Ep #263 – Ramakrishna Menon – From Serial Entrepreneur to 350 Units Overnight

Here is some of what you will learn:

The value of personal coaching
Partnering for profit How to build your investing resume
The power of Full-Time Focus When to raise money
The value of a Sample Deal Package
Focus is power
How to get what you want in life
Why mindset is key to your success
How to ‘practice’ failure
The value of contribution beyond yourself
Book recommendation: Principles by Ray Dalio

To contact our guest, please email: menairproperties@gmail.com Join us at a Multifamily Bootcamp, visit: MultifamilyBootcamp.com

Full Transcript Below:


Rama Krishna Menon – From Serial Entrepreneur to 350 Units Overnight (Ep #263)

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. And I know you’re going to enjoy the gentlemen were interviewing today. He’s very warm man and got a twenty million dollar multifamily portfolio, 350 units his name is Rama Krishna Menon and he goes by Menon and we’re very lucky to have him on the show today. Menon and welcome my friend!

Menon: Thanks a lot Rod. I really appreciate you giving me this opportunity. Thank you!

Rod: Well it’s absolutely my pleasure and I’m grateful you took the time to be on the show. So let’s talk about I know that you didn’t start out in real estate I think you were in Silicon Valley I’d love to hear how you know, where you came from and how you got into this exciting business. So please share that

Menon: Absolutely. So as you mentioned I’m from Silicon Valley I’m a high tech entrepreneur so I’ve been in software for pretty much my entire life. I did my Bachelor’s in Computer Science from IIT, did my masters here in the US and you know joined Oracle which is a huge company like you know competitor of Microsoft. So you know I was in Oracle, I was in Netflix, and was doing Netflix that I had the bug to do my own startup and I went on to do five of them and sold one of them but the thing is that most of them were more of a struggle. I learnt a lot but didn’t make a lot of financial success right so my last startup was on financial you know financial savings and he didn’t go well and that was kind of a down period for me because that was the last startup and I had run out of kind of the bandwidth and runway. So I went back and joined another company, another startup, but as an employee and kind of like figured out that I don’t want to work for somebody else even though they were great people I appreciated them and decided that, okay I wanna do something but I was stuck I did not know what to do. So what I did was which I would recommend everyone should do when they are in such situation since I actually asked for help basically I went for personal coaching with another organization that I had already got pretty good results from. And from that emerged for the first time in my life basically clear priority on what I want to do in my life and the first one was financial freedom and you know and then I hired another coach to get to financial freedom and he kind of forced me to choose two paths and one of them was software, big data, the other one was real estate I just picked it up you know randomly because I heard good things about real estate that’s all I knew. And that’s how I started into real estate and yeah

Rod: So you got it you got a personal coach like a life coach it sounds like that’s somebody to hold you accountable and push you and he said either go do software or go do real estate and so you decided real estate and I will tell you, you know coaching is fantastic. I mean I’ve had coaches for decades, life coaches, business coaches, high-performance coaches, and you know I became a high performance coach actually and got certified in last year and loved it. It’s part of my real estate coaching platform and I teach mindset and hold people accountable and all those things. So that’s awesome that you did that and then um you decided real estate. So talk about how that progressed. I think you told me before we started recording that you did single-family is that right?

Menan: Sure. So the real estate decision also didn’t happen like right away. Initially I had two tracks. I was trying to do two things together one was the big data and I had some plans on the big data and I started real estate and I think I completely agree with you on mentorship and coaching. It’s just um it’s just mind-blowing to me that people don’t do it often. I mean I’m a big believer in mindset. I’m a big believer in coaching, mentorship, and it’s a no brainer to me. Once you know what you want in life, it’s a no brainer to find the best coach and engage with them right? So in terms of real estate, I started with single family flip and the first thing I did was I attended some courses some of them were not great but they gave me enough confidence to start looking for deals. And I started looking for deals in the area and I made I went really fast you know one of the things that changed in my life was I said okay I’m going to do everything fast I’m not going to think or think. I will do things fast you know I take action and you know if I feel that’s fine right. So I made four offers within maybe two months here in the area and all every time I was outbid by somebody. So I decided okay what next? I basically again you would probably laugh but I decided okay I need to fight and get out of the area. So I went and did a google search and just clicked on the first article picked up the top ten states and went to Zillow and picked up like a few real estate brokers right on single family. Talk middle and all that and just start calling them. I call probably 50 of them and I found one or two of them and one of them was in New Jersey in a place called Ramsey and she was she turned out to be very professional. So I thought okay I’m good and I did an entire deal in the next eight months completely remotely while I was working here I didn’t even go and see the property and it was pretty good drop

