Hey Freedom Fighters…my guest today is JPaul Mills, Florida based real estate investor. Today we talk about building a family business. In real estate investing, and many small businesses…it’s common for spouses to work together. Truth is, most successful relationships are based on mutual respect, and the ability to ‘work together’…so it’s a natural fit. But…there are right and wrong ways to do it! Lots of great lessons in this episode….let’s listen in!
Mike: Welcome to Real Estate Investing Secrets. We’re all looking for freedom and the opportunity to live better, more fulfilling lives, but most of us were trained our entire lives to work for someone else and chase their dreams.
How can we use real estate investing as a vehicle to achieve financial freedom? My life is dedicated to answering your real estate investing questions and helping you build an investing business that allows you to change your life and the world around you, and to enable you to turn your dreams of financial freedom into a reality.
My name is Mike Hambright from flipnerd.com and your questions get answered here on the Real Estate Investing Secrets show.
I surround myself with a lot of other real estate investors and a lot of us tend to be very family-oriented. And I work with my wife. She’s worked with me from the beginning. Some of you guys may have seen her. I can’t remember what episode it was. I’ll add it to the show notes here, but I interviewed my wife at one point on the show. It might be time to have her back. It’s been a couple of years. But that was the first time where I kind of shared with my wife with you guys. And she’s a bit of an introvert. She’s kind of behind the scenes making a lot of stuff happen that I couldn’t do without her.
But a lot of real estate investors are that way. We’ve kind of created businesses with our . . . it could be a brother, it could be a father, mother, it could be things like that. But a lot of us work with our spouse one way or another, or certainly while we’re running the business, our spouse is behind the scenes making our lives easier on the home front.
So that’s what we’re going to talk about today, is really kind of building a family business because a lot of us got in this to build a legacy.
JPaul, what’s up, buddy? How are you?
JPaul: Hey, man. Thanks for having me, Mike.
Mike: Yeah. And I’ve got to say, we kind of teed it up saying we’re going to be talking about building a family business. And we joke about it a lot, but the truth is, honestly, I don’t know anybody that has a bigger family than you that I can think of right now. You’ve got basically seven kids and one on the way, and I don’t know if there’s any end in sight or what’s going on there. But you’re definitely building your own little army over there.
JPaul: There is no more on the way. We have eight children and I did not misquote that. We have eight children. We are a very large family. We are blended. My wife, we grew up together. I’ve known her my whole life. We lived different lives but ended up getting together. So she brought four to the marriage. I brought three to the marriage. God decided we were going to have another one.
JPaul: We have eight children. It’s so funny because every time I tell people that they’re like, “You have what? You have eight?” I’m like, “Yeah, we have eight kids.” They’re like, “You have eight kids? Like, for real?” And I’m like, “For real.”
Mike: Yeah, that’s awesome, man. That’s awesome. We only have one, but there are things that we miss out on for sure. I can see that my son would love to have a whole bunch of other brothers and sisters play with.
JPaul: Yeah. So it’s definitely a . . . it’s never a dull moment at our house.
Mike: Yeah, I bet. So, man, I’m excited to talk about this because whether your family is as large as JPaul’s or not, the truth is a lot of us are getting into this to build a better life for ourselves, our families, and people around us. And honestly, I don’t know very many real estate investors that don’t believe that, right? I mean, most of us left something that we didn’t like to jump in to this boat and we’re working on building legacy now.
So tell us your background. How did you get started in real estate investing? Because I know you’re definitely doing some good volume now, but you haven’t been doing this for a real long time.
JPaul: Right. So primarily, I wholesale. I mean, there are other things that we do as well as investing, but primarily we wholesale. And so, I’ve been doing this July . . . well, we’re in May now of ’19, but July will be five years I’ve been doing this business.
Matter of fact, I’ve always been into sales, always very outgoing. I mean, as you can tell, that is my extreme in your face, very just “boom.” Always been that kind, so I was good at sales. I sold cars before I came into real estate investing. I was selling cars for about three and a half years. Made very good money selling cars. But it was just working 70 hours a week, working every single Saturday. Sometimes I wouldn’t get home until 9:00, 10:00 at night. It stunk, man. I mean, it was good money, but I hated it.
So I just was sitting in the showroom floor one night and I was like, “Lord, is this really what I need to be doing?” And I just felt real estate investing, but then I was like, “Okay. Well, I don’t have the capital to buy a house, flip it, put it on the market. Maybe I can’t wait for that kind of thing. All right. What are these people talking about no money down, no credit?” So I just did some research and I went to the old Google and found wholesaling. Matter of fact, I found Sean Terry’s podcast and I hit the ground running. So that was July of ’14.
