work,” and forget all about the fact that-

Leila:
Totally. I’m going to stop dating her now. It’s like, “What? We just got… “. It’s not done until the credit card has been slid. It’s not done until the paperwork is signed.

David:
I give this example, you’re underwater, you’re swimming to the top. You don’t get to breathe in until you actually breach The surface. Being two inches from the surface is no different than being 20 feet down. You’re still going to die. There’s always this urge to exhale early to like, “Yay, we won.” Then relieve the pressure. I’ll tell you, when I’m representing the buyers, I’ve snuck in on many people who didn’t get that thing signed. I’ll say, “Well, we’ll pay 10 grand more, and the next thing you know we grab that deal because we didn’t exhale.”
On the follow-up… this happens a lot looking for investment properties. They write their offer, the seller says no, they forget about it. When I’m in buying mode, I keep a spreadsheet of all the houses I wrote offers on that said no, and I will go back and I’ll say, “Hey, what about now?” Life happens. Emotions change. That’s usually the ones you grab, were not the first try. It’s like, you’re not going to chop that tree down with one swing of the ax, but once you’ve swung a couple of times, why are you stopping? You’ve got some work in, so I couldn’t agree more. Those are… that’s great advice. Did you ever have a time where you asked out Leila, she said no, and you just had to keep following up and you caught her in a better mood?

Alex:
She tried to cancel the first date.

David:
I mean, it works many times in life, right?

Alex:
Yeah, no, she tried to cancel the first date, and so I called her up. I called, I was like, “Follow up.” I called her up and she’s like, “Oh, I just feel really sick.” I was like, “You’re talking to me, you’re not that sick.”

Leila:
I was hungover.

Alex:
Yeah, she whatever, and so I was like, “No, we’re on”, and so we were on.

David:
Was that part of the appeal was like, “Okay, this person really wants it if they’re going to keep trying? Is there a test for it?”

Leila:
I just like that somebody that was so assertive.

David:
Yeah.

Leila:
I think that I was just so used to people that I was more assertive than them, and so I was like, “Well, this is refreshing that he’s so directive.” Some people might-

Alex:
It wasn’t like, “Please come on this date with me.” I was like, “No. You said we’re doing it. We’re doing it.” I was like, “I need to meet people too. I need to get out. Let’s go.” You know what I mean? “Let’s do this.”

David:
When you’re a seller, and you’re used to getting offers on either your business, or your property, or whatever, a lot of the time we assume that the first thing they’re thinking about is the price, but most of them are thinking about, “Are you actually going to close? Are you legit, or are you messing with me?” When a person continually follows up, you’re sending that subconscious symbol, “No, I really, I am going to close, and I want to close, and I’m the right buyer for you to take.”

Alex:
I actually just think it’s just keeping things warm. A lot of people have hard closes, “If you don’t take my terms, or you don’t take my price, or whatever it is, screw you, go away.” But when we look at the deals that we did this year so far, 75% of the deals were people that we had talked to over a year ago, and been like, “Hey, it’s not a fit for us right now, but try do these things, and if this works for you, give us a call.” Those people did those things. They worked and then gave us a call. People tend to be a little bit too transactional even though they are “transactions”. But I think that the relational becomes the compounding mechanism, in terms of deal flow, and getting things back. I think that just becomes the long-term moat that snowballs.

Rob:
Ashley Care, who co-hosts BiggerPockets Real Estate Rookie Podcast kept us grounded with some classic no nonsense real estate wisdom.

Ashley:
Looking at income opportunities on a property, that I think too many people are going through their listings and saying, “Oh, this is single family. I’m looking for duplexes.” But not looking at something as to how you can generate additional income off of something. I think there’s a lot of money left on the table of looking at a property and being like, “You know what? There’s actually a garage there. I can rent out the garage for additional unit. It’s by the Bills Stadium. I can rent out this grassy area for parking.” Just looking at different ways to get creative to make deals work.

David:
One of my favorite responses to what people snooze on came from multifamily mogul and friend of BiggerPockets as well as myself, Andrew Cushman.

Andrew:
Everybody… not everybody, but so many people are either scared, or they’re just, “I’m going to sit and wait. I’m not going to build my relationships for money. I’m not going to build my relationships for leads, for properties.” All that. Now is the time to be building out your systems, and your potential business, and for your potential investments. Maybe it’s okay if you’re not actually buying anything right now. If it doesn’t underwrite, it doesn’t underwrite. But it is not the time to just sit on the sideline and say, “Well, I’m going to wait.”
I can’t tell… I know people that in 2016 sold everything they had and said, I’m waiting for the crash. Well, here we are finally seven years later in 2023, things are shifting. But they missed out on so much by just saying, “Yeah, I’m going to just take time off.” You cannot perfectly time the market. It never works. Once in a while, a few people get lucky. I think there are people who are snoozing right now that shouldn’t be. They should be laying the groundwork for huge success when the time comes, which I think might be next year.