Rod: So you want a single-family house in New Jersey

Menan: Flipped it basically

Rod: Flipped it? Wow! You flipped a property from San Francisco in New Jersey holy cow. Wow that’s very unusual actually. Typically flipping is done in your backyard. Well good for you so you’re able to make it work. So how did you progress from that into multifamily? Talk about you know what the thought process was because if you were successful you made some money I take it on your flip.

Menan: Yes I did. I did make some money. So to answer your question once I made some money that’s when I decided that I’m gonna focus on real estate. I decided to not focus on the data I decided focus on real estate okay. And then I did a couple other flips here and then the thought process was okay I can do this but what is next? Right and I did some research and I just saw more dollars in front of commercial. So I decided and again my tonsils are very fast once I decided to go commercial I look for a mentor and search for a mentor and found actually one mentor here in Bolivia and I decided to sign up for that and then something happened. Well I decided to switch mentors and follow one in Dallas

Rod: Okay and so you found a real estate mentor and you got trained on apartment investing and and what year did you take down your properties? because I think you told me you’ve got two large properties 108 units and 240 units at when did you take those down?

Menan: So both of them were actually last year, like in August. So both of them are almost simultaneous closing

Rod: Wow that’s pretty challenging to take down your first large property and have it actually be two of them. What was the equity raised on those two deals combined?

Menan: It was on 5.7 million

Rod: Wow. So you raised 5.7 million. How did you make that happen from single family to raising 5.7 million for your first two multifamily deals? How did that take place? Tell me how you found that many investors

Menan: Yeah so it’s always a team work right it was not just me it was my partner AJ

Rod: Okay

Menan: Or one of the deals we had two other people involved who also helped us raise money so most of the money was raised by AJ and myself. So the first thing to do for the first deal is stepping back right when you are going for a multi-million dollar deal, I think again it’s in my opinion in no brainer is to find somebody who’s got a track record right. So because madding the seller he’s going to sell a property which is like 10 million 20 million and he’s looking at bunch of people and one of them doesn’t have any track record of closing

Rod: Right

Menan: He or she will not

Rod: You don’t have a chance. So you allied off with someone that had done this before. So you brought him in as a sponsor

Menan: Exactly yes

Rod: okay

Menan: I’ve already mean as a sponsor and I was both of us were lead sponsors I also raised money and he also raised money

Rod: right

Menan: And we were able to take it down that looks too big but when you combine

Rod: Yeah sure that’s how you that’s how everybody does this. Now let me ask you this, did you invest passively before this in anybody’s deal? or did you go straight into an active deal?

Menan: So I did invest passively just to make sure that the whole thing is real I did two investments passively. I was this in the second one I was a KP too. So I kind of like step two

Rod: So you did have some progression here okay I’m glad I asked. So and this guys, this is a common progression. You start by investing passively in someone’s deal and then you get that you actually get that experience on your resume it shows up on your resume his experience that you’re involved in that deal. And so you went from a passive investment to being a KP in somebody else’s deal did you just raise money for it? Is that what you did?

Menan: No I didn’t raise any money just a loan guarantor

Rod: Okay so you’re a loan guarantor. You lended your balance sheet basically and got a little piece of general partnership for bringing the balance sheet to the deal okay. And then you did these two large simultaneous deals one in Dallas and one in Atlanta

Menan: mm-hmm

Rod: Wow fantastic and so talk about you know back to the equity raise because that’s a significant equity raise. But everybody contributed, so your partner AJ, you and the other KP all raised money. What did you do to find the investors? Did you go to real estate and meetups? Did you you know where did you find that you know that kind of an equity raise?

Menan: That’s a great question and I think one thing that I forgot while I was looking for deal because I struggled a lot to find my first two deals and I was so focused on getting deals that finding deal that I never focused on raising money. And suddenly I had this huge raise on my hand along with my partner’s right and I was fortunate that I’m pretty well-known in the area well-known but you know people know me here especially Indian community. I mean to music so people I have a circle of music friends I am into real estate startups and we right so there’s a lot of different community

Rod: So you got a lot of connections?