And for me, I was such a go-getter and I was so hungry and I was listening to podcasts and actually taking action while listening and learning, and handwriting bandit signs and doing yellow letters and farming certain neighborhoods and things like that. Not everybody jumps into success as fast as I did, but within 45 days, I closed my first three deals.
Mike: Wow. That’s awesome.
JPaul: It was crazy. Off of handwritten bandit signs.
Mike: That’s incredible.
JPaul: So the first 45 days, I closed three deals for $25,000 worth of assignments. It was game changing. And then repeated that the next month. So that was August I closed those. Sorry about that. My phone was ringing. So that was in August I closed those three deals. And then the next month, I closed two more deals and made like $15,000. The next month, I closed another two or three deals and made another $15,000.
So I walked into the car dealership in October and I told my boss . . . because it was the middle of October. I was like, “Look, I’m going to work the rest of this month out, but I’m done after that.” He’s like, “What do you mean you’re done?” I was like, “Man, I’m going to start flipping houses. It’s going crazy.” And I knew if I could do what I was doing part-time, what can I do full-time?
Mike: Sure, absolutely.
JPaul: So fast forward to ’15 where I was full-time, because I left at the end of October. So in ’15, I did 47 deals in ’15. Now, my spreads were small, but I was learning and I was just doing the traditional hustle and grind as you say.
Mike: Yeah. And you kind of continued on that for several years, right? And your family is growing. You’ve got all kinds of things going on. I know just recently your wife started getting more involved. I’m sure she was always involved because she’s like your support person listening to your crap every day, right?
Mike: But eventually, you decided to bring her into the business. So kind of talk about that because I . . . so I know people and you probably know people too that would never bring their spouse in because they’re like, “That would be the end of our relationship.”
And the truth is I think in our business . . . I don’t know. I’ve struggled with this a lot. You know me well enough at this point to probably know that. I struggle with work and life separation. So I’ve tried to just do what I love to do so much, and it’s not all milk and honey all the time. Don’t get me wrong. But I do what I love to do, and that’s being around people, around people like you, with coaching, all these things that I love, and of course, flipping houses. So I don’t really worry about separating my life and . . . I mean, I shoot for balance, but I think that’s a myth. I don’t think it’s there, so you might as well enjoy what you’re doing, right?
JPaul: Exactly. Well, one of the things that I’ve noticed, especially in this business, and it can be for any business, but talking with Gary and some of the other people that are in the Fuel, the whole thing of if you find something that you enjoy doing every day, you’re never really working. Well, that’s not a myth. That’s very true, and especially with this business. And just like anything else, if you really enjoy it, it’s what you do. It’s your life.
I mean, yeah, I try to have the work/life balance especially with our large tribe. So the things that I do is when I “clock out” at 4:00, 5:00, I put my phone away and it’s just family time.
JPaul: But I’m still am thinking about real estate. I’m still thinking about deals. I mean, I don’t think you can ever get away from that . . .
Mike: Wheels are turning, yeah.
JPaul: . . . if you truly love what you’re doing. I mean, there are times where my wife and I go on . . . we try to go at least every other week on a date. You’ve got to for sanity, but there are still times where we’re sitting down and we’re talking about work.
Mike: Yeah, absolutely.
JPaul:It’s just what it is.
Mike:Yeah, we do the same thing. We used to try to say, “Look, we’re not going to talk about work tonight while we’re together.” And that lasts like three minutes. The next thing you know, we’re five minutes into some deep conversation about something.
JPaul: Yeah. You’re like, “Man, I went and looked at this house yesterday. It’s great.”
JPaul: I mean, I definitely understand. So I guess what has changed and shifted is like we were previously saying. For the last 12 months, maybe not even 12 months, 9 months, is when I really started growing my team. So I was really hustling and grinding for almost four years by myself, doing everything, wearing all the hats, looking at spreadsheets for three days to get my monthly marketing out. I hated doing that, but it had to get done because marketing is the lifeblood of a wholesaler’s business. So doing the marketing, it had to get done, but I was the one doing it because I didn’t hire anybody.
