In the beginning of the year I mentioned I’d be openly sharing my normally private life this year, and documenting my goals, the results, and more. (you can find that post here: My 2021 Yearly Review, and 2022 Goals)
Q1 was, well…busy would be an understatement.
My goals for Q1 were:
- Buy 15 properties
- 142 hours on the book
- Hire epic executive assistant or chief of staff
As the saying goes, everyone’s got a plan until they get punched in the mouth.
Well, I’m still rocking ice packs from the insanity that was Q1.
I cracked open a bottle of chaos, and before I could even get a sip the whole quarter drowned in it.
I think sometimes people assume being an entrepreneur/investor is all good times and printing money… my Q1 is a good example of some of the not so fun stuff we get to deal with.
It started off hiring an assistant the second week of the quarter. She seemed wildly qualified and would be a great domino to help me knock down the other goals.
I’m sure the person on the resume would have been…
Except that’s not the person who showed up for the job.
Fake resume, fake references, all that fun stuff.
That’s the first time I’ve dealt with anything like that before.
Should have caught it in due diligence but I think I was so excited to finally have someone to help me get some stuff off my plate, that after she crushed the interview combined with such an epic resume, didn’t sniff it out.
After she was failing to accomplish even the smallest of things, figured it out with some post-hiring due diligence.
Her ‘boss’ who gave her an absolutely amazing recommendation turned out not to be her boss…
but her husband.
Not sure what the point of something like that is – the only hunch anyone could come up with was that she tries to get multiple jobs at once and hope people don’t realize how little she’s getting done.
Fast forward a couple weeks later, and I’m kind of stumped why my RE business isn’t doing as well as it should.
My spidey sense is going off like wild.
Something isn’t right.
It’s been going off for a while, but it’s only gotten stronger.
And it’s dialed in heavy on one person.
One of the few people(and someone working for me) I’d really shown most of my cards to on my real estate bet and all the in depth strategy behind it.
Unfortunately for him I enjoy due diligence, and once I realized everything he’d been up to, it was worse than expected.
I called my lawyers up and asked for a meeting.
We sat down and I showed them everything he’d been doing and asked for their opinion.
They mentioned fraud, and all sorts of other fancy legal terms that could have him in some serious trouble.
Man, talk about losing faith in humans!
First a fake assistant, and now uncovering this just weeks later.
This one felt much worse both not just because of how much money it cost me, but also because despite knowing him less than a year, I thought we had become friends.
I’d gone out of my way to mentor him since he was wanting help learning wealth building and openly shared much of my playbook with him.
I guess he thought he might get ahead in life faster by trying some extremely unethical things to try and make some short term money instead.
Humans are silly.
Some people have such short term thinking.
You can’t cheat the game.
So many try and skip all the necessary steps and think they’ll magically reach immediate success.
Too many ‘get rich quick’ videos out there these days I guess!
I’ve been in business for a long time now, and this might have been the most unethical thing I’ve had attempted on me.
And you see some stuff in this game!
I can’t wait to talk about this more in depth. I’m going to let my lawyers take him apart first before I openly write too much about it.
The silly thing is since he hadn’t fully grasped some of the fundamentals yet, he didn’t even profit nearly as much as he should have from his unethical activities, he just cost me a bunch.
Q1 really welcoming me to the new year!
After my meeting with my lawyers I didn’t know what I was going to do at first.
I hate spending time dealing with things that aren’t positive and that don’t move things forward.
I didn’t enjoy waking up and my first thought of the day is how to make sure an unethical dude goes down.
That’s not healthy!
At first I wondered if despite getting ripped off badly, I should just let the guy walk.
I had several discussions with friends about it.
It was pretty unanimous across the board that I shouldn’t let him get away with it.
I’m big on just trying to observe and not get attached to things that happen to me, and to still have ‘love’ for others despite whatever their actions are.
My buddy Russo gave some great advice that I can still have ‘love’ for someone from a distance while making sure that a crooked person gets taken off the board.
I definitely didn’t want a guy like this to be able to do unethical things to others in the future.
My friend Kenric reminded me how when we were both starting out in the game of business/investing, people would sometimes try to take advantage of us because we were green, and/or didn’t have much money to do anything about it if they tried stuff.
Now that we do, we almost have a duty to protect the other players in the game from people like this.
I green lit my lawyers, and let’s just say his foreseeable future is not one he’s likely looking forward to.
I think he thought I might just let him walk after what he did, assuming I was too nice to hold him accountable.
I thought he might crap his pants when my lawyers let him know they were coming for him. I really wanted to mail him a box of diapers but was told that might not be a good idea.
Once I discovered the ‘bug’ in my real estate operation, things started turning around quickly.
I had to sacrifice hours on my book to catch up with the damage that’d been done, but despite all the insanity I blew past my Q1 acquisition goal and bought 35 properties.
Besides trying to finish my book, run the real estate business and catching sketchy people doing sketchy stuff, I had a lot of other stuff going on in Q1:
My parents came to visit for a week, shortly after my oldest niece moved in, I’m coaching several students, I hired and started training a non-fake employee, continuing to work on my health stuff, trying to get in my meditations, journaling, nature walks, reading, etc…
So I’m looking forward to my first vacation of the year in Colorado next week(was the 1st week of April).
Real estate business:
I started the quarter off deciding to track down a pilot who could take aerial photos of certain neighborhoods where I could overlay growth patterns and combine them with my calculations on actual values vs. perceived values and find/bet on where I believed to be major discrepancies based on everyone using what I feel is a suboptimal method to determine value.