Menan: I had a lot of connections yes. That was very helpful and plus the multi-family product. Once you know, if you find people who are trusting and you know Bay Area has lot of high net worth individuals right so that helps

Rod: Sure

Menan: And they trust me obviously and then once they looked at the product and you know the kind of returns that you can get

Rod: Then it made sense okay. No that’s fantastic. So you were in the right place definitely to springboard this business. So what’s next? Are you actively looking right now? Any LOIs out? you know or market you’re targeting? Tell me what’s up for you now

Menan: Absolutely. So one thing is that I’m doing this full-time. Even though I’m in Silicon Valley and I left my job almost two years back now. And I decided to focus fully on that because one reason was that I don’t invest locally in San Francisco Bay Area. I invest in faraway markets and for me to be seriously considered as a buyer I have to go there and tour properties right

Rod: Right

Menan: Before my first deal I drove me to maybe 40-50 properties before I thought got my first deal and I was in Atlanta quite often. So the next, I definitely am looking for deals that’s all I do. This is my full-time job like I mentioned and yeah in the past six months I probably have come very very close to getting six deals and almost always the reason is that the other person pays a little more than you and you lose the deal. It’s a very competitive market at this point as you probably know

Rod: Sure

Menan: Yeah I definitely I have, I just submitted in a LOI yesterday so I’m actively submitting LOIs and I’m looking for deals. Another thing I’m doing is that I might branch out to a third sub market. So I’m considering Colorado and potential

Rod: Wow Colorado that’s my backyard a very very hot market a very exciting market but definitely a very hot market I used to own 500 houses in Denver that I rented out long-term and probably about a half a now about a dozen actually apartment buildings and you know it was a market that I grew up there I went to high school there I’m going to my forty year reunion there in two weeks.

Menan: Awesome!

Rod: So if you want some, if you need some inside tips on Denver, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll tell you what I know. I used to be able to name every street all the way across Denver you know miles and miles because they’re alphabetical so they’re easy to remember but

Menan: Thank you

Rod: Yeah yeah my pleasure my pleasure. So let me ask you this, in your partnership with you and AJ because this comes up regularly, what are your strengths? I mean I think I know the answer but I don’t want to I don’t want to assume anything and what are his strengths?

Menan: I would say that I think my biggest friend frankly was the fact that I was full time focused right I mean it’s not his friends it’s the way that I decided to go about it means that I spend more time and more effort. His strength is that even though he’s doing his work, whatever time he spends he’s very efficient and he’s always there you know during the closing and I think the way one important thing about the partner is that it’s not like he went back, there was no history right so when there is no history and you do a business venture there is a chance that when something goes wrong you know you kind of start bringing each other. In our case I think we were fortunate that at least during the closing and all we went through lots of ups and downs and we were together and we never you know we kept each other you know supported and that’s the reason why we were able to close the deal

Rod: Have you have you divided work roles? Do you focus on one piece of it? Does he focus on another?

Menan: Well at this point actually we are working separately but in the beginning I was the guy who was doing the analysis and also in the deals and all that and he was bringing something very critical which was the track report right. So he has a track record he was bringing that and his experience right

Rod: okay

Menan: So we combined you know that’s

Rod: Okay so he’s done this before. Was he the sponsor? is that

Menan: No, both of us were lead sponsors

Rod: Okay you were okay. Well what I was getting at is that sometimes in a partnership you’ll find one of the people is really the data cruncher the analyst and the other one is really more the out the face of the organization. They’re the ones that do most of the equity raising and things like that and I know you did a lot of that. So I didn’t know if that dynamic was in play. So maybe

Menan: Yeah that was not in the place. In our case it was kind of like both of us are raising money, as a bringing track record which helped us get the deal

Rod: okay

Menan: With the analytics part mostly I was the one was doing the analytics part

Rod: Okay so let me ask you this. In these two deals that you did are these value add plays? Did you do unit renovations? What sorts of things that are you doing at these properties or have done?