David:
You heard Andrew, now is not the time to stop working smart. Part of what keeps these people so sharp, and so centered, is the good advice that they’ve gotten along the way. Our hosting counterparts over at the Real Estate Rookie Podcast kick things off, here’s Tony Robinson and Ashley Care.

Rob:
Do you have a core memory about some advice and how did that shape you?

Tony:
One core memory I have that really shaped my business was it was actually a conversation with Brandon Turner, and it was shortly after I became a host, and he told me one of the things that he regretted in his business was thinking too small for too long. He was like, “If you think bigger sooner, your businesses is going to grow faster.” I just really internalized that and that’s why now I have a goal of buying a billion dollars worth of real estate.

Ashley:
My core memory was when I started working for an investor, it was my first experience with anything real estate, and he was buying a business. He took his rental properties he had, he refinanced them, did a cash-out refinance, took that cash and was using this cash to buy the business. The core memory I have is sitting at the closing table, and this wood paneled old attorney’s office with shag carpet on the floor, and him letting me write out these very large checks. At that moment, that’s when it clicked for me as to like, “If he can do this, I can do this, and this is how it’s done.”

David:
Jason and Andrew, welcome to the podcast. Do you have a core memory about some advice and how it shaped you?

Andrew:
I do. I actually grew up as a young kid in New England, and I remember one winter walking by an apartment complex with my dad, and there’s snow on the ground, and he stopped and he is like, “Andrew, you see that over there?”
I’m like, “See what?”
He goes, “The chain fence.”
I was like, “Yeah.”
He goes, “That’s a dog park.”
I’m like, “Okay.”
He said, “Whatever you do, don’t ever make snow angels in that.”
In addition to that, probably even more impactful was something my mentor Tim Rhodes… one of my mentors, Tim Rhodes said to me, and he told me to play your own game. What that means, or some of the things that that means is to lean on your own strengths. Do what is in line with your why. Basically, don’t compare your success to other people’s, because everybody is starting from a different place, and they have a different place that they’re trying to get to. While it’s incredibly valuable to learn from those people, in the sense of your own success and what you’re trying to do, it’s irrelevant.
That was something that was really important to me when he said that, “Just play your own game.” Because it would be really… sometimes I found it really frustrating. I would meet somebody, who’s in the multifamily syndication business, and they’d done 10,000 units in four years. I’m like, “What’s wrong with me? I’ve done two.” I’m like, “Well, no, he’s playing his game. My game’s a little bit different.” That was a really meaningful and impactful advice to me.

David:
Awesome. Jason, same question.

Jason:
Yeah. For me, I think the best advice I ever received was at a point where I needed it the most. When I first started as a young person in business, as a commercial real estate agent, I had been banging the phones for three or four months with no leads, and nothing to really even show that I might make income next month. My mentor told me that basically in your first year in the business, you’re trying to get skill sets that teach you to become a successful person later, so you can become valuable to the marketplace after you shape these skills needed to add value to investors, or to people that are looking to buy real estate.
I think that advice was probably the most pivotal point in my career, comes down to… because so many people my age, we care about the starting salary, like the 60, 80 grand salary in the tech world, or whatever it is. I think in the early years it matters so much more about starting to shape the skills that are going to create more value to the marketplace, and hence will turn into more money for you.

Rob:
That last voice was Jason Lee. He’s a young but up and coming investor, and you’ll hear more about his backstory in a few weeks, on episode 812. Pro skater turned beer maker, turned real estate investor, Mikey Taylor chimed in on this one too.

Mikey:
Best piece of advice I’ve maybe ever been given. I was 18 years old and my friend told me, “As long as I am trying to build anything, skateboard, career, business, never burn a bridge.” That was his big thing, never burn a bridge. What that looks like today, I think this has been huge for me. Anytime something happens that either rubs me the wrong way, or creates an emotional spark, I never respond. I don’t respond in the moment. I might draft something up, but I always sleep on it. Then the next day reassess. That has been massive for me.

David:
Yeah, but even smart people make mistakes. In fact, I don’t think anybody builds big wealth without making mistakes along the way, and they’re always going to get some things wrong. Now that can be hard to remember when you’re listening to podcasts like this with everybody telling the stories of their huge wins. Here’s the biggest business mistakes that these people have made. Let’s start with Cody Davis.

