Ep #596 – “Nothing Down” and “Multiple Streams of Income” author Robert Allen

Robert Allen is the author or co-author of some of the most influential financial books of all time including the New York Times mega-bestsellers Creating Wealth, Nothing Down, Multiple Streams of Income and The One Minute Millionaire. Combined, his 11 books have sold over 4,000,000 million copies and have spent almost 100 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list.

Here’s some of the topics we covered:

  • Exposing the lies of wealth
  • Cash, Cash flow, credit and collateral
  • Commitment, clarity, consequence, confidence
  • Make your dreams more real than your fears
  • The three skills
  • The importance of mindset
  • Overcoming failure
  • What do you really want?

For more information on our guest, please visit:

Full Transcript Below:

Rod: Welcome to another edition of “How to Build Lifetime Cash Flow Through Real Estate Investing”. I’m Rod Khleif and I am thrilled that you’re here and I am doubly thrilled with the gentleman that I’m interviewing today. And I got to tell you, this is such a treat for me today because this guy is truly an icon in our business and especially for people my age. I know some of you younger ones may not know who he is yet, but you will. So his name is Robert Allen. Now, again, if you don’t already know who he is, let me tell you, he’s written millions of copies of books, sold millions of copies of books, best selling books. I went to my library and found this one, “Multiple Streams of Income”, which was an international best seller. He’s written “Nothing Down”, “The One Minute Millionaire”. Like he sold millions of copies, his books have been on the “New York Times” bestseller list for one hundred weeks as latest books with his son Aaron. It’s titled “The Four Maps of Happy, Successful People”. Spoken and on stage and with people like Oprah and Tony Robbins and Richard Branson and Trump and traveled all over the world speaking to groups. And I was blessed to run into him at an event in Key West, that I went to because there were several people there that I didn’t know Robert was going to be there, that were iconic people that I learned from over the years and got to keynote on stage with them. And Robert was there and they were saying how they learned this business through Robert. So it’s just a real treat to have you on the show, my friend. Welcome.

Robert: Thank you Rod. I was so impressed with your speech there. You crushed it.

Rod: Thank you.

Robert: And I was very, very impressed with your failure story, to tell you the truth, because I’ve had a bunch of failure stories, too. And when you really hear somebody is, you know, a devastating failure story and you realize they’re still around, it just realizes how important that is to just keep going. You know, we all stumble, we all fail. You just keep moving forward and you come out on the other side.

Rod: That’s it. That’s it. Listen, why don’t you do a better job of your bio in your story than I did because I didn’t do it any justice whatsoever. I literally could have kept reading for 30 minutes with your accolades. So if you could just maybe, for people assume that someone doesn’t know who you are. I do. You know, quite a few younger listeners as well. Anybody who’s been in the real estate business over ten years knows who you are for sure. But if you could–

Robert: So let me talk to your audience specifically to who’s listening to you want to achieve financial freedom. You want– you’re using real estate as the vehicle to get you there. You are excited about the opportunities that are presented to– here in especially in the United States. You’ve hooked on to Rod because he’s a leader. He’s a visionary, tells you how to get where you want to go. I know exactly what that’s like because back when I got started, I linked up to people like Rod and I listened. I went to a seminar to seminar after seminar. I spent tens of thousands of dollars educating myself. And, you know, it started for me when I graduated from college with my MBA. Don’t let that impress you. I graduated in the one-third of my class that made the top two-thirds possible. I was actually in the one-tenth of my class that made the top 90% possible. And I graduated in a middle of a recession and nobody was hiring. And I thought, well, why do I really want to go get a job and retire later and then take– invest in real estate and become a millionaire. Don’t I just really want to become a millionaire now? Why do I only want to get a job? So I was single and I started– I’d read a book on real estate investing. I read “Think and Grow Rich” and you should put that on your account. In fact, I’ll give that one to them Rob, you’ll figure out how way to do it. I’ll give them the audio version of “Think and Grow Rich” and I recorded in my voice. You know, it’s a– happy to give it to you.

