From $60M in Assets to Zero: A Comeback Story with Mike Morawski – EP 289

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What’s the one thing many people love more than a success story? A comeback story. And today’s guest has a great one.

Today, I’m talking to Mike Morawski. Mike is a real estate investing veteran with over 30 years of experience. He’s the Founder and CEO of My Core Intentions, an author, a real estate trainer, a public speaker, and a personal coach who partners and joint ventures with his students. He’s controlled over $285 million in transactions and has learned many valuable lessons over the years.

After a few years of incredible success and growth, everything changed in 2008 during the economic crisis. This left Mike in a defensive position. He started scrambling and let his guard down with some poor decisions. Ultimately, those decisions led to a 10-year federal prison sentence for wire and mail fraud charges.

So how do you overcome such a terrible time in your life? With resilience and the proper mindset.

In this conversation, you’ll hear how Mike scaled from one 11-unit deal to managing 4,000 units and $60M in assets in under 30 months and how he lost everything. He shares some great insights on how to shift your mindset, get over your limitations, and avoid making critical mistakes that can set you up for failure as an investor–and much more. This is a great, honest episode, and I’m excited for you to hear it!

Key Takeaways with Mike Morawski

  • How Mike turned an 11-unit deal into a 60 and then a 300-unit deal.
  • Why it’s on you–and you alone–to change your mindset and get over your self-limiting beliefs.
  • The mistakes Mike made to go from $60M in real estate to losing it all and going to prison.
  • How to design your buying strategy.
  • The common traps real estate investors fall into.
  • How to underwrite and stress test your deals.
  • How Mike grew way too fast, did too many deals, and lost everything–and how to avoid making the same mistakes he made.

Mike Morawski Tweetables

“If you're the smartest guy in the room, you're in the wrong room.” - Mike Morawski

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[INTRODUCTION]

 

Josh Cantwell: So, hey there, guys. Welcome back. This is Josh, and welcome to Accelerated Investor. Today, I have a great interview with a fellow named Mike Morawski. He’s a 30-year real estate investment veteran. He’s controlled over $285 million in real estate transactions. He’s an author, real estate trainer, public speaker, and a personal coach, and actually partners and joint ventures with his students. He’s from the greater Chicago area and he has built an amazing business one time, lost it all, and rebuilt it a second time.

 

And so, today, on this interview, you’re going to learn a little bit from Mike and how he raised over $18 million in private equity, bought over $60 million in apartments, including 4,000 units in under 30 months, how he’d lost it all and has rebuilt it. This is really an amazing interview. And so, today, you’re going to learn how Mike started, number one, with just an 11-unit deal, scaled to a 60-unit deal, and then a 300-unit deal.

 

Number two, you’re going to learn about why mindset and self-limiting beliefs are 100% up to you to change. Number three, you’re going to learn about why you should buy and have a buying strategy that Mike and I will talk about buying B-class workforce housing. But before you go into this business, make sure you have a specific buying strategy, and we’ll talk about what that means. Number four, we’re going to talk about traps. Number five, we’re going to talk about how to underwrite and stress test your deals.

 

And number six, and finally, we’re going to hear Mike’s story about why he grew way too fast, got overleveraged, undercapitalized, did way too many deals, and didn’t pay attention to the detail, and why you should listen to really good partners. This is a really fun and honestly a really thorough, truth-telling podcast on today on Accelerated Investor with Mike Morawski. You’re going to love it. Here we go.

 

[INTERVIEW]

 

Josh Cantwell: So, hey there, guys. Welcome back. Hey, I am honored today with Mike Morawski. Mike, thanks for joining us on Accelerated Investor. How are you?

 

Mike Morawski: Josh, I am so glad to be here. It’s been a while, you and I keep bumping each other’s calendars up, and so, we finally got on the book. So, I love that.

 

Josh Cantwell: Yeah. For those of you guys that are watching on YouTube, Mike and I are both gray-haired and wearing gray today. So, the video recording is very gray. But we are going to talk about green, we’re going to talk about making money, we’re going to talk about multifamily, we’re going to talk about partnerships today. It’s amazing.

