BiggerPockets Business Podcast

BiggerPockets Business Podcast 88: What’s Your Special “Cut”? Why Brandon Turner and David Greene Doubled Down on Theirs in 2020

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If you’re a fan of the BiggerPockets Business Podcast, you’re probably also a fan of the BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast. Lucky for you, we’ve got a combo of these two shows on today’s episode!

Joining us from Maui are the co-hosts of the BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast, Brandon Turner and David Greene. Both Brandon and David are known for their persistence and ingenuity in business, this is cemented in the fact that both of them made huge leaps forward in 2020, while many other businesses fell by the wayside

Both Brandon and David realized earlier this year what their “special cut” was, and how to use it to scale their businesses faster, and with less effort from themselves.

Both of them started adjacent businesses to what they were currently doing, only to find that their success grew even faster when they bounced businesses off of one another. They also got more comfortable with hiring, making executive decisions, and as Brandon likes to put it “being the general of your own life”.

But how do business owners persist to strive for success, even when the odds are stacked against them? Brand and David also have an answer for this as well, and it comes in the form of morning rituals, community, coaching, and perseverance.

This isn’t an episode about real estate. This is an episode about how you can take the losses or wins from 2020, and turn them into something bigger and better than you ever imagined…

Click here to listen on Apple Podcast.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

J:
Welcome to the BiggerPockets Business Podcast, show number 88.

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David:
Business is the act of solving problems. That’s what business is. I can solve this problem and how well or how poorly you do it, or how profitably you do it, that’s what business is. So if you can’t solve problems between your own ears, it’s very difficult to then it solve problems for your clients.

Speaker 3:
Welcome to a real world MBA from the school of hard knocks, where entrepreneurs reveal what it really takes to make it. Whether you’re already in business or you’re on your way there, this show is for you, this is BiggerPockets Business.

J:
How’s it going everybody? I am J. Scott, your co-host for the BiggerPockets business podcast, here the last week of this crazy 2020. And I’m here once again with my lovely wife, Mrs. Carol Scott. How’s it going today, Carol?

Carol:
I am super happy. I love the fact that this is episode 88. Eight is one of my favorite numbers as I married the love of my life on 08/08/’08. Yup, sure did. And we’re wrapping up an amazing year, moving into a new fabulous year with two of our very favorite people in the whole entire universe on this show today.

J:
Absolutely, so I hope everybody caught that. Our anniversary is 08/08/’08. Write it down because I want to gift next year from you guys. No, I’m just kidding. We do have an amazing show this week. We’re bringing back two people that probably are couple of our favorite shows ever. You probably know them well, Brandon Turner and David Greene. They are co-hosts of the BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast. And if you don’t know Brandon Turner or David Greene, make sure you check out our episodes last year with them from 2019, and make sure you check out the BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast because they have an amazing podcast.
For those of you who do know Brandon and David, you know that this is going to be a great episode. We talk about all the things that went right in our businesses in 2020, not just real estate, but all of our businesses. We talk about the things that didn’t go great in 2020 and how we can improve them in 2021. Brandon and David give some amazing advice on this episode. We talk about, how do you figure out what your superpower is. Basically, that thing that’s going to not just help you generate $100 an hour or $500 an hour, but maybe 10,000 or $50,000 now hour literally, and Brandon gives an amazing example of that in this episode.
We talk about, when is it time to choose the right next venture for you and how do you choose what that venture should be and what it shouldn’t be to really help jumpstart whatever it is you’re doing. We talk about goal-setting in the new year. Brandon talks about four ways to build persistence, so all of us, we were good at setting goals, but we’re not necessarily as good at plowing through those goals and keep moving forward when times get tough. Brandon gives us four ways that can really work on building our persistence.
At the end of the show, we talk about finding a performance coach and how you might know if a performance coach is something you should need, and how you find the right person to help you really build your personal life, your business life, and just get so much better at everything you’re doing. Make sure you listen to the very, very end of the show when David Greene talks about why this podcast, the BiggerPockets Business Podcast is absolutely his very favorite BiggerPockets podcast. We’re going to hold him to it, but you have to hear why.
Anyway, if you want to learn more about Brandon, if you want to learn more about David, if you want to learn more about anything we talk about on the show, please check out our show notes at BiggerPockets.com/bizshow88. Again, that’s BiggerPockets.com/bizshow88.
Okay. Without any further ado, let’s welcome two of our favorite people to the show, Brandon Turner and David Greene.

Carol:
Brandon, David, thank you so much for joining us at this awesome end of 2020. Got to tell you, this year has been a wild ride. So looking forward to hearing about everything that you’ve had on your plates and moving into the new year, all of us together. So thank you so much for being here with us today.

Brandon:
Thank you for having us. I made a bet to see if I could get on the show by the end of the year and it looks like David owes me 50 bucks.

J:
You guys are hanging out together in Hawaii, I assume?

Brandon:
We are. We’re saying COVID safe right now. We’re staring at each other in the eyes longingly as we talk, this is weird.

David:
It is awkward to try to think about what you’re going to say with Brandon’s big blue eyes, just like enveloping your entire consciousness.

Carol:
He’s so dreamy.

Brandon:
That’s what they say. That’s why they call me [crosstalk 00:04:44]-

David:
Brandon Dreamy Turner.

Brandon:
Yeah, that’s why they call me that.

J:
Okay. I’m excited to have you guys here. So we can talk real estate all day and we do talk real estate all day, but we asked you here because we want to talk business. And we have real estate business, I know all that, and so our real estate businesses are real businesses, but I want to hear about some of the other stuff you have going on, and so Brandon, let’s start with you.

Brandon:
Sure.

J:
Let’s start with Open Door Capital, which I guess is a real estate business, but it’s still a business. Tell us about that. Tell us what other stuff, what were you doing in 2020? Where were your focuses? How do you split up your time? I get asked this question all the time, what do I spend my time on? Because people think of me is doing a million different things. I know people think of you the same way. What do you spend your time doing?

Brandon:
I do a million different things, but no it’s because… I’ll start with the first question. You asked like 12 questions or, J. I’m going to try to remember all of them.

J:
I am a bad podcaster.

Brandon:
No, you’re a great podcaster. I just got to think through all these. Let’s see. 2020, we grew from… I think at the beginning of the year, Open Door Capital had zero team members, like employees and I think we had just closed our very first park. We had a few of like volunteer, like intern helpers and that was me and Ryan basically trying to run things. Ryan Murdock that is, and we basically now have just crossed a thousand unit mark. I think we’re like a thousand units. We have five full-time staff now and it’s been a crazy, crazy year buying mobile home parks, so it’s been nuts.
And I feel like I’ve grown more this year in business, like knowledge and ability in business than all other years combined. It was like, I wish I could take this year and… Oh, maybe I will, write a book about it and then send it into the past and I give it to myself when I was like 21 because I just feel like I learned so much stuff about what it means to run an actual business versus just, I can do everything, I got my real estate business, then I’m going to do it all myself. So it’s been a crazy year. So that’s-

J:
That’s awesome. Anything other than Open Door Capital that you’ve been focusing? Obviously, you’re VP at BiggerPockets, and so you’ve got that going on. But any other business endeavors besides those two big things?

Brandon:
I’ve been doing a little bit of like affiliate marketing, and what I mean by that, for those who aren’t familiar with affiliate marketing is where you send people, you recommend things and then the company you recommend gives you a little bit of a kickback. I only do it with companies that I believe firmly and strongly in. For example, I just got some new wall stuff from a company called Wood Wall, check them out. But no, I haven’t officially put it up yet, but this is like a fake wall.
I got this real reclaimed wood wall that I’m going to put up soon and so they gave me free product in exchange for a shout out, and an Instagram video, and YouTube video I’m going to make. So that’s been interesting and I’ve done a couple more little things like that. I don’t know. What else am I doing business-wise? I’ve been doing anything else?

