BiggerPockets Podcast 478: From Pro Snowboarder to Full-Time Flipper & Investor w/ Chris Naugle

BiggerPockets Podcast 478: From Pro Snowboarder to Full-Time Flipper & Investor w/ Chris Naugle

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The path of a wealthy real estate investor is never a straight line. Often we’ll set up goals we deem worth chasing, then somewhere along the way, we’ll pivot to a more refined goal. Without knowing where we want to go, we can’t get the proper footing to start the journey. This is exactly what snowboarder, skater, real estate investor, and lender, Chris Naugle, talks about with us today.

Chris grew up in chilly Buffalo, New York and knew he wasn’t the employment type of guy. So, after quitting his first job, he decided to start a clothing company in his basement. Then, with some of the profits from his clothing venture, paired with a loan from his mom’s equity line, he opened up a skateboard shop. Everything was going well, until the dot com crash, prompting him to become an advisor on Wall Street.

As an advisor, Chris found that more and more of his wealthy clients were investing in real estate. This prompted him to take the leap and start flipping, buying commercial real estate, and investing in rentals. But, Chris wasn’t borrowing the right way, leading him to have to get rid of his 37 unit portfolio or go bankrupt.

After losing years’ worth of work and a massive amount of equity, Chris started to draw up systems and procedures that could work as a safety net for his investments. Now with a smaller portfolio of around 23 units, he works mostly as the bank that lends other investors their money. All of this was made possible when Chris stopped and thought about what his “perfect day” was and what he needed to do to make it a reality.

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Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Brandon:
This is the BiggerPockets Podcast show 478.

Chris:
Great recession hit. My retail stores plummeted 30%. My financial advisory business literally shut off like turning the faucet off. And I got down to being one payment away from being completely bankrupt. I had exhausted my 401K loans. I had exhausted every penny I had. I didn’t have revenue coming in anymore and I just thought it was all over.

Speaker 3:
You’re listening to BiggerPockets Radio. Simplifying real estate for investors large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype, you’re in the right place. Stay tuned and be sure to join the millions of other who have benefited from biggerpockets.com. Your home for real estate investing online.

Brandon:
What’s going on everyone? It’s Brandon Turner, host of The BiggerPockets Podcast here with my cohost David Greene. What’s up man? How are you doing?

David:
Well, I’m good. You just invited me to Hawaii next week so I’m all jazzed up now.

Brandon:
I did. We’re going to hang out. We’re going to do some fun stuff. Actually what David and I are going to be doing is we’re going to be getting together to record a … We’ll call it a masterclass on creative investing. Like financing when you don’t have a lot of money. So we’re going to talk about BRRRR and all this. And that is going to become eventually once we get it all edited and done, and maybe it will be by this point that this show is coming out, it’ll be part of the pro membership. And so it’s going to be a new feature of being pro is this masterclass David and I are doing so I’m super pumped about that. So David, thank you for coming out to Maui to hang out on a beach and then record some videos in my sea shed. That’ll be fun.

David:
We got to give the people what they want.

Brandon:
We got to give them what they want. Well speaking of giving them what they want, let’s talk about how to get y’all some more money. Some more money in your pocket and the life you want to lead. And that’s what today’s show is all about. It’s how to begin leading your perfect life. In fact our guest today, Chris Naugle, who is a real estate investor turned bank. You’ll hear more about that later. He’s not actually a bank. But he’s doing a lot of lending now and he’s doing a lot of … He’s done hundreds of flips and he’s owned nearly 100 rentals. And had a TV show sort of. You’ll hear that story today. But today he talks a lot about, again, how to design your perfect day. How to really know your why. Why you’re getting into real estate and why that matters so much. We talk a lot about what to do if you were dropped in a city with no money and just had to figure out how to build wealth from right then. He gives a great answer to that one. I think you’re going to love that. And then he talks about rules of engagement when it comes to investing and having different rules that we follow. Whether it’s real estate, whether it’s Bitcoin. We talk a bit about that. A bit about stocks.
He’s been a financial advisor. He was for like 20 years. So this guy is like the guy that we can ask all these questions to. Plus he’s got a pretty terrific story of the ups and downs of real estate investing. So all that and more to come but first let’s get to today’s quick tip. David Greene, what you got man?

David:
All right, today’s quick tip is, don’t try to use today what worked yesterday. Real estate changes. The market changes. Technology changes. The world changes. There are strategies in real estate investing that worked very good five years ago that don’t work in today’s market. Many people listen to episodes of The BiggerPockets Podcast from previous years where Brandon and I are giving advice that wouldn’t be relevant in today’s market. Now some things never change in time but some things do. So the quick tip for today is, ask yourself what is working in today’s market? We have a shortage of inventory. We have very low interest rates. We have multiple ways of purchasing property that many people didn’t know about before. How can you take the strengths of today’s market and the weaknesses of today’s market and come up with a strategy that will solve the problem that isn’t just based on something you heard somebody else say 10 years ago?

Brandon:
By the way, you know you’re a father of a young girl when you say some things never change and I start seeing the song from Frozen II. Some things never change.

David:
At least you tell people you’re the father of a young girl so they don’t know how much you really love Disney movies.

Brandon:
I watch so much Frozen II.

David:
No one’s ever actually seen this young girl of yours that often referred to.

Brandon:
All right, with that said, I think we’re all ready to jump into this interview with Chris Naugle. I don’t know. Anything you want to say before we jump in David?

David:
No. I think this was a great episode. I want to get Chris in here.

Brandon:
All right. Without further ado let’s bring in our guest, Chris Naugle.
All right Chris, welcome to the BiggerPockets podcast man. Good to have you here.

Chris:
Absolutely. Thanks for having me on.

Brandon:
So let’s dig into this. You were a pro snowboarder at some point. Is that correct?

Chris:
I sure was. Best years of my life right there.

Brandon:
Yeah. So what was that like? You went from that into real estate or was there anything kind of in between?

Chris:
There was so much in between. Yeah. I’m from Buffalo, New York. Not exactly the mecca of snowboarding but I had a big dream and I got in my car every weekend, drove all the way out to Vermont, competed and came home. That was just like … Sometimes when you got a dream you just got to chase it. So that became my thing. Pro snowboarding. At 16 … At a young age when that was what I was chasing, I realized that I didn’t want to work for somebody. I had a terrible job. The guy treated me awful. And I just came home one day and I said, “Mom, is it okay if I start a clothing line in the basement?” And I became an entrepreneur that was 16 years old. Phat Clothing Company was the clothing line.

Brandon:
Fat like F-A-T or was that like P-H-A-T?

Chris:
P-H-A-T of course.

Brandon:
Okay.

