Show Summary

Jason Roberts built a wildly successful business in his 20’s, but took on so much risk, that a change in the market wiped him out. The lessons he learned about how to build a team where everyone wins, and you have minimal risk, are available for all to benefit from…as they all come out during this FlipNerd.com Flip Show interview. You need to listen to this….don’t miss it!

Highlights of this show

  • Meet Jason Robert, and listen to his incredible story of building a successful business, crashing, then coming back better and smarter!
  • Learn from Jason’s lessons of how to build a business that allows you to focus on living your life, no being a slave to your own machine.
  • Join the discussion on how it’s possible to build a business structure that helps others win, and you win in the process.

Resources and Links from this show:

Listen to the Audio Version of this Episode

FlipNerd Show Transcript:

Mike: Welcome to the flipnerd.com podcast. This is your host Mike Hambright and on this show, I will introduce you to VIPs in the real estate investing industry as well as other interesting entrepreneurs whose stories and experiences can help you take your business to the next level. We have three new shows each week, which are available in the iTunes store or by visiting flipnerd.com. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Hey it’s Mike Hambright with flipnerd.com. Welcome back for another exciting VIP interview, where I interview some of the most successful real estate investment experts and entrepreneurs in our industry to help you learn and grow. Today, I’m joined by Jason Roberts; he’s a real estate investor, a speaker, a coach. He achieved great success in the mortgage industry at a very young age and when 2007, 2008 hit, he was crushed financially. He’s got a great story that he’s going to share with us. After that time, he dove into real estate investing and has spent several years building his business. From his mortgage business, he learned the power of building a team and really building a business. Today, really his passion is talking and teaching others how to build their real estate business in a way where it serves you and not the other way around. Lots of people talk about how to successfully invest in real estate, but not enough talk about how to truly build a business that can allow you to step away from time to time and enjoy your life, and enjoy all the reasons that you got into business in the first place. Before we started with Jason, though, let’s take a moment to recognize our featured sponsors.

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We’d also like to thank National Real Estate Insurance Group, the nation’s leading provider of insurance to the residential real estate investor market. From individual properties to large scale investors, National Real Estate Insurance Group is ready to serve you.

Please note, the views and opinions expressed by the individuals in this program do not necessarily reflect those of FlipNerd.com or any of its partners, advertisers or affiliates. Please consult professionals before making any investment or tax decisions as real estate investing can be risky.

Mike: Hey, Jason. Welcome to the show.

Jason: How’s it going man?

Mike: Good, good.

Jason: Thanks for having me.

Mike: What’s funny is the topic we’re going to talk about today is something that I’m very passionate about. I teach on this quite a bit myself, and it’s really critical that if you want to be in a sustainable business, nobody gets into real estate investment to create a job for themselves. Everybody gets into it for financial freedom, but also freedom from a time perspective.

Jason: Right, absolutely.

Mike: But so many get trapped into trying to do everything themselves, and living transaction to transaction and never really building a business. I’m glad we’re going to talk about this today.

Jason: Me too. I think it’s a message that doesn’t get shared enough.

Mike: That’s true. Unfortunately, most people who are sharing messages have something to sell along with it so it tends to be a lot more hype. “We’ll talk about the business part of that later after you’ve bought my product.”

Jason: Right.

Mike: Why don’t you tell us your story? I think it gives a lot of great context to the message that we’re going to talk about today.

Jason: Absolutely. It’s something that’s become a little bit easier to talk about now that I’m four years past it. It was an emotional story. At a young age, I opened a mortgage company. I was 21 and didn’t know what I was doing, trying to decide between going to college and working full-time. I had a job in the collection world that was paying decent, but it was a miserable, miserable place to be as a person. I was calling people who hadn’t paid bills in a long time over and over. You can imagine how that feels after a couple of years of doing that.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: I had some buddies that had gotten into the mortgage industry and did financially well with that. Not knowing any better and being a young kid, I had no experience running a business or anything like that, but it sounded like a good idea. The next thing I know, we opened up shop and we’re doing a ton of loans. If you remember 2001, it was the start of the refi boom, so we lucked into that. I didn’t know what a refi boom was. A lot of business is timing sometimes.

Mike: Sure, yeah.

Jason: Timing and hard work.

Mike: Yep.