David:
First off, I just want to say your affiliate marketing idea is really smart. Let’s say you get a referral fee from a company like a construction company or someone who sells something and they give you 20% because you brought it. Many companies operate at a 20% profit margin. So you’re getting 20% without having to actually do any of the building of the business.

Brandon:
Yeah, I love affiliate marketing.

David:
So a lot of the listeners, they’re in one business and they refer people to another and there are often regulations and laws to prevent you from profiting. But if you’re doing it legally, that is a business to refer business to someone else’s business, so-

Brandon:
There you go.

David:
… it’s really smart of you to be able to do that. As far as-

Brandon:
Dave is my cheerleader, if you haven’t noticed. He’s my cheerleader.

Carol:
Love that. And one thing I think that’s really cool about all of this is you’re talking about just one of the many, I like to call them ancillary businesses that spin off of our real estate businesses, right? As real estate investors, we have so many other opportunities to create multiple streams of income by doing spinoff businesses, so that’s really fun. What about you, David? What types of things have you been working on and your real estate business or businesses in 2018?

David:
My real estate team had his best year ever, and we can get into that in a little bit-

Carol:
Congratulations.

David:
… was super awesome. I finally figured out a lot of the moving pieces that I was struggling with in 2020. It was a great year. And then I started a mortgage company, and that’s doing really, really well as well. Really good as well might’ve been a better way to say that. So good.

Brandon:
I don’t speak English well.

David:
Mortgage and real estate are obviously very tight together and the success of one is dependent on the success of the other one. So that’s been another really good business that I started. I have got into the short-term rental market games, so I’m in Hawaii looking at those right now. I raised some money for flip projects, I did several of those. That was another source of income for me. I wrote a book that’s going to be coming out early next year, but I did the work for that this year and that is a form of a business.
And then I also recommend people to a success coaching sort of a group where people who want to learn business principles to get either their investing business off the ground or perhaps like a different business that they’re running. I’m doing the same thing Brandon is doing where I’m pushing people into that.

J:
That’s awesome.

Carol:
Love this. So cool.

J:
I have a quick question. Not even a question, I want to give you an opportunity because I think your book is now available for pre-order, so let’s get the name out there and where can people go to pre-order the book?

David:
You can go to BiggerPockets.com/newbooks. This is a little hack for all the listeners. If you want to see the books that BP's working on but they're not out yet, you can go to BiggerPockets.com/newbooks and you'll find them there. My book is called Sold: Every Real Estate Agent's Guide to Building a Profitable Business. And it's meant to be the first in a three-part series for how new or inexperienced agents can actually make money doing what they're doing. And then the next book will be How to Make A Lot of Money As A Top Producer. And then the third book will be How to Build A Team.

J:
That's awesome. I guess another little teaser, we're going to have you back here in a couple of weeks to talk all about that book and all about the concepts in the book, which is essentially how as a real estate agent, you can build a successful brokerage or a real estate agent business. So look forward to having you back. Everybody keep your eyes out for that in a couple of weeks. I want to go back to Brandon, and I'll give you each a shot, but Brandon brought this up.
Brandon, you said, you’ve learned more about business this year than at any time previous. So I’d love to hear it more detail, what did you learn? What are the big takeaways? What are the things you didn’t know before that you know now?

Brandon:
Yeah. I’ll even say maybe learned is the wrong word, it’s more of applied the things that we all know and that I didn’t do. And a lot of it is based on an analogy that you… I can’t remember what book I first heard this in, but the Dr. Oz analogy, and maybe you guys have heard it before. It’s the idea that Dr. Oz at the height of his crazy busy schedule of like he had like a couple magazines, he was on Oprah, he had his own TV show. He had all this stuff going on. He was still doing like 200 open heart surgeries every single year.
So the question was, how could Dr. Oz do that? That was crazy. It’s because he was the world’s best guy at a certain cut. He did this cut and he went to school for it, he trained, he practiced for years, and years, and years, and got good at his cut. So he would walk into the operation room, the person’s already opened, they’re already cut open, they already got everything ready, clamped, hoses, everything, and then he would go, do the cut and leave. That was his job was to do that cut. That’s what he could do better than anybody else.
So what I determined this year and I’ve really, really put into practice is what is my Dr. Oz cut? What is that thing that I should be walking in to do and everything else should be already clamped, and cut open, and the blood all moved away? So what does that look like? So for me, a lot of it has been taking the stuff I already did, things with BiggerPockets, things with the podcast and really zoning in on what are my super powers, what are the things that I have to do?
And for me, a few things, number one; the podcast. The podcast is probably the most important thing I do from that perspective. So if the podcast didn’t happen, I’d have a hard time with Open Door Capital raising money or bringing in team members, things like that. The podcast also makes the affiliate marketing stuff workout. Podcast helps me sell books when we do, but I also wrote a book this year, earlier in the year. And that’s one of the things I do, also writing is one of my core things. So those activities, I really focused in on them.
Actually just had a conversation with my wife yesterday. I said, ‘If I look at my calendar, my schedule these days, I would say 90% of them are core activities. They are Dr. Oz cuts, 90% of what I do today.” A year ago, I would say 90% of them were not Dr. Oz cuts, so it’s very different.

Carol:
That’s a huge shift, huge shift.

Brandon:
Yeah.

Carol:
I want to dig more into that, Brandon. How do we as business owners… First of all, how do we determine what our thing is, what our cut is, or what that one super special major superpower is that we have? In the past in 2019, ’18, ’17, before, what are the types of things we can do to really make sure we really go full speed ahead on that superpower and let everything else circle around it?

David:
Ooh, it’s a good question.

Brandon:
All right. I would say, the best way to know what your Dr. Oz cut is, is a couple of things. Number one, ask people around you, they can typically recommend. They typically can see the cut in you better than you can see it for yourself. Because you make… Yesterday, I actually told David this. I said, “When I see David on the phone with a client talking to them off the edge of wanting to quit a deal, it is like watching like Houdini do a magic trick.” It’s unbelievable. David is like the guy with this thing. He just knows how to do it and it’s light and airy.
He gets off the phone and he hangs up and he doesn’t even think about it. He just goes back to the conversation we were having and I’m like, “You just like flew. I just watched you like fly across the stage.” And he’s not even going to acknowledge it. Because it’s so light and easy. So number one, ask people around you, what do they say you’re doing. Number two, does it feel light? Does it feel heavy? I want to focus on things in life that feel light, podcasting feels light.
We jumped on the show with no prep work on my side, you guys prep a lot, but I just jump on here and I just talk. This is not hard for me, it feels super light. David’s the same way, podcasting is light for him. Writing is actually pretty light for me. So those things, what feels light versus feels heavy. You know what doesn’t feel light to me? If I got to make a phone call to go to the doctor. That sounds like the most heavy thing in the world. If I’m like, “Oh, I got to talk to somebody on the phone.” It drains me and I will wait weeks to do it.
I have been waiting weeks, I needed to go to a chiropractor and I just don’t do it. I’m just like, “I have a sore back all the time,” and I’m like, “I should go.” I don’t want to call. So leaning into that. And then one final note, things that you procrastinate on, procrastinate. Am I saying that word right? We’ll go that.

Carol:
That works.

J:
Of course not.

Carol:
That works.

David:
You’ll figure it out later.

Brandon:
We’ll figure out later, all right.

Carol:
Took me a minute.

Brandon:
David. Yeah, that was good. Dan Sullivan, we interviewed him on our podcast recently, he said, “The things that you procrastinate about are the things your soul is saying you shouldn’t do.”

David:
Yeah.

Brandon:
And I thought that was really good, so it’s a good indication of what you shouldn’t do because you’re procrastinating at it. The things that you wake up and you’re like, “This sounds awesome today,” that’s probably a core thing, but those three I’d throw out. Anything you want to add on that, DG?

