This is episode #397, and my guest today is Steve Rozenberg. Steve is a real estate investor, owns a property management company that manages over 800 doors, and an inspiring entrepreneur.
As we continue to get the new year started, we want to make sure you don’t get too comfortable letting up on your new year goals…so we talk about planning for success today. It’s common for people to set goals based on someone else’s dreams, and to focus often too much on business or money goals…vs. all the other things that are important in our lives.
Today Steve and I talk all about goal planning, how to define what success means to you personally, and the daily and periodic rituals to go through to help you crush your goals.
Let’s get started. Please help me welcome Steve Rozenberg to the show!
Highlights of this show
- Meet Steve Rozenberg, real estate investor, property manager and inspiring entrepreneur.
- Learn the importance of goal planning, and how to build small stepping stone goals to help you along the way.
- Join our conversation on the importance of defining what success means to YOU, not using someone else’s definition.
- Listen as we discuss the importance of building a well rounded set of goals that includes not just your business or financial goals, but health, family, spirituality, etc.
Resources and Links from this show:
Listen to the Audio Version of this Episode
FlipNerd Show Transcript:
Mike: This is the flipnerd.com “Expert Real Estate Investing Show,” the show for real estate investors whether you’re a veteran or brand new. I’m your host Mike Hambright, and each week I bring you a new expert guest that will share their knowledge and lessons with you. If you’re excited about real estate investing, believe in personal responsibility, and taking control of your life and financial destiny, you’re in the right place.
This is Episode number 397. My guest today is Steve Rozenberg. Steve is a real estate investor. He owns a property management company that manages over 800 doors, and he’s really an inspiring entrepreneur. As we continue to get the new year started here, we want to make sure that you don’t get too comfortable letting up on your New Year goals. Or if you haven’t even made them yet, we want to make sure that you’re focused on your goals. We’ll talk all about planning for your success today.
Now, it’s common for people to set goals based on someone else’s dreams and to focus on too much on their business or money goals versus all the other things that are important in our lives. It could be spiritual goals, family goals, health goals, things like that. We don’t want to forget about those things. Those are very important.
Today, Steve and I talk all about goal planning, how to help you to find what success means to you personally and the daily and periodic rituals to go through to help you stay on track and crush your goals. Let’s get started. Please help me welcome Steve Rozenberg to the show. Steve, welcome to the show.
Steve: Hey, thanks for having me, Mike. Appreciate it.
Mike: Good to see you. Good to see you. I’m excited to talk about goal planning. We’ve been talking about that type of stuff a lot. Everybody thinks about that stuff a lot at the start of a year. It’s really something you should be thinking about 365 days a year or not thinking about, but it’s kind of interesting that we always start the year by talking about goal planning for the year ahead. But I know some of the stuff we’re going to talk about today is not just . . . these are annual goals. These are goals for your life, right?
Steve: Yeah. It’s funny. It’s kind of like when people start thinking about their taxes about the second week of April. They’re thinking about their goals. They think about their goals like December 30th and thank God they’ve completed. And then they put them in a file, and they never think about them. And then, they wonder maybe why they didn’t achieved those goals because they never looked at them since January 5th when they made them. Out of sight, out of mind.
That term “What gets measured, gets done,” that’s the same thing with goals. What gets checked and measured, you’re probably going to get it done. If you’re not checking and measuring it, chances are it gets pushed lower and lower on the list, right? That’s just human nature.
Mike: Well, here at FlipNerd, and I know what you teach, I mean we’re all about helping people achieve financial freedom and helping people basically get freedom in their life. So this is a great topic. I’m excited to talk about it today and get some of your insights. So hey, before we get started, maybe take a couple of minutes and for those that don’t know you, tell us a little bit more about you and your background.
Steve: Sure, sure. So I have a property management company here in Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth area. We manage about a little over 800 properties. We’ve been in business five years, and my background is being an airline pilot. It’s kind of a whole other story. If you go to my website, you can probably get that information.
But my business partner is from the IT world, and we basically took our business model and made it a scalable model. We are investors. We own properties just like you do. We’re out there fighting the fight, dealing with the drama, dealing with the headaches, trying to figure ways to succeed and be better every day.
One thing that we firmly believe in, and I think the reason we’ve been so successful with our business model that we’re looking to do some licensing and franchising possibly in the near future is that we run it like a business. We run our lives like a business. And more importantly, we’re very big into this self-development and trying to become better all the time. Because we realize that what got us here is not going to get us there.
It’s aligning with like-minded people like you. It’s a matter of doing that grind to meet every day. It’s doing it when other people aren’t watching. I always find that people that always . . . like the Facebook people. You’re like, “Man, they must live a great life. They’re doing this every day,” and they never even do it.
They’re living their life for other people not for themselves, and it’s the ones that don’t talk. It’s the ones that are sitting there, grinding it out every day. Like you and I, we’re sitting there just working and working. And our time will come when it’s ready to come. But it’s not because it just happens. It’s not an overnight success, if you will.
Mike: Yeah. It is funny that when people see . . . even though successful people do this that folks kind of follow on social media or anywhere really. They really are successful. There’s always this nobody saw what they put into it for years before that, right? So it’s kind of like the whole overnight success 10-years-in-the-making type of thing.
Steve: Yeah. It’s funny. I look to the sport athletes. They say, “Oh that guy got lucky because he got picked for the Niners or the Raiders or whatever team.” You don’t think of all the high school and junior high school games and all the nice things they had to give up, their early morning workouts. They don’t think of all those. They just go, “I got a million dollar contract,” but it’s like, “Yeah but what has he done for that, you know?”