Rod: Wow. Great.

Robert: That book that changed my life. And then I decided, well, I’m just going to go invest in real estate. So long story short, took me four or five years. I’m a millionaire now. I write the book “Nothing Down, how to Buy Real Estate with Little Or No Money Down”. It becomes a number one New York Times bestseller killer book followed up with “Creating Wealth” while also number one New York Times bestseller, “Multiple Streams of Income”, “The One Minute Millionaire”. But what got me started was, and maybe a little more famous is we ran an ad to do my seminars and I said, send me to any city, take away my wallet, give me a $100 bill and a 72 hours. I’ll buy an excellent piece of real estate using none of my own money and we’re running that ad in the “Los Angeles Times”. Full page ad, and they– and the editor saw it and he says, what is this guy? You know, we got to take him down. You know, let’s call it. We’ll challenge you. We’ll push him on that. So they had– they called me and they said, we challenge you. You know, you put your money, where you are.

Rod: I remember seeing that in the news where you go to any city, drop me in a city penniless, a broke, half naked, and I can go buy a house with none of my own money. Right.

Robert: So the L.A. Times met me at the L.A.X Airport at the Marriott Hotel. We got on a plane he’s– we’re going to San Francisco. Could you pick a worst city to do a challenge like that? And we show up in the morning and he takes away my wallet and gives a $20 bills, $5, $20 bills, and we have to go into that city. It took me 24 hours to find my first property in the next 24 hours, about six more. I was exhausted at the end of fifth and we didn’t even finish the third day. I was just beat. We bought seven properties of 57 hours and I gave the reporter $20 back and change. What I tried to prove from that– and so you beginners here, you’re just getting started. You’re going to have– there’s some lies, you’ve got to figure out first lie is, it takes money to make money.

Rod: Right.

Robert: You’re going to hear that a thousand times in your lifetime. And that’s total bs, because it doesn’t take money. It takes your resourcefulness to figure out where the money is. Doesn’t have to be your money. So when I bought those properties in San Francisco, I used lots of different techniques are 50 nothing down techniques. But I used– I found people who are willing to sell me the property with absolutely zero down. That’s extremely rare. But I found, you know, about two properties, sign unseen, that I bought in Sacramento is just 90 miles away. And I bought them and held them for a certain bunch of years and made some money on it. So the banker wants cash, cash flow, credit and collateral. Those are the four C’s that the banker wants. And this is– and they’re trying to get you to believe that this is what you need in order for you to succeed. And this is total bs because they took away all of those things for me, my cash, 100 bucks, cash flow, didn’t have a job. Collateral, no assets, credit. No, no. Even– I didn’t even have a credit card. Well, what I’m trying to show is that, the seas were inside me and wealth starts inside you. You got to realize that. You have to have commitment. That’s a C word.You have to have clarity. This is what I want. This is what I want it. This is why I want this. I want it for. It’s– these are seven clear clarity questions. I knew when I showed up in San Francisco, I had 72 hours. I had to buy one property. I had to buy it with zero money. I was very clear on what I had to do or my reputation would be destroyed. So there was a consequence to that deadline. So there’s all kinds of things that happen as a result of it. But I had my four c’s and my clarity, my confidence, my confidence is a C word. Chutzpah is the C word. You know, there are a lot of C words that go with a character. You know, I had to ask somebody to give me their property. Not knowing who I was with zero, nothing. That takes character, meaning they had to know that when they heard my voice, they knew I would not take advantage of them. They knew they were first, that it was win-win. If it was win-lose, then it was always– win-lose is always lose-lose. Eventually it’s lose-lose.

Rod: Yep.

