Ep #564 –  How to House Hack Your Way Through College

Brian Doyle started house hacking back in his college days and worked his way up to 500 doors. This wide ranging conversation has crucial information for anyone wanting to get started in real estate investing.

Here’s some of the topics we covered:

  • Should you manage your expectations?
  • House hacking
  • The power of passive income
  • $8 richer
  • Accidental landlords
  • Using your “Strategic Advantage”
  • Maximum effort brings maximum freedom
  • Why you should avoid condos
  • Living below your means
  • The power of focus
  • Time blocking
  • Figuring out your “Freedom Number”

To find out more about our guest:

Full Transcript Below:

Rod: Welcome to another edition of “How to Build a Lifetime Cash Flow Through Real Estate Investing”. I’m Rod Khleif and I’m thrilled you’re here. I know you’re going to enjoy the gentleman I’m interviewing today. His name is Brian Doyle, and he’s been at this real estate game since he was 20 years old, started house hacking, and now he’s in over 500 doors as a limited partner and he owns a trunk himself as well. So let’s have some fun. And welcome to the show, buddy.

Brian: Hey, thanks Rods. I’m super excited about talking to you, man.

Rod: Thank you for that. Thank you. So let’s start the way we always start which is having you tell us your story. And I know you’ve got you’ve got quite a story so you can take your time with it. But, yeah, bring us up to speed.

Brian: Well, it’s my favorite topic and it’s the one I know the most about. So I appreciate that opportunity, Rod. But yeah, I mean, basically, my story is like a lot of people. I, you know, I was a kid, you know, one time and I kind of thought to myself, what I want to do in my life? You know, and I always want to be an entrepreneur. And the reason I always want to be an entrepreneur is because I wasn’t super good at school. I’m pretty sure I had dyslexia or have dyslexia and nobody knew what that word was back then. So I always struggled in school. But I always felt very smart, like a smart, you know, but I didn’t really fit in. Right? So if you go way back, there’s certain points in your life that just change your whole life. Right? And for me, when I was about 11 years old, I was in Cub Scouts and they said, whoever sells the most popcorn wins a bike. I was like, did you just say that? Like, I could do something? My first of all, my time is not as worthless as other 11 year old, you know, and I can take some of my time and I can create this bike. Right? And I told everybody, all my Cub Scout friends and all my den leaders and all, everybody, I said, hey, I’m going to win this bike. And they said, woah, settle down. You know, there’s lots of kids in Colorado Springs. Don’t worry about it. You know, just manage your expectations. And people say that to you today. You tell people right now, if you want to get in real estate, you say, hey, I’m going to go buy some rental property and say, well, wait a second, manage your expectations. You got to be careful. I don’t know. There’s so many people holding you back, even when I was 11, even now. So for all the new people, the lesson learned is you really got to tune those people out, you know, and what did I do? I went out every day for three weeks after that, and I won the bike, you know.

Rod: No kidding.

Brian: And it was like the greatest thing ever. And I realized something, that if you put some effort in it and that’s the lesson, right? If you put some effort forward, like, you know, in a podcasting or real estate or whatever, you’re going to be successful at it because there’s so many people that aren’t doing it.

Rod: Anything you give your total focus to kind to flourish. I mean, and guys, you know this. If something didn’t work out, you typically weren’t giving it everything. And so, got it. So please continue with your story. I love it.

Brian: So yeah. No, so thanks Rod. And then so anyways, I went to college like everybody or a lot of people and I was running and I think college– running college students listening, you have the greatest opportunity in your whole life right now to become a real estate investor because you’re kind of an adult on training wheels. You can live off of ramen. You don’t have this extra extravagant lifestyle you got to maintain. You could sleep in somebody’s couch if you need to. I bought a house and I rented it to my buddies. And what I did there is I took my housing expense, which is usually about 30% of people’s normal income, and I got rid of it. So now all of a sudden, I didn’t buy a rental property. I got rid of 30% of my expenses. And that is such another huge lesson is that if you have the ability right now, if you don’t have any real estate right now, you have the ability to somehow get rid of your housing expense. You have 30% more of your income to start investing with. So that’s super, that is awesome.