Jason: For sure. That business got big. It was probably a $10 million per year business, about 100 employees cranking loans out constantly. Then we wake up one day in 2007 and the government says “no more loans.” All the banks. If you remember that, it was called “the mortgage meltdown.” Pretty much every major investor went out of business. All the big Wall Street banks went out of business. It drug me down. To give you a little bit of an idea, it was $30,000-50,000 a month every single month that we were bleeding out. Just because all of the employees left didn’t mean I still didn’t have the building.

Mike: Right.

Jason: Printers and copiers and staff. All of those things don’t go away just because you’re not making money anymore.

Mike: Yeah. I understand.

Jason: About two and a half years of losing money at that pace, I found myself where so many other people found themselves. I was part of that foreclosure wave. I got to the point where I was “Do I pay my office bills or do I pay my personal bills?” I was still trying to feed the machine and hope that it came back to life. House repossessed or foreclosed on. Cars repo-ed. Forced me to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. End of 2010 I’m finding myself with really nowhere to live, no car to drive, not knowing how I’m going to eat. From not too long ago being able to endlessly spend and never have to look at a checking account balance or if there was money there or not.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: To hoping my debit card goes through for groceries.

Mike: Right.

Jason: It was a big change, big adjustment period. Here I am, 2010, I’m 30 years old, I’m wiped out. I don’t have an education. My education came from running the business, but in the scheme of things I’m not going to get a job to replace that kind of income.

Mike: Right.

Jason: I was one of those guys who bought a course. You’ve had Shaun McCloskey on the show before. Shaun’s first and only boot camp that he’s ever done for free before or since. It was the only one he ever did and it was the only reason I was there. I wouldn’t have had any money to attend. It was literally the same month that my Chapter 7 went through. When I speak at the front of the room, I show my Chapter 7 discharge and it’s October 2010, and that was the month of the event.

Mike: Wow.

Jason: He was teaching on the short sale business. While I didn’t necessarily have experience in real estate investing, I did have experience with putting systems into place and running a business.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: That very next year, 2011, we flipped over 100 houses. Something like $3.6 million gross profit.

Mike: That’s incredible.

Jason: I dove right back into it. I had a lot things to pay back and a lot of time to catch back up on.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: It’s kind of a wild story. I share it because I think that a lot of times I run into people who are in that wipeout place or you hear about real estate investing. You hear these people from the front of the room say “You can do this with no money and no credit.” I’m one of those guys that was sitting in the crowd saying “Yeah right. How can you borrow $100,000 to buy a house that’s worth $150,000 if you’ve got a 400 credit score and a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?”

Mike: Right.

Jason: I share it to give people context that you can. You find the deal and the money appears.

Mike: Yeah. Thanks for sharing that. I know it’s a difficult story. I think one of the things that has been interesting to me over the last few years, some of it came from some other people that I know who are really successful, I think what’s interesting is, and you may have a different context now that you’ve been through it, but I think it’s important as an entrepreneur to be successful, not that you wouldn’t do things differently, I’m sure you would and I’d like to hear about that, but it’s the ability to. . . you want to keep yourself safe and keep a nest egg aside, but the ability to constantly be able to bounce back from a failure like that. It starts to get you to a point to where you kind of go all in on everything because that’s who you are.

Jason: Yep.

Mike: You know that just like you did, if I fail, I know I can come back from it. That’s people’s biggest fear, “I’m going to get wiped out and I can’t come back.”

Jason: Yep.

Mike: I think it’s a different mentality when you know “I could lose everything today and I’ll be back in a year.”

Jason: You’re right. And that in itself is also what prevents people from ever being successful in it. You can’t dip one foot in and see what happens. It doesn’t work that way.

Mike: Right.

Jason: It is a “burn the boats behind you” mentality that there’s no retreating. If you leave yourself a backup plan, you’ll end up taking it.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: I think as an entrepreneur, the more mistakes I make, the faster I get to the finish line. I’m okay with those mistakes along the path.

Mike: Yeah. Before we get into talking about the topic of the day which is building a business and really treating your real estate investing business like a business that can run without you potentially, at least for short periods of time, can you share some of the lessons that you learned from the failure that you had, which you were probably taken off guard to what we just talked about, losing the fear of failing again but knowing that you can come back if you have to.

