BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast

BiggerPockets Podcast 435: Why Successful People HATE Losing, But Aren’t Afraid to Lose with Scott McGillivray (Part 2)

Expertise:
453 Articles Written

Scott McGillivray is back for this second part of his amazing interview. Last time we talked about the nitty gritty of Scott’s investments, how he started to acquire houses, and building his empire. Now we’re touching more on the mindset of what makes Scott so successful, and how you can put yourself in his shoes.

Many people may know Scott from his HGTV shows, but maybe you didn’t know he was once in a boy band. Seriously. He took dance classes, convinced his friends to join him, and sold out some shows, but the takeaway from this short-lived boy band was priceless. If you see someone else finding success with something, use their blazed trail to find success yourself.

From his boy band, to being on student council, and even the passing away of a loved one, Scott learned valuable lessons that he took with him for the rest of his life, and now gets to share with the BiggerPockets audience.

Scott goes on to share a story that made him pivot the direction of his life as a teenager, and lead him to become the real estate mogul he is today. Scott goes through his top pieces of advice for young people and proves how planting seeds for investments early leads to acres upon acres of residual fruits for decades to come.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Brandon:
This is A Bigger Pockets Podcast show 435.

David:
The difference between successful people and people who just dream about having success is that successful people hate losing, but they’re not afraid of it, whereas unsuccessful people are afraid of losing. When you’re afraid of losing you’re too scared to try. When you hate losing you never give up.

Intro:
You’re listening to Bigger Pockets 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 Bigger Pockets Podcast here with my cohost once again Mr. David The Man Green. What’s up David The Man? How’s that condo shopping in Hawaii?

David:
It’s been really good. I got one under contract. I put a second one under contract late last night. And I have a third. The seller actually decided not to move forward because they lost the 1031 they were going after, so I almost had three, but I got two, and they were the two that I liked the most. I’ll be working on that [crosstalk 00:01:14].

Brandon:
How close are they to my house? That’s the real question here.

David:
Seven and a half minutes, really close.

Brandon:
We have a five minute rule. As long as you’re five minutes away from me we’re going to be fine.

David:
We do make magic together when we’re in that sea shed. I’ll tell you what.

Brandon:
I know. It’s going to be good. It’s going to be nice having you around more often, and it’s going to be weird having you split time between California and Hawaii more often, but it’ll be awesome to see what you do with that.

David:
I’m really, really looking forward to that for many reasons, which we can get into later, but I have really big plans for 2021, and this is the most excited I’ve ever been about business in my whole life.

Brandon:
That’s awesome. Just because how much I know you I think a lot of your excitement comes to more you … You were in Hawaii a few weeks ago, and you go back home you’re like, “I’m going to take on the world,” and you go the few months, and you’re like, “I haven’t been to Hawaii in a while,” so then you go back. It’s like your crystal, your magical crystal, gives you all this energy that you’ve got to [crosstalk 00:02:11].

David:
I think there’s something to that, and it’s funny you mention it. That’s why I want to buy a lot of these condos is I want to be able to send people who have not been to Hawaii to Hawaii, because everybody needs that. It’s one of those things like Hotel California, once you live there it’s very hard to ever want to leave Hawaii, but it’s nice if you can just get in and out, and get recharged, and then go back and do what you’re doing. Thank you for being the vanguard that got out there and brought the rest of us.

David:
And speaking of vanguards we’ve got a pretty impressive one that we brought back on the show today.

Brandon:
Yeah. We just launched a show, I believe it was last Thursday, with Scott McGillivray who is the host of HGTV’s, a bunch of stuff, but most famously known for Income Property, which is a show that my wife and I were obsessed with for year, and year, and years. It was probably my favorite show of all time, and it teaches people how to house hack essentially.

Brandon:
Scott came on Thursday, and it was a phenomenal show. We talked all about his real estate and how he got into that, but after that show, I’m not kidding, we got done with that show, we’re talking with Scott afterwards, and I was like, “Scott, we didn’t even cover half of what I would’ve loved to dig into, like your mindset, and your brain. How have you been able to do all this stuff?”

Brandon:
And so, I was like, “Hey, would you be willing to come and let’s record another episode, a follow up the weekend edition, where we go into more of the business and mindset behind what you’ve done,” and he was like, “Heck yeah.” That’s how Canadians say it, “Heck yes.” And he came back on, so that’s what today’s show is. It’s completely different from the last episode with him, but phenomenal. I might say better. For some people, it might be a lot better in that it’s not like here’s how to buy a property, or here’s what he did to buy that first property, or second, or third. This is how he got the right mental attitude, and the right fortitude, and the right persistence to reinvent himself over and over.

Brandon:
He’s goes into that exact idea, the mindset you need. He talks about the meetings he had with some 80-year-olds at a restaurant that changes his life. He talks about being a leader. In this show we talk a lot about leadership, and ownership, and how to get your team to take more ownership. And then, make sure you guys listen for David’s genius business idea later in the show. He comes up with it on the fly, and if somebody runs with this idea it’s going to make them … I don’t know if it’s going to make any money, but I would definitely buy this service, so listen for that. That’s all I got.

Brandon:
Let’s get to today’s quick tip.

David:
Quick tip.

Brandon:
All right. Today’s quick tip is very simple. Scott gives some advice on the show today you’re going to hear about talking with people who are a generation ahead of you, so what I want to encourage you to do is in the next seven days, set yourself a goal in the seven days, not years, seven days, to go find somebody who is at least 20 years older than yourself, and who is at least in one area of their life they are exactly where you would like to be someday.

Brandon:
Maybe it’s the way they treat their spouse. Maybe it’s the way they look at that age. Maybe it’s their wealth. Maybe it’s something else. And then, try to sit down with them. Take them out to coffee. It doesn’t have to be a celebrity or an influencer. I’m just talking about somebody that you might know that’s in your circle, in your area, and try to get some coffee, or get on the phone with them, and just talk to them and ask them the questions that Scott suggests later in the show to ask them. I won’t tell you what those are, but you can hear them a little bit later. And that’s today’s quick tip.

Brandon:
Big thanks for responses, as always, and now I think this is a long enough introduction. We’ve better get to today’s show. Anything you want to add David before we jump in?

David:
Negative, sir. Let’s go grab Scotty.

Brandon:
All right. Now, I will actually say this real quick. A few weeks ago on the show, I think it came out already, David and I recorded an episode where we talked about some of these mindset shifts that people need to have to become a millionaire. It did come out already. It was the one right after the New Year.

Brandon:
And in there we talk about four things, or habits maybe you could call it, that millionaires have, and that was they’re decisive, they track their information, they have momentum, and they have mastery. I want you guys to listen today on today’s show about how Scott just perfectly exemplifies these four traits, so listen for that as we get into an interview with Scott McGillivray from HGTV.

Brandon:
All right, Scott, welcome back to The Bigger Pockets Podcast, man. It’s awesome to have you here.

Scott:
It’s good to be back. We’ve got a lot of unfinished business to discuss.

Brandon:
I know. I think we’ve only done this maybe twice, maybe once, ever in The Bigger Pockets history, brought somebody back right away because we’re like, “Yeah, that wasn’t enough time. We need to dig more.” Last time, we covered your real estate, your story, how you got started, so if people have not listened to that go back and listen to that episode and hear Scott’s history of how we got into real estate, what he’s doing today, and a lot of really good just wisdom nuggets about real estate investing.

Brandon:
Today, we’re going to take a little bit different focus, and specifically I want to know how you think. I want to unpack who Scott is inside that head, and this might be tragic, it might be a lot of fun. I don’t know. We’ll see where this goes.

Scott:
This could be dangerous. This could be dangerous.

Brandon:
This could be. This could. Why don’t we start with just in case people did not listen to the last episode a quick 30 second who are you? What do you do? What’s your story?

Scott:
Yeah. I got into real estate investing when I was in college as a matter of necessity really. That was the mother of all invention for me. I bought a place with my student loan. I put a down payment on a property, rented out all the rooms to my friends, was able to basically live there free based on renting out the other rooms. I loved the business model so much I continued to push and extend my student loan, and take equity from properties, and built up a portfolio of rentals, and then within several years of building a portfolio I got to opportunity to be on a TV show, which turned into Income Property.

