Ep #339 – Sean Castrina – Author of The Greatest Entrepreneur in the World

Here is some of what you will learn:

The Tale of 7 Pillars
The importance of knowing what and why
Is passion overrated?  
The value of marketing
The value of your team
The importance of investing in yourself
Everyone has to go through change
Always be adapting
Understanding your numbers
Successful people know what they want

Book Recommendation: 
The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management: Proven Strategies for Increased Productivity and Inner Peace – Hyrum W. Smith

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Full Transcript Below:

Sean Castrina – Author of The Greatest Entrepreneur in the World (Ep339)  

Intro: Hi! I’m Rod Khleif. Each and every week I record an interview with a thought leader that I know you’re gonna get a ton of value from. Now here on YouTube are the video versions of my podcast, Lifetime Cash Flow through Real Estate Investing. Now to make sure you get the latest information please subscribe and hit the notification bell. Let’s get started. 

Rod:   Welcome to another edition of “How to Build Lifetime Cash Flow through Real Estate Investing”. I’m Rod Khleif and I’m thrilled you’re here. You’re gonna really enjoy the gentlemen we’re interviewing today. He’s a real dynamic guy. His name is John Castrina. And he’s written several books. He’s been on stage along the likes of Tony Robbins and other luminaries and we’re gonna go a little bit off topic today. It’s not gonna be about multifamily it’s gonna be about business building and entrepreneurship. Sean, welcome to show brother!

Sean: Great.. excited to be here

Rod: So Sean why don’t you, you know why don’t we start with a little background if you don’t mind, we usually do on the show just maybe tell people you know who you are where you came from and what you’re about

Sean: Great you know one of those kids who grew up for didn’t realize you were 40 or in college and everybody else can buy something and you can’t and new right and that you know I don’t think money is everything but I do think it’s in the top 3 and so as we’re as soon as I got out of college I knew that I wanted to do well financially and you know that naturally get your entrepreneurship you know desires going. So from that point on I’ve been starting businesses ever since then and obviously anybody who you know understands the pillars of finance has a lot of real estate as well. So personally I’m a big fan of real estate as well

Rod: Yeah know I mean in just about any successful person that I know that owns a business, I started a business, uses real estate to shelter income to you know or does it just for the for the incredible values involved. So Sean I know you wrote a book and maybe this would be a great kind of outline for our interview today called “The Greatest Entrepreneur in the World: The Tale of Seven Pillars” And so why don’t we talk about what those seven pillars are because guys those are you listening you know if you’re gonna do this, let me rephrase that, when you do this multifamily business, you’ve got to take off your employee hat and become an entrepreneur you know and so this side hustle is an entrepreneurship hustle. And so let’s talk about what it takes to be an awesome entrepreneur Sean

Sean: Yeah I mean the first thing is and I think it goes with anything you said. You’ve got to be the right person in other words I invest you know my model in businesses I have a lot of partners investing people just like you invest in houses. I think a business will only go as far as a person leading it. My first kind of my number one pillar is you gotta find somebody who’s just has the innate desire to be successful you know that role which this because the business will only go I don’t care what you deep the person if they do not have that inner drive you know the ability to take rejection, the ability to go from failure the ability to set goals accomplish goals you know it’s pretty simple formula but you know problem is only 20% of the people out there have it you know you have to be a successful entrepreneur. You gotta be the right person to succeed and I think I’ve always said listen you can have any great business idea. I could give Google that idea to nine hundred and eighty nine thousand people that would ruin it that would never get anything off the great doesn’t matter how good the ideas but yet you can give an average idea to somebody with some drive and I’ll make it work. They’ve beat it into submission

Rod: I love it

Sean: I think that’s kind of my first thing is you know you need to take that

Rod: Let me drill down on that just for a moment if you don’t mind. I couldn’t agree more in fact I think the reason for this podcast success is part of what I talk about is the fact that eighty to ninety percent of this is psychology and mindset. You have to go out there and do it. It’s not it you know the mechanics the vehicle like you just said doesn’t matter it could be a Google it could be something a lot less exciting but the right person can make it happen with mindset, psychology, and pushing forward. So you know with that in mind I mean do you think someone can develop those characteristics if they want it bad enough or is it you know