 

Mike, you and I recorded on your podcast a couple of weeks, months ago. The market right now seems to have settled down. So, I’m curious to see, there was this big jump in interest rates, the big jump in the 10-Year Treasury yield. And then it kind of settled down at the end of April. Now, we’re recording in early June. So, I’m just curious to see, what you’re up to today? What are you working on right now that you’re excited about and passionate for? And kind of what’s your take on today’s market?

 

Mike Morawski: Yeah, so a couple of really good questions. So, just a little context that I’m actually in the coaching and training business, that’s my core business. And I only work with a select few individuals. I want to work with real estate investors, multi-family investors who see the big picture, who want to go out and buy multi-family apartments.

 

Now, Josh, what I will say is that there’s a lot of money to be made in small multifamilies, and that’s a great place to start. And I teach a lot of my clients to start in that space and to scale up from there because of the economies of scale, but I really personally, when I do my one-on-one coaching with people, I want to make sure that I am focused with them and I’m doing bigger projects, 100, 150-unit deals.

 

So, what we tend to do is as I coached those people along and they get a little bit more familiar with how to do the business, all the moving parts, and everything that’s entailed, we wind up partnering on deals together. I currently just closed on a 40-unit apartment deal in Tampa, Florida, one of the hottest markets in the country. And we’ll talk about that scaling back a little bit here. But it’s been one of the hottest markets in the country, and we’re actively raising capital in. So, that’s the type of thing that I like to do. I like to pull a team together and build a team that is going to be able to see the future and be able to move forward.

 

Josh Cantwell: Got it. I love it. Now, when you said you’re working with your clients and partnering with your students, you kind of talk to them about buying those smaller mom-and-pop type of buildings first. So, just describe that for me. Like, what’s a typical deal that you think a newer investor should start with? And then how many of those buildings do you think they should buy? Or how many deals should they do before they really start to scale into the 100, 150, 200-unit deals?

 

Mike Morawski: Yeah, Josh, I think it’s the person’s mindset. Every person is different, right? Like I went into the business, the first deal I bought was 11 units, and then I went and bought 64, and before I knew it, I was closing 300 and 400-unit deals in a short time. Every person is different.

 

I might have a coaching client that comes on, and all they want to do is do four-unit, three-unit residential multifamilies. And there’s a great program around that. I work with a guy who we teach a four, three, two, one, use an FHA financing. But then there’s the investor who says, “Hey, I’m going to go right for the need of it. I’m going to go out and do a 200-unit deal right now,” because that’s where his mindset is. And I know people like that also.

 

Fortunately, the people that I partnered with on this last deal were people who had that bigger mindset. And we were willing to go through the work and what needed to be done in order to find that deal, to go buy it, to handle all of the moving parts around it, and raise capital along the way.

 

Josh Cantwell: I love the idea about mindset because I do think whatever you can conceive can happen. Like whatever you can believe and conceive can come to life. What do you think, Mike, is maybe the difference between the clients that you’ve worked with, the people that only maybe conceive and believe small, those people that are like I’m going to go right after the 200-unit deal? Is it their background? Is it their experience? Is it just they just have more guts? They’d be just more risky in their nature, their core.

 

But how can somebody come into this business with and kind of expand that mindset a little bit more? Because like, I’ve got a coaching client now, he’s got a 250-unit under contract in Memphis for $17.3 million, he’s not afraid of it. So, that mindset is just different than another guy that’s like, wow, I want to start with a 25-unit. From your perspective and working with your clients, what impacts their mindset coming in when they start with you? And then how do you help them kind of change that mindset to focus on the larger deals?

 

Mike Morawski: Yeah, great questions. So, I think that there are a few myths or self-beliefs. We all tell ourselves a story, Josh, and sometimes that story is limited beliefs, it’s negativity, it’s things like, I don’t have enough education, or I don’t know how to do it, or I can’t raise the money, or whatever that story is that you tell yourself, you have to be willing to change that story. You have to be able to say, I am. I am a successful real estate investor. I do have the ability to go and buy a 100-unit, a 200-unit apartment complex. And then you have to tell yourself, I will. I will go do this. I will be able to go raise money. I do know people with money.

 

So, it comes down to the fact of how you can put it together. And Josh, I go back to the first deal I did. I didn’t know anything. I just jumped in with both feet and I learned along the way. Now, we’re going to talk about it later, I know, but you said a funny story and I have one, but it wasn’t pretty. But today, I look back and I go, geez, I needed that rough sandpaper on me to get me to where I’m at today.