Scott:
A few hundred episodes of that on HGTV, and I’m still doing shows today, still investing in real estate today. I do it because I love it, and I love it because it’s profitable.

Brandon:
Yeah. I like that. That should be a T-shirt.

Scott:
That’s on the back of my shirt.

Brandon:
Let’s start with how you mange that stuff right now, because a lot of people are trying to balance 10 different things at one time right now, and that sounds like a lot of what you’re doing, so how do you manage that. What’s your team look like right now? Who does what? How much do you actually do? What’s your thing that you’re just really good at that you do and everyone else does other stuff? There was like 10 question in there.

Scott:
It’s a very difficult question. I think that there is an art and a science to being an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur I think is something that was natural to me from a young age. I always just wanted to push my limits. I found a thrill out of putting myself in difficult positions. I remember when I was in high school I ran for student council president. I had never done anything political. I’d never been on student council, and I just felt like our school was not keeping up with some of the competing schools in terms of everything that was going on, so I was just like “I’m going to run for student council president.”

Scott:
And everyone’s like, “You can’t do that. You don’t know anything about student politics. You’re not in these courses. You’re supposed to start as a grade rep,” and then blah, blah, blah. I was like, “Nah, I’m just going to go for school president. I just want to make the decisions.” I remember I felt really unqualified, but it was just a matter of go for it, throw yourself into the situation. What’s the worst that’s going to happen? You’re not going to get it, which is pretty much where you are now.

Scott:
But I ran for student council president and I remember I got it. I won by a massive, dare I say, a landslide, but I won by a good threshold, and I was the most shocked out of anyone. I’m like, “I can’t believe people voted for me.” And then, I got addicted to this idea of seeing something, or someone, and learning … And again, this isn’t stuff you’re taught in school, but a great skillset that I think people could have is finding a mentor, or finding someone who’s in the position you’d like to be, and admire, and appreciate, and learn from them rather than to feel jealous, or like they’re entitled, or privileged, or inherited it.

Scott:
I think one of the big breakthroughs for folks, anyone, especially in the climate we’re in now where I feel like there’s a lot of the victim mentality. Everyone who’s young feels I should deserve this, and deserve this, and I have to take it from someone else. You’ve got to look at the people who have established themselves and say I admire, I appreciate, and I’m sure you had struggles as well, let me learn from that.

Scott:
One of the big things that I do is I love to talk to people who have accomplished the things that I could only dream of accomplishing. This morning I woke up and Elon Musk was the wealthiest man on Earth, and I was on social media, and I hesitated for a second because what I wanted to say was you’re worth 183 billion dollars, congratulations, see if you can get to a trillion because I would love to see a trillionaire in my lifetime. That’s how I feel.

Scott:
And then, I look on social media and people are like, “No one should have that much money,” and “This is a disgrace,” and “There’s people who are hungry.” I’m like, I get that, but come on, man. Give this guy some credit. I gravitate towards people who have accomplished incredible things and you’ve got to surround yourself with like-minded people, if you want to fly with the eagles you don’t hang out with the turkeys.

Brandon:
Yeah. Yeah. It’s funny too about the billionaire thing. Whenever I see things about Bezos or Elon Musk, and everyone’s like, “They got so much money they could give money to every single American, or every single person in the world,” and I’m like, “First of all, they’d give $20 to each person,” but even more than that those people they don’t have that money anyway. It’s not like it’s just sitting in some bank account that they’re swimming in of course. It’s all the stock, and in their companies, and the company valuation which is based off of crazy numbers anyway.

Scott:
Yes.

Brandon:
Especially today. I don’t know. Obviously, they’re rich people, but I think people overinflate how rich they really are, and how much they can do with their money.

Scott:
I love it though. I do love it. I’m like go for it. I wish he was a trillionaire because then in my mind I’d be like that’s the new high water mark that I’ve got to aim for.

Brandon:
Do you want to be a trillionaire?

Scott:
I think that’s not necessarily my goal. We’ll get to my goals later, but it’s always easier to achieve something one you’ve seen someone else do it. Right?

David:
That’s exactly what I wanted to say, yeah.

Scott:
The four minute mile is the great example that I’m sure we’ve all discussed.

David:
Yeah. They’re paving a road that makes it easier for other people to go through, which is why I think it’s great you’re a cheerleader of other people’s success because you’re like, hey, you want to go blaze that trail, cut down all the foliage, and leave me a nice pavement road that I can follow behind you? Go get it buddy. I’ll gas up your truck. I love that.

Scott:
It’s true. It’s so true. You try to analyze it and say why am I the way I am, or why or some people successful and some people not? The idea of looking up to somebody, and admiring what they do, and taking that blazed trail. I would say the luck part for me, because I don’t believe that luck is the key to success, but there are certain things that can help, is that I had an older sibling. I had an older sibling that I learned how to follow in his footsteps in order to get away with things that he had to climb mountains to achieve with our parents.

Scott:
And then, once he had broken them in and had basically suffered all the carnage that came with that I’d be like, “Yeah, I want a curfew of a midnight as well,” and they’d be like, “Fine.” And he’s like, “Are you kidding me? It took me years to get there,” and I’m like, “Yeah, you blazed the trail, man. You do the hard work.” You can let someone else do the heavy lifting. It’s not rocket science.

Brandon:
Yeah. That’s exactly how it was in my family too. I was the oldest boy, and so I blazed that trail.

Scott:
You’re the hard path.

Brandon:
No fair.

David:
Me too. Absolutely.

Scott:
There you go.

David:
Now, Scott, one thing I’ve noticed about you is it appears that you are not afraid to take action when you see that you want something. Like you said, what’s the worst thing that could happen is I don’t it. I’m in the same boat I’m in right now, so I’m basically playing with house money. And when you have that mentality of playing with house money it’s much easier to make decisions. One of those routes you took, or trails you blazed, from my understanding led you into a boy band. Can you share what that experience was like, and how that led to clearly you being an amazing real estate investor?

Scott:
Boy. Here we go. You really dug in. You did your homework, David. This is what I like. I like that you did your homework. Yeah. That was another thing I did when I was in my late teens, early 20s, is I was in a boy band. And you know what the funny thing is? I remember I was living off campus. I think it was first year, and I was with a bunch of us. We were just handing out. We were watching TV or something, and we flipped through, and I think we were watching music videos, and it was boy band, after boy band, and someone sitting there is like, “Oh my god, it’s just boy band stuff. I hate these boy …” Someone just had a huge hate on boy bands, which a lot of us guys do. It’s like, are you kidding me?

Scott:
I was sitting there and I’m listening to them hate on them, and I just said, “Yeah, but if you were in that boy band wouldn’t that be kind of awesome?” He’s like, “Well, yeah.” And I said, “Guys, we play instruments. We sing. Why be a rock band when we could be in a boy band? Our chances are much higher?” I hate to sterilize the art of music because I love music, and I’m passionate about it, but really I just said, “This is what we’re going to do. Instead of trying to play in a rock band, and being paid free beers to play, why don’t we start a boy band? There are no boy bands around. We would be the only one, and we’re boys, and we’re in a band.” I said, “All my need is a couple dance moves.”

Scott:
And everyone was like, “You’re crazy. We can’t learn dance moves.” I’m like, “I’m going to find a way for us to learn dance moves,” and I grabbed a Yellow Pages because the internet probably was new, and I looked up dance studios in the area. I called one, and I said, “We’re a group of five guys,” we were actually four guys at the time. We gained a fifth later. I said, “We’re a group of four guys and we need to learn how to dance,” and the lady was like, “Are you kidding me?”

Scott:
And I went in. I went to go see her, and I said, “We want to take dance lessons, the four of us.” She was in total shock, but she was like, “This is actually good because all of our instructors, like our older girls, have no guys to dance with, if you guys will do the dances with the girls we’ll train you guys for free,” so we took dance lessons for a year.

Brandon:
That’s awesome.

David:
Dance hacking. This is brilliant.