A lot of that I think is jealousy of people trying . . . you know, it’s kind of like the crabs and the bucket trying to pull the other crabs down. I think people just inherently like to feel that there’s a reason that that person got it and they didn’t to justify why they’re not doing it. And it’s the same with goals, and it’s the same with the everyday success.
I had people all the time that asked me, “Well, how do you do what you do and how do you be an airline pilot and create this business and do these things and go to the gym and have a family?” And I said, “Well I get up at 4 a.m. every day, and I go to the gym. And I do this and I do that.” And they tell me, “Oh I could never do that.”
And I think you never will because you just said you would never do that. You know what I mean? You could do it. You have to give up something for something else. You have to give up sleep for doing activity. And it’s the same thing with your business and my business. We’d had to give up things in our life to grow our business models, and that’s just a fact of life.
And we have to be willing to, I’m sure just like you have, we get punched in the mouth every now and then, and you got to take that hit and kind of go, “Okay, I just kind of get back up and I got to learn how not to get hit in the mouth like that again and hope next time, it’s not as hard.”
Mike: Right. Yeah, those are on the body. And hopefully, I think we just kind of lay the foundation for folks that are listening already. It’s like, “Look, you got to put the work in. You got to put the work in, and you’ve got to have little milestones, stepping stones because nothing happens . . . you can’t jump ahead years or months in your goal. You’ve got to have little milestones.
So let’s talk about that kind of goal setting process because I think a lot of times people say, “I want to lose 50 pounds or I want to be a millionaire or whatever,” but they’re like not close to that goal yet. And so let’s talk about the kind of process that you do and maybe that you recommend on having a long-term goal but probably intermittent goals to get there, right?
Steve: Yeah. And I’m not this big guru goal-setting kind of guy, so don’t get me wrong. I don’t have this magic formula. The one thing that I do do is I take action, and I get stuff done without even . . . I don’t even think twice about doing it sometimes to my detriment. I just get stuff done because we’re kind of, like, ready, shoot, aim.
But my thing is this. I know something is going to happen with action. I know without action, it’s not going to happen. So I’m always spring-loaded to, like, “You know what, let’s just get it on the highway. Let’s see how it works, and we could fix it as we’re going.” And obviously, there’s checks and balances and tests to measures. But just like you, I talk to many, many people that we manage properties for.
Fifty to 60% of our clients don’t live in the country, and our average client owns one to two properties. So it’s not the people that have 50, 60, a hundred something properties. Those people have jobs, and they want this as a retirement. And when I talk to investors initially, my first question is this. Where are you going with this? What’s the goal for you? Where is Disney Land at the end of this rainbow for you?”
And then when I know what the goal is, and they say, “Well, I want to have $10,000 a month in passive income” or “I want to lose 50 pounds” whatever that case maybe, we say, “Okay, that’s the goal. Now, we can back up and say, “What is the strategy to get to that goal?” And the strategy could be like if I’m talking to someone who’s 30 years old, they may have a 30-year plan to get to the goal. If I’m talking to someone who’s 70 years old, he may not have a 30-year plan. It may be a 10-year plan. It may be expedited, right?
And again, you got to see what is their goal and what is their timeframe, and then that strategy is the timeframe to me. And that’s how I’m able to help them by saying, “Okay, let’s break this down. The sum is as good as the parts.” Meaning that if you can take it and break down each step to say okay . . . a perfect example is when I talk to people and they say, “I want 20 properties paid off in 20 years.” That’s the goal.
That means in 10 years, they all have to be paid off. They all have to be purchased and start the payoffs cycle. That means for the first year to Year 10, we have to buy two properties a year, which means that you have to find a new deal every six months in close, which means every three months, you have to be looking for one.
So is that strategy realistic? Meaning, do you have the money and the financial means to close every six months on a deal? Now, they may say, “That’s not realistic,” and I say, “Okay, well, then, maybe that goal is not realistic as of today.” So when it comes to goals, I guess my point is this that you have to break down the sum of the parts to get to the end. And many people look at this huge monumental task of running a marathon, having multimillions of dollars a year coming in in passive income.
When they look at that goal, they say, “I can never get there.” But they don’t look at the fact that a marathon is a just a bunch of steps. That’s all it is, and you’re [inaudible 00:10:12] those steps faster and faster, right? And that’s [reality 00:10:14]. And I’ve read “The Compound Effect” and these other books that talk about that. It’s just a matter of doing the same repetition over and over again. And it’s the compounding effect of all those things.
As you know, everybody’s looking for this magic pill to do something, to be successful, or lose weight or blood pressure, this or that. I shouldn’t say nobody. A lot of people do not want to put in the work that it takes, and it’s the boring work. It’s the going to the gym at 4 in the morning every day that people don’t want to know. They want to shake weight, right? They want the 10 [inaudible 00:10:52].
Mike: I don’t want to envision you with the shake weights, Steve.
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Steve: . . . the compounding effect of all those things. As you know, everybody’s looking for this magic pill to do something, to be successful or lose weight or blood pressure, this or that. I shouldn’t say nobody. A lot of people do not want to put in the work that it takes, and it’s the boring work. It’s the going to the gym at 4 in the morning every day that people don’t want to know. They want to shake weight, right? They want the 10 [inaudible 00:12:18] . . .
