Healthy Business
May 4, 2022

Advice To The Younger Generation Of Entrepreneurs

IU student Nick O'Patterson joins us as we share advice for aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to navigate the competitive landscape of entrepreneurship.

Are you a young entrepreneur looking for guidance or advice in the world right now? Seeking how to get your foot in the door and wanting to attain that "freedom" that comes with being your own boss? Well, on today's podcast I have IU student Nick O'Patterson join me and the roles are reversed! Nick interviews me as we talk about advice I'd offer to my younger self, how to find a mentor, and why you need to set personal and business goals. This is a great podcast for any young entrepreneur wanting to learn more about the life of being an actual entrepreneur!

Nick is a sophomore at Indiana University in Bloomington, majoring in real estate and finance at the Kelley School of Business. Nick is actively involved in the real estate club, banking and trading association, and music industry creatives at the finance executive. Following college, Nick is hoping to pursue a career in the commercial real estate industry.




Are you a young entrepreneur looking for guidance or advice in the world right now? Seeking how to get your foot in the door and wanting to attain that "freedom" that comes with being your own boss? Well, on today's podcast I have IU student Nick O'Patterson join me and the roles are reversed! Nick interviews me as we talk about advice I'd offer to my younger self, how to find a mentor, and why you need to set personal and business goals. This is a great podcast for any young entrepreneur wanting to learn more about the life of being an actual entrepreneur!

Advice To The Younger Generation Of Entrepreneurs

What's going on? I am with Nick O’Patterson on the show. Nick, what's going on?

Nothing much. I appreciate you taking the time to let me come on. I appreciate this opportunity.

This is going to be a fun episode. Nick O’Patterson goes to Indiana University. He's studying Business at the Kelley School of Business in Indiana. He reached out to me. He read Rich Dad Poor Dad a few years ago and is interested in real estate. He wanted to ask me a lot of questions and get a feel for how I had built our real estate business at the Simple team here in Indianapolis.

I said, “A fun idea would be maybe let's turn this into an episode. Other people might be interested in this and hearing what we have to say to each other.” We're going to set this episode up with a casual conversation. It’s just me and you. We're going to set this up as if we were sitting down for a cup of coffee in Bloomington, Indiana. I'm not sure if you are a coffee shopper in there. What's your favorite coffee shop in Bloomington?

Honestly, I am not a big coffee drinker. My favorite coffee spot to study is there is Starbucks in the IMU, which is a big Indiana Memorial Union. They have a fire pit in there with a bunch of couches. There's an ambiance to the room, so I go there if I'm going anywhere.

Pretend like we're there. We're sitting down for a non-coffee drink or whatever you like. I'll drink my coffee. We're sitting down and we're going to have a casual conversation about your future real estate. You can ask me anything on this episode. I'm pretty much an open book. That's how we're going to set this up, guys. This is going to be fun. This is Nick's very first show, so you're going to be awesome. Let's take it away. It's good to meet you here. You can ask me any type of question. I'll let you take it away.

That sounds good. I want to start this off where everything began. Post graduating from Huntington University, were your intentions to go into real estate initially? I'll start with that.

Honestly, no. I went to Huntington. I got an Elementary Education degree. I was going to be a teacher because my parents were both teachers. My dad taught high school and he was a basketball coach for 33 years. That's what my parents did, so I figured that's what I'll do. My mom was an early childhood teacher, so she taught preschool.

I got out of Huntington. I taught for about a year, but I always had this business sense. Even as a kid, I would buy and sell things. I would buy and sell candy at school. That transitioned into buying and selling stereo equipment. That transitioned to I would buy and sell cars. I'd buy a beater car and clean it out. I bought it for $700 and sold it for $1,500. That then transitioned into houses.

Honestly, I didn't start my real estate career until I was about 27. I was about 4 or 5 years out of college. How it began was, long story short, I was teaching and I didn't enjoy that. I didn't feel like that was going to be my long-term solution. My dad was a teacher for 30 years. I remember him telling me one time that he never remembered having more than $5,000 ever in his bank account. I wanted more freedom than that. That didn't suit me well. I love teachers. We need teachers. We need good teachers, but it wasn't suited for me.

I ended up moving back home. Dad introduced me to a land investor out of Bloomington. He would buy big pieces of hunting ground and would sell them to hunters, honestly. He also owned a timber company. He would harvest some of the timber off of these hundred-acre big pieces of land. He was looking for bird dogs and people to help him find deals. That was how I got started.