Scott:
Dance hacking. Free lessons for a year, all four of us. We would go two days a week. We had them choreograph routines for us, we learnt it, and we went from literally a nobody group of musicians to we were playing venues with hundreds of not thousands of people buying tickets, and we were like, “Holy smokes.”

Scott:
Everyone was like, “This was genius. We’re making money now.” Records labels are interested. We had a manager. We went from a nobody band to a year later we could work full-time as a boy band. It was crazy.

Brandon:
Yeah. That’s amazing.

Scott:
And to this day those guys, we’re still friends, and they’re like, “I can’t believe we were sitting on the couch and you made us all take dance lessons.” I’m like, “But how awesome is that?”

David:
Scott, I want to ask, how much of that is because you saw there’s a road that’s already paved. Let’s just go.

Scott:
All we have to do is add the word boy to the front of what we are, and a huge marketing shift.

Brandon:
That’s so good.

Scott:
You know what, David? I fricking didn’t answer your question, but I was thinking about something. You asked about not being afraid of trying things, and I’ve really thought about this over the years, and I’ve never heard it put this way, but I’m going to spell it out like this. The difference between successful people and people who just dream about having success is that successful people hate losing, but they’re not afraid of it, whereas unsuccessful people are afraid of losing. When you’re afraid of losing you’re too scared to try. When you hate losing you never give up.

Scott:
It’s not that I’m afraid to lose. I don’t mind losing. I’m the type of guy that’s like let’s play again. I just lost. Let’s go again. I don’t mind losing, I just hate it. I actually thrive on the failure in order to work harder, and that’s probably the first mindset change that someone needs to have in order to take themselves to the next level. It’s just a small tweak. Losing is still a negative thing, but it’s not that I’m afraid of it. I’m not afraid to lose. Go ahead. I want to lose. I’m excited to be the loser, just it gets me boiling, and I’m like I can’t stay here, so I need to try again.

Scott:
The real answer is it’s not so much fear as it is a disdain for losing. As long as you hate losing you’re going to find a way to win, but if you’re afraid to lose you may never try. That is the death sentence of success.

David:
That is so deep. If I could, I would rip this out of this podcast and make that what people listen to when my phone is ringing. That’s so good.

Scott:
I tried to figure it out because I’m like nobody really likes losing, so how is it that some people don’t even try, and I’m like it’s the fear. It’s the fear of losing versus the hate of losing, and people get them mistaken to be the same thing.

David:
That’s exactly right. You’ve worded that so perfectly. I was thinking the pain of losing creates an emotion that you can’t stand. No one likes it, and that’s what motivates you to look at what you did wrong and fix it, so this applies to real estate investing very easily. You jumped in, and you bought in a bad market based on someone’s advice that you read in the forum and you didn’t research it, and you lost money, or you ended up with a headache deal. That stings.

David:
It's not too hard to look and say, "Hey, this is why I made a mistake. I took a shortcut. I should've looked at this myself," and let that completely change your whole personality so now you brand yourself, or you become known as the due diligence person. I research everything so I don't make this mistake again. And that money that you lost on that first deal can become the motivating factor that you make millions with because you change, but if you're afraid to ever make the mistake you never get in the game. You never learn anything. You never improve.

David:
Scott, I think that’s brilliant, and I’ll say if anyone can back that statement up it’s you doing a boy band. I can’t see myself in a million years ever being able to go through that. Brandon probably could. I’ll tell you guys this.

Brandon:
I would in a heartbeat. In a heartbeat.

David:
He has a secret affinity for boy bands. I think in another life he may have been in a boy band. Yes. Brandon knows every song to the NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. Not everyone, just a lot of them.

Scott:
Listen, hold on. Brandon, I’m going to sign one of these for you.

Brandon:
Please do.

Scott:
And send it over to you.

David:
I love it. Could you turn that into a pillow? Brandon could lay his head on it. I would love to see this.

Brandon:
No. What we need though is we need you two to come hang out in Maui, or we can go out in Canada, but I think it’s more fun to hangout in Maui, and we’re going to choreograph a song-

Scott:
Yes.

Brandon:
… and we’re going to record it, and we’re going to put it out there, and we’re going to be the new boy band.

Scott:
It’s going to be a man band at this point, but I’m good with that.

David:
That has such a better ring to it. I could possible be ducked into that.

Brandon:
A man band.

Scott:
Yeah.

David:
We’ve been interviewing all these musicians. Seth Mosley could write the song, Manifest could produce it. We’ve got all these people we’ve had on this show.

Brandon:
Yeah. We’re good.

David:
We need to find a way to-

Scott:
This is going to be huge. It’s going to be huge.

Brandon:
Before we move on, can we just acknowledge one of the most genius things David Green has ever said, and that was a business idea where instead of a ring back when you call somebody it plays a motivational, or any kind of thing, because I hate when people call me. I hate it when they call me, so we should punish people who call us by making them listen to five minutes of something. It doesn’t matter what it is.

Brandon:
It can be five minutes of Oprah. If you want to call me you’ve got to go through that pain first and listen to-

David:
And if Brandon doesn’t answer the phone he could tell himself I did them a favor by making them listen to something that will change their life by not answering their call.

Scott:
It’s like an initiation.

Brandon:
Yep. You’ve got to pay the piper in order to talk to me. That’s how this is going to be. That’s the new business model. We’re going to build this, David. All right. Moving on to a slightly different point. We talked a little bit about fear, and I think that’s really good. I wouldn’t even say it’s a different point. It’s really the same point. I was wondering if you can address the people listening to this show right now who are stuck in that fear right now.

Brandon:
Let’s just go with real estate as an example, right?

Scott:
Yeah.

Brandon:
But they’re saying, “I don’t know what to do. I have analysis paralysis. I just keep thinking about it, talking about it, listening to the podcast. I’ve listened to 100 of them, 200 of them. I don’t know what to do.” What do you tell those people?

Scott:
Two things that I would say. The fear thing we addressed, which is you have to transition from fear of failure to just hate of failure, because hate of failure is a little better to deal with, but it’s also having enough information to make strategic decisions, and one of the advanced strategies that I teach in real estate, and I might be doing us all a huge disfavor right now to put this out to everybody without qualifying them first, but here’s a statement, a pretty bold one that I’m willing to say, and I’ll back it up.

Scott:
You can’t lose money in real estate. Now, there you go. People who are scared of losing money in real estate, they’re like, “I’m scared. What if I lost money?” Something that I learnt probably after a few years, I flipped a property and I lost money. I was down like 25 grand, and I remember how frustrating it was. I was like, “I can’t believe it. I did all that work and I lost 25 grand.”

Scott:
And I sat down at the end of the year with my accountant. I’m like this is brutal. I can’t believe I lost money in real estate, and he said, “Theoretically you have a loss but you can carry that forward against a future gain.” I said, “Wait a second. Wait a second. What do you mean? I didn’t actually lose this?” He’s like, “You lost that money, but then you get to write it off against a future gain, so you’ll be net zero when it’s all said and done.”

Scott:
I was like, oh my gosh, this is brilliant. How come we don’t teach people that as long as you keep working at it, and you find a way to eventually make money in real estate, even if you lost money you’re going to get it back. You’re going to be able to write it off against a future gain? I say this to a potentially unqualified audience, but if you are a serious investor, if you have your LLCs, and C corps, or S corps, or whatever company structure you have set up to invest in real estate, if there is a deal that is not profitable there are ways to write off that lost against what would’ve been a taxable gain moving forward, and therefore you never really lost the money.

David:
Yeah. That’s a good way of looking at it.

Scott:
You have to find ways to … I call it disarming people’s hesitations with real estate. How do we disarm some of these bombs that people think are going to go off in their face? “I’m going to lose money.” I’m like, “Well, if you do 10 deals, and you lose money on one you’re going to write that off against the other nine, and you didn’t actually lose money.” And people are like, “Holy smokes. I never thought of it that way.”

Scott:
But if you just try it once, and you have no guidance, no information, and you never try again you will actually lose that money because there will be nothing future to write it off against.

David:
Yeah. That’s really good.

Brandon:
And that goes to all of life. If you try something, and fail at it, and you never do anything else well then you lost, but if you let that failure teach you something, and then you go succeed in the next thing that you can’t lose from trying. You’ll always be learning.

