#129: Grow Your Business to a Million Dollars

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, everybody, welcome back to Accelerated Investor. I am so excited to be back with all of you guys. I think this is my second or third podcast we’re recording since my long time away in Florida. I was gone for about five weeks. Feels great to be back in the office and hanging out with everybody. So I wanted to record some amazing content with a relatively new friend of mine. His name is Mike Simmons. Mike is a real estate investor, podcaster. He’s been on stage speaking at his events and other events with guys like Gary Vaynerchuk. He and his company do nearly 100 wholesale and flip deals a year.

Josh: He is the author of a brand-new book called Level Jumping: How I Grew My Business to Over a Million Dollars in Profits in 12 Months. And we’re gonna talk to him today about his journey in real estate and some specific action items that you can do for marketing and for growing your real estate investing business at a very quick pace. So welcome Mike Simmons to Accelerated Investor. How you doing, bud?

Mike: I’m doing great. Thanks for having me here. I love the name, by the way. I love the whole concept of accelerated. That’s kind of what I’m about. So I’m excited about this.

Josh: Yeah. Fantastic. So, Mike, I’d love to kind of start out with my guests, especially when I’m learning about someone new. Glad that we were introduced to it to kind of get this podcast recorded and get some content out to our people and some ideas. But I’d love to start understanding what are people working on right now that they’re excited about? What are some projects, whether it’s their real estate investing. I know you just wrote this new book and promoting the book and some other things that you’re working on. So tell us what’s new and exciting in your real estate entrepreneurial world today.

Mike: Will do. So I’ll start with the real estate investing portion of it. So I do have a real estate investing company. You mentioned it. We do around 100 deals a year. This year to be perfectly transparent, probably a little less than one hundred for sure because of COVID. It just sort of threw a monkey wrench. But we’re in the process now of figuring out the new normal. Right. So for us, direct mail was a huge part of our marketing strategy. And in our market here in the Midwest, direct mail took a little bit of a hit. I think people were concerned and cautious in the beginning, especially about touching things and mail. So we saw that mail took a hit. Right. So we had to adjust to that. And our adjustment, just like most things in life, when you get hit with a challenge, it usually makes you stronger.

Mike: And our business has gotten leaner and stronger and more profitable since this all happened because we had to take a look at some of the things that we were doing and figure out how can we do it faster, better and cheaper and still have the same result. So that’s we’re in the process now. And I’m kind of in the marketing laboratory right now in my business. And just to give you a sneak peek behind that curtain, what we’re finding is pay per click, like Google adwords is still, it’s actually working better than it did pre-COVID because I think people are just at home. Yeah. And frankly, people are concerned they’re going to lose their job and some people have lost their job. So there’s people who want to sell our house while the market’s hot. And it is hot in my market right now. So that’s from a marketing standpoint. That’s something we’re doing.

Mike: And we also have turned a little bit to text blast and ringless voicemail. Those are starting to like we’re paying more attention to that channel. And so it’s starting to return at a higher rate, which is really, really nice because that’s inexpensive. So from a company like real estate investing standpoint, that’s where we are right now. Our team is holding steady. We’re not letting anybody go. We’re going to hang onto the people we have because we’ve gotten our self to the point where it’s all of our A players are still on board. Right. They’re kind of helping us get through this time. But the market is hot on the retail side. But I do a lot of wholesaling. You know, when the market’s hot wholesaler struggle a little bit because everybody knows they could and should get top dollar for their house so it becomes little bit more of a challenge for us.

Mike: But we’re getting through that just fine. In addition to that, you mentioned I just wrote my book. That’s a huge, huge initiative that I’m working on right now. It was a huge project to get that done. And now I’m just trying to get the word out there. So working on that and I’ve been doing some things like this, some podcasts and stuff to try to get that message out because I’m super passionate about it. The book is legitimately and strictly about how I grew my business. Like it says in the in the book and the subtitle, people ask me all the time because I did get out like a hockey stick growth. I was in this business for about five or six years before I figured some things out. And I was able to go from doing a couple of deals a month, which is respectable and great. And some people, that’s all they want is a few deals a month and they’re happy. That’s awesome.