Cody:
Worst business decision that I ever made was letting someone else… when I was getting started, control the rents. I did all the asset management, but this put me in a position where I was doing all the work and this other guy was collecting the rents, and then doing distributions, until he wasn’t. That put me in a position when I had 30 apartments and I stopped getting all my rent distributions. I should have handled the money, but you don’t know what you don’t know in the beginning. Trusting someone to handle the money, as a manager rather than doing it myself, was my biggest mistake. It costs me a lot.

Tony:
I think it’s hard to answer that question about what my worst business decision is, because I feel like every decision that I’ve made, even though it hasn’t turned out how I wanted to, I still learned an incredible amount, and none of them have been fatal, per se. It’s like, “Yeah, these are just the costs of learning things.” But I did buy a house, my second rental property ever. It was in Shreveport, Louisiana, and it was honestly a great deal initially, but the flood insurance changed from one year to the next, literally quadrupled.

David:
That’s fun with that.

Tony:
We went to multiple different insurance companies. No one wanted to insure it for whatever reason, even though nothing had happened, there was no flooding. Literally nothing changed. The deal went from cashflow of a few hundred bucks a month to being cashflow negative, pretty quickly. We tried to sell it, sat on the market forever, finally got someone that wanted to buy it. Then during their due diligence, they found some issues with the foundation. We had to spend another… I think $12,000 cutting out the concrete in the middle of the house. Then we eventually sold it for a loss of $30,000, in addition to carrying the mortgage for an entire year. I’d say that was probably one of my worst deals, early on. Yeah.

David:
That’s a terrible deal. But that can happen-

Tony:
Yeah.

David:
… especially when you get into lower price real estate, because you’re like, “Oh, it’ll cash flow better.”

Tony:
Right.

David:
One little thing goes wrong, like flood insurance… I mean that’s happening in Florida right now with just regular homeowner’s insurance right now, it’s tripling, quadrupling. I got a quote on a property I bought, $26,000 a year. Only insurance that I could get on that property.

Ashley:
Geez.

Tony:
Wow.

David:
Yeah.

Tony:
Wow. What are you going to do though? You can’t… you’re stuck, right? The person who’s buying it, they’re going to have to pay the same thing.

Mikey:
My worst business decision was probably one of our first. First business we ever started we had to raise money for, we didn’t have enough to do it. There was this guy who told us that he would help us raise money and he knew everybody. I remember asking before we did the deal with him, “What happens if you don’t raise the money?” He said, “I’m going to raise the money, but I’m taking the equity now. I will not do this without equity.” We gave him equity before he performed. He didn’t raise any money. We ended up selling the company and that cost us about two and a half million dollars.

David:
Whoa.

Mikey:
Yeah, that was a bad one. That one stung.

David:
What’s he doing now? Don’t know, I haven’t talked to him in a decade. That one hurt.

Rob:
Along those lines, Ashley Care and Soli Cayetano both had to learn some contractor lessons the hard way.

Ashley:
Mine was not accurately or fairly compensating people around me, whether it’s contractors, employees, or partners. I feel like I really struggled, for a long time, as to how to effectively do that. For example, I had this property where we hired contractors, paid them by the hour. Right there, big mistake. Ended up firing them because-

David:
I can’t say I haven’t been there.

Ashley:
Big mistake and ended up costing us more money in the long run, because we had to fire them. Our project went longer, we had to hire someone else. Then even with my partnerships, especially early on, I gave that first partner principle and interest payments for the capital he put into the property, and 50% equity. I think that I’ve had to learn how to adapt, and to not rush into like, “Okay, yep. I’ll pay for this or whatever.” Getting a clear scope of work, or a clear job description as to, “This is what I’m compensating you for, this is what the work that will actually be done,” and making it very, very detailed, so there isn’t those gray areas.

Rob:
What’s the worst business decision you’ve ever made?

Soli:
Choosing cheap contractors, especially when investing out of state, you don’t actually see the properties a lot of the time. When three bids come in and one says 10,000, one says 15,000, and one says 20,000, you really want to believe that that 10,000 bid is accurate. I made the mistake many times starting out, choosing that $10,000 bid, and it coming back to bite me and actually costing like $40,000.

Rob:
Right.

Soli:
You have to hire someone else to fix their mistakes and it takes twice as long. I try not to make that mistake anymore, but I made it a lot when I was starting out.

Rob:
Do you find yourself gravitating towards the middle quote, or the more expensive quote whenever you’re getting those contractor quotes?

Soli:
I gravitate toward the person who I have the best relationship with, and who comes with the best referrals, or who I’ve done projects with before. I try not to look at the number as much as the consistency in their ability to get the job done.

Rob:
Fortunately, each of these folks have been able to bounce back from their mistakes. Even more importantly, they’ve been able to learn from them.

David:
But it’s way more fun to talk about the mistakes, so we asked everyone about the stupidest thing that they’ve spent money on. See if you could notice some common themes among the answers.

