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BiggerPockets Podcast 411: The Life-Changing Power of a Goal-Setting Retreat (+ Live Demo with Husband/Wife Investors Matt & Melissa) with Geoff Woods

BiggerPockets Podcast 411: The Life-Changing Power of a Goal-Setting Retreat (+ Live Demo with Husband/Wife Investors Matt & Melissa) with Geoff Woods

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Have you ever bought a whiteboard or a journal and thought, this is it… This is the moment when I REALLY commit to goal-setting… and then (as it tends to do) life just kind of gets in the way?

This episode is about rethinking your approach to goals – and to do this, we’ve brought in an expert on managing your time and mental energy like a billionaire: Geoff Woods, VP of The One Thing and facilitator of their upcoming virtual goal-setting retreat

Today, Geoff shares the blueprint that high-performing couples, teams, and individuals use 1) cast a shared vision of the future 2) work backwards to map out important steps, and 3) regularly recalibrate and track progress. Plus, we put this to the test, live!

About halfway through the episode, you’ll meet Matt and Melissa Miller – married parents of 3 who own 7 units but are struggling to define their exact vision… and the action plan required to realize it. Geoff leads them through a goal-setting exercise live, and the result is inspiring and surprisingly emotional. #MarriageGoals – literally!

Whether you’re looking to get on the same page as a spouse, business partner, or just chart out a clearer path for yourself… you’ll get a ton of value out of this episode. Let us know what you think of it, and here’s the link if you’re interested in joining Geoff (and Brandon and Heather Turner!) at the retreat next month.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Brandon:
This is the BiggerPockets Podcast Show 411.

Geoff:
Most people, their idea of setting goals is sitting down on January 1st and asking, “What do I want to achieve this year?” And they put it on a PowerPoint slide or they write it down. And look, that’s a great start. But the challenge is the world doesn’t need a new way to set goals. They need a way to have a relationship with them.

Intro:
You’re listening to BiggerPockets Radio, simplifying real estate for investors large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype, you’re in the right place. Stay tuned and be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from biggerpockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.

Brandon:
What’s going on, everyone, it’s Brandon Turner, host of the BiggerPockets Podcast here with my co-host, Mr. David Greene. David, question for you, what are you reading these days? Any books have been crossing your nightstand over the last few weeks or months?

David:
I haven’t had to write a book because I’ve been … Or sorry, reading books because I’ve been writing books. So, no, nothing right now. How about you?

Brandon:
Actually, ironically, I’m actually listening … I mentioned this on the show today. I’m actually relistening to the book The ONE Thing. And I didn’t say this on the interview, so I’ll say it now. And so, I’m relistening to The ONE Thing which I’ve read like a hundred times probably now. I love that book, one of my all-time favorite business books. And I’m reading it and I’m like, “You know what? I’m doing too much right now. I’m doing way too much in my life right now.”

Brandon:
And so, I actually this week decided to severely pare back my flipping here on Maui. We made over a quarter million dollars last year on flipping or this year in 2020. But I decided, you know what? That’s not my most important thing. That’s not my one thing. And so, I’m actually severely shutting down. I’m not saying I won’t touch a deal if it crosses my plate, but I’m going to devote almost no time to it over the next, at least a year or six months. Because again, I got to focus on my one thing. So that’s been cool.

David:
That’s a pretty big commitment that you’re making there. So you must have really thought this through. If you’re talking time away from flipping, which is funny because Brandon never thinks anything through. That’s a joke. So you’ve been thinking quite a bit. What are you going to put that time into instead?

Brandon:
My one thing, actually Geoff brings it up on the show today, number one is family obviously. Number one is I want to spend more time with my kids. But number two is I’ve been putting all my time into Open Door Capital, which is the mobile home park fund. I looked at it and I looked at the big picture and I can make a quarter million dollars a year flipping houses, maybe a little bit more if I want to really push it, or I can buy $50 million of real estate and raise money and have a fund and brand employees.

Brandon:
Those two things took about the same amount of my time. And so I realized one has significantly more impact than the other. And that is really the goal of today’s show is to talk about how do we … That’s the goal of The ONE Thing, to figure out what are the most important things in your life. And then today’s show is how do you align that with your spouse? How do you align that with your business partners or with your family, your co-workers, your employees?

Brandon:
How do we align a goal or the vision for your life and how do we work backwards from that to get down to what should we be doing today, what should we be doing tomorrow? What are my actual day-to-day activities look like? And of course, in the book, The ONE Thing, Jay Papasan and Gary Keller, who wrote that book talked about the thing called goal setting to the now.

Brandon:
And so, today, we’re bringing in Geoff Woods. Geoff is an amazing speaker, entrepreneur, and one of the top guys at The ONE Thing organization. So, The ONE Thing is actually a company now that goes around and helps people with this exact topic. You’ll hear more about Geoff today when I ask him to introduce himself.

Brandon:
But essentially Geoff is like the guy for teaching people how to figure out what their one thing is and how to figure out that vision for their life. And on today’s show, we actually bring in a listener of the BiggerPockets Podcast, a couple, Matt and Melissa. And Geoff actually does like a 20-minute breakdown of their goals, working backwards, figuring out what they should be focused on. It’s amazing. You’re going to be a fly in the wall of that conversation. You’re going to love it.

Brandon:
And we’ll talk about a lot more stuff today as well. So that’s today’s show. That was a long introduction. And now, let’s get to today’s quick tip.

Brandon:
So one of the reasons we so urgently recorded this episode like we literally just recorded it a few days before releasing it is because we found that Geoff Woods, who again is the guy at The ONE Thing organization. I think he’s the president of The ONE Thing organization. Him and Jay Papasan, who you guys know Jay has been on the show a few times before, author of The ONE Thing. They are putting on a goal setting retreat here in just a couple of weeks. It’s in the middle of November.

Brandon:
There’s actually one for couples and then one for singles or business. And so, BiggerPockets decided to partner with them. Basically, if you want to attend … We’ll talk about more at the end of the show, but I’m going to attend. I’m going to be there, so if you want to come attend with me to digital event, just go to biggerpockets.com/setmygoals. Again it’s biggerpockets.com/setmygoals, and you can get a ticket for this event. It’s like a two-day goal planning retreat. I’m super excited for it. You’ll hear more about that later. But I just want you guys to be aware of it. That’s quick tip.

Brandon:
And now, I think we’re ready to get to today’s show. David, are you ready?

David:
Oh, yeah, this is awesome. I can’t wait.

Brandon:
Here we go, let’s bring in Geoff Woods from The ONE Thing.

Brandon:
Mr. Geoff Woods, welcome to the BiggerPockets Podcast. It is good to have you here. How are you doing, man?

Geoff:
I’m doing well, thanks for having me.

Brandon:
Yes. So we’re going to jump into your story a little bit. You and I have known each other for a few years now, but I want the people to know who you are, what you do, and how you’ve gotten into this world of teaching people whatever it is you’re going to teach them today on the show. So, let’s go there. Who are you?

Geoff:
I am a family man with a business. I’m a businessman with a family. And what I do, I get to wake up every day and help people change the way they view time. It’s our most valuable resource and the problem is most people are spending their time. They’re not investing it.

Brandon:
They’re spending their time, not investing it. Explain that.

Geoff:
Have you ever had one of those days where you were super busy, Brandon? You looked up at the end of the day, and you thought, “Oh, I was busy. I didn’t get anything done.”

Brandon:
Never, never.

Geoff:
Never, never. You definitely don’t resonate with that. That’s most people. They fire up their computers and they check email until they have to go that meeting or that conference call. They get off. They’ve got five minutes. They check email again. Somebody calls, asks if they got a minute. And it literally repeats all day long.

Geoff:
And so much about what we’ve done turning the book The ONE Thing into a company is about how do we change the way that people view time? How do we help them wake up and actually invest their time with the expectation that it brings a return in their personal life and their professional life?

Brandon:
Now, how did you get associated with The ONE Thing? The ONE Thing, one of my all-time favorite books. I like to say it on the podcast that it was the first book, and probably only book I’ve ever read that I got to the last page, and I went, “oh, my gosh.” And I went back to the first page, and I read the whole thing again. And then I got to the end, and I was like, “Hi, [inaudible 00:07:07].

