Mike: Hey, it’s Mike Hambright from flipnerd.com. Welcome back for another exciting, awesome and incredible expert interview where I interview successful real estate investing experts and entrepreneurs in our industry. Real quick, I want to tell you that we’re actually about to launch a new podcast. It’s called Ask a Real Estate Nerd and what we need right now are questions. If you have questions, we’re going to have our experts answer them. So just to go flipnerd.com/ask and you can literally record your question. If we do end up using your question on our show, you’re actually going to get some sweet FlipNerd glasses just like I have right here. Pretty cool, pretty cool. The ladies love them.
But hey, today I’m joined by Greg Reid. Super excited to have Greg on. You’re going to know his books. He’s written a lot of stuff. Greg is a motivational speaker, a master storyteller. He’s a bestselling author and a filmmaker and an entrepreneur. Greg is highly sought after as a speaker and today he’s going to share with us the power of perseverance. Stickability, if you will. As you know, we talk in the show many times about how a lot of people give up and there are a lot of ups and downs in real estate investing. So it’s easy to give up too soon and Greg is going to tell us how to avoid that today. Before we get started with my friend Greg Reid, though, let’s take a moment to recognize our featured sponsors.
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Hey, Greg, welcome to the show.
Greg: Hey. So funny. Off record, for people that are new to this show here . . .
Mike: We’re on the record. We can’t go off the record.
Greg: You’re so casual and easy, just talking and then all of a sudden you start, you’re all, “Hey, guys, girls, and freaking pals.” I did not see that coming, man. I [Inaudible 00:02:55] back to the whole thing.
Mike: Here we are. Here we are, excited to have you here.
Greg: I’m excited to be here. Interesting. First of all, congratulations on the success that you’ve been accomplishing. The best thing about it is you’re helping other people. One of my books, it says the greatest success we’ll know is helping others achieve and grow. It’s so cool that your stuff awesome, but it’s so neat when you get to see someone else do it. That’s got to give you a little tingly . . .
Mike: Yeah. I think a lot of . . . not everybody . . .
Greg: [inaudible 00:03:23]
Mike: A lot of real estate investors that have seen some level of success come to a point to where there’s something missing, some level of satisfaction there. Because this can be . . . I’ve said this several times. It’s becoming a cliché at this point, but real estate investing generally can be a lonely business unless you find ways to socialize and teach and help other people. So yeah, I’m excited. In fact, just a few quotes here, we’re about to hit 8000 members today after three months, which we’re pretty excited about. We have almost 350 wholesale deals listed on our site, which is adding like 10 to 15 new deals across the country a day. So our platform is catching some heat, catching some steam . . .
Greg: Picking up steam.
Mike: Picking up steam. We’ll stay with that one.
Greg: And so another thing too is that I know that you’re accessible. When we talk about some of the books and stuff that I’m part of, it’s all great. The short version is I get access to the most famous people in the world to pick their brains and to tell their story. But what’s cool about it is I realize that the most successful people are also the most available. And one of the things is you have you have a reputation of being available.
What’s really interesting is that people truly are the most accessible. If you’re brand new at something, you’re happy-go-lucky, you’re cool, you’re fresh. If you’re at the pinnacle you’re happy-go-lucky, you’ve got nothing to prove. In the middle? Pain in the neck. Ego. You’re edging God out. Finding your own voice. So congratulations for being so accessible because that alone speaks volume to your character.
Mike: Thanks, Greg. Well, hey, for those that don’t know you, there are going to be some people that are listening right now that they think they don’t know you, but they do know you from books you’ve written. So why don’t kind of you tell us more about your background and who you are?
Greg: Okay. My name is Greg. I’m an author, speaker, filmmaker, father, and adventurer here in San Diego, California. I write books and make movies basically for a living. It’s really cool. Back in 1908, let’s go way back, a guy named Napoleon Hill was given a letter by Andrew Carnegie to go write a book called Think and Grow Rich. Pretty much everyone knows that book. Well, fast-forward 100 years, in 2008, the family and president of the Napoleon Hill Foundation wrote that same letter and gifted it to me. So basically I have a Willy Wonka ticket to go meet whoever we want and tell their story. It’s kind of neat and we have been fortunate to write some really neat projects. There you go.