Jason: Yep. I have to say one of the biggest things for me going forward and what I learned through that is that I will never be a slave to a lender again. No part of my life. I’m completely debt free. I don’t owe a dime on anything. I like nice stuff but my mentality is different now. If you want $100,000 car, most people think, “I only have to come up with an $1,800 a month payment” so the subconscious finds a way to make $1,800 bucks. If I say that I want a $100,000 car but I have to write a check for it, then the subconscious finds a way to find a lump sum of $100,000.

It’s such a small mind shift but it makes all the difference in the world. It’s like that red car theory. You drive down the highway and look for red cars and you’ll see 1,000 of them, but you would have never seen them had you not paid attention to them.

Mike: Right.

Jason: Tony Robbins, where he says, “Look around the room and look for everything green. Now close your eyes and tell me everything you saw that was brown.” You can’t really remember a single thing.

Mike: Right.

Jason: It’s kind of that subconscious thing. Getting to work with all the people that I work with on a coaching basis now across the country that is the number one thing that I see that prevents people from being able to take that chance. You’re working your full-time job, and you want to move over into doing something for yourself full-time, but you’ve got mortgage, you’ve got car payments, you’ve got credit cards, you’ve got student loans. You’ve got $6,000 a month of stuff that you have to pay and so you say “I can’t quit that job.” It’s now golden handcuffs. It’s now 6 hours of your 8 hour day is going to Wells Fargo and an hour and a half is going to Ford Motor Credit.

Mike: Right. Which is interesting because all of your early success was basically from selling debt.

Jason: It was. It was absolutely that.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: Absolutely that. You’re right.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: You’re right.

Mike: Great.

Jason: It’s not for me anymore.

Mike: Yeah. I know your office with Shaun. For those that are listening that didn’t see the interview with Shaun McCloskey of Lifeonaire, you should check it out. He’s got a great book and a great program to teach people how to be a real estate investor and actually not tie yourself to debt.

Jason: Life changing stuff.

Mike: Let’s talk about some of the fundamentals that you see a lot of real estate investors–we see the same thing, where they start a business, or they call it a business, but it’s not really a business because they are the person that’s doing everything and if they stop doing any of those things, the business stops that instant.

Jason: Yep.

Mike: Give some context to the importance of that.

Jason: I brought it up earlier, but for those of you guys that haven’t read the book The E-Myth, there’s so much to the story about the woman who’s the baker. She worked for the bakery and it was a line out the door and around the corner of all these people that come to this bakery because of this woman who’s a fantastic baker. All of her friends and family are saying “You should open up your own bakery. You’re making the man all this money. Open up your own thing.” She opens up her own shop but what she doesn’t realize is now she’s not only the baker, but she’s HR, she’s payroll, she’s sweeping floors, she’s cleaning bathrooms, she’s ordering dough, she’s paying electric bills. You’re doing all these other things that you didn’t necessarily take into account. I think that’s one of the bigger things that I see when I do coaching and consulting work for people. I think that there are so many people who are selling courses from the front of the room on how to do wholesales, how to do short sales, how to do this, how to do that. But if you don’t have the structure of the business, it’s very, very difficult to make any of that work because no one’s teaching you the structure of it, they’re just saying “Do these things.” For whatever reason, when we’re in that job mentality, we show up to work and someone tells us what to do. “Here’s what you’re expected to do today. Here’s the deadline of what I need tomorrow.”

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: When we go out on our own, there’s nobody telling us to do anything anymore.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: We wake up and it’s like “What should I do today? Maybe I’ll send some letters. Nah, I don’t really feel like doing letters. Maybe I’ll look up some stuff on the MLS.” There’s no measure, there’s no scorekeeping.

Mike: Right.

Jason: No deadlines. It’s kind of a free for all.

Mike: Yep.

Jason: That’s why a lot of real estate investors fail.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: Because there’s no measurable moving forward things to track on a daily basis. In your business you should know how many phone calls do I need to make a day to yield me how many appointments? How many appointments yield me how many contracts? How many contracts yield me how many closings? How many closings yield me X amount of dollars? And know if I want to do three closings a month that equals 453 outbound calls that have to be made.

Mike: Right.

Jason: If you don’t know those numbers in your business, you’re running blind.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: And you’re doing it by luck. Real companies, real business don’t operate by luck. They know those numbers. They know those statistics.