Sean: I didn’t have, I mean I was badly but absolutely my point is that yeah I think that we’re all innately given a couple few special things but it takes a lot to really succeed. So it’s not everybody’s gonna have to learn something you know we’re all probably have a few things to come easier to us but I absolutely believe anybody can learn and develop you know what it takes to be successful because success, it works itself universally, whether they drill state entrepreneurship, athletics, you know we have goals. We don’t stop until we achieve them. We do whatever it takes to achieve them

Rod: Right and that you know that’s in fact you know that’s probably one of the biggest pieces is knowing what it is you want and I think as importantly why you want it and love it. So that’s step number one the mindsets got to be there, the drives got to be there. You’ve got to want it. So what’s number two?

Sean: I think and this kind of goes against what everybody ever talks but I think passion is overrated. Let me clarify that because I’m also the guy that doesn’t think the customer is always right which makes me totally off board there as well. But what I mean about passion is I’m passionate about golf I’m passion about tennis I can just got off in this work. It doesn’t mean I go back driving range or a tennis resort that doesn’t it’s because I’m passionate about it doesn’t mean it’s a great idea or I felt it was to find a great profitable idea and let that pay for your passion. So I’m really big on qualifying your business idea. I’ve seen too many people start businesses based on a passion they had but there’s no profit there, there was no market there. So I think it’s really important to have you know a profitable idea and let that pay for your passion.

Rod: No I love it and let me ask you this do you feel like if you’re gonna do something and you’re gonna you know you’re gonna work at something you’re gonna start a business whatever it is do you feel like you need to love it or at least learn to love it so that you enjoy it or how do you feel about that?

Sean: I learn a highly highly highly profitable construction company from A to Z. I mean we built seven-figure homes to hang put a doorknob. I have a plastic Toys R Us toolkit in my office upstairs it’s beautiful that’s the closest my employees would ever let me get to a tool. I couldn’t tell you the difference between two screwdrivers what twenty years ago I couldn’t get anybody to help divert my dining room into a home office. I just wanted recess lights you know this why wouldn’t anybody do it I said there’s got to be other people like me. Well that little handyman company three weeks later I had 54 phone calls in one week. I’ve never worked in any of my businesses it was a profitable idea. My goal initially was to pay for a golf membership to a very nice country club here which it did. My point is is that you just you’re why has to be important. It’s not necessarily the passion for the business. I thought it was a great idea you know what’s gonna do great. I was excited about it because I thought it was profitable but what’s gonna be able to provide flexibility and schedule. My kids have never gone to daycare okay you know my wife and I’m like we have an incredible schedule. I’ve never missed a field trip, a sporting event, it’s what entrepreneurship can pay for. That drove me. The idea to be relevant it was just the vehicle and I’m only gonna get on a good vehicle. A profitable idea

Rod: Okay so whether or not you like it doesn’t matter to you. It’s really about its ability to make a profit. Do you have you ever owned a business you didn’t like?

Sean: You know is not that I don’t like it even because I’m not example I own a cleaning company. I’ve never cleaned the windows on my car before but you know you want to pay two guys eight hundred and eighty dollars a day and I can pay 115 dollars an hour and 118 I don’t make it a $600 spread and it’s three thousand week it’s 150 thousand a year I’d have to have 1.5 million dollars in an annuity on a good way to pass that off in a year. I look at everything as the vehicle the endgame is a flexible life, time with my family, being able to be generous you know I just got I just got off the occasion in Nashville my friends from college that I pay for two trips a year you know they’re all bastards and whatever they think of. Sean, we’ll do the ministry part we’ll just pray you keep making money you know entrepreneurship this allows me to do so many amazing things

Rod: Love it. Well guys there you heard it. So if you don’t love my family real-estate don’t do it anyway because it is definitely profitable and it is an incredible vehicle. So you know you’ve heard me say you gotta love it or learn to love it or go do something else. Well Sean says otherwise

Sean: So real estate because I tell every and every person this in business. I tell everybody owned the real estate underneath your business if you don’t accomplish any one thing in business own the land underneath of it and the second thing is the biggest checks I’ve ever cashed were real estate checks. So I’m a big fan of real estate. Yeah I’ve built 24 businesses myself and several have been worth millions and millions of dollars and most have been frankly spectacular flaming seminars I call them. But so you know the third pillar is your definition of passion, second what’s the third?