Menan: Oh absolutely so yeah both of them are value add. I still look for only value ideals and obviously both of them are different stories. So the one in Fort Worth is 108 unit deal and it used to be called Carleton and it was a pretty distressed property in the sense that the owner had kind of neglected it and many people were leaving and you know a lot of not very good tenants there. So we basically turned around the property pretty much. It was actually going to be I think almost like yeah long story short we turn around the property. We rebranded the property, we painted it, we renovated the leasing office, we of course did interior upgrades and getting more than what we projected at this point and we cleaned up the tenant base. That was I think the biggest thing that we did there were lots of tenants and the greatest part of the whole thing is that I am really proud of his and both of us again myself is that when we talk to the property managers, lot of the old tenants who left the property, they came back because this is all

Rod: That is very cool that’s very that’s very admirable that you know people left because they were frustrated and he came back when they saw the improvements. That’s awesome. That is a very, you should be proud of that. So how about the 240 unit in Atlanta?

Menan: The 240 units in Atlanta again the same thing value-add. So we rebranded the you know we spent quite a bit of time and money in doing exterior painting. We did the clubhouse or the whole office was a pretty big space but it looked like a funeral home and we completely changed the look of it. It looks really good now. We added a dog park, we did a bunch of interior renovations we are still doing interior renovation, and what else did we do, we just decided to not rent a laundry. So we are purchasing our laundry equipment. We in fact signed it, signed the contract maybe two days back to purchase laundry that will increase our revenue, we will double the laundry revenue. We are not using coins anymore right so we upgrade it. So all the usual stuff that you can think of I think we pretty much touched both of them and we are looking at some other avenues for adding incoming both these areas too.

Rod: Okay so you allow pets I assume you charge pet rent? So that’s revenue as well okay. All right are these B or C assets?

Menan: They are C assets

Rod: Okay all right fair enough and you know if you had to do it over. I mean you know you’ve been in this a very long time last year you bought these big properties and you were passive before that but if you knowing what you know now might you have done anything differently you know if you were talking to your 30 year old self or your 25 year old self? is there anything you might have done differently?

Menan: So if you’re talking just about multifamily

Rod: Yes multi-family specifically

Menan: Yeah so multifamily I’ve been in this for the past maybe three years now right. Yeah I mean definitely I got some things right, I got a mentor. That I think is the biggest mistake that people make

Rod: Right

Menan: But one thing that I would definitely would have done differently is that I would have started raising money much earlier right. I got into this crunch mode towards the end and so like even the moment you let’s say you pick your mentor who are these,

Rod: Right

Menan: I think the first thing that you can, anyone can start raising money you know

Rod: Start getting soft commitments and I just in one of our you know I’ve coaching students and in one of the coaching calls we taught them all how to create a sample deal package and we gave them a template and just to create an example of a deal and then you can if somebody wants to look at something you can say hey if we find a deal that looks like this are you interested? or you can use it as something to describe a deal to someone that doesn’t understand how they’re structured as well but that can yeah that’s I couldn’t agree more you know you should be simultaneously looking to raise money while you’re learning the business and while you’re out there looking for deals. So what do you think is the most challenging part of this business that you’ve encountered so far?

Menan: So in my case I would say the timing that I have right. It’s a much tougher market like if I had started maybe even three years back or even maybe two years earlier it would have been much easier

Rod: Right

Menan: But you know I think that it’s never really easy. It looks easy on hindsight and so I guess, so timing would be my biggest thing, the biggest challenge and what I mean by that is that I get lots of deals I am never able to analyze all the views that I get but the deal flow right the percentage of deals that you actually get a hit on I mentioned that I’ve been looking full-time for the past six seven months very close to 16 spot you know and part of the reason is I am looking in very very competitive markets BMW and Atlanta both are extremely competitive

Rod: Sure and you’re picking Denver. It’s probably gonna be one of the more competitive as well for sure

Menan: Yeah I probably not go to Denver I’ll probably look at Colorado Springs and so

Rod: Okay okay that’s smart that’s smart

Menan: I’m wise enough not to touch them but in general I would say my experience is colored by the fact that I was in extremely competitive environments. So my goal in the next few months is to make the D funnel so that I am getting more deals that are viable right at this point in DFW and Atlanta that ratio of heat ratio. I get lots of deals but I’m not able to get into contract.

Rod: Do you think people are overpaying right now?