Mike: Tell us a few of the books. People will know them.
Greg: Well, we did, for example, Think and Grow Rich Stickability, talking about that word, the power to persevere. Where I got to sit down with everyone from the guy who invented the credit card magnetic strip to the guy building the elevator to space. I’ve got to tell you, one of the interviews there that really stick out for me is a guy named Steve Wozniak, who started Apple computers. I said, “How did you and Steve have so much success?” And he said, “We embraced what we did not have. We embraced our lack.” I go, “What?” He goes, “I know it’s counterintuitive, but most people look at their challenge and they run from it and they’re never successful.”
He goes, “When microchips came out, they were so expensive we can only afford one chip.” He goes, “I sold my calculator and Jobs sold his bug and we pooled our money to buy one chip.” He said, “I took a Hewlett-Packard machine and I go from point A to point B using 20 chips. They were rich. I’d pull away five, get it to work. I pull away five till finally I could go from point A to B using our one chip.” He goes, “We weren’t trying to be cool or slick. We just could afford one. But by embracing that as an opportunity, we found the shortest, cleanest path and changed the way people do personal computing for the rest of the world for the rest of their life.” He said, “Where could you be if you stop looking at something as a challenge, but actually an opportunity in disguise?”
Mike: That’s great. That’s good stuff. I think a lot of people tend to lean into what they think they’re good at, which sometimes they’re not that great at, but that’s great advice. So talk to us a little about where you see that . . . in terms of power of perseverance, as we talked about, a lot of real estate investors . . . I’ve said this in the show many times. A lot of people that fail, fail before they ever get started and they just give up. I know a lot of successful real estate investors that it took them. . .
It took me four months to buy my first house. I had built a team, we had an office, we had a staff of four people and we were advertising. It took four months. And then it just clicked and then things start rolling, but I know lots of people that are super successful that I’ve had on the show before that took them six, nine months before they got things going. Most people give up way before that. So tell us a little bit about the power of perseverance.
Greg: The first interview I ever did was a guy named Liniger. Now, you might know him, but most people don’t. He went to get into real estate in 1970. He says it was horrible because they had the depression. He says, “It was so bad that all the money ran out and for two years every phone call came in was from a bill collector.” He says, “I was so embarrassed when the phone would ring, I would run across the hall and pick it up so my secretary wasn’t on the spot.”
He goes, “The third year, they threw me in jail, called me a fraud and a liar.” I said, “What did you do?” He says, “I took my attitude from trying to prove them wrong just to prove myself right.” He said, “I picked up the phone and I called the bill collectors.” He says, “I’ll be honest, all the money is gone and I don’t have 50 grand, but I’ve got 50 bucks.” He goes, “I’ll send it to you with the promise I won’t quit.” He said, “I called every bill collector every month for the fourth year till someone finally bought the first business called the Remax Real Estate.”
He goes, “I’m nothing.” He goes, “But how many people’s live were changed, how many billions of dollars transactions would not have transpired if I would have given up on my dream? And how do we know someone watching this right now isn’t about to give up on their dream because Visa is calling them on the other line right now?
Mike: Yeah. One of the things that I think a lot of real estate investors face is if they leave their job, their family and friends think they’re crazy. They’re like everybody is kind of telling you, “What are you doing? Why are you doing that? That doesn’t work.” That’s a challenge a lot of people face. And then at some point, when you get successful, people start saying, “Well, can you show me how to do that?” The same people that doubted you before.
But kind of talk about surrounding yourself . . . it’s important to surround yourself with others. But you’ve got friends and family that you can’t necessarily divorce yourself from or most people don’t want to. So just talk about that kind of issue of being surrounded by friends and family that think you’re crazy when you have a vision to do something bigger and better.