Codie:
I bought a car that I almost couldn’t fit into. I think, yeah, I’ve had moments. It was one of those fancy little Porsches.

Tony:
The stupidest thing I’ve ever spent money on… and my wife would probably tell you this quickly also, but I bought a BMW, and it was my first job where I was making over six figures, and I’d driven… I was driving like a Toyota Scion or something like that. I got this big job, this big raise, and I went out and bought this expensive BMW. My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, was pretty upset. She was like, “Probably not the best decision.” She was like, “We’re thinking about buying a house and all these other things.” Lo and behold, about less than a year later, when we go to buy that first home of ours, they’re like, “Tony, great news. You’re approved for the loan. Only thing is you’ve got to sell the BMW.”

Alex:
Bentley. We got a Bentley. I think it was more so… it wasn’t that buying an expensive car is dumb, it was more that I don’t care about expensive cars. Then I returned it six months later.

Jason:
It was an all white, 4Runner, TRD Pro, like $65,000 was the most expensive car I bought at the time. It was a year and a half ago. It was dumb, because I work in downtown San Diego and I have to go into parking structures a lot. My 4Runner was too high to fit in most parking structures. One time I just said, “Screw it. I’m just going to go through it and see what happens.” My car got stuck there, and they had to basically tow me out of the parking structure. That’s one of the dumbest things I’ve done, as well. I would not do it again.

Mikey:
I used to be into cars-

David:
Okay.

Mikey:
… as a kid. Hondas and Acuras and Mitsubishis. We used to spend money on basically every part you could put on a car.

David:
Did you have a blow off valve turbo?

Mikey:
I did.

David:
I don’t know how I can tell. I’ve just got a good read on you right now. Spoiler? A nice spoiler on the back.

Mikey:
No spoilers. We actually… we stayed away from all the stuff that made the car look fast.

David:
Oh, you want to trick everybody?

Mikey:
Yeah.

David:
Because then they’d race you not expecting anything.

Mikey:
Exactly. Yeah. We tried to build sleeper cars.

David:
I like it, man.

Mikey:
Yeah.

David:
Are you a fan of GTRs?

Mikey:
Yeah, of course.

David:
Yeah. That’s one of the reasons I like them. They don’t look fast.

Mikey:
Yeah.

David:
You never think so.

Mikey:
Yeah, that’s right. We did the whole thing, went to the races every Saturday night trying to hustle people.

David:
Rob spent way too much money on pickleball gear. He’s got super into it. He’s got these fancy goggles that he wears, because-

Soli:
I’ve never even played.

David:
It’s fun.

Rob:
It is fun.

David:
He’s got clothes, like biker clothes that streamline the air so he can run faster, PF Flyers that he wears.

Soli:
How long until you’re sponsored?

Rob:
I’m looking for spon… I’m seeking agency now, with the pickleball gear company. Please hit me up over at Raw Build.

David:
All. First question Leila, I’m going to ask you what is the stupidest thing that you’ve ever spent money on, and is there any reason you do it again?

Leila:
A dog, a $3,000 dog.

Rob:
Wow. What kind of dog is it?

David:
This is the Bugatti of dogs that we’re talking about, right now.

Leila:
A King Charles Spaniel.

Rob:
Okay, okay.

Leila:
Yes.

Rob:
Sounds cute. Small, big?

Leila:
Super cute.

Rob:
Okay.

Leila:
Super cute. Super small, super dumb. The reason I say it was stupid is because there are things I’ve bought that maybe would be a net neutral when I bought it, like a jacket that’s very expensive, but it didn’t harm my life. But the dog stole so much of our life for a period of time that I think it was the stupidest purchase I could have made.

Rob:
Alex, do you like the dog?

Alex:
No, I was in favor of getting rid of it.

David:
He’s a productivity killer.

Rob:
Does the dog still exist?

Alex:
He is alive.

Rob:
Oh, okay.

Alex:
Yeah, I didn’t take it out back.

Leila:
We re-homed him.

Alex:
Yeah, no, we re-homed it. But no, I remember I was walking the dog and it was like the fourth time, the bladder is the size of this stomach. I’m on a call and I was like, I know what my hourly income is, and I was like, this dog costs me $10,000 a day. I was like, “I would never buy this dog at $10,000 a day. This is ridiculous.”

Soli:
I would say some of the courses, mentorships and maybe some of the programs I’ve signed up for. I would just say it had nothing to do with the people who were running them. It more had to do with my commitment level. I think there’s a lot of people who are signing up for things, and they take signing up for things as a proxy for maybe taking action. But without actually committing to doing the thing that you’re signing up for, nothing really changes.

