#009: 9 Things Insanely Productive People Refuse to Do: Part 6

Welcome to The Accelerated Investor Podcast with Josh Cantwell, if you love entrepreneurship and investing in real estate then you are in the right place. Josh is the CEO of Freeland Ventures Real Estate Private Equity and has personally invested in well over 500 properties all across the country. He’s also made hundreds of private lender loans and owns over 1,000 units of apartments. Josh is an expert at raising private money for deals and he prides himself on never having had a boss in his entire adult life. Josh and his team also mentor investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world. He doesn’t dream about doing deals, he actually does them and so do his listeners and students. Now sit back, listen, learn, and accelerate your business, your life, and you’re investing with The Accelerated Investor Podcast.

So welcome back. Thanks for joining me. I’m so excited that you’re back again. This is Josh Cantwell and welcome back to Accelerated Investor, where we talk about investing for sure, investing in real estate investing in the markets. But also about leadership and entrepreneurship and just all the amazing fun things that I get to experience as a leader, as a CEO, as an investor and just kind of share that with the world. Share that with you. So I hope you enjoy it. We’re right in the middle of our series, the nine things that enormously successful and productive people do and the nine things that they refuse to do in their life that make them successful.

So this is number six and number six is that enormously productive and successful people think big. They refuse to think small or give any space to self-limiting beliefs. And I can tell you that this is something that, that I think everybody battles everybody battles with is that, you know, look, we grew up a certain way. We grew up with certain beliefs. You know, I grew up in a 1,200 square foot ranch in Brunswick, Ohio.

You know, a little, I think my parents bought this little property for $40,000, and by the time I was 20 years old and I was in college and my parents, you know, moved on, they built, you know, they bought a bigger house and my dad had a successful business and I think they sold that property for like $140,000 grand. You know, it was, so it appreciated, but it was still just a tiny little house with a half finished basement. And you know, I was very, very fortunate to observe and watch my father, Paul Cantwell, observe and watch him create and be an entrepreneur, create a business out of nothing. And my father, when he grew up, he grew up in new Middletown, Ohio, just outside of Youngstown.

You know, my dad’s, my grandfather was a steelworker and he died when he was 53 years old. My grandmother was a waitress she worked in a place called Niels. And when my grandma was a waitress, Niels was on this main road. And Niels was actually a regular, a place, it was a diner for gangsters and guys that were in organized crime, the mafia that was actually traveling between Youngstown and Cleveland, they would stop in at my grandma’s restaurant, Niels and they would have meals there. And everybody knew, you know, those were the guys basically in the mob. They were in, you know, bad people. But they were extremely, extremely nice that my Grammy’s use to talk about how they use to tip really well. But we came from, my point is we came from very, very, very meager upbringing.

You know, my grandmother basically lived on social security and my grandfather’s pension until she died with Alzheimer’s when she was 85 years old. And you know, my grandmother lived alone for 30 years in this little tiny 800 square foot house. And so my point is, is that, you know, I grew up in a very small sort of limited upbringing. My parents, my mom grew up on a farm. My mom actually didn’t even have running water in her house until she was about 15 years old. They used to use the outhouse to use the bathroom, believe it or not. And so I grew up in a very small, very limited environment. My parents did, my grandparents did. They were immigrants, you know, came over and you know, from their Irish and Polish and Slovak heritage and they just grew up with very small things.

You know, nobody in my family really thought big. The first person in my family to really think big was my dad. And my dad, you know, when I was in high school and my dad found a way to put me through private Catholic high school, which is very expensive. And my brother Mark and my brother Matt through college all at the same time. And my dad somehow had the guts to start his own business. In the middle of this, he worked for a small employee benefits company. There was a big property and casualty insurance agency that had a very small, insurance employee benefits division. It was only two employees, it was my dad and one other woman. That was it that was the entire division. And my dad went to the owner of the agency, he was a guy named George.

He went to Georgia, said, Hey George, like I’d like to take this division of your business, this very small, tiny two person operation and I want to grow this part of the business. I want to turn this into something real. I want to turn this, I see an opportunity here. And so George gave my dad the green light and you know, even though my dad came from very meager self-limiting, you know, self small, upbringing. My Dad started the think big. He started to think big and I observed my father, you know, as a young kid and then as a teenager and then into high school, then in the college and so on. And I watched my dad build this business from two people to 40 employees. And at one time, my dad’s largest client was Advanced Auto Parts.