David:
I think that Brandon and I have through The Mindset Podcast we’ve been doing, what we’ve really found is that the future of business is teams. Really building a business is a form of building a team, even getting your real estate investing business off the ground, we’re constantly saying, “You have to build a team.” So both learning, where do I fit in on a team? What’s light to me? And how do I find others that will fit in on my team? Which is usually the stuff that feels heavy to you and is light to them are two crucial skills that I think people need to be focusing on going into 2021.

J:
I love that, and I love the whole idea of the cut. And just to put a final point on that, I often talk about find that thing that you’re the highest and best use of your time in terms of how much money you going to make. And the Dr. Oz example is perfect. Think about how long he spends doing that cut. Obviously there’s prep time. He spent years, and years, and years getting great at it, but these days, how long does he actually spend suiting up, washing his hands, getting in there, making a cut, getting out, and how much money does he make?
That probably results in something like 10 or $50,000 an hour that he’s generating for a cut. So what is that thing-

David:
100%.

J:
… that you can be generating, if you’re currently generating $50 an hour or $25 an hour in your business, what are those things you can be doing to take that up to $75 an hour, $100 an hour? Look, I love to negotiate. I think I’m a pretty good negotiator, but in our business, if we want to make 10,000, $100,000 an hour, I let Carol negotiate, because I know in 10 minutes she can save us $10,000 in a negotiation. That is her superpower. And so in our business, that’s what she does.
No matter how much I love doing it, no matter how good I am at it, that is her superpower, so she does it. And then I go do my superpower. And if everybody, just like you said, building teams that are really great at different things, find the people and use their superpowers so that you get a deal done in a 10th of the time because the people that are doing the work all are so good at it that they’re spending a 10th of the time as any other team would do.

David:
You know what feels super heavy to me?

Carol:
What?

David:
Negotiating. I hate it. I hate it. I’m like the real estate guy, I hate negotiation. I literally, like right before this call, I had a call with my virtual assistant who’s a lady named Belle, she lives in Seattle. And I said, “Hey, I really want to get a massage more often at my house.” This is a different topic, but I’m a big believer in taking time to think, but I will not do it if I’m not obligated to do it. So I’ve learned to obligate myself to things by, for example, having a personal trainer come to my house.
If I have to go to the gym, I won’t do it, but now a guys at my house, I’m obligated to do it. So I’m like, “I’m obligating myself to take time off with no phone, no nothing to think by getting a massage.” Massage are fun anyway, they feel good. So now I have a lady going to come to my house and give me a massage, but I want to do one for me, one for Heather, and then I’m going to do one more for my team. For example, we’ll book out for three hours, she’ll come to my house and I’ll get one, Heather get one, and then one member of my team here in Hawaii will get one every… So it’s like rotates between them. There’s like three or four people in Hawaii.
But I don’t want to pay 350 bucks every time, every week for this. I’m like, “We should be able to get that down to like probably half that because we’re repeat customers-

Carol:
Of course.

David:
… it’s a three hour block.” Right? So I just called my assistant Belle and said, “Hey, do me a favor and call up this lady, the massage lady and see if you can negotiate it down significantly.” And she’s like, “Oh, I would love to.” And so she’s going to take care of it. So I’ve learned that is to, yeah, let people do their cut and I’m going to do my cut. That’s what I’ll do [crosstalk 00:19:08]-

J:
And part of that is, it’s worth paying for it. So even if you are paying $350 now, this goes back to the bringing in people that can do the things that otherwise won’t get done. We always talk about, you’d rather bring in somebody, give them half the profits to do something because 50% of a big number or 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing or 100% of a small number. In your business, you got to bring in those people. Brandon, you talk about hating to pick up the phone. I don’t pick up the phone, I can’t do it. Carol who, who makes my phone?

Carol:
Me. Every doctor’s appointment, boom, let’s go.

J:
I literally wrote my first book because I couldn’t stand people calling me and saying, “Hey, I have questions for you. Can I take you to lunch?”

Brandon:
That’s funny.

J:
“Can I pick your brain?” I’m like, “No, I don’t want to talk. Let me write a book just so you can get the answers and not have to talk to me.”

David:
And somehow you became a podcaster. Amazing.

Carol:
Mind [crosstalk 00:20:00]-

David:
But this is easy for me too.

Carol:
On so many levels.

David:
It’s totally different, what we’re doing right now is for some reason totally different than if I were to pick up the phone and call you J. You know how hard it is for you and I to even connect the last couple of weeks. We’ve been trying to, and we got one call in, but it’s hard because we’re just not phone people, but this is easy.

Carol:
Also for me too.

David:
We obligated ourselves to being here, that’s actually [crosstalk 00:20:19]-

Carol:
There you go, the obligation.

David:
I also think there’s another element of this that the listeners can really benefit from because when you’re… We often hear, I’m sure Ja and Carol, you guys get this a lot too. How do I get a mentor? How do I get a mentor? The reason that Brandon and I became friends in my opinion is when we first met, he was, you’re pretty big in this space and I wasn’t really that well known. I didn’t have as much to offer you as you [crosstalk 00:20:41]-

Brandon:
You called me fat.

David:
… in our friendship. No, you did call me that though wen we first met, that’s true.

Brandon:
I did not call you fat.

David:
You could get away with that because-

Brandon:
No.

David:
… you were as somebody and I wasn’t. But the reason that I [crosstalk 00:20:50]-

Brandon:
I simply said you were wearing pajamas at a hotel in the middle of the day.

David:
And I would look good if I got better clothes and lost 30 pounds. That’s what [crosstalk 00:20:57]-

Brandon:
I don’t think I said… Wait, I think you added that [inaudible 00:20:58].

David:
When we get to heaven, God will tell you, you did. But I don’t mind, okay? Because here is… I knew Brandon cared about me and that’s why he said that. The way that I think you knew I cared about you was I jumped in and did stuff that I could tell was heavy for you.

Brandon:
Yep.

David:
We went to a [Go-Barden’s 00:21:13] Event. I knew you don’t like being around people you don’t know. I just put you on my hip and took you everywhere and I introduced you to everyone-

Brandon:
Pretty much.

David:
… and that's where we became good friends. When we were driving out in the car, my first trip to Maui, your contractor was jerking you around a little bit and I could see the whole, "Ah, I don't want to negotiate with this guy." And I just took the phone out of your hands and said, "Hey, I'm, Brandon's a project manager." And I did everything and the guy was like, "Yep, I'll be there Tuesday. It sounds good." And you were like, "Oh, I love this guy."

Brandon:
Yeah.

David:
There’s a principle there for the people who are trying to figure out, how do I get a mentor? If you know what your super power is, your cut and you find a person who doesn’t like doing that, that’s a much better way to get into a relationship with that person than saying, “Can I take you out for a cup of coffee and pick your brain?”

Brandon:
It’s true.

David:
And I just wanted to highlight that, that not only does it benefit us to know what our superpower is, but it benefits the people that want to be in a relationship with us to know what our superpower is and what it’s not.

Brandon:
Yeah, totally true.

Carol:
That’s really great. Let’s talk more about other people, other people out in the community. Clearly the two of you with all of the people you talk with, with all the people wondering how they can shift their mindset, how they can find mentors, how they can find deals, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. You’ve just got to know what’s going on, right? You see lots of trends. I’m curious, what are a lot of the trends or at least a few of the trends that you’ve seen other real estate people, other business owners, things that they’ve done, big accomplishments they’ve had, maybe some overall struggles they’ve had, particularly as they relate to 2020, just some overall trends from the community that you two have seen come up over and over.

