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WS615: 12 Months to $1 Million in Profits with Mike Simmons

Ever wondered how to just get started? Mike Simmons’ advice is to just do it! Mike is the producer and host of Just Start Real Estate, one of the top real estate podcast in the world, and the author of Level Jumping: How I grew my business to over $1 million in profits in 12 months. About five years ago, he did just that, exploding his real estate investing businesses, growing it to over $1 Million in such a short space of time.

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Mike is a real estate mentor, coach, and partner in 7 Figure Flipping – one of the nation’s largest real estate mastermind groups. While Mike isn’t involved in the commercial real estate business, his experience can certainly be translated into helping investors and entrepreneurs in any business! In this episode, Mike shares a bit about his background and his personal story, how he got started, and how he took his business to where it is today. We discuss the importance of hiring a knowledgable team, surrounding yourself with like-minded people, and the value that Mike found in a mastermind program like 7 Figure Flipping. He highlights how important it is to put what you’re doing out there, to get started by talking to people and to make sure you keep track of your numbers. Mike also shares the number one thing that has contributed to his success and how he likes to give back. Don’t miss this episode is you’re looking to “just start”! Tune in today.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Mike introduces himself and explains how he went from the service industry to real estate.
  • Mike continued with real estate investing after his first deal tanked with his wife’s support.
  • How Mike got started and how he took his business to where it is today.
  • The importance of hiring a team of people that are experts in the things you’re not good at.
  • Mike talks about the 7 Figure Flipping mastermind and how it changed his perceptions.
  • Mike tells a story about how he helped his daughter get started in real estate investing.
  • “Just start” by putting things out there and talking about what it is that you’re doing.
  • KPIs and metrics are ways that Mike has improved his business that we could apply to ours.
  • Island numbers and how Mike keeps track of his KPIs through his team.
  • The number one thing that Mike says has contributed to his success is 7 Figure Flipping.
  • Mike’s advice on finding the best mastermind for our money and how much to spend.
  • How Mike likes to give back by donating to a charity called OUR (Operation Underground Railroad).

[bctt tweet=”I tell my kids all the time: you can choose your life or your life can choose itself. It can dictate what’s going to happen, or you can dictate — @MikeSSimmons” username=”whitney_sewell”]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Mike Simmons on Twitter

Mike Simmons Website

Just Start Real Estate Podcast

7 Figure Flipping

Level Jumping

About Mike Simmons

Mike Simmons is a real estate investor, podcaster, and speaker who shared the stage with Gary Vaynerchuk at his Agent2021 Conference in Miami Gardens, Florida, in 2018. He is the producer and host of a popular podcast called Just Start Real Estate and a partner in 7 Figure Flipping – one of the nation’s largest real estate mastermind groups. Note: Mike is not involved in the commercial real estate business but his experience can certainly translate to help investors in that industry.

Full Transcript

EPISODE 615

[INTRODUCTION]

[0:00:00.0] ANNOUNCER Welcome to the Real Estate Syndication Show. Whether you are a seasoned investor or building a new real estate business, this is the show for you. Whitney Sewell talks to top experts in the business. Our goal is to help you master real estate syndication.

And now your host, Whitney Sewell.

[INTERVIEW]

[0:00:24.4] WS: This is your daily real estate syndication show. I’m your host Whitney Sewell. Today, our guest is Mike Simmons. Thanks for being on the show, Mike.

[0:00:32.5] MS: Absolutely, thank you for having me, appreciate it.

[0:00:35.1] WS: Mike is the producer and host of Just Start Real Estate, one of the top real estate podcast in the world. About five years ago, Mike exploded his real estate investing businesses, growing it from 1 million in profits in just 12 months. That’s incredible Mike. I know a lot of the listeners like they have their little ears perked up now. But Mike is a real estate mentor, coach, and partner in 7 Figure Flipping, one of the nation’s largest real estate mastermind groups. Note, Mike is not involved in the commercial real estate business but his experience can certainly be translated into helping investors and really, entrepreneurs in any business, I think.