Greg: Well, first of all, you do have a couple of choices there. I disagree. We are where we choose to be. So, for example, when I have negative naysayers in family, friends or what have you, I’ll go golf with them and play poker, but I’m not going share with them my dreams. I’m the idiot if I sit there and tell them something I know they are going to rain on the parade. It makes me no logical sense.
One of the greatest interviews I did was a guy name John Schwarz, who invented String Theory. Here’s what he said. He said, “Successful people seek counsel and failures listen to opinion.” What’s the difference? He goes, “Opinion is based on ignorance, lack of knowledge and inexperience,” like your family and friends. He goes, “Counsel’s based on wisdom, knowledge, mentorship, people who have already done it.” He says, “If you go to someone who’s never bought a house and says I’m going to buy a one and make money flipping, they’re going to say, ‘You can’t do that'” “Why not?” “I don’t know. You just can’t.” That’s their opinion.
If I go to a gentleman like you who’s done hundreds of them and say, “I want do it too,” You’ll say, “Great. Before you get started, here’s what you need to know,” and give me counsel based on wisdom, knowledge and mentorship. John Schwarz said, “If we would spend our daily lives only seeking counsel and you ignored those peoples’ opinion that’s the day your life changes.”
Mike: That’s interesting. Yeah. So talk a little bit about kind of how you teach people to kind of push through the negative to kind of persevere.
Greg: Well, again, we are where we choose to be and we also have the thoughts we choose to think. So Napoleon Hill was talking about PMA, positive mental attitude, but nowhere in PMA does it ever say that you have to ignore reality. One of my mentors, his name is Dave Corbin. He does something called the illuminate. Illuminate means there are these dancing bears. You’ve got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. He says, “No, accentuate the positive and illuminate the negative.” Meaning the sooner that you can put a spotlight on what’s going wrong, the quicker you can actually address and fix it.
For example, if you’ve got a date and you knock on the door and have got a big pimple, as soon as you open the door and say, “All right. Let’s get this out of the way. I’ve got Kilimanjaro right here,” you’ll laugh about it and I don’t have to hide it. Well, it’s the same thing. If we have a challenge and we can illuminate it that’s where things start moving. If you notice Dominos pizza a few years ago did this campaign going, “Our pizzas sucks. It’s cardboard. Tell us how bad our pizza is.” And people did and transformed them. They ended up taking off the name “pizza” and it became a multi-billion-dollar franchise. The reality is they illuminated the negative. And the more that we can do that, the quicker you can get other people to listen to help us through it.
Mike: Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. In terms of a framework to follow, where do we go from here?
Greg: In which capacity? What are you talking about? What’s the meaning of life? Where do we go from here? I’m going to the Del Mar races here in a few minutes so I don’t know where you’re going.
Mike: Well, let’s say for folks that are looking to . . . another thing that happens with a lot of real estate investors is they get to a point to where they have some level of success, but they just get stuck. They start to, in their mind, mentally believe that well, that’s good as it gets.
Greg: I’ve got the answer. What’s so interesting about it is that everyone has heard this cliché, but I’ll just repeat it. We are a reflection of the people we hang around the most. Our income, our attitude, and lifestyle are the average of the group. If you hang around winners you become one too. If you hang around people that complain and gripe and moan, you become a great complainer, griper, and moaner. So it’s very important to surround ourselves with people who are getting the results that we want, back to that counsel thing.
When I wanted to write books, I got a D in English. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. I’m a regular guy. So what I did was I went to Barnes & Noble, I bought every bestseller books I called those authors up and said, “Teach me.” They did, and here we are 56 books later and 45 languages and all that good stuff.
When I wanted to become a public speaker, I said, “Well, who’s the best?” Zig Ziglar, Tony Robins, Les Brown, those were the only people that I hang out with and gleaned from and here we are today. Same thing, I’m making movies now. Okay. So who just won an Oscar? Let me go hang out with them. Surrounding yourself with people who are doing what you want to do pulls you out of that negative mindset. Hanging out with people that are negative or don’t know what they are doing is called pooled ignorance. Surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to do.