David:
I think one big one is people got in the habit of looking for a property and saying, “Does this work or doesn’t it work?” And when there was not as much competition for properties, you could be picky like that. And now that everybody wants to buy a house, investors are now competing with regular primary residence homeowners over the same deals. Fixer upper, that person needs a house so bad, there’s so little inventory that they’re going to jump on it. They’re going in with a 5% down, you got to be at 20% down. You have strict criteria to hit, they just need a roof over their head, you’re losing.
So what Brandon and I have done pivoting both in my real estate agent business and in our own businesses is looking at a property, and instead of saying, “Does it work? Or doesn’t it work?” Saying, “How would it work?”

Brandon:
Yeah.

David:
And then does the time, energy and money that I’d have to put into it justify making it work? And if it’s too hard, then we let it go, but if it’s not, then we go another level deeper. So maybe taking that three-dimensional approach instead of a one dimensional approach of just the binary yes, no, I think that’s been pretty big in 2020.

Brandon:
Yeah. I agree 100% with that and I’ll add on a couple of quick thoughts, but number one, I’ve noticed a trend… I don’t know if you call it a trend, but I’ve noticed that most people I know with a positive mindset have had the best business year they’ve ever had. Not all of them, but many, many of them are having just a phenomenal year. And I know a lot of other people who have more of a, to use Carolyn Dweck’s fixed versus growth mindset from her book Mindset, people have a fixed mindset, meaning it is what it is, they’ve had the worst year ever.
And so it’s amazing how 2020 was such a dichotomy of a year in that it was either the best year for… For me it was the best year ever.

David:
Yeah, me too. By far.

Brandon:
Yeah, it was unreal. Now again, some people naturally got hit hard by the recession. Some industries got hit hard and thankfully mine or whatever you call this year, not a recession, but by the pandemic. Luckily mine didn't really in that mobile home parks did awesome and we're at 99% occupancy or whatever it is of our rentable units. That said, there was a mindset thing that really was shown this year. It's like gold is refined by fire, you put it through fire and gold is purified, that's how they make gold, they put it through a really hot process or a chemical process to refine it.
This year was a refining year, I think it was maybe a good way to put that. And so refined like do you actually have a business? And now I would say the stock market, it has not been one. This has been a crazy year for… I’m not a stock guy, but it doesn’t make sense to me why the year has been doing what it has been doing. And so I think the refining year’s next year for the stock market personally. I could be wrong, but yeah, for business, I think this was a good refining year.

J:
I think it reminds me a lot of 2008 in real estate. A lot of people look at 2008 and say, “Wow, absolute worst time in history to be buying real estate.” But let me tell you something, the people that are saying that are the people that weren’t buying real estate in 2008, ‘9 and ’10. The people that were actually buying it, that were able to do it successfully, it was an amazing couple of years. I look back and it should have been even better few years, and it really goes to the point that when you know what you’re doing, when you have experienced, when you have discipline, that what looks like may not be an opportunity, could actually be a large opportunity.
There are a lot of people that have struggled in business this year, but we and anybody that listens to the BiggerPockets Business Podcast knows that we’ve had a lot of guests on since March who have done an amazing job of pivoting. They’ve done an amazing job of being flexible, they’ve done an amazing job of, to use a ridiculous cliche, taking lemons and turning it into lemonade. And it was the same way with real estate back in 2008, ‘9 and ’10, a lot of people were struggling, but those that had the ability to really pivot and were smart about taking what the economy was throwing at them and using it to their advantage were successful.
And likewise now, the people that are taking all the crap the economy is throwing at us and know how to harness that, it really gives them an edge. And so, one of the big things I tell people now is, be flexible and don’t be in a rigid mindset. Don’t think that there’s only one way to do things, because those that are creative have been really successful this year.

Carol:
I just wanted to add, in addition to being flexible, and this whole pivoting, and making lemons is a lot of what both David and Brandon talked about a little bit ago in this show, just all these different types of businesses that you’ve spun off of your core business. We have talked to so many people that because of the need to be flexible, to have that correct mindset where they just need to do something different and figure out, not say how this isn’t going to work, or how is it going to work, but what are we going to do to make it work, have spun off and created whole new streams of business that weren’t even a thing prior.
And that’s another thing I wanted to ask both of you is have you seen any particular shining examples that really stick out of other people that have had their core real estate business, and again, spun it off into something bigger or better different just overall, just new and awesome?

Brandon:
You want to start?

David:
Myself is probably my best example. I’ve now seen, okay, we’re doing real estate sales, now I can do mortgages, and now I can control the quality of service that the client gets as well as the product. I’m going to start a solar business in 2021, so for people that want solar panels, we can work that into the analysis that we’re already doing and say, “Your electric bill is X. If you buy solar, it’s Y, does it cashflow? Does it come out profitable for you to do this? And if so, here’s a solar expert that can help figure out the person that you need.” That type of thinking, I haven’t seen as many people adding like bolt-ons to their business.
I’ve seen more of what you guys mentioned earlier, the pivot, like, “Okay, it’s not working to do the same thing. Let me try something different.” The point I wanted to highlight about what you’re saying, J and Carol and why I love everyone who’s listening to this podcast is you’re showing that you have the growth mindset, the pivot approach to business. Is that you are here trying to learn, how do I need to adjust? And I was thinking about as Brandon and I are getting jujitsu lessons, the instructor will show and say, “Here’s what you do.” And then we inevitably come to a point where it doesn’t work because the other person figured out what to do to stop it.
There’s so many people who see that in business and go, “Oh, I guess my business doesn’t work. This is what I was doing, something changed, it doesn’t work anymore. I guess jujitsu doesn’t work.” The more you know about it, like our instructor, he’s like, “Then you got this option, this option, this option, and this option.” And if he does this, then here’s a bunch of branches. So when he’s actually in that match, he’s never anxious, he’s never worried, he’s not losing sleep. He’s not in that horrible emotional state you get in where somebody moves your cheese and you don’t know how to find it again.
And so what I would recommend is, if you’re feeling that you’re a white belt. When you move into understanding business principles, business concepts, you’re like a black belt in that space, you don’t really ever feel that anxiety. So listening to these podcasts, talking to other people helps build that knowledge base up, and what I’ve found is when you’re comfortable in those scenarios, you don’t worry. My guess is the reason probably Brandon, you don’t love negotiating is that you don’t know what the other side is going to throw at you and you don’t want to have to figure out that problem.
You don’t like the conflict that might come from like we’re going to be butting heads or whatever, so that’s not something you want to become a black belt in.

Brandon:
That and I just really like people and thought, and so I always negotiate for them. I’m like, “Oh no, no, no, no.

David:
Yes.

Brandon:
You take a little bit more, take a little more.” But [crosstalk 00:30:13]-

David:
And it’s like, “No, no, tap me out, I want you to feel how it feels to get right.” So that wouldn’t be the great thing. Whereas J and Carol, they love the feeling of coming up with a solution that worked for both parties, because they were able to use their own intelligence to get there and making money out of that deal. So they naturally, because they love it, focus on how to be good at it. They’re drawn to understanding, okay, I’m going to do A, they’re going to do B, I’m ready for that, I’m coming at them with C.
So I think more than anything, understanding that if you’re feeling anxiety or if your business didn’t do well in 2020, you have the approach of, “Oh, that didn’t work, so I guess I’m not good at jujitsu,” or whatever the case may be.