Mike, I’m looking forward to hearing some of these stories, especially taking your business to 1 million dollars in 12 months. I know most people would dream about that, and then you probably dreamed about it for years, before actually making it happen and getting started. Get us started by just telling us a little more about who you are un case the listeners haven’t heard of you?

[0:01:28.5] MS: Yeah, sure thing. I’m a Midwest guy, born, raised in Michigan. I am the son of automotive, an automotive family here in Michigan, it’s very much on motor driven. The goal and the mission for me, from my parents point of view, was to get into a union job that had benefits and a retirement, and stay there for 30 or 40 years, and kind of scrape away until you can retire at 65 or whatever the case may be.

That was sort of the goal and I had nobody in my family that was an entrepreneur, or supported an entrepreneurialism, or even knew what that even meant. For me, I kind of went down that path early in my life, right out of high school, I got a job at a union company, it wasn’t automotive but a union company. Had my benefits, the whole thing. I’ll just say what it was, it doesn’t really matter, it’s UPS. I got started with UPS. Parents were thrilled, super secure, right?

But I hurt myself, I hurt my back. It’s a physical job, especially when you’re starting out in that company, I was loading trucks, I hurt my back and realized, okay, I can’t stay here. Went into a more automotive, traditional automotive type of a job. Parents are excited, I’m going along, thinking everything’s great, and then around 2000, if everyone who is in that industry or was around back then to know, in 2000, things went kind of bad. We had the tech bubble burst and we had, the automotive industry went totally in the tank, and there were a lot of layoffs in my industry.

When that was happening, I kind of looked around and said, I’m not special here. I don’t have a college degree, I got into a job right out of high school, and I started thinking about what I wanted to do with my life and how I wanted to ensure that I’m not one of those folks that get left behind in terms of a job. I looked into real estate but it really started as a product of me looking into how I could retire, how I could invest. I started off stocks, and stock trading, and day trading and all these things, like the stock market, that I thought was going to be my ticket. I’ll invest money, make my money work for me.

The problem with investing in the stock market is I hated it. I wasn’t interested, it was boring, I got really bored when I was researching it. I would wander on the internet to sports sites and just anything that I could do that wasn’t stocks, right? But eventually, when you Google investing, you’ll end up on the real estate investing, if you scroll down far enough, right?

I hit real estate investing and I was like, wow, this is exciting and I couldn’t get enough. I was veracious, I was just absorbing all the real estate stuff I could, and eventually, made my first offer on a house and the first one got accepted and things went really bad, this was like now fast forward a little bit, 2008. What we’re going to talk about probably in a few minutes, I’ll illustrate what happened between like 2003 and 2008 that will kind of shed a little more light on, I think, what a lot of people deal and struggle with – but, 2008, made my first offer, got accepted. The bank that I was going to finance through went under, I lost my deposit, it was a big disaster. Four months later, got another accepted offer on a house in the same neighborhood for half the price, okay?

If you’re doing the math at home, the lesson here is, I would have lost my shirt on the first  house because prices started dropping so fast that it was sort of a blessing that I lost that first deal, because the house prices got cut in half almost overnight. I did my first deal, made good money, it’s kind of proof to my wife, who is a little more conservative than me, that this thing can work and I was off to the races from that point forward.

[0:04:45.6] WS: Wow, why did you stay in after the first deal? I mean, why go to the first one? Why go to the next one after that one was so bad?

[0:04:53.0] MS: Yeah, I could say because I’m tenacious and I love the thrill of the hunt. Really, what it was, to be honest with you, my wife and I took a weekend coaching or mentoring type of a thing. It was $3,000 for the two of us for one weekend, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. A local guru kind of like shown us the ropes and, to be honest with you, when we were done with that, my wife was not going to let us not succeed.