I used to ride around with him. I would look for these 50-acre or 100-acre big pieces of land. He would buy them and he'd pay me 10% on that deal. I remember one of my checks was $7,000. It hit me that my dad, after 33 years, never had more than $5,000 in his bank account and then I got a deal for $7,000. I was like, “What was that?” That is how it all started. He got me introduced to real estate. I read books like Rich Dad Poor Dad. It took me about five years out of college before I started getting interested.

You mentioned that you were JV-ing and that was your first mentor. What kind of impact do you think mentors had on your career? What tips would you give to a young person trying to find a mentor?

Was he one of my very first mentors? I would say yes. He was a great businessman. I learned a lot of things that he did well and what he didn't do well. I felt like I could do what he did. That gave me the confidence to ride around with him. He wasn't anything special. He was a multimillionaire, but he wasn't any different. He wasn't any different than me and anybody else, but he talked differently. He talked and it gave me confidence. He would do a deal and make $200,000 or $300,000 and it wasn't that big of a deal, but from my world, in the teaching world, that's not where I came from.

It reminded me similarly of that Rich Dad Poor Dad analogy where my parents weren't poor by any means, but we were very middle class. That was fine. When I grew up, I didn't think anything differently than that. I always wanted, as you said before the show, that freedom. I knew I could never have that working that job and living from paycheck to paycheck.

He was one of my very first mentors. I've had many mentors along the way. I call them maybe organic mentors where our paths crossed. I worked for him. That's one of the greatest ways to build that mentorship, especially as a young person, if you can intern with a company or work alongside someone.

Sometimes, it's hard because a lot of businessmen are busy. We're running our businesses. We have families. We're busy in life. For us to take time out to meet with someone regularly, that has to be a very special situation. One of the best things is if you want to be around that person, can you work with them? Can you be a bird dog for them? Can you find them deals? Can you bring them value in some way? That's what I did with one of my first mentors.

I’ve had other mentors along the way. I've paid for mentors. I’ve paid for mentorship, which is fine. I'm a big advocate of mastermind groups. Getting in the room with like-minded people is great. Businessmen and entrepreneurs think a little bit differently than other people. If you can get in a room in some sort of mastermind setting, that's a great step in the right direction. I know you're in classes and things like that, but there's a difference between a class setting or an education setting and then a mastermind setting.

IDP 114 | Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship: Businessmen and entrepreneurs think a little bit differently than other people. Getting into a room with like-minded people is great.

In a mastermind setting, we're opening up. We’re talking about our challenges. The group is there to help you with your challenges. That's been a huge thing. Other mentors have come out of that setting. If I was young, I would find a good company that I wanted to align myself with. Is there an opening to bring them some sort of value as an intern? Can you work for them? Can you bring them deals? That's where I would start, and that's how I started.

I appreciate that. I want to transition into the beginning of your wholesaling career. When was the time period between when you realized wholesaling was what you wanted to pursue and then the birth of simple wholesaling?

We bought our first house around 2007. This was a time and a season of the real estate market crash. In 2008, a lot of people were running for the hills. They didn't want anything to do with real estate. Maybe they had lost a lot of money. They were scared and worried about everything. For me, I was new. I didn't know a whole lot about real estate. All I knew was I tried to develop some sort of process or system for putting in offers.

Back then, we would put in offers to the MLS and buy a lot of bank-owned properties. That's how I got started. It worked. We buy cheap properties and sell them to other investors for a few thousand dollars more. Honestly, I didn't know what it was called back then and then we coined the phrase wholesaling. I didn't coin it, but it's a regular term in the real estate industry.

I always thought wholesaling was that starting strategy, but I would graduate into something different or bigger and better. That may be fixing and flipping properties, rental properties, and things like that. I started to do some of that. I was a fix and flipper for about 3 or 4 years. My dad retired from teaching. He came and helped me. I remember we were in houses. Dad was putting in cabinets, Mom was painting, and I was sanding floors. That’s what we were doing. We did that for about 3 or 4 years.

Fixing up flipping, managing contractors, and fixing up houses, I realized for me personally that someone that's gifted at that, I applaud that because it's tough. There are so many different ways to lose money. If you think about it, fixing and flipping properties, a lot of times, it could cost you a lot more money than what you think. It takes a lot more time than you think, which costs you more money because time is money.