Mike: I wanted more and it took me some time to figure out what I was missing. Where was it? Where was that glass ceiling on top of me? So I figured those things out and hockey sticked and people ask me how I did it. And I’ve answered the question a thousand times. So I thought, yeah. So that initiative is out there. And then the only thing for this year in terms of events or things that I’m excited about. You know, everyone’s been stuck inside and we have an event. I have an event in the mastermind that I’m part of. It’s called Flip Hacking Life. And it’s a huge event. Takes place in October. We’re planning on having it live. You know, that’s TBD, I guess, because of everything that’s going on. But we’re still fingers crossed. It’ll be live in Orlando on October 15th through the 17th. I’m going to be on stage more than once that weekend and it’ll be a lot of fun. Big event.

Josh: Fantastic. That’s fantastic. Let me go back and kind of unpack the book a little bit, because I think that’s going to encompass everything from your investing business to your life events and everything else that you’ve done. So you’re able to grow after gigs that hit sort of hitting a glass ceiling for a couple years and then break through and do over a million dollars, but also hit this whole other level. What do you think are maybe a couple of those things that allowed that to happen? What were the things that you recognize that was the ceiling that maybe really existed or just psychologically existed?

Josh: That you were able to break through and what were a couple of things that allowed you to once you recognized where the ceiling was and what the problems were, what were the things that allowed you to grow the business big time? Because many people run into that. They have successful business out of the gate. They get to a certain level. Then all of a sudden, they plateau and then that becomes the new struggle. So you hit that very much like a lot of other friends and entrepreneurs that I know. What allows you to recognize the challenge and then also breakthrough for it?

Mike: Yeah. So at a super high level, you know, 10,000 foot view, I joined a mastermind and I surrounded myself with people who were like me and people who were farther down the road. Business wise than I was. They had the business that I aspired to have. And I was I put myself in those rooms with those people and sat down and had real candid conversations about what they did. Well, in the in the years between where I wasn’t where they are and what they did poorly, what mistakes they made. And that is like at a ten-thousand-foot view, that’s what happened. But on a more micro view of it, what I was missing and the reason I hit that glass ceiling, it wasn’t it wasn’t anything other than. You only have so much time in the day. Now, some people get more done than others. And, you know, everyone has the same amount of time of the day. Right.

Mike: Steve Jobs had the same amount of time in his day that we have in ours. So there’s not a lot of excuses. But the fact of the matter is time is finite. You literally have to sleep sometimes. So there is even if you’re the most productive person in the world, like you may have an unproductive person who kind of spins her wheels and they’re not organized and not efficient and maybe they get, you know, X done. And then you have someone who’s highly optimized, highly efficient, highly effective with their time. And they might get X times two done, but there’s still a limit. And I hit that limit of what I could physically do myself. And what I couldn’t get through was why am I struggling to get more done myself? But why also can’t I get to that next plateau?

Mike: And it was strictly I wasn’t using any systems or processes. Everything I did. And back then, I was a pure house flipper. Back then, when I got a house under contract and I wanted to flip it, I would go to Home Depot, I would re pick out flooring. I would re pick out granite and tile. Like, every time I did it, I treated it like it was the first time I ever did it. I did not keep anything that was standard or consistent between my job. So that took a ton of time. That’s not efficient, right? Also, I didn’t document anything I was doing, so if I were to bring someone on my team, I had nothing to show them in terms of how do we operate? How do I do things? Because I thought I really don’t have a system. And all of us have a system. It might be really, really bad and disorganized, but you do sort of follow a similar pattern every time you do things. My pattern was to repeat everything, but that was sort of my system. So I learned to create systems and processes that were repetitive. I documented them.

Mike: And then the biggest needle mover for me was I had this limiting belief that I wasn’t a big enough company with enough revenue to start assembling a team. I couldn’t bring people on board because I just wasn’t big enough. But then the catch 22 was I knew I couldn’t get big enough until I brought people on board. So sure, I want to get here, but I can’t get there unless I have help. But I can’t get help because I’m not already there. It was this terrible logic. So I surrounded myself with folks who were actually had brought people on, people who were exactly where I was, you know, three or four years earlier. And I just said, what did you do? How did you do this? And I started learning some of the things they did. So what I always say is, if I can take someone who’s farther down the road, they have a success that I would like to have. If I can use their hindsight as my foresight, like, wow. Imagine what you have to do if you had the benefit of hindsight and you do get that benefit when you surround yourself with the right people who are willing and have that generosity and that abundance mindset.