Chris:
That clothing line after a year turned into the next big dream and that was a skateboard shop. I wanted my own store and that became Phatman Boardshop. So 17 turning 18 and a big loan using mom’s house. I grew up in a lower, lower middle class family. The only thing my mother had was her house and my dream almost died on the shop so she put her house on the line so that I could open Phatman Boardshop and that November of 1994, I had my own shop. And that was my life. Snowboarding, running the stores. Real estate was the place that I came home and laid my head down on. That’s really all I did with real estate. But that changed very quickly. In the early 2000s I was crushing it. The stores. But then the .com crash hit and brought me to my knees and I had to get a job. And I’ll never forget my friend worked at Little Caesars and I’m like all right, I can deliver pizzas to kind of get through this. And I put my resume out and I landed in Wall Street of all places. It wasn’t something that was supposed to be long term but I ended up loving it.
I ended up helping a lot of people. I was still running the stores but working on them, not in them. So I learned an important thing at an early age because of kind of an unforeseen event. And as I started doing really, really well as an advisor, I started watching some flip shows. And I knew all my wealthy clients, they all were in real estate. So I’m just like wait a second, if they’re in real estate I got to take some of this money I’m making and put it in real estate. First flip was ’06. And in 2006 that flip was like so many others first flip. You watch the TV show. 23 minutes and the flip is done and you’re profiting. You know darn well that’s now how it worked. About a year later I finished that flip. We sold it. What was supposed to be a $40,000 profit was eight grand. And that was my entry point into real estate. And most people would be like, “Oh that all you made?” But you know what? I saw how it worked, and I’m like, “You know what, I like this and I think I can figure it out.”
So 2007, my next one. That brings me right up to 2008. Oh boy, that story goes a weird way from there.

Brandon:
Yeah. We’ll dig into that. I do want to make that point though about getting into real estate, like your first deal you made $8,000. We say this a lot on the show but I think it’s worth repeating over and over and over. Is it proved the concept. It got you that momentum. It got you the confidence. It got you the excitement and like this actually works. And so today when we’re talking to new investors one of the pieces of advice I give all time and I know David does as well is just get in the game. Like you don’t have to hit a home run that first deal. If you can make something. If you broke even even I’m not sure I would advise against that. Like I would even be okay with breaking even on a property just to get your foot in the door. Just to get that confidence. Do you agree?

Chris:
100%. Well said. And that’s exactly what it was. It was just that confidence. Once you do something, you make all the mistakes and even though it didn’t workout financially it was still … The roadmap was there. You realize what mistakes you made. And any of those failures were just pushing you forward to the next one and I couldn’t wait to get into the next deal.

Brandon:
That’s cool. So what happened in ’08 then? What’s that story? I mean the market crashed obviously.

Chris:
Yeah. It was like the pinnacle of my life. I was doing well, really well, as an advisor and I had my stores which were doing good. I was at the peak of my snowboarding career at that point. Making some good money traveling and competing. And then my lease came due on the strip mall where I had my store. And two buildings down was this dilapidated paint store. It was just a building literally about ready to fall down. But I saw it and I saw a for sale sign and I said, “You know what, why am I paying this guy rent?” And of course he was raising my rent. Why am I paying this guy rent when I can buy this, renovate it, turn it into a three unit strip mall and have other people pay my mortgage?
And I got a hard money loan at that point from a guy that I shouldn’t have borrowed money from but nobody else would give me 340 … I think it was $370,000 when we were all done to do this. But you also know that everything in life there’s a right time and a wrong time and my life was going one direction and all of a sudden the great recession hit and it completely went the other direction. And that strip mall was half done. The great recession hit. My retail stores plummeted 30%. My financial advisory business literally shut off like turning the faucet off. And I got down to being one payment away from being completely bankrupt. I had exhausted my 401K loans. I had exhausted every penny I had. I didn’t have revenue coming in anymore and I just thought it was all over.
And at that time because of what I was doing I had just moved my girlfriend into the house. She was that girl that I had always been searching for. She had just moved in and I remember coming home late at night knowing I had nowhere else to go. None of my family had money. And I said to her, I said, “Sweetie, I need your help. I need your help paying the mortgage. I need your help paying the utilities. And by the way, my friend Pete is going to move into that bedroom down the hall.” I had like a 50/50 shot of her not walking out that door forever but I think she kind of liked me because she ended up sticking around.

Brandon:
So you end up renting out a bedroom. What did that experience teach you? The crash, going down to almost bankrupt. What did that teach you that could help apply to people to other people maybe in today’s world and whether a recession comes or not, we don’t now but-

Chris:
A lot. And I’m going to quote a Will Rogers quote. The biggest problem in America is not what people don’t know, it’s what they think they know that just ain’t so and I’ll tell you that was me. I was this high level financial advisor. I thought I knew what I didn’t know and then all of a sudden when it all was gone, it taught me that I had to get back to the foundation, back to the fundamentals of what got me there in the first place. And unfortunately that was just getting back to renting rooms in my bedroom. Letting your ego go and just doing what it takes. And also being willing to let things go. Asking Lorissa to help me pay those bills. I knew there was a chance she wasn’t going to stick around. But that was the only thing I could do to make it though that period.

David:
Something to highlight about what I think you did well there, because most people fail when the market turns against them or the environment turns against them. A lot of people do well when the wind’s at your back. And what happened to you and really everyone in ’08, ’09 was the winds immediately shifted from the strongest wind you’d ever seen at your back to full hitting you in the face was you took action very quickly. You didn’t get paralyzed and sit there and say, what do I do? This is unfair. You immediately said well, this sucks and you started making decisions. I need to start renting out rooms. I need to go renegotiate this deal I have with the hard money lender if I can. I need to explain to my girlfriend this is the reality of what’s happening. And I think that I don’t want us to just gloss over that and pretend like that didn’t play a role in Chris’ success that we’re going to get to later. It’s the ability to pivot quickly when things change that helps separate the people that make it from the people that say oh, I’m never doing this.

Chris:
I would agree with that. And I think the only way to really fail in life is to quit. And I’ve never been a quitter. I wouldn’t have accomplished what I had up to this point if I was a quitter. And at that point in time, I’m not going to lie, when I think back to that, I wanted to quit. I really did. I just wanted to throw the towel in an just be done. Things got really hard. Everything. You know how it works. When one thing goes bad, everything snowballs underneath you. You’re right though, I had to pivot. And it was more pivots then what I’m letting on. That strip mall I did, I went and talked to that hard money lender and I thought … I literally … This is the kind of guy he was. He was the kind of guy that if I didn’t pay him, he wouldn’t have just taken the building. I think I would have lost maybe a couple fingers along the way. So I couldn’t not pay him. I asked him. So I had to figure things out. And I just had to get resourceful. I think that was my first lesson into, it’s not about your actual resources it’s about how resourceful you can be. And boy did I get resourceful.

Brandon:
So what happened to that building?

Chris:
I finished it. I got it at the skin of my teeth. And I’ll never forget it. In the midst of this whole thing, it was the winter in Buffalo which mean we had like four feet of snow. I had my store moved in. It was February. And I had two vacant shops but I had little cellphone place take the middle one. But I took it to the bank trying to refinance it and they said, “No, we need 80% occupancy or better.” And I didn’t have that. The last unit was about 2,200 square feet. I knew this guy, he had this little video game store in a local flea market. I had somebody else to say to him, “Hey, you should get out of the flea market and do a real store.” And the business was called Oogie Games. I met with him, I gave him a really smoking deal on his rent and I offered to renovate it. And because he signed that lease the bank refinanced that strip mall. And I ended up owning that strip mall until 2014. It was actually very profitable but I sold it in 2014 to pursue the real estate thing.
Because even though that was real estate, it was a huge burden because I had my store in there. And every time I was there I was just working in the shop. So my store I ended up selling in 2010 and Phatman’s still around today but I sold it in ’10. And then shortly thereafter the guy I sold it to just became a real nuisance. We’ve all had tenants like that. I ended up just letting the building go and selling it to somebody and I got a really good buck for it. And that fueled a lot of the next phase of my life which was the real estate phase.