You finally get done with the house and then you have to sell it to a buyer. They get a loan and then the appraiser and the inspector come out. There are all these things that can go wrong, which they did. Where we thought we were going to make this huge profit ended up not being as big. It was a smaller profit.

Honestly, back in 2014, I was fixing and flipping about 6 or 7 properties at that time. At one time, I had some tough things going on. My wife and I had a baby, so we had that. I had a contractor that had ripped off some money, so I had that going on. There were all these things that were weighing in on me.

I realized I want to go back into simple wholesaling. I like chasing deals. I like that aspect of the business. I wanted a simple business, honestly. I felt like I had this complicated business and I wanted to simplify it down. Honestly, that's where Simple Wholesaling was born. It was born in 2014. Here we are years later with thousands of deals.

Being able to have that deal inflow of over 300 properties a year, how have you guys been able to scale from those early stages up to employing more than 10-plus people on your guys' team?

It started off pretty slow. My very first hire, honestly, was I heard about people writing letters. They would mail out these letters to individuals or to private homeowners. That was my very first hire. I had a friend. I said, “Do you want to write these letters for me?” He said, “Yes.” That was my first hire. I paid him $0.25 a letter. That was it. He worked with me for about five years. He went from that to he helped with our closings. He even helped with some of our property management and things like that.

My dad always taught me this concept why would you pay someone to do it when you can do it yourself? I always had that in my mind. I was working with my dad for the first five years. When Simple Wholesaling was born, I went out on my own. Dad retired and I went out on my own. I always had this concept in my mind like, “Why would I pay someone else to do it when I can do it myself?” Later, I started to think, “I don't want to do it.” There were certain things I didn't want to do in the business. It was draining me out. I said, “What if I paid someone?”

A lot of times, people look at paying someone as this expense. I started looking at it as an asset. I'm like, “What if this person makes the amount of money for the company that I'm paying them, but I get 100% of my time back? Would that be worth it?” I started saying, “That would be worth it.” What usually happens is they not only make the money that you're paying them, but they make more than that. It may be 2 or 3 times more than what you're paying them. You're making more money, plus you got 100% of your time back. That's when I started to see the beauty of business and scaling a business.

Eventually, it turned into, “I don't want to do that task.” I hired that out, and then I started to do that on everything. Eventually, I stepped out of my business in 2019. Someone else was running it as CEO for the last couple of years, but I've had to step back in because of the real estate market and some other circumstances. For three years, I honestly wasn't even in the business at all. We were doing 250 to 300 deals a year and I didn't do anything.

That's the beauty of business that people don't think about. Honestly, most businesses are solopreneurs where a couple of people are involved, but the owner is heavily involved. That doesn't always have to be the case. It depends on what you want. If you want to be that, that's fine. The beauty of businesses is you can scale it to a point where it can run without you. That's the beauty of it if you put the right people in the right seats.

I remember you mentioning a few years ago a lot of you were talking about creating systems and automation within your business so that you could step away. What did that process look like, and how long did it take to fine-tune these systems to allow yourself to take a step back?

It all takes time, training someone. The trap that people get into is that they don't train people. They continuously do it because they know how to do it. They don't spend the time training that person. That's a trap. Eventually, they keep the same cycle. They keep doing it. We started to try to develop processes and systems to train people. With technology, there are a lot of different ways. Using Google Drive, sharing folders, and using a CRM system was very key for us.

We use Salesforce, which is a pretty robust system in that we can keep everything in one place. We can keep our leads in one place. We can keep our deals in one place. We can try to communicate in one place. That's one of the biggest things. It’s all about organizing, training, and building these processes out so you don't always have to be in the middle of everything. How can you train this person to do this job without asking you a question?

I try to simplify things so every single day. They know what to do. We create videos. We have instructions. The beauty of it is I don't even create a lot of the training materials. A lot of times, the people that are doing the job, I ask them. I’m like, “Whatever you're doing, can you write out the instructions on how to do this?” It’s because what if they're not doing that anymore? Someone else needs to know how to do that. A lot of times, we don't do that. We train people. They know how to do it, but then, business or life happens. They leave and we're stuck. We got to figure out, “We don't have any of this stuff we learned.” For us, a CRM system was huge as well as sharing documents and building out instructions.

Passing the baton is huge when you're building teams. You mentioned engineering before the show. It's almost this engineering process where this purchase agreement comes in, and then we’re like, “What do we do with it? Who does it with it? You send it to the title company. This title company has it. What is our process? Who's going to do what?”