Mike: And by the way, I found the more successful people I hung around, the more abundant mindset they had, the more giving and the more transparent. When I was in my market, my little small market here in Michigan, everyone had the scarcity mindset. Everyone’s protecting some secrets they think they have that they don’t. Everyone knows what they know who’s there. Right. But they get this. They don’t want to create competition. So once I got outside of that bubble and started talking to people who were farther down the road, the lights went on. And I just I tell people time, too. If I’m on a clear day in a field with no trees and it’s a clear day, I can see for maybe a mile or two. All right, look, you can see pretty far. But when you stand on a building on a clear day with no obstructions, you can see for several miles. I feel like when I surrounded myself with those folks, I was now standing on a building and everything became clearer even further down the road. And I just sort of my expectations of myself and what I thought I could achieve grew exponentially. So that was huge.

Josh: That’s fantastic. It’s definitely systems and people. I mean, I tell my audience all the time the business of business, like running a business is all about people. Yeah. Right. It’s all about people. So whether it’s people that you network with and associate with or whether it’s your internal team that you’re hiring grow, you know, a lot of big, major Fortune 500 companies I’ve learned over time are constantly cutting the bottom five to 20 percent of their team. They just cut those people out there. They’re the low performers, the non-performers, and they’re keeping the top 80 percent. It’s a regular like annual process. Just get rid of the bottom five to 20 percent and we’re going to level up the whole team. It’s got to cut the payroll down and we’re only going to keep the best players and then creating something where those players can do the same thing and win every day by having the same process.

Josh: Like ours, for now, our focus is almost exclusively on acquiring assets we own over twenty-six hundred units of apartments. We have about another 250 units of apartments and multi-family properties under contract to close. And we’re just building cash flow. And so when you have one thing you do and you could just repeat the process, like, okay, I’m gonna by the same LVP flooring and the same paint for every apartment unit. Every time we get a property under contract, we’re going to use this contract, every time, whatever the letter of intent, we have this letter of intent. Every time. We used to make private lender loans and do rehabs and wholesaling and apartments all the same time, which we were profitable doing that. But it was also a ton of brain damage. Constantly want to punch myself in the face because we’re like, oh my God, we got to make so many decisions. So when you pick a niche and you get really good at it, hire the best people and build processes around it. That’s awesome. So you talk about all that in your book, is that right?

Mike: That’s right. And actually, my book covers the biggest secret or secret sounds too much like click bait. It’s not a secret. But one of the hurdles that people don’t expect when they’re scaling their business and they’re trying to go from maybe, you know, a onesie, twosie kind of operation to a consistently growing and scaling operation. The thing that people don’t expect that hits on right in the face is to do that you have to bring on people right? So soon as you bring on people, you stop being the operator. You stop being the guy who’s in the trenches or the girl who’s in the trenches, like doing the day to day work. And now you’re managing, you’re leading, you’re motivating, you’re training. That’s a different skill set than finding deals, negotiating contracts and closing and rehabbing. It’s totally different. I was in the automotive industry for like almost 20 years in corporate. And the thing that I saw happen over and over and corporate is, for example, I was in the automotive, so there would be the engineering department.

Mike: They would go into the engineering department, they would pluck the most talented engineer and they would make him or her the engineering manager, right. They were in charge of the department and a lot of times it would fail because they’re not good managers and leaders. They’re really, really good engineers. Right. So I become a great engineer. Right. You’re building your business and you’re in the trenches. And then you elevate yourself and bring on his team. Sometimes it crumbles because you’re not a good manager. You’re not a good leader. You’re not a good person at motivating and training. And it all falls apart. My book talks about how do you go from that one-person, one-man band, I call it, into a company that scaling and growing. How do you hire effectively? How do you create a culture? Because culture may sound like a real touchy feely, like vague thing.

Mike: But let me tell you, from a guy who’s created a crappy company culture and a guy who then improved it to a really healthy company culture, it makes a difference. It’s this, right? Everyone can relate to this. Most people who are maybe over the age of 20, you’ve worked at a place that you despised going in in the morning. You hated your life. And a lot of us have worked for places where it really wasn’t bad. We kind of had a good time with people we like there. And the boss was great. What was the difference? The culture that was created one was probably a horrible culture and one was a good culture. So if you’re going to build a team, I don’t care if it’s a team of two, three, four. You still need to think about how people view that company and whether or not they enjoy coming in. No doubt you are the person who decides that.