J:
Definitely, that resonates with me because I see a lot of people that are not doing well, who are focusing more on the tactical aspects of business and less on the strategic aspects. Basically 2019, they planned out their 2020, “This is what I’m going to do in my business. I’m going to follow this marketing path and I’m going to hire this person. I’m going to do this and this, and this, and this.” And then 2020 comes and best laid plans starts punching you in the face. Who was it? Mike Tyson who said, “Everybody has a plan until you get punched in the face.”
2020 punched us in the face and half the people said, “Okay, my plan is not going to work. Okay. I’m going to wait until 2021 when COVID goes away and I’ll start over with my plan.” The other half say, “Okay, I got punched in the face, my plan’s not working. Let’s go back to the drawing board and figure out a new plan.” So definitely resonates with me. I do want to ask you a question, David, though, because you were talking about your brokerage business. You’re obviously doing really well. You wrote a book on it, and then you just mentioned your mortgage business.
And we haven’t talked about that here, but you started a mortgage business earlier this year. And then in the same sentence, you talked about a solar business that you’re planning on starting. I know a lot of people out there, they’re in the same boat. They’re like, “Okay, I can do this adjacent business, I can do this adjacent business, and this adjacent business.” What is your advice to those people to help them decide what is the right adjacent businesses to start? When is the right time to start those businesses? And when is it wrong or just it’s too much?

David:
That’s such a good question and Brandon and I talk about this all the time because we are very big proponents that you don’t want to, what we call, build multiple bridges to the same island. You don’t want 12 different businesses, completely unrelated to each other that you’re trying to work on them all at the same time because it’s like building a bridge from California to Hawaii. You’ll never get there with 12 of them going at the same time. On the other end, you want to be flexible, you want to be able to add new opportunity.
So here's the best way I can describe how to know if you should, or you shouldn't. When we interviewed Tarl Yarber on our podcast the last time we did it, he described how he went from flipping houses to the BRRRR method. Now, why this was so amazing was the process of acquiring houses under market value, rehabbing them to make them worth as much as possible, the crew that you need to do that, the analytical skills, almost everything for 90% of that process is the same. The only difference was the last 10% the disposition.
Do I put it on the market and sell it and get hit with capital gains taxes? Or do I refinance it and keep? It might be a slight difference in the rehab process if you’re rehabbing a house to get top market to a regular buyer or to turn it into a rental, but he had so much success because he didn’t have to build a new business 100% from the ground up. He just had to fix the last 10%, which was basically go to a lender instead of go to a real estate agent and it worked really good. That’s the type of bridge you want. It’s all the way to Hawaii. It’s just the last 10% of your bridge shoots off and goes to Oahu instead of Maui.
So with the company that we’re talking about, I don’t have to go start a completely new business. I already have a CPA that’s really good that knows how to start a C corp or an S corp or whatever I want. I will tell him my goals, he will come back and tell me what type of a business that I want to do. I already understand like I won’t need to go hire a whole sales staff. I will find a person that already understands solar like anyone listening, if that’s what they wanted to do, they could hit me up and I will say, “Look, here’s how your role is going to fit within my business. I’m going to hire someone to go make me a PowerPoint presentation so we can explain how the whole thing works.”
We're already sitting down with our clients and saying, "Here's your mortgage, here's your expenses, here's your options. If you're house hacking, here's the rent that's coming in." We're already doing a numbers analysis. This is just a tiny little thing that we're adding on to say, "One of your expenses is going to be your utilities, here's how solar would or wouldn't it help you," and I don't have a whole new marketing budget for this company because it's the same people that are already coming into my other businesses.
My clients are going to love it. They don’t have to go find a solar person, wonder if they can trust them, weed their way through all their different options, we’ve already simplified it. The person who I’m working with is going to love it because he’s got leads coming or she’s got leads coming right in. I’m going to love it because it’s an additional source of revenue. And then as word gets out, more people come in. It’s very, very easy to add this onto the bridge I’m doing.
I would never say, “I’m going to go start a dog walking company. That’s completely different, I have to start from scratch and build the whole thing.” So maybe if you guys could sum up what I’m getting at there, that would help me. I know that was long-winded, but that’s the matrix that I run through.

J:
Let me sum that up for you because I like this. David Greene’s the king of analogies, but I’m gonna try one here. It’s like you can say, “Hey, it’s dinner time. What do I want for dinner?” I want lasagna for dinner? Okay. I’m going to have to go to the store, I’m going to have to buy the noodles, and the sauce, and all the stuff for the lasagna. Or you can say, “I have a refrigerator. I’m going to open up that refrigerator, I’m going to see what ingredients I already own, I already have right in front of me and I’m going to figure out how to take those ingredients and make something that is going to work for me.”

David:
Yeah. 10-minute dinner versus a two-hour dinner.

J:
There you go.

Carol:
Beautiful.

Brandon:
That’s a good analogy. That’s the better analogy than David Greene usually does. That’s impressive, J.

Carol:
Shoot.

J:
Love it, it.

Carol:
He’s just hungry. It’s really that simple. Freaking way to [crosstalk 00:36:14]people. Grab on.

J:
That is usually the answer. Okay. I want to pivot a little bit. Let’s pivot towards 2021. I know Jay Papasan, somebody, I think you guys have had on your show, we’ve had on our show, talks about the one thing and focusing on something for the next five or 50 or 100 years. And I’m one of those people that says, “Hey, if you have the ability to focus on one thing for 30 years, you are a better person than I am. You should do it because you’ll become the best in the world at it.” But I think the four of us, we like doing different things, we like branching out.
So my guess is that 2021, you guys probably have some plans to do additional things. I know David, you mentioned the solar company. Is there anything else in 2021 that you guys are looking to branch out into or do that’s different or new?

Brandon:
I’ll start. Yeah. First of all, I think that the idea of being a one… Here’s how I translate the one thing to my life. My one thing is actually not real estate, my one thing is not affiliate marketing, or writing books, or being an author, or being a podcaster. My one thing is being a general in a war. What I mean by that is if you think of a war, there are a lot of battles to fight all over the place, but the general of the war is not fighting in those battles particularly.
So the one thing that I can commit to for the next 30, 40 50, 100 years is to being a general of my life. In other words, being in control and issuing commands as needed for things to get done. You can move around the world all you want to different locations, different battles. That’s how I translate the one thing, and I really feel like this past year I’ve gotten better at that and I want to continue to do that in 2020. Now more specifically with Open Door Capital, we have found that we are very good at raising money and bringing in top talent and reaching a lot of people, mainly because of my position on the podcast. It’s a huge position to be in, and I’m very lucky and blessed to be there.
So as such, there are simply not enough mobile home parks to satisfy our hunger, if that makes sense. You think about, there’s only 50,000 mobile home parks in the country. Out of them to go large enough that we’d want, there’s probably like two or 3,000. [crosstalk 00:38:22]-

J:
There’s not enough marinara sauce in the fridge.

Brandon:
There’s not enough marinara sauce in the fridge. So we are looking at different options and we are very methodical about how we’re looking at them and what that means. How can we use the ingredients in our fridge to… And I’m the mobile home park guy, I’ve been talking about it for a long time and I still love them. I love, love, love, love, love them, but how do you… It’s really getting tough to buy a billion dollars of real estate in mobile home parks because there’s just not that much to go around.
So in 2021, we’re going to be doing a slight pivot, not a crazy one, but we’re going to be adding on a little bit more, most likely that’s going to be multi-family. I think that’s where we’re all leaning towards, and then utilizing the skills and the super powers that I have, namely, being on the podcast to get other people to go out there and find multi-family and to partner with other teams. Because the thing that we do really well, we can raise money, we can reach a lot of people, we have that influence. So that’s what the superpower our team should be working on. And so that’s what 2020 look like for us. But what about you, David?

David:
That’s a really good question. What I learned this year was-

Brandon:
Thank you. I came up with it myself.

