Category Archives: Business

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.

One Day; $28,000

On Friday I took a huge step.  I closed on my second piece of investment real estate, but my first being a majority owner.

If you saw one of last week’s posts, Financial Freedom – Understanding Financial Statements, then you have a basic understanding of financial freedom, and how your income statement and balance sheet work together.

The four unit property that we purchased was definitely a great deal.  When we negotiated the price down and got an accepted offer, we knew it was worth much more than what we would be paying; based on the current income vs the income potential.

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Me at the new four-unit. Coming real soon – new siding and minus a few bushes!

Per our lender, we were not able to see the appraisal (valuation) until closing.

The appraisal is an important piece to the puzzle.  It can explain a lot.  It tells you how good at negotiating Your Business Team is, how good of a deal finder you are and how much money you essentially put into your back pocket for signing on the dotted line.

Our appraisal came in $28,000 over the price we purchased the property for.  No we do not get that in cash.  But, that $28,000 in equity, added to the 20% we put down; can be used as collateral to buy another, similar property without a down-payment!

We know that come three years from now, this equity will only grow – and quicker than the average property.

Why?

Since the previous owner did not stay on top of her investment, her rents got $85 per month, per unit; behind the going rate – in the area.  Three years from now, when the rent is up to par, the appraisal will go through the roof.

Thanks for checking us out. Stay tuned over the next few weeks to see the improvements we will be making to the property and a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT on another project of ours!

Your Business Team

If you have ever played sports, if you have ever coached sports or are an avid sports fan; you understand how important the team really is.

Running an AdvoCare business for almost a year and a half, I have seen many people succeed, but also a few fail.  Both are often correlated to how often, and how effectively they decide to use the team which got them involved.

I have used, do use and will continue to use my entire AdvoCare team to build my business to greater and greater heights, helping more and more people.

On August 30th we are closing on a four-unit rental property – in large part because of our team.  We are the Founders of our own app, in development, SkeePet; and Co-Founders, with a group out of Silicon Valley, of Vet24seven, which will be featured on Indiegogo in mid-September.

I can’t stress enough, in those three cases, we have a GREAT team around us.

I will use our real estate project for an example.

The core team members of projects such as these consist of a realtor, an inspector, a contractor, a private lender, a quality attorney, and an insurance agent.

To start with, the four-unit we are closing on was purchased for $197,000 and it’s appraisal came in for more than $225,000.  That is essentially $28,000 put into our back pocket.

Yes, this is due to our persistence, but mainly because our realtor did a fantastic job.  We are picky when it comes to investments like this.  She’ll admit, we make her work for her commission since we look for undervalued properties to garnish a higher return.  In 2010 we bought a commercial property, 35 cents on the dollar, through her.  From that point, until now, we must have gone through 100+ properties to find the right one.  The property fell into our lap because our realtor knew the woman (another realtor) who was selling.  We were the only ones to look at the property, no one else even knew it was for sale! Our relationship with our realtor, teammate number 1, paid huge dividends…for a second time.

Once we found this four-unit we knew it had some pretty minor fix ups to be done.  But to find things we might have overlooked we had our inspector check it out.  He found three things that we would not have noticed.  Thank you teammate number 2.

To complete the fix ups, correctly, we got our contractor involved – who previously built one of our buildings.  He took a look at the inspection report and gave us an estimate of what it would take for him to fix it up.  We know he does quality work and that his estimates are dead on.  Teammate number 3 will begin work four days after closing.

After talking to many banks and being unsatisfied, we came across a private lender in Madison, WI.  They, hands down, gave us the best terms: 30 year amortization, 7 years locked at 4.25% (awesome for investment property), and a 20% down payment. Teammate number 4 will probably get more investments from us in the future.

Our attorney.  We have used him for nearly 10 years now.  Real estate law is convoluted.  This guy is experienced, high quality, tough nosed, and smarter than a whip when it comes to deals like this.  Yes we pay a premium for him, a premium many would not be willing to pay, but it is important to get this part right.  You do not want to overlook a document and be backed into a corner three, ten, or fifteen years from now.  Teammate number 5 is definitely worth every penny we pay him today.

Last but not least our property insurance agent.  He protects us incase something happens to our investment and we have to rebuild.  But he also protects us in case a third-party member gets injured on our property.  Without proper insurance, you could be left devastated.  Thanks for protecting us teammate number 6.

All this being said…it is always about the team!

If you have a passion, a dream, a desire to live a different life than many around you – share your thoughts with others!  Create a team.  Surround yourself with team members you are confident in, who make you better, who can help change your life forever.

NEVER keep your passion, dreams, your personality wrapped up…LET THEM SHINE!

Financial Freedom – Understanding Financial Statements

Ever wonder how people can become financially free?

Yeah, you have heard stories about your neighbor’s, uncle’s, best friend’s, friend traveling when he wants to where ever he wants; doing activities he wants to do on his own terms.  Often times those type of people get labeled as the “financially free.”

Financially free is when you have more money coming in than money flowing out by “working” significantly less or on your terms.

How do people accomplish this, and how can you?

Step one is understanding your income statement(s) and balance sheet(s); and how they coordinate with each other.

Just recently, for the second time, I finished reading three of Robert Kiyosaki’s, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” books.  These are three of my favorite all time books, reason being – he does a hell of a job making you understand these financial statements and how they really do apply to the type of life you live.

