#044: The War of Self Discipline

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 to Accelerated Investor. I’m so excited to be back with you today. And you know, I just wanted to jump on today and record some ideas. You know, I often get asked, hey Josh, you know, you’ve been a successful entrepreneur now for over 20 years. What do you think is the number one thing that you did, or what’s the number one thing, the trait you have, the number one habit that you have that’s really made the difference in your longterm success? And I want to answer that today with two words. Self-discipline, self-discipline. You see now when I do my live events, my different training programs and coaching programs and I work with real estate entrepreneurs, I’ve been doing that since 2006 successfully now for over 13 years. When I’m in front of those audiences, I have a whole talk that I give around self-discipline.

And truly what I think we have going on inside of our bodies inside of our minds is a war between daily gratification and longterm success. It’s daily shiny objects that we want to pursue versus longterm sustainable wealth. It’s what’s in vogue today versus really who we are and what we want to become longterm. And that war, that battle between today’s gratification and the future self that we want to be comes down to self-discipline. And it’s the most successful it’s the most important characteristic to success of them all is self-discipline. It’s the ability to do exactly what we need to do when we need to do it, and complete tasks today that are in our best interest longterm or in the best interest of meeting the objective. It’s the ability that regardless of all the shiny objects, it’s the ability to, regardless of how life changes, our families change.

Our employees, our staff, different people that we work with, our colleagues, they need things today. They need us to help with a project. They need us to help with an emergency. It’s the ability to do exactly what we need to do today and get it done regardless of the distractions in order to complete that task that has an impact on our future self an impact on our future goals an impact on what we want to accomplish in the future an impact on what does wealth look like in the future. And so I relate this back to my core audience, which is real estate investors and those real estate investors are often like, I want to create passive income. I want to create legacy wealth, but in order to do that, I need income today. So I’m going to wholesale properties, I want passive income, I want legacy wealth, I want a big balance sheet.

I want equity. That’s what I really want. That’s who I want to be. That’s what I want to have for myself and my family. But today I need money so I’m going to wholesale. So wholesaling or flipping, rehabbing becomes a short term solution or short term Band-Aid essentially, to really accomplishing the longterm goal. And what I’ve realized over my journey is that if I could go back and do something different, it would be, I would be self- disciplined enough to realize that my future self, my future goals revolve around owning properties, owning assets and owning assets revolves around raising capital, whether it’s bank capital, whether it’s private equity capital, whether it’s private money, private lenders, whatever it is. And so when I look at self-discipline and achieving the longterm goal for most real estate investors, which is passive income, owning assets, apartment buildings, multifamily income producing properties, it comes down to getting the funding and finding the deals, getting the funding and raising enough private capital for your down payment for your, for your down payment and your rehab.

So self-discipline means that I’m going to forego today’s income or I’m going to forgo today’s profits. I’m going to forego today’s gratification and maybe have to live on less or, or have less, you know, maybe not buy the car as fast as I wanted to, you know, maybe not have as big of a house today as I want to maybe keeping my bills down, maybe not indulging in every vacation today in order to focus on the longterm, right? Because being successful longterm is about a longterm commitment. It’s about self-discipline to stay the course. So the question is how many of have you asked yourself right now are maybe you’re in your car, maybe you’re at the gym, maybe you’re on a walk, you’re reading a book, and you’ve taken a break to listen to this podcast. How many of you are actually doing what you’re supposed to be doing right now that’s actually going to impact your bigger self down the road or is the shiny object and today’s income, today’s gratification, right?

Is that overtaking your day and you’re spending most of your time throughout the day doing those kinds of things instead of having self-discipline in order to say like, I can give up certain things in the short term in order to be what I want to be longterm, okay. Realizing that this is a journey. This is something that what’s going on today, whether you have like a ton of success or not much success whether you’re putting out a lot of social media, you’re gathering media, you’re getting eyeballs today. Maybe you’re putting out a ton of podcasts and videos and social posts, but you’re not getting the eyeballs that you want. It’s about being self-disciplined to stay the course. Maybe you’re trying to recruit private money and you’re having people tell you no and you’re get a lot of doors slammed in your face. It’s about the self-discipline to stay the course, okay.