Mike: Sure. I know it’s a misconception, but I would like to hear your thoughts on it. A lot of people believe that people who have had some level of success, the people that they look up to . . . you talked a little bit about accessibility. A lot of people assume, “They would never talk to me. They’re not going to share anything with me.”
But just kind of talk about your experiences with people that have that accessibility. Because as I’ve actually I worked for some CEOs of major companies and have known some people. Once you get to know them, you’re like, “This is just a regular guy.” In fact, they may not have a lot of personal close friends. Everybody knows them, but it’s not like they are in high demand. They still go home and they still have chores to do and a honey-to-do list and all those things just like regular people. But I think a lot of people assume that they’re just way too busy to ever spend time with me. They wouldn’t give me the time of day. Share your experience.
Greg: The opposite of that. So my experience is the most available people are the most successful people. It’s interesting how available people truly are, at least in my experience. So you’re asking it and that’s what it is. Especially when you are coming from a place of gratitude. The way I honor people is . . . I remember sitting down, for example, Les Brown. I wanted to be a speaker at the first time so I said, “Les, give me one nugget of something I should do differently to improve my speaking,” and he gave it to me. I left and did something crazy and applied it.
I went back a month later and said, “Mr. Brown, I met you a month ago. I asked for a nugget. Here’s what I did, here are my results, what should I do next?” Shocked. He goes, “Oh my gosh. Here’s what you’ve got to do.” All of a sudden, he wanted to give me his whole life story because I honored him by actually applying those words of wisdom.
Mike: That’s great.
Greg: So the greatest thing I can share with people is that when you get great counsel, actually go do it and the respond back and let people know. Report and tell them what happened.
Mike: And what advice would you give to people that . . . some folks find a way to get in to get that access to that person they want to, but they kind of go at it from an angle of taking. “Just give me your knowledge.” Instead of some people would say, “Well, is there any way I can help you in your business or help you kind of learn from you?” Talk about an approach that you advise people to take.
Greg: I’m very fortunate because, again, I’m calling them up to usually interview them to write their story in a major, best-selling, worldwide book so it’s a little different energy. On the same note, when I was first getting started, I had that same attitude of where I wanted to sit them down and obviously treat them to lunch or whatever it is. But I also would go ahead and do outside activities. I remember when I was first getting started, I wanted to do things like go blow up fireworks displays and stuff like that. I’m kind of into it. So I’d invite these people to do stuff out of their norm. By doing that, all of a sudden they are in my playground.
Because if you go up to people that are just getting off stage and there are a thousand people around them, you’re just one of the thousand. If you can get them out of that environment into a neutral environment, not yours or there’s, just a neutral, that’s where you have the conversation where you see people as they really are. The honey-do list or what have you. So that’s what I do. I try to separate them from the herd, so to speak, as quickly as I can. And then I like to enjoy my Yoli drink here and get my energy every day.
Mike: There you go, man. You’ve got a lot of energy so we know the source now.
Nike: So talk about some of your other experiences in terms of some of the challenges that you see people face and just how they’re not able to push forward, but it’s just kind of a mental block that they usually face.
Greg: Actually, it’s raising your standard. One of the greatest interviews I’ve ever done is a guy named Evander Holyfield. You know the boxing dude?
Greg: I said, “How have you won more championships than anyone?” He said, “I just have a higher standard.” He goes, “If you have a car and you don’t tolerate it being dirty or running bad, you have a higher standard and nicer car than your neighbor. In sports, I showed up early, left late, did things differently, had a higher standard and won more championships.” He goes, “Where could you be if you were a pet groomer, stockbroker, or a real estate flipper and you do it at a higher standard?”
I said, “But didn’t it hurt being in the fight?” He goes, “Yeah. When you’re in a fight, you don’t focus on the pain. You don’t focus on the blows. As soon you do, you end up on your back. That’s what people do outside the ring. They focus on gas prices, war, economy, interest rates, and they wonder why they never become a champion.