Josh:So there was a lot of it’s that, you know, we use this analogy of there’s operators, there’s owner operators and there’s owners. Right. So people can be skilled at really any one of those. But you have to know which one are you? Are you the operator who’s in the business doing deals, acquisitions, marketing, finding deals, evaluating deals, talking with your acquisitions, team scripts, dialogs, meeting with sellers? Are you the owner operator? That means that you are teaching other people to do that. And you also own the business and you’re operating at a high level, but you’re still in the dirt at the same time. Or are you purely the owner that’s fairly passive and out of the business?

Josh: And that’s where we all want to be. But most people get stuck in the owner operator role and they’re constantly in the owner operator role. And that’s a dangerous place to be. Like when I was talking with Kevin O’Leary, who spoke at one of our events. He’s like, look, you can grow a business by yourself to about five million bucks. When I look at all the companies on Shark Tank, they’ve built their businesses to about five million dollars where they were the operator. They were in the dirt, working 14-hour days or 18-hour days, just muscling the business to five million. The difference was for the people that were able to grow and scale was they were able to get from five million to ten million in that owner operator. That’s the most dangerous place for a business to be because you’re giving up some. And now you find out if you can be an effective delegator, manager, manager of people, manager of culture, to the point where eventually you bring on that COO or that that chief investment officer that can kind of run the business for you when you step out as the owner.

Josh: Now, as the owner, you don’t have it’s not like you just eliminate all your responsibility. Right. Mike, you still have responsibilities, which is. But now it’s more like I’m just going to raise capital for the business to make sure the capital is tons of private lenders, tons of private money. We’re going to invest more in looking at metrics about where we’re spending our marketing dollars. But you’re not in the dirt anymore. And but that middle ground, which is where most people end up, is the super dangerous place to be. Because very many people fail right there. I’m sure. I’m sure you talk about in your book. I can’t wait to read it and learn some of your insights on it. Mike, let me step back for a sec. Let me just ask you a quick question. Maybe it’s a short answer. Tell us about how you got into real estate. Was it a friend? Was it by accident? What got you into the business to begin with?

Mike: Yeah. So I mentioned I was in the automotive industry and not to be too hard on any industry, but it’s not really filled with people who love their lives and enjoy going to work. There’s a lot of disgruntled people. And I got to a point, you know, I worked my way up and I went I actually went back to college as an adult with kids and full-time job because I didn’t do that in the beginning. And that’s a whole different story. But I’m a Midwest guy, union mentality. My family was union like all that. So I got a union job right out of high school. My family was, like, ecstatic. They didn’t care at all if I went to college. So I quit college when I got the job right. So I was like, cool. Like, I got what I need. Well it was U.P.S.? And by twenty-four, by age twenty-four, I couldn’t get out of bed without having a chiropractor work on me three times a week. That’s how bad I had messed my back up. So I knew I couldn’t stay there. Got a job in the automotive industry, went back to college, worked my way up, got into a nice white-collar environment.

Mike: I’m kind of going up the scale, but I’m realizing the higher I go, the more miserable I am. It’s just awful. So somewhere in my early thirties, I said, I want to figure out how I get out of this, or at the very least retire maybe earlier than I should be retiring. So I started investigating how I could invest money. And at the time I didn’t know anything about real estate. So to me, just intuitively, the stock market, you know, day trading, that kind of thing. And the short long story short, I hated it. I just I couldn’t stand it. It was boring. I couldn’t stay interested. But I did stumble onto real estate and it was by accident, just kind of scrolling down the Google, you know, search. Gotch Real estate fell in love. Success stories going to REAs, reading books. like I was just enthralled. But then I got in. I did the worst thing you could possibly do. You get into the learning phase and you get stuck and you get analysis paralysis and all these shiny objects. And I just didn’t know what to do.

