#096: Active Investing vs Passive Investing OR Emotion and Success

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 your investing with The Accelerated Investor Podcast. 

Josh: So, hey, welcome back to the Accelerated Investor podcast. I am so excited to be with you today. Whether you are working out on the road, in your car, wherever you are, I love to bring this content to you. Spend some time interviewing amazing entrepreneurs and help you along your journey to becoming financially free, financially independent, to becoming one of those elite entrepreneurs, giving you tips and strategies to get there. My guest today is a relatively new friend. His name is Justin Donald. Justin and I have known each other for about a year. And you talk about, you know, getting to events, seminars, giving, speaking opportunities and getting to meet new people. Talk about expanding your network. That’s exactly how Justin and I met. 

Josh: We were actually both hanging out at Capitalism.com, the cap con conference in January, February, 2019 I got up, came off stage, went into the back, started having a cocktail and Justin and I just sort of started chatting. And sure enough, we know a ton of mutual contacts and friends. Justin is a very successful real estate investor, primarily focused on income properties and mobile home parks. He has an amazing sort of training that he delivers around his 10 Commandments For Lifestyle Investing. He’s an entrepreneur coach. But today we’re going to talk about successful entrepreneurs, elite entrepreneurs, real estate entrepreneurs, and specifically investing in mobile home parks. So Justin, so excited to have you on my friend. How are you? 

Justin: Thanks, I’m doing great and I’m happy to be on. I appreciate getting to hang out. 

Josh: Absolutely. So I love, as my audience knows to kind of spend time doing these interviews and podcasts just to drive my personal relationships deeper. So I do it not only for my audience but for selfish reasons. So let’s start Justin, just talk about what’s going on right now. I’d like to know personally, we haven’t talked for maybe about two months since we did that last apartment deal together. Tell me, what are you working on? What are you working on for mobile home parks? What are you working on in your entrepreneurial coaching business? Tell me what’s on your plate for 2020.

Justin: Yeah, well I’ve got a lot going on, that’s for sure. I feel like I always do. One of the newest things, I mean, I always have deals in the pipeline. I’ve got a multi-family deal I’m looking at for a direct ownership that my team can run specifically three park mobile home park portfolio in a major metro. But in terms of overall my biggest and newest project is writing a book. This will be my first book and I’ve had people tell me for years I need to put something out and capture some of my thoughts and some of my strategies. So I’m excited to do that under the banner of the lifestyle investor. The 10 Commandments of Cashflow Investing For Passive Income and For Financial Freedom.

Justin: So yeah, basically it’s just a book with my 10 criteria. And of course there could be more criteria, but these are my main 10 criteria that I look at that if I can check the box on all of them, or most of them or they rate very highly for these 10 criteria. I feel really good about making an investment. So and I’m also building a course around it, a group, a mastermind, an investment club. So I’m really looking forward to it. This will be a fun year of creative strategies and new experiences for me. 

Josh: Oh, that sounds exciting. So I’ve got to ask, do you have, like you have the 10 commandments, but is there the number one, is there the one that stands out, like the overarching master principal or master commandment that you kind of base everything else off of? 

Justin: Well, it’s hard to say if there’s one most important one. I mean, you could really argue that each of them, depending on the type of deal, could be the most important commandment for that style of investing. So it’s challenging to pick one because they all have their importance. But you know, for me really if it creates some sort of cashflow today where I have other perks or kickers in the future that is a starting point where I began to consider an investment. It doesn’t mean I don’t consider anything else, but I really like to, you know, kind of have my cake and eat it too. So, you know, I first learned about investing and thought I, you know, kind of just had to put money away and hope that it worked out and hope that this investment or this company panned out or hope that the stock market worked out. And I’ve just realized there are a lot of other ways to invest. And I like the immediate gratification of having cashflow. 