He pulled me in tight and he says, “You know what the funny thing is? When you do win the championship, everyone comes to their feet, they chant your name and raise your hand in victory. A guy puts a big, shiny belt around your waist. At that moment, you don’t feel even one of the punches you took along the journey. But the guy in the losing locker room will have every excuse and every bruise forever, wishing they had a higher standard.” So, in essence, surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to do. Raise your game, raise your standard and then all of a sudden you will be amazed what starts magically falling into your lap.
Mike: It’s a great analogy because a lot of real estate investors are that way. There are a lot of really successful real estate investors that buy a couple of houses a month. It’s not significant, but it could go three weeks with nothing and then all of a sudden you get one. It’s funny, just like you said, when you get those wins and you’re going to go and put a bunch of money in your bank account, you forget all of that bad stuff. And then the challenge is how to make sure you do it again and don’t let that doubt kind of enter your mind.
Greg: I like what you were talking about earlier. Everyone is a skeptic until you’re successful and then your biggest critic. And then they want to know how you did it so they can start doing it for themselves. But the main thing is, again, never share your dream with a dream stealer. Let me say that again: never share your dreams with a dream stealer. I’m going write that one down for later.
Mike: I’m going to write it down too.
Greg: Exactly. So the whole idea is people sit there and say “my family, my friends.” I hear this, “Every interview I ever do says the same thing.” I’m going, “That’s your fault. You’re the knucklehead sharing it.” As soon as I get off stage, people say, “What’s the one thing I can do differently with my life?” I sit there and say, “Well, all you want to do is make sure you surround yourself with people that are encouraging, uplifting and share your dream. The second you start sharing with other people, they’re going to pull you down. If you can find other like-minded people who are already doing it, it’s just joining the circle. It’s like if I wanted to pay soccer and I’m complaining because no one to play soccer with. If I join a soccer league now I’m surrounding myself with soccer players and everything changes.
Greg: Surround yourself with the people who are doing what you want to do. I know how many people in real estate complain, gripe, moan. Like you said, it’s a lonely business. But do you know how many cool events there are to go surround yourself with other investors? And then they’re synergetically around each other. It’s kind of ComiCon. You’re the biggest “nerd” until you’res hanging with 100,000 other nerds and then you are the cool kid.
Mike: It’s funny you say that because in terms of accessibility too, we’ve talked about this a couple of times on the show before. When you go to REIA clubs,s Real Estate Investing Association clubs that have monthly meetings, the people that go there . . . there are a lot of people that are newer and there are a few people that come that are the success stories, the ones that are doing really well. Because it’s kind of a lonely world, I found that the people that are successful that go there was such a great time to get then. Because they come there to socialize and share and they usually have very few restrictions because they’re not really there to learn as much as they are there to teach and socialize.
Greg: I think that . . .
Mike: For those listening, I think REIA . . . we’re a big supporter of REIA clubs. We have lots of REIA clubs that are listed on our site and how you can access them and yeah, that’s great. So can we talk about some trends that you kind of seen kind of going on? You’ve been doing this for a while and in kind of America I just feel there’s general trend to where everybody . . . not everybody, fortunately, but more and more people feel like they are a victim to circumstance, and the government is supporting more and more people and all those things that kind of make people feel more and more like a victim like they don’t control their own destiny. Is that a trend that you see as well or is that just me?
Greg: I guess I see the opposite of it. I find it interesting you’d say that because you’re seeing so many people taking control of their life and going to this industry and not letting the economy or environment dictate their life, but they are dictating themselves. So in my circle of friends . . . but again that . . .
Mike: Who’s your circle of friends you surround yourselves with right?
Greg: We have conversations like that. It’s funny I do this event a couple of times a year called Secret Knot. And this is less a plug, but more of just reality. As people always say, “How do you always hang out with these people?” So if you’re who you’re hanging out with, in three weeks from now, I’m doing one in San Diego. It’s sold out so you can’t go anyway, but the thing is that we’re bringing in the guy who invented Pictionary. The guy who won an Academy Award, the founder of Make a Wish, the guy who started the Ugg boots, the guy who invented the credit card, all these people.
