Monthly Archives: September 2013

More Phone Calls, More Success

A few weeks ago I was bored.  Normally my mind races 1,000x more than the next person, but when I’m bored is when it really takes off.  I like my ADD.

I started wondering what determines success?

Obviously a lot goes into this equation.  But what I find is that days I spend a lot of time on the phone means a great reward over the next few days, weeks, months – more importantly years.

What is a lot of time?

When I say spending a lot of time on the phone I’m not talking about chit-chatting, bull shitting, complaining, or gossiping.  I am talking about getting things accomplished.  So when I was bored I went back through my phones history from a few days earlier.  In one 18 hour span, I was on the phone 89 times.  This was incoming and outgoing.  The number also includes 12 outgoing calls that went unanswered and 6 incoming calls that were unanswered.

Three of those calls were 3 way calls I did with my AdvoCare business builders and their new potential business builders.  Those calls are expected to be longer, and they were in fact the longest of the day – all around 20 minutes. A majority of the other calls ranged from 2 to 3 minutes – some were less & very few were more. Straight and to the point.

So what all did I have going on at that point in time that had that many calls?

AdvoCare.  3 way calls, quick calls to the up line, quick calls to the ever-growing down line, and checking in with current retail customers who just started product.  Also reaching out to those who are interested in product or the business, but have yet to pull the trigger.

Real Estate. This was a few days before we closed on the property. Numerous calls to and from the attorney, real estate agent, title company, the to be mortgage holder, our builder and my dad. Also had to call the electric, sewer & water, and disposal companies.

App 1 – SkeePet.  Our designer, developer, and my dad.

App 2 – Vet24Seven. Our business team of 8, the Co-Founders; including dad, and the CEO of Recom Technologies in Silicon Valley.

Where it stands out most is in my AdvoCare business.  The more I am on the phone with our great team, the more success I see down the road.  It is less visible with the Apps and real estate because those are longer term projects.  I would love to somehow have my stats from my phone automatically saved (they already are) and reported to me in a cool chart.

Cell phones make productivity increase exponentially if you use them correctly.

3 Weeks Dealing With Tenants

I’m having fun.

If you are a first time reader, I closed on a four-unit investment property 3 weeks ago.  If you are unfamiliar, please feel free to catch up on what I’ve been up to – One Day; $28,000 & Investment Property: Part 1, Cosmetics.

Going through this process, before and after the closing, I have heard negative stories from numerous people telling me how it’s not worth the time and effort to deal with tenants.

My reaction was and still is – 1) It’s about relationships; everything is; & 2) You must have bought at the wrong price if it’s not worth it.

About relationships.  I’m not telling you to be a push over.  What I’m saying is; listen to them, tell them you understand, but then be firm in your decision-making.

Our rule, rent must be paid by the 7th of each month.  If not, we deliver a 5 day notice that states if we do not receive full payment in 5 days they must be out by the 13th and if they refuse to do so we will see them in court.

Simple communication.

One lady, who received a 5 day notice, gave us $200 on the 10th, but that payment came with a note.  The note talked about how she was the one that took care of the property.  She cleaned it, she shoveled snow, etc, etc.  She also said she wanted to pay the rest of her rent at the very end of the month.

I immediately called her and told her that she knew the deal because she received the five day notice.  I then told her again the exact time frame and what our actions would be if we were not paid in full by the end of the 5 day notice.

I didn’t get heated, I didn’t get mad, I didn’t butt heads.  I simply listened to her and what was going on in her life – she did most of the talking (the less you talk, the more you win) and simply said, “I understand, I am sorry for your situation, but the bank doesn’t let me pay late no matter what is going on in my life.  We need your rent paid in full or else you move out.  If not a court date will be set.”  She said, “Okay, I understand too, I will move out before the 5 days are over.”

She was not upset, she agreed with my response.  Everything comes back to the person who has power and how that person acts.  If I would have made a huge deal out of it, raved and ranted, yelled and argued with her this deal would have dragged out in a courtroom.

That’s my serious story.

A funny story.

The first week we had the property I went to mow and weed-whack since the yard looked awful!  The last time the building was weed-whacked was back in 1974 when the building was constructed

Picture this.  I’m whacking the weeds like crazy.  Going to town.  It’s hot out and I’m sweating – ready to jump in a pool.  Unknown to myself, amongst the weeds; sat a cilantro plant.  Right when I chopped that sucker I knew I hit an herb.  But c’mon man, it was in the middle of weeds, so I really didn’t think it belonged to a tenant.  WRONG!

Two hours later the phone rings.

“Hello.”

“Hey man, I pay my rent early and you chop my wives cilantro plant.  Your lawn mowing crew came and it’s gone. That’s our cilantro man, we cook with it.  You killed it. We have to fix this.”

“Well, how much cilantro was there?”

About a 5 second silence.

“Ahhh, 20 to 25 dollars worth.”

“Okay, I’m sorry for chopping up the cilantro plant, I’m sure it will grow back but I will give you some cilantro.  And next year, lets find a different place to use as a ‘garden.’ Okay?”

I like telling the story in person better because I get to use my accent.

i abbreviated the conversation but the man was getting upset.  I could hear it in his voice as he went on but I told him we will take care of the problem and next year we will move his garden so there is no more trouble with this.

Over the last year I have really learned that everything works out better if you stay calm, listen to people, ask questions and before you respond always say, “I understand…”

If You Missed It

If you have missed it, here is our content from the first half of September!

One Day; $28,000

Journey Comes After Start

Eight Months & I

My Memory of September 11

Investment Property: Part 1, Cosmetics

Opportunities Left Unrecognized

Enjoy your Saturday of college football and Sunday of NFL football!!!

Opportunities Left Unrecognized

I write often about opportunities.

Everywhere you go – life is full of opportunities.

It is said, every individual is presented an opportunity of a lifetime once every two weeks.  The problem?  They simply do not recognize it.

The other day while traveling, I was in the airport watching my Packers go 0-1 to the 49ers. While watching I noticed a man, because of his attire, I knew was a University of South Dakota football coach.

As the game was near its end, he got up but before he took off for his gat he started chit-chatting with us, and perhaps, because of my build; he knew I once played football.

He openly offered me a GA (Graduate Assistant) opportunity for next year.  Because of the many projects I am involved in I told him now is not the time (And I believe I would only coach under my former college coach).

He gave me his card and I gave him mine.  He said to stay in touch.

I thought to myself, “Why?  What made him stop by our table, talk to me, and offer me a GA position, on spot, at a decent FCS program; without even knowing me?”

Although I do not see myself becoming a GA anytime soon, I feel there was more to that meeting.  I will be staying in touch with this coach, who knows, it could be one of these unrecognized opportunities.

For the last few years I have learned to keep my antennae up.  Knowing that no matter how hard I focus on it, many opportunities will still go unrecognized, unexplored; but I want to capture as many of them as I can.

Have you ever ran into and started chit-chatting with a stranger?  Probably many times. I am willing to bet, if you asked to stay in touch with half of those people, a great opportunity would have already came out of it.

So I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to stay connected to people who happen to fall into your life at random places, at random times; because that person could be a door opening to your dreams, your purpose for life.

Investment Property: Part 1, Cosmetics

With the recent purchase of a four-unit investment property, I figure now is the time to begin “video blogging.”  Enjoy!

And incase you missed it, check out One Day; $28,000