Josh: Got it. That’s what I was when I was taking a lot of notes during these podcasts. I wrote down cash on cash return, immediate cashflow with a kicker, right? So that seems to be a great number one principle, even though there really isn’t a number one commandment, that definitely seems like something if you can invest and get a preferred return or a quarterly return or a monthly return on investment right away, and then some sort of kicker of the equity or some sort of stair-step cashflow  opportunity, limited partnership, equity opportunity in the future, it seems like an awesome, awesome thing. 

Josh: So Justin, let’s swing back then. That’s where you’re at today. Tell us about your start in real estate investing. I’ve listened to some of your other podcasts, listened in kind of getting prepared for this about your very first condo deal. So let’s talk a little bit about that. And then you’re really your first, your first jump into multi-family or a mobile home park or larger commercial deal. Why don’t you just swing us all the way back to your very first deal. We’ll talk a lot, but what you learned, what did you succeed at? What did you fail at? What have you done differently? What were your big takeaways from your first jump? 

Justin: Sure. Yeah. I mean, I’ve had plenty of successes and plenty of failures. There’s no doubt and a lot of the successes stemmed from the failures. But my very first acquisition being my own condo is my very first place that I owned myself. And it was also my first investment. And I know a lot of people don’t consider your primary residence a, you know, an investment. But I did get some cashflow by having a roommate and you know, I may have had bigger eyes than my stomach should have handled on that first purchase. It was in the peak of really a booming housing market. I had a very high monthly assessment just a lot of different things to consider and you know, it was, and I also made a decision very quick because my lease was ending in the apartment that I was renting. So it’s all these factors that led up to probably not a great decision. And I remember my parents saying, hey, are you sure this is a good decision? And I was like, ah, you guys don’t know… 

Josh: You bought an emotion. Emotion is what sticks out, right?

Justin: Yeah. And so, you know, I made that investment and, and shortly after the market just absolutely tanked. And then I had an opportunity for kind of a promotion at what I was doing, I was currently working with Cutco and Vector at that time. And I had the opportunity to take over more territory and really just create a unique opportunity. So I lived in this place for three months and moved out and I then rented it and I soon found out that I could not cashflow it. So I had two renters, even with two renters, I was not able to cover everything. So every month I was going, you know negative cashflow, hoping that the market would turn around, but I couldn’t sell it because if I sold it, I would lose money. And I mean, this went on for years. 

Justin: And then finally it was like, and I remember I got a couple, so I got the two renters out and got this one tenant in who was a great tenant and she paid more than anyone else paid. And so I was really close to break even. So I’m like, all right, you know, appreciation, hopefully that’ll kick in soon. And it just didn’t kick back in for a long time. And eventually I just, it was really kind of stressful for me not having not feeling like I could afford to have someone else manage that property. I lived out of state. I there were things that went wrong that I had to do. There was a crazy issue where the roof leaked and I was the top unit in this building. And I had insurance, but due to some loophole in the insurance the homeowners association did not cover what happened and then my insurance didn’t cover what happened. 

Justin: So I had all this damage that I had to come out of pocket for when, I mean, I thought I was totally covered. It was the flukiest situation that could have ever happened. And knowing what I know today, you know, I probably could’ve figured a few other things out and pushed a little bit harder, but I ended up just biting the bullet and doing the repairs and, and you know, I had messed up floors and a ceiling and walls and I mean, it was just a mass water damage is the worst. And so I eventually just said, all right, I got to sell this thing and I sold it. I came to the table, I was upside down. I ended up showing up with a large sum of money and it was a really painful experience, but it was also nice to just kind of wash my hands of it. But I learned some valuable lessons. 

Josh: Yeah. So let’s talk about that, right? Painful experience. Often in my entrepreneurial career, 20, 22 years, never had a boss, made tons of mistakes because there’s no playbook to how to invest in real estate. There’s, you know, especially when you’re starting out on your own, you’ve never been to like an event, a seminar course. There are lots of playbooks now guys like me and you that have training programs have put those out. But when you do it on your own with no back training, there are a lot of things that you probably did wrong. There’s lots of things I did wrong when I started, but just the action of getting started is a lot more of actually being in a deal and doing it. Then all those people that are, you know, kind of newer investors buy a course, buy a training program and never actually do a deal, right. 