Robert: I know. And they had to sense that. So I know you’re having trouble getting started. Maybe your credit isn’t perfect, your cash flow is not as good as you could be. You have a big dream and that’s what you need to start. And most people have these fears, fears of holding back and they’re petrified of what people are going to think of them. And the realtor, you come to a realtor, the realtor tells you, you’re crazy, you’re out of mind. How do you think you buy a property with nothing down? And the key is to make your dreams more real than your fears. Your dreams, you have to make them clear. This is what I want and I have to get into that. You imagine what it’s like and feel what it feels like to own 20, 30 properties and have the kind of cash flow that Rod’s teaching you how to earn. Just feel what that feels like and make sure that your fear doesn’t overwhelm your dreams because the dreams have to be bigger. They have to be stronger. They have to be more real than your fear. So that’s where you start.

Rod: And that is fantastic. And I love the fact that you turned the C stuff on its head, you know, like, you know, everybody’s been told you’ve got to have cash, cash flow, credit and collateral to do real estate. But the fact of it is you– the bottom line, the number one thing you need is confidence, in my opinion. And that confidence comes from clarity, like you said. And I like to tell people it starts with competence. Okay, you have to understand the business.

Robert: Right. Great keyword. Competence.

Rod: Competence. It starts with competence. And then once you have that competence, it equates to confidence and then it equates to your ability to influence, congruently. You need congruence as well. There’s a lot of awesome C word here that really are more appropriate. And guys, you know, I will tell you the beautiful thing about this multi-family business is commercial multifamily businesses that we’re in is that, yes, they take money. You do have to have money to buy a property, but it doesn’t have to be your own money. You know, there’s so much money out there looking for deals right now. That the key is to find the deals, frankly, and to build relationships with people with money because, you know, that’s how I’ve done it and that’s how all my students do it. And, you know, thousands– and we’re– my students, my warriors are now own over 45,000 units. And I’ve only been teaching three and a half years. And I’d say the bulk of those units were done with little of their own money, if none. So just ties right into what you said, Robert. So Robert, before we started recording. I’m sorry. Go ahead.

Robert: When you’re a beginner, you don’t have competence.

Rod: Right.

Robert: You’re just failing your way into it.

Rod: Right.

Robert: You know, you get competent at the most important thing. And Rod just told it what it was. It’s not the money. It’s not the financial resources. It’s finding the deals. And if you become a bird dog, you become a finder for other people with money. That’s how I got started. I didn’t have the money, but I was part of a group that met every two weeks and they had the money. There’s doctors and accountants and people with money. And I was the bird dog. And so you just– get you– want to get competent. One good thing, that’s the thing.

Rod: Yeah, that’s really good. You don’t have to be– you don’t have to– focus on your strengths as well. You know, so many people will tell you to build your weaknesses. I’m telling you, double down on your strengths. Hire partner or a line for your weaknesses. So Robert, before we started recording, I asked you what you enjoyed talking about, because I know you could talk about real estate ad nauseum, you know, like I can’t. And but the first thing out of your voice that you said was mindset, which, of course, is really the biggest piece of this whole thing. So, you know.

Robert: Go ahead. Keep talking.

Rod: Well, okay, well, so he stood up and threw me off. Those of you listening, he walked away and I’m like, wait a minute, we’re not done talking yet anyway. So he went to get a book off your shelf. It’s like anyway, so, you know, that’s such a critical part. I think the most critical part, I think 80 to 90% of a person’s success in anything is just that their mindset and their psychology. So what would you say to that?

Robert: When I got started, since I have the mindset, I don’t know. I was a Mormon missionary in Tahiti. Where you have to go and spread the gospel and there’s lots of rejection to it. So after a while, you just get a real thick skin and it just doesn’t bother you anymore. So I kind of had a foundational, so my mindset was pretty strong. So when I went out there, started buying real estate, I didn’t get upset when people said you can’t do things of that nature, so I just assumed that everybody thought that way, you know, so I when I wrote my book, “Nothing Down” it was techniques, techniques of how you buy real estate with little or no money down, “Multiple Streams of Income”, which is the one you show. This is the more recent copy of it.