David:
It’s like a gym membership you never go to the gym for.

Soli:
Exactly. Right, right, right.

Rob:
Ah, yes. Commitment. It’s a sneaky thing that’s held me back from time to time. But what’s even sneakier is that the things that hold us back can change over the years.

David:
What is something that was holding you back in the beginning and what holds you back now?

Mikey:
The belief that you have to have money to play the game.

David:
What holds you back now?

Mikey:
My biggest thing is we learned that we could buy everything, so we bought a whole bunch of stuff. We need to come in and optimize more pieces of the business. I think a few more systems would serve us well. People do systems too early I think, which is not a great thing. We came in, we built the business, then we built more business, then we built more business. It’s time to sit back, optimize a little bit for the next push forward. That’s the thing that’s holding me back.

Rob:
All right, Cody, same question.

Cody:
Lack of confidence in the beginning. I had a mentor who helped enable me in the beginning, taught me a little bit about seller financing. But he also put me down, told me I wasn’t a sales guy, that I couldn’t do this and repeat it, which was a little bit tough to hear. When I first met Christian, he said, “Well, you actually can sell, and you know what you’re doing. I haven’t met someone that’s doing it the way you are.” That really lifted me up, which is when we ended up partnering, but it was that lack of confidence.

Rob:
Oh, what about now?

Cody:
Right now it would go to the systems. I exited property management. I don’t do that anymore, but I’m limited in what I get to buy. Not can buy, but get to by the systems in place for the actual asset management.

Rob:
With your mentor, just out of curiosity, was it a tough love thing, or was he just not nice?

Cody:
It wasn’t very nice.

Rob:
Okay. He was just being an ass?

Cody:
He said, “Iron sharpens iron.” I believe that to be true. However, Christian could probably put it better. He got to witness it. It just wasn’t very kind.

Rob:
He said, “Iron sharpens iron,” as a way of being a jerk?

David:
That was a justification?

Cody:
I feel that was a justification

Christian:
From an out outside perspective, that was a… he is like, “Oh shoot, I can’t replicate what my mentee is doing.” Cody outshined him in literally everything he did, so the strategy was, “Well, I’m just going to tell him he’s not ready yet.” He needs a [inaudible 00:25:15].

David:
To protect his ego.

Christian:
Yeah, and Cody just absolutely carried that partnership, from an outside perspective.

Cody:
He was an enabler though. I mean, I needed help, but he didn’t want me to outscale it, and so that’s where it got stuck. That lack of confidence really hurts a lot of people is what I found.

Christian:
We ended up leaving around the time he made a statement of, “You guys need to stop buying multifamily properties, because you’re making me look bad.”

David:
Yeah, if openly said it that way.

Christian:
We could also buy more.

Cody:
It was taking away his credibility.

Rob:
Yeah. Okay. What was holding you back at the very beginning versus what’s holding you back now?

Leila:
I think that in the very beginning its lack of resources and knowledge that I feel like was holding me back. First, starting a business, lack of resources and knowledge, and lack of clarity as to even what the right resources were to try and attain, and where was the right place to go for knowledge. Then now I would say that it is overwhelm of resources and knowledge. It’s in the beginning I think you lack opportunity, because you have no track record, you have no brand, you have nothing to show. You have no evidence to even prove to yourself that you’re good at what you do. Then I think as time goes on and you gain all of those things, there are constantly opportunities coming at you and it’s like, “Gosh, which ones do I pick when they’re all actually good?”

Alex:
Early for me was I didn’t understand the people component. It was for me, I was all hard science of business. Just marketing, sales, conversion rate, percentages, all of every… if it wasn’t quant, I didn’t care. I think that now I have a different appreciation, which is the difference between hard skills and soft skills is more that hard skills are easy to measure. Soft skills are hard to measure, but no less important. It’s all the difference is. They’re just more difficult to measure, but not any less impactful, and I would say arguably they’re more impactful in terms of long-term.
Most starter entrepreneurs, once you’re at a million, 3 million-ish right in there, it’s usually when you can still muscle your way through stuff, and always save the day. But getting from there to a million a month and beyond, is all team, and having the right culture, and having the vision, and all the soft stuff that I used to throw out and be like, “Oh, this is all hoodoo.” It totally is hoodoo when you’re under 3 million, because it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to sell stuff and you’ve got to… that’s all it is. But if you want other people to do that for you, then they have to have a reason. I think that’s all that’s… that is the soft stuff.
Nowadays, it’s still the same woman in the red dress, which is one of the analogies that I use a lot.

David:
Matrix.