She’s like, “We spent all that money, you are not going to” – not that I wanted to sit on the couch but she was absolutely like, we’re doing this, we spent the money, we will not waste that money, we will do this. It was great to have that support because we went out there and just went for it and things turned out great. But with a lot of people, if that first deal, if we had lost a lot of money, I don’t know, it’s hard to say. I really wanted it bad but I’m also married and I have a relationship that means a lot to me and it might have not been as easy to convince my wife to keep going if we had lost money in the first deal.

Thankfully, we made good money on that first deal and that was just all the proof she needed and I just went for it after that.

[0:05:53.3] WS: Nice. Okay, it was helpful for you though to actually – actually bring your spouse to an event like that and them get educated as well. I know that’s a common problem, there’s a spouse who just wants nothing to do with it, it feels like it’s too big of a risk, but there’s one that really wants to get into it, and it’s difficult, right? If you don’t have that support and if you value that relationship, you’re need to think through that, right?

[0:06:18.3] MS: Totally. Whitney, I’ll tell you what, I know people that have spouses that are not totally into this real estate investing world, and they’re not convinced, and it’s 10 times harder. I won’t lie, I had an advantage that my wife was behind all of this and she was into it, but bringing her into the world was what it took. I think some people go, “I’m just doing this thing and this is what I want to do,” and they don’t invite them in. It’s harder when you’re looking from the outside that – how do I get convinced of something if you won’t let me be around it?

I bought her in, immersed her in the real estate world, and she was excited. It made all the difference.

[0:06:53.2] WS: They treat it kind of like it’s their own hobby over here on the side, I guess, some people, instead of yeah, involving their spouse.

[0:07:00.1] MS: Yeah, I mean, if you’re a golfer and you want your wife to be cool with you golfing, bring her golfing. Bring her into it, right? Or bring him into it. If you enjoy golfing and you have a husband who doesn’t want to do it, bring him in. If you really want to be able to do it a lot, make them a part of it, right? She’s conservative. It would have been and impossible sell if she hadn’t thought or saw the opportunity, so she did.

[0:07:20.6] WS: Nice. I know your specialty is like helping people get started. In helping them to just make that leap and it’s hard. Looking back, it’s like, the hardest part of it, right? It’s getting started. Once you get past that, just a little ways, it’s so much brighter, right? I mean, things start to happen and you can make things happen a lot easier than when you got started. But what about for you? How about elaborating a little bit on, let’s just jump in to how you help people get started, and maybe some of the things that hold them back, or even your story to getting to, taking your business to a million dollars within 12 months?

[0:07:55.6] MS: All right, I will illustrate the difference between someone who can accelerate their business and someone who isn’t accelerating their business, because I’ve been both people. I can sympathize, I do sympathize with folks that have a hard time getting started. I decided in 2003, I was interested in real estate, I want to do this. I think this is my thing, my passion, my calling, whatever. I didn’t buy my first house till 2008, right?

What happened Mr. Just Start, what happened? Well, I started researching, I started reading books and I started – I got paralysis analysis. I kept thinking A, either I don’t know enough and I’m concerned that I don’t know enough. or B, there will be a new book, a new strategy, I would go to a REA, there would be some speaker. I just kept getting the shiny object syndrome and I couldn’t decide where or how to start.

For me, it was like paralysis analysis and excuses. The only thing it really was, honestly, I just was afraid to start. I finally got started and took some action and, frankly, I didn’t come from an entrepreneurial family and that’s not necessarily an excuse, it’s just a reality. I had no one in my life as an example to just go for it and take life by the horns. I tell my kids all the time: you can choose your life or your life can choose itself. It can dictate what’s going to happen, or you can dictate.

Life rarely makes decisions for you, that you don’t have any control over, that you love. Usually things happen to you when you let them happen to you. But when you take charge, you’re in charge, right? That was number one. I had to take charge but once I did that, I realized, I like taking action. I enjoy implementing things and seeing what happens. I like steering my own boat, I don’t like having a captain telling me where I’m going. I like being the captain.

When I started, it was almost like for me, it was like a drug. It was a good drug but it was like a drug. Having control, knowing what I want to do, implementing it, seeing the results, making corrections or course corrections or whatever along the way, and then relaunching the idea. I love that, I got addicted to it.