Brandon:
Yeah. So let’s move into that. So the real estate phase. You were still working the financial advising I’m assuming during this time right?

Chris:
That is correct. So yeah. The financial advisory was a staple in my life all the way to 2018. But we’ll go back to 2009. Warren Buffet was always a hero of mine and being in the investment world, he always said buy low, sell high and don’t lose money. So 2009 the market fell apart and I just had a realtor that said, “Hey listen, we can buy these apartment buildings for pennies on the dollar.” And that’s what I started doing. So I started using the proceeds from the sale of the store and the money I was making and I’d buy one building and then I would just take the rents, renovate all the units and then I would use that money to buy the next and the next. And I got up to 36 apartment units by 2014 just leveraging it. I was doing it all wrong. I just want to be very clear. I wasn’t some expert out there. I was doing everything wrong. I was still that guy because I was an advisor, I thought I knew how to do it and I didn’t think I needed someone helping me, a mentor or some training. I just read a few books and went at it.
And I remember in ’14 I got my 37th unit, I’m on a roll. I bring it to the same bank that refinanced that strip mall and they had done all my other mortgages and they were like, “Chris, you can’t do this mortgage. We can’t do it for you.” And I said, “Why? You’ve done all the other ones.” And they said, “Because you don’t fit into a little square box called debt to income ratio.” Now you both already know but just for the audience what I was doing wrong, I was borrowing in my personal name. I didn’t understand commercial mortgages or anything. I was just borrowing right in my personal name because it was cheaper. I thought because the rate was lower I should be doing it this way. And that just made logical sense. But when I got that unit and I didn’t fit in that, not only did they deny that unit, I had a line of credit that I used every single time to renovate units. They froze my line of credit. And then I got behind on my mortgages and it just snowballed in ’14. I ended up getting gone of my mortgages called. I thought it was because I was late. Because I just didn’t really look into it. But the bank was actually selling off to a large bank and in doing that they just were trying to get rid of me.
So I ended up having to sell all 36 units in ’14. So you can kind of see like early 2000s doing well, living life. Kind of took a little thump. 2008, crushing it right down to my knees. Now again, I’m making it again in ’14 and then right back to my knees. It was such a rollercoaster ride. And I was so mad at myself in ’14 because I thought man, how does this keep happening? I’m this high level financial advisor. What is it that I don’t know? And there was a lot.

Brandon:
So what came next then? I should say, what didn’t you know?

Chris:
Well, I didn’t know how to use banks. I didn’t know about commercial mortgages. But really what happened is I got a postcard to go to one of those seminars where you go and learn how to flip houses. And I didn’t go because I wanted to, I went because they were giving away an iPod Shuffle. So I had nothing to lose and I had an iPod Shuffle to gain so off I went. So I’m in this three day and I’m sitting in the back row listening to these guys, bored. And then all of a sudden, two guys get up named Mike and Greg. I’ll never forget them. And they start talking about real estate. Mike had a show on E&E so I was like oh, he’s a TV show guy. And the other guy, he was the bank. I was like okay, he’s the bank, he must be like a hard money lender or work for the bank. But when he started talking about money everything he talked about was the complete opposite of every single thing that I’ve learned about how money works. They’re talking about privatized banks and I didn’t even understand what that meant.
And I’m like how is it that I’m an advisor of all these years, it was like 14 years there, and these guys who are just real estate investors and the other guy’s “the bank”, how is it that they know all this stuff? I dove it and I started learning from primarily Greg and also Mike. I was borrowing money from Mike and he was lending it to me for all my flips that me and my wife were doing. Because at that point we had transitioned … Lorissa was my fiance at that point. We had transitioned from rentals to flips. Because I was done with the rental thing at that point. And we were needing capital over and over and over. So Mike, he had a lot of money. And after I saw him there, he liked us so he started lending money. And then Greg started lending us money. And then I started seeing the biggest differences of how they were doing it. And being the bank … I always thought to be the bank you needed to have millions of dollars. So I’m like all right, I’m going to flip my way to millions of dollars then I’m going to be the bank because Greg said, “Hey, the ultimate in real estate is being the bank.”
So me and Lorissa, we literally were at one point before we got the TV show … At one point we’re flipping 20 houses a month. And it was absolutely awful. That’s the only thing I can say. 20 houses a month. Any money that came in went out as fast as it came in. I literally started wholesaling just so that I could afford to pay my staff. We’d have months where a flip would be going over budget or something would be happening and we didn’t have enough money to even pay staff. We didn’t have enough money to pay rent so we started wholesaling surely out of necessity. And I was like all right well, we can do this flip … Which we always wanted to do them because we were addicted bad. And we’re like all right, well we’ll let this on go and we’ll make five grand and that paid the rent and the utilities. I did that for years. And it got us that TV show in 2018. But the TV show wasn’t just like, “Oh hey wow, look at these photos on Instagram. Do you want to have a show?” We fought so hard for that. Everything. And I failed over and over. Every network told us no numerous times.
But again, just like earlier, I just wasn’t willing to accept no because I knew that if I was going to get where I wanted to I had to have some exposure to a show. At least that’s what my mind told me. That’s what led to the TV show on HGTV.

Brandon:
Yeah. What was the show called and what was it about?

Chris:
Sure. Risky Builders. It was a flip show. You ever see the old show Jackass?

Brandon:
Yeah.

David:
Yeah.

Chris:
We took Jackass and let’s just say Flip or Flop and we came up with this concept where it was going to be two. I was a pro snowboarder. I had the skateboard shops with all the skateboarders so I’m like all right, the skaters will come in and we’ll demo the house. And all the demoed material, we’ll build ramps through the house and do that. We were talking offline about Dyrdek. But we were doing that and then we were flipping the house along the way. So it was a cool concept but when we sent it out because we finished the sizzle reels we sent it out and the networks are like, “Well, we love it but I don’t we have an audience for this.” And that was one after the other, after the other. And then I’m like, “Well, it’s got to go to MTV.” But I didn’t have a network or a source to get it there. So we ended up having to go back to the drawing board and get a different producer who knew what the network wanted. And they said, “All right, kind of like the banks, here’s the little box they want. They want the husband and wife, they want the crazy contractor. And if you can make that happen I think we can sell this.” So that’s what we did. We changed the format and it worked.
And we had our pilot air. Now, we didn’t go onto series after that. We aired six times and they didn’t pick us up after that just because Discovery bought HGTV and it was game over. It was honestly the worst and the best day of my life.

Brandon:
I’m curious, so you only did six episodes total or the pilot aired six times?

Chris:
Pilot aired six times.

Brandon:
And that was it. It never did anything more than that?