My conversations aren’t lack. They are more what’s possible. So it’s very important to surround yourselves with the people who are doing what you want to do and then you start doing it. But one trend that I will say that is coming, and this has been really weird, is Periscope. By the way, people want to follow me on Periscope, it’s Greg, the letter S, Reid. Greg S Reid Periscope. I think this is the new thing. I think people are going to be getting off Facebook and a lot of these things and going to Periscope, especially in your industry. Because it’s so cool that from a live location they can walk around an apartment or a house and show them what they are doing, what they looking at in real time. It’s like eavesdropping in real time. So I’ve got a whooping I think 14 followers. I just signed up yesterday, but I think this is the future and . . .
Mike: Yeah there are a lot of people use it.
Greg: If you want follow me, I’ll follow you back. So go to GregSReid at Periscope and see what happens.
Mike: Awesome. I think my comment there was a lot of it was from social media. You can’t get on Facebook and scroll around a little bit without seeing people complaining about this and complaining about that there’s just all this noise out there, like you said . . .
Greg: Wait a second. Yes, you can. For example, you only see in the feed the people that are your friends. So myself I go through there and anyone that complains about our government or whatever, I defriend them. Or they complain that everything is Obama’s fault or whoever, I get rid of it. Or police brutality or whatever it is that doesn’t fit the mindset that I want see, I just get rid of them. What happens is the news feeds that I get are actually pretty cool. So what happens is I only surround myself with the people that are saying the things that I want to have a conversation. It’s interesting Richard Branson, Oprah, Bill Gates, they have the same philosophy. They said they don’t surround themselves with anyone that’s negative. Now you can be direct and say, illuminate the challenge with the positive result. It’s kind of like hey, this thing is broke. Here’s the solution to fix it. That’s cool. They Just want to bitch and complain? There’s no space for that, especially in my circle. So we do have control of that.
Mike: Yeah, absolutely. So, Greg, we have just a couple of minutes here. Any kind of words of wisdom you want to share with people if they’ve been stuck in a rut or if they’re not taking to the next level as they want to? Just general advice on how they can kind of persevere and move forward?
Greg: Well, remember this: our challenges, setbacks and failures do not define us as a person. What we’ve gone through just has made us stronger. It’s interesting. I’ll use an example. I remember when I met a girl named Genevieve Bos, who started Pink Magazine. I said, “I feel like such a failure because I used to have more success than I do today.” She goes, “Never let your setbacks or circumstances determine your value as a person.” I go, “Well, that’s easy for you to say because you’re rich.”
She pulls out a $100 bill and she goes, “Here, do you want this?” I go, “Yeah. I could use that money.” She crumples it and she goes, “Here, do you still want it?” I go, “Yeah. I could use that money”. She takes it and she throws it on the ground, steps on it like a cigar butt and she goes, “Here, do you still want it?” I go, “Humbly, yeah. I could use that 100 bucks.”
She goes, “Why is it in life when you get beaten and kicked around and get crumpled, you get thrown into the ground and stepped on, you think your value as a person changes? Just as that $100 stays the same, what you went through just proves that it didn’t make you tear. It makes you more stronger as a person. Never let your mistakes, setbacks, or circumstances determine your value as a person.”
Mike: That’s awesome. Great. Well, Greg, for folks who want to learn more about you, what you’ve got going on, where should they go?
Greg: To Periscope, GregSReid. Start Periscoping because I’m going to start doing some things. My website is bookreg.com. But, more importantly, go to Barnes & Noble. Pick out one of my books. I think you’ll dig on it because we come from a different perspective. Rather than about the guru and how great they are, what we do is put a spotlight on these amazing individuals and tell their stories so that you can see yourself there.
Mike: Awesome, awesome. Great. Hey, thanks for joining us today and thanks for your time and thanks for sharing your insights with us. I definitely appreciate it.
Greg: And thanks for having me on. You’re a champion. I’ll see you later, brother.
Mike: Thanks, buddy. Have a good day.
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