When the calls come in, I was answering the phones. I was going on the appointments. So that was the acquisition. I was selling the deal, so I was disposition. I was doing the bookkeeping on the back end. It was just nuts, but I noticed that I was never breaking through a ceiling, and that ceiling was I never got past $200,000 in revenue. I never broke through that ceiling. Well, ever since hiring . . . I mean, first quarter of this year, we were at $170,000. And that’s first quarter, and it’s just going to grow from there.
Mike: Yeah, there’s no way you can do it all yourself, right? There’s no way.
JPaul: Exactly. There’s a guy that I talked to, and one of the best nuggets I ever heard from this guy. He said, “JPaul, if you are overworked and stressed, you cannot be creative and overworked at the same time.”
So being that visionary, being the business owner, you can’t . . . if you’re stuck in the day-to-day stuff, you can’t be that creative, “Okay, we need to test this out. What’s the next thing that we need to bring in to grow the revenue from doing $20,000 a month to now we want to do $50,000 a month? From $50,000 a month, we want to be six figures every month. We’re looking for a seven-figure business. We want to be a multiple-eight-figure business. So how do we get there?” But being in that day-to-day, all that stuff, you can never get there.
Mike: Yeah, because the stuff you’re good at . . . I know you’re good at acquisitions, obviously. So the stuff that you’re good at is drowned out by the stuff that you’re doing that just drains the lifeblood out of you because you hate doing it, but it’s got to get done, right?
JPaul: Absolutely. So nine months ago, I made my first hire and it changed my life. Basically, it was an admin assistant, just a personal assistant, but she handled all the marketing. She wrote all the contracts. If I needed an assignment done, she did that. She was selling the stuff, sending out the text blasts, the email blasts, sending out disposition stuff. I was still doing some of those things, but it took a lot of stuff off of me and it really opened my eyes, like, “Okay, who can I hire next?”
So the next hire after that was a leads manager, answering all the phone calls. So what we did with that was . . . I kind of stopped on some of the marketing because I was getting overwhelmed.
Mike: Oh, yeah. You don’t want to do that.
JPaul: Yeah, exactly. I guess that was bad choice of words. I didn’t stop the marketing, but I never increased it. So to get more leads, to get more contracts, to close more deals, you’ve got to increase that, but I was afraid of growing and increasing the marketing because I’m already overwhelmed as it is sending out 10,000 pieces of mail every month, or whatever, because I was doing all the roles.
So I hired the leads manager. Then I stepped up to marketing, because now that’s all she was doing, was answering and pre-qualifying. And then I was getting the ones that we’re going to start the conversation with to really go set the appointment, things like that.
JPaul: So that was my next hire, and that was probably three or four months ago and that really opened up the doors.
Mike: That’s awesome.
JPaul: Just in the last, let’s say, 30 days . . . it’s actually been about 21 days . . . I have now hired an acquisitions manager to double myself. So now we are increasing the marketing. Basically, we have doubled our marketing. So we were spending about $5,000 to $6,000 a month in marketing and it was doing pretty good. Well, now we just dropped $12,000 worth of marketing. And our goal by June, we want to be at about $20,000 a month.
And we just want to keep growing that, because obviously it’s going to trickle down to more leads come in, more appointments you can go on. So once my acquisitions manager is fully trained up, I think she’s going to be a rock star.
JPaul: So I’ll basically have doubled myself to do appointments and then eventually hire another acquisitions so I can kind of remove myself out of that role too and then do some of the bigger things.
Mike: Yeah. So a little shameless plug. I mean, you’re part of the Investor Fuel Mastermind that I lead up. Talk about the role a little bit, that kind of getting around other people that have been through some of these challenges.
I’m guessing at this point that being around some of the right people and in the right rooms has helped you kind of . . . because for years, you did this by yourself, right? Something happened at some point where you started to say, “Okay, I see how that guy is doing it,” or, “I see how that woman is doing it. Somebody is doing it. Here’s what I need to do.” Right?
Mike: Talk about the influence that just being around the right people has had on you.
JPaul: Well, I mean, it goes back to the whole Jim Rohn, that you are the average of the five people that you hang around the most with. I probably misquoted that, but we all get the point. That is absolutely true. So whenever I get around people that are doing the things that I aspire to do . . .
Like I said, I want a seven-figure business. And not to go off tangent, but why I want a seven-figure business, with my personal core values, is my wife and I are faithful believers. I want to be able to bless the pants off of a person or individual or go to someone that’s struggling because they can’t pay their bills and I’m like, “Hey. Anonymously, give them a $5,000 check and pay for two months or three months of their bills.” We want to bless the pants out of people, so that’s why we want a seven-figure business, so we can do things like that.