Mike: I spent five years getting ready to get ready. Right. Which is awful. But you need to educate yourself to a point. But I wasn’t executing. I was only educating. And education without execution. Useless garbage. Right. So I finally did get it. And I got so disgusted with myself for being really honestly at the end of the day when you boil it down. I was afraid. I was letting fear hold me back. And once I kind of realized that came to grips and got disgusted enough with myself, I took action. And from that point, I was addicted. I’m a crazy action taker now, like you tell me a good idea that I think is feasible. I will be acting on it immediately. And I think that’s where the power comes from. That’s successful people that I see. They’re always action takers. They’re not excuse makers. They’re not put it off until next year. Kind of people, they go for it right now. It’s a good idea. If it’s truly good idea, you should start now.

Josh: No doubt. Nice. So as you as you make the pivot from new to where you’re at today, you know, doing hundreds of deals a year, millions of dollars in revenue and profits. What are some of the maybe three to four lessons that you’ve learned? Your high-level big picture takeaways that you wish you could tell your former self and I guess might speak directly to our audience here. And for those of people that are basically brand new or just starting to build their business and they think, oh, my God, Josh, you manage 40 million dollars of private money of twenty-six hundred units of apartments. Mike, you’re doing 100 deals a year. You got this team like I’ll never be there. But they will be. They can be. That’s all mindset. But looking at yourself, you probably had those same sorts of negative self-talk when you were first getting going, like, how am I going to get there? Am I going to do my first deal? And now you’ve done all that and you built a business around it. So what are some of the advice you give your younger former self to say, look, this can be done and this is how we should do it?

Mike: Yeah. So just to frame it, I’m a Midwest guy, born and raised. My dad was a Marine and there was a lot of discipline and not a ton of encouragement when I was young, you know. Everything I did wrong was made very clear to me. And the things that I did well was sort of brushed under the carpet. But yeah. So I didn’t have a ton of self-confidence, honestly. I still I still fight that. It’s, you know, sometimes things that happy your childhood. You’re battling them all the time. So I still have to battle it. I am always working because I think things are going to fall apart. So I have to work harder.

Josh: By the way, Mike, I want to interrupt you because I think I think all of us as humans all have that same thing. We all are battling for the rest of our lives we’re battling things that we were raised in our childhood. I think the difference is, and actually, Tim Ferriss talks about in his book Tools of the Titans. The difference is that all of those super high performers, the superheroes that we have in our minds, the movie stars. People who are super good at business. The most successful real estate investors on the planet.

Josh: Actors and athletes, they all have that same kind of upbringing. Like nobody’s upbringing is perfect. They all have that negative self-talk. They all have this negative sort of perception of themselves. But they just find one or two things that they know that they’re really good at. They’re very self-aware. And they say, look, I’m might suck at all this, my upbringing might’ve been terrible. I would have grown up in abuse and alcoholism and divorce. But I’m really good at these one or two things. And I’m going to build my confidence off of these couple of things that I’m really good at. And that allows them to blossom and become successful and they achieve. In spite of that upbringing, in spite of the negative self-talk. I think you and I are probably inside very much the same.

Josh: Like a lot of negative self-talk about when I was a kid, a lot about negative self-talk. I was the tallest kid, my school. I was awkward and my middle brother Mark was like the beautiful kid in our family, the really good-looking brother. That wasn’t me. You know, so we all have that. And so I think all of our audience can identify with. It’s OK to have that negative self-talk in the way you overcome it is by just getting good at a couple things that you can find your confidence in. Doesn’t matter what that one or two things is. You don’t have to be great at everything, be good at one or two and build your self-confidence, build your self-esteem. Then you can build your net worth and you can build your income by just being like, you know, I suck at everything except these one or two things. So let me just get good at those. So I just wanted to make that comment as you’re talking along here.

Mike: Yeah, absolutely. It’s great. It’s a great point. And I always equate it to like when we were kids. All of us had this experience. Maybe it is different for everyone, but some version of you wanted to go down a slide. And it was a high slide and you were little. And you are afraid someone talked you into it. Maybe your parents said you’re gonna do it like they’re going to put up with fear and you go down that slide in what happens, almost a hundred percent of time. I want to do it again. Right. You immediately the fear goes away. Because you did it. And I think as adults, we’re no different. I let fear keep me from doing what I knew I wanted to do. But once I finally got the courage to do it and I went through it. The fear was 100 percent gone.