Chris:
No. I’ll never forget the call. We were at a green light which is like where the … You’re up against a bunch of other shows that they’re testing out there with Flip or Flop and the other shows. And we were testing one of the best. We were the number two show coming out of green light. And we had our final kind of airing where the ratings were going to determine and it rated really well. I remember pre celebrating thing, “Oh we got it. Look at the ratings. We blew it out of the water.” And then all of a sudden I get that dreaded call driving home. And they’re like, “Hey, they loved the show but they’re making a lot of changes with this new mergers and they’re going to freeze all new shows so sorry about your luck.” That was it.

Brandon:
I got hit at that exact same time with the same thing. I had a show. I didn’t get as far as pilot though but they killed it at that moment when Discovery bought HGTV. I was like it’s over. Again, I’m kind of happy that it did. It would have been fun, sure, but I can’t imagine where I’d be today. It’d just be very different.

Chris:
I gree with that. And I’m glad that you went through that because you know, sometimes it’s a lonely thing talking about that. Yeah, it hit us hard. It hit me harder than my wife and then it hit my wife harder later when it sank in. It was single handedly the greatest phone call I ever got. Because like you said, had I gotten that show and maybe it worked, maybe it didn’t, wouldn’t matter, my life would be completely different than it is today and I can’t even fathom what that would have been like and whether … Maybe it would have been better but I don’t live my life that way. I think everything in life happens for a specific reason and you are where you are because of circumstances and things like that.

Brandon:
I was having a breakfast the other day. I won’t name drop but it was an HGTV celebrity and we’re sitting there having breakfast here in Maui. And he was just saying how he can’t go to the beach without just continually getting photos taken of him and his kids and his family. They have to cover up when they go through places and they can’t go anywhere. And in the same breath he was like, “You should try again for a TV show Brandon.” And I’m like, “I don’t think so.” I don’t think I … I understand the appeal. Like my ego says yeah, that’d be awesome. But at the same time it’s just life changing in maybe a way I don’t want. We’re going to leave David Greene with … We’ll get David Greene a TV show. He can handle that.

David:
No. That’ll never happen. And here’s why. I could be standing next to Brandon Turner in Hawaii and people will walk right up to us and say, “Oh my god, it’s Brandon Turner,” hand me their coffee to hold and say, “Can you take a picture of us?” Happens all the time. All the time.

Brandon:
That’s not true.

David:
It’s not like they don’t recognize me. I’m standing next to Brandon and still they’re like, “Hey, I totally know you.”

Brandon:
Not true.

David:
No, it’s fine. Let’s keep it that way. You can get all the attention.

Chris:
David, all you got to do man is just grow the beard out more. You just got to get more of a distinguished beard.

David:
Apparently 6’2″ isn’t tall enough because when Brandon’s your friend at 6’6″ you still seem like a bush next to a sycamore.

Brandon:
Back to the show. Chris, so TV show didn’t go anywhere. What happened next? You keep flipping? Keep doing rentals? What happened?

Chris:
Yeah. We did keep flipping and we kind of changed a lot. We had moved over more to the BRRRR strategy. We were really, really intrigued by the BRRRR strategy because it saved us during that whole period of cashflow. A lot of the flips, when they wouldn’t sell immediately we had a strategy. Every property that we would buy we’d first try to wholesale. Quick money is the best money. After that we would then move it to a flip. And if we couldn’t sell that flip in 60 says, it immediately was transitioned into a BRRRR and we would rent it out. And I kind of figured some things out. And you talk about it a lot, but with the BRRRR, what I did is I created an elaborate spreadsheet showing here’s all of our cashflow going out on flips and here’s all the money coming in on the rental portfolio. And I started saying all right, well the rental portfolio isn’t enough to support the flip so we flipped the model. We started renting more properties until the rental more than covered the flip expenses. At that moment … And it seems so simple in looking back. But when you’re in the mix that just didn’t seem like the right thing. You’re just like flip, flip, flip.
And once we did that and I’m like wait, now all the rentals are paying for all the flips and then we started wholesaling and that was just like gravy on top which funded the ability for us to do a lot more fun things. And we just kept going with that. We got the rental portfolio. This is small compared to a lot of the people you have on. It was like 91 units. We cut our flips way down and we were doing lots of wholesale and wholetails. When the market heated up we were just buying them, cleaning them up and flipping them right back on the market and we were doing really well with that. So the real estate business went from … I don’t want to say a struggling business but we were just burning cash. Doing so much volume. To now we actually were stacking cash with the rentals and all the wholesale and it just changed everything. It gave me freedom. It gave me sanity. I think if I kept going I would have zero hair left, period. I don’t even know if I’d be alive. I think the stress would have killed me.
But yeah, that’s what we did. It’s very different today. So now today with where the market’s at, we’re actually selling off a lot of our rental portfolio. So I think we went from 91. I’m down to about 23 rentals now. And we haven’t flipped a house since last year but we did a couple wholetails. So we’re not doing as much real estate. We still have a small team that manages all of the rentals. We do it all ourselves. We tried the property management thing. That just bombed horribly. And now I just … I like to say now what I do is I learned how to take the money we made and make that money go work for me. So I’m just the bank. And that’s kind of what we do more than anything today is we make our little green marching dollars go out and work harder so that we don’t have to work harder. Because all I ever knew my whole life, what I was taught is to work for money. I was taught trading hours for dollars. Even in your own business. How many hours can you put in and that equals more money. But I feel like I did it all wrong. But everything I did was just a learning lesson to get me where I’m at today.

Brandon:
Well, I like how it kind of showcases that investor lifecycle where you are in it in the weeds and you’re flipping, you’re wholesaling and eventually you get some rentals and then you move into the idea which is you’re the bank, you’re the investor to use Robert Kiyosaki’s cash flow’s quadrant. Right?

Chris:
Yeah.

Brandon:
It’s what? Employed, self employed, business owner and investor. So being the investor is you’re just taking your money … So when you say lending, are you private lending, hard money lending, kind of stuff or are you putting money into syndications or what are you doing for that?

Chris:
Yeah. I like the syndication model. We don’t do any of that. Pretty much just all private money. We’ve built a community that we lend to so it’s a community of lenders and borrowers. I always like to just think of it like eharmony. If you wanted a date you’d go on eharmony. Well, we created the eharmony of money. So we just lend within our own community and we control who comes in and who we lend to. So that’s all we do now. And it’s not all our money. The one thing a lot of people think is all lenders are using their own money. I definitely lend my own money but I help a lot of other people lend their money as well. And that’s what we do. We have a ton of fun doing it. I still sometimes partner in deals. If I get a deal that I really like I’ll come in and offer expertise just because of the experience and partner in that deal and those are fun. But I try not to get too involved. The second it says hey, can you go check on the tenant or this, I’m out. I just don’t want to do that anymore.

Brandon:
Well, looking back on your career now, I mean you’ve been at this for a little while, what advice would you give to yourself at the beginning? If you’re brand new, you’re just getting started. If you can go back in time, what would you give yourself?

Chris:
Very simple. I would have gave more. That’s what I would have done. I would have given more to others. Back then through a lot of that life I was always me, me, me, work harder, work longer, make more, get more. And I think the biggest thing I missed during that whole journey was the gift that I should have been doing and that’s giving. And if I could look at my younger self and say, this is what you need to change, that would be the one thing.