So getting around people that are in the Fuel, seeing some of the things that they’re doing, whether they’re on the same core value that we are on or not, it doesn’t matter. We’re all doing the same thing to grow our business for that goal, to be able to have the things that we want. The whole true freedom . . . well, hustle and grinding and wearing all the hats, that ain’t freedom.
Mike: Yeah. You’re self-employed, right?
JPaul: Exactly. Too many people leave a job and create another job.
JPaul: And I was in that role for four years.
JPaul: So back to what we were saying, though, getting around the Fuel has changed dramatically my life as far as the way I see things. And it’s cool to have a group of people that if I’ve got a question . . . our private Facebook group, hands down, just phenomenal. So if anybody has a question . . .
My wife is funny, because my wife’s in there too, so she’ll tag me on something that we were just talking about three days ago and she’s like, “See? This is what they’re doing this. This is what we should be doing.”
Mike: That’s awesome.
JPaul: It’s good, man.
Mike: So talk about bringing your wife into the business. So that’s kind of how we start off by building a family business. And I’d like to talk about kind of bring in your wife in and then we’ll talk about your vision for your kids. I mean, some of us want to bring our kids into the business. Some of us just want to build a better life for them so they have more options and they’re not necessarily in the business.
But let’s start with your wife. What made you decide after all these years and made her decide to even want to be involved in the business where she is? So talk about that a little bit.
JPaul: That’s the key. It was her decision. My wife has been entrepreneurial her whole life. She was in direct sales and she always has . . . she’s always been, like, her own breed. That’s her mindset. So when I started doing this, she was kind of like, “See? It’s kind of nice, isn’t it?”
So probably I’d say about nine months ago, how this was all coming around, she’d been praying about it and she really said, “I think it’s time for me to come full-board into the business.” She’s always wanted to have her own thing. And she still does have her own things on the side, affiliate marketing and social media stuff and things like that, but she is . . .
I really feel that if our forces combined in the business . . . because she is really good at certain things. I’m really good at certain things. Kind of like you said, your wife in the beginning, she’s an introvert. My wife, she can speak. I am a social butterfly when it comes to . . . me in the Fuel, you see. I’m just like [brrr]. Her, she’s like, “I just want to hang out in my corner and I don’t want to have small talk.” So the yin and the yang.
Bringing her on nine months ago has really shifted. So she’s taken over the hiring aspect. She’s taken over looking at everybody. She loved that DiSC Profile thing, so she really dove into that.
She has really dived into basically HR and dealing with all the different personalities that we have. Because we have people come to our home office. We’ve got a pretty decent sized home office, so we have people come to our home office. So having different personalities in a room, it can be challenging at times. So if anything comes up, she breaks down. She’s like, “Okay, we need to talk about this.” But really, her coming on full-time has really a shift because . . .
Mike: Yeah. When you talked about hiring some people on your team, that all came through your wife it sounds like, right? Kind of timing-wise, because you said about nine months ago. So the fact of the matter is you were a one-man band for many years cranking, because she wasn’t involved, right? Once she got involved, she was able to help implement some of those things that you probably couldn’t get out of your own way to do, right?
JPaul: Man, I’ll tell you, she was putting the hiring bug in my ear for probably a year before I even hired. But I’ve got some control issues, man. Letting go of certain things. And a lot of us do, especially with a wholesaling basis. We’ve grown this thing and we started this thing since day one. So letting go of some of those things for me . . .
I try to not be over people’s shoulders and be like, “I should do it.” And I do it with a lot of things too, like with my kid. It’s so funny. My kids, I’ll watch them do something and I just start taking over. It’s just what I do, and it’s not a great thing, but especially growing the business, I’ve got . . . and I am doing really good at letting go and letting . . . basically, let them fail a little bit if they have to. Fall on your face, because that’ll teach you to do, what not to do.
Mike: How you learn. Yeah.
JPaul: Yeah. And I’m there to hold hands with them and guide them in different things. So it’s really been a challenge for me. But yeah, she put that hiring bug into me probably a year before I made my first hire. But I’ll really tell you, once I made that first hire, game changer, man.
Mike: So share a couple of . . . because we could probably talk about this for a long time, but just share a couple of lessons learned of bringing your spouse into the business. She’d been hearing you talk about it and probably supporting you and giving you advice along the way, or certainly putting up with listening to your drama, right? But at some point, when you brought her in, you’ve got these . . . it’s like worlds are colliding, right? I’ve got this personal world and the business is mine. Like you said, you’ve got some control issues, and so you’re like, “Hey, this is my thing. At least I can control it.”