And I believe it or not, that that account for my father turned into a total dumpster fire. It had turned into a massive, massive problem for him. But my dad went from two employees to people in his department and in his world to building a business that was a multi-million dollar company that had 40 employees. And so my dad didn’t allow his own small upbringing, his very limited upbringing, his very poor upbringing to give him self-limiting beliefs. And so my point in telling you this is that it doesn’t matter what your background is, it doesn’t matter who your friends are. It doesn’t matter where you grew up or how you grew up. It doesn’t matter for most of us that dominates our world as we move forward. But when I think about my most successful friends that have built amazing companies and built businesses that worked for themselves, or they do something amazing with their life.

Many of them have horrible experiences. They’ve gone through divorces, they’ve gone through bankruptcies. They were abused. They were, grew up in a very limited environment. They had very little money. Very, very few of them were born with a silver spoon and so a lot of them were given and we’re brought up with very self-limiting beliefs. But for whatever reason, every single one of them has different reasons. Every one of them has different purpose or a different time in their life or just boom, things click, things changed and they just said like, my past is not my future. My past is not going to be what dictates where I’m going, right? Your past, whatever happened to you in the past is not an indicator of your future. Your future has nothing to do with your past.

What happened to you an hour ago, what happened to you last week, what happened to you last month, 10 years ago, has nothing to do with what happens to you next week or a year from now. You can decide today and the most successful and productive people that I’ve ever met, they’ve all been through amazingly chaotic experiences in their life. They were addicts. They were divorced. They had a business that failed. They had a marketing campaign that just bombed. They had a real estate investment that went bad. They had an investment in the stock market where they lost all of their money.

They looked at that and said, well, this is just what happened. I’m not going to let this experience take up a bunch of small, I’m not going to think small because of my failure. I’m not going to give a lot of mental capacity to this thing that happened to me and allow this to limit my beliefs. Often the people that I see that are the biggest failures are the ones that have the biggest future.

The ones that are thinking the biggest because they thought, you know, man, if I survived this, if I got through this negative experience and I got through this self limiting experience, I should be able to actually dominate in the future and that’s the choice. That’s the dichotomy between people who go through a terrible experience and say, my life is over, you know, I can’t move forward. I can’t, you know, have a great life. You know, I’m always going to have it the way it is. I’m always just only going to have what I have versus the people who say, okay, I went through that failure. You know, I could let this limit my beliefs and I could have self-limiting small goals, self limiting small beliefs. Or I can say, crap, man, if I got through that, if I got through this terrible, terrible, terrible experience, I can do anything. I can do anything.

And so when I think about some specific experiences in my own life, like you know, in September 12th, 2011, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and I immediately thought to myself like, okay, that’s not good, you know. And I quickly learned that the survival rate for pancreatic cancer was between 6% to 8%. I quickly learned that Steve Jobs and Luciano Pavarotti and some amazing, amazing people. And just recently Alex Trebek, the host of Jeopardy, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I started learning about all these people who were inoperable terminal and you know, had no future. I just refused based on my diagnosis to think it, well it’s over, I’m not going to make it, you know. And I know everybody wants to think positive and a cancer diagnosis, you know. I was fortunate to make it through and I think one of the reasons why I made it through is because I thought positive.

I didn’t think this is the end. I didn’t think this is going to hold me down. I didn’t think anything about that. All I could think about was a happy, healthy, fun, amazing, big fancy future. That’s all I could think about. And so we made it through that experience, you know, around the same time, my investing strategy at that time stopped working. Also around that time I had other friendships that I lost. But the survival from cancer allowed me to meet amazing new people, rekindle old friendships that I had lost in the past, people that I had lost touch with that reached out to me because I was sick. It allowed me to fall in love with raising capital to fall in love with raising money for real estate and doing real estate deals, it allowed me to fall in love with coaching students again.

And so that experience actually opened up new doors for me. It didn’t limit me it actually expanded my future. And oftentimes when we go through a business that fails or something that’s not working out, it really is a launching pad for a future larger, bigger experience, okay. And so the most successful and productive people that I’ve ever met, they don’t give any mental space at all to self-limiting beliefs. Sometimes I’m actually baffled by how big they think. I’m like sometimes even I think, man, you just, your business just went up in flames and you’re already thinking about how you’re going to build $100 million business. Like good for you. You just had a relationship, your marriage just went up in flames and you’re already thinking about how do I get back on the horse? How do I find the new love of my life?