Mike: I don’t want to envision you with the shake weights, Steve. Hey, yeah. I think that’s important because a lot of times when . . . I’m doing a lot of live events now. I’m talking to people about real estate investing. I’ve been coaching and mentoring people for a long time.
I’ve bought hundreds of houses, I’ve done lots of stuff. Don’t get me wrong. But it all happened at one house at a time. I started with one lead at one point that turned into a second lead and a third lead and a fourth lead, and then that turned into one property. In the real estate space, they did everything. That’s how it works, right? If you’re a couch potato now and you want to run a marathon, well, you have to start by running a couple hundred yards then run a mile. You just have to work your way up to it, right?
Steve: Absolutely. It’s funny. You know, the one thing I’ve talked to people . . . and I was in Australia speaking over the summer and I was talking to some investors down there. They want to buy, and they were very apprehensive. They weren’t sure. And it’s funny. Everyone tells me what they don’t want. I don’t want to make a mistake. I don’t want to lose money. I’m like, “How about what you do want? Let’s just look at this from another angle. What do you want?” You know, you hear it, “Oh I don’t want the toilet call at 2 a.m.”
Really? Do you want the million dollars in passive income because that’s why you’re doing this?” I don’t want that either, but you have systems and policies for that. That’s the Chicken Little inside of them telling them what they don’t want, justifying why they don’t want to do it.
And it’s funny whenever I talk to people about quitting your job they’re like, “Oh I would quit but this.” And I tell people, “What about the positive in quitting your job? What about the mental stress you’re going through that you’re miserable? Every day, you come home you kick your dog. You’re drinking all night. You’re unhappy. Isn’t that have to come into play at some point, your happiness?”
And a lot of people don’t think of those things. They don’t think of the fact that . . . like you, you’ve got all these properties. You’ve got a successful business. You have a great life that you built because you’ve taken those calculated risks. And I’m guessing just like you and me, we had made mistakes, learned from those mistakes, and been better because of them, right?
Mike: Yeah, you got to make mistakes and you’re going to fail. I think we’re beating the dead horse now, but that’s kind of the American ways. Like I want to pop a pill and lose 50 pounds, and I want to have to let something deteriorate for decades and fix it in a day. That’s just not how it works.
So, like, knowing what you want is critical. But a really important step is knowing what success means for you, defining that, right? Because a lot of times especially with the . . . what do they call it? Well, I’m talking about the reality TV which is bullshit, right? None of the stuff is real, but we kind of put these people on a pedestal whether they’re actors or other real estate investors, gurus, whatever it might be and just say, “I want to do that,” but the reality is this. A lot of times, people let somebody else define what success means for them. When truthfully, that’s not the right approach, right?
Steve: Absolutely. That’s very on point because people think reality is reality. That’s just the word. It doesn’t mean that that’s how these people are actually living. To me, that’s the best sales in marketing. People out there are showing people that how sales and marketing. They’re marketing this as how someone’s living. And that’s really not the case.
Like you said, you have to live your life, and you have to live it how you want and dictate your own terms. And unfortunately, people don’t know what those are, and they don’t know what that happiness is. So they go, “Well, that guy looks like he has a good life. Maybe, let’s just do what he does.” And again, what you do in your day and what I do in my day are probably totally different and what the guy next to us that we talk to tomorrow is going to be totally different. And we all have our own definition of happiness.
And I could tell you that we manage around 800 properties, right? So we have 800 tenants, and we have 800 owners. Everybody has a different definition of happiness. It’s like being married to 800 people, and everybody says, “This is what I want. This is what I want.” And you have to define that. So yeah. Having different definitions of happiness, you’ve got to dictate, and you have to set your own goals and your own standard in my opinion to do what makes you happy.
Mike: I know people that buy more than a hundred houses a year, and they are stressed to the max. And I know people that buy one or two houses a month, and they live an awesome life. But they’ve defined. Some people have just defined volume and being in everybody else’s eyes big. Like, “I have to do this to keep up my persona.” And some people are like, “No, man. I don’t care what everybody thinks about me. This is what I want, right?” And so, I think a lot of times, people just need to get past worrying about what other people think and defining what it is that they want.
Steve: It’s funny you say that because back in 2004 or 2005, I was looking at buying some apartment complexes. And I just thought I needed to buy an apartment complex to solidify that I was a real estate investor. And I mean, I was looking at this 16-unit ghetto properties that were just horrible deals. But I thought, “You know what? If I buy this, I can say that I own some apartment complexes.”
Luckily, my business partner now at the time I met him, and he’s like, “Don’t buy this. This is a mistake.” And he and I ended up buying another complex, which was a much better deal. But I’m just thinking [inaudible 00:17:44] thing, and that’s what I need to do. And that almost was a very, very expensive lesson in trying to do what I think I should be doing as opposed to what is good for me.
And what would have ended up happening is I would have been stressed to the max. I would have been running business model that didn’t match that clientele. I would have been doing a lot of wrong things, and I wouldn’t have known what was wrong because I was going, “Well, it seemed like it was the right thing based on what these other people are doing.”
And I’m sure like you said I meet people that are very, very influential, very well-off, have a lot of money, and they’re scared every day that they’re going to lose it and every day nervous. And they’re flying around in corporate jets and all that. Literally, I’ve talked to them and they’re like, “Every day, I’m afraid that someone’s going to take what I have.” And I’m thinking to myself, “Is that really a good way? Is that where this ends?”