Brandon:
That’s cool. It’s very fitting too. We just interviewed John Ruhlin who wrote a book called Giftology and it was on the last week’s episode of the show that just came out a few days ago and it’s all on giving and how that actually improves your life. So yeah, if you guys haven’t listened to that one, it’s episode 477. And yeah, super cool. All right so another question … I like talking to guys who have been through a whole bunch of different real estate. I’m just going to fire a bunch of just how to questions at you. So let’s just say you are transported today with no money, dropped in the middle of a city that maybe you know, maybe you don’t know. Regardless, a new city. You got no money and you got to start building a real estate business. What’s the first thing you do?

Chris:
Easy. I’d figure out who’s building real estate businesses and go where they are and then start connecting with them. It’d be a very easy process.

Brandon:
Elaborate on that. Because you’re right. I agree 100%.

Chris:
I mean it’d be easy. I’d first figure out where are the local real estate meetings going or who are the local real estate superstars? And I would figure out one thing about the top guys. I would figure out what their biggest problem is and I would solve that problem for them. And that’s how I would get into it. And everybody has the same problem. There’s different types of problems but the problem I’m very good at solving is the money problem. And a money problem that everybody has is they all want to make more money. And really if you kind of take people just like a coin, the heads and the tails, there’s people that have money that want to make more money and there’s people that need money to make more money. I would serve both of those categories. The heads and the tails. And I would show people that need money how to get money. And I would basically teach them to get money you got to stop asking for it and you got to go out there and you got to start solving problems. And the cool thing about … Let me just focus on that for just one second.
Right now is the easiest time I think in history, at least my life of 43 years, to raise money. Because one thing is certain. Real estate values have skyrocketed. And every person that lives in a house, your neighbors, your coworkers, your friends, your families, most of them brag about the equity in their house. But the craziest thing is is what good is the equity in a house if you don’t make that money go work? If it isn’t paying your car payment, it’s not paying your kid’s car tuition, you’re just bragging that you got money tucked away in those rafters and it’s doing nothing. And I would teach the people that need money how to go out there and solve their neighbor’s problem. And that problem that I would start with is does your neighbor like paying his car payment? Well, teach your neighbor how you will pay his car payment, not just now but for the next X amount of years that they want to do this. And all they need to do is hear you out on your opportunity. And then just explain how you did the same thing.
Because I think people make the mistake and they always go out and they think they got to ask for money or they got to tell someone, “Oh, I got this great opportunity. You should lend on this.” You’re done. As soon as you ask, it’s game over because you’re in a position of weakness. But the second you go in and you talk about your scenario, what you’re doing, how you would use your equity, and you teach them … Because as soon as you’re talking about you they’re thinking about them. It’s just human nature. And then you start talking about, “Hey, I want to help you pay that car payment,” or, “I want to help pay your kid’s college tuition.” And here’s what you’re going to do. All we’re going to do is we’re going to is we’re going to take that lazy money that’s sitting on your couch eating your potato chips, drinking your soda and watching your TV and we’re going to send it to work. And your money wants to go to work. That equity in your house wants to work. But you got to give it direction. So I would do that.
And then the people that have money, I would show them how they can make their money work without them having to work harder, work longer, take on risk or give up control of their money. I would solve that problem for them and I would bring the two together and I would just be a piece of every part of that.

Brandon:
I really love the picture there of like this pays your car payment, this could pay your house payment. Because at the end of the day I mean we’ve all had the sales adage of like people when they go to the store they don’t want a drill, they want a hole. So they buy a drill to get the hole. What do they want? What’s the solution? So when you say hey, you can get a good return on your money, nobody wants a good return on their money.

Chris:
No.

Brandon:
What they want is they want to travel. They want to see their grandkids. They want to not have to go to that annoying job anymore with the crappy boss. That’s what they want. So when you sell the hole versus trying to sell the drill I think you get a lot farther in life.

Chris:
You nailed it. But I think a lot of … It’s no one’s fault-

Brandon:
Nailed it.

David:
You drilled it.

Brandon:
I drilled it. That’s what I did. I drilled it Chris.

Chris:
You nailed it. You drilled it. You did it all man. But I think that’s a mistake. A lot of people growing up … And I’ll transitioned just a bit from real estate to money because the foundation is … The biggest thing that most people make the mistake of is we are taught our whole lives to give up control of our money. I mean put money in the bank. Put in your 401K. Give it up to somebody else. And that somebody else, the bank, Wall Street, wherever you put it, is the one going to make all the money. When you have been taught that that’s the right thing to do. But when people change that and they learn just to change one thing … That’s it. They just have to change one thing. Add one step. And that one step gives them control of their money back. Now all of the sudden, all they have to do if they have control of it is figure out, how do I make my money work? How do I make my money go out there and move for me? And that is single handedly the biggest problem. Because it’s something that they don’t teach in grade school, they don’t teach in high school, they don’t teach in college. They don’t even teach it in financial advisor school if you will, or becoming an advisor.
Never did I learn what I know now being an advisor at a very high level for 16 years. Never once did they teach me all the things that I know about money today. And that’s a shame. And the other thing, banks. Banks tell us to do the exact opposite with our money that they do with their money. And that’s the thing. When I heard that I’m like that is incorrect. So I researched it. I’m a big due diligence and research guy. Someone tells me something, first thing is say is that sounds too good to be true or that isn’t the case until I prove that it is to myself. So I did that with money. And how it started was the wealthy individuals I was surrounding myself with. These were multimillionaires and billionaires. And the biggest disconnect that I had during that period of flipping houses is I started asking them what they did it with money. How they did it. And it was always the complete opposite of every single thing I was taught to do with money and trained to do as a financial advisor.
That disconnect right there single handedly is one of the biggest reasons why people suffer financially or why the statistics are out of 100 people only five of them will be financially secure at the age of retirement. It all comes down to one thing. If you took 100 20 year olds and you asked them all, are you going to be successful at 65? Gentlemen, what do you think they’d all say?

Brandon:
Yeah.

Chris:
Absolutely. You wouldn’t even get that whole question out. They’d all tell you immediately that they’re going to be successful at 65. But something happens from 20 to 65. See once they hit 65 social security statistics show that only five of them will be successful. The other 95 will be different varying levels of success or not success. And it comes down to what I figured out. Two different types of people. There’s a line in the sand you got to draw and there’s really two types. There are people that create. And the creators are the five that made it. The five percenters. The other ones conform. They conform to what other people tell them they can’t do, what they should do. Get a job. If I could count how many times in my journey my family, my father, even my mother who is my unconditional one, my ultimate motivator, she even said to me numerous times, “Why can you just be satisfied? Why can’t enough just be enough? Why do you have to keep working so much? Do so much?” Everybody kept telling me to conform and I just wanted to create.
The difference between that five 20 year olds that made it and the 95 that didn’t is the five created their financial destiny. And that’s what every wealthy individual I’ve ever met … A lot of people think, oh, they inherited money. They came up in a wealthy family. No, no, and those are the lies you’re taught. Very few multimillionaires and billionaires were handed their money. They all figured something out and they all figured out what I just said. They decided they weren’t going to conform and they were going to create. Didn’t mean to go on a rant there but that’s literally the one thing I learned that changed every single thing in my life.