 

Josh Cantwell: Yeah, I love it. So, Mike, let’s talk about the deals that you are doing now and how you’re structuring them. You do a lot of deals with your members, your students, a lot of JV deals with them. Help our audience understand how are those structured? What types of deals are you guys looking for now? Are they A class? Are they C class? Are they suburb? Are they inner city? Are they in maybe the Sunbelt markets or the Midwest? What is an ideal deal for you? And how do you put together and structure it?

 

Mike Morawski: Critical to have a buying strategy, so I tell all my clients, you need to develop a buying strategy. Start with what you want to see. If you pull in the driveway of that fourth flat or you pull in the parking lot of that 100-unit complex, what do you want to look at?

 

For me, I want to look at B-class property, workforce housing. I want to look at 2 to 3-story buildings with pitched roofs, asphalt, shingles, some brick on the front. I want to see one and a half parking spots per unit. I want to see interior hallways with entrances to my apartments inside or apartment homes. There’s that whole style that, who was the big developer for years, Lincoln, who used to build these apartment homes. So, that’s what I want to look at. Plus, I want to be in a climate, Josh, where I can golf. I live in Chicago and I don’t get to golf 10 months a year up here. But if I buy in Texas or Florida, I can go golf a little bit longer in the year. So, that’s part of my criteria also.

 

But then I have to look at the fundamentals. Is it a value add? What can I do? I always talk to people. I say there are these traps, the market traps and the deal traps that you have to look at. And the first three are population growth. Is the population growing and how rapidly? Is the job growth growing? While population is growing up, jobs are growing. And if jobs are growing, household income is growing.

 

Now, I know I can raise my rents. Now, I can go in and do that value add, do my unit terms, get the old tenants out, put new ones in, change the demographics, and build a better quality product so that in three, five, seven years when I go to sell it, I have a good buyer for it.

 

Josh Cantwell: Love it. Are there, Mike, any resources or tools that you’re using or your members are using to identify and see the job growth, the population growth, the income growth? It seems like a lot of people use CoStar, of course, or some kind of institutional product out there that has some of those projections and calculations. But I’m always interested to learn more and my audience always looking to learn more about what are the newest tools? What are the newest resources? Where do I get this data?

 

Mike Morawski: Yeah, great question. So, one thing is, Google’s your best friend. Don’t ever forget that, Google is your best friend. And I find that Google is pretty much accurate as much as a paid subscription to CoStar or to a Reece or Axiom, one of the bigger platforms. I know people that spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on paid data. And I get pretty equal data from free sites.

 

A great site that people can go to is called JusticeMap.org. And it’s a free site and it gives you household income, population growth, job demographics. It gives you a lot of metrics that you want to look at. And you really have to remember, you could be in Tampa and not know that Tampa has 15 submarkets in it. And there are a couple of submarkets that operate a little bit differently than others. So, make sure you’re doing your homework on the submarket, drill down, and know what you’re looking at.

 

The other thing is underwriting, Josh. I think that analyzing a deal, and anybody in the multi-family business needs to know how to underwrite properly, needs to know how to analyze deals properly. You need to have a tool that will give you a great stress test. So, I can put all my data in my tool, all the current numbers and all the current financials and the income and the expense side. And then I can run a proforma.

 

But when I stress test it, how does it stand up under the storm? Hey, what if rents don’t go up like we thought they would? What if rents drop? What if occupancy drops? What if the price drops out? So, how does that property perform under stress? And that’s what I want to know the most. And that’s what I get to do with my underwriting tool.

 

Josh Cantwell: I love it. That sounds good. That JusticeMap.org is not something that I knew about. I thought I knew it all. Mike, thanks for that. We appreciate that. Make sure my audience checks that out, JusticeMap.org. And I agree on the stress test, man. If you’re going to do a heavy value add, you think there’s a big rent bump, great. But what if it doesn’t? What if the market demographics change? What if we go into a recession? What if a bunch of people loses their jobs? What if the rents aren’t going up as high as you thought they could?

 

It’s always great to look at things when things are rosy, rainbow, and everybody’s making money, and things are super green. What if things get a little hairy? Can you keep the asset? Do you have enough cash to keep the asset? How long can you keep the asset if it starts to bleed a little bit? The worst-case scenario is losing an asset, or being forced to sell at the wrong time or refi at the wrong time.

 

A lot of times, every apartment operator is going to go through some of these challenging periods. The 2008, 2009s, and 2010s, those types of things are going to happen again. Do you have the cash and cash flow to make it through that? That’s the stress test that Mike is talking about. Fantastic.

 

Mike, tell us a little bit more about how you got started. You’ve been in this game for 30 years. You’ve controlled over $285 million in real estate transactions. You’ve property managed over 7,500 units. You’ve raised tens and tens of millions of dollars. You have coaching clients and mastermind members that you work with. Now, you’re JV’ing on deals all over the country. But it wasn’t always that way, you started somewhere, like all of us do. You start with one thing, one start. Tell us a little bit more about how you got going and what were some of the early challenges.

 

Mike Morawski: First of all, I just want to make a comment on the way you said 30 years. The first comment about the gray hair was one. But now, the 30 years, you’re really trying to date us, Josh.

 

Josh Cantwell: Don’t do the work. Look, that gray hair experience, there’s positives in that. Just like you said, I do, I am, I will. I’m okay with being gray. I’m okay with all the experience.

 

Mike Morawski: It just shows we have some wisdom, Josh.

 

Josh Cantwell: Yeah, I think so.

 

Mike Morawski: And wisdom comes with my story, too, that’s for sure. So, listen, you know what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. I’ve been an entrepreneur since my early 20s. I opened my first business, which morphed into a general contracting business. And like any other entrepreneur, you’re doing the marketing, you’re doing the sales, you’re writing contracts, you’re ordering material, you’re hiring people, you’re firing people, you’re scheduling, you’re doing the bookkeeping, and you’re wondering where the rest of your life is at. And I did that for a number of years.

 

I remember vividly waking up one morning, oh, by the way, I was still banging nails in the marketplace. So, I wake up one morning and I look at my wife and I go, “I’m done. I can’t do it anymore.” Fortunately, we had somebody knocking at the door to buy the company, and I sold the company. And when I did that, we took a year off, and during that year, it was kind of a soul-searching thing and time to take a break and catch my breath.

 

We wound up doing a couple of house hacks. And now, Josh, house hacking was not sexy back then. Today, people live in a house they’ve renovated. They resell it, right? It wasn’t sexy back then. I remember her screaming at me because of the nails on the floor. But I heard Jim Ruhlin say years ago, “Success leaves clues.” So, that always stuck with me.

 

When I met, this real estate agent, very successful, his name was Todd. And I went to Todd and I asked him, I said, “Hey, I would like to go in the real estate business.” He said, “Man, I think you’d be great at it.” So, he really encouraged me, along with that philosophy that success leaves clues. I thought, well, I’m going to go and ask him to shadow him. And I did.

 

I’m going to date us again now, Josh. Todd says, “No, you can’t shadow me. I’m going to do one better. I’m going to make you a cassette tape.” So, I don’t think you could find anything to make a cassette tape on today. And I haven’t been vintage shopping in a while, so. But he makes this cassette tape, and I listen to it over and over and over again. I took these key fundamentals and I took them in, I practiced them every single day. So, I go into real estate sales. And my first eight months in the real estate business, nine months in the real estate business, I sell 78 single-family houses.

 

Josh Cantwell: Wow.

 

Mike Morawski: It was remixed. I went on to build a team selling 125 homes a year, did that consecutively for about 12 years. 2005 rolls around. I see the market starting to shift and soften. I know something’s going to change. I’m not sure what it is or what’s going to happen. But I decided I’m going to go in the apartment business. Now, I didn’t just wake up and decide I was going to go in the apartment business.

 

When I was doing work in my construction company, I did a lot of work for a couple of big syndicators and I understood this. I understood you raised private equity, you marry it with a real estate deal, you stay in the middle. As long as everything goes well, everybody does well. So, I go out, I syndicate my first 11-unit apartment building. After that, I think, man, this is going to be great. I go and I raise $18 million. I buy 4,000 apartments, five different U.S. markets, $60 million worth of real estate. I build a property management company managing 7,500 doors. I have over 100 people working for me, and I do that in 30 months.

 

Josh Cantwell: Wow.

 

Mike Morawski: Yeah. So, lesson number one, I grew way too fast, very unstable. One of the lessons I teach people today is it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time. You’re going to get there. You’ll get to the finish line. Be patient and be methodical.

 

Josh Cantwell: No doubt.

 

Mike Morawski: Undercapitalize, lesson number two. Didn’t have enough money for that forward growth as fast as we grew. And then I was overleveraged. So, I was overleveraged, Josh. I had $60 million worth of real estate, leveraged it 85% loan to value. I don’t know what’s worse, me for taking the money, or the banks for giving it to me.

 

Josh Cantwell: Sure.

 

Mike Morawski: You remember back in 2008 what happened? 2008 rolls around, and it’s like hitting a brick wall in a freight train at 200 miles an hour. And I find myself with this company that’s coming off the rails, wondering, what am I going to do? Now, my thought process was, hey, this is short recession. It lasts 17 or 18 months. There’ll be a 10% or 12% correction. The markets will bounce back, we’ll be good.

 

I go to my accountant and my attorney. I come up with a plan that says, I’m going to take money from good operating companies and put it in companies that aren’t operating so well. So, I know 38 different companies, thinking, I’m going to try and save the whole thing. I should have let a dozen properties go to foreclosure. A few investors get hurt. But I wanted to save everybody. Josh, I’d hate to come to you and say, hey, even because the market is bad, your money’s gone, I’ve never wanted to do that.

 

So, I start moving money back and forth. And the lesson in this is that when we are raising other people’s money and we have other people’s money, whether it’s a nickel or $5 or $500,000, you’re held at a much higher standard. You have to be very transparent. And what happened was I didn’t disclose to my investors the movement of money, so I didn’t let my investors know what I was doing.

 

As a result of that, I got charged with wire fraud and mail fraud charges and sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. I got wiped out at the knees, lost everything, including some family. The thing I tell people, Josh, is that I never flew private. I didn’t have a big house, a fancy car, a big boat. I was the neighborhood baseball coach. I was home every night for dinner. My wife and I had a great marriage, and all of a sudden, I got ripped from that to live in a 12×12 room with three men I didn’t know, nor did I like, wondering what the hell happened in my life.

 

Josh Cantwell: Right. Oh, my goodness.

 

Mike Morawski: So, I don’t know if you want to unpack any of that. I can…

 

Josh Cantwell: Well, look, I think one of the things that I often will talk with my team about is we can’t let the head of the snake get too far ahead of the tail. They’re old slinky, right? You can’t let the head of the slinky get too far ahead of the tail. It’s actually fairly simple and easy when you’re a good operator, when you’re good at raising money, you have a reputation in the marketplace, actually fairly easy to go buy a bunch of stuff. It’s tougher to operate it. It’s tougher to do the CapEx. It’s tougher to be worrying about evictions or how much vacancy you have. It’s just much easier to just go buy another piece of property.

 

So, one of the things that really stuck out to me in your story was because you got really good at raising money and because you had banks throwing money at you fairly easy, most likely to go buy the next asset, buy the next asset, buy the next asset, it’s tougher. And this is something I’m very cognizant of because I’ve been fortunate to network with guys like you and other people in my life, and I learn lessons and success leaves clues, like you talked about, and that now, one of my main challenges is we have so much money accessibility of limited partner money and debt. I’m actually pulling back on our acquisitions at times because I just don’t want it to get too far ahead of the operations of the business.

 

And it sounds like if you could kind of go do it back and give yourself, your younger self, a piece of advice, you probably would have done a lot of the same things. You would have been aggressive, you would’ve built a great sales team, maybe taking on a little bit less debt, a little bit less leverage, raised a little bit more capital, and maybe just not done your acquisitions quite as fast so that your operating team could keep up with the front end of the slinky. So, those are some of the things I’m taking away from your comments. Is that about right? Are those some of the lessons, the advice that you would give your younger self from what you learned along the way?

 

Mike Morawski: You’re definitely spot on, you’re spot on. And then lesson number four is because I was so focused on raising money, building relationships, and sourcing deals that I didn’t pay attention to the details. I thought there was a team behind me that was handling the stabilization, the CapEx, turning units. And that wasn’t happening according to the business plan that I would write.

 

I’d write a business plan, and the execution of that was awful. And I want to take responsibility for what happened. I’m not saying it wasn’t my job. It was my job to pay attention and see what I could do to make things work. I took my eye off the ball. And so, the first four lessons are grew too fast, unstable, undercapitalized, overleveraged, and I didn’t pay attention to detail. And lesson number five, I didn’t listen to key people around me.

 

So, my wife said, “I don’t trust your partner. I don’t like some of the things going on.” Within five days of that, my attorney said, “Hey, I don’t like what’s going on. I see some things happening that you probably should take a look at your partner.” And Josh, I was, “Hey, I got this under control. Don’t worry about it.” Today, Josh, if you came to me and you said, “Hey, Mike, I think you need to think about this,” I’d say, “Tell me more, Josh.”

 

Josh Cantwell: There you go.

 

Mike Morawski: That’s who I am today because I’ve changed my whole philosophy on that.

 

Josh Cantwell: I love it. So, tell me about the recovery. So, 2008, 2009, and 2010, there are so many fantastic, wild, and crazy stories about very successful people and getting their knees knocked out from underneath them. And there’s a lot of guys that didn’t recover. You and many others are very fortunate to have learned and paid attention to the lessons along the way and make a significant recovery. Tell us about the recovery. How does that go? How do you get back on your feet to get to the point where you are today?

 

Mike Morawski: So, I’m in prison about three weeks. And here’s what I want people to understand about this piece is we can’t let our past declines. And I talk about this because I think a lot of people are trapped in a mental prison in their own life. I was behind a wall, but so many people are trapped by addictions, alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, people…

 

Josh Cantwell: Negative self-belief.

 

Mike Morawski: Yeah.

 

Josh Cantwell: All of that.

 

Mike Morawski: Abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse. And they let those things define their future. And the one thing I’m committed to is not letting my past dictate my future. And I want other people to understand that, too. I want other people to say, “Hey, you know what? Look at that, I can do it too.”

 

So, here’s what happens. I’m in prison about three weeks. My wife decides she’s going to divorce me. Josh, it wrecked me. I didn’t know how I would get through one day, much less 10 years of a prison sentence. So, about six weeks into this sentence, I walk in the gym one day, and I always tell people, I say, “Hey, I was just window shopping.” I’d gone from running marathons to being 35 pounds overweight. I hated myself.

 

And I walk into the gym, and this guy walks over to me and he goes, “Look, don’t let these people beat you.” He goes, “All they want to do is take everything from you,” meaning the government. And he said, “They can take your real estate, they can take your money, they can destroy your business, they can destroy your family, but what they can’t take is who you are and what you’re made of. They can’t take what caused you to build that $100 million company. They can’t take from you the company before that that you built.” He said, “Come to my class every day, start losing weight, start feeling better, and things will change.”

 

And I don’t know what it was, Josh, but I really believe we all have these defining moments in our life and we have a couple of them throughout our lifetime, and you need to be aware of them when they show up. But a switch flipped for me, and I said, I don’t know what made me say it, I said, “Okay.” So I started going to the gym. I started working out, losing weight. I started to feel better.

 

I went to college. I got a four-year degree in theology, a bachelor’s degree in theology. I wrote two books, Josh. I wrote one called Exit Plan: Your Complete Guide to Multi-Family Investing and Why You Need an Exit Plan Before You Buy. I wrote a book on property management. I wrote an ethics course. I taught real estate investing, property management, and ethics in prison for six years. How ironic, a federal prisoner teaching ethics in federal prison, right?

 

Josh Cantwell: Right.

 

Mike Morawski: I was on an outreach program. I went into the community. I told my story 40 times to local business owners and college students. I met a professor from the University of Minnesota, and he and I co-authored a paper that we had published last year in the Business Journal of Ethics that gets taught at the collegiate level today for forensic accounting and sales and marketing classes.

 

Today, I’m home. I’ve been home a couple of years, recently was approved by the SEC to go back and be an issuer of securities to raise private capital.

 

Josh Cantwell: Fantastic.

 

Mike Morawski: I’m in the coaching and training business and I work with investors who want to build a business, who want to grow it, but live a balanced lifestyle and not make the same mistakes that I’ve made.

 

Josh Cantwell: Love it. Fantastic stuff. So, Mike, if you were going to go back after this fantastic and amazing story and recovery, and if you were going to give yourself two or three pieces of advice, not just in going to prison, but just life in general, your entrepreneurial journey, your relationship with your wife, your decisions you made in business, are there two or three lessons, things that you know today that you think our audience would benefit from, that you would tell your younger self, that you would reach back and grab that person and shake them and say, “Hey, man, here are some things I did right that you should know, that you should do these again, and here’s a couple of things that, man I wish you would do differently.” What sticks out to you?

 

Mike Morawski: Yeah. So, things I did that I think I would advise people not to do, and that is really don’t grow so fast. Take your time. I talked to somebody the other day. They bought a thousand units in the last year. And I think it’s too fast. That’s just my own personal opinion. I don’t care how effective you are as a new investor, you need to be cautious. There are a lot of signs right now in the market that say, “Hey, we’re going to have a slowdown. You better start looking at it.” Now, I’m not saying don’t buy and don’t evaluate. Keep buying, but just be a little bit more cautious about it.

 

The other thing is pick your partners wisely, pick the people that you’re going to surround yourself with. Josh, they say if you’re the smartest guy in the room, you’re in the wrong room. So, pick your partners wisely and vet them out, really do their due diligence, see how they would operate under stress.

 

And then the things I did really well, build relationships. I’m a great relationship builder. Josh, you and I kind of hit it off the first conversation we had. And that’s what I like to do with people, is I like to make people feel comfortable and know that, hey, it goes back to that whole thing why people use social media, so they like, love, and trust you. And that’s what we have to do with people.

 

And then learn how to underwrite effectively and efficiently, know how to look at a deal within 15 or 20 minutes and see if it’s something that you want to move forward in. I mean, I underwrote eight deals to get to write seven LOIs, to be the bridesmaid six times to get awarded one. So, roll your sleeves up and go to work.

 

Josh Cantwell: Love it. Mike, that’s fantastic stuff. Thanks so much for sharing your story and your advice to our audience. This is a super powerful interview. As we kind of round through here and head for home, I know you coach investors, you partner with people. If some of my audience wants to reach out to you and be part of your group or learn more about you, I know they can go to MyCoreIntentions.com. When they go there, what are they going to find?

 

Mike Morawski: They’ll find some information about coaching. If you go to MyCoreIntentions.com/free, you can download an e-book of Exit Plan or another book on multi-family fundamentals. You’ll find some events that I do throughout the year, virtual and live. So, there’s opportunity there. Plus, you’ll get access to all my podcasts, all my videocasts. I have a couple of hundred podcasts that I’ve done. You’ve been one of my guests on my show, which I always appreciated. Great lessons in what you taught. If people want to connect with me, they can find me on social media, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, wherever. I’m not going to let the gray hair keep me away, so.

 

Josh Cantwell: That’s fantastic stuff, Mike. I love it. So, guys check him out, MyCoreIntentions.com. A lot of you guys are looking to do joint venture partnerships, constantly looking to build your network and find more mentors, Mike’s an amazing guy and has an amazing story. And I would be very, very happy if you got some of you guys engaged with Mike and did that. So, Mike, listen, thanks so much for joining us today on Accelerated Investor. This was fun.

 

Mike Morawski: Thanks, Josh. I appreciate it, man. It’s been great.

 

[CLOSING]

 

Josh Cantwell: Well, there you have it, guys. Listen, thank you so much for joining me today on Accelerated Investor. It would mean so much to me. I would be so grateful if you would go into Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, leave us a thumbs-up, a rating, a review, if you would share this all over social media and if you would go to Facebook and join our private Facebook group called Accelerated Investor.

 

Today, if you would, just do me the honor of sharing this, engaging with us, leaving us some ratings, reviews, and if it makes sense that you want to engage with Mike, talk to him about his coaching and mentorship program, check out MyCoreIntentions.com. And if you’re interested more in being a part of our mastermind, go to JoshCantwellCoaching.com. Thank you so much as always for being part of this amazing community. We’ll talk to you again next time. Take care.


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