Brandon:
And I think I read it, I’m not even exaggerating, at least 20 times the first year, maybe more. I literally told myself, my one thing is to understand and fully implement The ONE Thing, which I still don’t think I’ve succeeded at. I’m actually listening to it again right now. I’m almost my next time through it in preparation kind of for this conversation, but also just because I need that again.

Brandon:
And just going through it, I made some radical changes in my life over the last week after going through it again. So every time I do this book, it’s amazing but how did you get connected now with The ONE Thing with Jay and Gary and the whole tribe there?

Geoff:
This is such a crazy story, so prior to co-founding this company with Gary and Jay, I was in medical device sales, which was fantastic job. I lived in Southern California. I woke every day, put on a pair of scrubs, ran through hospitals, sold a device that actually save lives, tried to get my wife to call me McDreamy. She’s excellent at saying no. And I was in that place, Brandon, where I think a lot of your listeners are, where things in their life might be good and yet something is missing.

Geoff:
They know they’re destined for more, yet they’re not quite sure what. And I didn’t really know how to begin taking the necessary steps. Two things happened that set this in motion. First, a colleague had a stroke when he was 35. My wife and I had just bought a house in Orange County, just had our first child. Wife decided to become a stay-at-home mom and I’m asking if what happened to my colleague had happened to me, what happens to my family?

Geoff:
The next week, my company changed my commission structure and I lost 40% of my income. You put those two things back to back, my perspective changed. I realized that my goal in handcuff job was actually not secure. And I heard the Jim Rohn quote that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Geoff:
I actually made a list to who my five were. And when I made the list, I was overwhelmed with gratitude because these are amazing friends but that aha was they were not amazing mentors. They were not where I wanted to be. So that became my one thing at that time was to surround myself with the right mentors. And part of that was getting into rooms and networking events and masterminds and events, and the other part of it was podcast. I literally started listening to BiggerPockets as I thought at that time, I thought my profession was going to be commercial real estate investing.

Geoff:
So everything I did was about learning how to syndicate deals, how to do due diligence, how to take deals down. And going down that road, I realized I’m actually not passionate about real estate investing as a career while I always wanted to be part of my portfolio. But what happened was it was our national sales meeting for my medical device company. I walked into the room, and on every single chair was a copy of The ONE Thing. And then Jay Papasan walked down on stage.

Geoff:
And for the next hour, he started talking about why he and Gary Keller wrote this book, and why it’s a surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results. The whole time, I am sitting wondering how could I get a guy like Jay to be one of my five. How could I get a guy like Gary to be one of my five? And when he came off stage, I sprinted across the room and basically tackled him. What I did not realize is that The ONE Thing had already become one of the highest rated business books of all time. And there was a problem because Gary’s one thing is running Keller Williams, largest real estate company in the world. Jay’s one thing, writing books.

Geoff:
They were actively searching for somebody who’s one thing was one thing, nice to meet you.

Brandon:
Ah, that’s cool. So Geoff, I want to know … I mean, going from tackling Jay … I mean, the Jay Papasan. This guy is like a mentor to me in a digital sort of way and now in real life in a little bit. And I know David here has looked up to him for a long time. He’s a pretty legit guy. Gary Keller, of course, is like super famous especially in the real estate agent world, but I mean he’s just like legit.

Brandon:
Besides the fact they were looking for somebody, how did you build that relationship? I mean the reason I asked is because there are people listening to the show right now that want to connect with these investors or a mentor or somebody high level. They want to join their company or whatever. What, I don’t want to use the word tricks, but techniques or whatever got you into their world? How did they take you under their wing, so to speak, or did you not feel like that’s what it was? Walk us through that.

Geoff:
It’s the right question to ask. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. When I started getting in the room with really successful people, I noticed something that surprised me. The average person when they show up to a networking event shows up looking to get. They’re having a conversation and they’re not even listening. They’re wondering, what can this person do to help me? The moment they realize they can’t help me, they’re looking over their shoulder for the next person.

Geoff:
Transparently, I used to be that guy. Yet when I really spoke to people who were successful, who are where I wanted to be, they were present. You were the most important person in the room and I kept hearing the same question asked over and over again. Out of everything you’re focusing on right now, where do you need help most? How might I be able to help you? And the first time somebody asked me that, it shocked me. Like what do you mean, how can you help me? You’re up here. I perceived I’m down here. What do you mean, how can you help me?

Geoff:
Yet, if I’m surrounding myself with people who are where I want to be, it would behoove me to start modeling their behavior. When I approached Jay, I said, “Jay, my name is Geoff Woods. First and foremost, thank you. Your message blew me away. I have been at this crossroads in my life. This is exactly what I needed to hear. I feel compelled to help advance your mission. So, I’m curious, out of everything you’re focusing on, where do you need help most right now? How might I be able to help you?”

Geoff:
That’s what I said to him.

Brandon:
That’s cool.

Geoff:
And he said, “We’re looking for more exposure for the book.” And I said, “Well, I have this podcast I started called The Mentee. I literally record private conversations with my mentors. I would love to feature you and share it.” We did the interview. End of the interview, I asked the question, “What are you focusing on? How can I help?” He said, “We’re still looking for more exposure.” I said, “Well, I’ve got a lot of relationships in the podcast industry, I would love to get you both on their shows.” I got them booked. And then I circled back a month later. “What are you focusing on? How can I help?” And they say, “We’re looking for more exposure.”

Geoff:
So without telling him, I wrote an article for entrepreneur.com and I blasted it on social, and I saw him sharing on my post. So I commented back, “What are you focusing on? How can I help?” Let’s pause. I’ve asked how I might be able to bring value four times. How many times did I ask for something in return?

Brandon:
No, never.

Geoff:
Zero. The fourth time I asked, his answer changed. He said, “We’re looking for a publishing CEO for a company we’re looking to start.” And at that time, Brandon, I legitimately thought of three people I had come into relationship with in the publishing industry and I said, “I know three guys that might be a really great fit. Let’s talk so I can make the right introduction.”

Geoff:
When we got on the phone, he surprised me because he did not describe the three people that I knew. He described me. That’s how.

Brandon:
That’s cool. So those five words you said there was like, “What are you focusing on?” I want to just stress that point because here’s what I happen I feel all the time. I like that question because most people just say, they start with the second half of that which was-

Geoff:
How can I help you?

Brandon:
How can I help you? How can I provide value? And of course-

Geoff:
You’re giving them a job in that moment.

Brandon:
Yeah. When somebody asked me, “What are you focusing on?” “I’m trying to raise money right now for my real estate fund.” Now we have a direction to go in the conversation. “What can I help you with it?” “Well, I’m trying to buy this duplex.” Now, we have a direction to go. “I’m trying to publish a book.” Now, we have a direction to go.

Brandon:
So asking that question, what are you focusing on? I don’t know, I wish somebody would tell me that 10 years ago. So thanks for waiting 10 years to tell me that, Geoff.

Geoff:
My apologies, my apologies-

Brandon:
So really, really good stuff. You got in there, you started helping. Let’s talk about goal setting retreat real quick. We got a lot we can cover today, but this is one of them I want to talk about. Jay and Wendy have been doing this goal setting thing forever.

Geoff:
14 years.

Brandon:
Yeah, they’ve been setting goals together as a couple. Now, my wife and I do it every single year. In fact, the most popular Instagram post I do every year is always on January 1st because my wife and I have a date every January 1st. We take up selfie with each other wherever we’re at usually at the beach and we’re doing our annual goal setting retreat and it gets the most interaction of every post I put in Instagram like 50% more than anything else I do all year long. It’s like four years in a row now, it’s been this way.

Brandon:
And so, my question is why don’t more couples or in companies or people take time to go and goal set and then how did that lead into this whole goal setting retreat that you guys have been doing now for a number of years and now you’re doing digitally?

Geoff:
Sure. I think there’s two ways to look at it. From a high level, we were never taught to. Most people, their idea of setting goals is sitting down on January 1st and asking, “What do I want to achieve this year?” And they put it on a PowerPoint slide or they write it down. And look, that’s a great start. But the challenge is the world doesn’t need a way to set goals. They need a way to have a relationship with them.

Geoff:
That’s why, Brandon, I mean what’s your wife’s name?

Brandon:
Heather.