David:
One thing you’ve mentioned is the need to take the money you have and make it work for you. So you earn money through making the money you already have work. But most people are starting out listening to this without any money. That’s what they’re here for. How do you know when it’s the right time to transition out of trading time for money into trading money for money?

Chris:
Well, let me talk about the people that think they don’t have any money. Now I’m not saying it’s all of them but a lot of them just truly don’t. And what they need to do is figure out how to solve somebody’s problem. There’s sellers out there that are trying to sell their property, solve the problem. There’s buyers that need property, solve the problem. You don’t need any money for that. And you can make a bloody fortune as you know doing those things right there. But let’s just talk about people that think they don’t have any money that actually have money but the problem is they give it all away to somebody else. On an average if you take a dollar the average person gives 90 cents of that dollar away to somebody else. Credit card payments, car payments, and all that. So if somebody doesn’t have money, the first place they should start if they want money is look at where all your money’s going and how do we take some of that money back? If you’re giving Visa, Amazon and all the credit cards %15 to 29%, wouldn’t you like to make %15 to 29% on your money? So let’s find a way to get rid of the credit card. And there’s systems that do this very efficiently. And then take the …
Here’s the thing. This is banking 101. If you’re paying Visa $100 a month and Visa’s charging you 26% and you pay Visa off. The average person’s like good, glad that credit card’s gone. Stop. Do one more step. Add one more thing. That $100 you used to give to Visa, change the name on that check. You no longer owe it to Visa so now pay it back to yourself. You are now the bank. So instead of Visa being the bank or the person you pay to, pay it back to yourself. You just made yourself %15 or 29% … Whatever your credit card charges you, you got that back. If people would stop thinking that building wealth is working harder, working longer, taking on more risk and giving up control and they started thinking about all I need to do is take back control, which is also taking back the money you’re giving away and go through a process to do that, they’d build wealth without all the risks. Without all the long hours. And it would take time. Building wealth is a marathon. I mean, I don’t know a real estate investor that all of a sudden one day was like, I’m going to flip houses and the next day they’re a multimillionaire. Not one. Do you guys know one?

David:
No.

Chris:
I’ve never met one. It’s a marathon. And that’s the hard part. But anybody that’s willing to actually put the time in and to change the things they need can have a clear path to whatever financial life they want if they know where they’re going. The biggest mistake I made is I never knew where I was going. I always thought I was going to buy a fancier car or bigger house. But one of my mentors, you both know him well, he said to me, he said, “Why do you work as hard as you do?” And I said … I gave him all these answers. I just kept rattling off answers. All these things. And he kept saying, “No. Absolutely not. That’s not why you do it.” And I got frustrated. And finally I said, “What? What do you want me to tell you?” And he says, “I want you to tell me why you’re working so hard.” And he says, “The answer should be something like, I’m working to live my perfect day every day.” And then I said, “Oh yeah, that’s it.” And he said, “No.” He said, “Do you know what your perfect day looks like from the second you wake up till the second you go to bed? What does every second of that day look like? Until you know that, I can’t help you.”
And I was taken back. I wanted to work with this guy. I wanted him as a mentor. I spent a month … Most people are like, oh, I could do that in a day. No you can’t. I spent a month designing my perfect day. And every day from that moment when I finished that perfect plan, I have been working to live that perfect day. If people don’t have a destination, how can they get there. And if people don’t start with the foundation, how can you ever build a house. Everybody wants to start with the roof because that’s the sexy fun part. The paint on the outside. The foundation is what matters. You had Tim Grover on. I love the man and I’ve been at different events with him. And he always talks about Michael Jordan always working on the basics. The foundation. This business, real estate, money, is exactly the same and it’s the biggest thing everybody ignores. Because they think, oh, that’s under me. That’s not fun. That’s not sexy. That is what matters. And the second you focus on your foundation, where your money starts and then you work from that, that’s when everything will change. Until then, you’re just on a financial hamster wheel. Working harder, working longer, taking on risks, riding the rollercoaster of the markets.

David:
I think that what I notice in my own life is I tend to look backwards at what I used to do. And if what I’m doing now is better than that, I think I’m winning. And every decision I make is based on something I don’t like about where I am right now. How do I fix that problem? And then once I fix it I’m like okay, I’m good. Rather than looking forward and saying, what would the perfect day look like and skipping each of these individual tiny little steps that pop up and just going right to that. And I think it’s hard to look forward and force yourself to have that conversation about what would my perfect day be. It’s easier just to say what irritates me right now because I’m feeling that and take action. But as I think about why I don’t make faster progress it’s almost always because I’m trying to fix whatever’s irking me in this moment. I’m not thinking about how do I fix all of that maybe in one movement or how do I know what direction I can go in that would fix all of these problem? Do either of you have experiences similar to that?

Chris:
Yeah. I definitely do and Brandon I’m sure you do too. But I mean I spent so much of my life worrying about and focusing on all the things like you said, that I did wrong and how I don’t want to do them. And every time when I’ve had something go wrong … In real estate, one thing would go wrong and it’s all I focused on. But I never really thought about where I was going. I was just like all right, this is what’s got to get done right now. And I understand the now is the most important but you can’t go through life focusing on every single little problem because every problem escalates and every problem will just put you in a worse head space. And the other thing I think a lot of people make the mistake of is they don’t really go through life thinking about what they actually want. And if they just had one clear directive, one clear goal that they want … I don’t care what it is. Maybe it’s a Lamborghini. And if they just focused on that car or that perfect day every day and that’s all they thought about and they envisioned it so deeply that they could go to sleep at night and dream that they were driving that car, they would have that car.
Every person that you’ve met that has things that you might want, ask them how they got it. Ask them how much they thought about that vehicle or that house or that perfect day. Ask them how they did it. Model it after them. But stop focusing on all the little speed bumps that are happening now or the things that happened in the past. Too many people dwell on the past. The past is gone. The future doesn’t exist. The now is all we can change but we have to know a direction and an end goal. And the end goal … I ask people all the time on the phone, I say, “Why do you go to work? Why do you do what you do?” “Oh, I got bills to pay. I got a family to feed.” That’s not why you go to work. You could just sit at home and do that. And find a way to do that. That is not why you go to work. “Well, I hate my job.” Find a way to love your job. Find a way to go to work every day and focus on, number one, your goal. But also when you go to work change your mindset to focus on solving a problem for somebody else. And I know that’s hard.
Let’s just say you work for a janitorial company. What problem am I solving for somebody else? A lot. Like always focus on the good you do even in the worst jobs and you will go to work happy, energized and that same energy, that same happiness you feel at that crappy job because you’re focusing on something good and what you’re doing for someone else will translate to every other thing you do for yourself. And as you go through this never focus on you. Focus on what the act that you’re doing … You mentioned the hole. Focus on the hole. Focus on how that hole is getting you one step closer and how that hole most importantly, is solving somebody else’s problem. It has to be a win-win. It can’t just be a win for me. We live in a me society not a we society. And I think that keeps people from reaching their goals too. Because the answer to most people’s success is solving another person’s problem. Every successful business solves a problem for someone. Why are we not trained to do that?

