Show Summary

J Massey joins us in this episode to discuss the skills needed to be successful. Do you have what it takes? Hint – it doesn’t require any or any particular formal education. When then dive into what makes entrepreneurs, even after they’ve achieved great success, work so hard. You may ask “When is enough, enough?”, but J shares that the real issue is that they continue to redefine their desires and goals. It’s an inspiring episode from an inspiring guy…make sure you watch this one!

Highlights of this show

  • Meet J. Massey: Investor, author, coach, educator, podcast host, and more.
  • Join the discussion of the skills it takes to be successful as a real estate investor, and an an entrepreneur.
  • Listen in as J. discusses how pain and pleasure motivate you, based on your ‘reality’ (the situation you’re in) and your ‘desire’ (hopes, dreams and goals).

Resources and Links from this show:

Listen to the Audio Version of this Episode

FlipNerd Show Transcript:

Mike: Hey, everyone. It’s Mike Hambright with Welcome back for this episode of the Expert Interview Show, where I meet with experts and really just awesome people, entrepreneurs from across the real estate investing industry to help you learn and grow and to kind of introduce my network to you.

I’m blessed to have today’s guest. This is episode number 304 and my guest is J. Massey. J. is a real estate investor, an author, educator. He’s a fellow podcaster. He’s the host of the Cashflow Diary Podcast and much more. He’s a regular contributor on our other podcast, the REI Classroom, which we appreciate. If you don’t know J., you’re going to love today’s show. If you do know him, then you’re going to love it too.

So J. really has an inspiring story of really hardship to success and once you get to know him a little bit, you’re going to recognize that he has an incredible work ethic and it’s something that should definitely be admired and hopefully it infects you a little bit today to learn his story.

For those of you that have been watching the show, for this year, you know we break it apart into two segments now. So the first part we’re going to talk about, J. and I were talking before we started recording today about just work ethic and what causes entrepreneurs to work so hard even after they’ve achieved success that is kind of beyond what their initial expectations were. When it’s not about eating anymore, surviving or even about money anymore, why do you keep taking risks and keep trying to double and triple down and 10x everything when it’s not about the money.

So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. That’s going to be the first part. And then the second part, the taking action segment is going to kind of get in the nuts and bolts. So we’re going to dive into some deep discussion on how to take your business to the next level and how to stay motivated and all the things that we all face. So let’s go ahead and dive in. J., how are you, my friend?

J.: So far so good, excited to be here. It’s been a while.

Mike: Yeah. I just mentioned obviously you know you were on the show before, but that was about 170 episodes ago. This is show 304 and that was show 136. So it’s funny how fast it goes by.

J.: I know. You don’t even realize it. You just keep your head down and work. That’s a testament to your work ethic right there.

Mike: Yeah. Thanks. I just told you this. Sometimes for those that are listening out there, the story of my life generally is that I’m kind of always winging it. So we don’t always necessarily know what we’re going to talk about on a show and we spend some time visiting and talking about what we’re going to talk about. This idea came up of just talking about work ethic and so many people out there that you kind of think like, “When is enough enough? Why do they keep working so hard because they don’t have to anymore?”

I just thought that would make for an interesting show. Again, because I admire J.’s work ethic because I see we’re in some common groups on Facebook and I see him wee hours of the night asking questions and answering stuff and I’m like, “Man, this guy is like the Energizer bunny.” So that’s kind of how this came about. So we’re going to kind of dive into that.

Before we get started, J., why don’t you tell your folks your background and kind of how you got started and a little bit about you?

J.: Sure. First, let me say no matter what you hear, just understand that what it comes down to is that we all start somewhere and whatever we were gifted with at the beginning, meaning the challenges that you currently are facing, that is your gift. I know it may not feel like a gift today, but it becomes a gift over time. Mine is no different. Everybody’s given something. Mine’s not better or worse, it’s just what happened.