Mike: Yeah, and the most important thing in real estate from that perspective is that in my experience, we get deals all the time that we made our first offer on six months ago. I’ve bought houses up to three years after my first offer.

Jason: Yeah, absolutely.

Mike: If I hadn’t put that in the pipe three years ago, it wouldn’t be coming out now. I think so many real estate investors are so short-sighted as to “What can I do today to make money tomorrow?”

Jason: Yes.

Mike: The cycle just isn’t that fast.

Jason: It’s not that game.

Mike: Yeah. I think it’s tough for a lot of people that want to get in. They don’t realize that “I need to be doing stuff right now and I know that that’s going to pay off many months down the line, but it’s important that I do it now, otherwise I’m going to suffer later.”

Jason: Absolutely, and that plays back into that assembly line part of things. When you break that business down and understand what has to be done. Marketing is a component of any business. If you look at any real company out there in the world besides some of our own little personal real estate companies, you’ve got a company like McDonald’s. They don’t say “I don’t really feel like marketing today.”

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: You’ve got a marketing division and a marketing team and they’re constantly putting stuff out. Constantly. And real company, whether it’s Coca Cola or a company down the street, any successful business has marketing going every day. We look at our own real estate investing business and it’s “I don’t feel like doing marketing today” or maybe you did marketing yesterday and the phone starts ringing today so today you’re out running appointments and you don’t have time to get the marketing done.

Mike: Right.

Jason: Now you’re experiencing this roller coaster.

Mike: Yeah. Probably more typical for a lot of investors is they don’t have the money to market or to send out advertising right now.

Jason: Yep.

Mike: They’re not re-investing their profits.

Jason: Right.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: Absolutely.

Mike: Let’s get into some of the stuff about truly building a business and laying this out. Some of the framework that people need to follow.

Jason: Yep. I think for me, one of the first things that I do when I sit down with people is I’ve got a big 16 foot glass whiteboard in my office, so I’ve got a ton of space to break this down. I always do two parts to start with. The first one is just do a big mind map. You draw a circle in the middle and you say “What puts the money in the bank account? Is it a closing? Are you doing lease options, so it’s when the option contract gets signed?” You’ve got the transaction that actually happens that puts the money in the bank. That’s the center point of it. That’s the nucleus of it and we just start drawing all of these little lines out from the center of everything that has to happen to take it from ground one. Pulling lists, writing letters, making marketing calls, making offers, searching MLS. Whatever you’re doing in your business, and we’re just free-writing it all over the board. Every single thing that we can possibly think of for it. Paying your accountant, cashing the check, every single part of that process from start to finish that has to happen in order for the check to get cashed.

Mike: Okay.

Jason: Throwing stuff out there. On the second side, we’ll take all of those things and turn it into an assembly line with blocks. So block one might be; we’ve got all that stuff on the board, what’s the very first thing that has to happen to get this business going. It’s typically always marketing. The first block is marketing and under marketing, we’re going to start listing out every single thing that has to be done for marketing and it’s different for every type of real estate investing, but it might be bandit signs. Under bandit signs, it’s “Need 30 bandit signs to be put out on Friday each week and picked up on Monday.” Then we’ve got craigslist ads. We’ve got to run 3 ads a day in these specific things. We start writing out the job description of everything that has to happen for marketing to be done correctly. Not necessarily how we’re doing it now halfway, how it needs to be done if the business is going to run successfully.

Mike: Yep.

Jason: And then Step 2 might be prescreening the home owner and every single step that has to be done with that. The third one might be getting the contract sign, and everything that has to happen with that. Then, the closing, and everything that has to happen with that. Then you’ve got your next step, which is either your rehab or your wholesale and then you’re marketing the property again. You’ll have six or seven blocks across the wall. The main foundation stuff that has to happen and there are 50 things under each of those blocks that have to take place.

Mike: Right.

Jason: Almost every single time I do this, people sit back and say “Oh my gosh, that’s a lot of stuff. No wonder this doesn’t get done.”

Mike: Right.

Jason: It’s too much.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: It’s way too much for one person. What we have to get out of the mindset and remember is that you need a team. If you’re going to run any successful business to where you’re working on it instead of in it, you’ve got to have other people helping you do the job. The point of this exercise is to make that assembly line and then say “How do I get myself off of the assembly line?”

Mike: Right.