Rod: Oh yeah. Yours is nicer. You got to better cover than I do. Okay.

Robert: This one is, it’s got ten ways of making residual income, money while you sleep. And there’s– and that– it’s technique oriented. You know, there’s charts and graphs and in my– you know, just all kinds of left brain stuff, system stuff. And I just thought, well, if you give a person the system, you know, this is how you do it. What’s the matter with you? Get busy this– and frankly, I just finally realized that you put two people in a class and teach them the same exact systems and one person will go out and crush, the other person will get crushed. Just because their mindset isn’t right. I finally realize they need three three skills. You need systems skills, that’s like how do you drive the car. Where’s the ignition? How do I– where’s the turn signal, you know, what are the ways and when it comes to real estate, you need three things. Finding, funding and farming. Farming is like how do you get money out of this deal? It’s a– real estate is a farm. You’re going to– you’re growing a farm. So finding– how do you find good deals? At least nine ways of funding, at least 50 ways farming, all kinds of ways of making money from it. And that, you know, that’s where my books are filled with that kind of stuff. Then I realize, you know, there was people skills. You know, I had– when I went to San Francisco, I had to persuade these people to give me their property with no credibility, you know, at all. I mean, there are people skills that I had. That I had learned over a period of time. And then finally, there was a mindset skill. I was freaked out for that first day in San Francisco and I got hundreds of rejections that day and there was zero success that day. You know what kept me going? Frankly, I had to have– you take a deep breath and get myself centered. And there’s all kinds of mindset stuff. And I began to realize that if you don’t teach all three of those things, then really you’re not going to get the successes you want. So I started teaching mindset stuff and we do our seminars, held in the 80’s and 90’s, 2000’s. We would start a seminar off with a board break. You know, we would say, what are the fears you got? Let’s get rid of those now. We’re not going to talk about real estate. You know, let’s get you centered here. Blow away the fears that are holding you back. We spent an entire day. Just nothing, no real estate, nothing. So mindset is really critical. It’s extremely important. And you need to have a way of building that.

Rod: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. You know, it’s funny that you said that board break. I know that– Tony went to that when he had to go virtual, you know, Tony Robbins event. You walk on fire at the first event. But when covid happened, he went to board breaking, he emailed everybody and they’re breaking boards. In my events, the first thing we do is a goal setting workshop.I suppose I should do something to push through fear like you did and Tony does. But the bottom line is it– that’s foundational to all of this which is I know why my students have been so successful is because, you know, if it was just the technical skills, there’d be a bunch of wealthy librarians and college professors. It’s the do, you have to take action. You’ve got to push through fear. You’ve got to get comfortable. And you really got to know what it is you want. I love the fact that you brought up “Think and Grow Rich” because that, you know, that the one big thing in there is burning desire. You’ve got to have that burning desire. You’ve gotta want it.

Robert: Yeah. Yeah, you do. And when it comes to the real estate game, I think, well, I’ll try this out, you know, let’s check this out and they’d go a little bit deep into it. Oh, it’s a little harder, I thought. So they go and find some other way of making money and they never go deep. You have to have a burning desire. You want–when I got started, I had a burning desire to buy real estate. I just was– just lived and breathed it. And on a scale of one to ten, you as a listener, as a viewer here, what’s your level of intensity, of desire? Do you really want this? You’re just interested in this. You’re just curious about this. If you really want it, you’re going to go all in. You’re going to get coaches to help you. You’re going to set deadlines. You’re going to live and breathe it. That’s just what it takes.

