#027: Plant Your Flag

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, welcome back. Welcome back. Good to be with you again. Hey Josh Cantwell here and wanted to just jump on real quick and talk a little bit about a coaching call that I just had with one of our coaching members. So I’ve been very fortunate to coach and mentor and work with lots of different entrepreneurs, primarily real estate entrepreneurs since 2005. So I’m going over 14 years of coaching and masterminding with people and really helping them build their businesses. Some of them going from the brand new to intermediate category, lots of people at the intermediate level, taking them to the advanced category and you know, a large, large group of folks who are already at the advanced level that own hundreds of units of apartments or hundreds of doors, sometimes thousands of doors. And you know, my focus is on raising money.

I had an interesting call this morning with one of our mastermind members. And when he hears this, he’ll probably crack up a little bit about the call. But the idea this morning was, you know, we started talking and he came to me last week and said, hey, I want to pick your brain. I’ve got all these different business opportunities and so let me just ask you a question as you listen to what I’m about to explain to you for the next minute or two, ask yourself if this describes you in your real estate investing business or your econ business or your family life, if this describes you, you probably get a probably get a kick out of this. So we’re talking last week and he’s like, yeah, I just want to get some advice from you. I’m thinking about buying a wholesaling business. I’m thinking about buying a business that does wholesale deals. They already have marketing campaigns, they’ve already got Podio, they’ve already got sales scripts, they’ve already got a direct to seller marketing campaign they’re already doing some Facebook ads.

They’re getting a bunch of leads and we don’t really do any wholesaling and we don’t really do any marketing right now. They’re primarily buying their properties on Auction.com. So he wants my advice about whether he should buy this marketing and wholesaling operation that already exists. So we start talking about that then he tells me, Hey Josh, I’m also thinking about investing a couple of hundred thousand dollars into a residential assisted living facility. You know, a 12 bed and 8 bed RAL facility that he can buy, he can invest in, they can stabilize and it should cashflow from having these, you know, elderly basically assisted living type of tenants. So we start talking about that and then he tells me that he wants to do more fix and flips. He wants to raise more capital, do more fix and flips and you know, buy more properties to fix them up and sell them.

And then he just tells me, you know, I also have an ECOM business that sells headphones and we make headphones overseas in China. We ship them into the United States and you know, that’s how, you know, I really make my money. That’s a bread and butter business for me. It’s very established. We’ve done it for a long time. We make different headphones and headgear and all different kinds of stuff for speakers and people who are speaking in front audience on stages. That’s my ECOM business. And also Josh, I heard you talk about how you’re, you know, you own 1,500 units of apartments, how you’ve raised money for apartments, how you’ve bought apartments, how you’ve joint ventured on apartments. And I’m really excited about apartments. And so I heard all this, right? It’s like four or five, six different business opportunities, four or five, six different ways to make money.

And I told him, I said, his name is Yuell and you’ll get a crack out of this when I talk to him or he hears this podcast as a solo cast, but I said, Yuell listen, you know, you are an entrepreneur through and through. It’s obvious that you have the entrepreneurial organ, you’ve got that extra organ in your guts that makes you an entrepreneur like a lot of us have. And that is your biggest asset and it’s your biggest liability. It’s your biggest asset and your biggest liability. And the reason why is it’s an asset is because he is extremely curious about different businesses and how they work. He’s extremely curious about, you know, how does this business make money? How does that business make money? How can I provide value to make this business grow? How can I provide marketing expertise to make this business grow?

What can I do over here? What can I do over there? So if that resonates with you, right? So let me know respond to this podcast or leave us a comment and let us know if you have that entrepreneurial organ in your body, right? They said men have an extra rib. I don’t know if that’s true or not. At least that’s what they told me in Catholic school when I was little. Maybe you have an extra organ , right? The entrepreneurial organ in your body. And that is something that you absolutely need to know, understand, and be able to manage. Because I have the entrepreneurial organ in my body.

