#012: 9 Things Insanely Productive People Refuse to Do: Part 8

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, Hey, what’s going on? Welcome back. This is Accelerated Investor with Josh Cantwell and I am really excited to be with you. We are right in the middle of our nine part series, the nine things that enormously successful and productive people, the nine things that they refuse to do. And so some of the past episodes we’ve covered things like successful people refuse to pursue perfection. They refuse to let negativity drag them down. They refuse to let other people make decisions for them. They refuse to have self-limiting beliefs. Those are just a couple of the topics that we’ve already covered. So if you’ve missed any of those go back and listen. This is episode number eight in this series. And today we’re going to talk about how enormously successful and productive people refuse to become overwhelmed. And I’m going to give you a couple of tactics and a couple hacks on how to refuse to become overwhelmed.

This is a really, really important one because overwhelm can completely stifle our ability to execute, overwhelm, confusion, distraction it can completely stifle our ability to execute. So if there’s one thing that in our businesses and with our team that we constantly talk about is simplicity and we don’t always get it right. We often screw it up. I often screw it up. But simplicity is the key to the overwhelm problem. And so my successful friends and people that I’ve heard on stage and people that I’ve had the enormous opportunity to interview on this podcast, like Kevin O’Leary or Kevin Harrington. Almost all of them have told me that when they look at businesses they’ve invested in, when they’ve looked at investments that they’ve made or how they’ve built their own companies, they’re companies were as simple and as straightforward as possible. They tried to keep it so simple that anybody could do it.

And the simplicity of it is what allowed them to, you know, overcome overwhelm. Now for a lot of entrepreneurs, we make this enormous mistake that, well I have a successful business so I’m going to start another business and another business and another business and another business. Or you know, I want to be an entrepreneur. So you know, I’m going to invest in crypto currency and I’m going to invest in cannabis and I’m going to invest in real estate and I’m going to invest in options trading all at the same time. Or I’m going to invest in mobile homes and I’m going to Invest in self-storage and apartments all at the same time. You know, my most successful friends and my most successful students, they pick one investing strategy and the simplicity of doing the same thing over and over and over and over is what allows them to avoid overwhelm.

Even in my own private equity fund today, you know we have so many different things that we could be doing. We could invest in single-family flips, single family rental properties, value add apartments, small commercial, small balance commercial, and in the past I’ve done all of those things. I’ve done all those things and what I essentially did a couple months ago is I planted my flag in the ground and I said to myself, this is too complex this is too overwhelming. Like we’re doing too many things. And so the conversation around our private equity fund and our investing business became how do we make the most amount of money in the simplest way possible? How do we do something that’s totally scalable, that’s as simple as possible? How do we avoid overwhelm by doing multiple things, multiple different things all the time? How do we just focus on simplicity?

Because if we do something simple and we do the same thing over and over every single day, we can avoid and not have overwhelm. And so enormously successful and productive people, they look at overwhelm, they look at confusion, they look at distraction as the enemy of productivity, okay. What is the best friend for productivity is simplicity, okay. And I make this mistake all the time. I’ve made it dozens of times over the last 20 years. And so we are trying to simplify, simplify, simplify. I’ll give another perfect example.

In my coaching business, Strategic Real Estate Coach. Last year had been in 2018 we saw a shift happening in the marketplace where there were less affiliates that we’re promoting us. There were less, you know, affiliate partners to work with. And so we really went all in on automation and I had this idea that we were going to create this just really long awesome funnel that, you know, was a year long. It was going to have all of our products, all of our best emails, but we were going to completely automate the customer interaction. We going to completely automate the communication with our subscribers and with our students for 12 months.

And you know, I’m, you know, taking my own advice, go back to a characteristic number four that we refuse to let other people make decisions for us. I made the decision that my staff was going to work on this really long funnel and we built it and we built it and we built it and we built it up to the point where it was 90 days long. And so if somebody opted in for one of our webinars are one of our eBooks or one of our trainings, we had that whole communication with them automated for 90 days. And my staff wanted to kill me.

And we looked at like, there’s too many points of breakage here. There’s too many places where this funnel can break. Technology isn’t always perfect. And so there’s times when you know, things just don’t work out or you know, a website breaks or a server breaks or emails don’t fire off or auto-responders don’t work, especially when you’re using multiple different platforms. You’re using infusion soft with click funnels. When you’re using that with ever webinar and you’re using that with ongage and you’re using that with social media and retargeting ads with Facebook, we were doing all of this in a multimillion dollar company and we all hated it.