Geoff:
Heather. When you met Heather, there was a moment early on when you realized there was something special with her and you wanted to pursue it. Do you remember that moment?

Brandon:
I do, very clearly.

Geoff:
How ridiculous would it have been if in that moment you said, “Heather, I really like you. And I could see this going somewhere. So here’s what I want to do. Let’s get together in a year and see how it’s going.” Ridiculous, right? We fundamentally understand if we want to have a relationship with another person, we start to go on dates. And in between dates, we communicate. And in between communication, we’re thinking about them. And when things are going well, we raise the bar for what’s possible. We talk about maybe moving in together, maybe getting married, having kids.

Geoff:
And when things fall off track, you best believe we start to have conversations about how do we get back on track. We understand how to have a relationship with another person. But we don’t know how to have a relationship with our goals. People set their goals. They put it on the PowerPoint and then they fast forward, it’s the end of the year and they go, “Oh, I’ll do better next year.” But they won’t because they never learned how to have the goal be a compass to determine how they have to behave in the moment. And that’s the purpose of the goal, being appropriate in the moment.

Geoff:
You take that to the next level, people set their goals by themself, but no one succeeds alone. David hears this all the time from Gary. No one succeeds alone. Yet the thought of setting it with a significant other can raise some fears. What if our goals aren’t the same? What if my significant other isn’t a goal setter? By the way, if any of you are saying me, me, me. That’s the majority of couples. One person is a goal setter, one person is not.

Geoff:
So there’s so much friction between not knowing how to and then having limiting beliefs about doing it that they just don’t do it.

Brandon:
So, what do you do? One half of the couple wants to set goals and likes that stuff and reads the personal development books, loves The ONE Thing. And one person is like, “Hey, just come on. I just want to live my life. I’m just doing my thing.” How do you reconcile that?

Geoff:
I think first thing is you have to reframe it. It’s what it’s in for them? If you are the goal setter and you’re plus one is not, it’s not about saying, “Hey, honey, I want to do a goal setting retreat.” That’s not the way to approach this. It’s, “You’re the most important person to me. I want us to have an amazing life together, and I have realized I’m not as clear as I would like to be about what really matters to you out of our life together. And I would love to be able to understand that, and I’d love for you to be able to understand what matters to me so that we can actually support each other at the highest level. Would you be down for that?”

Geoff:
And if you need to transcribe that, you can literally rewind and write that down word for word, it works. And if all else fails, just say, “This is really important. Will you do this with me?”

Brandon:
That’s cool. That’s cool. So now that you’ve been doing … You guys do these goal setting retreats every year. And this year, you’re doing one digitally. What do you do? I know later in the show, we’re actually going to bring in a couple on to this podcast to talk about goal setting. But at a high level, what is a goal setting retreat? What is that like? What have you learned? What works, what doesn’t work?

Geoff:
The thing that I’ve learned from, we learned this from Gary and we called it How Billionaires Set Goals. A mistake a lot of people make when they set their goals is they set it looking forward. They ask, “What do I want to accomplish this year?” And the reason that’s a challenge is because there can be things that look attractive in a short period of time like a year that can actually be a distraction from where you really want to go.

Geoff:
It’s just like an airplane. If an airplane takes off and the wind blows it 10 degrees off course, in the first mile of flight, that’s not even noticeable. But over the course of hundreds or thousands of miles, you arrive in a massively different destination. So the thing that we’ve learned from Gary is first thing you do is you actually cast a vision for your life someday for now. And that can be 10, 20, 50 years, which by the way if it’s not facilitated correctly, people don’t know how to answer that question. We help with that.

Geoff:
And once you have that someday vision, you can then identify where would I need to be five years from now to feel like I’m on track. Again, those are big questions that are hard to answer. But once you got the five years asking, “What do I need to accomplish this year,” becomes really simple. And that’s when it gets fun because if I know these are the things that we’re focusing on this year, now it’s how do we have a relationship with the goals. What do we need to accomplish this month to be on track? What do we need to accomplish this week to be on track for the month? And how, as a couple, do we have a rhythm where we can sit down and date our goals and date each other so that we’re on track?

Brandon:
That’s really good. Yeah, I found that in my quest to bring Heather into the goal setting thing because she’s not a super goal setting kind of person, when I had to get her into that, I did kind of the same thing you did yours. It’s the same. I approached it from, “Look, like I want to be a better husband to you. I want to be more aware of your needs and I struggle with that.” I basically just said like, “This is how I operate and so I’d love it if you would help me like basically, you help me help myself serve you better.” And she was super open to that.

Brandon:
Plus we combined it with, “Hey, you want to go to the beach for a weekend and go hang out and eat good food?” It was a pretty easy sell. And now, it’s like her favorite thing of the year. One of her favorite thing she does all year because it’s time where we sit down and just go through like, “How did last year go? What did we do really well on? What didn’t we do so well on? How could we do better this year?”

Brandon:
And honestly, we don’t have a real great structure when we do it. And people always asked me like, “Well, what do you guys do? Walk us through your exact process?” And I’ve always been like … I mean, late in last year I was like, “I don’t have anything good. Just talk to Jay Papasan. Go to The ONE Thing retreat,” because I don’t …

Brandon:
Anyway, I’m excited to actually attend this year yours because I’m going to hopefully have a little bit better strategy.

Geoff:
Here’s the thing that I’ll share with you. I actually made this mistake. We have a saying, “Think big, go small, trust the dominoes will fall.” Think big. Imagine what it looks like for you and for your significant other to be on the same page and that make this an annual ritual where you’re constantly growing together. The opportunity is to go small. Imagine it’s like a two-inch little domino. You don’t have to do everything. You have to start by doing one thing because the truth is, if you lined the dominoes up correctly, if you knock that one down this year, it should unleash some momentum so that when you come back to do it next year, you can go a little bit bigger, and a little bit bigger. And over time, you can really build this out.

Geoff:
I did not take my own advice. I sat down with my wife and said, “As the face of the brand of The ONE Thing, we have to do the whole shebang,” and my wife is not a goal setter. And the first two retreats, there was real resistance there. And finally, I realized she never gave me permission to be her coach. She never gave me permission to be her accountability partner. She didn’t want that. She just wants somebody to listen.

Geoff:
And last year, we really scaled it back and I just said, “Let’s connect. Let’s have on these conversations about where we want to go. Let’s set goals that matter to you this year and let’s help you have a relationship with those goals. Let’s set mine aside.” And we accomplished so much more in this last year, because I just scaled back what the mark of success was.

Geoff:
And now, she’s on board. Now, she’s like, “When are we doing our retreat?” I’m like, “Oh, so that’s what this looks like.”

Brandon:
That’s funny. Yeah, it actually reminds of a story when we did our goal setting retreat. My goals are usually something like, “I’m going to write a New York Times’ bestselling book.” And I’m like, “What do you want, Heather?” And she’s like, “I want to drink more water.” And I’m like, “Oh, come on. Think big. What do you want?” She’s like, “I want to drink more water and maybe exercise.” Yeah, that’s exactly what she said. “It would be nice to be able to go to a coffee shop once a week by myself.”

Brandon:
And so, I wanted to push her to my level of goal which I value, which was to write a new book or buy a $50 million of real estate. But it’s like you can’t decide for someone else what their goal is going to be. That’s a completely internal personal thing. And so, it was really like, I need to just walk with her and talk with her and listen about what her actual goals were.

Brandon:
So her goal is to drink more water. I said, “You know what? I think that’s a great goal. I’m going to go along with that with you.” So we did it together. So let’s both drink a gallon of water a day this year. Let’s make that our goal. And so, we went on Amazon and found … I should have brought it out here because it’s funny. This stupid big one gallon jug and it has these times in the side. This is 8:00 a.m. getting warmed up. By 10:00 a.m. you’re getting started.

Brandon:
I drink a gallon of water every single day and so does my wife because we have this stupid big jug that you can carry around and we do it together. And now, we’re hitting goal and she feels great. Her skin is flawless and she feels good all day because she’s drinking. She hit her goal and she’s super pumped about it.

Geoff:
I was going to say let’s flip it because rarely is it about the gallon of water. What has that done for your relationship?