Menan: That’s a great question and I think sometimes I can clearly see they are

Rod: Yeah cuz I have. I have definitely seen it that’s why I’m just curious if you’re seeing it as well and it scares me a little bit you know because you know if there’s an issue we’re gonna have a contraction you may I don’t know if you’ve gone through a real estate contraction or where you know what your real estate picture was in 2008 but you know, let’s pray it’s not anything like that again but it’s gonna happen. I mean real estate goes through cycles. I’ve been through several of them already and so it’s inevitable and you know I feel like I scratched my head sometimes when you know when I see what some of these properties are trading at and I said I’m scared for some of those passive investors frankly because you know you just never know what could happen if the work

Menan: Yeah absolutely. I mean one reason I’m not getting any deals, one of the reasons is that I’m not putting enough. I can get a deal tomorrow if I want to

Rod: oh sure yeah there’s always a deal it’s just whether it makes sense or not. So let me ask you this, talk about, I call them seminars. We don’t call them failures or setbacks we call them seminars because we learn from them but talk about a time you might have gotten your nose bloodied in this business. Maybe it was on one of these two deals something happened and maybe what you learn from it or maybe it was the single family or maybe you haven’t had one in real estate. I don’t know but most people have had some setbacks. Can you think of one in particular to add value?

Menan: Absolutely. I can think of many.

Rod: Okay

Menan: But I think the one that comes to my mind is in single families. What happened was and I think it’s more instructive also to. So when I left my job, I thought that I have all the time in the world right and I thought I can do everything. So I was leaving single family at that time and I at the time had also decided to I was also you know learning multifamily from a mentor and when I left my job I said I’ll do Multi Family but I would also do single family flip and that was a huge mistake. So what happened was that one of my later flips the last flip there, while a contractor was working here on my flip, I was looking for deals in BMW and that was a huge mistake because that guy took me to cleaner I mean he basically robbed me right and that led me to making my first loss in real estate. Part of the reason was that that particular market for some reason went down and even one of the most experienced persons that I know I’ve made a loss after 12 years. So it was not just a contractor but everything that that kind of added to my

Rod: But the message, correct me if I’m wrong here is focus.

Menan: Exactly

Rod: And focus is power and when you dilute your focus. I mean I’m an entrepreneur I have the shiny penny syndrome sounds like you do a little bit as well and you know you see an opportunity and the head turns and you know I’ve actually built 24 businesses and so but I can tell you the times that I’ve really suffered is when I’ve tried to bite off too much when that dilution of focus and you know and everything suffers and ok well that’s a great message I’m glad you use that one as an example. So you know why do you think people fail in this business? Do you have any you have any thoughts on that?

Menan: I would say the single biggest reason has to be that they try to do it without a mentor you. If you don’t have a mentor, you are talking about taking millions of dollars from your passive investors right. I’m talking about like reasonably big ideas right

Rod: Sure

Menan: I’m not talking about like 5 units, 10 units. I think you can go 4plex, 5plexes but

Rod: oh sure those are pretty safe right

Menan: Yeah but the moment you start going 20, 30, 40 units, then you want to spend your money actually I would say invest your money and save time and money by picking a mentor right.

Rod: Yeah I know certainly I act as a mentor and I have mentors but even if you just find somebody in your local marketplace or wherever you’re buying you know identify the people that owned some properties and reach out to them and start a relationship and you know most people love helping other people particularly as they get older. They realize you know you have two arms or two hands one to pull yourself up and want to pull somebody up behind you and you know I think most people genuinely enjoy helping other people know and look to add value to those mentors. Don’t just don’t just go to take go to give as well you know. Everybody has a superpower and maybe you can add value to them in some way but okay no that’s great and yeah guys I couldn’t agree more. Get help. Again it doesn’t certainly doesn’t have to be me but there’s so many resources out there that you want to take advantage of. Let me ask you this, is there a book that you gift more often than another?

Menan: I think I’m a big believer in mindset so I read a lot of books on success .I try to figure out okay whatever what am I doing that I should not be doing or I will realize one year later that hey… so I read a lot of books so there are several success books that I can actually

Rod: Please share some titles

Menan: Yeah so one of them is Mindset, it’s called Mindset the other one I can think of off the top of my head is 10x rule.

Rod: Oh yeah Gran Cardone

Menan: Yeah it’s a very good book in terms of elevating your thinking. I think that one of the best ones I would recommend is the hedge fund guy Ray

Rod: Oh Ray Dalio, Principles?

Menan: Oh my God.