Mike: And I was an action taking machine because I had dispelled that myth of all the things that could go wrong. It’s like those don’t usually happen. Right. We have to go through that to get to the other side. And then from that point game on, I was all about action. And then the next thing I would tell myself as a young person is find surround yourself with the right people. I grew up, unfortunately, a lot of friends and people that I associate with growing up were negative. And they were sort of like, you know, there’s analogy when when you put crabs in a bucket and one starts to get out the rest, some kind of pull them down. And I had friends that loved me and cared about me. But by default, they were naysayers. They were flat laying into work. And what if you lose money and it’s all these negative things?

Josh: And that’s just their negative self-talk about themselves that there’s all acting out to you, which makes them feel good about themselves.

Mike: Totally. I would say surround yourself with people who support what you do. They’re doing it. They’re in the same boat. They’re rowing in the same direction. Because once I did that, everything changed. Right. It’s a cliché. You’re the sum of the average or whatever the five people you hang out with. It’s absolutely true. So what I starting out the right people and asking them questions because I’m an introvert by nature. So when I would go to a meetup, I would be the guy who just sits in the corner and doesn’t really mingle. So I didn’t even take advantage early on. I would say, stop all that man. Go out and talk to people, find out what they’re doing. Learn from their playbooks and apply it. And don’t be a Yeah but or when someone if you ask advice of someone who you respect, who is qualified to act to answer the question and they give you an answer, do not follow up that answer with, yeah but. Because first of all, you’re turning them off. They don’t want to help you anymore. They don’t want to hear that. And second of all, the minute you say Yeah but, you’ve already crippled yourself.

Mike: Just go to execute. Go execute and adjust. You can’t steer a parked car. I say this all the time. You can’t steer a parked car. If you’re parked, you can’t make adjustments. You can’t make distinctions. You can’t change directions. You can’t pivot. But if you just get some forward momentum now, you can adjust so that something doesn’t go exactly right. Fine. Adjust your course a little bit and make it right the next time. You can’t do that unless you get started. I’ve built my life, my platform. Everything I’m about is getting started because I think that is far and away the biggest cancer. And the biggest reason for failure is people just don’t start. They say showing up as half of the work. It’s true. You have to show up. You know, if you want to get in shape, go lift or get there and run like you until you start. You know, it’s not going to happen.

Mike:So getting started is the hardest thing. I spent five years trying to start. I empathize with that person. I know what it feels like. Right. I’m a Midwest guy from a modest beginning. A lot of negative talk. We talked about. Right. Like everybody else. I’m not a guy who was born to a millionaire who kind of showed him the ropes and gave him a seed money, right? Yeah, I had a start from beginning. Most people do. But I can tell you for a fact, getting started doing my first deal was made way more valuable than every book, every seminar, everything I list. It was way more powerful. Getting out there and doing that. First one absolutely changed my life.

Josh: Love it. Love it. So one more business question before I ask you sorta more personal question. If you were starting again today, what would be your favorite or number one or number two, one or two acquisition techniques? Everybody’s always looking for how to find more deals. How do I find more money? If you look back and talk to yourself, what is the couple things that you’re doing now? And I know you said you’re in the marketing lab and things are constantly changing. We talked about at the beginning. But what would you go back and tell yourself, hey, do this, start with this. I know this is going to provide you some deal flow.

Mike: Yeah. Oh, as far as deal flow goes. So I probably would start if I had to start over, I’d probably do it as a flipper, not because I like flipping better, but for me the getting in that is a lower barrier of entry. For me personally, I think because finding deals and I like as a as a wholesaler with a scaled-up business deal flow is my number one focus like that. Is everything right? Because if you don’t have deal flow, you don’t have oxygen going into your business. For me, what I would probably do, I would probably drive for dollars. I am assuming I’m starting out without a ton of money or about ton of money. Exactly. Not a lot of money. I would absolutely drive for dollars. I would 100 percent do text blasting because it’s so inexpensive. It’s fractions of a penny. It’s not a big deal. And I probably ringlets voicemail because those three things would bring in enough deal flow in the beginning for me to get myself going and start adding to my marketing budget so that I could do like pay per click because I mentioned that’s huge. Pay per click is more expensive. I probably wouldn’t start with that. I think it’s just too expensive right off the bat.