Rod: Love it. Yes, it’s called house hacking and–

Brian: Yeah.

Rod: What a great time. You know, I’ve had, you know, I will say I’ve probably had four or five guys on the show that have started that way and many of them started in college as well. They bought a house or a duplex or something, rented out rooms and lived for free. And that’s what you did. Love it. Please continue.

Brian: So, okay, so that night what happened is then in college, I was going to graduate a little bit early than everybody else for some reason. I was just super, super, you know, they said take– I took more classes they told me to take. And then I was like, wait a second, what’s my big rush to get out of here? So I decided to leave college for just one semester. And I went out to Vail, Colorado and I was a ski instructor. And that’s where I realized that was where like the another light bulb moment in my life is that, I am making money every day on my rental property while I am being a ski instructor in Colorado. Okay? And it’s like Warren Buffett said, you have to learn to make money when you’re sleeping or you’ll work till you die or something like that. Your lifetime cash flow, you’ve got to– I mean, it’s not a it’s not a suggestion. It’s a necessity. You’ve got to find a way to make money as passive income. And that’s what that rental property was doing for me. So move that, then I came back, I bought another house. It was the house that my girlfriend was living in. And the lesson there was I was sitting there on her couch and her landlord came over from the from Minneapolis, had to drive up to those three hours away and the roof was leaking, you know, from the bathroom– is the ceiling in the kitchen was leaking from the bathroom. And this guy was just– I mean, you know, not having his best day. He’s like, I hate, you know, I hate rentals. I hate college students, you know, he was an accidental landlord. And I walked up to him as, you know, I think it was 22 at that time. I walked up and said, I’d like to buy this house. And he says, get out of here, kid. You know, what do you know? I was like, no, I already have a rental right down the street, you know. And here’s the thing is that so many people– when you want to get in, you’ve got to buy your first property, just by the stupid thing. Go buy a house and figure it out later, you know, because what that does is now I knew that this house will rent. I knew what the bedrooms are rent for. I knew what the water bill was going to be. I knew everything because I owned the house next door, basically. Right?

Rod: Right.

Brian: So that house– okay, that house brought in about $9,000 a year of cash flow. And if you want something fun to do is look for a property that brings in about $9,000 a year in cash flow. And the reason is, is because that magic number $9,000 and the reason is, is there’s about 9,000 hours per year, in a year. Okay? It’s like 8,900 something. If you have a rental property and you look at the cash flow statement at the end of the year and you have $9,000 of income, you have made $1 per hour of passive income every hour. So when you go to sleep and you wake up, you wake up $8 richer. That is a– you wake up with a big smile on your face every single day you wake up because you just made $8.

Rod: I love it.

Brian: You know, and it’s awesome.

Rod: I love it.

Brian: So, anyways that was my other story there.

Rod: Yeah, that was a great analogy. Now, let me circle back to something you said, just kind of hammered home a little bit. You talked about buying that first property. It can be a plex too. It don’t have to be a house guys. I think that would encourage you to make it a two, three, or four unit for a lot of reasons. But the point is, just do it. Worry about, you know.

Brian: Amen.

Rod: Worry about it later. Just make it happen.

Brian: Totally agree.

Rod: Because once you do it, so much of the fear is gone. And you realize that it’s not that big a deal. So that’s a great lesson, buddy. So please continue. You bought your second house and keep going.