Wikipedia defined self-discipline as the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses, the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it. And I think it’s awesome when Wikipedia or the encyclopedia or, you know, a resource nails a definition in such a strong way, I’ll repeat that again. Self-discipline is the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses, the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite the temptations to abandon it. And so everybody wants freedom. And for those of you that are real estate entrepreneurs, you want freedom. You want financial freedom, relationship freedom, time freedom. You want the ability to do whatever the hell you want whenever you want, with whoever you want. As Tony Robbins always says, right, freedom is the ability to do what I want, when I want, with who I want, wherever I want.

That is true freedom. Well, the key to having freedom in the longterm is really not to be free at all in the short term. I see it to be focused on the one thing, the most important thing to execute that one thing no matter what. And to be self disciplined, to be organized, to be committed, to be on time and to stay focused on that one thing over and over and over and over. So in order to have financial freedom in the longterm, you’ve got to have self-discipline in the short term, okay? In order to have freedom in the longterm, you must have self-discipline in the short term. And so this really comes down to now, how is your day structured, okay? Are you doing things to win right at the beginning of the day? All right. Really it starts with the night before. For me, it’s about the night before posting and prioritizing, posting my priorities posting what I want to get done, making my list, prioritizing them, putting them into my calendar.

And I have a specific podcast and a specific thing that I do there. I’m not going to cover here, so that it’s the ability to wake up the next day with a specific agenda. So I don’t wake up, look at Facebook rollover, read my social media, read my emails. I wake up with a specific intention to get a couple things done. One, I’ve got to get my dogs out of the house. The dogs are sleeping. I’m usually the first one up. I want to get the dogs, I want to spend time with my puppies so I get them out of the house. I also have to make sure that the coffee pot is on the coffee pot turns on about 5:30 in the morning so that when I go to take the dogs out, I’ve got a fresh cup of coffee in my hands. Then I have the ability to be outside, walk around, enjoy the dogs, enjoy a nice fresh morning breeze, fresh air, be outside, you know, not jump right into the shower, not jump right into work, but to be outside.

Enjoy coffee, enjoy the dogs. The neighborhood is quiet, my property is quiet. I’m able to walk around in the backyard. And the, you know, the back patio or jump in the hot tub or whatever like that first thing in the morning with no interruptions. That’s self-discipline. Now I can tell you when my self-discipline unravels is because the night before I may be, I go out to dinner and I have too many glasses of wine or I stay up too late with my kids in the summertime watching movies or you know, hang out late at night by myself and mess around on social media and Facebook or you know, just do something that is outside of my routine. My routine, my self-discipline in the evening is what a especially late evening is what allows me to succeed the next day. So when I get up next day again outside, go for a walk, takes the dog, grab coffee, come back then immediately go to my gratitude journal.

My best days, my most self-discipline days in my office the most of the days when I get the most done, workwise are the days that begin this way. And so the next thing I do is jump into my gratitude journal. I take a page, I open it up and the first thing I write down is I woke up at fill in the blank, let’s say 5:40 in the morning. And right now it is. And then I write the time and let’s say it’s five after six or 10 after six. And usually for me it’s about a half hour. It’s the difference between the time I wake up, take my dogs out, grab coffee, go for a walk, come back, get settled, open my gratitude journal. I’m finding now that that’s about a half hour difference between the time I woke up in the time I start writing and my day, my body, my soul fills up with joy as I write in my gratitude journal.