Josh: The people that actually do something buy their first deal, buy their first mobile home park, buy their first flip buy their first, you know, multi-family deal and raise their first amount of capital. There’s so much more you learn by actually doing the deal than you could ever learn. You know, watching YouTube or watching you know, training videos. So what did you actually doing that deal? What were your takeaways? Maybe some that you still apply today. What are some things that you took away from that? What lessons did you learn? Things that went wrong that you’d maybe never make that mistake again? 

Justin: Yeah, there were a handful of lessons. One of them is that for me, I don’t want to invest in things that are based on solely appreciation, right? So either I break even in cashflow or I have negative cashflow and I’m hoping or banking on the fact that the asset appreciates that is not a good strategy for me. I know some people do it. I know people who’ve done it well and I know people that certainly haven’t done it well. But that just became a deal breaker for me. Second one is that it really needs to cashflow and it needs to cashflow day one. Now I know plenty of people that have figured out a good process that it doesn’t need to cashflow day one, but for me, the peace of mind of just knowing that everything’s good from the moment I own it. 

Justin: And every other improvement I do from there, uh, to increase net operating income or profit is just gravy. You know, that gives me some peace of mind and makes me feel really good. Especially when getting lenders involved in and as a new investor, it’s often hard to get nonrecourse financing. And so to know that I’m getting some form of a recourse loan, which I did at the beginning and knowing that I’m actually making money, I can cover it, I can cover the mortgage and there’s cashflow leftover that I can live on or I can use for other investments. 

Josh: Got it. So Justin, you don’t do then any major like new construction, new build or major reposition like repositioning office to multi-family apartments because none of that stuff cashflows from day one, is that right? 

Justin: That’s correct. Now depending on the deal. I have been a passive investor in different structures like that. So it really depends on who’s running it, what their experience is, who’s the operator. So I have no issue if the people involved are very knowledgeable and have a great track record. And they can prove to me that this is their core competency. But for me personally, if I’m going to directly invest into something, you know, a deeded property that I’m owning, it is less likely that I’m going to move in that direction. 

Josh: Sure. So Justin talk a little bit about your philosophies or your structure for your active investments. Like who’s on your team, what did they do? Because obviously when you’re supposed to be investing in multifamily or mobile home parks, it’s really a team affair, right? Do you have leasing agents, contractors, property managers, talk about that on your own team and what’s important to you and how do your active investments where you’re the main general partner, how do those go? 

Josh: What do you think is kind of the secret sauce that makes your team work and your investments perform well and then on a passive same thing where you would just, might invest passively in a deal. Again, what is some of that criteria? Some of it you just talked about, but what are some additional criteria that you’re specifically looking for. Because our audience is going to be a little bit of both my audience that listens to this, some of them are active operators doing flips, rentals, apartments, mobile homes. Some of them are just purely passive saying, hey, I want to invest with operators. I’ve got a great job, I make maybe a big income and I just want to take some of those dollars and invest them passively. So what are your philosophies around those? 

Justin: Sure. Yeah. I think, you know, you’re either way, you need to have a great team. So let’s start first with you know, owner operator type of properties. So the way I kind of explain it to people is if you are looking for the best return but you’re willing to put in some work, then being an owner operator is the way to go. It does cost some time. It does cost some money, but your returns are generally much greater. And if you’re not looking to invest any time, if you just want to put money out there and then literally just forget about it and have someone else manage it and get some sort of a return, well the return is likely going to be less, but it still may meet your criteria of return that you want.