Brian: And Rod, I totally agree with you. What’s the worst case scenario? The worst case scenario is you sell it the next day. You know, it’s not like it’s a– if it’s a $400,000 fourplex, it’s not a $400,000 risk. It maybe it’s a $10,000 risk because if you don’t like it, you sell the next day. Maybe it costs you $10,000 an exit cost or something, you know, so I totally, totally agree. So the lessons learned on that second house is number one, you’ve got to find tired landlords to talk to. Number two is every single building is for sale. If you– people they go, oh, there’s no deals. Every single building in America, including the house I live in, is for sale at the right price. Okay? So go talk to people. Right? And I said look for accidental landlords. The other thing I would say is if people are looking at everybody saying they can’t find deals right now. Right? So here’s my quick suggestions. At least in Duluth, you could go to “d.umn.edu”. That’s the Duluth website. The UMD website. And you can go and click on all the housing listings for sale. Okay? There are tons of accidental landlords in college towns that are looking, you know, that they bought a house because their kid was moving there. The kid moved out years ago and now they’re stuck with this rental.

Rod: Oh, interesting.

Brian: You know, if there’s tons of people, give them a call and say, hey, I saw your ad. I don’t want to sell it. I don’t want to rent it. Can I buy it from you? I would guess that one out of every ten people you talk to would say, absolutely, I’m interested.

Rod: That’s fascinating. Yeah, because you’re right. So many business people send their kids to school and they’re like, I don’t want to rent. Let’s buy something for you.

Brian: Oh yeah, absolutely.

Rod: But then three or four years go by and you’re like, I’m still stuck with this thing. I love it. Man, that’s a great strategy.

Brian: And you know how many calls I’ve gotten this year from people calling to ask me to buy my property? Zero.

Rod: Yeah.

Brian: Zero. And there was nobody calling me, you know. So, it’s just an idea.

Rod: Love it. It’s a great little ninja trick. Love it. Okay, please continue.

Brian: Okay, so then the next thing I did, I bought a fourplex. So I like what you– and I moved into it, I said, this is such a great thing. Why would I have any housing expense? I am going to move in. I bought a fourplex. I found– this is how I found this one. And this is what your listeners can learn from to is that I talked to the land– I talked to the inspector in Duluth. Okay? And I said, hey, Mr. Inspector, you must be the hated, most hated man in America. And he said, Oh, everybody hates the inspector. You know, and I said, well, I don’t hate you, you know. I was making friends with them because, you know, what the heck? The guy’s just doing a job. So I said, I gave him my business card. Okay. And the lesson there is have business cards, hand them on. I gave this business card to this guy, said, hey, if you ever talk to a guy that doesn’t, you know, got a bunch of repairs they don’t want to do, you know, give him my business card and say, well, you know, I just talked to this kid at that time, you know, maybe he’ll buy your property from you. You know, so he calls me up three months later. And what did that– that conversation cost me zero, by the way.

Rod: Right.

Brian: Didn’t cost me anything, right? Calls me up three months later and he says, hey, Brian, would you ever buy anything in Minneapolis? And I said, yeah, I live in Minneapolis. So, yeah, of course. He says, I got this guy. He’s got– I was talking to him. He’s got a fourplex in Minneapolis. He wants to get rid of it, okay? So I drove by it and it was in rough shape. He wanted $125,000 for it. Okay? So this is like 2002 or something. You know, so I go there and I look at it. Jezz, this is a great deal. There’s a lot of cash flow here. A lot of things I can renovate, you know. I can move into it, you know. So I did that. And on the day of closings, well, I was– I saved up my 20% down. And the bank was like, no, no, no, no, no. You did get a first mortgage and then a second mortgage and then you really only need like $5,000 to get in, you know.

Rod: They allowed you to put a second? The bank with the first allows you to put a second?

Brian: I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but I also caught it with $5,000.

Rod: Wow.

Brian: And the lesson there is ask the question, ask the bank, how do I do this?

Rod: Right.

Brian: You know what I mean? So, anyways–

Rod: Let me interject something if I may, because guys, you buy a fourplex and you move in, you can get FHA financing. Now, maybe this property was in too rough to shape for that. But the point is, you know, FHA financing is 97% financing, okay? And you can even minimize that a little bit with seller contributions. So house hacking is a fantastic way to get started. If you’re a vet, you can get 100% financing. In fact, where did I just see? I just saw somebody that did that and somebody had posted in my big multifamily Facebook group that they bought a fourplex. And now they’re turning around and selling it. They bought it. Nothing down. They’re going to make like $100,000 after, like 18 months or something. But the point is, if you live in it, the financing is fantastic. So you may have bad options you weren’t aware of even back then, Brian. So, yeah.