A lot of my team and my staff that work with me, they have side businesses, they have side hustles, they’re all entrepreneurs for the most part, through in through. All the real estate investors and owner operators and apartment investors and private lenders that I work with all have this entrepreneurial bug. Their not just fortune 500 guys and girls that worked there for 30, 40 years and then go to work, you know, 40 hours a week and then retire. I don’t know those people even exist anymore. But so Yuell tells me like, I have all these different opportunities. What should I do? And I responded to him by telling Yuell, listen, it’s your greatest assets and your greatest liability. Because as a liability what’s going to happen is if you look at all these different things, they all can make a lot of money. I know people who are just wholesalers who make a ton of money. I know guys just doing residential assisted living that make a ton of money. I know guys that own 2,500 units of apartments that have $10 and $20 and $30 million balance sheets of equity.

They make a lot of money and then guy’s doing fix and flips and private lending that make a lot of money. But all the guys that make a lot of money don’t do them all. They don’t wholesale and do residential assisted and apartments and have an ECOM business and and, and, and, and. What they’ve done, so most of us, when we get started with a business or real estate investing or we catch the entrepreneurial bug and we want to try something new, we typically try a lot of things to figure out what we’re going to like. And we often fail at many of those things. 80% 90% of the different things that I’ve tried have not worked. 80% 90% of the marketing campaigns I’ve tried have not worked. 80% 90% of the businesses I’ve tried and started have not worked. But what I notice in very successful real estate investors and very successful entrepreneurs is they eventually plant their flag and they say, I’m going to take my flag with my company logo on it or my family shield or whatever you want to, you know, whatever.

You can visualize your flag to look like. They take it and they smash it into the ground and they say, this is who I am. This is what I want to do and I’m going to do this one thing or these two things, but no more than two. So my advice to Yuell was, look, you’ll your greatest asset is your curiosity. Your greatest asset is your entrepreneur skill, you’ve already been successful, you’ve got some money, you’ve got a successful ecommerce business, you own a bunch of rental properties, but your greatest liability is allowing yourself to indulge in all of them. Can’t do them all, okay. Ask me how I know, because when I was investing in fix and flips, I also thought I would get into residential assisted living. I bought a building. I was thinking about repositioning it. The building quickly became a huge liability.

It became overhead expenses that I had, money that I wasted money that I spent on that building and eventually lost money on that building eventually sold it. And one of the best days I had was the day that I sold in that building transferred. I had to bring over $70,000 to the closing table when I sold the building and I was happy to do it. I was happy to get rid of that albatross around my neck because I had other businesses as an entrepreneur. See, we’re almost always future thinkers, future casters. We’re worried about the things that are going to make money, not necessarily about the things that are bleeding us, right? You know like death by a thousand cuts. We’ve got this little thing that’s losing money. This little thing that’s losing money, this little thing that’s losing money. But really all I care about is the things that can make me money.

So as an entrepreneur it’s natural for us to think. I want to focus on the things the investments that are the good ones or the future opportunities that are the good ones, not the ones that are bleeding us the death by a thousand cuts. And so what I told Yuell is Yuell listen, you’ve got to right now, ask yourself a couple of questions. One, why are you investing? If you’ve got cash from your ECOM business or your, your headphone business, your audio video business, do you really need more income from real estate? Because if you’re wholesaling and you’re flipping houses, that’s going to be taxed at the highest tax bracket. It’s just more income on top of the income you already make. Is your goal really to focus on creating equity, creating cashflow, legacy, wealth, generational wealth? Is it about building your balance sheet not your PNL?

You see your PNL is all about income and loss. Your balance sheet is all about your assets. Banks lend on both, but banks love to lend to people with assets. So I asked Yuell, what’s the goal here? And I said, listen, if you know the goal is legacy wealth and it’s passive income, then if you acquire this wholesale business, you’re acquiring it in order for that to create passive income. So you’ve got to set it up that you’re doing your marketing and it’s creating, you know, you’re wholesaling you’re singles and your doubles, and then you’re keeping all of your triples and home runs as passive income deals, singles, doubles, you know, quads, multi-family, you’re acquiring that, you’re stabilizing it and you’re keeping it. It’s the buy, rehab, rent, refi, repeat model. The BRRRR model, right? So, but don’t get into residential assisted living and apartments and wholesaling and rehabbing and rentals ECOM at the same time, right?