Our process might look like we have a transaction coordinator and they're dealing with a title company. Maybe we need to get a loan on the property, so who does that? We buy the property or we're going to close on it. We got to get pictures of the property. Who's going to do that? How are we going to pass the baton on that? We're going to sell the property. Who does that? We sell the property. It's going to go back to the title company. It's this whole weave of passing the baton back and forth. It might start off on a piece of paper, but then, you can use lucid charts and develop this.

There's one piece of developing the processing system. Sometimes, with people, the beauty is they can do that, but the problem is executing it. You have messy people doing this process, and then it's trying to keep them accountable. That's where the messiness comes in because somebody might drop the baton. What if they drop the baton? What do you do? It’s this constant tweaking and being like, “There are still holes here.” I'll tell you this. No business is ever going to be perfect. If you look inside our business, our business still has holes in it. It still has gaps in it we're still trying to fill. Each week, we're trying to fill a couple of gaps here and try to get a little bit better.

How have you guys been able to expand and triple your deal flow within the last few years? What strategies have you set in place to reach that?

One of the biggest mistakes that I've learned is taking your foot off of learning and growing. A lot of times, we might learn something and it is working. It works for two years and we're like, “This is great. We got it. This is going to last us forever. This is all we're going to have to do.” All of a sudden, something changes. The market changes, someone leaves your company, or the process doesn't work anymore because it's saturated. There are so many people doing that particular strategy.

I feel like you're constantly having to grow, learn, and pivot. I've had to pivot so many times in his business. When we first started, we were putting in a lot of offers on the MLS through bank-owned properties, and that worked. That worked for three years, and then it didn't work anymore. We switched to fixing and flipping. We did that, and that was a tough job.

We then went back into wholesaling. We were writing letters to people. We were mailing out letters. That worked for a while until everyone started doing it. We were thinking, “What other strategies can we do?” We've tried texting, cold calling, TV, and all these other marketing strategies that we've tried. That's on the acquisition side. On the disposition side, there are other strategies that we've tried as well. We've tried selling for cash. We've tried seller-financing our properties. We've tried listing them on the MLS versus our cash buyers list. You are constantly having to pivot. What worked yesterday doesn't always work today.

We're honestly in that season of pivoting. We're like, “The market is starting to tighten up. How are we going to change? How are we going to respond to the change? How are we going to pivot?” That's where the beauty of entrepreneurship comes in because you're constantly having to be creative and try things. I don't know how many changes or pivots. People have come. People have gone. It's a never-ending change, honestly. That's the thing I will know for certain. The only thing I'm certain about is change.

Regarding creative financing and those kinds of deals, how do you guys typically aim to structure those deals?

There are so many different ways. The beauty of real estate is there are so many different ways to skin a cat. That is the beauty of it. This is one of the creative strategies that we're thinking about. Typically, before we would make an offer on a property, we would say, “We're going to make this cash offer. No commissions. Buy it as is. We can close in a week.” That was our pitch. Other people are doing that, so it doesn't work that well anymore. We got to think about other creative ways. What if they don't want to sell it for your cash price? Are there other ways that you can pay higher prices but still buy the property? There is.

I had a guy on a show. He talked about this novation strategy. This is something we're dabbling with. I don't know all the details about the novation strategy, but you can do a novation where you don't have to buy the property. You don't have to fund the property, but you can have this agreement with the seller and still list the property on the MLS. Other borrowers that are going to going to get an FHA loan or some sort of loan, which they can't do on assignment deals types of properties, can do this novation strategy. These are prettier houses. These aren't ugly houses. That's a strategy that we're thinking about using.

I love the seller-financing strategy. We’ve done where maybe they don’t even want all their money. There are benefits to buying a property. They can seller-finance you. They don't have to pay all their taxes and things like that. We're thinking, “We can pay higher prices for those types of properties.” In seller-financing, we’ve bought properties subject-to on their mortgage. We came in the properties where maybe they’re behind on their mortgage by a few payments and they can’t pay their mortgage. We'll come in and take over their mortgage. We will then maybe rent out the property.

We get this mortgage that's at a pretty low-interest rate. Maybe it's 3% or 4%. We can rent out the property so we can pay back their mortgage payments. There are a lot of different ways. Get creative. When a lot of people say no and they're not going to take our cash offer, this is when the other strategies come into play. Can we be a deal architect is what I call it. We’re like, “Can we come in and create a deal out of that?” We give them what they want.