Mike: But text blast. Wingless voice mail driving four dollars. Those would be the things and just a little tool for people if you haven’t heard of it. If you are driving for dollars, which means driving around your target market, looking to those houses that are in disrepair, maybe stickers on the window. There’s an app called Deal Machine. It’s great. I don’t I don’t have any affiliation with it. But it’s good because you take a picture of the house, you can send a postcard, skip trace and get it in your database all from right in front of the house. You can there’s no excuse like you can do all of the marketing right from there. That’s what I would do. And then I would probably flip at least my first few to get some money and I probably would switch over to wholesaling at some point. It just fits my personality better.

Josh: Perfect. Love it. So, Mike, as a as a successful entrepreneur, you have your real estate investing business. Now, your book launch, other live events that you’ve done, podcasting, very successful podcast. You’re busy. But as a busy entrepreneur, you’ve got to have sort of your life organized. Right. Very few entrepreneurs that I know are just in a constant state of chaos and are also successful. So you have a certain way to organize your life. You have different things that you listen to, pay attention to podcasts, books, webinars, maybe certain ways that you eat that allow you to be a better, more effective version of yourself. So you’ve grown your business. What are some things that you’d like to pass along to our audience about different things that you do that allow you to be a bigger, better version of yourself? On the personal side, the way you potentially manage relationships or manage your business or manage yourself, your workouts, the way you eat. Everybody likes to be a better version of themselves. So what’s worked best for you?

Mike: I would tell people the thing that’s probably ignored the most is mental and physical health. When you’re trying to grow a business, I, I think, have to pay attention to that. And I really didn’t for a lot of years. I just ignored that. I didn’t think I was important. So I try to eat right. For me, that means just kind of cutting back on sugars and carbs and things like that, eating more vegetables. I am a meat eater, so if you’re going, it doesn’t really work. But I think just keeping a meal that’s generally healthy. We’re gonna days where we go to a party and there’s cake. That’s fine as far as working out goes. I’m not a huge, crazy like workout guy, but I definitely try to run and lift on a regular basis. Nothing crazy, just as something to maintain a little bit. So that’s a part of my day.

Mike: But I think one of the most important things is especially when we’re growing and scaling or just getting started. We’re so consumed with our business that we don’t give ourselves breaks in our day. You know, what I realized was working a corporate I was miserable mostly because I had to be there at seven. And I had to stay till 5:00. And I was working the whole time. And I know for me and I think most human beings were not designed to sit in front of a computer or whatever and work the whole day. We need breaks in our day. So what I learned for me, what works is I don’t I’m not a huge morning person. So right up front, I’ll tell you that it’s not the popular answer. I know the morning, miracle morning and all that would not approve. But I don’t sleep in late, but I sleep until about eight, 30 or nine.

Mike:So I don’t get up super early. I do stay up later because at night is when my brain decompresses. And I think whether you’re a morning person or night person or some. I don’t think of the middle of the afternoon as effective. But you need a time where you can let your brain shut down a little bit and recharge. Everybody does. You can’t work from morning until night and then go to bed, repeat, you’ll burn yourself out. So even during the day, I work for a couple of hours and I’ll take a half an hour to an hour off, and then I work for a few more hours. Now, what that does to my day is it extends it from 9:00 until probably eight o’clock at night. I’m sort of working on and off, but that’s effective. And I think that as humans, we sort of need that focus. And then off time to sort of recharge that battery and go back to focusing.

Mike: So honestly, a younger me would have never done that. I would have just been like, go, go, go, go, go. Yeah, I would have been burned out. And frankly, after a certain amount of hours, you’re not productive anymore anyway. You know, you’re usually a highly unproductive. So I think that’s huge for me. And then I know for me, I’m an introvert. Like I said. So as much as I love these exchanges, I love talking to people. And I’m out because you don’t seem like an introvert. I know. I’m you know, when it comes to I like talking to one on one. I’m great. If I’m talking to a crowd, I’m great. You put me in a room with 10 people and I immediately get fatigue. I can’t. It’s hard for me.

Mike: What I know that I need is I need to be able to have quiet time in my day where no one’s talking to me, no one’s asking me anything. I’m not communicating. I’m just kind of sitting and decompressing. And a lot of times, honestly, it sounds stupid, but I watch something mindless because it allows me to know. It keeps my being busy, but not with problem solving. So watching like a murder mystery doesn’t do it for me because I’m constantly problem solving it while I’m watching it. I need to watch something sort of mindless and just entertain. Yeah. For me that’s huge and that makes me more productive when I am working.