Mike: Is that how you want to live? Yeah.
Steve: Is that [inaudible 00:18:34] rainbow, you know? And it’s just not what I agree. It’s not how I want to live. You taking care of yourself, I believe, is very important. And the last thing I want to do is cash my multimillion dollar check, walk out of the bank and drop dead of a heart attack because my blood pressure was going through the roof while I was trying to make this happen.
Unfortunately a lot of people do that. They get to that place they want to be at, and they die because they didn’t take care of themselves. And I think taking care of yourself physically as well as monetarily is very important. And I think a lot of people push that, and they go, “Oh I’ll take care of that later. I’ll take care of that later.”
And then when they actually have high blood pressure, diabetes, or something that they can’t get rid of or some challenge, now, it’s kind of too late or cancer because they were smoking because they were so stressed or those kinds of things. And I don’t think [inaudible 00:19:24] waiting for that.
Mike: I’m glad you said that. On this show, we talk about real estate investing. I would say real estate investing is not unlike a lot of other businesses. But it’s probably a little more visible of what’s going on especially on the show. A lot of times, we talk about somebody’s success from a business standpoint. And I think a lot of times, people are defining their goals. If they’re defining them at all, they’re defining them around money. Like, “Here’s what I want.”
But a lot of times, we don’t think about . . . a lot of us get into real estate investing for financial freedom but also freedom of our time, to live a better lifestyle and maybe to work less than when we worked for corporate America or wherever we were before that. And I think sometimes, people get caught up in just the business side of it and the money side of it or units of houses which don’t mean a damn thing, right, without thinking about like, “What are my goals from a health standpoint, family standpoint, spiritual standpoint?” whatever those things might be to you.
Let’s talk a little bit about that, Steve, about why people need to have a well-rounded balance. Like you just said, “You don’t want to be rich but on death’s doorway.
Steve: Yeah. Well it’s funny you mentioned some of that I just want to hit on that whenever I speak and do presentations, I talk about this a lot, about leverage. And I think investors, especially real estate investors, they’re very good at understanding the leverage of people, meaning using realtors, using wholesalers, using other people to do stuff. They’re normally pretty good at using that tactic. I also believe that investors, real estate investors in particular are good at understanding the leverage of money. You know, at 10%, and LTDs and all of these things.
The one thing I think a lot of people, whether they’re real estate investors or anything, that are very bad at is understanding the leverage of time. And the one thing that I have learned is that you don’t get time back, right? So when you give that time and you spend that time . . . I don’t even consider investing time because if I put in 24 hours in a day, I don’t get 25 back the next day. That’s why they say spend your time wisely. Because you’re spending it, you’re not getting it back.
One of the things I tell people when I do some of my presentations, I tell them that the average person lives 4,400 weeks. If you’re 38 years old, you have 1,950 Wednesdays left in your life on average. You have to ask yourself, “What is it you’re doing with those last 1,950 Wednesdays left in your life, and are you making the most out of them?” because you may not get 1,951. So you have to ask yourself, are you being selective, and what do you say no to in life so that you could say yes to with other things? Because saying yes to everything is not always the best thing and being protective of your time.
And like you said, that time could be spent with your family. It could be spent on your career. It could be spent doing nothing, sitting on a beach just relaxing. But it’s your time, and it’s not being dictated to you. And I think the only way to do that is that doesn’t just happen by choice. It happens because you systematically dictate how you’re going to spend your day. And you’re either going to be reactionary or proactive. I think that’s the word.
But you’re either going to react to your day, putting out fires. I mean, you know as much as I do. Some days, you walk in. You’re just putting out fires all day long. That’s reactionary. And when you’re reactionary, you’re in chaos. And when you’re in chaos, you’re not making any money. You’re just reacting to things. You’re not dictating your day.
When you’re proactive and you set your day and you set your week and you set your calendar and you live off your calendar, you’re proactive. You’re dictating how your day goes. And what’s interesting is you are much more productive. When you’re living a proactive life, you’re financially making more money because you’re dictating the rules, and you’re in control of things.
And again, it starts with your daily calendar that branches out to your weekly, monthly, yearly, lifetime goals. So to me, having that proactive approach in life and dictating how your day is going to go is the first step in the process. And setting your day is another thing that I’m a huge believer in.
I’m like clockwork. I do my morning ritual every single day the way the way that I’ve learned it. Very successful people do it, and that’s how I do it. I don’t know if it works, but I do it the way that these other people do it hoping that if I do this long enough for enough years, I’m going to emulate the people that I want to be like.
Mike: Let’s talk about that, the importance of having a daily ritual and kind of reviewing your goals. Let’s talk about kind of daily rituals and things first, then we’ll talk about reviewing because like you said, I don’t want to steal our thunder yet, but you kind of said “If you’re not measuring it, you’re not monitoring it, then it’s not going to get done.” But let’s talk about daily rituals and maybe what you do and some of the things that you advise people to do?
Steve: Sure. Now, they may not want to do what I do. What I do every day, and I’ve learned this in . . . what’s interesting is this. I have learned that so many successful people do the same thing. And after a point, I thought, “You know what, if all these successful people do this, who am I to say it’s stupid or [doesn’t work 00:24:40]?”