I started taking massive action. Now, how did I get from kind of doing a deal here and there, which is what I was doing for the first handful of years, and trying to figure out how to grow. I was having a hard time cracking the code because I was too small to hire, but if I didn’t hire, I was going to stay small, this whole catch 22 logic that I had back then. I’m only one person, there’s only so many hours in the day, and I had kids, I had a wife, I had a house. In the beginning, I had a job, I was kind of doing this on the side. What does it take?

Well, for me, and what I think for a lot of people it takes, is getting ground other people that are like you, they have the same mindset. For me, I joined a mastermind, a real estate mastermind. I’m not saying like a local REA, I mean, like an actual legit mastermind of people who pay to be there, right? If you pay, you pay attention. A lot of times, things that are free, sometimes people take it for granted, they don’t’ take it seriously. I can illustrate that point very well in a minute but – I got involved in the mastermind with folks who were kind of where I was and some of them were far beyond where I was, and the people who were far beyond where I was, I was able to sit down and sort of forensic analysis and deconstruct their businesses and say, “What did you do that worked? You were where I am 3 years ago. Now, you’re where I want to be, what happened in that 3 years? What did you do, and what did you do wrong, what mistakes did you make? If it took you 3 years and you can articulate to me what you did in those 3 years right and wrong” – Imagine if you could live your entire life, Whitney, with hindsight, always with hindsight, right?

You’re about to make a decision, you could go 5 years in the future, see what that decision outcome was, come back, make the appropriate decision. To me, that’s what surrounding yourself with the right people can help you do. You get hindsight, you use their hindsight to make decisions in your similar or exact same company, and that’s what we did.

I took a gentleman, his name is Andy McFarlin, he’s a great mentor of mine, he was 3 to 4 years ahead of me and I said, “Dude, tell me what you did. I’m going to compress that, because if I can’t beat 3 or 4 years, knowing all of the hindsight that you created, shame on me.” I did that and I compressed it, and to be honest with you, that’s the basis of the book that I wrote.

People ask me all the time, “How did you go from doing a deal or two to doing 12 to 14 as a wholesaler and a house flipper? How did you do that?” I’ll tell you what, a little spoiler alert, for anyone who is interested, it wasn’t software, it wasn’t like a specific technique that I did, or some interesting way of making offers. Those are strategies that help make you better for sure.

But it’s way more than that, it’s a little more high level. It’s hiring, it’s creating a team, a culture within the team that you create, that makes them want to run through walls for you. By the way, hiring people that are better than me at specific jobs – I’m okay at a lot of stuff in my business, I’m really good at some things and I’m passable at others.

I own the company, I had to realize, I’m not the best sales person in my company, nor should I be. It’s not my background, it’s not my strength.

[0:12:49.2] WS: I’m sure you don’t want to be.

[0:12:50.1] MS: I don’t want to be. I did it, and I was competent, but when I brought a person into my team, who was an actual sales person, wow, I just marvel. I said, “So that’s what a salesperson is. Because it’s not me.” They blew it up for me. Having that mindset of I need to build a team, right? It doesn’t have to be all employees at your – I get it, I hear what people are saying, “I don’t have the money to hire people, I can’t do it.”

Trust me, there are creative ways to bring people on to your team and build a team that helps you grow. Then as you grow, you can bring actual people on that maybe are salaried or commissioned or whatever, but building that team and then creating the systems that allow the team to run. One of the biggest mistakes that people make in business, not just our business, but any business. I was in the automotive industry for a long time.

I would see the best engineer in the department, the engineering department, the best engineer they had, what do you think they did to that guy? They promoted them. They made them the engineering manager and then you realize, wow, he’s a horrible manager. Great engineer, horrible manager, right? We do the same things in our own business, we create this investing company that’s really good and we’re doing everything.