Because what’s going to happen is you’re going to have, if you do all that, you’re going to have one business that’s a guarantee, not going to make money. And when that business is not making money, you’re going to kind of turn a blind eye to it because you’re going to focus on your future opportunities. You’re going to focus on the opportunities that are going to make you money not the opportunities that are losing money, okay. You’re going to focus on the deals that are making money and that deal that on the side, that house that you bought, the residential assisted living deal that you invested in the apartment deal that you invested in, that you’re not taking care of, that is going to bleed you death by a thousand cuts because you’re going to ignore it because you’re going to look at the future opportunities, not the opportunities that you’ve already screwed up, okay?

And I said to Yuell, ask me how I know, right? I’ve got that trophy, I’ve already earned that t-shirt. I’ve already done that a million times. So I encouraged him to really think about one, what’s the reason for your real estate investing business and two ultimately pick two things and only to plant your flag in the ground and just do that. And I say that and gave him basically, you know, told him a story about some of our clients and some of the guys that I’ve mentored over the years, guys like Tim Roth’s and guys like Jack Patrick, they also used to invest in wholesale deals and ECOM business and they used to be a private lender, rental properties and apartment buildings. And eventually both Tim and Jack both planted their flag in the ground and said, I’m only going to invest in value add apartment buildings, period the end, that’s all I’m going to do.

And I was talking to Jack maybe six months ago and Jack bought a 24 unit and then he bought a 16 unit and then he bought a 30 unit. Then he bought a 65 unit and built up his portfolio to a couple hundred units, you know, 150 units or so, and then four or five months ago I was talking to Jack and he said, look man, I can’t find any apartment deal just, they’re nowhere. We’re marketing and we’re calling brokers. We’re sending out direct mail, I’m calling for sale signs, I’m calling for lease signs, for rent signs, I’m doing everything we can to find apartment buildings and can’t find any but Jack had planted his flag in the ground and he said, this is what I’m going to invest in. This is all I’m going to invest in. This is all I’m going to do.

Fast forward six months, you know, right now while I’m recording this for you, and all of a sudden out of nowhere you could say out of nowhere, it’s not out of nowhere, it’s out of hard work. But out of nowhere, Jack has 164 unit under contract. Jack has an 89 unit with the letter of intent accepted and he’s got 124 unit with the letter of intent that he’s been told that he is the highest and best offer and that they’re going to accept his offer and go into due diligence. So because Jack planted his flag in the ground and said, this is all I’m going to do and then he worked at it and worked at it and worked at it. And when he ran into a challenge or you know, a bump in the road, he didn’t stop.

He just kept working and working. All of a sudden he’s got 400 units, it will triple the size of his portfolio, 400 units that he’s looking to close in the next 60 days. And I said to Yuell, I said, Yuell that’s the difference between going wide and building multiple companies and going narrow and investing in one thing. So my question for all of you that are listening today is when are you going to plant your flag? When are you going to stop doing multiple things? When are you going to stop investing in four different ways, four different strategies, when are you going to stop trying to start three, four, five different companies at one time? You are not superhuman, okay? Huge companies like GE, Facebook, all these big companies that have multiple channels, multiple different ways that make money. That’s because they’re a multibillion-dollar companies.

You are, you know, a solo printer or just getting going in your business or maybe you have a successful business. My friend Vinnie Fisher said to me long time ago, I was in a mastermind with Vinnie called Total CEO and he said, you know, it’s really, really arrogant for you to think that just because you built one multimillion dollar company that you can build another building one multimillion dollar company is extremely difficult and you and your team busted their ass to build one multimillion dollar company. Just because that one multimillion-dollar company is working and it’s growing doesn’t mean you should take your eye off the ball and start a second or a third or a fourth or fifth company, right?

If you start a second company, it should be a direct comparison, a direct offshoot of some sort of sister company that is in line with and congruent with your first business, okay. And that’s what we did. That’s what we did at Strategic Real Estate Coach. That’s what I do with my investing. That’s what I do with my lending. They’re all congruent because the same customer that we have that invests with me or joint ventures with me or lends to me or borrows from me also is a coaching student, is also in our mastermind program, buys our information products and our coaching products. It’s the same customer, it’s the same coaching student that does them all, okay. But being in an ECOM business and being in residential assisted living and then also wholesaling properties and then also doing apartments that is not congruent. None of those things work together.