So just, you know, just a year or so ago we became totally overwhelmed and then we decided that we were going to need to stop doing all that and we’re going to focus just on one offer, one product, and we’re going to focus on just selling coaching because we’d love to coach people. We love to work with people one on one or in a small group. We think we can have the biggest impact on people when we’re coaching them, right. So this is the whole idea of we thought we were really successful, we thought we were really productive and we created this extremely overwhelming project.

We even gave it a nickname. The nickname of this thing was called the Mother Funnel. So, you know, people talk about building marketing funnels, you know, they call them funnels. Well, this was the mother of all funnels and it was super complex and everybody hated it and it worked. It converted to some degree. It worked and you know, people were, you know, students were buying things and it was automated and students loved it and they were buying products and services and we were making money from it. And everybody on my team hated it, including eventually including me.

It was my baby. I decided to do it. I thought it had such big plans for us, we were going to make all kinds of money. We were going to help all kinds of people and we shut it we turned it off. Because it was overwhelming. It was confusing. It was way too complicated. And so today what we have is we have a very, very, very light version of this funnel. This we call it the mini mother, the mini mother funnel. And all it is, is our front end core product. It’s one of our core trainings called one flip. And then it has a backend offer for our coaching program and that’s it. And that’s it, okay. And we love to help students. It’s in my DNA. It’s in my blood to help other people. So with all the success we’ve had with coaching, with real estate, investing, raising money, you know, we manage about $30, $40 million in different deals and in our funds and all this different stuff, you know, our portfolio is now run $100 million.

It’s amazing. But, you know, in the idea of coaching people became so overwhelming. When I look at some of my friends that have started new companies and then they start one division, another division, another division, so overwhelming that it stifles growth. Simplicity is the best friend to execution. So in your own life, you know, how many different organizations are you a part of? How many different Facebook groups are you a part of? How many different sports do your kids play? How many different businesses are you trying to run, right? Overwhelm is the exact opposite of simplicity. And so the older I get, the more complex my life could be. My biggest focus is how do I keep things simple? How do I commit to do less? I’ll give you another example. I’ll back in the fall all my kids started a new grade, right?

They’re going on to the next grade and the school, so my Giuliana is in fifth grade, my Alessandra is in third grade. And my Dominic is in first grade and Giuliana is playing volleyball. And Dominic was playing flag football and Dominic was also playing soccer and Alessandra was just doing dance and I decided I was going to coach, not only was I going to run my businesses and be married and invest in real estate and have a staff and all this stuff. But I was also going to coach flag football. I was going to coach soccer and I was going to coach volleyball all at the same time. And I quickly realized after about three months of this, there was one point where we had a basketball game or a sporting event or a game of some kind for 45 straight days.

45 straight days I had something that I committed to outside of business, outside of work, outside of my family, a third party commitment to coach my kids. And I realized that my wife was actually becoming resentful towards it because she’s like, you don’t have to coach your kids at everything. You know, your kids will be fine if they have somebody else coaching their football or soccer or their volleyball. And I’m like, no, I’m the best coach I love it. And I do love it. Like I love it. But it was totally overwhelming and my wife started to really be resentful towards it and resentful towards me because I was spending more time with coaching other people’s kids then spending with my own wife, right. So like we avoided the dumpster fire, right. I’ve used that a couple times in this series, the dumpster fire of life.

But we avoided that. And so for me to be more productive, for me to be more successful, to be more on point, I just simplify my life. Now I didn’t learn, I didn’t learn from my experience in the fall. Because in the winter time I decided to coach Giuliana’s basketball, Alessandra’s basketball, Dominic’s basketball and Dominic’s indoor flag football all at the same time. And so for about nine months between when the fall sports and the winter sports, my life was chaos and it got real like, not ugly between me and my wife, but really to the point where it was almost ridiculous. The overwhelm was almost ridiculous. The commitments outside of work and outside of family we’re almost to the point of stupid, almost ridiculous. And you realize in your own life, like you go back to, you know, some things I’ve said earlier about having simplicity and focusing and getting, getting rid of the leeches.

Now coaching my kids it’s not a leech, but it was also a way over commitment. It was way overwhelming and so really successful and productive people, I mean you can’t be committed to all these things and have a simple life because simplicity is what’s going to allow you to be really good at a couple of things. And so, you know, next year, I don’t know if my kids are all going to play volleyball and football and basketball and you know, some of me wants them to kind of pick a sport or two because I would love to coach them at one thing and be really good at it. Like just coach Dominic at basketball or just coach Dominic at football. Just coast Juliana at volleyball and volleyball. Only by the way, volleyball is awesome. My favorite sport by far, like I grew up playing basketball. I played college football, I played baseball, I love lacrosse.