Scott:
Oh gosh, yeah. It’s funny. You brought up the boy band. Where’s the boy band today? Right it off against one of the things that I tried-

David:
There you go.

Scott:
… that didn’t work out. I’m not a successful multimillion dollar platinum record boy band.

David:
We can fix that. We can fix that.

Scott:
I don’t regret it for a second though. I needed all of that. I needed all that boy band, because it basically hardened me up to be the person that did the next thing, and I took something from that process and I was able to optimize the next thing that I did.

David:
That leads me to the question I really want to ask you, Scott, because if we haven’t mentioned this Scott owns over 100 rental properties. You are very successful. You’re very good at what you do. You’ve managed to stay humble while doing it, which makes it even more impressive, so you’re a guy we want to learn from. When I talk to successful people, or even when people ask me how did I get where I am, there’s usually points in my life where I had to go through a process that typically was painful at the time. It doesn’t have to be. I think I probably made it painful, but it changed a piece of my character.

David:
I got over my fear of talking to people. I got over this belief that money should be hard to make, or money should be easy to make, whatever it is. It changed how I thought, so even though that element of my life I may not have been successful, just like you said, it prepped me to go onto the next thing, and then to be able to be successful. Can you highlight specific turning points in your life where you went through an experience that changed you, that primed you, to then be successful at the next thing?

Scott:
Absolutely. This goes into a pretty deep conversation. However, happy to go there. There’s good and bad things that will happen to you that aren’t in your control in your life, and for that I sympathize with people, and I feel bad for people who go through difficult things. If you put yourself in a certain situation you lose my sympathy because you now have control of it in some capacity, so people are like, “Feel sorry for me. My job sucks.” I’m like, “Well, that job didn’t find you and make you work there. I’m not feeling sorry for you. Go get a better job.”

Scott:
Those things are all things we have to overcome ourselves, but for me personally, yeah, there’s a few big turning points, some of these really great like running for student council. That taught me a whole new discipline, and I had to learn trial by fire. I won this position, no idea what I’m doing, and then I had to really speed learn the whole thing so that I didn’t mess it up. That was a great exercise.

Scott:
But there were other elements like my father passed away when I was fairly young, all things considered. That’s something I would never wish upon anyone. It’s not a decision that I made. It’s just a really shitty situation that happened, and no matter what you look of me, or think of me, as he’s lucky, or he’s whatever, I’ll tell you right now not many people would want to trade positions with me in terms of what’s happened in my life, but the way I look at it is that you can go down two separate paths when something tragic or major happens that deals with relationships, health, or wealth, the three most important things in our lives.

Scott:
There’s a lot of energy that gets extended in those moments, and I remember I was pretty much paralyzed after my father passed away because it was very sudden, and I won’t get into it, but it was like he was a healthy man, he was young, and all of a sudden just gone, and we were all just in shock. I didn’t even believe it. I would go to bed at night, and I’d wake up in the morning and I’m like, “Was I dreaming? Is this real life? What is going on?”

Scott:
And it probably put me what I would say in a really bad place for several months where I just had no motivation to do anything. I just felt sorry for myself. And I think that was good. That was part of the mourning process for me. But then, I started to realize I’m not the only person that’s been through something like this, and although it’s negative I dug deep, and I was like, “What is it that I can do from this? How can I change all this negative energy into positive energy? How can I do something that would make him proud? How can I best use my life?”

Scott:
One of the things that happens when you lose somebody close in your immediate family, especially when you’re young is you think that’s when I’m going to die. That’s it. This is the amount of time I have. That’s something that was apparent to me as well. I’m like, “Oh my gosh. Life is short. Don’t waste time. Learn from the mistakes.” He wasn’t a perfect man. He never achieved his full career potential, never got to retire, never got to see his kids grow up, never got to see any of these things, and I was like I need to make sure that I front load my life, like I need to do all the things now.

Scott:
There’s no waiting. The sense of urgency that put on my life it’s hard to explain that to anyone who hasn’t been through that, but my only real attempt would be to just put a time constraint, or a limitation, to be able to realize that time is so valuable. That’s sometimes the pressure that people need in order to go out and start doing something different. You would think young people, teenagers, and millennials are the ones who are most ambitious. I personally, working with people who want to be entrepreneurs and real estate investors the average age of somebody who will sign up for one of my courses, or one of my events, is 51-years-old.

Scott:
51-years-old is the average age, and a lot of that has to do with right around that point you realize if I keep doing what I’m doing I’m not going to have the things that I always thought I was going to have, like you starting to realize that you’re running out of time to make that turn. There’s all kinds. Maybe it’s when you turn 50, or maybe it’s when somebody close to you gets sick, or passes away, or maybe it’s something to do with a relationship.

Scott:
A lot of people go through a divorce, and then you see they’re actually happier afterwards even though the pain of the divorce was devastating to them. There’s all kinds of these moments in people’s lives. But for me, being young, and trying different things, public speaking … I was petrified of public speaking, but I threw myself up on stage. I figured it out, and then I went to go watch other people do it, and I was like, “Oh my gosh. There’s a system to this. This is how you do it.”

Scott:
And just continuing to evolve. Just realizing as soon as I get to where I was planning on being now it’s time to evolve to the next level. There’s all kinds of things that get thrown at us, but it’s often when you’re shown how bad things can be that you will find the most motivation to rise yourself back to the top.

David:
Yeah. That’s really good. Brandon, what do you think about that? Are there any moments in your life you can point to?

Brandon:
100 of them, but before I say a couple of them I’ll just say I really like what you said about the sense of urgency, and I don’t have an answer for how to make somebody feel more urgent other than, this sounds so morbid, but contemplate death. When you contemplate the fact that no one gets out alive. This ends, and it could end sooner rather than later. I don’t know. It gives you that 50, 60-year-old urgency at maybe 20, 30, 40-years-old.

Brandon:
And so, whatever you’ve got to do. I get it. I’ve got no advice there. Just literally that’s so good to contemplate that. And I like how Scott you took a situation that is horrible to go through, and you found … I want to say good even. Maybe that’s not the right word.

David:
Profound is the word.

Scott:
Silver lining.

Brandon:
Yeah. Silver lining. Yeah, there you go. There’s something you pull out of that that’s working for you. I like the phrase people often say “Things don’t happen to me. They happen for me,” and I think that’s a good example of that.

Scott:
I like that.

Brandon:
Is that bad things happen, and when they happen, they happen for me. In other words, there’re things I can pull out of it, and so I think that’s just super interesting. And to bring back the boy band thing, if you would not have done the boy band you probably wouldn’t of had the confidence to do the public speaking, if you don’t do the public speaking maybe you wouldn’t of got the TV show, if you wouldn’t have the TV show you wouldn’t have the money to buy the real estate thing.

Brandon:
Each of those things, even the failures, even the hard times that you went through, all those things changed you to get to that next level of you, to reinvent yourself every time.

Scott:
Yeah. And it’s funny because we try to be … You guys are successful guys, and you know how much energy it takes to get to where you are, and to establish what you have, and we would all love to be able to strategically write it out and say, “Here’s the recipe from zero to 100% of what you have to do,” but the truth is you need to get to about 80 or 90%, and then you have to have, dare I say, a little bit of faith, or leave room for creativity.

Scott:
10% of what’s possible we don’t even know yet until we try these 90% of these. We have to try these nine things to figure out what that 10th thing is going to be, because you just don’t know. You start a boy band, and you realize the guy who was your manager turns out that he works for a production company and pitches you for a TV show, and you’re like I would’ve never met this guy if I didn’t take dancing lessons.

Scott:
The little things you do can have such a huge impact down the road. You just have to leave a little wiggle room for them to happen.

Brandon:
It reminds me of the analogy, I’m sure we’ve all heard it before, but a plane that takes off from New York to LA, and if they just get off two degrees, and they stay that two degrees out, by the time they get there they’re not LA anymore they’re in San Francisco let’s say, like just a small thing.