Justin: And probably even from like a risk standpoint, it depending on the research that you do, the due diligence you do on these deals, you can invest more for a better return than what you’re going to get in the stock market. And for me, it’s just much safer of an investment if you know what you’re doing, if you have a trusted team. So I’m really big about putting around me great people. I have run the business where I have skimped and just tried to find the cheapest people possible. And I’ve also found that that often is a recipe for disaster where you get more flakey people or people that say that they know that they can do things that they, they aren’t capable of doing. So now I tend to pay a little bit more so that I have people that are reliable. 

Justin: So each property’s a little bit different and we generally will have a property manager at each location. And we will typically if we have enough units and it makes sense to have a, some sort of a maintenance manager that is available as well. And again, this is one where we’ve gone as cheap as 10, 11, 12 an hour and we’ve had some good people and we’ve had some, some people that didn’t work out and but I found that the more that we pay, the better quality we get and the more reliable they are, the more well-rounded their skill set is. I find a lot more jack of all trades when we increase the pay. So, you know, it really starts there having a good team from a maintenance standpoint, doing, you know, any of the repairs that need to be done. 

Justin: So we have a maintenance manager that manages kind of live in tenant issues, but then we’ll have rehab crews that will come in and just rehab homes. And sometimes we’ll have them work in conjunction with a maintenance manager. Oftentimes are maintenance managers are so handy they could really do anything. And so they’re part of the rehab project or they run the rehab project. Other times we’ve totally just contracted it out before. So we’ve done it where it’s been our own hired help. We’ve done it where we’ve contracted out. Really just got to find the sweet spot for you and who you trust and the quality of work for the dollars you’re paying, the timeframe with which they can get a job done. That right there is a big difference maker because a lot of the time, pretty much everyone speaks to being able to do things better and faster than what it really ends up being. 

Justin: And so just figuring out what is the most important thing to you, I think matters. And then we have just an unbelievable operations manager that really manages each of those park managers, each of those maintenance managers, all the expense accounts. And you know, this is a woman that has worked with me for about 16 years in each of my various business endeavors. So I trust her. And that’s something that’s really important when you hand over the responsibilities of bookkeeping and, you know, so many things that, you know, there’s a trust factor that needs to exist. If it doesn’t, you could be exposing yourself. And so, you know, that person has to be the most trusted person in my opinion. 

Josh: Got it. And so, yeah operations, right. There’s a couple things that you said that stand out, which I, part of my philosophy as well, one is skilled labor isn’t cheap and cheap labor isn’t skilled, right. So we teach that all the time. You know, if there’s a big difference between somebody even at $18 an hour versus $12 the people that show up on time, they get their job work done that they’re dependent and want the paycheck versus somebody who maybe is cheap, who’s just doing it to get enough of a paycheck to get to the next week or the next day. That’s a big part of it, right? And so, you know, paying more for those kinds of folks is definitely a core part of our philosophy as well. The timeframe you said to turn a unit or to turn a building, that’s something that we manage, right? 

Josh: And we look at can we turn a unit, a vacant unit in five days or three and a half days? Can we get somebody in to do LVP, flooring and countertops and paint the cabinets and new appliances, backsplash? And had that down to a science where you could turn that thing in again, is it two weeks or is it four days, right. And having that dialed in is huge. I would love to hear more about your operations manager because proformas we talk  about this a lot on this podcast as well. Proformas become profits because of the actual boots on the ground. And the boots on the ground is typically overseen by somebody who’s an operations manager. So you have that exact structure, love it. And so talk to me a little bit more about, because your scale has to be dependent on your boots on the ground doing what they’re supposed to do. 

Josh: But the operations manager looking at KPIs, looking at performance indicators, looking at numbers on a weekly and monthly basis to make sure the because numbers never lie, right Justin, numbers never lie. Did we turn this unit? Did we fill this vacancy? So she gives you the peace of mind to also know you can be out there looking to go buy another building or raise more capital because you don’t necessarily have to babysit each project. So we talked a little bit about boots on the ground, the rehab crews, the turnovers, the leasing. Tell me a little bit more about the operations manager. Like, what is her role? Like what is she doing on a daily or weekly basis? What kind of reporting do you get from her? Some of the more tactical stuff that gives you the peace of mind to sleep while at night knowing that your parks and your buildings are performing. 