A few years ago, what happened is my wife and I, when my wife was pregnant, she has a condition known as hyperemesis. It simply means she can’t eat or drink while pregnant, which was scary. So going through that was stressful. What I did one day was I went to go play volleyball, landed on a guy’s head while trying to spike the ball and punctured my lung. So I couldn’t walk and talk because I have asthma.

So the situation, if you will, I was a self-employed financial planner at the time, unable to walk and talk. My wife is unable to eat or drink, which means there’s no income. That’s really what it is. We got an abject lesson in if you don’t work, you don’t eat. We didn’t understand the mechanics of how to have assets bring us income.

Mike: Right.

J.: That was the challenge. She’s got two degrees. That’s what she was taught to do, go to school, get good grades, get a job. College dropout, that’s part of the reason I was headed down the path that I was anyway because I didn’t really want more college. It wasn’t what I wanted to do. We were now in this situation.

A friend says, “Hey, you should do real estate.” I’m like, “Yeah, we have a credit score of 398, buddy, and barely $75. How’s that going to work?” He says, “I didn’t ask you.” He was one of the first people who wasn’t concerned about my pedigree and what I already had. He didn’t care about what I had. He wanted to know where I wanted to go. That’s one of the first lessons that I learned is focus on where you want to go, not what you have or don’t have, specifically, to get there. All that stuff can get worked out. That’s exactly what we did.

I mastered the ways of being able to buy all kinds of property using none of my own money or credit. I learned to raise capital. We started with single family houses. We’ve transitioned since then from single family houses to apartment buildings. We now have commercial as well as a cellphone tower. That’s kind of what we do. We raise the capital and we got out there and buy stuff and then over time what has happened is people said, “How did you do that?” I then had to learn how to teach people how I did it.

Mike: Share your message, yeah.

J.: I didn’t know how to do any of those things. So that’s where the podcast, YouTube and all this other stuff came from.

Mike: Yeah. What’s interesting is I know you know people like this because I do. You know people that started real estate investing or tried to get in and they had plenty of resources. They had access to capital. They had assets to kind of die for relative to some people or relative to your situation and then they failed. So it’s not having those assets. It’s really kind of having that fire in your belly, right?

J.: Not only that, I’ll take a much, much more famous example from a long time ago. If you think about the airplane, everybody remembers the Wright Brothers. Everybody remembers them. No one knows or very few people know that there was another company developing and working on the airplane or that concept at the same time.

Mike: Right.

J.: It was by a very accomplished individual who had the resources of lots of corporations and dollars and manpower and all these things. Yet two brothers in the middle of North Carolina, nowhere, North Carolina, figure out how to take flight with none of those advantages or perceived advantages. That’s the thing. It’s not about the resources that you think you have. “I’m surrounded by all these resources. Therefore, I’m going to be successful.” Absolutely wrong.

I’ve run into now a number of people who have tons of money but are afraid it’s going to go away because they don’t know how to get it back even if it did. So they lack the skillsets of being able to create value. That’s really where it comes down to. It’s more about the skillsets to create value, not, “I’ve got an extra $1 million, so I’m good now. I’m going to totally tear this thing up.” That’s not what’s going to make you successful in any particular endeavor.

Mike: Yeah. And even for people that are doing well in this business or have done well in real estate, even if you get smarter, you start to find ways to, like you said, kind of duplicate yourself. You find processes or systems or assistants or virtual assistants or whatever it might be to help you do more things, but in my experience, you still have to have that hustle.

You still have to be willing to get down and get dirty every once in a while because also in this business, we’re all small businesses, so you generally don’t have a bunch of redundancy. You have a key player somewhere. If something happens to them, it’s going to be you, right? You’re getting in and you’re doing whatever you’ve got to do, right?