Jason: “I’m not allowed to do any of these things on the assembly line, so who the heck’s going to do it? I’m broke. I don’t have any money to pay any of these people. How can we get people to do work without having to pay them upfront?” And start asking some of those right questions, because one great avenue is a realtor. Realtors aren’t used to getting paid up front. They get paid on a closing.

Mike: Right.

Jason: What if we give a little bit more commission but the realtor takes on 30% of those jobs? What if we find somebody in our local REA, who’s a real estate investor and maybe they have money but they need a mentor or somebody to teach them? Or maybe they’re new into it and they’re willing to do some of the work in exchange for 20% of the net profit. Now you’re able to structure and build a team where you may only end up with half of the deal at the end, but if you’re not doing any of the work. . .

Mike: Right.

Jason: I’ve got five different companies and I work two hours a day. It’s because I’m not cutting the grass.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: I’m doing what I’m good at doing and I’m letting other people do what they’re really good at doing.

Mike: Yeah. And you spend your time finding people to put in those places.

Jason: Absolutely. The next step from that is I always teach three things. You’ve got the artist/technician, that’s the baker in the E-Myth story. That’s your top sales guy at a company. The artist/technician person is more interested in their art than they are running a business or a company.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: And then the second person you have is a manager. The manager is the one who is good at running teams and good at keeping things organized and making things move. But they’re not necessarily good at any of the particular tasks. They’re fantastically organized at making sure all the people who are doing the tasks are getting them done.

Mike: Right.

Jason: And then you have the entrepreneur, who is the one that thinks of the new business that needs to get created. One of the first things I do with people is try to help them decide which one of those they are.

Mike: Right.

Jason: Because, not that as business owners, we don’t move from one to the other, but at the end of the day, our core value and who we are defaults to one of those. If you’re the artist/entrepreneur, you need to know that, so that you know you have to have a manager that gets put into place and you need the entrepreneur to be put into place so that you can do your art.

Mike: Yeah. Talk a little about for, there’s a lot of obviously new real estate investors or people that have had an interest in it for a long time that have reasons why they haven’t gotten started. Usually it has to do with either time or money. Money is almost always an issue. Talk about how to build a team and a process like that when you have no experience and no creditability.

Jason: Yep. That’s a good question.

Mike: I only ask good questions, Jason.

Jason: Apparently this is not your first interview. I think that the first thing you have to do is do that exercise. Creditability comes from knowing what you’re talking about, not necessarily how long you’ve been doing it, or how many times you’ve done it.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: Just being able to explain it in a way you understand. If you don’t understand your business broken down into its simplest point, it’s going to be hard to recruit anybody. I would start with that whiteboard exercise so that you know, start to finish, what has to be done. When you’re starting to build that team, you can sit down and say “Look, there’s 233 things that have to happen to take us from point A to point B.”

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: “I need somebody to do these 32 things. Here’s how it’s going to look. Here’s what it’s going to do. Here’s what I’m willing to do compensation-wise.” When we do this exercise, a lot of people come up for a half day or a whole day here at the office, and I break their business down and put it back together. We go through it and I start to identify “Here’s all the stuff that needs to get done for marketing. I can’t honestly say it’s the entrepreneur’s highest and best time to write out 200 letters a day. It’s just not. Who can we find to write out 200 letters a day and what kind of qualities would they have?” Then we go to the next block and say “Okay, we need somebody to take all the in-bound calls and set the appointments to go look at the houses. What kind of characteristics or qualities would the person have that’s going to be making those phone calls and talking to the person on the phone?” I had a lady come up who had us take her whole business apart and put it back down. She’s from Phoenix, Arizona. She went down and put it all back into place and she said “Jason, everything else is working. Marketing’s working. Everything you guys taught me is firing on all cylinders but I’m getting 15-20 calls a day from people who want to sell their houses, but I can’t set a single appointment. This doesn’t work. I’m mad. You told me this would work and it doesn’t.” So upset. We sent her this thing called the DISC test. I don’t know if you’ve heard of a DISC profile.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: It’s a personality assessment test. It’s a free one that you can find out there. It’s D-I-S-C. The “I” means “Interaction. How well of a communicator you are.” We gave her the test and she came back and had a zero on the “I”. We said “Who’s taking the phone calls?” She said “I am.” We’ve got the person with the worst people skills on the entire face of the earth that’s handling our sales calls.

Mike: Right.