Brian: I totally, totally agree. And, you know, that your financing thing brings up, I think, another strategic advantage. Like, I think everybody, everybody in America, has some sort of strategic advantage, you know, whether it like for you is your drive, right? I mean, you’re clearly driven, right?

Rod: Right.

Brian: And for other people, it might be other thing. For me, one of the advantages I had was when I bought that house in Duluth, the way I financed it was FHA financing. And I went to the bank though and I said, hey, I want to buy this house and here’s my plan. And, you know, I’m going to rent it to these things. And they said, well, we can’t give you a mortgage. You don’t have a job. So I called my dad up and I said, hey dad, you know, they said that they’d give me this mortgage as long as you cosign it, you know? Well, my one of my advantages was I had a parent. I had parents that were just we’re willing to do that for me, you know what I mean? And so it’s like everybody’s got some sort of strategic advantage. I know what it is and go in and use it.

Rod: And let me just say this. The very fact that you frickin’ live in the greatest country on earth is an incredible advantage. Most countries don’t have the financing options, the capital raising options that you have in this country, you know, the greatest economy in the world. I mean, you know, you’ve already been given the golden card from Willy Wonka. So you just have to cash it in, bottom line. So love it.

Brian: I love it. I totally, totally agree. So anyways, fourplex was awesome. A super fun. I bought it for, you know, whatever it was like a hundred and fifty. I put some money into it. I lived there for free and it just had a blast. Right? So then I got laid off from my current, from a job I was working. And so I took off about 10 months. I moved to Thailand and then I moved to Japan for a little bit. I had a grasp all because of cash flow, you know, like what you’re always talking about. You got to have cash flow, right? And have passive income. So anyways, the advantage of me losing that job, I still have a full time job. I sell window coverings to apartment buildings. Okay? And what job you have can help or hinder your real estate investments. Okay? And what I decided to do is look for a job within the real estate world as a vendor. There is a ton of vendors out there that are looking for salespeople or looking for other types of jobs. So you can work for a roofing company or window covering a company, a window company, a flooring company. And then what happens is all day long you spent talking to other apartment owners.

Rod: Right.

Brian: You know, so now–

Rod: And you sell blinds to apartment complexes. Yes?

Brian: I sell blinds to apartment comfortably. That’s 100% how I found my 500 other units. I just talking to other owners saying, hey, I got this $100,000. I want to deploy it. And they’re like, well, put it in this project or put it on that project. You know, and it’s fun for me because I get to go in and see what all these people did for renovations.

Rod: Sure.

Brian: You know, it’s a great way to do that.

Rod: You learn behind the scenes. Yeah, no. Passive investing is fantastic as it relates to investing in, you know, as a limited partner in somebody else’s syndication. You know, we offer it.

Brian: Totally agree.

Rod: And we offer a lot of behind the scenes training in conjunction with it. In fact, we have sometimes as many as 20 of our investors helping us do the due diligence on an asset before we buy it. You know, and so they get to see the real, you know, the meat and potatoes of actually doing it. So, yeah.

Brian: Yeah. No, I totally agree. The other option is, I think if I was, you know, a new listener, I’m new in the real estate, I’d look for a job that gives me flexible hours.

Rod: Sure.

Brian: You know.

Rod: Sure.