More into the personal aspect of your life, what kind of systems do you set in place to balance your business with your personal life and your family?

I've seen a lot of entrepreneurs fail in this particular area. I heard about one entrepreneur that had gotten divorced. He said, “There is no amount of public success that will take the place of private failure.” This has been a struggle, I believe, in a lot of people's lives. For me, I have not gotten this perfect, but I do know, especially during this season of my life, I try to ask myself what I am going to say yes to and what I am going to say no to.

My yeses are extremely slow. If people ask me to do something, I have to take a step back and say, “Is this the best thing for me? Is this the best thing for my family?” Have extremely slow yeses. Take things slowly. You have to put boundaries around your life. Business is always going to be there. Money is always going to be there. You're juggling a lot. You got business and finances, but then, you got your wife, your kids, and your health. That stuff doesn't bounce back if it shatters.

IDP 114 | Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship: Business is always going to be there. Money is always going to be there. You have to set boundaries in your life.

One guy talked about how you're juggling these balls and you got your family, wife, business, and money. A lot of the balls are made out of glass. If you drop your family or you drop your relationship with your spouse, that can shatter. It's hard to bounce back from a business that's more of a rubber ball that you’re like, “I can put that on pause for a while. Nick can always bounce back.”

I've seen a lot of guys sacrifice everything for business, success, and whatever that is. They don't even know why most of the time. Maybe it's a recognition. Maybe it's power or money. Balancing is hard. It is drawing boundaries around your life and making sure you have that time with your family and that intentional time with your wife at night. That's all I can say.

I don't do things typically after dinner and until we go to bed. We put the kids to bed. My wife and I typically have an hour each night. We hang out. We veg out and talk about whatever. Those are things that we do. We implemented a day date. On Thursdays, we have about an hour and a half for a day date, which is different for us. It's in the middle of my workday. We implemented things like that. We do date nights. That one-on-one time with your kids is super important. All of that is important.

Put goals around all of that as much, if not more, than you put goals around your business. I see a lot of people put so many goals around their business but don't put goals around their family or their marriage. What do they want with that? What do they want to be with their kids? Make sure you're setting goals around that and your health, too. I've seen a lot of guys sacrifice their health.

How do you align your personal goals with your business goals?

The biggest thing is it starts off with personal goals. You got to start off with what you want your life to look like. If you are married, you can do that separately, but I would align it with your wife. We went through a program and did that. When you're married, you're one. You might have these big things over here that you want to do, but your wife might have these other things. It is making sure what you are aligned on and what you are on the same page on.

It is really important to start off with your personal goals and then align your business goals with your personal goals. I see it so many times the other way around. This isn't rocket science, but you would be amazed by how many guys say, “I set all these business goals, but I don't set any of my personal goals.” They're constantly running around this rat race of money and business because they want to grow for the sake of growing, but they don't have their goals set over here.

Before this show, you mentioned you wanted freedom. I would start to define what that is for you. That's different for different people. Start to define what does that life even look like? What are you doing when you're free? What is that? You'd be surprised that a lot of times, you don't have to have a lot of money to do some of those things that you enjoy.

I start writing down, “You want a life of freedom. What does that look like? What would I do with my life in freedom? What are some of the activities that I would do?” Start dreaming and writing down those things. It is then taking your business and trying to align it with that. Honestly, my life of freedom probably doesn't even cost that much money. I've reached my goals as far as income.

I remember when I was in my young twenties, I said, “If I could have this amount of money and maybe lend it out and earn interest on this amount of money, I would be set.” I've reached out. I've surpassed that, but I still continuously grow. Maybe it's not always aligned with my personal goals. You always have to be thinking about this and sitting down. Each quarter, you should write down what you want and whether your business aligns with your goals.

Here's the thing I'll probably leave you with on this. If you don't decide what you really want and don't decide what you want your life to look like, somebody's going to decide it for you. You might not even think that someone is deciding it for you. Sometimes, you're building your business and it's not even for you. It's for what other people want you to be or for you to see in the eyes of other people and get their approval for some reason. I would concentrate on digging deep into what you want and making sure your business aligns with it.

What are some of your long-term personal goals and then some long-term goals for Simple Wholesaling?