Brandon:
I’ve been working on this concept in my heads that last few weeks about a pivot year. Here we are going into the New Year, and a pivot meaning you just alter direction a little bit. In life, we don’t see when we make these choices, like I’m going to start eating a little better. That is a small pivot in your life that you don’t see right now, but five years down the road you might be 30 pounds lighter, so each of these moments in life are pivot moments which allow you to pivot, and we just do it throughout our entire life.

Brandon:
I guess I would encourage people to ask themselves is this going to be a pivot year. When I think back a pivot year was the year I started this podcast. I changed a little bit. I just did a little podcast. A few people listened to it. Nine years later now, or whatever it is, look where it’s at. When I bought my first rental property. When I went to college and met my wife. Those are pivot years that if we continue on the path that they do, and I guess trying to lean into those things, it’s just amazing what happens five, 10 years down the road when you look back and say that was a pivot year, and you never know you’re in a pivot year until it’s past, years later.

Scott:
I do have an exercise that I would suggest that absolutely anyone can do, and there’s absolutely no risk involved, and it just requires, like you said, a small pivot. It’s one thing that you can do, and if I were to look back on something that changed the trajectory of my life without me knowing, and I’ll fill you in with the story, and then I’ll give you this tip on how to do it, which is I worked in a restaurant when I was going away to school. I was a waiter, which by the way is a job that I recommend everybody does at some point in your life. You have to work in the service industry and just appreciate what that does.

Scott:
I worked doubles on the weekend, which is the lunch rush, and then I was the guy that stayed through to the dinner rush to service the two or three tables that would show up between two and five. And I worked in this restaurant, and these two old guys, these two 80 something year olds, would come in every Sunday afternoon. I still remember this day. They would come in, and they were usually the only table. It was like two in the afternoon. They’d sit down. They’d eat get a chicken souvlaki, and they would order a pitch of sangria, which is a red wine mix.

Scott:
And I’d get these guys the sangria. Sometimes they’d have a second thing of it. They would just get hammered, and then by 4:30 when the tables started coming in they’re like we’re out of here. And they were coming in for months, and months. Nice guys, whatever. And one day they got really hammed up. They were into it. They were thick. And there was no one else in the restaurant and I come over to the table, and they’re like, “Scott, dit down.” I’m like, “Why not?” I pull up a chair. I’m like, “What’s up guys?”

Scott:
They’re like, “We’ve decided to help you.” I’m thinking I’m getting a big tip, and they said, “We’re in our 80s, and we’re looking at you running around. Every weekend you’re here working. We’ve never had another waiter other than you,” and they’re like, “How old are you? What do you do?”

Scott:
“Going to school.” I filled them in. They’re like, “Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to tell you all the things that we’ve been talking about when we come here what we would do if we could go back and be your age.” At the time, I was like, okay, I’ll humor them, whatever, but these guys had a list. They literally had made a list, and they’re like, “If we could go back 60 years and be your age the first thing we would do is travel.” And they’re like, “Why aren’t you traveling? Why are you here all the time?”

Scott:
They’re like, “You have to go and book a trip and just go. Go for a month, or go for two months.” They literally were telling me you need to go on a trip, and I thought that was interesting. They’re like, “Even skip school for a year, just go travel.” And they’re like, “Do you have a girlfriend?” I’m like, “Yes.” And they’re like, “You need to break up with her. You cannot have a girlfriend at your age. You need to go out and have lots of girlfriends, even the girls who you don’t find super attractive you will regret when you’re 80-years-old that you didn’t go out with them.”

Scott:
I’m like, “What?” He’s like, “I would date any girl your age if they would date me.” And they gave me these funny, but guy-to-guy, 85-year-old to 19-year-old insight into these are the things that you’re going to wish you did when you’re our age, so why don’t you start doing them now, and the funny thing is they said, “You should invest in real estate.” And I’m like, “I can’t invest in real estate.” They’re like, “Stop that nonsense. You borrow, beg, or steal money from anywhere you can, and you buy as much real estate as possible, and you keep it until you need to sell it.”

Scott:
I was like, “That’s a silly plan,” and they’re like, “That’s the basics, but trust me. Just buy it.” They game me this list, which I didn’t take seriously. I was like, “Drunk old guys,” but as time went by I couldn’t shake this advice that they had given me, and I was like, “You know what? I did breakup with my girlfriend.” I was like, “These guys maybe are on to something.” And then, I booked this trip to Costa Rica for a month, the best thing I ever did.

Scott:
And then, I got into real estate, and I remember when I got into real estate I was like … These guys gave me a time machine. This is a gift that anyone can take advantage of, is talk to somebody who’s at least a generation, if not two, older than you, and just ask them this question, “If you were me at my age what are the five things you would do right now?” And then, go and do those five things, literally, because otherwise you’re going to look back in 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now and wish you had done them.

Brandon:
That’s really good. Scott, how old are you? 31?

Scott:
42, bro.

Brandon:
All right, so 42. You’re sitting right now at a coffee shop, and some guy comes up, and he’s 21, and he’s like, “Scott, oh my gosh, it’s you. Tell me, what are the five things you would do if you were me at this age right now?” What advice do you offer those people who are 20 right now, and 19, 20, 21, 22, 23?

Scott:
That’s a genius reply to my thing. It’s not the same answer for everyone. However, in your 20s what do you have to lose, really? In your teens and in your 20s. I say spend your teens just being a teenager. Don’t worry about the future so much. It really doesn’t matter, and I hate to say this, it doesn’t matter where you get your degree, it really doesn’t matter what your grades are. Nobody’s ever asked to see my degree other than when I bought a car-

Brandon:
Never.

Scott:
… I got a discount once, and nobody’s ever looked at my grades ever. Ever.

Brandon:
Yep. Never.

Scott:
There’s no job interview where they’re going to say, “You know what? Before we hire you we want to see your grade eight report card.” Never is that going to happen, so just have a good time in your teens, and then when you’re in your 20s you still don’t have to know what you’re doing to do when you grow up, but you have yo throw caution to the wind and get experience. Take the job, go on the trip, date the people.

Scott:
Some people get too caught up, like you said. They’re almost over educated. They’re 22, and they’ve got three degrees, and they’re like, “Well, I have an MBA, and a doctorate, and a bachelor’s degree and I need to start my career,” and I’m like, “No, you don’t because in 10 years from now you’re probably going to want to change your career, and you’re going to start from scratch anyway.”

Scott:
You need to just get life experience, and relationship experience. The people that you meet and have a relationship with in your 20s are the ones who are going to open all the doors for you in your 40s, and 50s. You need to get to know people, and you need to hustle too. You really need to hustle. Like I said, if you can get your hands on a piece of real estate, whether it’s buying the whole thing, partnering with your parents, getting together with five friends, get your hands on a piece of real estate that cashflows. That’s it.

Scott:
Everything else doesn’t matter. It can be in Timbuktu for all I care, but get yourself a property, ideally a primary residence so you pay no capital gains on the profit eventually, but get yourself into a piece of real estate where you can start at least have it paying for itself, if not generating a little bit of profit to cover the expenses, and that one piece of property will probably if all goes well it will outpace your income in your lifetime.

Scott:
For the average American worker they can make just as much, if not more off of one good property investment as they will save off of their entire income in their lives. That’s outlandish, and the fact that isn’t taught to us in our education system is mind-blowing. Mind-blowing.

Brandon:
High schools are too busy teaching you how to do the Pythagorean theorem, or whatever that is. I don’t even know.

Scott:
It’s true.

Brandon:
They never ask you later in life about … Yeah, that’s really good. I was thinking when I was 23 I think my wife and I, we had been married, we got married young, I think I was 22, so I was 23 and we just packed up and went for almost a month over to Europe, and put the whole thing on a credit card. We just had a couple real estate deals at the time. My mother-in-law looked after them while we were gone.

Brandon:
At the time, we were like we don’t have the money for this, and I’m not giving advice here because I don’t want people to go and just max out their credit cards, I put the whole trip though on a credit card. We did it cheap. I didn’t go crazy. We did the whole trip, including flights and everything, for five grand total for almost a month.

Scott:
Wow.

Brandon:
But I don’t regret a second of that $5,000 credit card because I think about it every day. I still think about that trip. Every day we talk about that trip. It was amazing.