And some people struggle with that, bringing a spouse in, because they’re like, “Hey, I was here before you, so just let me do my thing.” Which is not a good attitude to have, but I’m just saying it’s complicated, right? So talk about some of the challenges you faced and maybe how you overcame those.
JPaul: Sure. So, I mean, you hit the nail on the head, man. I always had that, “I started this. I. I. I.” Now I’ve really shifted, and I’m not perfect at it, but I’ve really shifted to try and say, “We. We. We.” because that is a big shift. If you continue to say, “We’re doing this. We do that. We. We. We,” you hear yourself saying that and that’ll resonate and shift in the things.
But challenges for me, like we’ve said from the get-go, is really letting go of certain things that even though I know for a fact they weren’t my strong suit, but I’ve been doing it for so long, it was hard to let go. But now that I have let go, it’s game changing.
Mike: It’s a massive relief, right? You’re like, “I let go of this. Why did it take me so long to let go of this thing I hate, anyway?”
JPaul: Right. I can’t say, “Who likes looking at spreadsheets?” because there are some people that might love Excel. I’m like, “Ugh. I’ve got to do marketing again?” So it’s just certain things like that. So I think that was the biggest challenge of bringing her in. I had that, “I did this. I did this. I grew this. I started this.”
And there have been some times where she’s like, “I don’t even know if I want to be in this business with you anymore because you aren’t letting me do what I’m good at and what I can do.” So I have really learned that when she has an idea, even if I think I wouldn’t do it like that, well maybe my idea of doing it that way is not the best way, so I let her do her thing. So that’s been the biggest challenge really, is letting go of things and letting her . . .
Mike: Yeah. We struggled with the same thing when we started our business together 11 years ago. Gosh, more than 11 years ago now. It was that we were both kind of Type A personalities, but my wife very much is what we would call an integrator, an implementer, and I’m very much more of a visionary idea guy, the sales guy, all those things.
And it was kind of tough because we would tell each other how to do things, and you just kind of have to realize . . . you know, we came from corporate America, so you’ve just got to realize, “Hey, just pretend you’re in this department. That’s your job. Just figure it out and leave me alone over here. We can talk about stuff every once in a while, but just let me do my job.”
And again, not that you can’t interact, but you can’t butt heads about it because at the end of the day you have a different skillset than what she has and you just have to recognize that maybe that’s not the way that I would do it, but it doesn’t mean that I’m right. It doesn’t mean that I’m right for sure.
JPaul: Well, it’s just like what you just said. My strong suit . . . and obviously, I could get better. Let’s go ahead and do it. Let’s plug the Fuel again. That’s why I love the Fuel. When I was looking to join something to take myself to the next level, I looked at all the different groups. And the thing that drew me to you guys . . . I know you’re a pretty face, but it wasn’t your pretty face.
Mike: Really? Oh, man.
JPaul: The thing that drew me to the Fuel was the caliber of people that are in the Fuel. Gary Harper, John Martinez, Corey Peterson, right? I mean, the people that are in there . . . Trevor Mauch. I mean, Todd T-Swag. I mean, look at all the people that I get to rub elbows with that I now have a personal connection with and I can pick up a phone . . . yeah, T-Swag is so busy he doesn’t answer, but you know what I’m saying? I can pick up a phone and call somebody and they’re like, “Hey, what’s going on?” I’m like, “Dude, I’m struggling with this. I need help.”
Why do I want to reinvent the wheel that, Mike, you’ve already invented? I don’t want to reinvent that wheel. You’ve already done it. Just show me how you did it.
JPaul: So that’s where it was when I was looking for someone to help me and hold my hand and say, “This is how we do this. This is how big boys put their pants on. We do it like this.”
Mike: Yeah, that’s awesome. It kind of took me years and years to figure that out, but there’s so much improvement you could have in your business, and it makes life much more fulfilling when you get around other entrepreneurs. We’re down in our foxholes, working hard, and trying to do what we think is right, but until you get around other people that are . . . and you kind of get rid of the ego, it’s like, “Man, I’ve been trying to figure out how to do that for years. Why did it take me years to figure this out and get around the right people?” And it’s amazing how fast it can change your business.