J.: Yeah. I heard someone say, “Don’t be the general that doesn’t know how to fire a gun.” That’s really what it comes down to. There are very few roles in my organization that I could not fulfill, very few. Now, obviously I don’t do my own books because that skillset just skipped me completely, but there are very few roles within the organization that I couldn’t do myself if I had to. That doesn’t mean I’m good at them, it just means I could do them. I could fill in. I could get something done. I don’t like doing paperwork. But I could get it done.

Mike: Yeah.

J.: Those are the things that you learn over time, but the thing that’s missing in my opinion for most people is a true understanding of why they need and should actually put forth all of their effort. Often times we’re sold this bill of goods, I’ll call it, that says go to school, get good grades, get a job and something, be it the government or a company or a 401(k) is going to take care of you. Until you’re faced with the reality that that’s not quite the full story, you don’t have a reason to do anything about it and you feel okay and therefore you do nothing. You don’t try to grow.

Mike: Yeah. It’s interesting. My wife and I went to both a top MBA program. She worked on Wall Street. We had all these things. You kind of look back and you’re like none of that really helps me now with what I do. It’s tough. I think it’s tough for the person that doesn’t have those things to understand for a while that those aren’t advantages necessarily, right?

J.: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I used to deal with this, my CFO and I, she’s credentialed and graduated and all this other stuff. I’m one of the few people, I kind of chuckle because I’m one of the few people in the company that doesn’t have a degree and only went to high school or didn’t graduate college.

So the thing that I think is funny is I had to go through that same transition process because she would often tell me, “J., just because that person has a degree that I could be negotiating with, that doesn’t necessarily give them an advantage. That doesn’t mean they’re better at this, that or the other than you.”

Mike: Right.

J.: “You just don’t see it and you think that piece of paper actually means something. Let me tell you . . .” And she would go on these diatribes and tell me like why it wasn’t necessarily an advantage. My wife has had to do the same thing. She’s got two degrees. So it’s like, “Okay.” I get it now. But I didn’t get it at the beginning.

Kindergarten through 12th grade, you’re told this is how it’s supposed to be. This is the way the world works. If you want to eat, you better do these things. Here I am unsuited for these things, not that I don’t have the ability to work. I have the ability to work. It’s just an environment where my genius doesn’t shine and we try to conform all of these individuals through this thing. We say, “If you can’t conform to this way of generating value, you are worthless.” Unfortunately, we believe it and I think sometimes it’s simply because we don’t know that there’s another way.

That’s what you’re doing with FlipNerd is, “Hey, there’s another way.” It’s going to be just as much work, if not more so. You’re going to experience just as much resistance, if not more so. However, on the other end, you’re going to be way more satisfied with the result.

Mike: Yeah. Hey, I want to start talking shortly here about the entrepreneurial mindset and some of the stuff that we teed up upfront. But while we’re on this topic, why don’t you talk about your thoughts on, I think one of the challenges, people go through the traditional education system.

I did all those things too. In fact, I’m the first person in my family to go to college at all, let alone grad school. I kept seeing that as a way to something better is kind of what I saw. It was fine. I don’t want to talk too much about my story, but it didn’t work out. So let’s just say I’m in a better place now and I wish I had discovered this ten years earlier, doing this on your own.

J.: Right.

Mike: But talk about some skillsets that people that may be listening to this and thinking, “I don’t know if I could do those things. I don’t know if I could be a successful real estate investor, some skillsets that are tangible that are not necessarily from university. I’ll give you an example. One thing that I think is a critical skill for everybody to have, regardless of what you do is some level of salesmanship, if you’re comfortable talking to people and selling and teaching and things like that.

It’s like there are a lot of people that come up through one silo. I’m not going to call anybody out here. But you kind of lose your job or that becomes irrelevant because the technology or whatever and it’s like what are you going to do? Unless you have some common skillset where you can say, “I’ve never done this. But I can apply what I know from this.” Maybe you can share your thoughts on some kind of tangible skillsets that people should learn one way or another.