Brandon:
Yeah, it’s true. She hears me helping her and working together on a goal for her. So what I find also is that not that she was ever against helping with my goals, but now we look at our goals not as this is her goal and my goal. It’s these are our goals and even though it’s her goal, I’m doing it with her. And not every goal has to be that way. She doesn’t care about my $50 million real estate fund. But she’s supportive of it.

Geoff:
It’s like when you had Jay and Wendy on last year. Jay wanted a ranch. Wendy could have cared less about a ranch but because every year when they sat down, Jay kept saying, “I want that ranch.” When in year four, the opportunity showed up, it was an easy way for Wendy to say, “Okay, I’ll support you.”

Brandon:
That’s cool.

Geoff:
That’s it.

Brandon:
So let’s talk about singles. I’m going to let David take a couple of questions here because David is not the married one of this crew.

David:
Speaking of singles, that’s really-

Geoff:
If you’re looking to mingle, David, the ideal place to go is a goal setting retreat.

David:
Yeah, do you have to be a couple to be able to set goals?

Geoff:
No, no.

David:
That’s funny, the third wheel.

Geoff:
Yeah.

David:
Here’s a question I’d like to ask. For people that are listening that either haven’t done this before aren’t quite sure what they want. I remember when I first got into GoAbundance, I heard people like Hal Elrod and Dave Osborne saying, “Well, tell me what you want your life to look like and we’ll come up with goals.” And it was so intimidating because I didn’t know what I wanted my life to look like. I was thinking, how do I get through today? How do I get out of this position I’m in? And that’s all I thought about.

David:
I didn’t think about the vision. I’d love to get your feedback on maybe some of the better goal setters you know, how they pair setting goals with the life that you want.

Geoff:
I heard the podcast you guys had with Tarl, and he talked about the challenge that people have where they build a business and then wake up realizing it actually doesn’t deliver a life that they want to be living. It’s a real problem. And David, what you shared in terms of what do you actually want out of life? What does success look like? People act, when they are asked a big question like that, they hit a wall called, “I don’t know.”

Geoff:
I mean, if you look back to the way our education system is designed, we were taught to have the answer, not to search for it. Searching for the answer is very much a skill, and it’s a muscle. So when you ask something like, and we’ll get to probably see it with Matt and Melissa, if we ask a really big question like, “What do you want your life to look like in 20 years?” You’re going to immediately think, I don’t know.

Geoff:
But if I challenge you to close your eyes and take a deep breath, and say, “What do you really want your life to look like 20 years from now,” and search for the answer, you’d be amazed people come up with answers. So part of it is just recognizing that we don’t have to have the immediate answer. We have to be willing to search, because when we arrive at an answer, now we’ve got a goal post. Now, we can refine it and try to make it more specific, more measurable, more vivid. You’ve got to be willing to search for the big answers.

Brandon:
And I think one thing I was trying to do for a long time was I felt like there was a “should” that I was pursuing rather than a “could.” In other words, I’ve used this analogy before and I’ll repeat it here that I felt like I was one of those gold people. They have the little gold metal detectors on the beach and I was looking around for my destiny like, “Where is it? What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to be in the commercial real estate? Am I supposed to be an author?”

Brandon:
What I finally realized is it just doesn’t matter. There isn’t that kind of script I’m trying to figure out. I’m not trying to play a part in my life. I am an artist. I can paint whatever I want. Since I realized that, I feel like it got a lot more clear for me that it’s not about what should I be doing and what’s the right thing. It’s like, “What do I want to do? What would be great? What would be fun to paint today over the next 5 or 10 years?”

Brandon:
So, owning a big real estate fund, I thought that would be fun. That wasn’t my destiny. I made that my destiny. Doing the BiggerPockets Podcast wasn’t my life. I just made it part of my life. I chose it. And so, I think that’s one thing that helped me a lot in terms of the relationship and helped my wife when I was talking to her about this stuff like just, “What would be fun?” I just ask the question rather than using the words like goal setting even. I would just say, “What sounds awesome? What should we do this year?” And like, “I think drinking a gallon of water would be cool this year. Every day if I could do that, I’d feel pretty good.” “That sounds great. I love it.”

Geoff:
And here’s an important distinction that David kind of asked but we didn’t hit. This is not just for couples. If you have a business partner, that is a marriage. Business partners do this. You can do this with members of your team, because if you are a part of a team, you do not succeed alone. You have interdependencies. You can do it with a group of friends, or you can do it by yourself. Anyone can do this. But recognizing that none of us are going to succeed in this life alone, we’re going to want people with us that matter. That’s what brings the richness of life.

Geoff:
Who are those people? And how can you enlist them on this journey with you?

Brandon:
Yeah. It’s really good.

David:
One thing that I really liked that you mentioned is about a partner is a form of marriage. When you’re choosing your partner, you should be looking at it exactly what you just said. You don’t rush into a marriage. You take a long time to date somebody. You don’t just look at what do you like about him. You wait and see what comes up after you give this a long period of time.

David:
And some people are a lot of fun, but your goals are not aligned, and that is not apparent the first month of time knowing somebody. So, in any form of partnership, business, investing, relationship, it’s very, very important that you get to the bottom of what the other person’s goals are and I think that’s why you kind of have to know your own too.

David:
If your plane is going this way and I think my plane is going the same way as you but I’m 10 degrees off and we don’t come aligned, those planes grow apart over that long journey like what you mentioned. The business deserves the attention and the respect of going into this slowly and getting to know the other person so that you don’t find yourself in an investment you can’t get out of easily 5 or 10 years down the road and you’re miserable.

Geoff:
And I think there’s another level to this, David, I started even getting emotional while you’re talking about it because it strikes that level of chord with me. We have to ask why are we even doing this? Why are we trying to build wealth? Why are we trying to build passive income? There’s a bigger reason for all of it. And if we realized that no one succeeds alone, that we’re going to have partners in business, we’re going to have teams. Who you do business with matters.

Geoff:
In this experience that you guys are going to get to go through, we ask the question, who are your wealth determiners? Who do you determine wealth for and how do you feel about that? Are they the right people? And who’s determining wealth for you? And are those people appropriately showing up in your life, if they’re that important of a person? And I’ll share a real example of this.

Geoff:
Every week, I sit down with Jay, Monday afternoons 4:30 to do my 411 with him. That’s a tool that we used to have a relationship with our goals. I walk into Jay’s office. I hand him a copy of my 411 and I’ve got one for myself. And that is me making a public declaration. These are my goals for the year personally and professionally. And in order for me to hit those, this is what I have to do this month. And in order for me to hit that, this is what I have to do this week to the point that I know it’s on my calendar.

Geoff:
And Jay, as my partner understood that there was no way I would show up as the highest professional if things were suffering my personal life. So he always looked to the personal side first, and the number thing on my 411 that year was to have a certain number of finance meetings with my wife, Amy, because Amy and I were not on the same page with money. And week after week, the very first thing he would ask is, “How is your Sunday finance meetings with Amy?” And sometimes, guys, that answer was not good. And I would break down into tears because I just didn’t know how to get on the same page with her.

Geoff:
And I kid you not, for an hour, we did not earn the right to talk about anything else. We didn’t talk about business. All he did was pour into me to figure out how can he help Amy and I get on the same page about money. It happens, and we had some extremely big wealth building goals this year that we hit because we were on the same page. Now, let’s pause. What do you think I think about Jay as a result of that? You think I ever leave that man?

David:
Yeah, no.

Geoff:
No way. I would go to battle.

Brandon:
That’s cool, which is a good lesson just for anybody who’s leading a team whether it’s officially you have an employee, whether you’ve got interns, whether you have just friends that you’re working alongside. When you go with people on their battle with them no matter what it is, you solidify those relationships. But so many people are good at telling people what to do, but they’re not so good at coming alongside them to guide them and to get them there. So yeah, Jay is a good guy.

Geoff:
You have to ask the question why are you doing what you’re doing and how are you pouring into the people that you care about most and how are they pouring into you? Because that’s where real richness comes in life. So just don’t try to do it by yourself.

Brandon:
Yeah, that makes sense, man. Well, I want to shift this and take this at more tangible and I want to bring in two individuals. So Matt and Melissa, before I bring them in, I’ll give you a little back story. I put on my Instagram the other day, and I just said, “Hey, if you want to be potentially featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast, we’re looking for a couple.” And I thought we’d get maybe, I don’t know, a dozen people to be interested in maybe coming on the podcast a couple to be kind of coached through this goal setting thing with you Geoff.

