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WS689: Servant Leadership To Financial Freedom with Adam Ulery

Perhaps you’ve heard of the term servant leadership? However, if you’re new to the concept, it can be boiled down to the conscious decision made by an individual to lead others, based on their intrinsic motivation to serve others, rather than the desire to accumulate and wield power. Today’s guest is Adam Ulery, who considers servant leadership to be his superpower. Adam is a business agility consultant focused on helping organizations clarify and meet their business outcomes.

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

He is also a real estate investor, helping busy business people energize their retirement plans through multifamily real estate investing. Adam is Head of Investor Relations for Dreamstone Investments and the cohost of the Tech Guys Who Invest Podcast and the Tampa Cashflow Education Group Meetup. In this episode, Adam shares a bit about his background as an agile consultant and explains how he got into real estate as what he describes as an “average guy”. During our conversation, we learn about why servant leadership is important to Adam, how he got himself out of a scarcity mindset by surrounding himself with the right people, and how having an abundance mindset positively affects all areas of his life. We also learn more about how the SAVERS routine keeps him motivated. Finally. Adam explains why we all need to believe that we can do anything, reading an educating ourselves and, most importantly, taking action. Don’t miss this episode!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Adam shares what it means to be an agile consultant and how he first got into real estate.
  • What servant leadership is, and why Adam considers it to be his superpower.
  • What helping people by leading means on a day-to-day basis and why it is so beneficial.
  • How Adam got himself past a scarcity mindset by surrounding himself with positive people.
  • Adam stayed encouraged and focused by seeking out positive messages from mentors.
  • How Adam is using this abundance mindset and positive attitude across his day job and in his real estate business.
  • The SAVERS routine from Hal Elrod and how it helped Adam stay motivated and positive.
  • Adam shares some of his most influential books, both for himself and now for his kids too.
  • Adam suggests coming with a spirit of humbleness – it makes it difficult to be negative!
  • The hardest part of Adam’s syndication journey has been moving beyond fear.
  • Adam has recently improved his business by introducing monthly retrospectives.
  • Adam believes that the number one thing that has contributed to his success has been drive.
  • The Tech Guys Who Invest Podcast has been Adam’s best source for meeting new investors.
  • Adam likes to give back by educating people and helping them grow.

[bctt tweet=”Me and my team just closed a 90-unit deal last month. We’re under contract on our 100-unit deal right now that we expect to close in a little over a month. I never would have thought I could do something like that. It all begins with your mindset. It really begins with believing you can, and educating yourself, and then taking action. — @AdamUlery” username=”whitney_sewell”]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Adam Ulery on Twitter

Adam Ulery on LinkedIn

Adam Ulery Email

Dreamstone Investments

Tech Guys Who Invest Podcast

Tampa Cashflow Education Meetup

The Miracle Morning

Late Bloomers

Emotional Intelligence

Think and Grow Rich

Who Moved My Cheese?

7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

About Adam Ulery

Adam Ulery is a business agility consultant focused on helping organizations clarify and meet their business outcomes. He helps companies become resilient, rediscover curiosity, and change their traditional approach to business and product development, working primarily in software development. Adam is also a real estate investor helping busy business people energize their retirement plans through multifamily real estate investing. Adam is head of Investor Relations for Dreamstone Investments and is the co-host of Tech Guys Who Invest podcast and Tampa Cashflow Education meetup. Most importantly, Adam is a Christ-follower, a husband and a father of two beautiful daughters. He loves traveling and experiencing life with his family.

Full Transcript

[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 Adam Ulery, thanks for being on the show Adam.

[0:00:33.1] AU: Hey, thanks a lot for having me Whitney, I’m really excited to be here with you.

[0:00:36.5] WS: Awesome. I’m glad to have you on the show Adam, it’s been great to get to know you a little bit over the last year or so, and see you making it happen in this business. Looking forward to hearing more about your story, but Adam is a business agility consultant, focused on helping organizations clarify and meet their business outcomes.