So everyone in their mind has what’s called a reticular activating system. It’s called the RAS, which is kind of like your filter. So it’s kind of like the story that if you’re going by a red Corvette, you’re driving home, you see three, four, or five red Corvette. You see them in your subdivision and you’re thinking, “I’ve never seen this car before in my life. Now, I’m seeing five of them in one day.”
And the reason is this. That’s because your filter, your reticular activating system, is actually set to a red Corvette. So now, you start seeing them everywhere, right? It’s kind of like when you’re looking for a deal, all of a sudden these deals are popping up everywhere and you’re like, “I’ve driven down this street five times a day, I’ve never seen these houses. Now, I’m seeing them all the time because my brain is looking for that.”
So what happens is as your brain is always looking for what you’re telling it. So if you’re constantly giving it negative feedback, negative information, that’s what your brain is looking for. So the challenge that we have is we have 1,500 words a minute that go through our brains, okay? Seventy-percent of those words are negative. So it’s just natural that we are constantly looking for negative things.
Now, that is one of the reasons many people like watching the news. It’s because the news is full of negative information, and it justifies in your mind why it’s okay that the world is so crappy. Because you’re going, “Well, at least my life is not so bad. Look at that guy. He’s a loser. I’m better than him.” So you’re just looking for that negative. So it’s a matter of setting your day and setting your subconscious brain so that it is actually looking in the right filter for the right things. And those are what’s called the I am statements.
So I’ve learned this from multiple people, I mean, from the Grant Cardones to the Les Browns to all of the people. They all do them, right? So the I am statements are basically it’s 10 to 20 things that you say you are going to be, and it’s saying it in present tense, but it’s things you want in the future.
It could be I have a great family life. I am a great father. I am a public author. I am a national best-selling speaker. I am a motivational trainer around the world. I own a helicopter. I have 1,500 properties. You say it as if it’s happened already, but it’s a goal that you want to get to.
And when you say those every day, it actually sets your days so that your brain starts looking for these opportunities just like I am going to buy and own 10 properties this month. Well, your brain will start looking for those deals and all of a sudden, it’ll just start popping. And you’re like, “Man, I’ve never seen this before, and now, they’ve popped up.” So that’s what the I am statement is.
So every day, you either read them what you want or I write mine down every single morning. I get a legal pad. I get my coffee. I get up at 4 a.m. I write my I am statements every single morning. That’s what I do.
Mike: And you write the same thing every day just repetitive?
Steve: Yeah, every day. They say to do it in the morning. They say to do it at night also. I’m not as that diligent because at nighttime what happens is your brain doesn’t shut off, right? Your subconscious brain is still tumbling things over at nighttime. What happens is if you say that at nighttime, your brain is constantly thinking [inaudible 00:27:45]. Are you there? I think I’ve lost you a little.
Mike: No. We’re good. We’re good.
Steve: So what happens is at nighttime, if you say those things . . . whatever you do before you go to bed, right, your brain and your subconscious mind is tumbling these things over trying to make that happen, right? So for example, if you watch the news before you go to bed, you just filled your brain with basically dirty, muddy water. And it’s going to bed taking how horrible things are, and your brain is just tumbling those things over. That’s why you watch a scary movie at night, and then you get nightmares. That’s the correlation to it.
A perfect example is the negative self-talk. I don’t know if you ever golf, but when you go golfing and you have a like a three-foot putt and you missed that putt, and the first thing you say or you hear someone says, “I knew I was going to miss that.” You have been telling yourself, “Don’t miss it. Don’t miss it.” What happens is that your brain does not understand the word don’t, not. All it’s saying is “miss it,” and that’s all it’s trying to do. That’s what happens is it doesn’t know the negative play on words. It just knows what you tell it.
So going back to what you said, the first thing you do in the days, you got to set your day. How are you going to be successful? What are you going to be successful? What are you going to do on a daily basis? I set my day. I’m a best-selling author. I’m the top paid national motivational speaker. I’m speaking around the world. Those are the things that I set my days, so that now as the day comes on, when these opportunities are speaking with you, doing other things . . . I have a $100 million business.
These are the things. Yes, they’re very high goals, but why not? What’s to say you can’t achieve them, right? That’s why I set my day. I’m a big believer in self-development. So I listen to audiobooks. I’m a big believer in audiobooks. I don’t have time to sit and read. So I listen to them in the car. I listen to them in the gym. I go through two to three books a month over and over again because your brain is listening to it even if you’re not paying attention.
You’ve got billionaires, successful people talking in your ear about how they did it. Why everyone out there does not listen to audiobooks, I don’t know. If you told me, “Hey, Steve. I’m going to tell you my story of how I did it, and it’s going to cost you $10.” Why wouldn’t I want to hear Mike’s story about how he became a successful entrepreneur or free? I mean, how many videos out there are free that you can listen to podcast after podcast about how these people do it to set your tone to say, “Man, I’m going to do just like this guy. If he did it, I can do it,” right? A long way of going about what you asked me, that’s how I set my day.
Mike: That’s great. We’re talking about kind of measuring goals. You have big goals, high-level goals that are out their ways. And then, people need to boil it down to, “Well, what do I do today? What do I do every single day to kind of move myself along that way?” So maybe just talk a little bit about setting those kind of smaller stepping stone goals, and then let’s get them to measuring them, how you can monitor every day. Am I on path for that?
Steve: Sure. So there’s some easy ways to do that. The first thing I would, so as an example, in our business, we just did our yearly goals for 2018. We did a two-day off-site meeting, where we have the leaders of team go and actually discussed what our goals for the company. Now, what’s interesting is that your brain . . . about the maximum time for you to be effective in handling goals is about 90 days. Anything outside the 90 days is a little too long.