Brian: And the other thing I would do is, I would go and find out how to crush it with that job. So, when that particular company, there’s no current company, I went there and there is all these plaques in the wall, and one guy had this plaque that said “Four Million Dollar Club”, you know, and everybody else had this One Million Dollar Club. I said, What’s this guy’s deal? You know? And they said, Oh, don’t compare yourself to that guy. He had a staff of seven people and all that stuff, and nobody can sell $4000000 on their own. I said, I’m gonna be on that wall right next to this dude with a Four Million Dollar Club. And sure enough, two years in, my name was right there with everybody else, and you know what that affords me, is that affords me and your listeners is that total freedom. If you go and you exceed their expectations, and I call them and say, Hey, I’m gonna go look at a rental property at 10 a.m. tomorrow, they’re like, Go for it. Good for you. You know? If I’m barely scraping by and I say, Hey, I’m gonna look at a rental property for 10, or I’m doing the minimum, then they’re gonna be like, No, dude. We need you here. You know, so exceed the expectations in everything you do. I know you do that.

Rod: Well, No. And I teach it as well. No, you mean, you’re singing my tune here, I love it, because when you exceed, you know, there’s always that person at a job that does more than is expected. They’re the ones that pick up the trash no one picks up.

Brian: Yeah.

Rod: And that person usually ends up running the place. Okay? So, you know.

Brian: Absolutely.

Rod: And in your case, it gives you that flexibility to, you know, I mean, even and in fact, it’s funny, I’m hiring a new controller for my company right now. And I told her yesterday, I said, I’m not about process, I’m about outcome. You delivered the results. I don’t care if you do that midnight. I don’t care when you do it. Just whatever. You have total flexibility because I’m about the outcome. I don’t care when and how you do it. You just do it. And so, that’s what you’re talking about here and–

Brian: Totally agree.

Rod: When you over deliver, you can write your own, you know, set your own schedule, as it were. So, yeah, I love it. Keep going.

Brian: No, I totally, totally agree. So, Okay. So, another case study after that fourplex, I bought a condo. Okay?

Rod: Okay.

Brian: And then, there are some lessons to be learned here. So, condos are cool, man. I mean, I bought a condo, I paid $106000 for that condo. I paid it, probably bought that in 2003 or something. It went down to about $45000. It came back. It might be worth $106000 right now, so I’ve made zero money on this thing. Still–

Rod: Oh, crap.

Brian: I’ve always wanted the best deal.

Rod: I was gonna tell you I hate fricking condos, but I’ll let you finish your story and we may have a little debate on this one. Okay? Keep going.

Brian: I’m glad we’re not in person, because– Yeah, no, this is– No. Condos are the greatest thing ever. You’re wrong. Here is why, is that you don’t do, in Minneapolis, you don’t have to deal with the snow removal. You don’t have to do the lawn mowing. You don’t have to do any of the exterior maintenance. All that stuff. Here’s the downsides.

Rod: Yes. The downside equates to the title of my podcast. Okay? All right.

Brian: The downside is, if the neighbor, you know, is having loud parties, you don’t have much control over it. Number one, because you don’t own that unit. Number two is that if you get too many units in one building, now, all of a sudden, I got to be the president of the building, so that I can manage the cash flow of it. And boards are so inefficient. You know, if you get three bids for snow removal, they’re like, who cares what the price is, because I only own one hundredth of that. One hundredth of that unit, you know what I mean? So–

Rod: So, let me now interject why what you just said is a huge deal. Okay?

Brain: Yes.

Rod: It’s the biggest downside to a condo or a townhouse that has a homeowner’s association, because they don’t care what they spend, but guess who pays for it? Okay? And so, you’re gonna have monthly maintenance fee. And again, we’re talking about cash flow here. That kills your cash flow. I’ve owned dozens of condos. I regret every single one of them.

Brian: I love it.

Rod: And I would never buy another one. So, you know, again, and I get this all the time, you know, I see these great condos, but that HOA fee, there’s so little oversight over the amount of money that’s spent to manage that complex that, you know, you’re just gonna pay more than typically you should.

Brian: Oh, yeah.

Rod: And then, they have to build up reserves and everything else, and it just kills your cash flow. And again, the name of the game is Cashflow. So, yeah.

Brian: Rod, I hate to tell this. I’m very sad. I agree with everything you’re saying. That’s the saddest part. But, I’m a very slow learner. I literally own 50 condos.