Scott:
Build memories in your 20s. Plant the seeds for your investments, build your memories, go out and try all the things. By the time you get to your 30s, yeah, you want to have something substantial. I always tell people by the time you’re in your 30s it’s critical that you have an investment, or an entrepreneurial investment of some sort, or a rental property because I’ve done the statistics.

Scott:
With the public speaking engagements what’s amazing about going around … You know this. You guys train people in real estate, and we do a tremendous amount of data digging. We know everyone who registers. We know their income. We know their age. We know their ZIP codes, or postal codes. That’s just the way it rolls. And it fascinates me that people who are interested investing in real estate, if you look at it in a graph there’s a bump, like you see 19, 20 you get these people interested in real estate, and then by about the age 30 you see this huge drop off.

Scott:
It’s the weirdest thing. All of a sudden, people in their 30s aren’t really interested in real estate investing, and then by 45 you see the hockey stick effect. The amount of people looking for real estate information skyrockets from 45 to 70-years-old. Those are the hungriest people. And for the longest time I was like, “What is wrong with people who are in their 30s? Why aren’t they interested in real estate?”

Scott:
And we started to actually send questionnaires out to the people who weren’t registering, or won’t showing up, and it turns out they were too busy. They had young kids. They were trying to establish their careers. They were distracted by life, which is really what puts this important emphasis on if you can set yourself up in your 20s, if you have a couple investments, then you get to actually live your 30s, and come out in your 40s with something that’s killing it.

Scott:
That 10 years, even for me. I got married at 29. I had my kids in my early 30s. All of a sudden, here I am 42, I am just starting to now look at my career, which I’ve been busy. I’ve got five or six companies, a few 100 people working for me. We’ve done well, but now I’m sitting back and I’m saying it’s time to hockey stick this. This is next level stuff. I want double digit exponential growth for the next few years, because for the last 10 years we’ve 10% annual growth, 20% annual growth. I want 300% growth now because the distractions are gone. My kids are doing online learning right now by themselves. That’s mind-blowing, and they’re seven and eight-years-old, and they can now for hours independent learning, and I’m like, oh my gosh, now I have all this extra energy. It’s time to crush it again.

Scott:
You have to be really strategic about your 20s in that enjoy them like crazy. Plant those seeds. Get a couple investments going, then while you’re busy in your 30s by the time you’re in your 40s you’re like, “Huh, look at that. I made $400,000 on those properties and I wasn’t even paying attention.”

Brandon:
That’s a good example of the whole pivot year thing, if you can do one of those little pivots when you’re in your young 20s, and even if you’re in your 30s right now, fine, buy it when you’re 32, 33, at least them when you’re 43, 45, 50 you still might shave off a decade or two off of your retirement.

Scott:
Absolutely.

Brandon:
It’s just making those choices right now no matter where you are in life. Man, this is so good.

David:
Real estate works that way. It works better over time. It's like planting a tree. It starts off really slow. All of it gets that way. Rent increase is going up, it builds your cashflow, exponential return. Equity, it could go up, it could go down. It's going to go up over time. The loan, the way a loan gets paid off. The longer you get into that the better return you start getting, and that's how, what you said Scott was brilliant, your investment will outpace your income.

David:
It won’t do it in years one through five. You get into years 15, 20, 25 it’s flying past you, and if you planted more of those trees when you were younger, like you said, you’ve got this swell behind you. That’s the big regret I have from my 20s is I was out there trying to outwork everybody in the restaurant industry thinking I’m making more money than all my buddies because I was making 30 grand a year, and they were making 12 grand a year. What did any of that mean now where we could make that in a week?

David:
I should have been learning, getting better at building relationships, talking to more 80-year-old people, putting those pieces in place so that when I got to this point I was primed. I was a little bit behind, so I think that’s fantastic advice. That’s what I would tell everyone I know in their 20s. Don’t worry about what you’re earning. Worry about what you’re learning. The time to earn will come when you get a little bit older.

Scott:
I wanted to pitch a show, so with our production company we put together a show pitch, and again, it’s not dead yet, but it’s been hard to get some traction, and it was called 1,000 Years of Good Advice, and it was 12 interviews with people over the age of 85, all wealthy, successful individuals, and it was compiling a 1,000 years of good advice into one hour, and basically saying here’s the top 10 things that you should know from some highly successful people who have got 1,000 years of experience combined.

Scott:
We started with the casting, and we talked to a couple people, and even my mind was just blown. I was like this is such a good idea. I might just run with the show anyway, and then try to sell it afterwards. Usually, we get [crosstalk 00:54:26].

Brandon:
I feel like Netflix would pick up that thing.

Scott:
They should. 1,000 Years of Good Advice. It’s genius.

Brandon:
It’s really good. That’s really good. All right. Before we get out of here I’ve got one more topic I want to hit. As you said, you have hundreds of people now that work for you. You’ve got a bunch of businesses. How do you structure that? What I’m wondering is from a standpoint of there’s you, do you have a COO that runs your life, or do you have an assistant? Do you meet with these people regularly? How does that look from a tactical standpoint?

Scott:
Yeah. I think transparency and honesty is going to be the theme here versus … Take what you want from what I will reveal because I don’t necessarily think I have the best system, but this is just the way I do things. I do now have an assistant. I have no assistants at all. I tried years and years ago, but I just found it was an impossible frustration for me.

Scott:
You send me an email. I’ll send you an email. If you DM me on Instagram I’m going to probably be the one to see it. I like to be in charge of my personal life, and I don’t like impersonators of me. But that being said, I do have a team, and there’re certain people who reply and organize different things, and everybody’s got their role, but I act as the CEO of all the companies, whether it’s McGillivray Entertainment, which is our production company, and then I have a VP who basically does a lot of the overseeing of the company.

Scott:
Same thing with the real estate business. The real estate training side we have Keyspire. My business partner there he runs the day-to-day. I do the branding, marketing, and also obviously contributing to content, and doing all the events, but that’s a company where depending on … In a pandemic, we’ve really had to tighten up because live events is a huge part of that organization, but we accordion up to 300 people when we’re really ramped up working at Keyspire, and then recently we’ve had to compress that down to almost half that amount of people just because all the live events teams are basically on a temporary leave.

Scott:
And then, there’s The McGillivray Group, which is the branding, and the endorsements, and my brother is the president of that company.

Brandon:
That’s cool.

Scott:
He’s awesome. I always say my brother is the number one, number two guy. You know what I mean?

Brandon:
Yeah.

Scott:
He keeps me in line. He's always dotting the I's and crossing the T's, and so I have a lot of trust in him as well to be able to really make big decisions on how we represent ourselves. And then, I have the real estate investing company, which is my portfolio of properties, which believe it or not doesn't require a lot of employees. It's a lot of managing of property managers, and service providers. It's like a massive spreadsheet, and somebody just making sure that all the payments are being made, all of the rents are coming in. It's like a property manager managing all the remote property managers across North America who deal with my portfolio in those locations.

Scott:
Those are the four primary companies. As you know, running any business there’s going to be holdcos, and S corps, and LLCs. There’re hundreds of those that are just all reporting up to the primary trusts. But there’s always a few things in the works too. I’ve got a couple start-ups on the go, and I thrive on that stuff. I need to be pushing myself. I say this with a grain of salt.

Scott:
I am the mad scientist, for sure. I’m always like, “Why don’t we do this?” And everyone’s just like, “Oh my gosh, we just got everything organized.” I’m like, “Yeah, I know. We just got everything organized, but if we don’t evolve we are going to go extinct.” Right?

Brandon:
Yeah.

Scott:
We need to be trying something new. I probably have a lot of strategy type personalities running the organizations, giving the reporting, and I manage from a financial side. The P&Ls mean everything to me. I look at the P&Ls once a week. I spend at least a day just looking at numbers, and making sure that … That’s where I build my confidence. I’m like, “Okay, I feel confident with everything that’s happened.”

Brandon:
It’s so good.