You can set 90-day goals. Those 90-day goals which are basically called quarters. Every quarter, you can have a goal that you want to get to get to the 2018 end goal. Let’s say, for example, your goal is to lose 50 pounds, you break it down into 90-day quarters, which are broken down into weekly quarters, which are broken down into daily quarters.
Now, one way to do it very simply, and it works very effectively, is we actually have a board on our wall for each department with our 90-day goal and it’s in grid. You have the 90-day goal, and each column is a week. And then each week, you have a little sticky that says, “What are you going to do on that week to get to that end goal?” And the end goal is that the end day of 90 days, you’ve achieved that goal.
Let’s say, for example, you want to roll out a new website. So what’s first? First, I got to interview developers. That may be Week 1. Week 2 may be I have to pick a developer. Week 3 is I’ve got to do the integration. So you break it down into [inaudible 00:32:27] do that 90-day or 12-week whatever you want to do process. It’s broken down very granular and very easy. So you have this huge monumental task of . . . let’s say the monumental task of 2018 is being number one on Google, right, on the search engine.
The first step you have to do is okay, first quarter. I got to get my website up and running. That’s the first goal. Now, you got to break that goal down into a bunch of multiple little sites to make that work, same thing with losing weight, same thing with making money. You may say, “I want to own a hundred properties December 31st.” Okay, that means maybe 25 a quarter. You know what I mean?
It’s just a matter of doing that, but it’s a matter of you eat the elephant one bite at a time. The biggest challenge is people go like, “Oh I don’t know where to start.” Start at the toe, you know, just start at the top [inaudible 00:33:17]. I mean, in my opinion, that’s the way that I would do it at least.
Mike: And it’s important I think most goals can be quantified, right? I mean not everything. Some stuff, it’s spiritual or whatever, but you could kind of turn it into that. You could probably rate yourself. Like on a scale of 1 to 10, how am I doing towards my goal? And you just have to kind of honestly evaluate yourself.
But let’s talk a little bit about just evaluating. If you know what’s important, what your goals are, if you just review them even every day, even if it’s just brief like if you have a morning routine or certainly once a week, just to sit down and say how did I do over the past week and what do I need to do over the next week to move forward, right?
Steve: Yeah. So a couple of things on that. You got to be honest with yourself. And a lot of times when people set these 90-day goals, they frontload everything the first week. I’m doing everything the first week, and then nothing happens after that. It’s like, “I can do it.” The Supermanitis. They put their cape on, and they’re going to do everything on Week 1. You know, it’s like, “Week 2, there’s nothing. Week 3 and then Week 4 they’re dead because they did too much.
So it’s a matter of being realistic with their goals of what they want to accomplish in a real estate because look, they’re still running their business, living their life. It’s not realistic to do that. You have to be a little humble and say, “Okay. Realistically, can I do well of these things?” And if you’re a business of one or a person of one. And then my thing is this. You have to honest of are you on point or off point. Meaning, did you accomplish or did you not?
We have a business coach, right? So when our business coach gives us a task of something we have to do, he asked us, it is done or is it not done? It’s either a yes or a no. There’s no explanation. If there’s an explanation, then that’s a no. And they have to justify or explain why something is done. It’s a no and then you just got to push it to the next week. You take the tab off that column, you put it in the next column. But you’ve got to be realistic to actually get it done.
Now, I’m a big believer in technology. I use Evernote as my kind of place where I store my life, my mental life. And I have a folder that I use in Evernote called “Things I Have To Do This Week.” So it may not be something that’s a calendar item, but it’s something I got to get done. You got to get your oil changed. I got to call the guy from Fix My Fence. I got to get a quote on this roof.
So I put those things in there, and then I try to look at those every morning for the week. Maybe, Sunday I dump all the things. Oh I got to do this this week. I got to do this, I do that. Use Sunday as the dump day to dump it all in there. And then Monday morning, I kind of go, “Okay [inaudible 00:35:44] my calendar okay. I got two hours. Let me go get a couple of quotes. Let me get my oil changed, and take it out of things I got to do this week and put it on the things I got to do today.”
And so that’s just the way I do it. I kind of filter things down from a big funnel down into a daily funnel. And it worked for me. It’s not to say that it works for everybody. And I’m probably not even using Evernote correctly, but that’s the way I do it and it’s important.
Mike: A lot of times people will hear systems or hear about tools or systems. It’s like if it works for you, that’s really what matters. If you use it the same way consistently and it helps you get the job done, then also, that’s all that matters, right?
Steve: Yeah. A lot of these organizations and productivity, these are all just fancy ways of getting shit done, in my opinion. It’s just a matter of getting things done consistently without . . . there’s always technologies but the technology is only good as the action you take. If you don’t take action and you don’t actually do it, it doesn’t matter what this app is and what that is. And sometimes, less is more.
Sometimes, doing less and just getting it done and going, “You know what, I’m just going to get off the grid. I’m going to use a paper chart, and I’m going to go old school.” And if that works for you, then do it. There’s nothing that says you got to have this high-tech world. It’s a matter of the goal accomplished and sometimes going rudimentary is better.
Mike:It’s funny to say that I don’t know. We’ve talked about it maybe a couple of times on the show before. For as much technology as we have here at FlipNerd. We have all these websites. I have web developers. We have all this stuff going on. I don’t know if you know this. My wife has a planner that she developed and she sells on Amazon.