Rod: Yeah and I go through the other one is that you need to have an active business plan and this is different than anything we’ve ever read in my opinion is that many business plans are like the 10 commandments and they’re not going to be dusted. Well running the business is like flying a kite, opening a big business is kind of like having a barge or a battleship if you don’t hit an island or iceburg it’s okay. When you’re starting a business, everything can take it out of the air so you got to have a business plan that can adapt quickly. So I get excited about my business plan but I’m shocked how different it looks two years down the road. So it’s great to have a plan but it needs to be active it needs to have room for a dustman in it because what you think may be your number one form of profit can completely change three months from now

Rod: I love it and you know at Tony Robbins, I spent a lot of time with him and he talks about you know having your outcome in your mind’s eye and of course it’s never a straight line and if one way doesn’t work you change your approach and you try it a different way and it doesn’t work you change your approach and try it again and you rinse and repeat and rinse and repeat until you make it work. Nnow back to your business plan comment, guys you know we closed on 403 doors today. Awesome day today in Louisiana we just closed yeah and we have a plan, a business plan for that property because it is a business. So we know what we’re gonna do when we’re gonna do it how we’re gonna do it, now could it evolve? Absolutely. We planned on selling that property in a couple of years but we just found out there’s a billion dollar development going in across the river. So we may evolve and keep that thing. So you know that’s the parallel that’s why I wanted Sean on the show all right awesome. So what’s next what else is this business

Sean: You know marketing is not optional. Let me just speed on that marketing is not optional and I kind of tide that goes in my first book the eight unbreakable rules for business startup success and it kind of parallels this book even though this is a fictional tale but the point is this is that how it’s here you know we’re a word-of-mouth business but that is the that is the dumbest statement ever made my only broke people made that statement. I always take them you know Apple sells iPhones I see it every day because they have a commercial. It’s gonna shock you but Budweiser sells beer yeah they spend about 40 million dollars in Super Bowl Ads to remind you and Bill Gates all the rest and all everybody advertise. My point is is that businesses have to have a marketing plan they have to have a client that they’re trying to attract and I think they do it step further. It’s not just marketing. You need to build a brand you know I take it a step further in the you know the greatest entrepreneur in the world is that your business has to become a brand or it’s a commodity

Rod: Love it love it yeah no question. I’m sorry?

Sean: I just like to tell people you know don’t tell me you don’t advertise you need to further not only being advertised you need to have, I would say you know say well how do I build a brand? What’s the one promise that if you made your customers and if you could deliver on it they would chase you down for your business? There’s your brand

Rod: Love it you know it’s funny I’m just thinking about my own this last journey that I’m on the last couple of years and this brand that I never planned to build but you know you’re talking about marketing and guys you’re thinking I don’t need to market if I buy apartment buildings you got to market to investors I mean we raise money for this this Shreveport deal accredited only let me put a caveat in there but the point is you know that’s marketing. You market yourself every day but every business Peter Drucker says, every business is innovation and marketing. That’s it that’s every business innovation and marketing. And if any one of those two things are missing the business won’t thrive or survive. Now so building the brand guys you know that I’ve got my event here coming up in in Denver and in one of the big things we talk about is building your brand getting a website getting a name and trying to differentiate yourself in some fashion. This podcast was my way to build a brand and there are lots of guys that are getting into this multifamily space that are doing podcasts, YouTube video channels, they’re doing Facebook groups, they’re doing meetup groups and that’s how they’re developing their brand and getting their reach love it love it love it okay this ties right in Sean awesome stuff what’s next?