You know, just all of your finances just blew up in flames. You’re practically bankrupt, but you’re already thinking about positive, successful future. You know, my friend Jack is a good friend of mine and our kids about the same age and our kids are really close friends and, you know, Jack started a business where he actually started a minute clinic and he did it and had the best intentions, thought it was going to go great, poured all kinds of money, multiple six figures into this minute clinic and the minute clinic never took off and it just, you know, could’ve bankrupted them. It could have just absolutely destroyed them. But what Jack learned from that experience and creating this minute clinic that you know, basically became a dumpster fire and didn’t work out what he realizes that he absolutely wanted to be an entrepreneur.

He gave him a taste of what owning a business and being an entrepreneur was going to be like. And so he quit his job as a firefighter. He started building his real estate portfolio fulltime because all he wanted to do was be an entrepreneur. He started multiple other companies. He, you know, did some multilevel marketing selling a wine. He did some multilevel marketing doing beach body and he just caught the entrepreneurial bug because of this minute clinic that failed. And so instead of having self-limiting beliefs, what Jack said is, I’m going to try this business. Oh, that didn’t work out. Multilevel marketing didn’t work out. I’m going to try this, beach body. Oh that didn’t work out, but what it’s led him to now is Jack is now has over a hundred 120 units of passive real estate investments. Jack’s excited about his future.

He quit as a job as a firefighter to focus on is real estate investing business full time and all he’s doing is adding and adding and adding to his passive income ever single day. Now he could have a self-limiting belief because he blew up this minute clinic and it cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars. Or he could say, you know what, I have an amazing, fun, happy, hopeful future. And that’s a personal decision that we all get to make, you get to decide. You get to say, you know, all the going all the way back to you know, characteristic number four.

That successful people refuse to make decisions for them they make their own decisions. So number six is when you decide that you’re going to think big and you decide to take risk, things can go wrong, but you realize that you made that decision. It’s also completely up to you to make a new decision and have a huge, not self limiting belief, but an amazing belief that anything is possible for you because it is with the right resources, with the right people, with some financial backing, with an investor, with the right product, the right service.

You absolutely have an amazing, huge, fun, successful future in front of you. And it’s your choice what you believe. Is it a self-limiting belief or does a happy, big, profitable hope filled future belief that is just a decision that you get to make you get to decide one or the other. It’s completely up to you. And so thanks so much for joining me again for are nine characteristics of successful and productive people and some of the characteristics that I’ve observed in my own personal friends and my own personal relationships.

And number six is again, is successful and productive people refuse to think small or give any capacity, any mental space to self-limiting beliefs. I hope you enjoyed it. I’m going to be jumping in here in just a minute, um, to the next one, which is, believing that what we want is possible, okay. It’s this very simple belief that whatever we want, whenever we want to do, like for Steve Jobs, he said we’re going to change the world. And he did. He believed that was possible to change the world. Whatever your belief is, you have to believe that it’s, that it’s possible, not impossible. We’re going to talk about that next.


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If you’re considering starting your own business (or, you have your own business and would like to grow it substantially), there are many barriers and challenges that threaten your success… the economy, your local market, your business know-how, and more.

But, do you know what the biggest threat is? Your own mindset. If you don’t believe in yourself, and you have a constant fear that you’ll never be good enough or smart enough, you will fail.

And that’s what Part 6 of this podcast series covers… the fact that the most successful entrepreneurs in the world refuse to think small. In other words, they don’t succumb to self-limiting beliefs.

It doesn’t matter what your background is. Maybe you grew up in a poor family, or you had an incarcerated or absent parent. Maybe you didn’t go to college, or you tried to start a business in the past and failed miserably.

Nothing in your past matters. If you have a healthy, positive, and motivated mindset, you can achieve your professional and personal goals, and you WILL achieve them.

Take a listen to hear about Josh’s own past struggles, and how he was able to overcome them and build his amazingly successful businesses.

What’s Inside:

  • Josh’s stories of his humble upbringings, and how his parents and grandparents worked hard to provide for their families.
  • How Josh’s dad was the first in his family to “dream big” and start his own business.
  • Josh’s own story of his successful battle with pancreatic cancer, which has only a 6-8% survival rate.
  • Tips for never allowing your history to dictate your future.

Mentioned in this episode​