Scott:
And then, we have our conversations. “What’s going on? What do we need to know? What decisions do we need to make? Where do we need to be?” It’s an evolving process, and each company has its own personality. It’s like kids. You raise your kids all the same way, but they’re completely different. It doesn’t matter how you raise them you’re going to have one kid that’s crazy outgoing, and one that’s super shy, one that’s street smart, one that’s book smart.

Scott:
You raise your kids the same way I’ve raised my company’s the same, but they evolve to be their own things, and you have to ebb and flow as the top guy. I have to be plastic, and morph here and there, and wear a lot of hats. There’s no magic recipe for me. I do read a lot of books, as I know you guys do. You guys are huge on the education side. Anytime you’re running into a big hurdle I usually look up a book from somebody who’s figured it out, and read it, or I’ll watch an episode on YouTube, or listen to a podcast about it, and try to find a strategic way out.

Brandon:
What’s the best tip you can give for people on leadership? When you’re trying to build a team, trying to get more people to follow them, what’s your best leadership tip?

Scott:
Gosh. I think the ultimate recipe for being a successful leader I haven’t figured out that recipe yet. I’ll be the first one to be honest to say I’m not the best leader I could be yet. That’s the most important thing. I always put the word yet behind something that you haven’t accomplished. I’m not the best yet. I’ve tried. I’ve tried several different things. I’ve tried to be the company culture first guy, like try to just please everybody, and that led to basically an impossible mission of trying to keep everybody happy.

Scott:
And I’ve also tried to run it’s my way or the highway, everybody get onboard with it, and that’s a whole different kind of company culture that creates where basically you get your nine to fivers, and then you lose everybody. Nobody’s invested after that. I think the real magic’s going to be in finding a balance between the two, finding a way to keep people motivated, but not at the cost of the company.

Scott:
If I could say what the perfect situation is, and I still haven’t been able to achieve it, but I’ve seen it, and it’s being able to have the staff act like owners. I don’t know, there’s got to be some sort of compensation method plus rules and regulations. In one of my companies you know what we did two years ago? We said we’re no longer doing vacation time. Everybody’s like, “I want four weeks vacation. I want six weeks vacation.”

Scott:
Here’s what we said. We said, “You take as much vacation as you want. Unlimited vacation for everybody, but if you don’t get the job done you’re fired.”

Brandon:
Did you find vacation time went up, or did you find it went down? Because I know a lot of them that people just stop taking vacations.

Scott:
Some people just basically took that as I will never come into the office again, literally. And then, I found that some other people, like my VP at the end of the year, she said, “Scott, before I review I just want to let you know I’ve taken three vacation days this year, and I need to take more next year.” I’m like, “You have unlimited vacation.” She’s like, “I know, but now I just don’t know when to take it. There’s no sense of urgency.”

Brandon:
Yep.

Scott:
It really helped us find the people who were … You’ve got to promote the people who are just working harder in that situation, and eventually you’ve got to shed the weight of those who are taking advantage of it. I haven’t found the perfect recipe. If you guys have a book that you can recommend I’ll eat it up.

Brandon:
I don’t know.

David:
You know what I think this is so hard? What you just described, do whatever you want, just get the job done, that works because that’s how life works. That is how everything else that you do works. Do you want to get in good shape? You could go to the gym as much as you want. I’m not going to make you go. You run your personal budget that you could spend your money on anything you want, just don’t go broke, or you’re not going to work here.

David:
The structure that we’ve created I believe it comes from The Industrial Revolution where we needed to get people standing in an assembly line doing a thing, and now we’ve brought that into the business world that we have now in this enviroment, and it creates this expectation that employees should have all their needs met. They should get to go on vacation and not have to work regardless of what’s happening in the company. There’s no connection. You’re not working together.

David:
Can you imagine a player on a sports team that’s trying to win a championship who says, “I think I’m just going to take the fourth quarter off in the playoffs. That’s when I want to take my vacation”? You would never do that if you cared. What I love is when Brandon asked you what advice do you have on leadership what you really answered is I have to try to make leaders in my company. You said they need to act like an owner, which is just another word for a leader.

David:
And so, if you’re listening to this, and you want to do better in your company, I promise you your boss is dying to see you step up and act like you own the company, what you would do if this was your money. This question comes up in my own businesses every week where someone says, “Hey, David. They countered us at this. What do you want to do?” I’m buying condos in Hawaii right now, and they’ll come back and say, “Hey, what’s the decision?” And I’ll say, “Well, if this was your money what would you do?” And they say, “I’d ask the lender if he can do better.” I’m like, “Well, why don’t you do that?”

David:
That wasn’t a really hard thing to do, but when you’re in that W-2 mindset you’re not thinking like it’s yours, and man, if you want to get to the top of the heap be the one person in that company that does that when everybody else is just, “When can I take my vacation? When can I clock out? When can I absolve myself of any responsibility that’s going on as fast as possible?”

Scott:
I’ve seen some incredible people, and I’ve seen the worst in people as well. I’ll be the first to admit not everybody has potential. I just don’t believe that. I’ve seen a lot of duds, and some people just haven’t tapped into it yet, and then other people have just mastered it. I think one of the best job interviews, I remember hiring this guy who still works for me, and in the job interview when it came to compensation his whole thing was it doesn’t even matter what you pay me now, because I am going to earn whatever you’re going to pay me.

David:
That’s good.

Scott:
“My number one job is how do I make your life easier, and how do I make you more money, and then we’ll talk about what I’m worth,” and I was like, “Fuck yeah, that’s right. I don’t even know what you’re worth right now.” Whereas most people they just come to you and they’re like, “I want a raise and I want more vacation time.” And when you say that to the boss the only thing the boss can think of is so you want more of the profits of the company, and you want to do less work, explain to me why this is a good idea for the organization, right?

David:
Yeah.

Scott:
It would be great if people were like, “Hey, listen. I would like to make the company another $100,000 and therefore if I made an extra five to $10,000 I really think it would be justified, but that’s just not how people think. They don’t think like an owner. People are typically thinking, me, me, me. How do I get more time away? How do I do less work and make more money?

Scott:
I don’t know how that got taught to people. I don’t know where that behavior is learnt from. But my advice, even for me, I might be the boss but I still have to go out and get business. I still have to negotiate with broadcasters, and sellers, and sponsors. I’m out there hustling, and I think the most important skill for people to have is sales believe it or not.

David:
Me too. I agree.

Scott:
Everyone needs to know how to sell, but I would never go to a broadcaster, and say, “Hey, you need to pay me more as a host, and I want to do less shows.” I usually go to the broadcaster and I say, “I’ll do as many shows as it takes for you guys to generate enough revenue to pay this license fee for my shows, and if we can’t bring in the ad revenue then go get a different host.”

Scott:
I’ve been the first to say it. Actually, right now I’m developing shows for some other talent because I’ve said to the broadcaster, I said, “My ultimate goal now is to be able to find somebody who’s better at these shows than me, and to get a higher license fee from the broadcaster for them, and I’ll produce it.” I don’t necessarily need to be the guy on camera. If there’s someone else who’s better on camera, which there’s lots of them, let me develop those people. Let me get the advertising revenue coming in for them, and everybody make more money.

Scott:
That's the ultimate goal. I have to sell the business to other companies that pay us, whether it's B2B, or B2C, and I think employees need to find a way to make themselves, dare I say, irreplaceable. Make yourself the most valuable player. It's just like you were referring to sports, David. I don't know who your favorite team, but you look at the star player on your favorite team. When they're getting all the goals it's hard not to pay them the most. You know what I mean? Because they've got leverage.

Scott:
As an employee, or an independent contractor, whatever it is if you can get the company winning, and prove that you are the most valuable player on the team, you're automatically going to be brought up the ranks because they can't afford to lose you.

David:
And there's an objection to that where people say, "What if I do that, but they don't pay me? What if they take advantage of me? So, I'm not going to try hard, because if I do then I could be taken advantage of. And what I would say is if you're the star player on your team, and you go crush it, and they don't want to give you a new contract you become a free agent, and you go to the team that does want you.

David:
And maybe they even give you some control over the other players they bring in. There’s some synergy now that’s created where you get to be in an even better situation. There’s no good business person out there who’s saying “This person would make our team better, make us more money putting people in the stands, give us a great reputation because they’re a class player, but I don’t want to pay them that much money so let’s not bring them in.”