Sean: You got to be able to build the team. I’ve never seen anything successful done by one person. Even if he’s the face of it or she’s the face of it, there’s always a team behind them and I think we’re never going to fail small businesses. I look around and they introduce me to all these family members working for them you know family member that’s what I, if you’re lucky, you’ve got one family member that you can hire but if you look all the way around the building there’s nothing beginning but you neither love them a lot and that’s okay you can afford to make that mistake but you’re never gonna look around a family ring and tell me that’s the best people you can hire I apologize but that’s just the fact to it I surround myself ordinarily talented people. If I have one gift, it’s the ability to recognize talent maybe even before the individual even realizes they have it in them on board. And so building a team is it you’ve got, anything great it’s something more than one person

Rod: Let me drill down on something you just said, you have the ability to recognize talent. Tell me what you look for.

Sean: Rhey have energy you know Warren Buffett says that you know show me a guy who’s, I want somebody with integrity. I would say you know I expect integrity. So you know I think we overplay that just a little bit. I expect you to tell me the truth in whatever the case may be but have an energy. They have a bounce in their step. For example, my daughter just had a wedding and a beautiful spot, she couldn’t really find it and she was getting married there’s all these balloons on the mailbox and I said to my wife who did that? And she said oh Jeremiah did it. I hired him. I brought him from Florida to Virginia. He’s one of my partners now. He was 21 years old you know why I did it? because he was the only one who not only noticed that it was a little difficult to find but he would have balloons that day well he now lives with my wife and I gonna college and he’s one of our partners. He’s 21. Now I got that for 30, 40, and 50 they have something they have an energy they there’s something they’d bring that you just go wow. I give that guy an opportunity I give her an opportunity I got a funny feeling something’s gonna be one one last story, one of the, the best secretary I ever had put the bricks on that last home I built 10 years ago. She showed up at 7:00 in the morning to 5 o’clock at night working 30 feet near putting bricks and I said to her, I never said I said Amy if I put you in air conditioning it won’t be a fair fight. She said I’ll never get this you note you single mom I said I said let me put it this way I’ll pay you in such a way that you will never need a man you may choose one but you will never need one and pulled her off bricks and choose my personal secretary for almost a decade. So they’re all dressed up in so many different costumes but you can tell them you just got something extra

Rod: Yeah you know you see sometimes you’ll see that in servers and restaurants and things like that you’re like, man what are you doing here? Love it love it and guys multifamily real estate you want to go out building a team it is a team sport. It is not a do-it-alone sport. Sure you can flip houses they can do that yourself but not apartment buildings. It is a team sport and you know and you want to be around the best people you can possibly find it you know and I got that lesson late in life I used to try to save money and try to keep the expenses down big mistake. Focus on the best you can find. They will pay for themselves tenfold you agree Sean?

Sean: oh I always say it’s the employee that can’t get a job because she… you never ever over pay a talented person

Rod: Now I couldn’t agree more couldn’t agree more oh this is great stuff what else? keep them coming

Sean: All right you know one of the big things that I constantly find is is that they stop learning and always say, listen, you need to constantly be a learner. I would say failure is best heard through a secondhand story I know they’re worried about somebody’s failure I’d rather see in an interview here about in a pocket you don’t have to experience failure firsthand all the time. But if you don’t read books, listen to podcast, go to seminars every failure it’s firsthand. And they get expensive. Constantly be a learner

Rod: Yeah no question learning is earning. I you know my son coming to me when I was nine years old we’re in our mansion on the beach you know own eighty million dollars with a real estate and I said I’m going to a real estate seminar, you’re like dad what do you doing? go to a real estate seminar you could teach it you know I’ve got hundreds of books on real estate and you know and then I had the opportunity to coach him on that and love it so guys