You know, I still play basketball with my buddies. I love golf and I would give up all of it to watch my daughter play volleyball. It’s so much fun to watch curls, you know, bump, set, spike. It’s such a fun sport. So honestly I kind of hope that they all pick volleyball and Dominic plays football. Because it’s so much fun to be with him on the grass and in the field and all that kind of stuff. But you know, think of that simplicity is the best friend of execution and overwhelm is the devil for execution. And so really successful and productive people refuse to become overwhelmed. They get rid of the leeches. They’re constantly evaluating their commitments their reducing their commitments, to have a simple life and be really good at a couple things. And have an amazing income and amazing legacy wealth by doing things that are simple.

One more example. I’ll just tell you about one more example of my friend Tim Bratz, who’s a very successful apartment investor. For a long time Tim said, you know, I was a real estate investor for 10 years, but I really sucked at it for the first seven years. And for the first seven years he was doing all different kinds of investing, was doing turnkey rentals and rehabs and wholesaling and commercial. And eventually about two years ago, Tim said, you know what, I’m going to plant my flag in the ground and I’m only going to do value add apartments. I’m only going to focus on value add apartments. And ever since then, Tim’s life has taken off. He evaluated his time commitments and he said, look, out of all the wealth that I’ve built, about 10% of my time has gone into value add apartments, but the majority of my net worth is in value add apartments.

So he recognized that and said, I’m going to simplify my life. I’m going to get rid of all the overwhelm and I’m just going to focus on value add apartments. And now Tim is one of the nation’s leading educators on value add apartments. Tim is a sought after speaker and a bestselling author. He’s got his own podcast called Legacy wealth. Check that out. It’s really good. Tim has been on our podcast, so if you have an opportunity, check out the podcast and the interviews we’ve done for Accelerated Investor with Tim. Check that out. But when Tim really his investing in his life took off was when he said, I’m only going to do this one thing. Get rid of the overwhelm, went simple and when he went, simple is one his income and his net worth and his happiness and his joy took off.


So I hope that resonates with you. I hope that makes a lot of sense. I really enjoy sharing that one because it’s a constant battle for me and every successful person to refuse to become overwhelmed. All right I hope you enjoyed that episode. If you did, let us know. I appreciate your feedback. Share it with your friends, share it, you know, on the social platforms and we’re going to come back here in just a little bit with our last and final episode in this series of the nine things enormously productive and successful people do the things they refused to do. And number nine is that they refuse to stop growing, learning and developing. This is where it’s really at. Join us in the next episode. We’ll talk to you soon.


You’ve been listening to Josh Cantwell and the Accelerated Investor Podcast. Leave a comment on our iTunes channel and let us know what you want to learn next, or who you’d like Josh to interview. While you’re there, give us some five star rating and make sure to subscribe so you can be the first to hear new episodes. Follow Josh Cantwell and his companies, the Strategic Real Estate Coach and Freeland Ventures on all social media platforms now and stay up to date on new training and investment opportunities to start your journey toward the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. Apply for coaching at JoshCantwellCoaching.com.

If you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, or real estate investor, you know that there are hundreds of “moving parts” involved in your business. With all the day-to-day demands, it can be easy to get overwhelmed quickly.

But giving in to overwhelm is a surefire way to experience a drastic nosedive in productivity – which can ultimately have a hugely negative impact on your success.

So, how do you avoid becoming overwhelmed? Take a page from an extremely productive person’s book and learn how to simplify.

In part 8 of our series, Josh shares the importance of embracing simplicity in your business. By focusing on your chosen niche, you can eliminate overwhelm and experience a consistently successful business.

He also shares some stories from his own professional life and personal life. Despite having many successful businesses, Josh has experienced his fair share of overwhelm – and he’s learned how to effectively banish it.

Find out why the most successful people in the world refuse to be overwhelmed, and how it contributes to their productivity….

What’s Inside:

  • How Josh experienced overwhelm with SREC
  • How Josh narrowed the “funnel” to focus on his specialty and simplify his business
  • Other personal stories about how over-committing landed Josh in hot water
  • How Josh’s friend and fellow REI expert Tim Bratz overcame overwhelm in his business

Mentioned in this episode​