J.: Well, you’ve already said the S-word. If they didn’t get scared with sales, I don’t know what else I could say that’s going to . . . but that is definitely one of them. Additionally to that, the skillsets of knowing how to lead and communicate and inspire are absolutely critical because most of the time, the vision that you want to achieve, the vision that the entrepreneur has is well outside of their ability to achieve on their own. Therefore, by default, you need a team, which means they have needs.

You’ve got to be able to master all of those things, which means you need to learn how to listen. It’s the most overlooked skillset today is listening. You think you know how to listen. Yeah, you may have heard people, but did you listen? Did you actively participate and try to understand exactly where they’re coming from? All of these things combine to make an entrepreneur.

This is why regardless of what you’ve done in the past, for example, moms, they give themselves so little credit, but they can be some of the greatest entrepreneurs. Why? I love it when a mom tells me, “I’m not good at sales.” “Okay, really? Have you ever gotten your kids to go to bed on time?” “Yes.” “Great. Then you’re great at sales. Have you ever gotten them to eat a vegetable?” “Yes.” “Then you are really, really good at sales. Have they ever thrown a tantrum in the middle of the store and you actually handled that situation successfully?” “Yeah. It doesn’t happen, but when it does happen, yeah, we’ve got it.”

That’s my point. It’s the same skillsets, we’re just talking bigger babies, called adults in this particular case. You’re still trying to take this person to this objective. At that moment, the objective is to stop crying, eat your vegetables, go to bed so that I can finally rest. All those types of things, it’s no different. You have them. We just have to put them all together in sequence in this particular context and therefore derive value from it.

Mike: And more often than not, those skillsets are probably more useful as an entrepreneur going into . . . it’s harder to put that on a resume, like, “I’ve done these things. I’ve dealt with tantrums at a store with my kids. I figured out how to make a diaper from a cardboard box if I had to.”

J.: Exactly.

Mike: Whatever you had to do, you can’t put that on a resume, but maybe you’re perfectly suited to be an entrepreneur because like you said, all the skills you use as a parent and unique problem solving, right?

J.: Very unique problem solving. If you’ve ever been . . . this happened to us once. We were at Disneyland and my son was . . . you check before you get in the line, “Do you have to go potty?”

Mike: Yeah. We’re not going to wait here for two hours.

J.: “I’m good.” Yeah. Once we’re in the line, we’re in the line. This doesn’t work any other way. You probably already know where this story goes, but the point is we get through that situation and we figure out a way to not only still get him to the bathroom after we’re near the front of the line but to still get back in line in place.

It seems like, “How is that valuable?” Well, what happens when a deal goes south? What happens when something doesn’t go as expected? How did you respond to that? How did you react to that? It’s the same skillset, just that in that situation, one, I just saved myself having to wash some clothing versus being able to create value with clean, safe, affordable housing.

Mike: Yeah. Awesome. Well, hey, let’s jump into the taking action segment of the show, part two here. I want to talk about some of the stuff that I thought we would talk about earlier, but the conversation has been going great here is what makes entrepreneurs work so hard. I think I told you this morning there’s a video floating right now that’s a little bit viral on Facebook that had like Elon Musk and Bill Gates and Steve Jobs talking about the kind of drive to just essentially keep failing, “I failed many times but I keep going on.”

J.: Right.

Mike: I thought this would be great for your story because I know that you hit a low point in your life and you got back to a point to where for you it was about eating and survival at some point. I think a lot of people get to that point. The question is once you get past that point, when it’s not about eating anymore, it’s not about surviving, it’s not about anything other than some fire or some desire or some unfulfilled need that you have to take things to another level.

What, in your experience, keeps you pushing on when you probably don’t have to work as hard as you do anymore and just discuss that about what makes an entrepreneur continue to work as hard as they do after they surpass what their initial goals were.