Adam is also a real estate investor, helping busy business people energize their retirement plans through multi-family real estate investing. Adam is a head of investor relations for Dreamstone Investments, and is the cohost of Tech Guys Who Invest Podcast, and Tampa Cashflow Education Meetup. Adam, thanks again for being on the show, give us a little more about your focus right now, maybe where you came from, and let’s talk about your super power, and just really getting into this business and the mindset that you’ve had. I feel like, again, you can help so many of the listeners including myself.

It’s such an important piece of getting started in this business and being successful, whether you’re passive or active, but get us started out.

[0:01:33.9] AU: Yeah, awesome, thanks Whitney, I guess I’ll give just a little bit of context. What is in my industry known as an agile consultant so as you mentioned in the intro, so I come in and I help large businesses, very large enterprises, fortune 100, fortune 500 companies, change the way they do business, primarily focused on how they deliver software and other complex products. It doesn’t have to be software but – with that, I’m really more on the process side of things and helping teams learn how to collaborate well together, learn how to optimize their processes, and just approach their business in a different way.

I love this day job, it fits me like a glove because I ‘m a big mindset guy, I love helping people grow and improve. But you know, with the day job, there’s some lingering fear of, how safe am I? What if something unforeseen happens? Like, you know, something you can never predict. I don’t know, a global pandemic and all of this – not everyone, you know, needs consultants, that’s one of the first things to go.

A few years ago, I was having a conversation about this with a coworker of mine. You know, I just wasn’t sure how to break out of the rat race and be able to achieve financial freedom. She asked me if I read this little book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I said, “No! I’ve heard of it, but I’ve heard of some other financial books, I listen to Dave Ramsey.” She said, “Why don’t you check that out?” I read that book, blew my mind, completely opened it up for me.

I just dove into that like crazy, got that book at the library by the way. Went back to the library, got a bunch of other books, finally figured out real estate investing was my ticket to wealth, right? What I’m going to get to here in a second, Whitney is, one of the reasons I think I may be able to help some people listening to this show is I’m just an average guy. I’m a guy who is breaking out of an average life into an extraordinary one. I didn’t think I could do that, there was a point in my life where I just sort of saw myself as just Adam, you know, doing a good job at work. But for anyone who has thought, “Wow, I would love to syndicate deals. I would love to do big deals, but I just don’t know if that’s me. That’s for other people,” right? I’m telling you, you can do it.

I am an example of that because just a few years after reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, me and my team just closed a 90 unit deal last month. We’re under contract on our 100 unit deal right now that we expect to close in a little over a month. I never would have thought I could do something like that. It all begins with your mindset. It really begins with believing you can, and educating yourself, and then taking action.

Whitney, you mentioned my super power and I think its servant leadership.

[0:04:30.5] WS: I feel like that’s a great super power and it’s a place we could all improve on that’s for sure. But I want to hear more about just what does that mean to you, why is that important?

[0:04:43.4] AU: What it is to me is someone who serves first and leads by example. The difference between this and someone who has a leadership-first mentality is, with a servant leader mentality, you’re making sure the person’s needs are met first. You’re taking care of the person, and then you are helping them by leading them. That comes after you make sure that their needs are met.

With a leader-first mentality, there’s a little more of a dominance thing and you’re more concerned with the power and leading and having the authority than you are with making sure the person is growing. For some reason, I’m just wired that way. It fits me well.

[0:05:27.4] WS: Nice, I love how you explain that just – you serve first. You heard that often, you know, but really, do we do that, do we think through that? I like how you said making sure the person’s needs are met first and helping by leading. Can you tell me, I mean, I know that’s not commonly understood? I think you had mentioned that, can you give us an example or go into depth about what does this look like on a daily basis and why is that beneficial?

[0:05:51.3] AU: Now, that’s a really good question. I’m a consultant by day, I’m a coach for our clients. An example is, meeting a person where they’re at. What I do is introduce a pretty drastic organizational change to people. A lot of people are afraid, deep down inside. Now, they would never describe it that way, but it’s fear driving their behaviors. So you’ll see some dysfunctional behavior, resistance to the change, those types of things. If you can empathize with them, meet them where they are and help them through that, figure out with them what’s their fear, what’s going on there, and partner with them to solve for that.