Josh: Nice. Love it. Yeah. There’s an amazing National Geographic special that was done on Blue Zones. Books about Blue Zones. Entire podcast with the guys who did the research with National Geographic. And what they did was they actually studied and found the communities around the world who lived the longest had the most energy with the least amount of chronic disease. And what they found that there was nine or 10. Cities all over the world, and they actually had the same characteristics. One of the characteristics was that they got their exercise. Not from like the American version of exercise, like an hour run, a half hour run, an hour in the gym. They actually got up and moved every 15 to 20 minutes. And turned out their movement, their exercise was just like you described.

Josh: They got up and moved more for a walk. They were not sedentary. They would go work in their garden. They’d go for a walk with a friend. They got up and moved around their house. And these are communities where they’re not really going to an office in the typical American corporate structure. Get to an office, sit in front of a computer, sit on your butt all day. So the more I hear people like you talk about getting up, moving every 15 to that makes me smile, because I also know that that’s been scientifically proven for a longevity and the least amount of chronic disease.

Josh: And as a pancreatic cancer survivor myself, that’s important to me to continue to push that, to help people understand that giving up, moving around, you don’t need to be in the gym like lifting a ton of weights. Just get up and move a little bit every half hour. Man, that makes me smile to hear you say that. So that’s awesome. Mike, listen, I know we got to wrap up, but you are promoting your book. Tell us tell our audience where they can connect with you, where they can get the book. Tell us all that stuff if they want to follow up and learn more about you.

Mike: OK, a couple of things, actually. The book is available on Amazon. I would love for you to pick it up and give it a rating and review. But for your audience, if it’s cool with you, I’m going to give them a way they can get a digital download of it free. If they want that, you can text the words two words now: “JUST START” to the number 55444. So five, five, four, four, four. Text the words “Just start” and I’ll send you a free digital download of the book. Or you can go to Amazon, pay nine ninety-nine for it. Give me a rating review. That’s great too. In addition to that, you mentioned my podcasts. I would love it if you enjoyed this conversation and you’d like to hear more from me. You can go to Just Start Real Estate and iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. I would be super honored if you would do that. And then finally, I am going to be in at one event this year. I mean, everything’s been canceled. But honestly, I only go to one live event that’s open to the public every year, any year. It’s called Flip Hacking Live. This year, it’s going to be in Orlando from the 15th through the 17th. If you go to just our real estate dot com forward, slash flip hacking live, you’d get all the information you need.

Josh: Fantastic. There you have it, guys. Mike Simmons, thanks so much for joining us today on Accelerated Investor.

Mike: Thanks for having me, Josh. I appreciate it.

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.

In the process of growing a business, sometimes we reach a point where we get a little stuck. Maybe it’s your negative self-talk or your own disorganization that’s holding you back. Or possibly, it’s time to grow your team, but you’re not sure how to do that. Mike Simmons wants to give you some foresight into your own business by opening up on some of his biggest mistakes.

Mike was in this business for five or six years before he started figuring some things out. Every time he’d start a new flip, he’d go to Home Depot and pick flooring, granite, and tile. He kept no records and had no systems in place to help him remember how he did something last time. And he knew that in order to grow, he needed to hire more team members, but he didn’t quite have enough revenue to justify the expense.

Mike’s written a book that sums up what he’s learned about how to succeed in real estate called Level Jumping: How I Grew My Business to Over $1 Million in Profits in 12 Months. You can purchase a copy of his book on Amazon, but for my listeners he is offering a free digital download if you text “JUST START” to 55444.

If you loved this podcast you can see Mike Simmons in person too. He does one event a year, and this year it’s coming to you from Orlando, Florida. Flip Hacking Live will be held virtually this year from October 15-17, 2020, so get your tickets now to listen to some amazing real estate investors who can show you how to level up your business.


What’s Inside:

  • Why you absolutely need a system to grow your business.
  • How to avoid analysis paralysis and other mind games you use to avoid starting a new venture.
  • Get over negative self-talk by focusing on these few things.
  • How you can get a free copy of Mike Simmons’s new book.

Mentioned in this episode​

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