Brandon:
And that’s why a lot of … You can even say BiggerPockets itself was because back in the day Josh Dorkin was like, “I got a problem. I don’t know where to turn to for advice. And maybe we should have a forum that people could ask questions to other investors.” And that just didn’t exist. And so he’s like I’m going to make that. So a lot of problems they’re just like what are you struggling with in life? Like where are you having a hard time? Back in the day I had a wooden sunglasses business. Just for the fun of it. Kind of a side hobby. It crashed and burned. Maybe it would have been fine if I would have held through it and I could have a lot of lessons there. But the end of the day was, I wasn’t really solving anybody’s problem that wasn’t being solved by a hundred other people or a thousand other people. And so had I really been solving a problem … At the same time like this podcast, solved a lot of problems for people. My real estate business, the mobile home park stuff. All that stuff, it solves a lot of problems.
Yeah, if people start thinking that way I think they’ll see a dramatic shift. In fact sometimes I say … And I don’t want this to sound … This might sound bad but like, I think how are people broke in this world? I’m like there’s so much opportunity out there. I just like drive down the road and I’m like oh, that’s an opportunity, that’s an opportunity. There’s so many business ideas that could be built of almost anything. And if you just do a half way decent job of them you’d probably be great. You’d probably make a ton of money and have a great life. Yet majority of people focus on like not I want to go solve a problem, it’s how do I get the highest paycheck for the least amount of hours I can put in at my company?

Chris:
That’s backwards thinking.

Brandon:
Yep. They’re just stuck there forever.

Chris:
And they will be until they change that mindset and start focusing on what they can do to solve other people’s problems. And also, always going back to like the sole thing. It’s everything in life. I just focus on money so I talk about it is that control thing. Like why is it that everybody wants to give up control of their money? It’s simple. They’ve been taught that. When you put money in the bank, the bank is making %400 to 1,300% more than you are. Bauerfinancial.com. Look it up. They’re making the money and you’re not. And what are they doing different? One thing. They learned how to move money and what you learned is how to park money and leave it sit. When I ask people, like is money worth more today or in the future? It’s worth the most today. It’s going to be worth less in the future so why would you park your money somewhere, especially a bank account or a savings, where it’s actually going to lose money every day? That money should be in your control and out there working. And that’s the biggest thing. Like that Mike guy I talked about. And Greg but Mike specifically.
I’ll never forget, I was in Salt Lake City at a Cheesecake Factory sitting with Mike. He was lending me on a deal. And I just looked at Mike and I said, “Hey listen,” I said, “I’ve got to ask you, where does all the money come from that you lend?” And I thought some of it was self directed IRAs and maybe a little bit was but he leans into me and he says, “My private bank.” I’m like, “Oh, you have your … What do you mean your private bank?” And he starts telling me about this thing and this private bank. I’m just leaning in. I’m like oh my god. This is amazing. Oh my god. Oh my god. And then all of the sudden he tells me what the private bank is. And I immediately sit back and I’m like, “Man, that doesn’t work that way. I’m an advisor and what you just said had me going until you told me what it does and it doesn’t work that way.” And I had to change my mindset. Because remember I said earlier, the Will Rogers quote, the biggest problem in America is not what people don’t know. It’s what they think they know that just ain’t so. I was a high level advisor and I thought I knew what I didn’t know. That one quote has been my hindrance all my life because I always thought I knew what I didn’t know.
And if I just focused on what I didn’t know, I would have gotten a lot further ahead.

Brandon:
Is the private banking thing, is that like the whole life insurance like where you borrow from yourself kind of thing?

Chris:
Specially designed and engineered whole life. It’s the same thing banks do and the Rockefellers, the Rothchilds. Yep. All of them.

Brandon:
Yeah. I’ve heard a lot over the years. I haven’t dug into it and I know a lot of people love it. Probably some people hate it. But it’s definitely one of those things that like, a lot of investors I know and trust they use. And so yeah, we could probably do a whole episode on that at some point. But people can look that up as well. And I’m sure you got a lot of that content on your site.

Chris:
Tons. And that’s mostly what I talk about. But I was here to talk about real estate today so we didn’t want to muddy the waters with that. But that is where these wealthy individuals were lending me money on my deals. I just learned it. Focused on what I didn’t know. Flipped it and now I just mimic what they do. And it was so simple. It involved just changing one thing.

Brandon:
Yeah. That’s cool man. Well let me ask you a question as a former financial advisor and a current real estate investor, how do you view things like a stock portfolio, bitcoin, all the things a person could “invest” in? How do you view a balanced portfolio versus should you just go all into real estate or learn one thing? How does that fit for an investor? What would you advise?

Chris:
Wow. We could be here for a long time. I’ll keep this very high level and simple. I think right now that everybody needs to really look around and realize that yes, a diversified portfolio is very important. You should always have a lot of different things. Real estate should be in everyone’s portfolio because it’s single handedly the greatest investment on earth. But a lot of people right now are facing what’s called FOMO. Fear of missing out. The euphoria. The markets are going up almost in a straight line. Bitcoin, yeah it goes up 50% one day, down 30 the next. But that’s going straight up. And everybody is looking around saying, “Oh my god, everyone is in this but me. I got to get in.” But Warren Buffet, let’s go back to that statement I made earlier. Warren Buffet says buy low, sell high and don’t lose money. Very simple, very easy strategy. And what does everybody do? The exact opposite. They buy high, they sell low. When the market crashes … Just last year think, how many people do you know that sold out? Now maybe not a lot because it was quick. But a lot of people did. They sell low and they lose money. People just … When the market’s high like it is right now … So the stock market. I don’t care how diversified you are, everything rises and falls with the tide. The market will crash.
Mark my word. Can I tell you when? No. Could be this year. Could be next year. Probably won’t go much further than three years from now before it completely collapses. And I know this because this is what I did professionally for over 20 years I’ve been doing this. The pattern is very easy to see right now. So the markets are at a high point. It’s like being at the top of Mount Everest. You should get out. Okay. Or find a different place to reallocate your assets until the market comes down then buy. Hence, people ask me all the time, “Why are you selling all your rentals? They’re going to keep going up. That seems so dumb. You got to pay all these taxes.” First off, the taxes will never be cheaper than they are today. In my eyes, that’s my view. And the market is at the highest point.
In my investments … This is what I learned as a professional trader and Wall Street guy is you always have to have an entry and an exit. And your exit is not a moving target. If the markets keep going up you don’t just say oh, it’s going to go higher, I’m going to move that target up. No, you exit. And you should be very happy because I’ve never a person in my life that’s not happy making money. But I’ve met a lot of people that are very unhappy when they lose money. And the best way to lose money is just follow the herd. Conform. Just keep plowing money into the markets, into what you say is you’re diversified portfolio because when it comes down it all comes down, and if you’re all invested in, you have no power to buy when it drops. So real estate is the only exception. I don’t think real estate this time is going to take a big hit. I think commercial will. But you mentioned mobile home parks. I invest heavily through our private fund in mobile home parks. I think it’s one of the smartest investments you can do in real estate. Or affordable housing for rental.
But I think a lot of people just are going to get caught in this next downturn. I’ve seen it enough times in my life. So when you say that … I guess I’m just trying to keep it simple is, if you’re at the high point, what’s wrong with taking some off the table and waiting for the market to go down? And the problem is patience, FOMO and that euphoria.