J.: Sure. Again, what it comes down to is answering five questions. Those five questions in this particular order are why, what, when, who and then how. Why, what, when, who and how. At the beginning, the why could be smaller. You’re not looking to influence more than just yourself because you’re thinking about in my case, I want to eat. I think about what I want to eat, but it just maybe we eat at a different type of restaurant today. That’s all.

Mike: You don’t worry about how to pay for it.

J.: Well, it depends on what restaurant my wife chooses. She’s made some unique choices, which has been kind of like, “Wow, I didn’t know we could spend that much. I thought it was just dinner.” Anyway, I didn’t know those places existed, but it’s definitely been an eye opening journey with her because she loves food a lot.

But it’s why did you get into business? It becomes less about what I need to do to solve my problems but more about, “How can I solve problems for other people?” It becomes less about yourself. That’s really what it is. There was a time a few years ago. I tried the retirement thing. It didn’t really last that long for me.

Mike: I can’t make it through a holiday weekend, like a three-day weekend. I’m like, “I’ve got to do something.”

J.: I don’t know. It was just kind of . . . it was interesting. I ended up playing with remote controller helicopters and photography equipment. Yeah. I could only do so much of that before I was like bored and I needed something to accomplish. That’s pretty much what it comes down to is what’s worthwhile that I can still accomplish and keep going. We don’t want more units for just the sake of more units.

It’s more about accomplishing and providing clean, safe, affordable housing and teaching others to do the same thing. Through that, we can contribute to the world and hopefully leave it better than we found it and make a change and a difference in the lives of individuals. That’s why I get up. That’s why I’m here with you. That’s why we produce the podcast.

What I’m trying underscore here is why. That why must be bigger than just you. For us, it exceeded that. It’s not about . . . don’t get me wrong. Counting the money is fun at times and it’s exciting, but it’s not about, “I just want more money for us.” Now, it becomes, “How can I help 15 people do seven figures this year? Who’s that going to be?”

Whomever that’s going to be is great, but more importantly, who I have to become in order to do that is that much more interesting and challenging for me because it’s like how do you get that message out to enough people to attract the 15 lucky ones? That’s what they’ll be known as, right? They got lucky. But yet, they will have worked just as hard.

So that becomes a different measurement of we’ll call it success in any given day. So those are the things that get me excited. Those are the things that keep me excited, keep me growing. There’s something naturally curious, that I’m naturally curious about in nearly everything. When I get into something, I want to understand it and master it and move on.

Mike: There’s definitely some element of it being a game. It’s like a puzzle. I’ve got to solve this puzzle. I’ve moved on from Sudoku and I want to create something online that nobody’s ever done before, right? What do you think? Maybe you could share some advice to people that are listening. I think some people have a tendency . . . I saw in this video, the first video was Elon Musk and they’re like, “After you failed for the third time with Tesla, like early on, did you think about giving up?” He was like, “No. Why are you even asking me that? I don’t give up.”

But those decision points come in your life. You’re like, “Why are we doing this again?” The people that just push on, maybe you can inspire them a little bit too. People are going to hit those points. I guess talk a little about . . . I know you agree with this, failure is not a bad thing. Nobody wants to fail, but those are learning points that help you improve, right?

J.: Well, yeah. It’s not that I don’t want to fail, but I am chasing failure because I know this. The faster I fail, the sooner I am . . . once I’m done with failure, you begin to experience success events. I’ve often said fail fast, fail forward, fail frequently because it’s going to hurt no matter what. You can’t necessarily have failure not hurt, so trying to avoid it, there is no path that allows you to avoid it.

So if you’re going to do it, put on the armor one good day and run all the way through as fast as you possibly can and know that it’s coming and be like, “I survived. Let’s do it again the next day.” And then at some point, there’s going to become a day where you get ready and you don’t actually experience the failure event and you’re like, “Oh, wow. I got it. I did it. This is great.”

