Michael Stansbury, the CEO and Owner of MemFixerUpper, talks about Iron Deep and the direction this brotherhood of entrepreneurs will take into the future.
Michael Stansbury has been in the real estate industry for over 20 years in the Memphis area. Michael is the CEO and Owner of MemFixerUpper since it's conception in 2015. Michael started his real estate investment company from the ground up and has found immense success. On this episode of the podcast we are introducing Michael and starting a new journey!
This is the first episode of The Iron Deep Podcast. Michael will be one of the hosts of this new podcast; including myself. We will cover more topics regarding business owners, entrepreneurs, and men who want to make more of their life than just a fancy car or house.
We will remain on the same upload schedule, every Monday at 7:30 am. We will hopefully be bringing in more and more hosts as the show goes on to give you a variety of opinions, topics, and people to connect with. We hope that the Iron Deep Podcast will show you the truly important things in life; faith, family, and friends. We believe that iron sharpens iron and we are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with which is why we are wanting to include more hosts. We hope you enjoy this new chapter of the podcast!
This is the first episode of The Iron Deep Podcast. Brett Snodgrass interviews Guest (and new co-host) Michael Stansbury. Michael and Brett discuss the struggles and stresses entrepreneurs face. They also discuss how to find victory and stability as a man in and outside of business. And they talk more about Iron Deep and the direction of the entrepreneur brotherhood. Michael Stansbury has been in the real estate industry for over 20 years in Memphis. Michael is still the CEO and Owner of MemFixerUpper since its conception in 2015. Michael started his real estate investment company from the ground up and has found immense success.
We are back with another episode. What's going on, Michael?
What's going on, Mr. Brett? How are you?
I'm doing fantastic. Thanks for being on the show. We're doing a lot together. I see your face more, which is cool. I love it.
It's never a bad thing to see my face maybe.
If you guys are just reading this show, I want you to go to the last episode. Michael interviewed me and we talked about what has been going on in the last couple of years of my life. We also went into Iron Deep and why is it so important. Where is Iron Deep going? We talked about this invitation to you if you're reading.
Iron Deep is inviting men that are business owners, entrepreneurs, and high-level business leaders to an invitation to surrender everything that they are, their organizations, their families, and their lives for the kingdom and through Jesus Christ. That is the invitation of what Iron Deep is and we're going to do it together.
Iron comes from iron sharpening iron and the Deep comes from that deep level of relationship and intimacy with God, each other, and other brothers. We talked about that in the last episode. Go check that out. This is the brand-new show that we're launching. Why are we doing this? We also talked about having more faces and voices on this particular show. Michael Stansbury has joined us. He is one of the faces and the voices, which is what they used to call you. The Voice, as the voice of the show.
Yes. We'll have some fun with that. It's funny. We talked about this a little bit in the other episode. I love broadcasting and doing voices. I do voices for my kids all the time and at work. We read a chapter from this book called The Fred Factor. It's a good book. They made me read it in my broadcaster voice for four chapters and I enjoyed it. I am not going to lie to you.
Do you do character voices or just the broadcaster voice and then other types of voices like that?
I don't do characters. Sometimes, I'll do a British voice or an Australian voice. Sometimes I can't do it. I won't be able to do it now but I'll do it sometimes naturally. Whenever we're driving, my kids are like, “Let’s stop at Chick-fil-A.” I'm like, “If you guys want something, then we're going to have fun with the drive-through people.” That will test if they want food or not. They have to do voices like my voices and make these people work their job well. That's what we do, have fun.
It's funny because I do voices too when I'm reading my daughter her bedtime story. I'll try to do the British or the Australian voice. My older daughter works at Subway. I went to a drive-through one time. I was acting a fool and she didn't know it was me. She thought it was me but she didn't want to say anything because she didn't know. If it wasn't me, that would've been super embarrassing. She saw it was me when I poke through the window. That's fun. I love it. Thanks, Michael. We're going to have to do a voice show. We'll do that one. It's hard to put you on the spot. You're afraid I was going to ask you to do it but I won't.