JPaul: Yeah. You said the two different roles. She comes in, she does this. “This is your department. You handle that. I’m going to handle this.” So with me, like I said, I’m not the acquisitions ninja, John Martinez, but I am growing that skillset. I feel very comfortable that . . . I’m very confident. I love being in front of the people. I love sitting down and seeing how we can help them in their situation, solve whatever the problem is. Yeah, buying the house is the ultimate goal, but why am I talking to them? I love that aspect of the business, the negotiations.
My wife? Not so much. She does not want to go sit in front of sellers. She does not want to talk to them on the phone. She doesn’t want to do any of that. She just wants to sit to her desk. She wants to do the things that she’s good at, the social media aspect of the business, helping with marketing, just the visionary.
It’s funny. My DiSC Profile, Gary Harper looked at mine and hers, and I said something . . . because we went to the Sharper Couples Retreat and I said something. I was like, “If God forbid something were to happen to me, I think my wife would run the business.” He’s like, “I saw her DiSC Profile. I know for a fact she would run that business.”
So she is the visionary integrator side of it. She’s always been that one, especially with the entrepreneurial mind, to think big. What’s the ultimate goal? Where do we want to be in 10 years? And I’ve never been that way. I’m like, “Now, now, now. I’ve got to be right here. Got to get in front of that seller. Everything’s now.” She’s like, “Okay. I’m going to look at the 10-year aspect and we’ll work backwards on that.” I’m like, “Okay, just tell me what I have to do tomorrow.”
Mike: Yeah. That’s awesome, man. That’s awesome. It’s kind of funny. I feel this way too. I don’t know if I’ve ever admitted this to my wife directly . . .
JPaul: We’re recording this.
Mike: Yeah, this is being recorded. Wait. Is this being recorded here? I don’t know.
Literally, there’s a part of me that sometimes I like to be led, right? And I think we all have that. It’s like, “Hey, I’m a dominant character here,” but sometimes I have a . . . what’s it called? Decision fatigue. And you just like, “I’ve got all these things going on.” And as a CEO in a company, you’ve got all these decisions to make. Sometimes you’re like, “Man, just tell me what to do.” Because I just want to go knock it out. “And I know I’m overthinking it now, so just tell me what to do sometimes.” Cool, man.
Mike: Hey, talk a little bit about . . . We’ll start winding things down here, but talk a little bit about your vision for your kids. You’ve got a lot of kids coming up, and we talked about kind of building a family business here. And I think about these things a lot with my son. We have one, and he’s 11. And so, he’s been exposed . . .
JPaul: You have one?
Mike: I know. We took the easy route.
JPaul: Step your game up.
Mike: We’re, like, quitters.
JPaul: I’d love for them to get involved in real estate investing, wholesaling, flipping, whatever they want, buy and rentals, anything to do with real estate investing, because there’s good money to be made. Now, it’s not always about the money, but bottom line is capitalism is what makes the world turn in my mind.
Mike: Yeah, absolutely.
JPaul: I mean, come on. So I think it’s so good and I just hope that they want to follow that. If they don’t, well, as long as you’re not going to college for German polka history and that’s not [crosstalk 00:29:20], then . . .
And my thought is that if you want to go to college for something that you can use, doctor, lawyer, vet, a CPA, anything like that that you’re going to have to have that aspect, the education, get it. But if you’re not going to be doing anything like that, I don’t think that you have to go to a formal college to do something.
So bringing the kids into the business, we’ve got . . . one of our sons is special needs, and I’m not sure . . . I would hope so, but I’m not sure if he can be acclimated into the real world by himself later on. I would hope so for his sake, but if not, my wife and I have already talked about we will find a job role in our business to put him in. Whatever it might be, we will make it happen for him.
So I’d love for our kids to join this role, but I also want them to have their own ideas, their own visions, their own whatever. And later on down the road if they’re like, “I’m tired of waiting tables. How do I flip houses?” “Oh, let’s talk.”
Mike: Yeah, no doubt.
JPaul: “Let me show you how to do this.” And then I’ve got . . . man, I’ll tell you. My daughter, Riley, she is going to be a CEO whether it’s in our business or another business. She is that CEO that I just [crosstalk 00:30:38].
Mike: That is awesome.
JPaul: We almost want to do a DiSC Profile for all of our kids just to see where they’re at.
Mike: Yeah, you should. I don’t know how that translates when they’re still young. I wondered that myself.