Rod: Yeah that’s an amazing book yeah. He’s quite a guy that guy I mean he’s quite a guy yeah and so is Grant. I’ve had Grant on the show a couple of times. He’s a riot. I laughed the entire time I’m on the interview with him but yeah Ray Dalio. What a home run that guy is holy cow and those are you listening what he did was he created a book that defines the principles that he uses to make every decision and it’s a fantastic book highly recommend it. In fact I’ve you know I’ve gifted that book as well myself fantastic. So let me ask you this you know you’re a very intelligent man and you know I have a lot of listeners that know they want to get into this business. They know they deserve more in life. They know that they should take action in this business and make something happen. What advice, what sage advice would you give an aspiring real estate investor? Maybe they’ve got a single-family home, maybe they you know just get started but what advice would you give them?

Menan: Absolutely. So you know there are several things that I can think of that are very critical. I think the most important thing from my own experience was to really understand where, what you want in life. I mean I’m just stepping back right because whatever we do it’s all connected to what we want in life right. So I think there are many ways of getting to that goal but I think that’s one of the most important things that most people don’t know. Let’s say I ask someone what are the top three things you want in life I bet you that they will kind of give you you know not a very well thought out answer right, family, money, but that nothing concrete right

Rod: Right

Menan: So I would say that’s the number one step. If you don’t know where you’re going whether you are going to Detroit or New York you probably drift away to wherever the waters take. The second one I would say is that once you know what you want then then the question is how to get what you want right there I would say you have to have few things. One is, the biggest one is mindset. To me like the mindset shift.

Rod: Dig in on that just a little bit. By the way I want to just add emphasis to what you just said about knowing what you want. Guys if you don’t know what you want how are you gonna know when you see it? How are you gonna get there? It not only do you need to know what you want, it has to be clear and measurable and very crystallized in your mind. Clarity is power, you need clarity around what you want and ideally you need to know why you want it as well. So you know one of the things I do with my live events the first thing we do is we do this goal-setting workshop where we clearly define what we want but then we clearly define why it’s an absolute must as well. So I love that one. But talk dig it on mindset a little bit for me please because I love to know your take

Menan: Yeah absolutely. So I know very very successful people who started at the same place where I was right. So I know that they have done something different and the more I looked at what they are doing and more I read books I think it was all in your mind. Like for example right, three years back you know when I came here for example right my mindset was you know I come from a very poor family. So for me getting into Oracle was huge

Rod: Was huge that’s huge. Ever get to meet Larry?

Menan: I saw him many times.

Rod: Yeah Larry Ellison is the CEO of Oracle and he’s one of the richest men and I think he’s in the top five in the world but anyway please continue

Menan: Yes so you know for me that was a huge.

Rod: That was huge

Menan: And he took me a while to get to the point where I wanted to start my own company and that was a huge mind shift right. Again starting your own company leaving a job and all that. So mindset I think is the way you approach life right. Two people could be in the same situation but one guy his thinking is much bigger and so his goals are much bigger which translates to his actions his or her actions are much bigger and hence the result. So mindset I think is the starting point of anything that is great

Rod: How do you push through the fear Menan? Tell me how you deal with pushing through the fear because there’s always that fear of failure, fear of rejection, all these fears, fear of not being enough, how do you push past that?

Menan: That’s an interesting thing because I don’t really have that much fear of failure anymore. I used to be afraid but I fail so many times but I think the answer is that you practice right. You keep acting you would despite the fear and soon you will wonder why you’d not afraid of

Rod: Love it love it and guys we fail our ways, we fail our way to success. The bottom line, there really is no failure it’s a seminar it’s always a learning experience and just about anybody that’s successful has had these seminars these failures. I mean I mentioned I built 24 businesses 20 of them were spectacularly flaming seminars okay and but three were tens of millions. So you know it’s we fail our way to success. I love it. Its a fantastic advice my friend very good.

Menan: I would like to add a couple of things to that.

Rod: Please please please

Menan: So mindset, that’s the first one. The mentor is the other one which I already mentioned right and the third one obviously is you don’t take action and the last one I think is not many people do but I think you should always be aware that you have blind spots right. All of us have blind spots right which we cannot see and other others can see. So you have to have a mechanism of uncovering blind spot and the way you do that is again you do coaching, you have external input, you align yourself with folks that you want to be like and so as you align with them you take actions and you know they can help you uncover your blindspots.