Alex:
Mm-hmm. It’s learning how to say no is actually, in my opinion, not a binary skill of like, “Oh, he knows how to say no.” It’s more that you learn how to say no at every level. When I was poor, I couldn’t say no to anything. Right? But then I learned how to say no to a thousand opportunity when I was making $10,000 a month. But at that point, could I say no to another $10,000 a month opportunity? I struggled with that for years. I would spread between different things. I had at one point, I had nine businesses when I met Leila, and I was making no money, lots of revenue, no profit. Then as I continued to go up the ladder, and the thing that got me to go from nine business to one business, and then from relatively small wealth to “mega”… I’ll put quotes here, wealth was just putting all that attention on one thing.
But even as I climbed up that ladder, some of the biggest mistakes I made in business, even when we had Gym Launch, which for the context of the audience was doing four-ish million a month, I should have just kept doing that. Instead, I was like, “Let’s start a software company,” and then just diverted all these resources to this other thing. It ended up being a mistake that probably cost multiple eight figures, maybe nine figures for us.
I’ve learned how to say no to that level now, and I still have to learn how to say no to higher level opportunities today that the woman in the red dress gets more and more attractive. That’s all it is. It’s your game gets up and she steps up her game, in terms of how tempting she is. That’s the thing that I still struggle with all the time.

David:
Go back in time and give yourself some advice. Knowing what you know now what would you tell past Ash?

Ashley:
Processes and systems. Start early documenting, writing lists of everything that I was doing. From there I can take that and I can hire a VA, I can grow and scale, I can change it, but for too long I went with just, “It’s in my brain, I know how to do it.” But every time I did something, I’d have to go back into my brain and think about it. Instead of having a list of, “Okay, here’s an eviction. Here’s my little checklist of every single step that goes into an eviction, here’s what to do.” I waited until I had so many units, and it was time-consuming for me to actually stop working on my properties and go back and take the time to write out those lists and document those processes.

Tony:
If I could go back in time and tell past Tony something, I think it would be to adopt an abundance mindset earlier as well. I grew up, we weren’t on public assistance or anything. I wasn’t on food stamps, but we grew up and money was tight, and I just always had this scarcity mindset around money. I just assumed that everyone else didn’t have money either. It wasn’t until I started to meet other successful people that I realized just how much money is actually out there, and how money actually flows, and I think I would’ve maybe attempted bigger things that I not had that scarcity mindset early on.

David:
I think I’m very similar to you in that way.

Tony:
Yeah, yeah.

David:
It’s hard to break out of that.

Tony:
Totally.

David:
Because it kept you alive for a while. To let go of it feels like you’re going to die.

Tony:
Yeah, it’s scary.

Danny:
Spend time in education like I did, but know when to cut it off. I think in the beginning I spent way too much time just trying to figure everything out, didn’t really take action quick enough. I think I could have probably shaved three to six months off of my initial year of figuring things out, and figuring out how do I want to walk this real estate path.

Rob:
Yeah, that’s great. I think there’s a fine line between when you have analysis paralysis a lot of the times, because you just don’t know enough. You start researching, start feeling better, and then you research too much, putting yourself back in analysis paralysis. You’ve got to remember in real estate, you’re studying concepts, you’re studying things, foundational elements that make real estate a business. But you can’t just learn it all from a book. You have to actually apply the things that you read into real life scenarios. That’s how you actually learn real estate.

Danny:
That’s how it sticks. It’s codified in your mind once you’ve done it. You read about it and apply it, then it’s almost like permanent memory.

Wendy:
There’s really two things that I think I’ve would tell myself. The first one is if a property manager is no good for the first few months, they’re not going to get any better. I have a fault that I trust people longer than I should. This is something I’ve really learned this year, that property managers are key to your success, and they will make or break it. If you have a bad property manager, you need to replace them quickly and move on.

David:
You might have recognized those last two voices as Danny Zapata and Wendy Sinclair, two of the mentees that Rob and I helped to get their next deal earlier in the year. To Wendy’s point about bad property managers, sometimes you got to know when to hold them and know when to fold them. It’s important to know when to walk away, because certain relationships just don’t get better.

Cody:
If you don’t have a means to get it to cashflow positive, you should figure out how to restructure number one. If you can’t restructure, you can’t refinance, you can’t adjust the equity. I mean, there’s a lot of ways to play the game. But if there’s no way to get it to cashflow positive and exit, then I would walk away. At the end of the day, you can re-lever your other portfolio to pay it off, but if you have no means to get it to positive cashflow, absolutely it’s a no deal.

Mikey:
If you can’t get through due diligence, walk away from the deal. We’ve had a deal that should be absolutely phenomenal. The terms are ridiculous. The stated income’s there, they just did not have the bookkeeping to back it up at all. You know what? If they can’t prove they’re bringing in the income, we’ve seen this so many times, due diligence is not fantastic, just don’t close on the deal. You need to know what you need to know.