Justin: Yeah. And that’s such a true point. The peace of mind, being able to get good sleep, being able to travel and do life as you want to do. It really hinges on having great management in place, specifically someone that can, you know, handle a good number of people. This role to me is the most integral role to effective scale. So how do you scale without this? It really becomes challenging. So one of the things we talk about is, is what you can measure, you can improve. So we want stats on everything. Anything that I can actually, you know, dig my teeth into and that she can dig her teeth into gives us the ability to replicate it, to, you know, create different models around it. So that’s important. We look at things like profit and loss on a monthly basis. 

Justin: I like looking at it each month I like looking at the rent roll each month. I want to see what turnover looks like, what vacancy looks like, what’s the trend of it this year? What’s the trend of profit and loss this year, month to month, but also laid over last year on that month. So are we trending in the right direction? Are we not, are we trending in the right direction even for this month? Are we losing profit? Are we gaining profit? If we lost profit, was that just because we had a one off expense and you know, some major repair that needed to happen? Or is it because we’re losing tenant base or because people aren’t paying? So it’s really digging into the numbers and knowing what is happening, what’s not happening. Having someone that can create systems and protocol around it. So it’s not an emotional decision, but rather just a matter of fact, this is what we do type of decision. 

Justin: You know, even with like evictions for example, it can be really easy to listen to someone’s sob story of why it’s not working. But that’s just something we have a strict no pay, no stay policy. So with something like that, the protocol is at this point in time we sent, you know, once you’re late, we give a five day grace period. And at that point in time you get a letter stating that you are past due. It’s, you know, our five day or three day pay and quit. And we go right to our eviction attorney and they handle all that from there. And so the idea is how much can we create a framework and a system and a protocol around what we do. Because the more we do that, the better we can scale. The  less decisions get factored in because it’s just, you know, it’s just a, of course type of play. 

Justin: It’s like, yeah, well this happened, therefore we do this right. And really anyone can be plugged into that system. Then if someone is out for a week, if someone, if you got to replace someone, you know that that’s important. And so like with this operations manager, she does not have construction experience. She is not from the construction world. She’s not from the rental world. She had helped me in a previous business that was sales and, and sales training and handled a lot of the stats for that. So this is something that I was able to teach her, but because we have a framework and we have a process, it was easy to teach her. And from there she can create even better protocols than what I thought of because that’s more in her wheelhouse than it is even in mind.

Josh: Right. That’s phenomenal. Some of the, one of the things that really stands out, Justin, what you just said was removing the emotion by having a specific protocol that anybody can follow. Again, no construction experience, no tenant experience, no leasing experience, but operations experience that just says this is our A through Z process, remove emotion altogether. And so how many of us, you know of my listeners who said, hey Josh, well, you know I had this tenant, I knew they weren’t going to pay, but they gave me some sob story and I waited five months to evict them. And then finally I evicted them and they ended up having a drug problem. And every time people say, I should have evicted them when they were five days late, or three days later, whatever your policy is, you let emotion overcome your process and it broke your business and it broke your scale. 

Josh: What you also, Justin identified is by removing emotion, it allows you to scale, right. That’s sort of the, and that’s the secret sauce to building a big business is not having emotion in your scale and your process to allow you to just do the same thing over and over and over. Just add more units, add more doors, and be able to do that, scale it so anybody can run it. But Justin, when you have a big business and this is one of these kind of traits of elite entrepreneurs, how do you still build culture? How do you still have a fun atmosphere within your organization that allows you and your staff and your team to build a company and have some stickiness to your business where people want to stay with you, even though you’re trying to remove emotion from decision-making?