She sells a ton of them. She built a website to sell it, but she sells them on Amazon mostly. And she’s the same way. She’s like, “We have all this technology,” but she just likes this paper book that she carries around with her. It’s very well done. She’s been a planner user forever and just kind of got tired of some shortcomings that she saw and built her own.
In her mind, it’s easy to review. If you’re opening up technology all this time, you’re going to get distracted looking at Facebook or something else. And she puts a lot of weight into actually writing something down. This is what I’m going to do, and there’s actually a lot of science behind if you’re actually write down what you’re going to do just like you said you write down some of your aspirations every day. Just the act of writing it and having to think about writing it actually forces your body to make that happen more.
Steve: I got a funny story. So my business partner who is from the computer industry, if you will, he wants the whole company paperless and no documentation, no papers. But he’s the biggest paper user of everybody. Everything is noted. So he has like 15 notebooks. We go to a seminar, I think it was a Grant Cardone convention or something, and I take all these paper notes. I’m like, “Okay, I want to do what he does. I’m going to write some paper notes.” And I got this whole notebook thing going on.
And I go somewhere and I lose the notebook. And all of the notes I have from all the seminar of like Daymond John and Grant Cardone, all these people, I don’t have any of the information now. And I’m like that is why, you know what I mean? Sometimes, it doesn’t work for everybody. That’s why [inaudible 00:39:51] I lost it somewhere and I walked away. Now, I don’t have it. Someone will probably get millions of dollars from the notes I took.
Again, it’s got to work for you. And I try to do something out of my norm. My norm, I got used to using technology. I like it. It works for me, but it doesn’t work for everyone. And you got to do what works for you. And it’s a matter of not doing what works for you but doing it consistently. That, to me, is the key.
Mike: Well, let’s kind of recap today because we want people to be successful in the year ahead and really your life ahead, right? But we talk about the importance of goal setting, but really defining what success means for you and probably not just financial. What does it mean health wise? What does it mean spiritually? What does it mean with your friends and family?
And I’m guilty of this. I think about this all the time. I’ll get up early on a Saturday morning. I can’t sleep, and I just dive into my business and I’m thinking about all the things I can do to build a new product or do something, grow a part of my business. And I was like, “I very rarely sit down and like, “Hey, I can’t sleep right now. I’m just going to go spend a couple of hours on how to be a better father.”
I never do that. When you think about it, it’s like, “Why not? That’s important, too, right?” And so, how come we just forget about all the other stuff other than business or money or business goals, right?
Steve: I think we all do that. I think everyone’s guilty of that if they don’t align. But I think everyone’s guilty of trying to . . . because everybody measures their success by dollar figure or by growth of their business. And I’m guilty of that, too. And sometimes, it takes a lot to step aside.
I had a brother crashed on a motorcycle and passed away. You have something like that happened to you in life and all of a sudden, you kind of realize, like, “Well, maybe it’s not that important.” Yeah, it has its place, but when you hear about the shootings in Las Vegas hear about these other things. Bad things happen to good people all the time, and you want to make sure that you’re balanced in what you’re doing. You’re not lopsided.
I think a lot of us as entrepreneurs, we always kind of go, “As soon as this is done, I’m going to have time.” But the problem is this is never done, right? We’re all of [this 00:40:54]. If it’s not this, it’s something else. And I think that’s the challenge we all have as entrepreneurs is being able to stop the carousel and getting off and actually looking at our lives and going, “Where is this in the priority?”
Because like you said, “You sit there and you create this huge mass of wealth and you die of a heart attack, it’s all for nothing.” Because your family [inaudible 00:41:15] because you’re doing it for your family, but they don’t get time with you and all these things. A lot of times we say, “I’m doing it for my family,” but the reality I think a lot of people, we’re really doing it for ourselves. And we’re using, “I’m doing it for my family as the cover-up for us to keep working hard.
Mike: That’s true, man.
Steve: I [think most 00:41:33] people are guilty. I know as an entrepreneur, I’m pushing all the time. I go to Dallas. I go back and forth all the time. Yeah, you’re doing it ultimately for your family, but you’ve got to do it for yourself. And you got to think of, “If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, am I balanced?” And it’s a hard thing as an entrepreneur to stay balanced. And I struggle with that as well.
Mike: So set goals in every area of your life that’s important to you. And then step down into like daily steps, daily stepping stones that you can get to probably . . . I know that my wife is planning, for example. This I what I want to accomplish this year, just like you said. That means I need to have this done in the next quarter. That means I need to do this over the next month. That means I need to do this over the next week, and that means today, I need to do X, right? It’s kind of a stepping stone.
Steve: Just broken down into granular steps, and it’s very easy to do. When you look at it that way, it doesn’t seem like this huge monumental task is what I work for.
Mike: And truthfully, you get motivated when you start to see even small progress in most parts of your life, right?
Steve: Yeah. If your goal today is to walk around the block and you walk around the block and tomorrow you’re like, “I’m going to walk around the block and a half.” And you do that and you’re like, “I’m getting somewhere. Now, I’m going to run 10 miles,” and you don’t do it. You can be like, “Oh this sucks. I’m not going to do it anymore. It doesn’t work,” and that’s how it is.