Rod: Oh, good job.

Brian: And here’s the other problem. Here’s the other problem, is you want to grow your portfolio, you have to, condos basically, I have to buy one at a time. So, that means 50 transactions, 50 closings, 50 negotiations with sellers, 50 inspections. I mean, again, it was great in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011. A lot of these condos I bought for $30000, $40000 are now worth $100000.

Rod: Same here.

Brian: So, I’m feeling like a champ. But now, I’m like, Okay. Why the hell would I buy a condo right now when I have to pay $107000, $110000 for it, and I can go buy a 20 unit apartment building for the same per unit cost?

Rod: Here’s what I would suggest you do, because you’re getting your cash flow killed as well. I would suggest you bail on those condos. This market is the hottest it’s been in a very long time. I would bail on those 1031. You know, as many as you can into multifamily where you don’t have an HOA fee, so there’s my two cents on your situation, frankly. But–

Brian: I agree with you. I agree with everything.

Rod: You know, I mean, yes, I’m sure your cash flowing because of your basis in these things, but that cash could allow you to buy, you know, that could allow you to flip into, you know, a larger, more stable, more, you know, higher cash flowing assets. That would be my two cents. I had a guy on my show here not long ago. He’s kind of an outlier. He’s an anomaly. He has over 4000 doors that he did by himself. And that’s how he did it, was he would buy low and he would sell in 1031 into something bigger, and he has not syndicated any of those 4000. They’re all his. Okay?

Brian: Yeah.

Rod: So, now we started syndicating. He’s in my mastermind. But the point is, yeah. So, anyway. So, let’s keep going.

Brian: I love it.

Rod: So, that was your second deal. Let’s, you know, you also enjoy talking about budgets. So, talk about why you like budgets.

Brian: Well, it’s my favorite topic and I’ll tell you why. It’s because of my wife and I have a date. Every Friday morning, we have what we call our budget party. You know what I mean? And it’s awesome. Right? And she’s a little less excited about it than I am.

Rod: Yeah.

Brian: But I mean, it’s awesome because like, the bottom line, though, is that, you know, if you don’t– I don’t care what you make a year, you make $10000000 a year?
If you spend $10000000 a year, you’re gonna have zero money to invest in real estate. Okay? And if you wanna hang out with the real, the investors of the world, you know, you’ve got to be an investor. Right? And you’ve got to live below your means. And in my twenties and thirties, and probably now, people made so much fun of me because, you know, I would go sleep in my car when I drive up to Duluth because that would save $100 and I could go buy a Delta faucet for $100 and I’ll own that for twenty years versus one night of a hotel stay. So, you don’t have to be quite as extreme as I was. But like, it’s just, if you just live way below your means and you realize, and then, quickly, you do realize that most millionaires are driving the used Honda Accords. You know? And and small, you know, it’s the lawyers and stuff like that. I mean, nothing wrong with nice cars, you know what I mean? But like, you know, it’s just live below your means, man. Pay cash.

Rod: No, no. I agree. I agree. Now. Yeah, I’ve got mixed feelings about this topic. Let me tell you how I feel about this. So, listen, when I had 500 doors, I lived in a one bedroom apartment that I got for free because I put a rooftop balloon on this apartment complex once a month.

Brian: I love it.

Rod: So, I’m with you. I’m with you there. The only thing is I think at some point, you can enjoy your spoils in the case.

Brian: I totally agree.

Rod: You know, at one time for me, it was cars, stupid shit like that and watches. Now, it’s, you know, it’s other things. I love to travel and so on and so forth. But when you start for sure, guys, listen to what he said. You don’t need everything right away. Put every dime back into your real estate portfolio and at some point, you don’t have to work anymore. You can pretty much buy whatever you want. You pay cash for those toys that you would have financed before. And that’s really where you wanna be.

Brian: I think the number one–

Rod: So, listen brother, what else? What haven’t I asked you that you would enjoy talking about because you’ve added some real value today.