Brandon:
But we had, what, over 200 people apply? 200 couples-

Geoff:
It’s so cool.

Brandon:
They were like, “I want to talk to Geoff and to get through this thing,” which is amazing. So anyway, we are going to bring in Matt and Melissa. And by the way, my Instagram audience is like, I don’t know, 80-20 male versus female. Yet about half of you that wrote in were actually female which shows that it’s both sides that should be involved in this and are involved this and that do care about it, which is super cool.

Brandon:
In fact, Melissa was the one, I think, that you were the one that pulled Matt in. So let’s bring in Matt and Melissa right now. Matt and Melissa, welcome to the BiggerPockets Podcast.

Matt:
Thank you.

Melissa:
Hi, thanks for having us.

Brandon:
Yes. So tell us real quick about yourself and kind of your history, and then I’ll turn the mic over to Geoff and we’ll then go from there. But tell us about who you are and what do you do in real estate specifically but just tells us about yourselves.

Matt:
I worked for our local high school. I started off as a Math and Science teacher and had been doing that for eight years and then transitioned into high school counseling, which just public education in general, really secure, really comfortable. And the whole, I guess, migration towards real estate came with getting into podcasts and starting to listen to them. More of the self-improvement type stuff and just becoming a better person.

Matt:
When it came to and I think Geoff mentioned it earlier about his colleague having a heart attack and the golden handcuffs and that kind of thing, I just found it really easy to just say, “Hey, I’m going to ride out this job and education,” and it’s great. Healthcare and good retirement, and yaddi-yaddi-yadda. But that was easy when it was just me. And then you add in Melissa, and then you started adding in kids and you think what happens if you don’t wake up tomorrow? That was what started to get me thinking that we need to approach some things a little bit differently. And there’s some other stuff too there, but I’ll let Melissa kind of give her perspective on all that.

Melissa:
I do ultrasounds at an OB-GYN office. And like Matt said, we have your typical American story. We met, we got married. Three years later, we built a dream house. We have three kids and then Matt starts listening to these podcasts. And he’s more of the dreamer in the relationship and I’m like, we have it. We’re fine. We got great jobs. We can afford our mortgage. We have cars. We don’t need anything else.

Melissa:
And it was almost an argument why can’t we be content with what we have? And then I’ve started listening to the BiggerPockets podcasts with him and I just saw that the “American dream” that we have in our heads maybe isn’t how it should be, that going to work until you’re 65 and retire and putting into your 401(k), that there’s more out there.

Matt:
The timing of all this is, I mean, pretty incredible. We mentioned that we started getting to real estate, had this beautiful home, sold it. And we moved into this duplex with our three kids or house hacking and all of that. That has kind of been a little bit of like a watershed moment of us aligning with the goals of growing this and moving this forward. The last two dates we’ve been on, just the two of us in the past two weeks, were like goal setting dates. That was the purpose of the date. The one, we were just, I don’t know. We weren’t quite on the same page with just normal stuff.

Melissa:
We just weren’t vibing that week. And we said, “We need a day …”

Matt:
Butting heads with working with the kids.

Melissa:
Yeah, to get back on the same page. And so, we took a notebook and a pen and started writing goals. And that was just two weeks ago. And then we saw this Instagram post and I said, “Yeah, this is unreal. This is perfect.”

Matt:
It’s crazy.

Brandon:
Yeah, it’s awesome. Well, Geoff, I’ll bring you in here if you want. But the last thing, just so to bring everyone up, you have now, Matt and Melissa, a few rentals now, right? What do you have now in your real estate portfolio?

Melissa:
We have three duplexes and then a single family.

Brandon:
That’s cool. And you’re house hacking one of those duplexes, right?

Melissa:
Yeah, for about a year now.

Brandon:
Very, very cool. With that, now I have to [inaudible 00:40:44] back on to you guys what are you doing. Geoff, I’ll hand the mic over to you and let you do what you do.

Geoff:
Yeah, I appreciate it. Here’s what we’re going to start. What I’m going to do is just walk you through an experience where we’re going to go out someday from now in an area of your life. There’s a lot of areas we can focus on whether it’s spirituality or your physical health, your personal life like your hobbies, your two relationships, whether it’s your job, building a business, your finances. But what we’re going to do is we’re going to pick one area and we’re going to go out someday from now.

Geoff:
And I’m going to ask you some bigger questions that you may not originally know the answers to, but what will be cool is how a few really simple questions will bring an immense amount of vision and clarity. And once we have that, you’ll see how it’s just a few simple questions. We can reverse engineer that back to something that’s really small that it’s like a two-inch little domino, that effortlessly with a flick of a finger to fall. And then your job is to go and start having a relationship with that goal. Sound good?

Melissa:
Yeah.

Matt:
Sure.

Geoff:
If we could focus on one area of your life right now, whether it’d be spirituality, physical health, personal life, key relationships, your job, your business, your finances. If we could only focus on one, which would it be?

Matt:
I know that probably over the past, I don’t know, three months. It’s been on the business side, is I’m very restless.

Geoff:
I figured that’s where you’re going to go.

Melissa:
Yeah, definitely business.

Geoff:
So, let’s go there. So here’s the question. And I’m going to ask a big question, so I just want to get you guys in a right state. Give me a favor, close your eyes. Take a deep breath. I want you to fast-forward and imagine your life some day from now, whether that’s 10 years from now, 20 years from now, further out. How will you know if you’re successful when it comes to building extraordinary business? Search for that answer. What’d you come up with, Matt?

Matt:
I pictured something that my level of involvement was on my terms so that if more of my time and commitment was needed with my family, I could do that without the business hurting or tanking. That the involvement of the kids, that there was a place for them to be involved if they chose to be.

Geoff:
Let me repeat right back what I heard. You’re in a place where the business can thrive without you. It’s not required on you showing up but it’s also in the way where you could actually involve your family or your kids to be a part of it. Cool. Melissa?

Melissa:
Yeah. Actually I had the same answer, less legwork on our end but still reaping the benefits of the business. Because right now, we know we’re on the ground level. We self-manage and we don’t have great strategies yet to running a business. We talked on this last purchase that we were kind of on the threshold of doing it as a hobby, investing in real estate. And now we’re like, this is working. We can do this but our business end is not set up.

Geoff:
I’m going to consistently balance between playing coach and then also playing narrator for the people who are listening. If I pull the curtain back, the thing that you who is listening this needs to know is it’s not about your answers being the same. It’s actually unique that you both came up with the same answer. That’s not always the thing.

Geoff:
And part of what we facilitate is asking these big questions and giving each person the individual space to search for their answers so that then they can compare what came up. And it’s not about being the same, it’s about having an understanding into what matters to the other person. This happens to be an area where you are aligned.

Geoff:
So, we fast-forward. You all know you’re successful someday from now when it comes to the business if you can build a business that is successful without requiring on your time, yet also is the type of business that allow you to weave your kids into it. That’s not crystal clear clarity and that’s okay. You don’t need it to be. You just need it to be directionally correct. You need to know that if I’m getting on a plane, I’m going to this city. What am I doing when I get there? I don’t know. I’ll figure it out.

Geoff:
You now know the direction you’re going. That will bring more clarity as we come backwards. So, I’m going to ask you the next question. Where would you need to be in the next five years? To feel like you were on track for that someday vision of having a business that does not require you to show up, yet also allows you to weave your kids in, how many properties is that?

Melissa:
I’d say 10.

Geoff:
Okay.

Matt:
Yeah.

Geoff:
Cool. So, again, this is not about us being a 100% bull’s eye. This is directionally correct. Five years from now, if you have 10 properties, currently you have three, you’d feel like you were on track to having that someday business where it could scale without you because now you’ve got the number of properties where you’re really going to have to start building a team. You’re going to have to start mastering and succeeding through others. Awesome.

Geoff:
What do you need to do by the end of this year to feel like you’re on track for your 10 in the next 12 months?

Melissa:
I think that we need to either flip a property to get more capital to invest in another property. We sold our house and so we freed up a lot of cash to invest. But now, we need to replace some of those down payments that we’ve used on prior property. So, a flip in my mind would be a goal for 12 months.