Everybody have these lofty goals that they want to accomplish which is great, but they’re not realistic sometimes. And they jump out feet first and they’re going without any realistic expectations of actually even accomplishing step one. I think it’s important to make these baby steps because getting those accomplishments, like you said, is very important to be able to get the sum of the parts. If you don’t get the little mini goals and mini accomplishments, you’re never going to get to the big one. You succeed by mini accomplishments, mini victories to get to the big victory in my opinion.
Mike: Yup. And one last thing I want to talk about, Steve, is accountability. Like, we talked about documenting what your goals are, being able to track how you’re doing. So self-accountability is really important, right? Truthfully, you can’t fool yourself. If you know what your goals are, you’re not going to fool yourself.
But let’s talk about accountability like an accountability partner. It could be a spouse. It could be a business partner. It could be someone in your life that you’re basically saying, “Hey, I’m going to achieve this, and I want you to put the pressure on me to make sure that I get it done if you don’t see that I am.” Talk a little bit about the importance of that and maybe how you’ve used the accountability partners.
Steve: So, you know obviously, I’ve got my business partner on business stuff that we’re trying to accomplish. And we hold each other very, very accountable. But I think a lot of it is you’re the sum of the five people you hang around with, right? So I always tell people, “If you make the most money of all of your friends, you need to find new friends,” right, because you are not living to your potential.
And if you are not around people that you say, “Hey, I need you to hold me accountable,” and they don’t do it, you may need to find a new group, a new focus group, a new set of friends. You know, my thing is that if you can’t ask your friends to say, “Hey, I need you to call me on Sunday, every Sunday, and ask me what is my plan for the week. And if they don’t do that, are they really friends? Are they really trying to help you succeed?
Because remember, crabs like to pull other crabs back into the bucket. I’d rather be in a bigger bucket than staying in that bucket if I can’t find one friend to call me. And again, it doesn’t have to be anything it could be Siri. If you have no friends, you Siri on your phone to make a reminder to remind you or something. But I think it’s very, very important . . . again, what gets measured gets approved upon.
At our company, everything we do has KPIs and has metrics from marketing to operations to sales. Even the girl, the office manager that answers the phone, she has metrics. Everybody has metrics, right? And it’s important because you can’t get better if you don’t have those metrics. And if you’re not doing that, and you don’t have someone holding you accountable, you go, “How did you do this week?” That’s when you can slack off, and that’s when you can kind of go, “No one’s really watching. No one’s going to call.”
But if you know that phone’s going to ring at 5 p.m., and they’re going to ask me what am I doing this week, you’re going to have to have your stuff together to make sure that you’re being accountable.
Mike: Yup. Awesome. Steve, thanks for sharing with us today.
Steve: No problem. Thanks for having me. I hope this helps people. As you can tell, I’m pretty passionate about it. And this is what I do on a daily basis. And again, it’s just something that you have to do repetitively over and over again. There’s no magic pill. It’s grinding it out like you can I do.
Mike: Yeah. And for those of you who are listening, I mean, this is intuitive, right? I’ve bought lots of houses, and I bought them one at a time. It started with one lead. Steve manages 800 units, but it started with one customer. Maybe, they had one house or maybe a couple. You probably remember your first customer, right?
Steve: I do.
Mike: So it all starts with just one step, one thing and then you start to get some momentum and you can move faster. But it all starts at the beginning.
Steve: Absolutely. It’s that same boring thing over and over again until you have it down pat, and you feel comfortable. And then when you’re comfortable, you need to broaden your horizons and take another step up. It’s a matter of never get comfortable. Always get that pit feeling in your stomach. To me, in business, we’re at Dallas and now we’re looking at some other cities and we’re looking at some national expansion. It’s that pit in your stomach going okay, but it’s all measured. And there’s goals and there’s traction of what we’re doing.
And it’s not what are just out there going, “Oh we’re going to run the world.” It’s, “Yeah, we’re going to run the world, but we’re going to start with tomorrow, and then we’re going to start with the day after and the day after.” And it’s a matter of successive steps.
Mike: Yeah. That’s awesome. Steve, if folks want to learn about what you’ve got going on and learn more about what you’re doing, where do they go?
Steve: Sure. They go to our website empireindustriesllc.com or they can go to Facebook. We do a lot of free videos. If you’re going to our website actually and go to our blog page, I do probably two to three videos a week. I have a several hundred on there that we just give out good free information. There’s a lot of great topics. If they want to talk to me as well, they can give me a call and let me know whether it’s real estate or they just want to know what I do on a daily basis. I’d be happy to help them.
Mike: Awesome. Hey, thanks for sharing.
Steve: No problem. And everybody, this is Episode 397 with Steve Rozenberg. Steve is a good guy. We appreciate all of you listening to us today. We would definitely want you to achieve your goals, whatever they are. And don’t let people bring you down. Like Steve is talking about crabs in the bucket. You’re the second person I’ve heard use that analogy over the past couple of weeks. So I wasn’t familiar with the one initially, but I get it now.
But yeah, don’t let anybody bring you down. You got to set goals but most importantly, you need to set goals that you can measure and monitor and start chipping away at. And there’s no time like today to get started if you haven’t started it yet. So everybody, thanks for joining in us, again for Episode 397.
If you haven’t yet, please go out to iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, even YouTube. Make sure you subscribe to us and give us a positive rating. We’d appreciate it. Everybody, have a great day. Steve, thanks again for joining us.
Steve: No problem. Thank you. We’ll see you.
Mike: Everybody, have a great day. Bye-bye.
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