Brian: Well, I appreciate that. You know, I’d say the best deal I ever did was that condo, because it got me into the condo market. The worst deal I ever did was I got into a I got into an office building. I was one twentieth an hour. I was like 5% owner of a $25000000 office building. You know, I had like 20, I had like huge debt on it and, you know, in 2008, they went bankrupt. And what the problem was, is that I’ve invested in something I had no idea what it was about. Right? And I think that’s what another thing your listeners need to do is like, just invest in something you know, like, housing is easy because we all live in houses. We know what housing is about, you know?

Rod: Now, let me hammer that one home. Okay, guys, you may or may not know. I’ve built 24 businesses. I’ve got the shiny penny syndrome. Several have been worth a lot of money. Most have been spectacular flaming seminars. Okay? And so, focus is power, and I remember, you know, pretty much for decades, any time I got outside of real estate, I got my ass handed to me. And so, exactly, what Brian is talking about here is critical. Focus is power. So, let me ask you this. I have a lot of listeners that have not taken action yet. They’re listening. They, you know, maybe they’re super analytical.

Brian: Yeah.

Rod: They’re analysis by paralysis.

Brian: I understand.

Rod: I have to check off every box before they make a move.

Brian: Me, too.

Rod: What would you say to those people?

Brian: I empathize with those people ,because I am one of them now. Back in the day, and I was 25 and I had no money, and I had just bought a house because, you know, that’s what the rich people did. Right? So, I just do it. You know what, I really think you can’t screw up single family house or a condo. You don’t think you can screw that up, so just do it. You know what I mean? But I empathize with you guys now, like their prices or cap rates are low. So, I’ve become more analytical. I would say for a new person getting ready, you absolutely, number one, have to get on a budget, so you have money to invest. Okay? Number two is you’ve got a time block. Okay? A lot of times people are like, Oh, I’m going to do it when I get to it. Well, no, no, no. Right this second, pause the podcast, go to your calendar and say, every Tuesday I’m gonna create or whatever. I’m gonna create a two hour meeting with myself, and I wanna only focus on buying real estate. And I’m gonna get that done in three months, you know? And set an end date with that thing. Don’t analyze it forever. Set an end date with that. You’ve got to set your goals, and then you’ve got to create an action plan to get to your goals. I’d say, yeah, you’ve got a time block because everybody’s too busy. Figure out what your freedom number is and how you’re going to get there. You know, it might be $10000 a month. Okay. My goal is $10000 a month. Okay. Well, how the hell are you gonna get there? Figure it out, write it down, and just do it. You know what I mean? I’d say consider a business coach. I personally haven’t had done that one, but I think it’s a great option to figure out a way to do that. I would also say, decide, whatever you’re doing at, we touched on this earlier, be the best damn blink ever. Right? If I’m going to be a real estate, if I’m gonna be a blind salesman, I’m gonna be the best blind salesman everywhere. In podcast, even you live this, right? So, you get it. You know, so it’s like, if you’re in a podcasts, have the best podcast ever.

Rod: Yeah.

Brian: If you’re gonna do whatever, pick up the trash when you’re walking off the thing. Do that little bit. And then, you know what? Everything falls into place, so.

Rod: Yeah. No, I love it.

Brian: There’s a ton of good stuff.

Rod: So, let me ask you this. What do you think’s the best advice you’ve ever received ever?

Brian: I like it. Best advice ever? Best advice ever is live below your means.

Rod: Okay. Great advice. And, yeah, let me ask you this. Are there any failures that you experienced in your real estate career that may have set you up for some future success? Or tell about a– talk about a big screw up, you know, and maybe it wasn’t your fault. It was just a real problem that you had to get through?

Brian: I’ve had a lot of them. The biggest one ever was that office building. I lost $250000 on that office building. And you know what? It was the best $250000 I ever spent in my life, and I’ll tell you why. It was because, and that was a lot of money to me back then.

Rod: Sure.