But you know what? I absolutely believe this about our business. Our business as real estate investors, the way that we . . . single-family house investing where the acquisition . . . the marketing lead generation in our business is really almost a business in and of itself, right? Acquisitions and lead gen is a business, wholesaling is a business, disposition is a business. These are all incredible traits to learn, I think, at a young age, or to at least see your parents doing it.
Mike: So if you were to start almost any other small business, this is transferable to other things. And so, I believe that you’ve got to know how to generate leads. You have to know how to sell and be able to help other people and solve challenging problems, and you’ve got to know how to manage cash. There are a lot of things that are transferable to any business, right? So I think we’d be doing our kids a disservice if we’re not at least allowing them to understand how the fundamentals of a business work.
Truthfully, if you go through the traditional route, like I did, and you get a whole bunch of education and you kind of think that’s the solution and you don’t have exposure to that . . . I never did. I had no entrepreneurs in my family. Honestly, when I was growing up, I can’t think of anybody that I even knew that was self-employed. I grew up in a very blue-collar area, so everybody was a laborer or working in a factory or working at a distributor.
JPaul: Work your way up the corporate ladder, 9:00 to 5:00, and we’ll get you your pension.
Mike: Yeah. I developed a solid work ethic from my family and watching my family, for sure, but they thought the way to get ahead was work harder physically, like with your own time. And you and I both know that that . . . I mean, you just talked about it. That’s not scalable, right? You can’t get to where you want to go.
And even if you don’t want to scale and you’re like, “Hey, it’s not about more money for me,” the truth is what if you’re reliant upon just . . . even if you’re a doctor. I have friends that are surgeons. If something happens to them, they get in a car accident or something, they’re screwed. They’re done. They spent all that money, all that time to position yourself to get a good paycheck even, but the fact of the matter is . . .
I mean, heck, there’s a guy right next door to my office here who is a dentist, and I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but he told us while back, “I’m having all these hand surgeries. I don’t know that I can be a dentist anymore.”
I’m not saying all that education was for naught, but when you’re building a business that’s transferable and you’re using your mind rather than your back and your hands and not something that can work without you, right?
JPaul: Yeah, that’s the whole aspect of working smarter, not harder. And so, one of my goals for 2019 is I wanted to . . . and I wrote this down and we share it with the Fuel. I mean, this is things that we share. So one of the goals that I’ve got . . . and I started this before 2019. I knew this was one of the things I wanted to do. I wrote this down and my wife and I, we have been working towards this. By December 1 of 2019, we want to have the business at least 90% to 95% fully up and running where we can take that whole month off because my wife is the biggest kid when it comes to Christmas.
So we’re planning a family cruise in December. We’re planning a “she and I” getaway plus all the Christmas stuff. I’ll tell you. We can’t even let Halloween go by without the tree being up. It’s crazy. We call our family blended together [Smills 00:34:15]. So the Smills family for Christmas is outrageous.
So that’s one of our goals, is hiring these people and training them up, making sure we’re getting the right butt for the right seat. The whole “slow to hire, quick to fire,” that’s very true. If you don’t hire the right person, you’re just going to have turnover and turnover and turnover. But if you really find that right person and you train them up, man, they’ll just flourish.
Just like my acquisitions girl. I know for a fact she’s going to be a rock star. She used to be in finance at a boat dealership, so her job was to sell the extended warranties and all the other packages. So I know for a fact if you can get someone in the finance department and you can sell those extra things, I know she’s going to be a rock star.
Mike: Oh, that’s fantastic. Cool, man. Well, hey, thanks for sharing all this with us. I wanted to ask you . . . you’ve obviously already kind of given some testimonials and plugging Investor Fuel in here, but maybe just share your general thoughts on the group. You’ve been in the group for just over a quarter now. In fact, as the time we’re recording this, we have our next meeting here in Dallas. We’re going to have 170 people coming to our two groups over the course of a week, which is pretty amazing.
But just from an outsider, somebody that’s been in real estate investing for five years without a group like this, maybe just talk about your experience and what that’s meant for you in your own words, whatever that is.
JPaul: Yeah, absolutely. I would tell anybody that you need to hire a coach that can help you get you to the next level, help you grow the business properly. I would definitely recommend anybody to get into a mastermind group. Hopefully, the Fuel is the one you choose. Hopefully, you’re not in my market. No, I’m just kidding. But the Fuel is definitely a great group.
But any mastermind, if you get around people that are doing the things that you would like to do, all you’re going to do is grow from there. I mean, that’s the whole aspect of it. So as far as the Fuel, like I said, the caliber of people that are in our Platinum group, that’s why I chose the Fuel.