I write about my team, my staff, and I think about how grateful I am to have such a good team that works so hard. I think about my private investors, people that have invested money with us, my wife, and all the things that she does with me and my kids, you know, keeping our house together. The friendships that we’ve made, you know, all different things. I’m grateful for from the day before. I also write down the things that I’m grateful for that are challenges, you know, massive challenges that we’re having that we need to overcome. I’m grateful for those challenges. So instead of saying, oh my God, this challenge, this thing went wrong, this property’s not being, you know, stabilized fast enough. Or you know, this investor flaked out at the last minute at a closing. Which happens all the time when you’re doing big massive apartment deals, there’s always somebody that flakes out, you know, you’re raising $3 million and eventually there’s $200,000, $300,000, $400,000 at the last minute that somebody doesn’t fund, okay.

It happens all the time. So, you know, but instead of saying, I’m pissed off about that situation, or I’m pissed off about this person flaking out, or I’m pissed off that I didn’t get this done, or this staff member screwed this thing up or whatever. Instead I say, I’m grateful for this opportunity. I’m grateful for this challenge. It immediately takes that and turns it into a positive. And then the third thing I do is I get to the gym, okay. I usually grab some sort of green juice, some sort of green I drink Organifi, if you haven’t checked out Organifi check them out to run by a guy named Drew Cannoli who I used to, I used to talk to quite a bit. We’ve lost touch but amazing product, Organifi and I drink the green juice and so I just pour it into my, you know, my water bottle and I drank that on the way to the gym, a little bit of creatine in there.

And then I come back and by around 7:00, 7:30, 8:00 o’clock, like already done a massive amount of things that I’m proud of. Gotten up, taking the dogs out, had coffee, worked out, gone through my gratitude journal. So now by the time I’m jumping into my work day, I have total clarity about where I want to go. So for me, self- discipline in the short term really begins the night before. Self-discipline in the short term begins with those mornings that I get my morning rites between five in the morning and eight in the morning. Getting that right, that self-discipline that allows me to execute at a super high level from 8:00 in the morning till about 3:00 in the afternoon, then I know I’m going to wind down about three o’clock or I don’t have the energy level that I want. I know from 3:00, 4:00 or 5:00 o’clock I might still be working, but I’m not as focused.

I’m not as dialed in. I can’t, you know, execute at the high level that I want to. So I often take my most important meetings, my most important actions in the morning before, before noon. So that 8:00 to noon is a key time in my day. So again, self-discipline in the short term is what allows me to succeed in the longterm. So ask yourself now, are you winning the war? Are you winning the war of self-discipline? What is your routine? Are you winning the war between, you know, instant gratification or longterm success? Do you want to have longterm sustainability? Do you want to have longterm profitability? Do you want to have longterm energy and endurance both in your personal life and your relationships and in your business? It starts and ends with self-discipline.



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.

Merriam-Webster defines self-discipline as “correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement.” 

Self-discipline is a crucial characteristic of every successful entrepreneur, business owner, or real estate investor. If you want your business to have long-term sustainability and profitability, you have to start by being strict with #1. 

The key to self-discipline, as Josh Cantwell shares, is to forgo short-term gratifications in order to focus on your long-term goals. This might mean putting off buying your dream car, cancelling the luxury vacations, or staying in a small house until you’re in the right financial place to buy or build your forever home. 

Making short-term sacrifices, however, can lead to long-term happiness and success. This is why self-discipline is essential for every entrepreneur. 

In this podcast, Josh shares some of his personal techniques and strategies for focusing on long-term goals, and discusses how to work on giving up short-term gratifications in your life. This could be as simple as kicking your daily Starbucks habit or as complex as downsizing your current home to save money.

So, in which areas of your life could you improve your self-discipline? 

What’s Inside:

  • How to avoid “shiny object syndrome”
  • Advice for using self-discipline to build long-term wealth
  • How prioritizing your tasks can help you reach your ultimate goals 
  • Josh’s morning routine for starting his day with self-discipline 
  • How to create long-term sustainability and profitability in your business

Mentioned in this episode​

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