Codie:
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Most often people will not surprise you as the first bad thing that person has done before. Where I’ve gone wrong is not doing enough due diligence on people in the past. If they’ve exited multiple companies and done well, if they’ve done other partnerships well, if they have a happy marriage, if they have good friendships, if they have long friendships, I want to see duration and time of execution. Typically, we don’t do that. We meet a person, in a moment in time, and we think that that person is who we’re getting into business with. What you should actually do is go back and look at their history. You need a track record on excellence, because if it was a track record on poor performance, that’s most likely to continue.

Rob:
Do you actually go through a vetting process, or a reference check, or anything like that with someone that you want to partner up with?

Codie:
Now I do, for sure. I mean, I had one deal recently go really, really bad. It was because it was a friend who I had gotten to know who I really trusted, but I didn’t do the traditional background check, which I think you should do every single time. I think you should do five references that they give you. You should talk to all of them, and you should do five references you find. Those are just people you reach out to, because it’s so easy to tell if somebody thinks this person is exceptional or not.
If they don’t respond, there’s your answer. They don’t think they’re exceptional. If they respond and they’re like, “I don’t really comment on ex-partners.” There’s your answer. Usually they’ll respond and be like, “That person’s awesome. I have nothing but good things to say about them.” Typically, people don’t do background checks. They might call references that person gave them, but they very rarely go out and look for their own references. These are people like, “I want to talk to your last five bosses. I want to talk to the last five investors that you had come into your most recent deals.”

Rob:
While Codie is schooling us all about how to be objective about our friends and our hires, it’s also important to try to be objective about ourselves. We decided to turn the mic around back on our friends and ask them what their biggest area of improvement was in regards to their own performance.

Leila:
I think often I tend to err towards the side of… because I want to make everyone feel included, and I tend to be very people focused. I don’t make decisions quickly enough. Something that I’m working on right now is just being more decisive for the sake of speed. I think it’s good for a leader to… not lean more towards authoritative, in that they command everyone to do things, but also not like this is a democracy and everyone gets a equal vote and all. I’ve tried to do a better job lately of collecting the information from my team and then making a decision quickly rather than sitting on it and being swayed, because I tend to take… I hire smart people and I want to take their opinion into account, and I truly do. I mean, I value all their opinions so much, but I have to hone in that skill of decision making, and do it faster.

Alex:
I would say my last season was all about getting better at patience and getting better at brand, personally. Those are the two skills that I’ve been working a lot on. But I would say my current biggest deficiency is still focus. It’s still a daily struggle for me to say no to opportunities.

Codie:
I’m a golden retriever, so I just see little squirrels everywhere I want to chase. If you were to talk to my operators, my number twos at any of my companies, they would say, “You have to have a Codie boundary,” which is basically, “Codie’s going to come up with a bunch of ideas. She’s just going to vomit them at you frequently, and you have to know which ones she really wants to execute on, and which ones she’s just bringing to you because she saw a shiny object to the left or right.”
Then also… you’ve experienced this, because we text a lot. I move pretty quick. Half of my texts are like, “Her, him, you, them, yes, maybe no,” and don’t make a lot of sense. Learning to slow down, focus on less things for sure.

Danny:
Double down on the systems and really committing to the systems that I use. The idea phase and the action phase is… that’s never my issue. Taking action and really being committed to a path, but sticking to systems, and organizing and the things like, “What’s my KPIs? How are any of the things… all of the ideas that I’ve been implementing, are they working or not?” That’s always something that I do better when I focus on that, or I partner with people that are really focused on that.

Christian:
Go bigger sooner. Don’t be afraid to expand yourself and push your limits. I tend to fall really easily into my comfort zone. It’s called comfort zone for a reason, you want to stay there. But really true growth comes from stretching yourself, and trying things you haven’t done before, doing things that scare you.

Wendy:
Focus and stick-to-it-ness, when I get tired of a project. Those are the two things that probably plague me the most. I have no lack of energy, I have no lack of optimism. I have no lack of ability to communicate and bring people along with me. But sometimes I have a little bit of that focus challenge where I get excited about too many things at once, and can’t decide which one to go for.

Mikey:
Probably time management. That would be one. Second, probably time… it’d be probably be time management.

David:
How does that work out, in practical terms?

Mikey:
You can’t manage your time very well when you’re answering that question.

David:
You get distracted, or what?

Mikey:
Okay. My personality is I can get really obsessive with things, and I can drive at them basically at full speed, but sometimes that’s in a direction that actually is not the best use of my time. Then I also have the ability to pull people around me. I’m one of these, “Let’s go, get in. All right.” That can distract us. I would say, if a boss… if I had to work for somebody, they would probably critique that.