Josh: You know what I mean? Because it’s the emotion. Sometimes people are attracted to, to become an employee of yours or a staff member of yours. Maybe it’s as simple as we remove emotion from the decision making process, but we add emotion when it comes to our relationships with each other. So help me understand that because emotion can really help a business or in crush a process at the same time. So how do you kind of separate it? 

Justin: Yeah, so we really believe in creating just a great program for people just to really enjoy and love what they do. So I really believe that if you treat people well, if you make them feel special, if you recognize them for what they do, that you’ll retain them longterm. So there’s certainly emotion involved in how we work with people in the relationships that we build. I mean, that is so important, but we like to go above and beyond and exceed expectations. So for example, we recently had one of our park managers. She’s just  done such a great job. And this woman just cares so much about people and really to the point of maybe not even taking care of herself or home to the level that she could or should or she spends money trying to support other people. 

Justin: She runs this food pantry for homeless people and people on hard times and just, she’s a great woman. And so we decided that we noticed that her flooring, that her carpeting just didn’t look nice. And so we decided to, as an impromptu, just replace everything. She had no clue we were going to do it. She was floored. I mean, I remember getting texts from her saying like, I am with you forever. You know, just like this is just the greatest thing. We had a manager that in one of our properties, we had a branch from a tree, a large branch fall. It was totally a fluke thing because it was still alive and green and it fell on her roof damaged her roof went through her wall. And we took care of all that of course. 

Justin: But we went above and beyond her expectations. With that we totally upgraded her. And, and so it’s treating people in a way where they feel loved, appreciated, respected, that they matter, that makes the difference. And then even just gifts at unexpected times that goes a long way or just a kind phone call or a text or whatever it is, just to show that they matter. That has worked really well for us and that’s something that I train everyone in our organization to do. So even if it’s not coming from me, I want the culture of our organization to be that. That’s what we do for people. 

Josh: That’s phenomenal. That’s phenomenal. And so then the removing the emotion from the business allows those people that are emotionally connected to you and your organization as a staff member, they’re almost encouraged then to remove the emotion in doing the job when they have to follow a protocol, right? And that’s the difference, right? You can add emotion to a business to really make the culture amazing and have people feel like they’re respected and loved and matter. And then also when it comes to running the business, the day to day process, removing emotion in order to just allow them to make effective decisions that drives the business forward, follow that SOP or that process. So I really wanted to drive that home because some people get confused about, well, where does emotion play in a business and where does it not? And I think we did a good job of describing that there. 

Josh: Thank you for that. So Justin, as we kind of round third here and head for home in this interview, I would love to hear, you’ve been around a tremendous amount of entrepreneurs. You have an amazing network. You’ve introduced me to some amazing people that have invested with us or I’ve been on their podcasts. You’ve done a great job of, you know, your network is your net worth. You’ve done a great job of building that up. So you’ve had exposure to tremendous entrepreneurs in many different niches. Help me understand, if you were to look at and evaluate those entrepreneurs, whether there in e-commerce, whether they’re in tech, whether they’re in real estate, whether they have a consulting business or a software company, you’ve been exposed to it all.

Josh: What are some regular recurring traits that you see in successful entrepreneurs, including those real estate entrepreneurs that are going to be listening to this? What are some things that you see that might be in your forthcoming book or things that you’re  like, you don’t want? The entrepreneurs that I see that really nail it, they have these couple of qualities. What do you think those are that stand out to you? 

Justin: Yeah, so there are a handful of them. I mean, one of them for sure would be that they know their competencies and they know what isn’t a competency and they are smart enough to surround themselves with a network of people that can get the job done. So, I mean, I see this all the time. I see people that are over confident in areas that they probably shouldn’t be. The most successful people I know exactly where they’re strong and they know exactly where they need support and they’re willing to hire the right people, pay the money, do whatever they need to do to have the right network. And that goes beyond just internal team. I mean, I’m talking even having the right legal in place, you’re making good decisions, having great CPAs in place, having other advisors that have done it before, that have scaled, that have done whatever it is that you’re looking to do. 