So think about that. How are you investing today? Are you spread super thin super wide or are you going super narrow and when are you going to plant your flag? See, they all make money. We’re all talented we all have God given skills to be able to invest in one thing, but we don’t have the skill to start six companies at one time. You know, many times I’ve heard from people like, I want to be a billionaire in real estate. Fantastic. I’ve been doing this for 14 years I’m not a billionaire yet. But I’ve also focused on one thing, one thing to become a millionaire and a multi-time millionaire. It takes effort to focus on one thing and that’s what I’ve done not to focus on I’m going to start six different companies at one time and you know this, this and that, and bring all these people in.

All these businesses need time, effort, energy and cashflow and so don’t be arrogant. Also, don’t be disorganized, don’t have shiny object syndrome by working in and investing in three or four, five different strategies. If you just focus on wholesaling, great. You can be a multimillionaire just being a wholesaler. I know many guys that are, if you want to just invest in residential assisted living, great. Just do that. Just focus on that because I know a lot of guys who are multi multimillionaires, just investing in residential assisted living. If you just want to do apartments, great, just do that. If you want to be a private lender, a guy like me, like all I focus really on is capital. I focus on raising capital, managing capital, and we deploy that into apartment deals into our fund, into rental properties and things that create passive income for us. That’s all I care about right now.

So when are you going to plant your flag? And where are you going to plant your flag? Ask yourself the same questions I asked Yuell. One, why are you investing? Do you need the money today or is it for longterm legacy wealth, right? If it’s for longterm wealth then stop doing things today for current income, focus on legacy wealth, focus on longterm cash flow, okay. Why are you investing number one and then out of all the things you do, question number two is what are you most passionate for? What do you enjoy doing the most? What could you do for 20 hours a day that would actually give you energy? And finally, number three, what out of all those strategies is going to make you the most money, right? So why are you investing? What are you passionate for? What do you love to do and what’s ultimately going to make you the most money?

And finally, what’s going to allow you to pay the least amount of taxes? The tax code was written for real estate investors. There’s so many advantages from appreciation to depreciation to, you know, principal pay down, cashflow. The tech school was a written for real estate investors. Not to flip properties, not the wholesale properties, but to own the asset. Own the asset okay. And so ask yourself those questions, right? What exactly are you investing for? What are your reasons? Why do you want to invest, number one, number two, what are you passionate for? What do you love to do, right? I love to raise capital. I love to work with investors who want to place their capital in deals. We have a bunch of different 506B and 506C securities exemption registrations. I love it. I love to talk about it. I love to raise capitol, have to talk to people about money, had multiple calls already today and it’s only 10:00 o’clock in the morning with guys on raising money.

And finally, what’s going to make you the most money? All right? Those are the things to ask yourself and once you ask yourself and answer those questions, plant your flag in the ground and only do that. I hope you enjoyed this episode of Accelerated Investor. If you did, let me know if you’ve got questions, if you’ve got comments, just put those right on whatever social media platform you find this, whether it’s Stitcher, whether it’s iTunes, we’ll monitor those will get your answers. Get your feedback. Thank you so much for being part of the Accelerated Investor community. Share this with your friends and family if you’ve enjoyed it and we’ll see you inside the next episode. Take care.

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.

As an entrepreneur, business owner, or real estate investor, it’s probably safe to say that you have a “go-getter” personality with a strong desire to succeed.

After all, it takes hard work to create and sustain a profitable, thriving business.

But, as motivated as you may be, there’s one thing you can’t be: super-human.

As someone who has coached and worked alongside entrepreneurs for nearly 15 years, Josh Cantwell has seen his share of success stories. One thing that almost all of them have in common is this: the people who choose to plant their flag and focus wholeheartedly on one specialty, niche, or type of business are the ones who experience the most success.

You can’t do it all! You are one person. You might be a talented, driven, and insanely smart person. But you are still one person. Most of us can’t balance an ecommerce business, rental properties, apartment investing, and alternative investments all at the same time.

But, once you’ve found your niche, you are more likely to build a profitable and growing business.

So, tune in to find out the three questions to ask yourself in order to narrow down your business focus and plant your flag…

What’s Inside:

  • How to avoid “death by a thousand cuts” (tiny things that cause your business to lose money, but they all add up to a devastating amount)
  • Examples of entrepreneurs and investors who planted their flag and experienced success
  • How to determine if a second business or second venture could be a good idea

Mentioned in this episode​