Luckily just before I went through the aerial photos/overlay headache I was able to get the data I wanted another way.
It’s been interesting coming out of retirement the last year or so to take advantage of an opportunity I saw in a field I didn’t have too much experience in.
When you can approach something knowing you know nothing, it is unbelievable how big of an edge that can give you.
Not knowing how you’re ‘supposed’ to do something doesn’t keep you trapped to what everyone else is doing.
You can search for what is optimal instead.
See, most people operate the same way everyone else does. They do things how you’re ‘supposed to’ do it.
“Oh, you’re doing real estate, this is how you have to do it.”
Like I’ve written about in the past, once everyone knows what the optimal strategy is, that strategy is no longer optimal.
Almost no one has been trained to think logically, so they all do things the same exact way and assume it’s ‘correct’ because ‘that’s how everyone does it’.
The more popular the ‘correct’ strategy gets, the worse it is.
Yet, if every book, podcast, etc… outlines the same ‘best ways to invest in real estate’’, it’s most definitely not the best.
Just the most marketed.
Same as many business niches and strategies.
Just copying others ‘expert’ strategies isn’t usually an optimal path to any sort of wealth.
Try to approach everything with an empty cup. A complete beginner’s mind, no matter what you think you know.
I know right now I’m just referencing an investing/business example, but approaching everything from this perspective can completely change your life in just about every area.
This famous parable explains the concept well:
‘Once upon a time, there was a very wise Zen master. People traveled miles to seek his help and wisdom.
He would teach them and show them the way to true enlightenment and wisdom in life.
One day, a scholar visited the master seeking advice.
“I have come to ask you to teach me about Zen”.
A few minutes later in their conversation, it was very clear that the scholar was completely full and convinced of his own views and ideas.
He interrupted the master continuously with his own stories and failed to listen and be attentive to what the master had to say.
The master suggested that they have a cup of tea together.
Then, began to pour his guest a cup.
The cup soon filled but to the guest’s surprise, the master kept pouring tea even as the cup overflowed onto the table.
The scholar was bewildered and yelled, “Stop! The cup is full already. Can’t you see?”.
With a smile, the master replied that the scholar was just like that cup – already so full of opinions and convictions that nothing more can fit.
“How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”
We do not know as much as we think we know.
Knowing THIS, allows you to access knowledge that is impossible to access if you are trapped under the belief that you already know.
In EVERY area of your life.
In terms of investing/business, what do you think is a better strategy:
Operate like the competition, or create a strategy that specifically defeats the strategy your competitors are using.
One of these will have ‘standard’ results, one of them will obliterate your competition, which will reward you with results that will be unrecognizable to anything your competitors will produce.
Again, with the approach that ‘we know nothing’, you don’t end up with the same strategy as everyone else, so you don’t end up with the same results as everyone else.
Obvious, but rarely practiced.
If there’s no book/blueprint on what you’re trying to do, it’s obviously going to be more difficult to get going, as there’s nothing to copy.
But if you’re creating a blueprint, although it may take more time to figure out, the rewards have the potential to be monumentally larger, and it’s a whole hell of a lot more fun.
It was one of the things that pulled me to this opportunity.
How would I invest if I knew NOTHING at all? What would the OPTIMAL strategy be?
That led me to a route that’s been a lot more profitable, and a whole hell of a lot more exciting than just copying what others are doing.
I’m planning on eventually showing every detail of every aspect of my bet.
Everything from the math I used, to some very strange stories including someone hiring a guy to find out who I was and showing up at my door in March asking if I could help them find/acquire property.
Been a weird ride so far, and I have a feeling it’s only going to get weirder.
Definitely keeps life interesting!
Debating raising money:
I’ve been approached a few times from people wanting to help raise a fund for what I’m doing.
I know almost ZERO about that kind of stuff.
I’m just not from that part of the entrepreneur/investing world.
I’m considering raising some funds from folks, but I’m someone who very much prefers simplicity so am curious if I can raise money to increase the size of my bet while continuing to enjoy the same simplicity of life I have right now.
Would love to learn as I’m a complete newbie in that area.
If you’ve got in depth experience raising money, and/or know someone who invests in alternative styles of investing, I’d love to hear from you.
My 2nd Q1 priority goal was the book.
I failed on this goal(which was to put in a minimum of 142 hours on the book).
I was ahead of pace until the RE mole was discovered, and then moved my energy to prioritize that business to make up for the damage caused, since time was of the essence.
The good news:
I reached an agreement with an editor and will be turning in my rough draft to them in Q2.
My third Q1 priority goal was to hire an employee.
After hiring/firing the fake employee, I hired a real one. Real references and everything!
Hopefully helps take some of the chaos off my plate.
I may hire for a new position soon’ish.
If you know someone who is extremely organized and detail oriented, loves to learn, can work at an insanely fast pace, and is a self starter, please let me know.
This person would be someone that needs no management and can go run with a project with little to no direction once they understand the objective, and have already had success in roles with limited oversight and complete ownership of the results.
While I don’t have a position available this moment, I likely will in the relatively near future, and/or for the perfect person would consider creating an additional position.
So, despite getting hit in the face all quarter, I still managed to scrape out some decent results, and hit 2 of my 3 quarterly goals.
- Bought 35 properties (goal was 15)
- 68.27 hours on the book (goal was 142)
- Made my first full-time hire in a very long time
- Complete the rough draft of my book and hand it off to my editor
- Buy 50 properties
- Be working less than 2 hours per day on any non unique ability activity
Crossing my fingers that I get punched in the face less in Q2.