Justin: You know, great boards. You know, people that have the experience and the knowhow. So that would for sure be one of them. Another one is just an insatiable desire to learn. It’s people that don’t really, it’s not like they hang their hat on what they’ve done in the past. It’s that they’re just desiring to do more. It’s the whole idea of like having goals kind of sets up a finish line mentality, but having milestones sets up an ongoing everlasting type of evolution of who you’re becoming. So it’s people that are always looking to accomplish the next thing that they’re excited and can celebrate a big accomplishment, but they’re never satisfied with that. They never end and say, all right, I’ve arrived. 

Josh: Right. There’s seems to be this, you know, like, I think entrepreneurs are really in the dirt, guys like us. We know that there’s really, there’s never that like sit on the beach, buy an Island and just drink mai thais all day. Like you said, it’s milestones. It might hit a milestone and take some time off or hit a milestone and step back from a business maybe that you sold or a new property that’s performing and you have the capacity to step back. But true, elite entrepreneurs, like you said, have this insatiable desire to learn to accomplish. And so I would encourage all of our listeners, you know, if you’re one of those entrepreneurs that thinks that you’re just going to wholesale a bunch of properties or buy your next multi-family, you know, and you’re just going to sit on your butt all day, I would encourage you to really rethink what entrepreneurship is, right?

Josh: It’s not really about one deal. Matter of fact, the guys that I know, Justin, similar to you who are just really killing it, they may take some time off, but they almost get bored of that, right? And then they’re pursuing the next milestone, like you said, who do they want to become? It was amazing. We saw Richard Branson speak, you know, he’s definitely an older gentleman and he doesn’t seem to have losing any of his insatiable appetite for learning, for growth, for achievement and all the things he’s accomplished at Virgin is amazing. The people that we meet in the back rooms, like you and I met over drinks, he knows a lot of guys in those rooms that are really accomplished and they’re not stepping back from their business. They’re not slowing down. There, you know, then might take even a year off in some cases, but they get right back right back at it. 

Josh: So I think that desire to learn creates a new opportunity where you think you can provide value because you learn something new. You think I can provide value there, I’m going to build a business or I’m going to invest in that thing next. Justin, what do you think your future looks like? I’m always interested in knowing from elite entrepreneurs and performers, you know, what is their ideal lifestyle? You’re a lifestyle investor. What does that mean to you as we kind of cross home plate here? What does that mean to you to be a lifestyle investor? And what are all these investments that we’ve been talking about now for about 30 minutes? What kind of lifestyle does that allow you to have? What kind of things do you like to do with that lifestyle that you’re creating?

Justin: Yeah, so to me, being a lifestyle investor is really living life on my terms. It’s figuring out what I want out of life and not being bound to what someone else says I need to do, to not being bound to a job to really just being able to live a lifestyle that is desirable to me, you know, for my family and I, we love to travel. You know, I remember in 2018 I wanted to take some time off. I thought I would take the whole year off, but that was virtually impossible. And so, you know, I did my quote unquote, let’s call it a sabbatical. And, but it was wonderful for the time that I did take off and we went to Europe for six weeks and traveled all over and, you know, it was just fantastic. But I’ll tell you what, I just got the itch. 

Justin: Like while I was there, I get up before my family, I’m reading articles, I’m, you know, coming up with different business ideas. I, you know, have all these thoughts that I’m in my head I’m trying to capture. And the moment we got home, I was just ready to charge. So to me it’s, I want to know that I don’t have to work, but I get to work. It’s that I get to choose what I do every day. That I’m not waking up and feeling like I have to go to work, I have to do this thing. But it’s like I wake up whenever I want to wake up and I get to live my life and do the things that I want to do. And you know, there is a trap too because a lot of entrepreneurs decided to go in business for themselves. 