We’re good at what we do and we’re building this thing and we’re great technicians and then we start bringing on a team and we elevate ourselves to management and we realize, we can’t manage, right? Understanding that there’s a process there, you’re going from being the technician to being the visionary, right? For your company, there is a difference. Teaching people how to do what you do and doing it is totally different. Having systems and processes that are repeatable and makes sense and having lanes for everyone in your team, just creates a really good company.

You know, I partnered, I have a partner on my business, do you need a partner to run your business? Nope. But there’s a time and a place for a partner, it’s not for everybody. I get that question constantly. You have a partner, you’re successful, I need a partner. No, you don’t’ need a partner, you might need a partner but not because I have one. Let’s talk about it, right? We talk about that too because it can be powerful if it’s done right.

[0:14:46.2] WS: I mean, everything you said there and like okay, I’ve heard myself saying most of those things to the people many times, you know? It’s not just this one thing, it’s not the app that you’re looking for or that piece of software, I love that. But you highlighted, joining that mastermind, I think you mentioned that there’s an expense there, right?

I hear often, well, you know, I don’t want to spend that much money on a mastermind or that coach or whatever it may be. I can personally say like that was a mindset shift that I had to go through as well. You know, it’s like, I can’t spend that much money on a coach, or just having somebody to talk to, or you know, like that kind of mindset when you’re first getting started but after I did that, I mean, it was such a game changer. Now, you know, obviously, I’ve been part of numerous masterminds now, that have just opened the doors to so many relationships that have just drastically turned my business in directions I never imagined.

And then now, you know, hopefully I can help others do the same. You know, just to go back a little bit, you would say that mastermind really just turned things around for you?

[0:15:44.6] MS: 100%. Yeah, obviously I am in my late 40s, and I skipped over some of my life history because we don’t have time for it in a forum like this right? But one of the things I didn’t do, I said it earlier on, I didn’t go to college right out of high school. I did end up going back to college as an adult because I thought I need to be a little less expendable in my role, right? So I went back to college. What college did for me was, it wasn’t so much what I learned in the classes.

It helped unlocked something in my brain that said, there is more out there than my little tiny slice of the world. It opened up my brain to possibilities, and that was the start of opening up my brain to investing and real estate and this and that. Then when I joined the mastermind, it was like I could see for a hundred yards, and then when I joined the mastermind, it was like I was standing on a high rise building. I could see for miles.

And that was the biggest advantage to me, being in that mastermind is, I could see much more of the landscape of what I wanted and what was possible in my business by talking to folks who had come before me and done that. They were closer or where I wanted to be. It is like, “Wow,” you look around and go there is so much out there that I didn’t even realize, right? It’s like being in this little village and then you go to the big city.

So for me, it was eye-opening and it was like standing on the shoulders of giants, looking around. It was amazing how much more I could envision myself for myself by surrounding myself with the right people. So to me that’s the biggest. You know there’s just tactics and strategies and things that we share, in software and tools, and all of those things, but those things all come and go. It is the strategy. It is the mindset. It’s just getting started and I told you I would give you an example.

If I can, I will give you a real quick one. Two quick examples, very quick. My daughter came to me a year ago and said, “Dad, I want to start investing in real estate.” Now my daughter just graduated with her master’s degree from Loyola University in Chicago. She has a full-time job but when she was in college, she had college, she had a full-time job, and she had an internship. She’s used to working and when she got a full-time job after graduating with her master’s it was like she had nothing but time, she felt like.

Even though she was working the whole day it’s like, “I used to do more than this. So I want to invest in real estate. I like what you are doing and it’s inspiring and I want to do it.” I said, “Great, here’s what we are going to do,” and I laid it out for her. I’ll get as detailed as you want, but I laid out for her what she had to do to get started. For her she was going to flip houses. That is what she wanted to do. So you get on the wholesalers list, you start making offers. You learn how to come up with ARV after repair value, like, I showed her some of the techniques, and I said, “But you need to make a lot of offers. You need to be talking to people and really getting in front of these wholesalers and realtors and things who have access to these properties.” Long story short, one month in she had three properties on the contract, okay? Flipped three properties, she’s still flipping properties, she’s going strong.

She’s just started working for a private practice company because she is a social worker. So now she has a full-time job flipping houses and a secondary – she is just a beast, right? She goes for it. Now on the flip side, I have a relative, who I won’t name just in case they hear this, but I have a relative who came to me three years ago and said, “I want to invest in real estate. How can you guide me? What can you tell me?” I said, “I will do literally anything for you except the work, but I will lay it out. I will outline everything, I will go and look at properties and help you evaluate. I will do anything but you got to do the work, here is what you have to do.”

Three years later, I said, “How many offers have you made on houses?” and he said, “Zero.” Zero, right? He wanted to do it, he had me. Now, I kind of slipped in the when you pay, you pay attention, that is a phrase that my friend Andy told me, what I was offering him was free. I just said I’ll tell you, I’d do whatever you want, right? It is on you to go do it. He is still sitting on the sidelines waiting to get started, right? My daughter, immediate action, three properties immediately, she is off and running, right? Very unusual to get three properties that quick out of the gate when you’re 22 years old and you don’t know anything about real estate, but she did it. We said before we got started, right? You can’t steer a parked car.

If you want to turn and steer and go in different directions, you can’t do it without it moving. You have to move, and movement – that initial movement is everything, right? How do you create a huge snowball? You just got to start it and then it snowballs. So life, business, everything is the same. Nothing happens until you get started. You have to start.

[0:19:53.1] WS: What is a big revelation for maybe a mentee or somebody you’re coaching recently as far as getting started that you’ve noticed or helped them with?

[0:20:00.6] MS: When it comes to just starting, it is a concept that is a little bit more broad than what it sounds like in first glance. So just getting started means, “Oh I have never done anything and I have to start. I have to get off the couch and actually start.” That is true. “Okay, I have been doing this now for a year and I have been nervous to approach a private investor. I need more funds for my deals. It is getting too expensive with hard money,” or whatever the case may be. “I need to approach private investors,” right?

Well, get out there and start talking to people. Put something on your Facebook feed, like, first of all, the first thing to finding investors or anything in life is to put out there what you are doing, right? The minute you start putting things out there, sometimes you’d be surprised. So sometimes, it’s like, “Hey man, who do you know?” You don’t even know who you know. So tell everyone what you are doing. Tell everyone the opportunity that is available to you like just start doing it. Just start talking right?

I had someone who approached me recently and he said, “I need private money,” that is why this came up. It was fresh in my brain. I said I gave him some resources and some books and things that they can read about private money. I said, “Number one, you need to start just blabbing. You need to start talking. This is a deal I’ve done, this is what happened, this is how much we made. Like this is how much my investor could make,” like you can’t quote exact actual numbers, you can’t solicit that way, but just talk about specific deals. “This is what I bought it for, this is what I plan on doing and this was the profit.” Just making this stuff known to people.

What happened was this person had an uncle, who they’ve known for years. They know they have money, but it didn’t even occur to them that they might even be interested, because they have been doing real estate for years. The uncle had never shown any real interest, but she started putting this stuff online, and talking about what she was doing, and this is what I bought it up for and same thing, just basically documenting her process, and documenting her past deals. The uncle came to her and said, “I didn’t know you were looking for money. I would love to invest with you,” right? So now, she is building that private lender relationship with someone that she knows.

It is sort of an easy transition and then building on that because that uncle happens to – who do you surround yourself with? People like you. So the uncle knows other people who have retirement funds and other vehicles that they can use to invest. So she’s like, “I had no idea, I don’t talk about this around my family because they don’t do it and I don’t think they care.” It’s like no, start talking. Just get out there and talk to people. You’ll be surprised what happens.

[0:22:17.2] WS: What’s a way that you have recently improved your business that we could apply to ours?

[0:22:20.7] MS: So this isn’t super recent, but this is recent in the history of my business. For the longest time, I didn’t track numbers. I didn’t know what my numbers were. If you asked me what was working in my marketing, I couldn’t tell you. I was talking about this on stage one time, honestly it’s embarrassing but it’s the truth. After a couple of years in my business my CPA asked me, “How many houses did you close on this year?” A simple question. How many did you close on, how many did you take possession of?

I didn’t know and worse, I didn’t have any way to find out. So I have become over the last few years a huge fan of KPIs, metrics, tracking your business, because it is like flying a plane without an instrument panel. If you don’t have an instrument panel in that plane, you may know you’re in the air, right? I know I am doing deals, I am in the air, this is great.

You don’t know what is coming. You don’t know if there is a mountain in front of you. You don’t know if you are gaining or losing altitude. You don’t know if your engine has stopped, you don’t know what is happening without that instrument panel in front of you. To me, KPIs metrics, tracking things, like, how much am I spending on marketing? What are my different marketing channels? What does it cost me for the phone to ring, what does it cost me to go on an appointment? What does it cost me to get a contract, right?

Does everyone listening to this know what it cost them to get a contract in real estate? I would bet most of them don’t, because I talk to a lot of people and most of them don’t. Even guys and ladies that I think are successful, like they have good businesses. If you start asking about their KPIs they just start getting these white, panicky look on their face because they don’t know. So tracking your numbers, especially as you are scaling, it’s not just good to do, it’s critical. It is absolutely critical. You have to know your numbers and so I am a big proponent of that.

[0:23:52.2] WS: Is there some kind of software that you use or anything for that as far as tracking things and keeping up with that?

[0:23:58.0] MS: Funny you should say that, no, and I’ve tried. There are dashboards that you can integrate. The problem with me and my business is I have CRM, I have Quick Books online, I have different ways that I market and I have Google ad words and text, all of these things. It is difficult to find systems that speak to all of that. So what I have found is I use spreadsheets. I just go back to spreadsheets and for me and where I am in my business, I have a team.

Everybody in my team is responsible for certain numbers because what I also found as an entrepreneur, as a visionary, it is not in my skillset to be a number cruncher and to be super diligent with a lot of numbers. So I have tasked my team and their departments with reporting out some of these numbers. They all go into one spreadsheet that has some calculations that go on and we know where we are at any given day.

And by the way, KPIs I think are important as a visionary, as the head of the company, especially when you have a team. I have what I call island numbers. Island numbers to me is if I was stuck on an island, and I could only see a handful of numbers, what would be the numbers I need to know to know if my business is healthy? So those are the high level island numbers.

Beneath that you have departmental KPIs. These are a little bit more detailed and they dig into the weeds a little bit more, so you know really what is happening on a micro basis. I want also macro numbers, because entrepreneurs tend to get they glaze over when they see micro sometimes. So show the entrepreneur, show the visionary, show them the macro and make sure the team is into the micro.

[0:25:22.4] WS: What’s the number one thing that’s contributed to your success?

[0:25:25.0] MS: I have to say the mastermind. Joining a mastermind. I have been in a mastermind now officially as long as I was not in a mastermind, and the difference in my business and the difference in the way I run my business is staggering. Again, I was a caveman before the mastermind and after the mastermind, the growth shows. It’s a hockey stick growth it’s been – that is where I went from doing 2 to 3 deals to 10 to 12.

And I went to being a $250,000 company to being over a $1 million company. It was a year after joining the mastermind, just surrounding myself with the right people.

[0:25:56.6] WS: Quickly, give us a tip on finding that, the best mastermind for our money and how much should we look to spend?

[0:26:01.9] MS: That’s a great question. The way I look at it was, in my market, I am in Michigan so houses are cheaper. I am a wholesaler so it is usually lower dollar amounts we’re talking about, but for me, joining my mastermind meant if I do just 2 extra deals in a year, just 2 extra deals it will pay for itself and it will be worth it. That is how I looked at it. I didn’t look at the number. I just said, “What does that number mean for me and my business?”

And if I can’t do 2 extra deals after a year of being in this mastermind, shame on me. I went from doing 36 deals to doing around a 100. So did it work? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes. I went from going 250 to a million, what would you pay for that knowledge? Less than I paid probably, right? So you do not want to spend your entire life savings on a mastermind. You just don’t, you can’t do that. You need operational money. You got to be smart about it.

But if you are in a situation where you are already starting to scale, you had some traction then I don’t know. I guess it is a comfort level thing and I won’t beat around the bush. The mastermind I joined five years ago is $25,000 to join the mastermind, for a year, okay? Was it worth it to me? I don’t know, I increased my revenue by 750,000 so it is totally worth it to me.

[0:27:07.6] WS: Even if you stopped right now, I mean you can continue what you’ve built.

[0:27:10.6] MS: Exactly, right? So finding the right mastermind, honestly, there is a little bit of luck there. You just don’t know the DNA of the mastermind until you are in it, but I would talk to the people who run it. Ask to speak to them, ask to speak to some of the members, see what they have to say and do your research. You know some of it is just what kind of a culture you want to surround yourself with. There are masterminds that are – it’s like a locker room.

They have a very liberal way of running things, and very informal, and some masterminds are a little bit more conservative. Honestly the one that I joined is very family friendly. It’s everyone just helping each other and it is just a good feel. So I like that. Now the mastermind –

[0:27:48.0] WS: Was this specifically focused on flipping or wholesaling, or was it just like business?

[0:27:53.2] MS: Flipping and wholesaling. It’s a real estate flipping and wholesale – It is called 7 Figure Flipping. I am still in it. I am one of the board members. So I definitely believe in it. I am a guy by the way who before I joined the mastermind, adamantly against them. I had no interest, but I happen to know the guy that was running it and I knew he was the real deal and so I did it. I took the plunge and best thing I ever did.

I mean we were talking about hindsight, I would have joined a mastermind in 2008. Even if it was a local one, even if it was not expensive. I would have surrounded myself with the right people from day one, because it is very lonely in this business if you are not surrounded by people who think like you.

[0:28:24.9] WS: How do you like to give back?

[0:28:26.7] MS: So 7 Figure Flipping sponsors some charities. One of them is called OUR, it is Operation Underground Railroad. It is an organization that literally saves children, specifically children from slavery, around the world. So once I found that organization and saw what they’re all about, I can’t get enough of helping. So that’s really an organization that I support wholeheartedly. So that’s really where I focus my energy.

[0:28:54.1] WS: Wow, well I appreciate you giving back in that way. That’s awesome Mike and grateful for your time and the way you have given back today as well on the show. Tell the listeners though how they can get in touch with you and learn more about your podcast and your book?

[0:29:04.9] MS: Absolutely, thank you for that opportunity, I appreciate that. The podcast is called Just Start Real Estate. It is conversations a lot like we’re having right now. So you can check that out on iTunes or Stitcher or anywhere you listen to podcast. The book is called, Level Jumping, it’s available on Amazon as you listen to this. So just go to Amazon, look for Level Jumping or you can go to mikesimmons.com. It is available there as well.

[0:29:24.9] WS: Awesome Mike, that’s a wrap. Thank you very much.

[END OF INTERVIEW]

[0:29:27.7] WS: Don’t go yet, thank you for listening to today’s episode. I would love it if you would go to iTunes right now and leave a rating and written review. I want to hear your feedback. It makes a big difference in getting the podcast out there. You can also go to the Real Estate Syndication Show on Facebook so you can connect with me and we can also receive feedback and your questions there that you want me to answer on the show.

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[OUTRO]

[0:30:07.8] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening to the Real Estate Syndication Show, brought to you by Life Bridge Capital. Life Bridge Capital works with investors nationwide to invest in real estate while also donating 50% of its profits to assist parents who are committing to adoption. Life Bridge Capital, making a difference one investor and one child at a time. Connect online at www.LifeBridgeCapital.com for free material and videos to further your success.

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