Jason: Right? She didn’t see that on her own. It took somebody on the outside looking in and we figured that out in 10 seconds.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: It’s those little things that when we’re running our own business. I always say the biggest road block to any of our businesses, any of us that have any business in the world, the biggest road block is the leader’s ability to delegate and the leader’s ability to be conscious of what their strengths and weaknesses are. We’re always the bottleneck of our own company.

Mike: Yep.

Jason: It’s figuring out that we’re the bottleneck and saying “How can I get myself out of my own way?”

Mike: Right.

Jason: In that case, she was directly in her own way. So we put somebody that had a high I in that place, somebody that loved to talk to people and loved to make phone calls, and all of a sudden, she’s closing deals like crazy.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: A lot of times it’s really simple stuff like that and it’s also a big deal.

Mike: I coach and mentor a lot of folks too and we always talk about “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” We use a different personality profile test but it’s very similar. It’s not strengths and weaknesses, it’s your tendencies. What are you good at? What are you typically not good at? It’s really important to self-diagnose yourself. Find the things that you’re not good at. It’s not human nature to sit around and say “What am I not good at?”

Jason: Yeah.

Mike: You want to think you’re good at everything.

Jason: That’s right. And you’re right, we take for granted too that when we’re working in a corporation that’s got 1,000 employees, we don’t have to make those decisions.

Mike: Right.

Jason: Someone else is making them. We just show up and do what we’re supposed to do. Someone else already made the decision that “this guy’s pretty good at this stuff, so I’m going to keep him right here.”

Mike: Right.

Jason: But when we’re the guy right there, those are all little things that we just don’t learn.

Mike: Yeah. Talk a little about from the context of everything we just talked about of building out a team, about how potential partnerships fit into that. And also the context of finding somebody that complements your strengths and fills the gap with your weaknesses and things like that.

Jason: Absolutely. I think a lot of real estate investors’ start with that partnership thing, and then the partnerships fail because of exactly what you just said. There’s no “Hey, let’s do this business together.” “Okay, great. Let’s send some letters out.” That’s a recipe for disaster.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: I take everything back to that whiteboard exercise and break it all back down and say “Okay, here’s the 200 things that have to happen for this business to run. You take the red marker, I’ll take the blue marker. I’m going to go circle everything that I love to do and that I feel like I’m good at. You start circling the stuff that you love to do and that you think you’re good at. Let’s see what we’ve got left.” If we both go up to the board and we all circle the same thing that may or may not be a good recipe for a partnership.

Mike: Right.

Jason: It happens often but what you’ll also find happens a lot too is that you’ll have complementing. We’re always attracted to opposites. My business partner that’s been my business partner since 2001, her name’s Rachel; brilliant, brilliant girl. I’m 99 D, 99 I, 0 S, 0 C on that DISC test. She’s middle to low D, middle to low I, but she’s super high on the S and the C. We call it the front of the business and the back of the business. I handle the front-end stuff. I’m the one that’s talking to people and networking, bringing business in. Bringing deals in and talking to home owners.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: Doing the front-end stuff.

Mike: Yep.

Jason: I am an absolutely train wreck with paperwork. When we started the short sale business, I remember her coming into my office one day and she’s like “Jason, you’re going on three or four appointments a day. It’s been a week and a half and you still haven’t turned a single file in.” And then I see her eyes will look over and she’s like “Oh my God. You are an absolute mess.” And I’ve got a stack of file folders four feet tall on my desk of all these signed packages that I’ve brought back, but she wanted them stacked in a five-side folder with pay-stubs over here and bank statements over here.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: I’d rather jump off a cliff.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: But yet, when we’re in our own businesses a lot of the time, it’s that. It’s “I hate doing the marketing. I hate it. I’m just not going to do it today. I’ll get busy and do some busy work somewhere else over here.”

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: And then you wonder. The difference between people who are really, really successful and the ones who don’t make it is their ability to stay consistent on the day to day.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: Marketing’s got to happen every single day. It can’t happen one out of three days or one out of four days. It’s got to happen every single day. Just like an assembly line. Ford doesn’t shut down their assembly line when somebody decides they don’t want to build cars today. That thing’s rolling 24/7 and it punches out a product.