Brian: You know? And it’s a lot of money to me now, for God’s sakes, you know. But what I learned from that is you’ve got to stick with what you know. Just because everybody is doing it, is not the right thing. I thought because I was 5% owner and there’s, you know, 20 other investors and they must know more than I do, they must they must really know what, this is a great deal. Dude. Forget all that. You know what a good deal is, you know whether it makes sense or not. You know?

Rod: Yeah.

Brian: I think that’s gonna save me $250000000 in the future, you know?

Rod: Yeah. Agreed. So, you’ve dropped a lot of great strategies, time blocking, you know, lots of good stuff that’ll help people that haven’t gotten started yet. Let me ask you this. What did you have to give up to get to where you are today? What did you have to sacrifice?

Brian: That’s a good question. What did I have to sacrifice?

Rod: Do you have kids?

Brian: I do. Yeah, three kids. That’s so much fun. I really don’t feel like I’d sacrifice anything. I think I’ve had the greatest life ever. I would say what I sacrifice, though, from other people’s perspective, is I’ve always driven used cars. You know, I’ve always, you know, I’ve always lived below my means. But that’s just who I am inside my soul. Right? So, all my friends would, you know, go golfing and I’d say, you know what? I’m gonna go work on my rental property. Let’s go meet for a beer afterwards. You know?

Rod: Right.

Brian: So, maybe I did sacrifice that. And they spent $50 and I went and made $50. But, you know, I would say, definitely, you know, I didn’t drive a Mercedes around when I was 25. So, maybe I sacrificed that.

Rod: Yeah.

Brian: For sure.

Rod: That’s nice, really. Okay. Fair enough. So, what do you think is your unique skill set or super power that’s helped you in your real estate career? What do you think is the one thing, if there was just one thing, you could identify that’s really made a difference for you in this trajectory?

Brian: I think it’s tenacity. And I didn’t know what that word meant until somebody told me that about 15 years ago. They said, Man, you’ve got the tenacity of a redwood. And I said, I could Google what the heck tenacity’s about. But the definition I understand it to be is just doesn’t give up.

Rod: You don’t give up. Yeah, no matter what.

Brian: Yeah.

Rod: It’s grit. It’s resolve. It’s do it no matter what.

Brian: Absolutely.

Rod: It’s get back up when it’s the last thing you ever wanna do again.

Brian: Yeah. And then, you know, I know is just a request for more information, you know. I mean, that, you know, I know you live that too, so. But, yeah. Tenacity is everything, you know.

Rod: Three feet from the gold, baby. There’s a book about this, a true story about a miner that gave up, someone else took his mine three feet later.

Brian: I heard that.

Rod: Yeah. No, it’s a true story.

Brian: But that’s a real story?

Rod: Yeah. Absolutely.

Brian: Oh, I didn’t know that. I thought that was just like, hypothetical story.

Rod: So many people give up, you know, when they’re right there, right on the edge. You know, I almost did back in 2010, I was about to bankrupt a company, turned it into a $10000000 company. I just reinvented, you know, pivoted. Well, listen, brother, thank you so much. You’ve added a ton of value today. I appreciate you coming on. It’s a very much pleasure to meet you.

Brian: Such an honor.

Rod: But you’re in Minnesota now? Are you back in the Springs, or where are you now?

Brian: No, I live in Minneapolis right now.

Rod: Okay.

Brian: I’m headed to Florida in a couple of weeks.

Rod: Really?

Brian: So, I could go and hang out. So, yeah.

Rod: Are you gonna be on the West Coast?

Brian: I am gonna be on the West Coast.

Rod: Well, then, you should ping me. Let’s grab a cup of coffee or something.

Brian: Oh, that’d be awesome. Yeah.

Rod: All right.

Brian: We’re driving down the West Coast. So it would be great.

Rod: Love it. All right, buddy. It’s a pleasure. And, well, I guess we’ll probably see each other soon.

Brian: I hope so, Rod. Very nice to meet you, man. Have a great rest of the day.

Rod: All right. Thanks.

Brian: Thank you.