Sean: I got to come back with one thing, my son is you know gonna be a senior in high school it’s too funny the other day he says to me data I just paid $250 for a phone call for somebody. It’s an area he wanted to learn. I look him like I said, you got it you figured it out. 17 you know you you were willing to take $250 out of a very nice school checking account to have a 20-minute phone call with somebody to solve a problem in a business that he’s playing with and I said son you got it you know

Rod: I love it you know you’ve got to invest in yourself and this is not you know you some of you listening may be thinking all that self-serving because you sell courses and coaching listen I spend hundreds of thousands of dollars you know on my own personal coaching, on masterminds that I belong to and mentors and coaches and books and seminars and boot camps and everything else to this day I’ve got drawers filled with lanyards from seminars that I’ve gone to

Sean: I sent an email just yesterday to take somebody that you know if I mentioned their name everybody would know I offered $25,000 just to go to lunch with them

Rod: Wow

Sean: Okay because there’s something he can teach me and he’s not the only person I’ve made that offer too. So the fastest way to get from point A to point B is find somebody before you

Rod: That thinks what you think as hard is easy

Sean: Exactly

Rod: I love it I love it all right keep it come on you got more keep going

Sean: Last thing this is the big one this really big is that all right. You’re gonna have to change. Eeverybody has to change I mean you look at blockbuster. I apologize but whoever’s on the blockbuster… great square in the Fanny. I mean the worst board in the history of mankind American on life and the mercury time. I can go all the way down I mean what happened a Circuit City? Sears did you notice that that big catalogue had a thousand pages in it was on was going online in the early 90s I mean these businesses that become I

Rod: Innovation and marketing like Drucker said you got to innovate. Like the opportunity Netflix

Sean: Fifty million dollars see these red little boxes outside every grocery store you know for red box whatever the case may be you have to change personally and your business has to constantly be adapting constantly

Rod: Yeah and there’s only one constant life guys you know it’s change. You’ve got to be able to get uncomfortable you’ve got to push through that you’ve got to push through fear and you know you know think the key is you’re gonna have problems, the key is to have quality problems okay and you know like right now I’ve got enough coaches, got all my coaches actually actively do this business it’s a quality problem. But that’s the key to have better problems

Sean: One last thing one last thing on the book because I just hit me deep and I can’t believe I didn’t bring it up because it’s in the middle of everything is know your numbers. The big problem of business owners is I love I said well how you guys doing financially because I meet with my accountant in a few weeks to me if your account is the person who updates you on how you’re doing you don’t have a plan. You don’t know what you’re doing financially. I get a dashboard emailed to me every single morning at 4:30 in the morning from my CPA every single one of my bank accounts. In my office I have another CPA and sends me report at 4:30 p.m. every day on every single one of my businesses and what happened by the end of the day. And those two things better parallel. I you got as a business owner you got to be a numbered savant you got to know what it costs to produce your product you know whatever your service your labor whatever cost you run your business you got to know every number. You’ve got to be OCD about numbers

Rod: So how does that translate into multifamily my friends? You have got to study this business so you understand the numbers because it really multi-family is empirical. It is numbers and you’ve got to have optics on those numbers as after you buy a property. I have dashboards being put together right now for this thought leadership business that I have. And literally today I got an example of one on a call yesterday and one today. We’re developing those dashboards like you described so I know you know how we’re doing on a daily basis. How many bucks do I have in seats at my live events? you know how many people are interested in coaching? how are they converting and as it relates to multifamily it’s you know if let’s say you’re renting apartments how are those leads coming in? are they converting? are they being shown? Every one of those steps you’ve got to have optics on and then you know from the lead all the way through to a signed lease and that’s what he’s talking about here guys is you’ve got to have optics on your business bottom line. Awesome what else?