So like what my kids do, they’re like, “Mommy, I did it.” Yesterday we went bowling and my five-year old, he’s like, “I totally beat that.” He barely got any of the balls down, but that’s not the point. The point to him was that some of the pins fell. That’s all that mattered. He was like, “I beat that, Daddy.” I’m like, “You sure did. You absolutely murdered it, man.” He was all fired up for himself. He was measuring his progress as he saw it. That’s the only thing that mattered. It wasn’t whatever extra measurement I would put on him was irrelevant. He didn’t care what his sisters would call success. He had to find success for himself and that’s all that mattered.

Mike: Absolutely.

J.: There was nothing else. When you can do that, yeah, you’ll push past the failures. You’ll see these failure events as learning opportunities and that’s how you get better. Elon is Elon because he has failed more than me, more than you, more than the rest of us combined and that’s why he is whom he is.

Mike: Right.

J.: You want more, fail faster. You’re failing, you’re not failing fast enough or frequently enough or you’re running from it looking for a way around it and it doesn’t even exist.

Mike: It’s interesting for real estate investors. There are a ton of people that fail, right? Unfortunately the failures can be so big. I think there’s a lot of carnage that people do in their first deal in losing money or failing or something didn’t work out and then they’re just out of business, where you can see . . . I’m not a fan of losing money on a deal.

I’ve lost money on a few deals, but once you kind of get going and you get past the fear of failure, you get a couple lumps here and there, but you just keep plowing forward, like, “I did seven deals month. One didn’t work out the way we thought it would,” but as you move on, they’re much more calculated risks that you’re making, also making failure less likely to happen because you’ve learned from your failures in the past.

J.: Right. And you can learn from other people. Very few people that are listening right now are driving their car without a seatbelt on or if they are, they probably just put it on because they’re like, “Yeah, I shouldn’t be doing this.”

Mike: Failure can be very costly.

J.: You want to talk about risk. Driving a car is way more risky than investing in a piece of real estate. I haven’t heard anyone go, “I died from investing in pieces of real estate.” Yet, somewhere today in the world, there will be somebody who dies from driving a car.

Mike: Sure.

J.: Yet. This morning when you got in your car, did you think about that? No. You were focused on the destination that you were going to get to. That’s what you were focused on. You weren’t thinking about anything else because you had done it enough, you had practiced it enough and it becomes second nature. If I could get you to take that same attitude with real estate investing, you’d be fine.

Mike: Or even if you could start to see that, one of the most risky things you can do is keep doing what you’re doing if you’re unhappy doing it.

J.: Not even just unhappy. Not that we’re going to go political or anything, but if you just look at current economic policy, if you think hanging your money hanging out in the bank is the safe way to do it, if you think your 401(k) inside of paper assets is the way to go, the longer you subscribe to that without true understanding, the further behind you’re putting yourself and you don’t even realize this is happening just because 50,000 of your friends are doing it doesn’t mean that’s what works.

There’s extra work involved to figure out whether or not what you should be doing is working for you and most of us shy away from that extra work, which is what creates opportunity for the entrepreneur.

Mike: Right.

J.: Someone could have invented the Tesla car long ago, but no one wanted to do the work. Elon did. So might as well applaud him for being more brave, willing to face the rejections, etc. And that’s what it’s going to take for everybody to become a bigger, better version of themselves, i.e. entrepreneur.

Mike: Yeah. I think the more people can break out of the mold . . . you talked earlier about the traditional education system, go get a job, this is what you do. Kind of the back half of that is like retire around age 60 after you’ve worked for about 30 years. Most people go through life not really planning for that point, even at 60 they’re like, “Well, I max out my 401(k) every year,” which is nothing if you’re working for somebody else.

There’s so much more you can do as a real estate investor with self-directed accounts and building rental portfolios and all those things. They get to the end of the road and realize that you can’t afford to retire. You can’t afford . . . I know in my own family, but there was always this thought that when you work your whole life and then you retire, you should be able to live on less. It’s like, “What?”