Mike: Yeah. I know that just the fact of thinking of your business the way you’re talking about it. A production line, and thinking “I can’t do all this, maybe I shouldn’t do any of it. I need to put people in place to do that.” Just going to that step is showing a lot more commitment than “I’m going to try this real estate thing and I’m not going to think through my business from that perspective.”

Jason: Yeah. The first thing that comes to mind is when I first went through what I went through and I met Shaun and I sat down with Steve Cook, who you’ve probably had on here. Steve looked at me and he said “Jason, I think it’s really cool that you know how to build these businesses and make a lot of money. That’s a really cool talent. But you’re working 16 hours a day. Anybody can do that if they want to work 16 hours a day.”

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: He wasn’t talking down to me. He was doing it on purpose because he knew he had to check my ego. He had to get me mad enough that I’d want to change. He said “Actually, I don’t really think it’s cool at all. What I would think is really cool is if you could figure out how to make those businesses and make the same amount of money, but you only have to work an hour or two a day.” My first thing was “Who the hell is this guy telling me?” But then when he left, I got to thinking that felt like a challenge to me. “Why can’t I figure out how to make the business do the exact same thing in an hour or two of my time instead of 12 hours a day of my time?”

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: When you do that, it’s when you’re going on vacation tomorrow and you get 100X more done the day before a vacation than you did the last three weeks put together.

Mike: Yep.

Jason: It’s kind of like that thing. I know every day I’ve got two hours-worth of work that I can get done. Guess what gets done? The most important things. And guess what else gets done? I have to be a really, really good delegator because I’m not going to allot 12 hours a day. This is so important for the people who are working full-time jobs that only have an hour or two a day with kids, families, and husbands and wives, and soccer, and a 50 hour work week. They may only have an hour or two a day to invest in their business. They have to do this exercise or they’re never going to make it.

Mike: Right.

Jason: They have to figure out a way to delegate a lot of those things out. I’ve been on coaching calls with guys that say “I spent four hours last night handwriting letters.” You can have somebody write letters for 8 bucks an hour. Or you can have a virtual assistant on oDesk pull your data for you for $1.50 an hour. Or you can sit and type and do an excel spreadsheet every single evening and want to kill yourself.

Mike: Right.

Jason: It’s a lot of little things like that that make all the difference in the world.

Mike: Yeah. This is the type of business where lots of little things tend to come up.

Jason: Yep.

Mike: So you’ve got to have somebody that has that responsibility. I would love to get your thought on building a business that allows you to not work as hard as everybody else, but still being that leader that people look at. Talk about the dynamic in an office or in a setting where you have this expectation that somebody else needs to be working 8, 10 hours a day, whatever it is, and you’re walking out like “I’m done for the day” at 11am. “I’ll see you later.” How do you motivate people to work so hard for you?

Jason: I’m glad that you asked that because my story from before, when the mortgage company was there, I was literally the first one to leave, last one to go home. I was there at 6:00 in the morning, I’d leave at 10:00 or 11:00 at night. Six days a week, sometimes seven days a week.

Mike: Yep.

Jason: Year after year. Day after day. Month after month. Year after year. I remember back then, if I went to lunch, if I took a lunch break, I had this extreme anxiety. I felt guilt. I felt like “Oh my gosh. I’m walking out. Everybody else is still working.” I know that sounds crazy because I’m paying all of these people and I’m paying them really, really well. Why do I feel guilty giving them work to do when I’m paying them to do it? That was really tough for me.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: Starting over, when I sat down and really started looking through “What do I really want my life to look like?” The gym and exercise is important to me. Having fun and doing things that I enjoy doing. I’m taking helicopter lessons. There’s all these different things that I want to do that only allot me a 20 hour work week now.

Mike: Yep.

Jason: If I’m only going to work 15-20 hours a week, other things have to get done. One of the things that I do is no one on my team works more than 20-25 hours a week. I’m not asking them to do much more than what I’m bringing to the table myself.

Mike: Okay.

Jason: I do a good job of identifying people who have a really unique skill set for the things that need to be done. Then I tell them, “Look. I don’t want you slaving away at this. I want you working 3-4 hours a day, maybe 5 hours a day. That’s it.” If we need more help than that, we’ll find someone else. I’m glad you asked this because I think that people mold their business based on who can do the job for them. That’s so backwards. You have to clearly define exactly what those roles look like, and then find the person that fits inside of that box.

Mike: Right.