Rod: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, no, and I couldn’t agree more. And it’s interesting, when you and I met at that event, you know, I get invited to events all the time and I turn most of them down. But the premise of this entire event was based around student success. So, guys, this was all thought leaders in the real estate space that do real estate coaching and masterminds and events like I do and Mike Robert’s done for decades. And again, some of my, some of the people that I mentored under decades ago were there, which was really cool to share the stage with. But that’s why I went. And the way Robert was just describing the importance of this, I know Robert counsels other people in this business, people like myself that teach others. And that’s how you coined it. If you’re going to teach others, you’ve got to teach them the mindset. And I just wanted to flash back to that, because that made me realize that you’re a teacher’s teacher, your mentor’s mentor. And that’s what makes this such a treat for me to have you on the show with me, my friend.

Robert: How do you keep yourself going, Rod, when you had some challenges there?

Rod: Great question.

Robert: What kept you put one foot in front of the other?

Rod: Great question. Yeah, no great question. I appreciate you asking. Yeah. I lost 50 million dollars, as you know. You heard me talk about that. And I’ve had other big, big failures as well. And, you know, it’s a couple of things. One, you don’t connect to the incident because, yes, you may fail, but you are not a failure. So you don’t identify with the collapse of a vehicle. It is not your identity. And it’s very easy for people to wrap their identity around the vehicle that they’re using. And that’s when people kill themselves, frankly. You know, there were people that killed themselves in 2008 crash and certainly in the great depression as well. And so it’s– if you make your vehicle, your identity, you’re in big trouble. That’s number one. Number two, I knew what I was capable of. I knew that anything I gave my total energy and focus, too, would flourish. And I knew that. And but, you know, don’t get me wrong, I whined and hid under a rock for a while and had to get my butt kicked. And luckily, I was actually in Tony Robbins platinum partnership back in 2008. And so I was around people that were kicking butt when everything was going south. People that were thriving and saying, you know, get off your butt, stop whining and go, go make that happen, you know? And so I was around people that wouldn’t tolerate that negativity in that. And, you know, and but I will tell you, it’s also the thing that I had to be really careful of was not making it my story. No. Hey, I lost 50 million dollars and it can become your story and it can be a disempowering story, which that was. Now I use it to empower now as to what’s possible. For a few months, I will tell you, I think it became my story as well. So I had to push through that. But then the big thing, Robert, was I just realigned with what I wanted and why I wanted it, I you know, and that’s why I spent so much time on goals and mindset because, you know, it’s so easy to focus on the negatives and whatever you focus on is going to get bigger. So I could continue to focus on loss or I could focus on what I wanted. And of course, I got it back much, much faster than I did the first time. But I mean, don’t get me wrong, it sucked. It was no fun, but, you know, the whole what doesn’t kill you adage comes into play. But now it’s really it’s managing your focus. It’s redirecting to what you want. And I find myself even today, sometimes I’ll be tired or a little beat up. And in fact, this was yesterday. I actually went and got a covid test. I thought I had covid yesterday. And I don’t. Thank God. Because we’re feed– we’re doing a thousand backpack’s this Saturday to school kids. And I really didn’t want to miss that. My foundation is. But, you know, but yesterday I was feeling down in the dumps and we’ve got a deal we’re working. And just a lot of hiccups with that. And, you know, so it’s something you got to manage every single day, right, Robert? I mean,–

Robert: They need to hear that, Rod. Yeah, they need to hear that. Yesterday was not a good day for you.

Rod: Right. Right.

Robert: They got to realize that’s just part of the game, they were playing. The question you said earlier, the most important question you ask yourself every day is, what do I really want?

Rod: Yeah.

Robert: What do I really, really want? Because,

Rod: Yeah.

Robert: You’re going to be distracted with a thousand things. Your phone’s going to ring, you know, texts all over the place, emails, you know, everybody’s going to– advertisements and all. You have to ask yourself, where do I want to be? What do I really, really, really want? Because that means I have to say no to almost everything else.

Rod: Yeah.

Robert: That’s why Steve Jobs says that was his biggest skill, saying no, Warren Buffett, my biggest skill saying no. So you have to say yes to your dream and no to everything else. That’s a mindset. It’s a skill. It’s hard to do.