So whether the Fuel is who you choose, or whatever, get involved in a mastermind. Get involved and get around people that will take you to the next level, because, like we said, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So if you’re hanging around all your broke friends that are negative, you’re going to be broke and negative too.
Mike: You did your research ahead of time, and most people that join our group do, obviously, but what was your biggest kind of surprise that . . . I think you mentioned earlier on Todd Swaggerty, Trevor Mauch, Gary Harper, some of the other people that are in our group, and that probably caught your eye a little bit, but there’s a whole bunch of people you’ve probably never met before you came into our group that are all successful people. Maybe, in that regard, kind of share your impression after coming the first time around, like what you left there feeling that you didn’t know that you were going to get access to that.
JPaul: Well, I don’t want to mention his name, but I loved . . . a guy stood up and he said, “I’ve got . . .” He said a different word. He said, “I got a crap ton of private money. I need deals.” So I was like, “How much is a crap ton?” He said, “I’ve got access to $100 million.” I’m like, “What? Who says stuff like that?” Things like that.
But the people, like you said, that you don’t know about that you meet inside of there. I mean, there was from everyone doing . . . you know, Kevin Lee doing Airbnb. He loves the Airbnb aspect. We’ve got an Airbnb that we’re about to launch for the season. We’re five minutes from the beach. And I didn’t tell anybody where we’re from, obviously. I’m in the Florida Panhandle. You don’t get no better beaches than where we’re at right now. That’s a plug.
But I mean, just some of the people that you don’t hear about from the whole wholesaling houses full-time aspect or in the real estate investing business that are doing huge multifamily deals, that are doing huge things with private money, that are doing huge things with the [Bank Bible 00:38:23] and things like that that you have access to that you don’t really know about unless you get around the group.
So I think my favorite part about the Fuel is the hot seats, man. I just love hearing people open up about what they’re doing in their business, what they’re giving, their give, what they’re good at, and that might be able to help someone else’s business.
And I love the fact that we have to say, “What are we struggling with?” And then everybody just bounces ideas, because it really opens up, “I never thought about that. I’ve got this struggle and 10 other people have already struggled with that and they’ve got the answer, so now I’m like, ‘Oh, I never thought of that.'” Then we leave and we’re like, “The things that I was struggling with, I just got all the answers. Now I can plug it in and, boom, we’re done.”
Mike: That’s awesome, man. Thanks, brother.
JPaul: Â Yeah,
Mike: Well, everybody, JPaul is an awesome guy. J, if folks wanted to reach out to you or learn more about you, I know you don’t have anything for sale outside of . . . obviously, if you’re in the Panhandle and you’re looking . . .
JPaul: Â I’ve got a bunch of . . .
Mike: You’ve got a bunch of houses.
JPaul: . . . contracts I can sell you.
Mike: Yeah. So if you’re in the Florida Panhandle and you want to buy a house there, of course, look up JPaul. But where do folks go if they want to just connect with you? If they’re like, “Hey, man, that guy sounded really awesome,” where do they go?
JPaul: I would like everybody to go to our Facebook page, obviously. It’s the number 7 Kids and Flipping. Can’t miss it. I’m the crazy guy that has eight kids. And it’s funny because 7 Kids and Flipping was branded way before we even had our eighth child, and we’re like, “Well, now what can we do?” 8 Kids and Flipping doesn’t sound as catchy as 7 Kids and Flipping, so we just kind of kept it. But yeah, definitely . . .
Mike: You’ll to have to explain that to your eighth child someday. It’s like, “Well, you’re still important too.”
JPaul: Here’s the funny thing. Her name is Grace, so people are like, “Well, you should just say 7 Kids and Flipping with Grace.” I’m like, “Well, that’s true.” I don’t know, man.
Yeah, definitely, Facebook. Find us on Facebook. And if you’ve got a question for me, I’ll give you my email address. It’s jpaul@7kidsandflipping. Email me.
Mike: Cool, man. We’ll add some links to your Facebook page right down below in the show notes here.
Mike:Okay. Hey, buddy. So really excited to see you next week at Investor Fuel. It’s going to be awesome. It’s going to be a fantastic week.
And look, everybody, thanks for joining us for this episode. This is good stuff. We’re going to keep bringing the heat. This week . . . I can’t even remember what . . . we’re coming up on 500 episodes here quickly, probably around the end of the year, so we’re cranking on this. We’ve been doing this for five and a half years. We appreciate you listening.
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