Sean: I’ve exhausted myself of everything

Rod: Let me ask you this, if you could teach school children knowing what you know one thing you know what might you teach them that’s not being taught and then we could talk about this

Sean: Glad you say that because my son was in an entrepreneurship class in high school and he said dad would you come teach our class? And he said nobody’s gonna pay attention to you I said son I have a unique set of skills. Everybody so when I left he sent me a text saying as Dad that was incredible. Everybody wants to talk to you. And the whole thing to talk about is the mindset it’s what I told the kids I said listen if you don’t get anything out of what I’m gonna tell you, if a genie come up to you on the street and says you can add anything you want you better be able to answer that question in detail. I wake up and I know you do as well. I know exactly what I am shooting for today. I know exactly what I want five years from now what I’m shooting ten years now. Successful people know what they want and when you know it then you can reverse engineer everything from that. So acts that’s the number one thing, know what the heck you want

Rod: Yeah I listen that’s why I start my coaching and my live events with a goal-setting session. People like, I’m here to learn real estate. No you’re not. You’re here to figure out exactly what the Freak you want and then why you want it okay. And you know if you look around my office here I have pictures of the things that I want now.

Sean: In my room I have pictures all the way around of everything I want for the next ten years you gonna know what it is you want. That’s right. Last question

Sean: yeah

Rod: What, besides your books of course and by the way guys check him out at Sean, spell your last name for me

Sean: Castrina that’s CAS T R I N A and that’s S E A N

Rod: Yeah seancastrina.com and what books do you like to gift the most?

Sean: I have about 15 books that I’m always giving away Think & Grow Rich is number one. I like Rich Dad Poor Dad to plant the seed of what entrepreneurship is like. So I love Think & Grow Rich. I still think for the pillars of the right qualities of person needs have seven Habits of Highly Effective People is still in my top 20. I love the Ten Natural Laws of Time and Life Management by Hyrum Smith. He’s a guy who started Franklin Covey. He was the original Franklin. Then, you listen me. One of my 20 best books that you’ll never you know just an unbelievable book you won’t be able to put it down. Leadership, I love John Maxwell, Tony was yeah you know his stuff is great you know anything on the lines did that I’m always looking for stuff I meant a lot of Russell prints and stuff right now you know he’s fascinated with some of the thing I tell people just read read read read. My son, never, I only paid my son to read it’s the only thing he’s paid for as a teenager. I say picking up trash sparked a little bit here, read them and tell me what you read I don’t pay for you. So my son you know always read and so I’m home books to read

Rod: What a great way to instill that in your boy. You talk about Think & Grow Rich. I’m not exaggerating I’ve given away almost three thousand copies now of that book three thousand I’m not exaggerating and

Sean: oh it’s the single greatest book not written by a prophet today period. Absolutely a book that you keep every four times a year

Rod: I was gonna say you need to read this at least once a year you say four times a year oh there you go I couldn’t agree more all right last last question. What do you think is the number one reason most people fail to succeed in business?

Sean: Number one is that it’s going to be easier than it is you know number one they just think it’s going to be easier. I find a business to start and they just survived they never have a growth plan. It’s so intense so fast like the second they make maybe what they were making as an employee oh I made it, and they get into a survival mentality and I’m like golly they always being a growth mentality. Great employees don’t want to work in a survival company I want a growth mentality. So that’s my biggest thing is I just think people just don’t set ambitious enough goals for themselves or for their companies

Rod: Love it and guys that again this all relates to multifamily you may think it doesn’t but it does because I will tell you it’s never about the goals. Yes the goals will drive you and propel you and push you and pull you and all that but once you reach them, if you don’t continue to grow, you’re gonna die. If you don’t continue to grow you’re not gonna be happy. I tell the story you know I built that testament to my ego on the beach ten million dollar house and I was depressed two months after it because I was like what’s next because I wasn’t growing anymore. Love it. Growth mentality is critical and you know like I’ve got students that are they’re quitting their w2 jobs this month and that’s the message I’ve got to get to them. You’ve got to continue to grow, continue to buy, continue to be excited about this business. Don’t coast because you’re nuts covered. So yeah well listen Sean, you’ve had a tremendous value today my friend I really appreciate you being on the show really enjoyed this and I’m sure our paths will cross again soon

Sean: I appreciate thank you so much for having me

Rod: All right my friend take care

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