David:
In 2019, I sold 46 homes, in 2020, it’s going to be a little over 140. The difference is when I was at 46 and I had to explain everything to every client, I could only do about 40 to 50 properties. That’s so much time I had to be the person, explain these to the client why the deal would work or what deal we should go after. This year I had more people on my team that I trained four of them or three of them and they had those conversations and we tripled or quadrupled our production. And that was what I realized.
My one cut would be teaching people and pushing them to a standard of excellence. I want to raise the standard of how we serve our clients, on how we save them money, on how we get them deals and really how we handle conflict, because that’s a part of business. And then I want to coach and teach people up to that higher standard. I’m a firm believer that if you want to be more successful in anything, whether it’s martial arts, fitness, reading books, writing books, running a business, it starts with raising your standard, and then the success will come to you.
Everyone’s looking for the hack, where’s the great deal that I’m going to find that I don’t have to work for, but the truth is, you raise your standard for lead generation or your standard for how well you analyze a property, or how you can rehab it, and then many more deals make sense for you than they would for somebody else. So what I’m looking to do is find more people that are coachable, that I can raise their standard, get them up to a higher level of excellence that clients are thrilled to work with so there can be 10, 20, 30, 40 of mes instead of just one of me always dealing with clients.
What that will look like in practical steps, we’ll be having a David Greene team expansion into Southern California, into Hawaii, into probably areas where I think Californias will be moving. So I think a lot of Californias are moving to Nashville, they’re going to be moving to Florida. So I go to the markets where I think many of the people from here are going to leave and I put a David Greene team and a Keller Williams over there. And now I can connect you with an agent who understands our training, our teachings, our systems that you can trust.
So that’s what my big challenge is going to be, is finding those people, hiring the right ones, pouring into them, getting a system of education built around both the lenders, the real estate agents, the solar people, all the different little divisions that we have, and both increasing their standard as well as their knowledge.

Carol:
Awesome. I love this. It’s so clear that both of you have spent a great deal of time, resources, energy, and discussions with your existing teams and how you’re going to be moving forward into the new year. This isn’t just something you’re making up on the fly, this is very consistently delivered throughout your messaging, so there’s eight ton of time and work that’s been put into it. My next question for both of you is, what about for those of us or other community members who have not yet really… Maybe we’re the procrastinators, the people who been… we’ve had a lot going on. We have a lot of ideas marinating.
We’re still a little bit overwhelmed, but we’re really looking forward to what 2021 has to offer. What are a couple tips that each of you have to just get us started on that goal-setting process? What is the very first thing we should be doing to get on that path of what we want to do to achieve something new and great moving into the new year?

Brandon:
I’m a big believer that people oftentimes think that life is about… Choose an analogy, you’re on a beach and you have one of those metal detectors and you’re trying to find the hidden treasure or the hidden whatever coin somewhere on the beach and you’re looking all over. In other words, you’re like looking for their destiny, what do I do? What’s the right thing for me? What’s the best path? What I always trying to reframe that to people is like, “Remember that we are not on a beach with a metal detector. There’s not one hidden treasure out there.
We are an artist, we are sitting in front of a gigantic white easel, a white piece of paper on an easel and we have a bunch of paint brushes in our hand and we can paint anything we want to paint.” Anything you want to do, you can do. And so in other words, expanding the idea to like, rather than what’s right for me or what should I do is answering the question, what sounds amazing? Because there’s a million things you can do, and so just what sounds amazing? Just start there, answer that question and start just brainstorming, what sounds amazing? What sounds amazing? What sounds amazing?
And when I did that, and I was like, “you know what sounds amazing is having a team of like four or five people that were all people that I really liked a lot and we hung out in the evenings, and weekends, and our kids played together.” That’s sounded pretty amazing, so I started there. That’s literally how Open Door Capital started was with that thought of that sounded fun. Okay, how do I afford four or five people? How do I afford those salaries? I have to build a business that can support that. And what ingredients do I have in my fridge right now?
And I just kept building until I came up with the vision, which you can see behind David if you’re watching the YouTube. You can’t really see it because it’s all whited out, but it’s like a four foot poster. And I think we talked about that when I was on the show last time, but this idea of the vision or the vivid vision. And so I painted a very clear picture of what I wanted. And it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t really matter that much. As long as it sounds awesome to you, it’ll spur you on to a great 2021.
So if you have like, let’s say you’re a franchise owner and you own a McDonald’s somewhere and you’re like, “What sounds amazing? It’d be really great to be able to take three months off later this year. Just take three months off completely off and just go to like Switzerland for three months.” Okay. What would it take to have that? Paint that picture. I’d have to have a general manager to be able to manage my store. Okay, so what’s that look like? And just work backwards and paint this amazing picture.
And now you’ve got a really clear outline of where you need to get to. And then you can implement that into systems and… “I’m going to get this done in quarter one, this is in quarter two, this in quarter three,” be able to get there. But I think a lot of it just begins with that vision. David.

David:
I don’t think I can follow that.

Brandon:
Okay.

David:
That’s too good of an answer.

J:
It’s amazing the number of things in business, and investing, and in life where the answer is work backwards. Start with the end in mind and work backwards, and I think it’s a great reminder. Okay. Let’s say we do that. Let’s say I create all my goals, and I have a vision, and I know exactly what I want to start doing. And then I do what so many people do and I create my new year’s resolutions. I am going to go to Switzerland and to do that, I’m going to hire a general manager, and to do that, I’m going to do X, Y, and Z.
And then January 4th comes around and I skipped day and January 5th, “I already missed one day. I think I’ll just take off another day.” Before you know it, July comes around and you’ve forgotten about those new year’s resolutions. What can we do? Because I know, Brandon, we’ve talked about this. What can we do as mere mortals to overcome? And actually when I say we’ve talked about this, we haven’t talked about us. I listened to you do a podcast with somebody recently where you talked about this, so I apologize.

David:
The 120-week year?

J:
Yeah. Go for it.

Brandon:
I’ll give you four things. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. There’s really like four things I think a person can do to stay persistent. That’s what we’re talking about here is persistence. I don’t think any of us don’t believe the following fact. If you stick with anything long enough, you’re going to succeed at it. We talked about this when I was, I think with you guys a long time ago on your show, but I had a wooden sunglasses business one time. I was selling wooden sunglasses. I thought it was a cool idea and it was a cool idea, wooden frames, they’re neat.
That was four years ago now, I think, five years ago, if I would have stuck with that, I would have been successful right now at wooden sunglasses, I know. I just gave up after like six months. So I think we all know that persistence is the key here, so how do you do that? How do you build persistence? By the way, I looked up in the dictionary the other day, persistence because I was giving a talk to some group and persistence is defined as the act of persisting, if you didn’t know. That’s the definition. The other one was to persist. Those are the two definitions giving for persistence, to persist or the act of persisting.

David:
It sounds like Jocko’s definition.

Brandon:
It does, yeah. How do you work harder? You work harder. How do you not quit? You don’t quit.

Carol:
You just don’t.

Brandon:
Yeah, you just don’t. Here are four things, write these down everyone. Number one is to establish a morning ritual. We all know this, but we just don’t do it, most people. So a morning ritual, which includes, I’ll say three parts of it. Number one, write down what your goal is, number two, write down why it is. Actually four parts of that. So write down what the goal is, why you want it, what your goal for the week is for that task, and then what your daily goal is. And I’ll add a fifth piece of that one, and what your most important next step is.
So I just work backwards from like, “What’s the goal? I want to take three months off? Why do I want that? Because I want to deepen my relationship with my spouse and to enjoy the fruits of our labor.” My weekly goal this week is to get out the job listing for the general manager I want to hire. That’s my week, I want to get the listing out on Monster.com and LinkedIn. Great. Today, what am I going to do? I’m going to write the job description. What is my most important next step? MINS.
What is that most important next step? The most important next step is I’m going to go to Google and type in general manager franchise job description, and just see what comes up and get a couple definitions. That is a five-minute task. So first of all, everything in life, almost everything can be broken down into a series of five-minute tasks. It’s amazing, like literally building a nuclear bomb is a series of five-minute or less tasks. Everything in life can be divided down into five minute or less tasks for the most part. That’s the first of the four. So the first one is, establish a morning routine where you do those five things.
Number two, I’m going to say number two is get a performance coach. I think having a performance coach, somebody that you meet with regularly. Not talking real estate guru, coach, whatever, but just having a person you pay regularly to hold you accountable to your goals and to yourself helps pull you out of your life. We all talk about business, like work on your business not in your business; work on your life, not in your life once in a while, and a performance coach helps you do that.
Number three is, build through community, stay persistent and community. This is why BiggerPockets is so huge is because people get involved in BP and they start trying to build a real estate portfolio together. It’s amazing what happens because you are the average of the people you associate with. You’re hanging out with people that you surround yourself with, whether that’s a mastermind group, whether it’s a professional organization that you’re involved in, whether it’s just like accountability group with three, four other people, find a way to use community to keep you persistent.
And will say that was three, I had a fourth one. I don’t know what it is. If I think of it, I’ll tell you, but those are the three big ones. Let’s say those are the three big ones.