Jason: Not the other way around. So we make our box and the person says “I can’t work on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” and I need someone on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I say “Let’s just do Mondays and Wednesdays.” So now I’m changing my whole business around for someone else.

Mike: Right.

Jason: That’s the wrong way. The right way is there are so many fantastic qualified quality people out there right now that would love the opportunity to work. Also, just understand the psychology of what motivates people. Just because we’re motivated by money doesn’t mean the rest of us are.

Mike: Right.

Jason: My assistant, who is, out of hundreds and hundreds of employees, probably the best employee that I’ve ever had running any business right now. She’s zero motivated by money. We were just sitting here earlier working on some stuff and she joked because she has to track her hours, and she hates to track her hours. Whatever hours she turns in, I pay her for twice as many hours because I know she’s not writing down all the hours that she’s really working. Whatever she turns in, 50 hours for the month, I pay her for 100. Now she feels guilty about that. She said she loves scrapbooking. She’s a stay-at-home but she’s extremely smart. She’s fantastic but she was joking around and said “How about you just give me a $50 a month salary and you and Shaun have to come to a scrapbooking class once a month with me.” Because that’s what she loves to do.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: Her heart’s in a different place. It’s not money that she gets self-worth from. It’s time, it’s other things.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: We always think that somebody with these skill sets is going to cost a fortune of money. But there are a lot of really awesome people out there that get their self-worth from other places than just the paycheck. They’d rather be part of a team, or they’d rather contribute, or they’d rather give or they’d rather grow, or they’d rather help. That means more to them than a paycheck does. They don’t care about the money.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: Being in this space, this business attracts a lot of money hungry people.

Mike: Right.

Jason: What else can you spend a couple hours on a make a $30,000 check?

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: It attracts people who are focused by money a lot in the beginning. Sometimes we forget the rest of the world isn’t necessarily like that.

Mike: I’ve found in my experience a lot of times I’ve had people that start to feel like the owners are the ones making all the money. And of course, they don’t understand maybe there are months when we lose tens of thousands of dollars because we still have overhead.

Jason: Yeah.

Mike: They never see that side. They tend to see the sales number. You sold a $300,000 house. “Yeah, but I didn’t make $300,000.”

Jason: That’s right.

Mike: “By the way, I had all these holding costs and other expenses.”

Jason: Yep.

Mike: In my experience, I have people at the administrative level that start to feel like they’re doing a lot of work and the lowest paid person on the team. That’s why I asked that. For myself personally, how to try to find people that feel like they’re part of the team but don’t feel like they’re getting the short end of the stick.

Jason: Yep. I think it’s a great question. To reiterate, it comes down to finding that right person and rewarding them in the way that they understand a reward.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: We do a lot of fun stuff outside of work. Just a couple weeks ago, a guy came in for a coaching session. My assistant was here. Shaun was here. Rachel was here. And he goes “I was going to come in for a coaching session but I decided to take you guys skydiving.” Our whole office shuts down and we go skydiving for the day.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: It’s stuff like that, that means more to people than work and money.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: Then when they are working, they’re working that much harder because they know that “Let’s get this stuff done because tomorrow we might do something fun again.” We’ll go play paintball on a Friday. There is a lot of meeting people’s needs in other ways than just financially.

Mike: Yeah. That’s great.

Jason: Not everybody is motivated that way. If you find somebody who is looking for only financial motivation, working in a work environment with me might not be the right fit right now.

Mike: Yeah.

Jason: Because it’s a priority to me, but it’s not number one.

Mike: Yeah. That’s great. I wish we had more time to talk a lot more about this. This is such an important topic. Thanks for sharing your insights and spending some time with us today.

Jason: Absolutely man. Thanks for having me.

Mike: Jason, if people want to learn more about some of the work you do, I know you have some coaching programs and some things coming up.

Jason: Yep.

Mike: Where do they go to learn more?

Jason: They can hop on the website. It’s www.jasonroberts.tv. Not .com, just .TV. So www.jasonroberts.tv. There’s a little box that will pop up, that will offer a free 30 minute coaching session or something like that.

Mike: Okay. Awesome.

Jason: I’d be happy to talk somebody.

Mike: We’ll add a link down below too. Thanks again for spending some time with us today. It was a pleasure.

Jason: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

Mike: Stay in touch, my friend.

Jason: Alright. Take care.