For long-term personal goals, I enjoy creating environments to pour into other businessmen. I'm a man of faith, too. We've created something on Iron Deep. It's a community organization of business owners that we can get together. We're all of faith. We sharpen each other. We are radically honest with each other and be open. I love that type of environment of pouring into those guys. That's one thing I do see in my life.

I would love to be a mentor to my family, too. With my kids, we started setting goals and doing little things here and there. It is awesome seeing them reach their goals, whether it's so tiny. It is seeing them light up for that and being a mentor to them. I am enjoying my life with my wife and doing the things that we love.

Honestly, I'm tired of hurrying. One of my big things this 2023, and you'll see this, is when you're growing a business and trying to balance all this stuff, sometimes, you have a lot of weight on you. You're hurrying around. You got so many different things pulling at you and pulling at your attention. For me, I told my wife, “I desire peace. I desire a slower life. If that means fewer deals, then that's it. That's fine.” That's one thing. I want that little bit of a slower life to go deeper in relationships with people and not be so hurried.

As far as the Simple team, we have done a few thousand deals over the past several years. We will be trying to do more creative and bigger deals, honestly. I come from teaching. My dad would make $60,000 a year teaching. Starting off, teachers make $30,000 a year. I heard this one guy say something. He ran a business. He talked about how you could turn your annual income into your monthly income. It was called the ATM business, annual income into your monthly income. That hit me because I was like, “Who could ever do that? That's crazy stupid.” I was in my twenties at that time. We did that, and instead of $30,000 a year, I made $30,000 a month. That was a big shift there.

Before wholesaling deals, we would make $5,000 on a property and be like, “That's great, $5,000 on a property.” It then turned into $10,000 on a property. There were some deals where we made $20,000 on a property. There are some deals we've made, $40,000 or $50,000 on a property. I want to transition my thinking from the ATM or the $5,000 to $10,000. I'm like, “Could you do a bigger deal and do $500,000 on a property? Could you do $1 million on a property?” You can't do that on single-family homes, so that's going to take some sort of a bigger deal.

I'm digging into land a little bit, which is how I first got started, and maybe more apartment types of deals. I'm thinking about that because you could wholesale an apartment complex. You could flip a storage unit. You could do a 200-acre piece of land. I want to give myself the opportunity to do that because that would be a lot easier than doing 200 deals.

I want to jump more into if you had to go back through your career or even in your personal life. Is there anything that you would change or do differently?

There are a couple of things. In the first 6 or 7 years of our business, I did it with my dad. I didn't hire a coach or run around mastermind groups and things like that. I would do that earlier in my career. I would try to get out of my own way and maybe hire someone earlier instead of doing it all myself for the first 6 or 7 years. That's one thing I would've done earlier. I would learn how to do the business.

In the beginning, I wrote down my personal goals a lot. I knew what I wanted for my personal goals, but then, you get into things. Time goes on and you stop thinking about that. You start getting more into business stuff. I would spend more time figuring out what I wanted personally. I would still do the business, but I would write down more of my personal goals. It could be going away on 2-day or 3-day retreats, especially when you're young, and focusing on what you want. It is dreaming about what you want and writing them out. Instead of doing it sporadically, I would do some more retreats and things like that.

I would start writing down what I wanted personally. I feel like a lot of times in my business, I did what other people wanted. I did what other people expected of me. There have been times when I didn't even have the business maybe that I wanted. I had a business that grew to size because you're supposed to do that. You're supposed to grow. You're supposed to do a bunch of deals. It wasn't maybe what I wanted. I would start thinking, “What do I want? What's good for myself? What's good for my family?” instead of sacrificing. A lot of times, I sacrifice my own desires for other people's wants and desires.

Going on to books and information, what have been some of the most impactful books on your personal life and career, and how and why have those affected you?

You've already mentioned Rich Dad Poor Dad. A lot of people mention that particular book. It opens up your mind to cashflow and what that looks like. Another book that I typically recommend for people is called The Millionaire Next Door. It's a book where they studied millionaires and what are the characteristics of millionaires in America.

A lot of times, it's not what you find. For the person living next door, you would never know they're a millionaire because they don't show it. That's a great book that changed my life. Other books that I recommend on helping build a business, and there are two books, are called Traction and Scaling Up. Those are two business books that are phenomenal. Traction and Scaling Up helped wrap my mind around building a business.