David:
Yeah, Mikey’s, right. We all have to figure out how to manage our time, because it’s the only thing that we can’t get more of. You can lose money on a deal, you could get more money. You can mess up a relationship, you can get a new relationship, but you can never get your time back. We went head on about one of the biggest myths in real estate success. Is there a stigma around chasing success and having it by a certain age? Should people listen to this, or do you think everybody’s kind of playing their own game?

Codie:
There’s no one way to play any game, for sure. I think the most important thing isn’t that you have success young, it’s that you stack the deck in your favor. The way you would do that is by learning as much as humanly possible, young. I actually think… we have some mutual friends that have had a lot of monetary success, really young, but I’m not sure that they’ve learned the lessons that you want to learn at that age, to scale to that really big next level. If it’s me, I am sacrificing short-term pay, and I’m sacrificing short-term… probably I’m sacrificing my short term 100K to a million bucks when I’m young, and I’m going to instead spend a bunch of that on learning. I think my ROI… you can only make 10% a year if you’re the best investor in the world, on let’s say a hundred thousand or a million bucks. That’s not enough for you to live the rest of your life off of.
I’d much rather put that 100K into myself, because I can ROI 100 x on the things that I learn. People don’t really think like that, but they should. They’re negotiating their early on salary. They’re looking for some crazy arbitrage opportunity, or some hot speculative item to invest in. That may get you to that first 100K or a million, but you’re going to skip all the lessons.
Then everybody, I think growth looks like a company. Typically, when you’re young, when you’re 15, 20, 25, you’re pretty much… you’re not doing much impressive from a total income perspective. But then all of a sudden the line for your income starts to go like this, if you’ve been learning, because underneath you’re learning like this, while everybody else is trying to do this with their salary. You want hockey stick like earnings, which means slow and then it slopes, and you want exponential learnings.

David:
Delayed gratification, and focus on what you learn, not what you earn.

Codie:
100%

Rob:
Is success measured by age, or race by a certain age?

Mikey:
I would say society says that success is a race to a certain age. The younger you are, and the younger you get to financial freedom, the more successful you are. I would say that’s the push from society. I would say reality though, no. I think there’s no race to success, because I think success has different pillars to it. A lot of times we look at success as just the wealth function, but we skip whether it’s family, faith, fitness, all the other components. I think, when it comes to relationships especially, it takes time to build wisdom, and you end up not knowing enough at a young age. I would say no, success I think looks better as you get older.

David:
Well, I’m feeling a lot wiser after listening to all these smart people. What about you, Rob?

Rob:
Well, I didn’t know that was possible, David, because you are the wisest man I know, my friend. But for me, I’ll be the first one to admit that I leveled up with every single answer from all of our guests.

David:
You know what you lack in wisdom, you make up for in charm, good looks, and pure raw talent. If you guys have never heard the vast array of voices that Rob can do, he rivals even myself.

Rob:
Do you want to give me a Nicolas Cage in a spelling contest? Try to spell rambunctious.

David:
Give me your best Christopher Walken impression.

Rob:
Wow, slow down. I’ve got a fever and the only prescription’s for you to shut your hole.

David:
That’s pretty dang good. I mean, I think that could pass as a deep fake. You guys see why we have talented people on the BiggerPockets Podcast, in case we ever run out of stuff to talk about with real estate, we can just do this the whole time. If you want to connect it to any of the wise people featured in today’s show, just check out our description wherever you’re listening, and you can find out the best place to follow them. Rob, if people want to find out more about you, where can they go?

Rob:
You can find me over on YouTube at Robuilt, or Instagram and Threads at Robuilt, or if you happen to be at the Delta Lounge in Atlanta, I’m also here recording live, so you can come say hi, if you see me talking in a microphone. How about you?

David:
You can find me at DavidGreen24 on all social media. Instagram’s where I am the most, or DavidGreen24.com, same goes for YouTube. They let us use handles over there now.
Thank you Rob and thank you everybody who listened. We appreciate you helping us get to 800 episodes of the finest podcast in all of the land. We hope you like this one, and we will continue to bring you future shows to help you grow in wisdom, just like my friend Rob here. This is David Green for Rob, The Massive Talent, Abasolo, signing off.

Rob:
You’ve got to know when to hold ‘me, know when to fold ’em, know where to something, something, and walk away. Know when to hold-

David:
When to hold them. Why are you singing so slow?

Rob:
Let’s just get to this [inaudible 00:44:12]

David:
Is this chopped and screwed because you’re from Houston? This is a chopped and screwed country song. We might have just started a new trend there. Someone’s going to chop and screw Garth Brooks.

 

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Recorded at Spotify Studios LA.

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.

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