I get nervous.
If you guys want to know more about Michael Stansbury, we had you on episode 79. We talked about your business in Memphis, Tennessee. You're a house flipper, a husband to Deidra, four kids, and a man of God. Check that out. What's the thing that's taking up most of your emotional energy?
Having a family is super fun and great. You're in the four-kid club too. You and I got them all over the place. It's one thing when they're little. You can almost stay in their little zone. It's another thing altogether when you have a 20-year-old, a 17-year-old, a 13-year-old, and a 9-year-old. It's hard. My wife and I were talking about this. It's hard to help the little one and then you got the seventeen-year-old with all the stuff they're going on. It's a mine mill.
I'm not going to complain about it because life is good. The issues and problems that we have are very small compared to what most people have. Still, there's an emotional energy and it attacks on there. As we get older, we realized that we're not young parents anymore because we have a nine-year-old. It used to be at 7:00, we'd have enough energy to run around with them when they were little. Now, we're like, “Go play with your older brother. Go run outside.”
The older brothers are like, “No, I’m busy.”
“I don't want any of that.” That work takes some emotional energy. We volunteered in our church. I help out with the eighth graders and middle school and so does Deidra. That takes a lot of emotional energy as well but we love it. That's also fuel. That's what's taxing us in a good way.
When I think about family, number one is your relationship with Christ but you bring up your family so much. If I ever asked you a question, “What's going on? What's challenging you? What do you need prayer for,” typically, it's most of the time family stuff. That's one thing that I recognize. Most of the time, business guys’ prayer is something to do with their business.
It used to be that way. I fell into the trap that most men fall into which is, “You got to go out there and be the breadwinner,” and you do. Why are you doing it? The other thing that you have to do is focus on the purpose of it all. As I dig into what God's plan is for men, specifically, it is to be the leader of their home. If your stresses aren't coming from home and you're not able to deal with that or you're compartmentalizing it and you're dealing with the stress or problems at work, there's some out-of-balance there.
I can relate to that because I was out of balance out there. Even though I do bring it up, there are times when I want to say, “I need to get out of the house,” and go solve another problem that's not anything has to do with that but it still is the primary thing that we're built. Men are built to do this and be leaders in the family. That's what we need to take on and do.
A lot of times, home is stressful, especially with four kids. If you got four kids and you're married, it's going to have challenges and stresses along the way. If you don't have that and you're not thinking about that, then maybe you're ignoring it. You're like, “I don't want to deal with it. I'm going to deal with something over here that I can have more control over.” That's great.
Michael is going to be one of the faces and voices of this particular show. You're going to see him doing some of his own interviews. I wanted to do a couple of chats with you so people can get to know you a little bit more. Our audience is typically used to having my voice. I want them to start having your voice. We might bring on somebody here soon. Michael has accepted the invitation to be all about his identity, business, and family in Christ. This is why you're here. Thanks again.
Michael, I want to talk to you real quick about your experience with Iron Deep. You came to the first Men's Awakening. We had that back in September 2022. You were a part of the team. You helped lead some parts of Iron Deep, the Men's Awakening event. I want to get your experience on it. Talk to the audience about it. Maybe this is the first episode that they didn't even know what it is.
First, I knew a little bit of what to expect when I went to the Iron Deep retreat in September 2022. What I was tasked to do was to have a talk about the identity of Christ. Also, what I got out of it was I was a leader of a small group and I thought, “I'll be a facilitator and that'll be great.” I got so much out of that because it was time that I got to spend with these guys that I had never met before. We got to talk about real things and form strong relationships that have continued.
We're doing this in January 2023 but we continue to have these relationships. The experience was amazing. One of the things that you recognized when you went, especially afterward, is the real deep need to get away from work and family for a little bit. The reason why is to spend time with Jesus alone to maybe recharge. Also, to find out, at this specific retreat, what our identity is, how to stay there, and how to maintain that identity. My experience there was refreshing.