Get them through that, then it opens them up to your message and to the change, and now you can start to move them forward. But you have to meet them where they are. If you don’t go in with that kind of mindset, you’ll never win them over to grow. They’ll dig their heels in and they’ll stay where they are. That’s one example. With the investing stuff, it’s a very similar thing. Someone may be thinking, “Yeah, I want to but,” and then there are a million excuses.

We have to kind of help them see through what’s really going on there, get to the root, discover that and solve for it. And then, ultimately, help them understand, you can do this and you should, because it will not only unlock freedom for yourself but for your family and your loved ones, and you can make a great, exceptional life for yourself, where you impact the world. You impact those around you for the better.

[0:07:41.2] WS: Mindset shift is so important, and I talk about this when I’m speaking all the time. When I first started thinking about this business and growing and scaling, it wasn’t until really, I took a big mindset shift and really committed before things started to happen. Mindset is so important. I just said, “Never give up mindset,” is what I say a lot of times, and the scarcity mindset is almost something that we’re just taught. I know the listeners heard it yesterday, we talked about this one with another guest briefly. But that’s scarcity mindset just really holds so many people back, right?

I mean, you really don’t believe, it’s going to happen for you or that it’s even possible. I mean, you don’t have to step out there. You’re afraid to put yourself out there. How did you get yourself past that?

[0:08:21.0] AU: Yeah, absolutely. For me, surrounding myself with positive people with the right message. People like you, Whitney, and others who encourage you to grow, to move past the fear, to grow your mindset, to take on this abundance mindset. Surrounding myself with those messages, because I hadn’t had exposure to that before, it’s one of the reasons I was where I was.

I had to kind of elevate the people I was around, elevate the level of the mentors who I chose to follow, and that’s huge, right? You’ve got to have that kind of message that pushes you and stretches you forward. Education’s a big piece of it but you have to have a good quality source. I mean, I remember when I met you, we met the first time at a Rod Khlief Event, and I remember when I met you, I was like, “Man, that guy is impressive and where I want to be one day.”

Could I see myself doing some of the things he’s doing? That’s what I thought about you when I met you. Was it – you know, I was asking myself, could I do this? I’m happy to say I’ve been working on that ever since and trying my best to grow and do similar things. That’s kind of the attitude you want to take on, and surround yourself with messages that support that, and let you know you can.

[0:09:51.4] WS: Wow, thank you for that Adam, I appreciate those kind words, I probably would have said no, you need to go look at somebody else but I’m grateful for that in a big way. Tell me though how you have stayed encouraged through that time, and through that transition, because it’s easy – and I know listeners are probably going through hit as well, I know I did. Just when you’re pushing through that type of mindset, that mindset change, it’s not easy because everybody around you typically, your network hasn’t changed yet at that point.

People that you’re still surrounded by are still saying, “Really, why are you doing that?” You know, or, “Are you really going to put this many hours in?” Or, “Why are you doing this to your family?” You know, all these negative things, it may even start to question yourself, right? How did you stay encouraged and stay focused?

[0:10:38.0] AU: For me, I sought out that message from mentors. I would look for people who could help me grow, even if I didn’t personally know them. You know, like listening to your podcast, listening to other podcasts that would have that kind of message, finding books and other materials that would start to teach me this. I had to learn this and I didn’t even know that I needed to learn this when I first started out.

I think really just taking action to intentionally grow. You’re hearing us talk about this, if you’re listening to the show right now. Proactively go take a step, go to the library and find a book, listen to more of Whitney’s episodes. I don’t know, figure out ways to get the information. That’s what I did, I educated myself and was just hungry for it.

[0:11:33.7] WS: Is there a way you’re using this in your W2 position, or your business now, or in real estate, what’s the benefit there and why and how and both?

[0:11:43.8] AU: There’s tons of crossover, which is interesting because, you know, what I do for my day job is pretty in line with the mindset I’ve got now for investing, and for growing, and trying to get to the next level there. I’m teaching my clients how to change and grow. It helped me both ways, I did not expect the investing education I was getting to help me in my day job but it absolutely has, because now, all of a sudden, I’ve got this abundance mindset and this complete super positive, you can absolutely do it if you try and if you take action, educate yourself, apply yourself, you can do anything, right?