J.: Do that math.

Mike: Who planted that in our minds that that makes sense?

J.: I don’t know. But do that math equation one time. Having been a financial planner, that was part of what set the alarm bells off early for me. The person who I was going to go help was the person who thought and believed and therefore reacted as, “Hey, I should be able to live on less.” I’m like, “Okay, yeah, if inflation didn’t happen. If energy prices and food didn’t actually increase and if you wanted to move to a third world country, great. You can live on less. This is true.”

But otherwise, if you want to still live in the United States and where you’re living right now the way you’re living right now, it’s going to cost a little bit more. Here’s why. And then it’s like, “Oh, that’s a problem.” So there’s an education issue for sure. There are a number of issues. But the good news for entrepreneurs, especially real estate entrepreneurs is that we can solve those for people. That’s what’s important, not how much money or credit you have. It’s can you solve a problem for someone else? If so, then they will reward you with money.

Mike: Yeah. That’s literally our mission at FlipNerd and I know it’s your mission too, just to help people understand that real estate investing can change your life, your family, community, just to buck that trend of going through life mindlessly working for somebody else, doing something you don’t enjoy and not really having any upside for your hard work.

J.: The keyword you said was mindlessly. We’re not putting enough effort into actually thinking about what am I doing on a day to day basis. You get into a routine and until something challenges that routine, you don’t consider what other options might be. Most people get their wakeup call the day they get the pink slip or, “Hey, this is the last paycheck,” or it’s a Friday and they call you into the office just before lunch and you’re like, “Uh-oh. I know what’s going to happen now.”

Then you get upset like it was their fault. They’re being an entrepreneur. They’re trying to make sure they’re protecting, probably protecting other jobs. Who knows what the reason is, but that’s part of what you actually signed up for. You signed up for the uncertainty of knowing when they were going to let you go. You said that was okay. The same day you got excited about, “Yay, I got a job,” was the same day you should be saying, “They can let me go at any time and I better be ready for it.” Except you weren’t.

Now you’re being gifted an opportunity to never have that happen again. That’s all I wanted. I just didn’t want that to happen again. I liked some of the things I did before as an employee, but I didn’t want to be in a position where my wife got sick, I got sick, and everything just fell apart because we got sick.

Mike: Yeah. I think that’s pretty common. We have a couple minutes left here. I want to see if you can maybe share, we’ve talked about this quite a bit, but just some thoughts, maybe drive home our point here. It took you and your wife getting sick to understand there was a different way. You and I both know a lot of people in real estate that hit bottom or they were backed into a corner or something happened.

A lot of the most successful people I know, it took something, a health tragedy, financial tragedy, whatever it was to kind of get that wakeup call. But you and I both know that it doesn’t need to take that. You can be proactive. Maybe you can share some final thoughts on how people can start moving in that direction of being a little more self-sufficient and not wait for tragedy to hit.

J.: Got it. So the difference here is I actually go through this in my book. For those of you who are actually watching this on the video, you’ll be able to see my screen as well. But what this is about is the difference is pain. That’s really what it comes down to. Humans are motivated either by pain or pleasure and I believe strongly that the greater motivator is pain.

If you think or imagine on one end, on the left end you’ve got a line. Let’s call it a vertical line that’s currently called your reality. Your reality is over on the left. And then over on the right, you’ve got what you desire. What you desire, the difference between your reality and what you desire, that gap is called pain.

So the bigger that gap, the more you are willing to work in order to close that gap. Humans don’t like to be in pain. I don’t like to be in pain like anybody else. What we’ve talked about so far is what happens in some cases is that your reality, it slants further to the left further away from what you desire and the pain gets increased, which again, is what happens in a lot of cases.