(All of the following graphics are from Robert Kiyosaki’s books)

The graphic above shows four different ways you can have an income.  To be financially free, you ideally want to be on the right side of the quadrant. The “B” and “I” quadrants mean you do not have to be present to have an income, it is literally your money working for you.  You also are allowed certain (legal) tax breaks that the left side of the quadrant does not have access too.

For example.  Those who fall on the right side of the quadrant can invest in paper assets (stocks), real estate, etc, etc, with before-tax dollars while those who fall on the left have much less to invest because they must use after-tax dollars. (One of the MANY examples)

Where do you currently fall?  Where do you want to end up?

The top two, vertical boxes in the above graph resemble an income statement.  The bottom two horizontal boxes resemble a balance sheet.  This graphic shows a person who has, or is on their way to, financial freedom.

Do you see why?

Their income comes from assets such as, a rental property. They take the income from the rental property and pay the mortgage, taxes, insurance and all other expenses (which also deducts their taxable income) that come with owning property, distribute some to themselves, and reinvest the rest into their asset column.  This is why the “rich get richer.”

Who’s financial statement is above?

It certainly looks like someone who may be caught in the “rat race.”  This person has one source of income, and that is as an employee.  They do not have any income from assets, a business.  They might be struggling month to month with bills, car, house/rent, credit card payments, etc, etc.  Not to mention, they have to answer to a boss.

So how can this person turn their balance sheet around?

One way might be by taking a passion, starting a business and running it part-time to begin with.  Once they begin to get a positive cash flow from their idea, from their passion, they can take before-tax dollars and invest it into their asset column and they are well on their way.  They have begun their journey towards financial freedom.

I definitely recommend Robert Kiyosaki’s books and reading them in this order:

Rich Dad, Poor Dad          Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant          Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing

Why Successfull People ALWAYS Succeed

Ever have your best thoughts at night before bed?  All day you THINK you are tired but then you lay down, your mind starts cranking out ideas; thoughts and you just can’t sleep?

It’s just a mindset.  You weren’t tired all day.  You chose to feel that way.  For whatever reason you picked to be tired.  Thoughts are running through my head now.  So I’ll bring you this at 11 PM.

The hardest thing in life is to start something.  It’s hard on certain days for me to go workout, and l love working out.  But once I get there, get warmed up, get going; there are days I don’t want to stop.  Starting is the hardest part.  Starting.  We all have the potential, it is just turning it into the kinetic form that is toughest.

Why do successful people succeed in a majority of things they do?

Well for starters, you only notice successful people when they are successful, once they hold a certain prestige. Many people look at Steve Jobs and think, “Well isn’t he fortunate to be worth billions, man he was lucky,” but they never take the time to investigate the true cause of his success. (Read his book)

So once someone becomes successful, why do they normally stay that way?  When Richard Branson, or Elon Musk (if you don’t know their stories, please click their names) start new ventures they now turn to gold.

I think (I hate to say I think, because some people could careless what I think; then again this is my blog) they see the 40,000 foot view of EVERYTHING.  What do I mean?

To be successful for the very first time,  you have to climb a mountain.  I’m talking Mount Everest.  It is no easy feat.  Me, as a human being, I am a little ant on the ground compared to Mount Everest.  I can’t see the big picture yet, there is too much junk that is at my level, in my face, blocking the view of the master plan. Trees, bushes, the visitor center, people. I have the 5’10” point of view.  But as things start going my way, as I start to get small successes, I begin climbing that mountain.  Soon I have a 1,000 foot view.  I now know more, perhaps can see farther down the road, can see storms coming from a distance, but can’t yet see the entire road map.

Well, Richard Branson and Elon Musk have been so successful, as of now they are further ahead of me on the climb..  They can see the big picture very clearly.  Their point of view is so high (literally, they both are into space exploration) that they not only see the map, they conceptually understand all the details of the map.  They have the entire blue print spelled out for them letter by letter.  This puts them at huge advantages for their next venture.

Also, when you first start, you are among thousands, millions of people.  The further you make it, the less crowded it becomes.  When you are three-quarters of the way up, you are with survivors, you are with people of your like ability.  You have taken notice of them, they  have taken notice of you.  Every now and then you need partners, you need investors.  When you meet each other at the top, it’s a bit easier to find the right people, the best people.  Amongst the thousands, its TOUGH.  At the base of the mountain you might have thought you picked the best climbing mate the world has seen.  He’s 6’4″, looks strong as an ox, possesses a six-pack.  Not an ounce of fat on the man.  But is he mentally strong enough to keep going when his body gets sore.  When it starts to rain, and higher up when it starts to snow, what about when the air gets thinner and it’s tough to breath?  Is he scared of heights?  You see, It is hard to judge that person at the base of the mountain.  His true character will soon be revealed.  For those people, Forest’s momma was right, “life is like uh box uh choclates, ya never know whatcha gunna git.”

This is why if you can succeed once you most likely can succeed at anything you do.  This is why, if you make it to the pinnacle, but an avalanche takes you back to the base to be left even with the millions, you can and you know you will get back to the top.

It takes a tough person to get started.  It takes a tough person to make it passed the 100 foot, 1,000 foot even the 5,000 foot view.  The entire journey is a mindset.  But if you have the mindset to show up, and start, you are already ahead of 80% of the world.  It now comes down to toughness and desire and that desire better be burning.  Just get to that 40,000 foot view once, and my money is on you to do it again.