J:
That’s awesome. Morning ritual, get a performance coach, build communities.

Brandon:
Yeah, there you go.

J:
And that’s great. So do you have a coach?

Brandon:
I do. Yeah, I got a coach. His name is Jason Durez. He’s awesome. And we meet twice a month and we’ve been doing so for four years and yeah, it’s been great.

J:
I want to talk about this for a little bit. We’re nearing the end of the show, but I think this is an important topic because this comes up so often these days, finding a mastermind group, hiring a coach. I’d love to get your take on what should your expectations be when you hire a coach? I know a lot of people, their expectation is, yeah, they’re going to make me successful. All I have to do is give them money-

David:
That’s it.

J:
… and then I’ll be a billionaire in five years. Clearly, that’s not the case. What’s the work we need to do and be prepared for before hiring a coach? And then how do we go and find the right person?

Brandon:
It’s tough. I’ll start with the last question, how do you find the right person? I think it largely comes down to referral and who you know that knows you really well that would recommend it. I was recommended my coach from a BiggerPockets guest being on the podcast and who just said, “Hey…” I mentioned, “Yeah, I really need a performance coach, I think it would be helpful.” And he’s like, “Go talk to this person because he had done wonders for me.” That’s what the guy said.
And now I’ve recommended my coach, Jason, and I’m actually an affiliate for Jason. I get a little kickback or a little recommendation. Now, I swear for anybody listening right now, you don’t have to tell Jason at all that I recommended you. If you’re going to go with him, sign up with him, don’t tell him. I’m not saying Jason because I get paid from him, but it’s been phenomenal for me. So talk to people who have had experience with somebody, it can be a great way to find that person.
Now, what kind of work you have to do ahead of time? I’ll say this, and what does the coach do? I have a list of, I actually made a list because I was going to talk to a group of people about performance coaching and I made a list, but the main thing they do is he reframes my thoughts and calls me out of my crap is a good way to put it. Every time I say, “This is a problem I’m struggling with,” he literally just asks questions. Our conversations are me talking for 55 minutes and him asking questions for five of those, for five minutes in there.
He was just like, “What’s another way to think about that.” “I guess it could be this way.” “Why do you think that? Why are you against that?” “I guess it could be this way.” So it’s almost like therapy more than anything, and that’s been super helpful. And again, a lot of people are thinking, do I really need a coach? Remember Michael Jordan has a coach or had a coach. Tiger Woods has a coach. The world’s top performers, all of them have coaches.

David:
They have several coaches.

Brandon:
Yeah, several coaches for every effort.

David:
He’s got a workout coach, a shooting coach, the defense coach. Tiger Woods’ got a different guy that helps him with patting them together and helps him [crosstalk 00:52:18]-

Brandon:
Exactly.

David:
… strives.

Brandon:
They point out the things that you don’t see, so… I know, David, you’re a big performance coach and fan as well. What about you?

David:
My performance coach is really a psychologist and he’s really, really good at like what Brandon said, calling you out on your BS. I would say, what I use him for the most is, “Hey, I want to do this, I’m not doing it.” And he’ll say, “Let’s talk about why you’re not doing it.” And I’ll be saying, “It feels heavy.” Or he’ll help me get to the bottom of the emotional reasons why I’m not engaging or I’m not showing up the way that I should be. And then he just hands it to me and he’s like, “Here you go.”
I’ll share the last thing that we came up with, was I was hiring people and keeping them on way too long when any objective person would say, “You got to let them go.” And I just kept falling into that same trap. I was trying to coach these people up all the time. And he finally helped me get to the root cause, which was when I was young, like five, six, seven years old, my dad really didn’t put a whole lot of effort into teaching me anything, he was just always disappointed.
So I was trying to shield every human that I met from ever feeling that shame that a six-year-old would feel when their parent doesn’t like them or isn’t proud of them. Subconsciously of course I had no idea that’s what was happening, but he really dove into it, pulled it out and said, “Here you go.” And then it was a quick realization like, they don’t have those issues, they don’t want to be shielded from pain. They’re choosing to select out with the effort that they’re giving.
And if it wasn’t for that, I’d still be hiring people and giving them way too much time. So I use that coach, he’s expensive, he’s $500 an hour, and I do twice a week, one with the real estate team and one with the mortgage team where we all get together and we talk about the challenges that we are having in the business, either with each other, the feelings we’re having, I’m not getting paid enough. That person got an opportunity I didn’t get. And he and his wife mediate all these very difficult conversations.
So what I found was that I would know this person is not happy, they’re resentful about something, but they wouldn’t come tell me. So I would just avoid giving opportunity to them and I’d give it somewhere else and they’d see that, the resentment would grow. By the time we actually had the conversation, it was ugly. And I recognize, man, you get these people involved where people feel safe and comfortable sharing on the team what they’re feeling. And we’re taking these mountains and catching them at the molehill phase, and it was super smooth.
So even though that’s a really expensive thing, it does wonders for the team, chemistry for the individuals on the team. Now all of the crap that he’s figuring out with me and his wife, they’re able to help the other team members too. So they’re all getting performance coaching in that sense. And like Brandon said, there’s people in your life that may play that role. Like Brandon plays that role for me sometimes, he’s really smart, but there’s things he’s going to miss or there’s times where he just doesn’t have the time to put into that. So a coach is someone who’s fully engaged in you and getting to know you and your goals.

Brandon:
Real quick on that point, I would say, the performance coach thing I would say is more important than the accountability group, but if you can have both, get both.

J:
And you talk about it being expensive, but here’s the thing, what they’re doing, we use the word coach, and when we think of coach, we think teacher. But a great coach is more than just a teacher. A great coach is finding the blind spots. They’re finding the mistakes you’re making over, and over, and over again. So maybe, yeah, maybe they cost $500 an hour, the thing that they’re going to fix isn’t just going to fix $500 an hour for you, it’s going to fix $500 an hour over, and over, and over, and over.
I guess the best analogy here, I used to play professional poker. And in the poker world, we had this term called leak. You have a leak in your game and a leak is this thing where when you play professional poker, you’re only winning like 1%, 2% of what you’re betting an hour. It’s a very small edge, you win very little money. And if you have one or two little problems in your game, what we call leaks, let’s say you place a certain hand too often that you shouldn’t be playing, or let’s say you bet a little bit too much money on other hands that you shouldn’t be betting on.
These are things where you’re going to lose money, not just one time, but you’re going to lose it every time you play that hand or every time you play against that other player. And if you play this hand 50 times over a week, you’re going to lose money 50 times in a week. And if you can plug that leak as the terminology goes, you’re going to be making money or not losing money, not just once but 50 times a week.

David:
So good.

J:
And a great coach is doing the same thing, they’re plugging those leaks in your business and personal game. They’re fixing those things, those mistakes you’re making over, and over, and over again. And when you stop making those mistakes, that the success compounds. And so, yeah, when we talk about $500 an hour, $500 an hour is nothing given the fact that they could make you millions by fixing those little problems that will cost you millions over the next five or 10 years.

David:
Or just that one issue with me was $4,000 a month that I’d let drag on for six months.