Another thing that could happen is maybe instead of your reality getting worse, your reality stays the same and what you desire, you learn to increase your belief in the attainment of the things that you want and now your desire increases. Well, interesting thing about that is if your reality stays the same and your desire increases, guess what? The gap is still pain and it gets you to move. You are no longer, this is what Anthony Robbins calls, increasing or raising your standards. You’re not longer willing to accept your current version of status quo. I don’t care what status quo looks like.

In my case, what happened is my reality got way worse and what I wanted was also increased at the same time. So what happened for us is simply that our reality got worse and what we desired also increased at the same time, which is the largest possible pain gap that could happen. Like I said, a human will work to get themselves out of pain. That’s when we’re motivated is when there is pain.

So if your reality is great right now, awesome. You’ve got a stable job right now, great, earning multiple six figures right now, great. Increase your status quo. Increase the demand of what you are asking for, so much so that it forces you to stay up an extra hour or two. It forces you to get up early. It forces you, “I don’t need to go to the ski lodge this weekend. I need to work on an asset that can work without me and help me maintain an income.”

That’s really all we do as real estate investors is just an obvious asset that anyone can get behind. If you were smart enough and industrious enough and hardworking enough, you could have invented the Tesla car too because Tesla now is just an asset that works for Elon. It doesn’t work for you. It doesn’t work for me in the same way. It’s no different.

That’s the easiest asset class for most people to begin to see how they can have and own and control an asset to go out there. That’s the number one issue, not how much you’re getting paid. It’s the assets that you currently have, and everybody has assets, the assets you currently have are underperforming and the number one asset that is underperforming for you right now is your time.

Mike: Absolutely. And would you say in your experience that entrepreneurs or even you yourself, over time, once you achieve certain levels of comfort or success in the area, then you can start to redefine your desires, now I want to go accomplish this, now I want to help people, now I want to save the world, whatever it might be. You kind of redefine those things as you hit certain milestones in your life and your career, right?

J.: Yeah. The initial goal was to get to 100 houses. I thought 100 houses was going to take 10 years. It still hasn’t even been 10 years. Clearly I gave myself way too much time for that. I didn’t know that. So now I know that and yeah, I’ve had to redefine it numbers of times because I didn’t know it could happen that quickly. No one had ever told me it could happen that quickly.

It’s no different than Roger Bannister and The Four Minute Mile, right? It was, “The human body will explode if you try to break the four-minute mile.” But you’ve got high school kids who break four-minute miles. No one had ever done it before. No one had ever told me it was possible. I didn’t know.

So those were the things that were different. Yeah, you’re going to redefine it many times. Those first goals, you think you’re designing something big. But you don’t even understand how great the greatness inside you is.

Mike: That’s awesome. Jay, I appreciate you spending time with us today. You mentioned your book and of course you have your podcast as well, why don’t you tell us how folks can find those things and learn more about you.

J.: Got it. The easiest thing to do is obviously we’re at We have a podcast. It’s just as well. Those are easy, easy ways to be able to get access to it. If you want, you can grab a free copy of the book, “Cashflow Diary: Ten Steps to Creating Wealth in Any Economy.” Just send a text message to the number 72000, text “book” to 72000 and name and email. We’ll email you a PDF copy of the book and there you go.

Mike: Awesome. We’ll have that down below. Awesome, Jay. Thanks for spending time with us. For all of you listening in, thanks for joining us. I don’t think I especially called it out, but if you’re listening to this, J. pulled out his iPad and was writing some notes and sharing some of the stuff visually, so that was a first for us, but we are into doing things for the first time and trying new things here. So Jay, thanks again for spending time with us and I’ll look forward to watching your hustle as you’re climbing some of these mountains you’re working on right now.

J.: Awesome. Thanks for having me. It was fun.

Mike: Take care, buddy. Great to see you. is your source for turnkey, done for you rental properties. If you’d like to be an investor and not a landlord, please visit to learn how to purchase cash flowing, professionally managed rental properties in the hottest rental markets across the country. We can also help connect you with financing for your next property. Invest the easy way today and get started by visiting

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