There are two books I read that hit me in this season of my life. One of them is called The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. It is a great book which is about eliminating hurry from your life. Another book to go along with that is Essentialism. It is another great book that I think about what are the non-essential things I am wasting time or money on. Life is too short. We're so bombarded with non-essential crap in our life. If you can really get focused, you can write down what you want. That's why it's so important to start writing that stuff down and to start going after the essential things in your life. Those are a few.

Regarding relationships, you talked a lot about that. How have you been able to create quality relationships and maintain them?

Personally or business?

Honestly, both.

People are surprised by the smallest things. We live in a life that we don't reach out to people. We don't share gratefulness with people. We don't give them a little surprise or write them a letter of thankfulness for how much they mean to us in life. We don't do anything like that anymore, even in business. You don't see a lot of that, even in businesses. When you do receive something, it's not personal. It's another corporate little thing that they send out to 100 people. If you can wake up each day, can you build and do something for other people? Can you reach out to people?

You'd be surprised. People are like, “I'm thinking about you. I'm praying for you.” It could be writing someone a little letter of thankfulness and sending them a little gift. You can't have a lot of deep relationships. I focus on the depth of relationships. It is some of those small things and being intentional. It is about being intentional because people aren't anymore. They're so consumed with themselves. They're so consumed with their own life. They don't reach out to anybody. They're not connected to anybody. They're lonely. That's our culture. Honestly, I don't think it takes a whole lot of work to build deep relationships because no one's doing it.

Onto Iron Deep, when did you realize that was something that you wanted to start? How have you been able to build a community of like-minded individuals?

Honestly, people are craving community. People aren't connected. Even the people that have the most followers on social media, influencers or whatever, are not connected to anyone. They don't have deep relationships. If you can build an environment where people can build depth and have some of that deep relationships, that’s huge.

That's what Iron Deep is about. Number one, we're a very niched community. Number one, we're men. I feel like I've chosen men because we can talk about things in that setting than if there are women in the room. We're business owners, so we think a certain way. We're Type A driven types of individuals. We have the pressures of business on us that we can't get in any normal retreat. We're men of faith, so that sets us apart from other mastermind groups. We have that language with us.

We get radically honest with each other. That sets us apart from if you go to church, other mastermind groups, or other places. We're here for each other. We want to cheer each other on. We're radically honest. I'll tell those guys anything about me. That’s the environment that we're in. That's what's different. We don't have to wear masks. I wanted that environment. I looked around and I didn't have that in my life, so I said, “Let's create it.” There are other retreats out there, but there's not a whole lot of business owners and men of faith that can get radically honest with each other types of communities. That's what it is.

That is something cool that you've built.


If you had to give advice to a young person like me who is trying to get to the place where you're at, what advice would you give them?

If you can start, start young. That's key. Start to take one foot in front of the other. It's that compound interest effect. If you can start getting some traction early and young, by the time you're 30 years old, you're going to be ahead. You are not just compounding money. That's one piece of it. You are compounding your relationships.

We talked about that mentorship. If you want to do this, then go work in that industry for a while. , Maybe the leader of the organization is a mentor. Maybe there are other people in that community that can be mentors. Mentorship is key, but also taking action. A lot of the stuff that I've learned is by doing it. You can only learn so much from a book. You can only learn so much from a podcast. I can tell you how to talk to sellers, but when you're talking to a seller, you're going to fumble. You're going to trip up. You're going to get tongue-tied. You're not going to know what to say. Practicing it over and over again is key.

IDP 114 | Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship: You can only learn so much from a book or a podcast. A lot of the stuff that you can learn is learned by doing it.

Those are a couple of things, and then keep going. Keep one step in front of the other. You don't have to be this successful multimillionaire overnight. It will happen, but keep doing the work. Keep going. Take one foot in front of the other. Set your personal goals. Set your business goals. Those are some of the advice I'd give.

Thank you. I appreciate that. I do not know if I have any more questions.

Thanks for asking all these questions. It brings me back. I appreciate you so much for taking the time to ask me questions. I'd love to hop on another call if you want to do that outside the show. I thank you for spending some time with me. It's been awesome. Thank you so much.

I appreciate you bringing me on the show. I would love to talk outside of the show sometime.

That sounds good. This is going to be a wrap for the episode. If you're interested in more, make sure you guys go check out again our website, Iron Deep, if you are interested in that men's community. If you are in the Indianapolis community as well, we're launching our Indy Investor podcast back. Make sure you guys check that out, too. It's a wrap. Thanks.

Have a good one.

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