Brandon:
Yeah. And the FOMO thing is real. I’ve been railing against Bitcoin forever yet the last few months I’m like, people are making a lot of money right now in this like overnight. Should I have done GameStop? I talked to some guy the other day that made millions because he got in at the bottom of GameStop and sold at the top. I don’t call it luck because he followed a funny strategy of Reddit trolls. It worked for him. Yeah. But then I’m like no. You know what works consistently? Is what I’ve been doing with real estate. And if I just keep doing this over and over and over, doing what I know works, the fundamentals and don’t get caught up in the swings of this and that I think I’ll be all right. I not saying … I went and bought five grand of Bitcoin as a … I’ll call it a lottery ticket. I might lose the entire thing. I don’t look at it. I try to ignore it. But it’s like I don’t stress about it. I don’t want to take all my mental energy to go into that.

Chris:
Well Brandon you notice I kind of dodged your Bitcoin question. I’m not a Bitcoin expert. And do I think it has legs? Absolutely. Do I think that you can make a ton of money in Bitcoin, Ethereum and all those? Yes. But again, how I buy Bitcoin, like you, I buy it … Like last week it dropped. It was almost 30 grand. I have a buy signal at 30,000. I bought it. It was a little above that, but I bought it there. And then now I’m waiting for my exit, which I’m very close to hitting it right now. And I’ll sell. And I’ll just keep playing that cycle. It’s not day trading. I just have rules. I have rules of engagement for how I invest. I have rules of engagement for how I buy real estate. Everybody’s going to have a different set of rules. But if you do anything with investing without rules, your rules, not mine, not your advisors, your rules, then you’re flying blind. You’re just flying blind.

Brandon:
That’s awesome man. Well thank you for the advice. Really good stuff. We got to start moving this thing toward the end so let’s head over to the last segment of the show. It’s called our-

Speaker 5:
Famous four.

Brandon:
This is the part of the show where we ask the same four questions every week to every guest so let’s throw them at you right now. Number one, current favorite or all time favorite real estate investing book.

Chris:
Rich Dad Poor Dad.

Brandon:
All right. I figured you would say that one.

Chris:
It’s just a no brainer.

David:
Favorite business book?

Chris:
Oh gosh. Think and Grow Rich. Even though it’s not a business book it still is a business book to me.

Brandon:
Yeah. It’s one of the most important business books because it’s one of the most important business lessons.

Chris:
Absolutely.

Brandon:
The stuff in there is good.

David:
Hobbies?

Chris:
Surfing and snowboarding are my two favorite hobbies.

David:
Both involving boards.

Chris:
Absolutely. Our favorite thing for you, right David?

Brandon:
David and I and Chris were talking before the show about how David and I am in the exact same boat. We’ve snowboarded a number of times but never got good at it. Because I feel like what both of us need is like to book a month or two months straight in like Breckenridge, Colorado. We just go there and every day we go and we take lessons first, we learn how to do it, the fundamentals, and then we practice, practice, practice for a month. And then we’ll be good and enough to have fun. But we never are good enough to have fun. And I think you can translate that to a lot of things in life. Like even real estate. Like maybe it’s time for you to sit down for a month, just analyze a deal every day. Like get to the point where it’s not hard anymore and you can just analyze a deal. Then it’s a lot easier going forward. Everything becomes easier. But if you just dabble a little bit here and there … It’s like going to the gym once a month. You’re just sore every time afterwards because you never build up the muscles so yeah, there you go.
Last question from me. Chris, what do you think separates successful real estate investors from all those who give up, fail, or never get started?

Chris:
That vision of what you’re working for. That perfect day if you will. Figure that out and work toward it every single day without anyone getting in your way.

Brandon:
Hey you ever hear that story about … I heard this years ago and I put it in one of my books or a journal or something like that. Alfred Nobel, the guy who invented dynamite and then later the Nobel prize. So Nobel, he was sitting at home one day and he picked up his newspaper and he’s like reading it and it’s his obituary. He starts reading his obituary. It was a mistake that the newspaper somehow thought he died. But the title of the obituary was Merchant of Death. This is before the Nobel Peace Prize. It was Merchant of Death. And it talked about he invented dynamite which killed so many people and changed the world. And he realized his legacy, where he was headed in life was to be known as the guy who was the Merchant of Death. And at that moment he changed his life. He turned it around and said, “That’s not where I want to head. I want to head somewhere else.” And he started promoting peace and advancement in human civilizations and all that. Anyway, Nobel Peace Prize came from that. Yeah. Reminds me of that similar thing. Know where you’re headed. And right now it might not be where you want.

Chris:
Yeah. And where you’re headed … Another thing too, people are always chasing the all mighty dollar. They want to be rich, having all these things. If you chase that without actually what that means, what that does, you’re chasing a false reality. That target that you’re chasing will always move constantly and you’ll never be happy. I know a lot of multimillionaires and billionaires that are miserable. And they can every single thing they want. They lack that direction. They lack what they’re working for. What do they call that? The arrival syndrome. They’ve arrived and now they have nowhere else to go. So it’s just as good as hey, dying. I don’t want to say it that way. But the graduation date if you’ve got nowhere to go, what are you here doing? Why are you living? And a lot of them are miserable because of that reason.

Brandon:
Yeah. And to bring back the metaphor from several times in today’s show, it’s like, money is the drill. Like it’s not the hole. What hole are you looking for? What’s the actual result that the money’s supposed to bring you? Yeah, work towards that.

Chris:
I love that.

Brandon:
I love it man.

Chris:
Love it.

Brandon:
Well thank you Chris. This has been phenomenal. Let David ask the final question and we’ll get out of here.

David:
Last question of the day. Where can people find out more about you?

Chris:
Sure. They can just go to my website. ChrisNaugle, N-A-U-G-L-E, .com. Everything’s on there. I give it all away for free. So just go on and watch the videos. Start with the 90 minute video which is the foundation and that will change everything by you changing one thing. So it’s not about the knowledge folks, it’s about you taking action on the knowledge so check it out.

Brandon:
So good man. Thank you. This has been phenomenal. I appreciate your advice and all your wisdom and definitely want to encourage people to follow you on social media as well and connect with you. I think they can learn a lot from you so appreciate it.

Chris:
Thank you gentlemen.

David:
Thank you Chris. This is David Greene for Brandon, don’t dabble Turner, signing off.

Speaker 3:
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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Using flipping as an entry point to get into real estate investing
  • Buying commercial buildings like strip malls
  • Keeping your debt-to-income (DTI) low so you can keep borrowing
  • Conventional financing vs. commercial financing for real estate investing
  • The “rules of engagement” when it comes to investing
  • Trading money for money instead of time for money
  • Knowing what your “perfect day” is
  • And SO much more!

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