Geoff:
So, there’s an option. Matt, what came up for you?

Matt:
I feel a little more sense of urgency to start building that team, at least some of the pieces, especially on the bookkeeping end that I know we don’t do a good job of. So, starting to build some parts of that team that we know we’re weak in, I think that can happen sooner than later. And then we don’t need to wait until it’s not manageable to do that.

Geoff:
Well, let me guide you guys here. You’re bringing up really valid points. One is more capital, one is start building the team, how do I leverage some of the things like bookkeeping that aren’t my one thing off of me? But let’s go back to the five-year goal. The five-year goal is how many properties?

Melissa:
10.

Matt:
10.

Geoff:
So, this year, is it that you need to get rid of properties so you have more cash to get more properties, or is it actually to get more properties but think of maybe a creative way, i.e. I’m looking at two guys who know a few things about BRR investing. Is capital really your issue?

Matt:
Not right now.

Geoff:
David, Brandon, is capital ever really the issue?

Brandon:
I would generally argue no. I mean I think there’s … No matter how much you have … I mean if you’re flat broke, can’t pay your bills and you’re under a bridge, maybe you got to get the job. But you just pointed it right on. Your problem is probably not capital. What’s the old Tony Robbins quote? You don’t lack resources, you lack resourcefulness.

Geoff:
I was in the room with Gary Keller when he was teaching a wealth building class. And he said, “People say that they just don’t have enough money.” He goes, “Great. I’ll cut you a check for a hundred grand, what are you going to do with it?” And then people look at him like a deer in headlights. He goes, “See, that’s my point.” It’s actually not the capital that’s the issue. You don’t have the deal. You don’t actually know what to do with it.

Geoff:
So, if your goal five years from now is to have 10 properties, what’s one thing you can do this year to feel like you’d be on track for your five-year?

Melissa:
Well, BRR would work, buying a property that you could refinance without having using any of that capital that I was talking about.

Geoff:
If you went from three properties to four properties in the next year, would you feel like that you’d be on track to getting to 10 by five?

Matt:
I feel like we would be heading that right direction, but this is a point of incongruency between the two of us. I don’t want to buy anything until we have some structural things in place because I just don’t feel comfortable of expanding until …

Melissa:
I love to analyze deals. I’m on Zillow all the time. I was just looking at Sheriff’s auctions today and I’m bringing Matt, I’m like, “Hey, this looks like an opportunity.” And he is like, “Pump the brakes, we still haven’t done what we said we were going to do.” And I’m like, “But do we want to pass this up? Is this something that we’re going to miss out on,” because we keep talking about setting up the business side and it never happens, but what about this deal here? So, I’m always pushing to buy more.

Geoff:
Here’s the beauty of where you’re at. What you’re already starting to lay out whether you realize it or not is your business plan. We have a very simple format for a business plan called a GPS. Just like the GPS on your phone, you plug in where you want to go and it tells you how to get there. And when there’s detours, it tells you how to navigate it. It stands for goal, priorities and strategies.

Geoff:
If your goal were to get to property number four, you have to ask the question. Great, what are the priorities that need to happen for that to fall? You’ve kind of already listed them out. One, deal flow. Do we actually have access to a true deal to the point that we might be able to leverage OPM so that we can make it happen? Two, structure. How do we start to get less entrepreneurial and more purposeful so it’s not eating our lunch and our time because that’s why you’re doing this to begin with.

Geoff:
And Matt, you could get really nitty-gritty around from a structural standpoint, what are the strategies you’d have to happen? Well, bookkeeping shouldn’t be done by us, so let me find that person. What else might there be? You can make the list of what those strategic things are that would build the structure in so that you’d feel more comfortable saying yes to number four.

Geoff:
But the purpose of the goal is actually not to achieve the results, it’s to be appropriate in the moment. It’s to have that goal of a fourth property be that compass to determine how you have to behave. She needs to be hitting Zillow to find the right deals. You need to get clear on the structure that you can put in place. Now, you guys just divided and conquered, yet it’s all aligned around a same goal. And the thing that might have created tension for you might now create connection.

Geoff:
I’m watching your faces. What are you thinking?

Matt:
I know that we have had this conversation of what do you think about dividing up the roles and trusting that other person with that particular part of the business. And your response?

Melissa:
I have trouble relinquishing control.

Geoff:
It sounds like you’re an entrepreneur.

Melissa:
I get frustrated because I want to be a part of that process of building the business, but there’s parts of it that I don’t understand that Matt understands better. And we get a little bit frustrated with each other because he is trying to explain that and I sometimes don’t get the concept, but I still want to be a part of it.

Geoff:
Well, this is where this, when we talk about whether you’re a couple or a business partner or a team, the principles are the exact same. Let’s strip away your romantic relationship and imagine this was an actual business that you were both employees of. Someone has to be the boss. You both don’t get to be CEO. And we see this with husband-wife teams all the time. You have to decide at the end of the day who is the CEO and what’s their job description, which by the way for us, that means the two to three things they have to do exceptionally well, otherwise, they get fired.

Geoff:
And based on that, let’s say, it’s Melissa for just example. What’s her job description? Matt, based on that, what’s your job in the business? What are the two to three things you are responsible for? And here’s the thing, Melissa, if you guys are aligned on, “These are the two to three things he has to do exceptionally well,” and you have established, “Here’s what I need to hear from you in order to feel like we’re on the same page,” great.

Geoff:
My wife and I are going to this right now, we’re moving to Denver in two days. We BRRed our house here in Austin and it gave us the cash to actually buy the house in Denver. We want to do a remodel. My wife wants to be in the driver seat. I am the money man. That’s hard for me. So, I actually had to sit down and ask what are the two to three things I need Amy to communicate to me so that I would feel comfortable with her driving the budget. And that’s less about her and it’s more about me. I had to stop and slow down and ask what do I need to hear so that I’d feel comfortable letting go. I communicated those things to her, she’s got it. She can run it. It’s the exact same things with your employees.

Geoff:
If I followed you around with a camera and documented your every move, how much time would I see you sitting down and asking these types of questions and searching for the clarity?

Melissa:
Not a lot.

Matt:
Not much, no.

Geoff:
And by the way, you’re not alone. Yet when you wonder why you’re not on the same page or wondering why you’re not growing together, it’s because if we followed you around with a camera, we would not see your actions showing you doing the work to get on the same page. And there’s no judgment in that, by the way.

Geoff:
So, here’s your homework. For this area of your life when it comes to business, you happened to be aligned. You want the same thing, a business that provides for your family without requiring you to be there and also allows you to have your kids involved. You both were aligned that five years from now, you need to have enough properties that you need to start really having the team, which means from this year, you actually need to start building up the number of properties.

Geoff:
You’ve done an amazing job. You made some incredibly tough choices to give up the dream home, to downsize, to house hack, to get three properties under your belt. That is so admirable. My wife will listen to this podcast, I promise you. And now, you’ve got the opportunity to ask, “Great, if this is going to be our goal for this next year …” What we talked about here doesn’t have to be it. Your homework is to sit down and start dating what might that goal be for the next year to be on track for our five.

Geoff:
And once we’re clear on that if you actually need a business plan, which it sounds like you might because both of you have different needs in order to make that happen, get them on paper. What are the two to three things that would have to happen in order for both of you to confidently say yes to that next property. Get clear on them and then list them in order of priority. If we could only do one, which would it be? Should we earn the right to do second, which would it be? Should we earn the right to do another, which would it be and who owns it? Whose job is it? What’s Melissa’s? What’s Matt’s?

Geoff:
And think about, if it’s Melissa’s, what do I need to hear from her to know that I could confidently trust that she’s got it and vice versa. What do I need to hear from Matt to know that he’s confidently got that, be able to communicate that? And you’ve already laid the foundation. You’re already having mornings where you get up and have conversations, but now your conversations can be structured around the plan that you’ve created. That’s having a relationship with your goals.

Geoff:
Good job.

Melissa:
It’s good stuff. Thank you.

Matt:
Yeah, thank you.

Geoff:
My pleasure.

Brandon:
That’s cool, guys. All right, so this is Brandon again jumping in. So, Matt and Melissa, I’m wondering, what do you guys see as your next steps from here on out. In your own words, what do you think will change or what are you going to do differently in your life?