Rod: Fantastic advice men and fantastic and you just don’t know what you don’t know and when you have coaching and you have third party input and you should seek out that feedback. You shouldn’t be resistant to that feedback you should seek it out like you just said and that’s how you get further faster and grow you know I’d also like to talk briefly about the difference between success and fulfillment and how life isn’t just about financial success. There are bigger things at play for example giving back. Can you speak to that a little bit. What you do to give back to your family, your community, you know the world. Can you speak to that a little bit?

Menan: Absolutely. Thanks a lot for that question. I think a person can be, this is my point of view right. The highest respect I have for the trait is generosity right. One can be multi-millionaire whatever right but if I see somebody who’s normal living but he is actually very generous and he’s thinking of others, my respect at least for that person is much bigger than he is in the first example right. So the way I do that is in my own small way is I have, I can sketch portraits right. So I given many many portraits to people like

Rod: No kidding wow

Menan: I have raised money you know giving money disaster happens I raise money by sketching portraits and just kind of auctioning them on Facebook among my friends have done that a few times. In fact I’m going to sketch very probably one of the famous most famous music directors in Bollywood who’s coming over here and he’s going to be presented with my sketch I already am working good work on that and so he I’ll get something out of that those guys will donate something right. So this comes back to your you know, I read your PDF that you sent me about yourself and I really admire the thing the thing that focused my attention was that you are more proud of your charity work right most proud of your charity note that shows something about yourself right and that to me is what really caught my attention and you have the Tiny Hands Foundation and you know as I mentioned I would like to donate some of the money by sketching and you know other people who donate for my art. So that’s kind of one of the ways that I contribute

Rod: That’s beautiful that’s beautiful and yes it is what I’m most proud of and I will tell you there was a period in my life when I wasn’t doing that I was fairly narcissistic and driven by you know society’s version of success and felt like I had to prove to the world that was enough and you know and I had an awakening really for lack of a better word and I will tell you that I came to the realization that success and I’ve interviewed very successful people, very wealthy people billionaires, that frankly and my definition aren’t successful they’re dead they’re successful in society’s version but they weren’t fulfilled because they’re not, they haven’t, they’re not contributing beyond themselves it’s really a very a very me me me approach like I used to have frankly and I’m embarrassed to admit it but it’s the truth and so you know those are you listening and you know you’ve heard me say it before but figure out how to give back in some fashion. It doesn’t have to be anything big it doesn’t have to you know it can just be you can adopt a family that needs help you can help an elderly person you can you know do something in your community and you could just do something for your family it doesn’t matter how you give back you can buy the person behind you in line at Starbucks a drink but dude there’s nothing to give because that’s what has richness to your life that’s true success and you do not have to wait to do it you don’t have to say well when I get successful I’ll do something. Do it now because I will tell you what’ll contribute to that success it will enhance and ramp that success frankly and so you know incorporate it in your life now and that’s what will give you a life meaning and richness

Menan: If I may add one more thing Rod because that’s a good topic. I like maybe almost twenty four years back I was with the roommate and I told him that I’m going to give you know I can easily give five percent or ten percent of my salary to charity. And he said you’re not gonna do it. I never did it no and I forgot about the whole thing it was such an important thing such an important aspect of my life and only recently I realized that okay there was something that I should have done and you know when I give my real-estate thing I promise that 10% of whatever my profit it’s going to go to charities right and I know which charities to. I’m also very careful in picking my charities

Rod: Oh sure sure and you guys you should be if you decide to contribute to charities. Take a look at how much actually goes to help people because there are some top-heavy charities out there that fly first-class around the country and things of that nature and so just be cognizant of that but there’s a lot of you know I think as a human race we’re evolving and we’re more focused on giving back than ever in history and you know and I see you know very wealthy and you know people that are embracing it more and more and more so that’s it’s encouraging to see that but thank you for your kind words and I’d love to see a portrait. So I’m gonna email you when we hang up I’d love to see examples of your work because I’m sure it’s extraordinary for if you’re able to sell it like that. Well listen thank you so much for being on the show man and it has been a real treat and I appreciate you sharing your wisdom and I’m sure we’ll stay in touch my friend

Menan: Thank you so much Rod and I also want to thank my mentor and my partner AJ and shout out to my property manager and Boehner and SMP without them there’s no success

Rod: Oh it’s their partners, they are partners and it’s kind of you to think of them. All right thank you take care my friend

Menan: Thank you take care!


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