David:
The successful people did not get to owning a team if that’s how they think. And that’s always what I say if someone says, “I don’t want to be good to my spouse because they might not be good to me, and they’re going to be taking advantage of me.” It’s just the worst attitude to take. When you’re the good one you find yourself in the driver’s seat in so many things in life, Scott.

David:
And I just want to personally thank you for coming on this show again and sharing your perspective on these things, because this is what I think our country needs to hear, and I guess your country too may be in the same position.

Scott:
I think there’s an opportunity for everybody to learn, and trying to be the best it’s not the easy way. It’s easier to suck, it’s easier to complain, and it’s easier to do nothing, and for some people that’s a choice, and that’s fine, but it’s hard to be good. It’s hard to succeed. It’s harder to do these things, but it’s better. I say the reward far exceeds the reward of doing nothing and getting little.

Scott:
I’d rather do a lot and get a lot. You’re right. You’re right. There’s something in our culture for some reason is either teaching people to do nothing, or do everything, but we’re losing the in between, which is do a little bit of both. You can have a job and have five rental properties. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s the ultimate plan. I think 99% of the population would be happy in a career that they enjoy even if they don’t make a ton of money, and then a little bit of extra side hustle to manage their five rentals so that they make sure they’re got two million dollars in retirement, even if their job was just because they loved it.

Brandon:
Yep.

Scott:
Right?

Brandon:
Yeah. It’s so good. Man, Scott, this has been phenomenal. We’ve got to get you out of here. Normally, we go to The Famous Four, but since you just did that with the other episode I want to ask just the first question of The Famous Four, which we alter on these weekend episodes. And that question is, what habit, or trait, are you trying to build in your own life right now?

Scott:
Something that I’m trying to do right now, I don’t know if it’s necessarily a habit, but I’m trying to build long-term value into my companies. For a long time, I’ve been focused on cashflow. You’ve got to be profitable now. But now, I’m looking at building equity into my companies. I’m trying to build long-term value.

Scott:
You talk about a pivot year. My pivot this year is to go from just keeping the cash coming in to reinvesting in systems and structure that will be scalable no matter who’s running it. You know what I mean? Dare I say, I’m trying to remove myself, or my need to be the face and the brand behind some of these things as they go, so really empowering other people.

Scott:
I think you guys really hit the nail on the head. I want to fix what’s not working in my life, which is I don’t know that I’ve been the best leader for the last few years. I’ve just been getting the job done. This year, the habit I’d like to improve is learn how to be a good enough leader that I can be proud of the teams that I work with, and have all the trust in the world in them.

Brandon:
That’s awesome.

David:
You’re saying I want to go from being the face of the boy band to being the owner of the record label. I like it.

Scott:
Bam. You got it. You got it.

Brandon:
Way to bring that full circle, David. That’s awesome. By the way, there’s a really good book called Built to Sell by I think John Warrillow, or something like that, have you read that one?

Scott:
I haven’t read it. I know it though.

Brandon:
Yeah, it’s good. It’s really good. Even if you don’t want to sell your businesses ever it’s one of those books that’s just really good on how to get your business running like a machine. It’s just like The E Myth, but it’s a little bit more fun to read than maybe The E Myth, which is also phenomenal. Check that out. Built to Sell. I think you’ll like it.

Scott:
I love it. I am going to read that.

Brandon:
Cool. All right, man.

Scott:
I think everyone’s got to read that one.

Brandon:
Yeah.

Scott:
Built to Sell.

Brandon:
Built to Sell. Where do people connect with you at? Where do they find you?

Scott:
Oh man. Hopefully, they’re watching the shows on HGTV because we’ve got lots of those coming, but definitely find me. I’m most active on Instagram, and that’s just at Scott_McGillivray, and then find me in all the regular places, Facebook. I’ve got my podcast, The Real Estate Rebel, and my website scottmcGillivray.com. Google me. You’ll find me.

Brandon:
You’re saying Scott without the underscore on Instagram, McGillivray was taken, so you had to go with the underscore?

Scott:
Yes. Yes.

Brandon:
All right. We need to go and find that guy.

Scott:
We need to find that guy. I’ll bet he’s got a lot of followers organically though.

Brandon:
I bet he probably does. Yeah. All right, man. Thank you so much. David, I’ll let you get us out of here.

David:
Thank you very much. This is David Green for Brandon NSYNC With Real Estate Turner signing off.

Outro:
You’re listening to Bigger Pockets 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. Be sure to join the millions of others who have benefits from biggerpockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.

 

Watch the Episode Here

Help Us Out!

Help us reach new listeners on iTunes by leaving us a rating and review! It takes just 30 seconds and instructions can be found here. Thanks! We really appreciate it!

This Show Sponsored By

Enjoy all the benefits of Real Estate Investing without all the headache! Rent to Retirement is your partner in achieving financial freedom & long term wealth!

Retire on your terms & timeline by investing in passive income properties!

Learn more by visiting renttoretirement.com or call 800-311-6781.

Deal Machine is a smartphone app that lets you (and your team) pin distressed properties, look up the property owner on the spot, and send them a personalized postcard in seconds – directly from the app. You can set the mailer on repeat to make sure you won’t forget to follow-up. And, while the app is sending a custom postcard, you can look up the owner’s phone number and email instantly.

Go to dealmachine.com/bp to 10x their DealMachine CRM access from 50,000 to 500,000 properties.

Mid-roll Sponsors

Indeed is the number one jobsite in the world because they get you the best people, fast. Unlike other sites, Indeed gives you full control and payment flexibility over your hiring. You only pay for what you need, you can pause your account at any time, and there are no long-term contracts. Plus, Indeed provides powerful tools to make your search that much easier.

Right now, Indeed is offering our listeners a free 75 USD credit to boost your job post -which means more quality candidates will see it, fast. Try Indeed out with a free 75 USD credit at Indeed.com/biggerpockets. Offer valid through March 31.

Post-roll Sponsors

You don’t need to be a millionaire to invest in real estate, you just have to be strategic with the money you have. Enter, You Need A Budget. An award-winning app and proven method that will teach you to gain total control of your money and build wealth.

Try You Need A Budget free for 34-days (no credit card required) at youneedabudget.com/biggerpockets.

Want more articles like this?

Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox

Sign up for free

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How Scott manages his hectic life between companies, shows, and family
  • Why successful people aren’t afraid of failing
  • What young or inexperienced investors should do when they feel scared of taking a risk
  • Why Scott says you “can’t lose money in real estate
  • The importance of talking to those who are older and have more experience than you
  • Scott’s top pieces of advice for young people just starting out their careers
  • How Scott runs his companies and what he’s doing to be a better leader
  • How you can be the MVP of your company 
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show:

Connect with Scott:

Real strategies that work for real people seeking to build wealth through real estate investments. Co-hosted by Brandon Turner and David Greene, this podcast provides actionable advice from investors and other real estate professionals, who chat about failures, successes, motivations, and lessons learned.
    Jordan Bateman
    Replied about 2 months ago
    One of the best interviews I've heard in a hot minute!!
    Kelsie Sands
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Loved the podcast! I think 1000 Years of Advice would be a great show. 👍🏻👍🏻
    Mason Kimball Accountant from Philadelphia, PA
    Replied about 1 month ago
    This was a great episode! Only one small thing that I wanted to clarify. Scott’s reason on why you can’t lose money in real estate is a bit misleading for the US income tax system. Not sure if maybe he was referring to Canadian tax code (which I am not familiar with) but in the US you can’t compare the value of a suspended loss to the non tax effected value of deferred tax asset like NOLs. To put another way, if you have a $100 NOL, that NOL will prevent you on paying taxes on $100 of qualifying offsetting income. Therefore, the true cash effect of that NOL is $100 * the tax rate of that offsetting income. Say the tax rate is 20% and the after tax cash effect of that NOL is only $20 ($100 * 20%). So while being able to carryforward losses to offset gains does soften the blow a bit, you’d still have an after tax cash outflow of $80 in this example. Just me being a nerdy CPA, still love the show :)