Matt:
I’m already kind of formulating in a conversation that’s going to surround this a little bit. And I mean certainly, even though it wasn’t positively met when I brought it up that I do think the divide and conquer is something we need to work towards and kind of laying out what we would be comfortable handing off to the other, and having faith and fully trusting that the other one will take care of it.

Geoff:
Can I jump in here because there’s an important distinction? There is a difference between delegation and abdication. Delegating is saying, “You’ve got this.” Abdicating is saying, “You’ve got this, and I’m out.” A lot of leaders abdicate their roles as a leader. I have been that person transparently.

Matt:
Yeah, me too.

Brandon:
Just because she’s got it doesn’t mean you’re not in it. It just means she’s the one who wakes up and says, “What can I do today to advance this?” You’re still accountable to each other.

Matt:
Yeah, it’s a good point.

Melissa:
In my mind a little bit, I’m thinking that Matt is a lot better on the business end and making processes. I just like finding the deals. I like searching, the MLS and bringing the properties to him that we can evaluate. In my mind, I’m already thinking about what the specific individual roles look like for us instead of having to do it all together all the time.

Matt:
And what’s funny is that Melissa says that I’m better on the business end and the processes and that’s where I feel like we are with the weakest. And so, I don’t know that there’s I guess some … Where I feel we need the most work is where she feels I’m the strongest. So I think that that alone is kind of lending … I mean that’s kind of showing a little bit of the direction just in that little tidbit.

Brandon:
Yeah. I like the fact that that leads toward like, “Okay, well, if you think that’s the weakness right now and you know that that’s what you’re best at, that you get to take ownership. You get to Jocko Willink that thing, right? You’re like, “This is my baby. I’m going to take this.” And that’s where you’re going to build> I mean, you have that ownership and the clarity within you, now you can go just crush that piece because you know that she’s got your back but you’re the one leading that piece.

Brandon:
And I always know like whenever I can have those areas of my life where I’m like, “Oh, yeah, okay fine. We got clarity now, like this is my thing.” My wife and I had been really struggling with the sleep training lately with our baby, which is 11 months old now, that just wakes up like eight times a night. You remember those days, right?

Melissa:
We’ve sleep trained three times.

Brandon:
Okay, yeah, so you remember those days.

Melissa:
We had terrible sleepers.

Brandon:
Yeah, terrible. But the problem was neither of us took ownership of the problem. We kind of did it together and we both kind of felt it was kind of our thing, and therefore, neither of us took any kind of ownership of actually owning the problem. And it’s led to numerous conflicts in our relationship, numerous head-butting. I’ll be like, “You’re finally ready to do my thing yet?” And she’s like, “Well, I don’t want to do your thing.”

Brandon:
Anyway, finally we talked about it and just realized like … She basically said, “I’m taking ownership. This is my thing.” And I was like, “Perfect.” Now, somebody has got it. I don’t care if it’s me or you. Somebody has got it and they’re running with it and she’s going to kill it. And I think we’ll have so much more clarity. So, that’s how I kind of looked at you guys right there. It’s like if that’s the case, Matt, you got that part. Go crush it. And Melissa, you got your part. Go crush it.

Melissa:
Yeah, it gives you something to work towards. It’s exciting.

Brandon:
David, what do you think on all these?

David:
I think it’s very cool to get to watch you guys kind of work your way through this. Geoff, you did a great job asking the right questions. When I’m in your shoes, the advice that I’d give you is once you know where you want to go which is where you have to start … Geoff, you made a great point I want to highlight … everybody likes to start running around and pushing over dominoes and hoping that they knock at other domino over. But the people that are best at this know where they’re going and they line their dominoes up backwards.

David:
And that’s really what Geoff was showing us is how you start with the end in mind and you build it back to where you’re at. Once you get it, the majority of the work is done but the 20% that you still have to do is to furiously knock those dominoes over as fast as you two agreed to do. You don’t want it to ruin your relationship but if you know, we know what we want to do. I would be asking each other, what is the one thing that we need to get better at to do this faster. That’s what I’d be thinking. So, how do we develop a synergy with each other? What one skill could we learn that would make every domino that we go to knock over go down twice as fast or something?

David:
And to me, that’s when it gets fun. It’s hard right now. It’s just like painstakingly slow trying to trudge through this quicksand … I guess you don’t trudge through quicksand or you just die … try to trudge through like the sand of the beach or trying to run through it and it takes a long time. But once you get there, when you actually knocked the dominoes over, that feels like you’re on pavement. And you can go really quick.

David:
If you can get through this part, eating the vegetables, the fun part comes when you guys start progressing so much faster than you ever would have thought was possible. And maybe we have you back on the podcast in here and you’re like, “Oh, yeah. We’ve got 40 units by now.” This is how these stories all end up going.

David:
So, thank you very much for being willing just to go through this with us and share your story. And I just want you to remember while this part can feel painstakingly difficult, it gets very fun once your dominoes are lined up and the first domino knocks over the next and now you got the momentum, two dominoes. It knocks over the third and the next thing you know it’s picking up speed and the dominoes are getting bigger and that’s when it just gets awesome.

Matt:
Yeah, that’s good.

Brandon:
Yeah, and you know what? What’s cool is like, first of all, we just did this obviously live in 30 minutes. I mean I think you guys tried it for about 30 minutes total. I mean, not even quite, about 25 minutes and you got through all of these. And this is why a goal setting date is good, a goal setting 20-minute conversation, 30-minute conversation is good.

Brandon:
But this is why we encourage people to do not just goal setting days or I mean like a date, but days, like a weekend, a couple of days, maybe time where you can get away from the normal life and go do something. Right now, obviously during COVID that’s difficult, but if you can get away with your spouse for a few days somewhere, go find a hotel or whatever. Or like I said earlier, I’m going to be joining Geoff this year and Jay doing the goal setting retreat digitally at least like online. And I’m going to book all that time and I’m going to make sure I’m there for it because I need that in my life. A couple of days out of 365 for the next 365 or even the next 500 days or 10,000 days matter so much.

Brandon:
First of all, I guess we’ll get you, Matt and Melissa, out of here and I want to bring it back to Geoff to tackle a few minutes about what goal setting retreat is in case other people here want to attend. But Matt and Melissa, thank you guys for joining us today. You guys are awesome.

Melissa:
Thank you for having us.

Matt:
Yeah, absolutely.

Melissa:
We had fun.

Brandon:
All right, Geoff, let’s talk goal setting for a little bit. First of all, any followup thoughts just as … Now, we’re done with that little section right there. What are your thoughts on how that went?

Geoff:
Here’s what I think matters that people understand. They were asked questions and they gave themselves permission to search for the answers with no emotion to it about right, wrong, are we on the same page, are we not. You heard times when they’re on the same page and you heard times when they might not have been. The gift in this is realizing that the things that might create conflict can actually be the catalyst for connection.

Geoff:
Understanding their roles was actually really a challenge. I’m able to see how that could create conflict in their marriage and now realizing, “Hmm, they’re just like an entrepreneur team.” She is vision. She is growth. He is structure. He is stability. It’s like a CEO and a COO. It is such a perfect pairing, yet if you don’t look at it through that lens, it can be like, “Ugh, we’re not on the same page. We’re oil and water.” Yet framed differently, it’s like, “Oh, wait. We can actually be a very powerful team.”

Geoff:
Wherever you are, if you feel like you’re not on the same page with people who matter, go through a process to get on the same page.

Brandon:
Dude, you just brought up such a great point. I’ve never really thought about it this way before, and I love … Its perspective of how you look at it with your spouse or even your business partner, whatever. I’m kind of forming this thought as I go here based on what you just said. But oftentimes, we see a problem in a relationship whether it’s a business partner or relationship and we see as oil and water. It’s a problem.

Brandon:
But if you just reframe the way you will look at that situation, Gino Wickman calls it … The author of Traction. He has a book called Rocket Fuel. You could say, “We have a difficult relationship,” or not that they did but you could say that with a few people, “We have a lot of problems,” or you could say, “We have rocket fuel.” And it could be the same thing. It’s how you perceive that thing that then therefore defines what that thing is, and then you work based off that definition you’ve given it.