J:
Yeah.

Carol:
There you go.

David:
I think another thing would be the leak we have between our ears, everyone in 2010 that was nervous to get started. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars did people lose not buying real estate before?

Carol:
That’s right. I was just going to say, listening to all three of you gentlemen, one common theme that you’ve all talked about over and over through your performance coaches is, they’re not just good at holding you accountable, they’re not just good at sitting there spitting out motivational stuff. It sounds like the key to a really successful performance coach is helping you garner insight into your whole entire life and really letting that permeate into your business, into your personal life and really help shift how you move forward and just approach again, not just your business, your personal life and everything rolled into one. So I think that

Brandon:
Yeah. A performance coach is not just about that. Yeah, it’s not about just business, it’s everything because every… If your life sucks, your business is probably going to suck too. If your business sucks, your life’s going to suck.

Carol:
That’s right.

David:
Business is the act of solving problems. That’s what business is. I can solve this problem and how poorly you do it or how profitably you do it, that’s what business is. So if you can’t solve problems between your own ears, it’s very difficult to then go solve problems for your clients.

Carol:
Absolutely. We’re nearing the end of the episode, talking about insight, solving problems, looking forward to moving ahead. Would love to hear from each of you some great insight you have for our community as they move into 2021 to make it the best year they’ve ever had and celebrate the successes that have happened this year and make it even better moving forward. What do you have for us?

David:
I would say I’m a really big fan of pursuing before you try to strategically pick out the first place to be. Even when it comes to investing, after you’ve done it for a while, the analysis of a property as a new person feels like the only thing that matters. And then the longer you do this, the less… We analyze properties, but we do it much more quickly and we are more comfortable with the variables that are involved. When you’re new, every variable is terrifying for you.
So what I've found is that if I pursue excellence in whatever I'm doing, I don't worry as much about the things that I can't control, a confidence comes, and then a momentum starts to build, and every problem is easier to solve when you're hitting it with momentum. So people need to start there, in your personal life, where do you have leaks? In your business, do you believe in your own heart, I am so freaking good at what I do that I deserve to be a millionaire or I deserve that promotion? Or are you just doing the status quo, waiting for someone to come along and tap you on the head and say, "Hey, I think you're great," and then you believe you're great.
So it starts with, you got to believe yourself that you’re good. And most of us, if we take a hard look at ourselves know we could do a lot more, we could be a lot better. We could be more dedicated. We’re just waiting for someone to give us permission to do that. Hey, you have permission to be great, stop that. Start right away saying, “I’m going to chase greatness,” then you’re going to hit hurdles. That’s where a coach comes in, that’s where a friend comes in. “Hey, why am I having such a hard time with this piece? Why am I not doing better when it comes to this.” Plug those leaks.
What I found is when you see somebody who’s doing that, even if they have a lot of issues somewhere else, it is so attractive when you find a human being doing that that you go looking for them. And one of the things I’ve noticed, Carol, I don’t know if it’s the same for you, is that with the people that are trying to become successful, they’re constantly saying, “How do I find opportunity?” But then those of us that have companies, we’re constantly saying, “How do I find talent?”
There’s a huge gap between these two pieces, so you got to have faith that if you build it, they will come. If you pursue excellence, there’s people out there, they’re going to see you and grab you and go plug you in the building. I think one of my favorite things that Brandon said all year was when we were interviewing Dan Sullivan and he had Ben Hardy write the book, Who Not How. And Brandon said, “Ben, didn’t just wait for someone to say, ‘Hey, do you want to write a book with me?’ To learn how to become a good author. Ben was pursuing, how do you become good? He had written books himself and he earned the right for Dan to say, ‘Hey, I want you to write my book.'”
So you’re waiting for the person to come and say, “Hey, do you want to be an author?” And now you’ll put your effort in, or are you putting effort into what you do with the belief that that opportunity is going to come? I would say that that attitude will create an empowered mindset that will feel really good going into next year.

Carol:
Love it. Thank you, David. Phenomenal.

J:
And let me also say that episode with Ben Hardy was last week or two weeks ago, a couple of weeks ago was absolutely awesome.

Brandon:
Thanks.

J:
Loved, loved, loved that episode.

Brandon:
Thanks.

J:
Okay. Your turn, Brandon.

Brandon:
Repeat that question.

J:
Yeah. Going into 2021, people want to hear your best piece of advice, your best piece of motivation, whatever you got to really supercharge our community and each of the people in our community heading into 2021.

Brandon:
All right. David went into the clouds, and I mean that in a good way, the high level, big picture. I’m going to go a little more tactical on the ground. Implement a management, I guess, operating system within your business this year, if you have not already. Whether that’s like EOS, or 40X, or one of the million other ones that books have been written. EOS from Traction, 40X it’s from the book, 4 Disciplines of Execution, something to align your team around goals and who’s going to accomplish what? Who takes ownership of what? What big things get done?
It’s like, there’s just a process, and EOS is probably the most popular, which actually my company is doing full EOS implementation right now. BiggerPockets is doing full implementation of EOS right now and it is game-changing how much less work I do and how much more at peace I am about things, because I know everything is being handled by a system. And so too many entrepreneurs are out there acting like entrepreneurs and they just start acting like they own a McDonald’s and operating system that runs your business as a good way to do that. So if you haven’t read Traction, read Traction, that’d be my advice.

J:
Awesome.

Carol:
Love this.

J:
David, last question real quick. Give us a book. Brandon just mentioned traction, what book should we be reading that we probably haven’t read yet?

David:
In line with the answer I gave, I’d say, So Good They Can’t Ignore You.

Brandon:
Yeah, Cal Newport.

David:
Yeah.

Carol:
Super.

J:
Awesome.

Carol:
Gentlemen, thank you so much for all of your insight. As always, it is such a massive pleasure to chat with you both, and so looking forward to an amazing 2021 together for all of us in our community. Thank you so much for being here.

David:
Let me just tell you guys, thank you for doing this podcast. Of everything BiggerPockets has going on, all the new stuff, this is my favorite piece of it because I feel like a lot of people come to bigger pockets to learn real estate investing, but what they're really looking for is financial freedom or a better job, and real estate ownership is not the only way to get there. For many people, what you guys are sharing is so much more valuable for them individually, so I'm a huge fan of this podcast.
Everyone listening. If, if you love people, share this with them because real estate is business and business principles will absolutely improve your life. So just thank you guys for starting this podcast this year, and for sharing this empowered message for everybody who’s looking for a better life.

Carol:
Aw, thank you.

J:
David, thank you so much. We really appreciate that. And we look forward to having you back here in a couple of weeks to talk about your new book, to talk about the businesses that you are building, and to get some amazing advice for our community for the businesses they’re building.

David:
Thank you guys.

J:
Awesome.

Brandon:
Thank you guys. Appreciate you.

Carol:
Thank you. Everybody, happy new year.

J:
Happy new year, everybody.

 

Watch the Podcast Here

In This Episode We Cover:

  • What Brandon and David have been working on this year
  • Finding your “Dr.Ozd Cut” and how that enables you to grow your team
  • How to provide value to a mentor or business professional you’d like to work with
  • The top trends of successful real estate investors and businesspeople
  • How adjacent businesses allow you to expand your reach and use your existing resources
  • How to “be the general of your life”, specifically with business
  • Brandon’s morning ritual for success 
  • How to find the right business and performance coach (and why it’s worth the investment)
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show:

Connect with David and Brandon:

What does it take to start, scale, and sell your own business? Every Tuesday, J and Carol Scott ask this question to entrepreneurs of all stripes and delve into stories that go beyond the launch. From hiring and firing to marketing and raising capital, this podcast takes an honest look at the triumphs and stumbles of entrepreneurship. Whether you’re looking to sustain a startup or bring an idea to life, you’ll come away inspired. Tune in—and learn how to treat your business like a business.