Rod: Right. I want to add something to what you just said about what you really want. And guys, when you ask yourself that question and you should probably print that out and put it on the wall, what do I really want? Dig deep on it because, yeah, okay, I want a car. Well, why do you want that car. Okay, well, because and you drill down and you’ll end up in one or two places. One is you just want love and the other you just want to be happy and– but you’ve got to do it yourself and you’ve got to work your way there. You agree, Robert?

Robert: Yeah, exactly.

Rod: Yeah. And so, that’s a really important question to ask yourself. By the way, how can people reach you? I know you’ve got some free resources. You mentioned that audio. Was it “Think and Grow Rich”? Is that the right book or was it something else? “Think and Grow Rich”.

Robert: And the PDF of that, digital book of it. Right. I’ll get it to them, but I’ll send it to you and you figure it out.

Rod: Okay, yeah, guys, I’ll get it. I’ll get it to you. If you ping me on any social channel, I’ll make sure you get it. And it’s robertallen.com, is it not?

Robert: That’s Robert Allen, robertallen.com. When you go there, there’s a place to opt in. You’ve heard those things before.

Rod: Sure, sure. Sure.You know you’ve got some stuff that you get free and then you can get on his email list and get quality content from him.

Robert: But another way we could do it, Rod, is that I’ll say everybody within this you know, this next month, whoever goes to robertallen.com, when you go in there and opt in, I’ll send you the “Think and Grow Rich” book and the audience.

Rod: Love it. I love it.

Robert: That’s probably the most efficient way to do it.

Rod: Yeah. And guys, that’s something you should listen to in the car. And Robert’s got a great voice. So what a great way to take that in ,that– I love it. I mean, that’s honestly a book you should read or listen to a couple of times a year minimum and I’ve given away–I’m not exaggerating, Robert. I’ve given away probably close to four thousand copies because every one of my live events gets that book. I used to– I’ll probably continue to do it as well.But that’s one of the things that I give because it’s so important.

Robert: So if you don’t think and grow rich, there’s 13 principles. Desire, see that’s what do you want? Right. Faith, that’s willing to take action, even though the evidence doesn’t look very good around you. That’s what faith is. Auto suggestion, what do you say to yourself? Specialized knowledge, imagination, decision, organized planning, persistence, the power of the mastermind, the mystery of sex transmutation, the brain, the subconscious mind, the sixth sense. Those are the 13 principles.

Rod: Good for you. Wow. I can’t even rattle them off like that. That’s awesome.

Robert: I can do it backwards because I want to know those things. I want those things to be in my soul, you know? And that’s why we get a lot done, because it’s a mindset for us.

Rod: You guys get definitely get the book like specialized knowledge like you just talked about. You can’t be a generalist. The power to mastermind. You know, I host the largest multi-family mastermind on the planet now. And because I know the power of it and I’ve been in scores of mastermind’s over the years and–

Robert: Let’s come to your “Mastermind”.

Rod: Oh, I’d love that. Okay, we’ll make that happen for sure.

Robert: Make it happen. I want to come.

Rod: All right. Sounds good. Yeah. Well, listen, Robert, it’s such a treat to have you on. I’m so grateful for your valuable time and really enjoyed this conversation. And I will definitely have you come to my “Mastermind”. That’s awesome. But guys, you know, if you haven’t gotten or read some of his books, just go out there and get them. Trust me, I’ve had every single one. I was sick yesterday, so only– I didn’t hunt through. I’ve got thousands of books and I found this one on my hand, “Multiple Streams of Income”. But I’ve got them all, I know I’ve got every single one of his– and but I’ve got so many bookshelves over there, I just didn’t feel like keeping looking. But anyway, thanks for coming on the show, my friend. Great to see you.

Robert: Hey everybody, love you.

Rod: All right. Thanks, bud.

Robert: Bye.