At the end of the retreat, I don't want to spoil it for people that go, but there was a great way that the whole retreat ended. It ended in a way where it was special to each and everyone in-person. There was a lot of healing and other relationships that needed to be healed in my life. There was a pursuit of other things that were broken and that needed to be fixed. There's only one person that can do that. It bubbled up to a lot of the surface for me and other men there like things that needed to be dealt with. With Iron Deep, it was one of those trips where a lot of things got dealt with and completed in a way. In another fashion, it wouldn't have done it this well.
Thanks for sharing that. One of the things that I get asked is, how is this a little bit different? We talked a little bit on the last episode, “Where are we going?” I talked a little bit about what the invitation was. The question people would ask was, “How is this different than a church maybe? If you go the other way, how is it different from a mastermind group or a business group?” Can you speak a little bit about your experience?
I can speak to both and I'll be radically honest. The church is great. Every person that follows after Jesus needs to go to church. I would implore you to volunteer and work at your church in some capacity. There's so much that I've gotten out of being able to do life with other people in the church, not just go to church.
With that being said, one of the things about being an entrepreneur and owning your business is sometimes in church, there are not a lot of men that do that and own their business. There are a few but there's not a group that's intentional about getting together and trying to face some of the things that we face as entrepreneurs.
It's different. It's not better or worse than anybody's job or how any other person goes about their business life or work life. That's where Iron Deep came in. Where it's different is these are all men that have that common thread. They're an entrepreneur plus they're on that journey too. There are different struggles and things that you're going through.
As an entrepreneur, there are times when, you as a business owner, are in that hustle phase that they try to call, you may be stuck in that phase for a while. Some people at church don't understand what that's like or they don't know how to help. With the community in Iron Deep, everybody has been in that phase. Some people are in that phase. Some people are way out of that phase. That's one of those common threads. It’s a barrier that is broken down. That's the difference.
At church, you can find other entrepreneurs and business owners but you have to seek and figure out who that is. At Iron Deep, you don't have to ask that question. Everyone comes from that thread. That's awesome. How is it different from your business group taken on the other side? You've been a huge leader in BNI, Business Networking. We've been in Collective Genius, the Mastermind group, which is an amazing real estate mastermind group. How is it different from stuff like that?
I've been a part of this BNI Group for several years. There are a group of men in there that are on the same path, Love the Lord. The intimacy that it took four hours at Iron Deep, took years at BNI to get to a point where you can talk to them about this stuff. We have a guy at BNI, his name is Max Fitz. His wife Deborah has cancer. We prayed at BNI for her. You're not supposed to talk about two things at BNI and that’s politics and religion. Our group was like, “We don't care.” That didn't happen for years and years. We have the same group of men and they come in.
What I'm saying is that's how long it took to get deep. With Iron Deep, it was like, “We'd known each other for four hours.” We’re already going through the process of hearing stories and understanding where people were at as far as, “What's your family life look like?” We were already getting into people's lives at a very early stage. That was the intentionality of it. That's the difference. We're intentional about not only going deep but having this brotherhood that lasts past a weekend.
That's where we're going with this more intentionality. Not saying that BNI is bad. It's a great group. Not saying that any other groups are bad. This is something that we desired. I wanted to have that place that put both together and have that uniqueness to it. The church is great. It's all great. This is another resource and a tool that we can utilize to build that depth and have that intentionality already designed like, “We're going there.” We don't have to take that first step. It's already designed that way. It's already a safe place, where you already have that sacred trust there. It's nice to walk into that knowing that this is designed this way. It's uncomfortable but it makes it a lot more comfortable because we're leading with it.
It reminds me that there were people that came to Iron Deep that were on the fence that whole week. They’re like, “Should I come?” It is a risk. You read into it and you're like, “Do I want to go, do this, share this, and figure things out?” I can understand why it's uncomfortable. Once you get over there and realize the thread of life that comes through, then it gets very comfortable quickly.
After the retreat, I started reaching out to some individuals and starting to ask. Some that come to these retreats and events are going to go all in and are like, “This is what I want. This is for me. This is great. I'm going to raise my hand and accept the invitation.” Some of them are going to be like, “It's life. That was cool. I got this other small group over here and this going on.” That's fine.
You were one of the ones that raised your hand. I remember you said, “I want to be a part of it more. I don't know what that looks like.” I was like, “I don't know either but let's talk about it,” and here we are. I said, “I'm looking to expand the podcast and have more faces and voices.” You fit that profile well. You raised your hands saying, “I want to accept that invitation.”
Talk to us about your feedback on that. Why did you say, “I'm going to raise my hand. I want to be a part of that. Whatever you guys are doing, I want to do it?” Everything that we've asked or done, you've been there. Some people might do this or that but you have raised your hand and be like, “I'm there. Everything.”
When you asked, it just fit. It was inaudible. God was saying, “Lean into that.” Selfishly, I want my kids to know me more for this type of stuff than business owners. I want them to know me as a father and an influencer. I enjoy seeing other young men and other men thrive. I want to see them lead their families. One of the things that I get frustrated with is if you stop working and thinking about your family and you turn on the news, our culture is gross.
Our culture is gross because dudes are dumb and gross. We're doing the wrong thing. One of the things is, “How do I have an impact?” Lead your family. “I'm going to fail forward and mess up. My spouse is very forgiving and we'll do that. What else?” The best part of life is having a family. The other stuff is good and can be good but what's the best part? I want to selfishly show these other men that, “This is the path and where you should be going.” These are other people that have influenced you that you need to look into and be influenced by. That hit that. That fits what part of my purpose is in this phase of life. If you would've caught me years ago, I'd have been like “No.” It came at the right time.
Talk about seasons of life. We're both erring in that season of life. You start to think, “I'm going to go into my mid-upper 40s.” That starts to get pretty real. You're like, “What do I want to be doing? I don’t want to waste time.” Do you ever think like that?
“I'm done wasting time.” I was watching Interstellar with my daughter because she wanted to see it. She hadn't seen it. My son was like, “I watched that fifteen times.” I was thinking about all the movies that I've watched 10 or 15 times. It's like, “I wasted a lot of time.” It's fun. That's a little anecdote. I’m just throwing it out there.
You want to help men and lead your family. You want to help other men lead as well in a healthy way. One of the things that I've realized is that there's a lot of content already out there. There are podcasts and YouTube channels. Some people are coming up with a YouTube video every single day. That's one person. Think about how many people are doing that. We're doing this show. We're speaking. This is a tool for Iron Deep.
The thing that I have realized is if you want to help a man, sharpen him, and get into his life, you can't do that with many people. You can only do that with that small community. In my mind, I was like, “Whom have I been influenced by?” I can think of authors and maybe books I've read that have inspired me. There are a couple of people that poured into me and took me aside. They met with me, talked to me, and poured into me. There are only a couple.
Iron Deep is that small community. I don't think we're going to be this huge, massive thing. If we do grow and scale, that's good. I feel like we have to have that intimate component of smallness and small groups. In our first retreat, we had twenty-some people there. That was a part of that. We split that into even groups of four. Would you agree with that? Maybe think about your life. Who influenced you? Talk to us about that.
Thinking through that, there have been 3 or 4 people besides my parents that had an impact. I think about those people a lot and this one couple when I was in school. My parents went through a divorce. They were very intentional about how they noticed something was off about me. They poured into me. In my mid-20s, I had a couple of guys from church that were older men that pursued me. That's what it is.
We get caught in this, “We want to have influence and followers.” If we look back on our life and say, “What does work,” that's the way it works. You want to have a few people that you do that with. You said, “I don't want to waste time.” If you go deep with a few people, it's going to have a lot more lasting impact on them as they lead their life. There's nothing better.
My wife and I went on a Guatemala trip with high schoolers. They still talk to these kids at least once or twice a week. They'll send an email or talk about the trip. Those are things that you want more of. You got to be mindful of, “Do you want to influence? Do you want followers? What does that look like for you?” I got to be mindful of that.
We get into the trap of wanting more. We think if we have more followers, we have more influence. I don’t know if that's always true.
No. Selfishly, I did an Instagram reel with my daughter. Every day, she was like, “How many people looked at it?” That's how we're trained to do. That's how we get our dopamine fixed. It’s what it looks like.
Let me ask you a couple of questions before we wrap up. You're stepping in to be more part of this show. I’m super excited about that. You're making your list. We're talking about who we want on this show. If you guys are reading, we want to hear from you. Whom would you want us to interview? I asked Michael before. I said, “Let's say there are no limits.” I don't want to pin you on the spot because that makes you nervous. “If there were no limits at all and you can interview anyone that you wanted to, who would be on that list? Who would be someone?” Do you have any answer?
I've been listening to a lot of a guy named Patrick Bet-David. He's a guy that's on YouTube. He has this value to entertainment. He would be interesting to have on. There's a guy I follow and listen to a lot. His name is Douglas Wilson. I'd love to have him on. I'd love to have Trump. That'd be hilarious. I'd love to have Biden. Let's go interview the presidents and see if we can launch this thing.
Are there any sports people or broadcasters? You're in the broadcast field but you might not listen to it as much.
I'm a big Arkansas Razorback fan so I'd have Musselman. He's the coach of the Razorbacks. We lost two of our star players. It's going to be tough for us in 2023. With broadcasters, there's a guy named John Morgan who used to do the Sunday Night Baseball at ESPN. He has a great voice. He would be fun to have on. Dead or alive, Harry Caray. That'd be a fun broadcast if you have Harry Carey. He'd be hilarious.
Make that list. You never know. We got to ask.
We'll do it.
As we wrap up this episode here, you're in this season of transition too. Where do you want the next years to look like for you? That's a huge transition for you. You're going to have two kids out of the house. You got one kid who's getting ready to be out of the house. The next years are a great time for you, instrumental time. Any feedback? What do you want the next years to look like for you?
We live in Memphis and Bartlett for a while. We'll always have some home here but we were thinking about having another place to live months out of the year. One of the things about being an entrepreneur is you get to learn how to run a business. If you can run your business independent of location, that's one of the things that we're trying to figure out. We love spending time in other places like Guatemala or Florida. We want to do a lot more traveling.
We feel like we got nine more years of making sure that we're here before we can do the empty-nester kind of thing. More importantly, one of the things that we want to continue to do is serve where we're planted like in our church. We've been in middle school and high school for a long time. It's like with anything. We have deep-rooted relationships there. You want to see that ministry grow. I want to see the people that are associated with me, my family, and the employees that we have thrived. That's where we're headed.
We’re wrapping up the show here with Michael Stansbury. Thank you so much for being on the show. Any last wisdom or feedback for the audience as they start to reflect on their life, whatever the season they're in? Relating to Iron Deep, what we can offer them with that organization? Any type of feedback or advice for them?
If you're reading this and you're associated with Iron Deep or know a little bit about it, I would encourage you to find out a little bit more about it and the retreat. If you knew somebody that's in the retreat or somebody that maybe sent you a link or an email and say, “Check this out,” get back to them and ask them, “Why did you send that?”
Ask them for some more information. If they went to the retreat, ask them about their experience. If you're going to go on the retreat, you're going to go because somebody sent you here or you're reading this for a reason. As you grow older, you understand that everything happens for a reason. All things that even are communicated to you, there's a reason why you're here. That's where I would say lean into that.
Amen. We're going to see more of Michael Stansbury in future episodes with his own interviews. If you like Michael, go to the review section on iTunes and leave us a review for this show as we transition. Thanks again. Go check out IronDeep.com. We'll see you next time. Thanks, Michael.
See you. Thank you.