Brandon:
If you say, “My wife and I are always disagreeing and we’re always butting heads. We never get anywhere,” or, “My partner and I just can’t seem to agree. We just don’t get along,” you’re going to feel that way every time you talk with them. But if you just approach it from that perspective of, “This is so good. This is that rocket fuel. It’s a perfect mixture of stuff that’s coming together. So let’s use these, the two different sides that feel like they’re competing and create some rocket fuel. It’s just kind of a cool concept right there. I’m glad you brought that up.

Geoff:
You nailed it, man. You nailed it. And then there’s something that you said that’s really important. If you all you can do to start by having a conversation, awesome. We’ll share a link that will show you more about the retreat and we’ll also have a free guide that is just some of the download, like some of the best questions that you could just do to start having that.

Geoff:
If that’s all you can do, awesome. Yet in an ideal world, you would understand that this is a material investment in your future. And if you are able to, if you have kids, line a sitter up if that’s something you can do so that you can sit down for … I mean this is a day and a half that we facilitate. It’s one of the best investments you can make in terms of your time because suddenly, you are clear. Not just about what you’re saying yes to this year, but you can draw a dotted line for how it gets you to where you want to go so that you build a business designed around a life worth living.

Brandon:
That’s so good. Now, what if you’re not married? Was this the couple’s retreat? Is that for only married people or people on relationship?

Geoff:
November 14th and 15th is the couple’s retreat. November 21st and 22nd is the retreat for individuals and teams. Same principles, just a different angle. We got everybody hit on this one.

Brandon:
That’s cool, man. Well, I’m going to be the couples one and yeah, I’m excited for it. Where do people go? What do they do? I know we have a URL here somewhere at the BiggerPockets.

Geoff:
Biggerpockets.com/setmygoals. So, this one place will give you the guide. So this is a kick-ass guide, your couple’s goal setting retreat that literally if all you wanted to do is sit down and just ask each other questions, this is like 1% of what we do in the entire retreat, that alone transforms relationships. And then below, if you want to learn more about the retreat experiences, you can click the button if you want to do it as a couple or as a team or an individual and you can learn more about how you can join us. And that’s the biggerpockets.com/setmygoals.

Brandon:
Cool. We are really excited to actually partner with you guys on this. I mean last year, we had Jay on the podcast around this time. We literally talked about it. We’re like, “Man, we should do this somehow, like find more ways to incorporate this together,” because it’s such an impactful time. So when you told me you were doing this here a few weeks ago, we’re like, we got to do some magic here. We got to make this thing bigger, so I’m pumped.

Brandon:
All right, man, well, let’s do our kind of followup final question. I’m going to steal it from David. David, I’ll let you do your final question. I usually ask, where can people find you. I’m going to let you do it, man.

David:
You literally just asked it. Thank you, Brandon, for it. David, I’m going to go and let you ask the question-

Brandon:
I was going to ask where could … Yeah, I want to know where people could find more about you. But I want to ask … I would have David asked that question. Geoff, when he asks you where can people find out more about you, make sure you share where people can find out more about you. Go ahead, David, I’m giving you the opportunity here.

David:
All right, are you ready, Geoff? I got a question that you have no idea what I’m going to say. We’re going to catch you [crosstalk 01:09:53]. For people that are fascinated with your interviewing skills and your amazing experience of goal setting, where can they learn more about you?

Geoff:
Sure. First thing if you’re already listening to a podcast, whatever player you are using, click the search button and type in The ONE Thing. Every week, we feature somebody who’s living the one thing which means frankly they’re struggling, and just how they’re using it to achieve extraordinary results just so that it can give you a little direction and focus every single week.

Geoff:
If you’d like to learn more about the goal setting retreat experience or that free guide with those questions, go to biggerpockets.com/setmygoals. And I’m all over social media, Geoff Woods.

Brandon:
All right, man. Thank you so much. It’s been phenomenal. Great chatting here, Geoff, thank you.

Geoff:
My pleasure. Thanks for having me guys.

David:
Great job, Geoff.

Brandon:
Hey, Geoff, before you go …

Geoff:
Yes, Brandon.

Brandon:
I’ve been asking a question to a lot of our guests, and I did not ask it of you. So I want to ask it now even though we are pretty much done with the interview. But I want to ask you, what do you focus on right now? What do you focus on right now primarily, and how can I provide value there? How can our audience of quarter million people provide a value to you?

Geoff:
Oh, Brandon, thank you sir. And I actually mean that because the number of times that I might share that story on the show, it’s a fraction of the people that will ask it at the end. And that actually says a lot about you because it means you’re actually a learner.

Brandon:
Oh, thank you.

Geoff:
[crosstalk 01:11:16] putting things into action, which says something about you. You’re not just a handsome man with a beard.

Brandon:
Despite what they all think.

Geoff:
Despite what they all think … Genuinely, one of the best things we do is this retreat. And when my team and I just had this conversation about what is the mission of the business. It’s to help people better invest their time so they achieve extraordinary results. And what’s our vision? How will we know if we’re successful and I genuinely believe we are going to wake up one day in the future where people as a cultural norm, as individuals and inside of companies invest their time and expect a return personally and professionally. And they don’t go at life alone. They enlist the support of the people with them.

Geoff:
The highest form of support you can give us is to start your journey. Do not let this be just some podcast that you spent your time on over the last 90 minutes but that you put your foot down and say, “Damn it, we are going to invest our time. And the way we do it is we back it with action. I’m not just going to go to the next episode. I’m actually going to pause. I’m actually going to open a browser and go to biggerpockets.com/setmygoals. And if nothing else, I will download that free guide.”

Geoff:
And if I actually want to learn more about it, fine. Do it. But literally, please invest your time and please go to that URL.

Brandon:
Hold on, all right.

David:
Well, thank you very much, Geoff. This has been an awesome time. We appreciate you and we will have you on again.

Brandon:
All right, good show. That’s a wrap.

Brandon:
All right, big thanks to Geoff Woods, of course, and to you, David, and of course to Matt and Melissa for joining us today and being willing to put themselves out there. That was a phenomenal show and really fun.

David:
Listening to Geoff do his thing was pretty impressive. I mean he knows what questions to ask. He knows how to ask them. You could tell. You could kind of see the clock … What’s the phrase you use when someone is thinking? The gears turning maybe.

Brandon:
Ticking …

David:
You could see their thoughts becoming manifested as Geoff was asking questions about goals. And I love, love, love getting to see that in action because now, I have an idea of what that should look like both when I’m trying to set goals and when I’m trying to help other people do the same.

Brandon:
Yeah. That makes perfect sense. Cool, man. Well again, let me say on the show, I hope you guys are going to attend this couple’s, either the couple’s one or the individual/business one. They got two weekend retreats in a row here in the middle of November. If you want to attend it, just go to biggerpockets.com/setmygoals. And again, sign up there. We’re partnering with The ONE Thing on this thing, so it’s going to be a lot of BiggerPockets people there, a lot of real estate investors.

Brandon:
And it’s digital. You can do it at home. And so take the time, get some sitters if you got kids and let’s collectively work together for a day and a half on changing the next year, year and a half, five years, 10 years of our life. So, I’m pumped. Hope you are as well. And with that, David, I guess we can pretty much get out of there. Anything you want to add or close with?

Brandon:
Oh, I know a thing. By the way, that event is going to be recorded. So even if you cannot stay for the whole thing or you can only watch half of it or you can’t watch any of it, you get the recording afterwards as well. So, keep in mind. If you want to attend, it would be awesome to go even if you can’t be there live. That’s all I got on that event.

David:
The only thing I’ll add is might not be a higher ROI in the world than the time you spend working on your goals. I really can’t think of anything that will give you a better return than planning that. So, food for thought.

Brandon:
So true, man.

David:
Thank you, Brandon.

Brandon:
Thank you.

David:
This is David Greene for Brandon “Twilight” Turner, signing off.

Outro:
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In This Episode We Cover:

  • How billionaires set goals
  • What to do when your spouse or partner is not a natural goal-setter
  • How to have an ongoing relationship with your goals
  • A live goal-setting exercise with a real estate investor couple, Matt and Melissa
  • Defining whose lane is whose when running a business with your spouse or partner
  • What happens at a goal-setting retreat
  • Geoff’s personal story of leaving medical sales to work with Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show:

Connect with Geoff: