160: Challenge Yourself – Friday Fundamentals

This morning when I woke up, it was a bit cool in my home here in Houston, TX. Our winters aren’t usually very cold but we do occasionally have to turn the heat on. Well being that is was a bit colder than I preferred in my home, I simply went over to my thermostat and turned up the temperature with the click of a button. Then, on to my normal routine as I clicked the button on the coffee pot to brew a fresh hot pot of coffee, and then to my home office to get my day started.

Why am I telling you this? Because I realize, as should you, this is an easy life. It’s comfortable. Our lives are filled with these luxuries that we take for granted.

The problem many people face is they are not challenged in life. This can seem contradictory on the surface. One would think that by building a life void of challenges, struggles, and failures, is the solution, not the problem. But this isn’t the case in my perspective. People are meant to be challenged, solve difficult problems, be faced with obstacles, and experience hardships. We’re a resilient species who has evolved over many many years to where we are now. We didn’t always have central heat and air, coffee at the touch of a button, etc.

When we don’t challenge ourselves, we become complacent with our luxuries. One small minor mishap and we think it’s the end of the world. Think of something minor that has happened to you recently and then how you dealt with it. Maybe your home internet went down, or you got stuck in traffic on your way to an appointment or work, or you had a flat tire, or whatever else. That thing probably seemed like a really big problem at the time, right? Rightfully so, since it likely was your biggest challenge of the day. But in the big picture, these are all relatively benign challenges. Some wouldn’t even consider them problems. Good luck getting sympathy for your home wifi from a refugee fleeing their country walking hundreds of miles seeking asylum in a safer place.

In order to have a better perspective on your life, it’s important to challenge yourself. Do things that are difficult. Do things that you normally wouldn’t. Take on bigger challenges and grow into them. You develop resilience when you challenge yourself. You learn and grow from the challenges you take on, not to mention the feelings of success you’ll experience.

Challenging yourself is similar to setting 10X goals. Even if you don’t accomplish that challenge or goal, you’ve still made more progress than you would have had you not tried. Many of my 10X goals revolve around buying apartments. This feat alone is enough to keep me busy and hustling, trying to reach my goal of $10M of real estate by age 30.

A recent challenge I’ve personally taken on is training the age-old martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Not only is it physically challenging, but also mentally challenging. Starting out, I have been completely incompetent and out of my element with it. It’s a relatively new endeavor of mine, and I plan on sticking with it for the long haul. I see Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a way to challenge myself mentally and physically, and a way to ground myself with this new challenge. It’s very humbling to realize there is something out there that you are completely incapable of in the moment, yet given enough time and work you can accomplish. Focusing on this challenge encourages me to grow and develop. It also puts other things in perspective – like that traffic and flat tire we mentioned earlier. Things like this seem insignificant compared to the challenge of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Everyone can find unique ways to challenge themselves. You just have to make an effort to identify and take on those challenges. Here are just a few challenges I can come up with that may be of interest to you:

Run a half or full marathon. This has always seemed like such a big feat for me, although I’ve never completed either in a sanctioned race.
Set a 10X goal, develop a yearly, monthly, and weekly plan to achieve it, and then hold yourself accountable for achieving it.
Learn a new hobby or skill you aren’t good at. This could be dancing, archery, public speaking, weight lifting or exercise, etc.
Improve your health with diet and exercise. This is one that many people desire but not many people achieve. With the new year fast approaching, you could get a jump on those new years resolutions and start improving your health now.
Volunteering. This is a challenge with unique rewards. Rewards that aren’t tangible but rather, enrich your life with gratitude and fulfillment.
Whatever is it, find a challenge that fits you. Don’t become complacent and coast through life. You’re capable of so much more, if you’ll just put in the effort. Your life will begin to expand when you take on new challenges. Your horizons will change and grow.

When you come to a fork in the road, don’t always take the easier of two paths. It often doesn’t lead to as rewarding results as the challenging path does. It can be easy to choose the less challenging path, even without thinking about it. Make a conscious effort to continue to push yourself through new challenges, grow, and learn from your experience. This will help you become a more well-rounded and successful person. So take on that new challenge you’ve been putting off. Grow, learn, and experience everything you can.

159: Scaling Your Multifamily Portfolio with Joseph Gozlan

Joseph is a multifamily investments specialist, leading group acquisitions of over $15MM in real estate and providing asset management services to a portfolio of 253 units and growing.

Joseph is a former lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and over 17 years of leadership experience in the software industry, 12 of which working for publicly traded companies such as GameStop, Retalix (NCR) and JCPenney which enhanced his business acumen, analytical skills and “big picture” perspective, all skills that he leverages to maximize efficiency in the real estate business.

In his last IT role as a Senior Software Development Manager, Joseph led five software engineering teams and was responsible for the on-time and on-budget delivery of a multiple software products that contributed directly to the company’s multi-million dollar bottom line. Joseph is now dedicated 100% to real estate.

Joseph has a B.S. in Information Systems Engineering and is also currently enrolled with Texas A&M MBA program (part time program).

Joseph began his real estate investing back in 2005, when he purchased with his wife Rita their first investment property in Israel.

In 2007 Joseph & Rita relocated to Plano, Texas and in early 2008 started their US real estate investment journey with the purchase of a duplex in Plano. Since then they grew their portfolio and strengthened their equity positions in multiple single family properties.

In early 2015 Joseph began his multifamily journey and not long after led the successful acquisition of a 22 unit multifamily property in Celina Texas. In 2017 Joseph led the successful acquisition of a 130 units in two multifamily properties in Lubbock Texas and has been serving as the asset manager for all three communities since.

Joseph’s next steps are closing on a 97 apartments community, which is under contract at the moment which will strengthen EBG’s presence in the city and will increase operations efficiency for all properties and to continue to lead the acquisitions of even more multifamily communities in the Texas secondary markets with the goal of acquiring and managing an asset base of 1500 units or more by the end of 2018.

Recently multiple family offices have been reaching out to Joseph exploring collaboration opportunities in the markets they operate in.

Key Points
Assessing secondary and tertiary real estate markets
Starting and scaling your real estate portfolio
How to find off market multifamily deals
Lightning Questions
What was your biggest hurdle getting started in real estate investing, and how did you overcome it?
Breaking into the multifamily space. Joseph was able to backdoor the process by getting pre-approved with lenders and having those lenders vouch to brokers.
Do you have a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Joseph doesn’t have an off switch
Do you have an online resource that you find valuable?
Audible for audio books
What book would you recommend to the listeners and why?
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
The One Thing by Gary Keller ad Jay Papassan
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
The Real Estate College Fund by Joseph Gozlan
If you were to give advice to your 20 year old self to get started in real estate investing, what would it be?
Skip single family properties and go straight to multifamily.
Visit Audible for a free trail and free audio book download!

The Real Estate College Fund by Joseph Gozlan


158: Incremental Improvements – Friday Fundamentals

Wealth and Freedom achievers, welcome back to another Friday Fundamentals. You are well on your way to a wealthy and free life. I know this because you are setting big goals, following up with massive action and engineering the lifestyle you want. This abundance mentality is the premise of the podcast.  Your dreams, actions, and success are only limited by your own imagination. Anything you want, you can have.

When you approach life this way, you are thinking big, expanding your options, and looking forward to success both now and in the future. This mindset alone can be difficult to grasp, much less the execution. Having the courage to set big goals, follow up with massive action, and striving for success beyond your wildest dreams is not common. This is because fear of what comes next – the execution, the hard work, and the constant grind.

After you’ve set big goals and mapped out some actions to achieve those goals you realize the daunting challenges ahead. It can be discouraging, to say the least. It’s like standing at the base of the mountain, looking upwards towards the summit, but you can’t see it beyond the clouds. It’s easy to feel defeated before you ever get started. You might feel like you’ll never reach the top.

All you have to do is get started, and improve each and every day. If you can do this one simple little step, then you are unstoppable. Incremental improvements will take you far.

Incremental improvements – by this I mean being just a little bit better than you were yesterday. Make just a little bit more progress than where you were yesterday. Learn something new. Meet someone new. Do something new and challenging.

Incremental improvements over a long period of time will produce surprising results. Think if this like compound interest. Every day you deposit just a little bit of action, knowledge, and networking into your account. Over time that all grows into a large sum.

Many people follow this same strategy. For instance Warren Buffet, founder of Berkshire Hathaway, built his wealth over a lifetime of investing, and only in his later years did his wealth grow exponentially to result in one of the richest people in the world, and considered one of the most successful investors of all time. How did he do this? It wasn’t overnight. Rather, it was incremental improvements over a long period of time.

Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater, the largest hedge fund in the world, attributes much of his success to constantly learning and applying the Principles he’s learned to his business. Over a long period of time, he grew his one man business from his bedroom apartment to one of the most successful and largest hedge funds today.

Rome was not built in a day. You shouldn’t expect to achieve your goals and engineer the lifestyle you want in a day either.

Here are 5 things you can do to make incremental improvements in your life:

Set long term goals, then break those down into actions you have to take in a year, month, week, etc. Breaking down big tasks into small achievable steps makes achieving your goals manageable.
Track your actions. If you don’t know what you did yesterday, or where you were at in achieving your goals, you won’t know where you need to be today and tomorrow. Journals and planners are a great way to track your progress.
Make corrections along the way. Sometimes it takes doing something differently to achieve the results you want. If your actions aren’t producing the results you want, then take a look at those actions and see if you need to make some corrections. Think of this like navigating a sail boat from Point A to Point B Point B, your destination, hasn’t changed. But your path there may need to adjust to winds, currents, etc. Don’t be afraid to make these corrections in your own journey.
Reflect on your progress from time to time. It can be rewarding to see how far you’ve come, and also valuable to make sure you’re on the right path.
Keep going. This is the hardest, yet simplest part. Just keep going. Make those incremental improvements every day. You can’t fail if you never give up.
“I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

Some people want to have everything planned out precisely before ever starting their journey. I know, because I’m one of them. Sometime this just isn’t practical. You have to get started and have faith in your ability to achieve your goals. You won’t always be able to predict the obstacles and challenges ahead. Rather, you have to know they are there and prepare yourself for dealing with them.

Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from getting started. Take that first step. Get a little better tomorrow, the next day, and the next. Constantly work to improve yourself. Make incremental improvements every single day. Soon enough, you’ll look down and realized you reached the summit of that mountain.

157: The Solo 401(k) with Dmitriy Fomichenko

Dmitriy Fomichenko is the founder and president of Sense Financial Services LLC, a boutique financial firm specializing in self-directed retirement accounts with checkbook control.  He began his career in financial planning and real estate investing in 2000. He owns multiple investment properties in various states and is a licensed California Real Estate Broker. Over the years, he has taught hundreds of investment and financial planning seminars and has mentored thousands of investors.

Sense Financial Services was inspired by a series of conversations Dmitriy had with his mentors in the real estate investor business.  While many were exceedingly successful in their real estate investments, their retirement accounts were losing money. This conundrum prompted Dmitriy to spend several months consulting with industry experts and researching the powerful concept of employing self-directed retirement accounts for investment purposes. Integrating his knowledge of how to successfully manage self-directed IRAs and 401ks with his expertise as an investor and mentor, Dmitriy began consulting individual investors on how to put more thought and diligence into their retirement and investment planning.

Dmitriy founded Sense Financial Services to help his clients maximize their returns on investments while protecting their hard-earned money. He is very passionate about helping families and individuals achieve financial freedom by following proven Biblical principles of financial planning and investing.

Dmitriy resides in Southern California with his wife and 10-year old daughter.  In his spare time, he enjoys studying systematic theology, spending time with his family and visiting new places.

Key Points
Solo 401(k) – what it is & how to use it
Solo 401(k) vs. IRA vs. Employer Sponsored 401(k)
Roth vs. Traditional – What is right for you?
Lightning Questions
What was your biggest hurdle getting started in real estate investing, and how did you overcome it?
Dmitriy had no experience nor money. He overcame that by being wise with his personal finances while learning about the world of real estate investing.
Do you have a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Dmitriy prides himself on his determination. When he sets a goal, he is diligent in reaching it.
Do you have an online resource you find valuable?
What book would you recommend to the listeners and why?
Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki
If you were to give advice to your 20 year old self to  get started in real estate investing, what would it be?
Start early, use leverage wisely and continue to build your wealth.
Sense Financial

Contact Sense Financial and let Dmitriy & the Sense Financial team you heard about them on The Real Estate Way to Wealth and Freedom podcast for a 10% discount!

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Contact Jacob

156: Live Intentionally – Friday Fundamentals

Many people live similar lives, striving for and achieving the American dream. In pursuit,  people find themselves very similar to a lot of other people. They have similar schedules, incomes, hobbies (or lack thereof), mindsets on money, routines, retirement plans, etc. But why? We’re all individuals and have our own unique personalities. How do we end up doing the same thing as everyone else?

Well from an early age we’re programmed to fit into this “system”. Not good, not bad, but nonetheless a system.

From an early age, I was taught and raised to go to school, get good grades, go to college, and get a job. This was the most common and proven path to middle class. As a young kid from rural Oklahoma, I thought this path sounded great, if only I could achieve it. From my parents point of view, this was a path to success. So I did what I was taught. I went to school, did well, went on to college, and ended up with a great job. Bingo. Done.

This was the end of my road map. To some, this sounds too good to be true. To others, it may sound like a nightmare. For me, I’m still figuring that part out!

But getting back to my point. We are programmed to live a life of success as someone else defines it. To many, this success means a good paying job with two weeks of vacation, a nice house, a nice car, and some extra spending money every month.

If this is the path you want, then great! But if you’re living this path, and it’s not what you want, then not so great!

There’s no reason good enough that you shouldn’t be living a life you want. You can do anything in this life you want. Live however you want. You just have to decide what that is and then live intentionally.

Living intentionally means you live and do things with a purpose. One that you have decided for yourself.

 “If you don’t build your dreams,  someone else will hire you to help  build theirs”. – Tony Gaskins Jr.

If you’re not living with your own intention, then you will live with someone else’s intention, or worse, none. Think of how easy it is to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You can easily spend an entire day doing things you have to, but don’t want to. Some spend their entire lives never truly doing what they want.

Don’t worry about doing what others around your are doing. They’re likely not doing whatever it is they’re doing because they want to, but rather probably because they have to.

Rather than following someone else’s path to their success, define your own success and live intentionally. If you don’t know what you want yet, that’s ok. But carry that intention with you in figuring that out. Purposefully seek out what you want in live. Then take actionable and intentionally steps to get there.

Many people get wrapped up in “Keeping up with the Jones”.  They follow the Jones path, without considering if it’s a path they want. Don’t follow what someone else is doing, for that sole reason. That won’t bring you happiness. Chances are, it’s not even bringing them happiness.

Most importantly, don’t just meander through life getting pinballed back and forth, where ever life takes you. Take control of your live. You can do whatever you want. You can live the life of your dreams. You just have to decide what that is, and then intentionally pursue it.