Justin: So they didn’t have a boss, they didn’t have a job. But then they’re working so hard that they actually become their own boss and create their own job. And I see it happen all the time and it’s, and it’s actually, it becomes, they’re, the handcuffs are even tighter than what they were before. And so, and I’ve been there myself so I can relate to that. But for me it’s getting to do life in a way that is best for me. And actually as I’ve gotten older, as I, you know, have started a family, even my desire for life and how it kind of unrolls has changed. But it’s just nice to know that it’s on my terms today and I don’t have to sit around. I don’t want to sit around. 

Justin: I would go crazy doing that, but that I get to meet new people and work on different projects and it’s all within areas of expertise that I want to either learn or that I already know. It’s just, it’s fun and I want that for more people. I want to educate, to teach how to get to work or how to get to learn new things that maybe you’ve desired to do your whole life but haven’t gotten around to it rather than having to show up to work or having to rely on a certain income to afford your lifestyle. 

Josh: That’s phenomenal. Do life on your terms, lifestyle investing. So coming out sometime in 2020. Justin’s working on the book right now. He’s been featured in many different places, including this podcast, Entrepreneur.com and many other places. He’s working   on it now. It’s going to come out in the near future and when it does the 10 Commandments of Lifestyle Investing, we’ll have Justin Donald back on the podcast to launch the book and tell you guys all more about that. Justin, in the meantime, if our audience wanted to connect with you learn more about your investments or just connect with you someplace in social media, where’s a good place that they can, can reach out website, Facebook. Tell us a little bit about that. 

Justin: Yeah, so I have a website, JustinDonald.com and I am building out a few other websites right now, but you can always reach me on LinkedIn. You can reach me on Facebook. I’m probably a lot more active on LinkedIn than I am on Facebook and but I’m happy to connect, you know, if I can be a value, if I can help in any way, let me know.

Josh: Fantastic. Justin, thanks so much for joining us today on Accelerated Investor.

Justin: Thanks for having me. It was great hanging out.

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 ready to invest, but you’re not sure which route to go down, Justin Donald “The Lifestyle Investor”, has some words of wisdom for you. He breaks down when you might choose active or passive investing, and he opens up about how he’s built his real estate team using active investing.

While it’s true that being an owner/operator is a lot more work and risk, Justin feels it’s really worth it. He’s learned that building a team is the key to making this kind of investing work, but he warns that skimping on labor costs will cost you.

As I always say, “Skilled labor isn’t cheap, and cheap labor isn’t skilled.”

Justin talks about the different roles for his team, and the sweet spot between paying someone enough to get a well-rounded, reliable employee. He talks about who should be the most trusted person in your business, and how to find them.

He shares the system he currently has in place, that mirrors part of my own. The standard operating procedure (SOP) that you put in place protects you from the emotional decisions that could wreck you. I see this in my coaching clients. They have a tenant that doesn’t pay the rent, so they hear a sob story and decide to back off of the eviction. It takes them months and months to finally evict the tenant and every single time they say, “I should’ve stuck to the SOP and evicted them right when they stopped paying rent.”

The system you put in place removes the emotion from decisions, and it allows you to scale. You can do the same thing over and over without getting derailed by emotional decisions, and your business will remain profitable.

If you’re going to choose active investing, Justin’s advice is spot-on for structuring your business plan so that you can make the best decisions for your business in a way that keeps your whole team on the same page.

What’s Inside:

  • Justin shares what being a lifestyle investor is all about.
  • How standards and procedures protect you from expensive emotional decisions.
  • When leading with emotion makes a difference in your business.
  • Why you might want to stick to active investing.
  • The key place an operations manager holds in your business.
  • Justin shares the most common trait of elite entrepreneurs, regardless of industry.

Mentioned in this episode​

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