Surround yourself with the right people, and you can make it happen. So, learning all of that and bringing that back into my day job just helps me there as well, because I can pass that message on to those who I’m coaching, and it helps them in the same way it would help anyone else. This doesn’t just apply to real estate. I like applying it there because there are other benefits, like the financial freedom, leaving legacy wealth, making a difference in the world, those types of things, but you can apply it to anything where you want to grow.

You know I think it is important to have a balance in your life. Other areas of your life so you can apply it there as well but growth mindset, this abundance mindset is just huge.

[0:13:06.4] WS: And a lot of it goes back to daily routines from me, when I can change daily routines and things that I did daily that help me stay motivated. You know, whether it is something I was reading, or something I watch every morning, or something that keeps my mind motivated and excited. Where there things like that for you? Daily routines or maybe a daily routine shift that you had that had to happen?

[0:13:28.1] AU: Absolutely. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the SAVERS routine? There is a routine, a guy named Hal Elrod.

[0:13:35.8] WS: I have heard of him, The Miracle Morning.

[0:13:37.8] AU: Yes, okay. So, he has created this routine and he calls it SAVERS. It is an acronym, silence, affirmation, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribe or writing. He sort of says, “Do a little bit of each of those every morning,” and I tried it. It made a huge difference. It absolutely charged my positive batteries there, and interesting, I found myself in kind of a funk, not super recently but not too long ago either, and I realized I had fallen away from that routine.

So, I read up on some positive materials, I listen to a few podcasts that have real positive, encouraging, motivating messages, and I started my SAVERS routine and it bounced me back really quickly. So I think a morning routine is really important. When I get up every morning I do that SAVERS morning routine. I think it makes a big difference.

[0:14:42.0] WS: Yes, I agree completely. You know I read that book, The Miracle Morning, probably, I don’t know, three or four years ago, and I would say that is when things started to change for me. I don’t do all of those things that you just mentioned. I don’t do everything in that book, I am sure, however, it did help me just to think about structuring my morning time and being up early, and just the importance of that. That changed everything.

It’s allowed me then to read lots of books, right? And just stayed motivated and to think through that time in the morning, but to read and spend that time educating while I was still working a W2 position, and I know that’s great. I am glad you brought that up. Any other reading that you recommend that’s helped you and just to think through this so you can conquer the mindset shift? It’s so difficult you know in the beginning.

[0:15:27.4] AU: Yeah, I mean, so, I am a huge reader. I am an avid reader, and I think a few books were pretty instrumental for me. They’re not necessary directly around this, the positive mindset, but they did allow me to grow a lot. One of them was there is a book called Late Bloomers by Rich Karlgaard, and it’s great for people who may wonder, “Am I too old do this? Have I already missed my opportunity?” In addition to that, it also talks a lot about emotional intelligence.

I think that can really help you sort of expand your mindset, increase your emotional intelligence, which will help you. So that is a really good one. There is another book called Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. That is a really good book because the more emotionally intelligent you are, the more you are likely to be able to do the things we are talking about right now. So those are pretty inspirational. I mean everyone talks about Think and Grow Rich.

Obviously I think that was a great book, and does have some really good stuff in it, like this. I used to not be so sure about some of that law of attraction stuff, but I definitely think there is something to that now. So you know just like thinking where your mind’s focus goes so your success goes and it brings it to you. It attracts it to you. I think a lot of that works. So that book talks about that quite a bit.

[0:17:00.5] WS: Nice, I would also say, Who Moved my Cheese? It is such a simple little book but it is so good. There is a kid’s version that we got for our kids probably a year or so ago now, and even they’re were like four and six years old, I mean they just loved sitting down, and I would read that book from all the way through. I knew it would take 20 to 30 minutes probably, but I also have the audio version now and my boys just love listening to that when we go on a trip. I mean it’s just like 30 minutes long.

[0:17:27.9] AU: My girls just finished 7 Habits for Highly Effective Teens.

[0:17:32.6] WS: Okay, I have that for children too, yes.

[0:17:35.2] AU: Oh man, it’s great and that book, the adult version is probably the one book everyone should read.

[0:17:41.9] WS: Yeah for sure. Anything else about this mindset shift that you want to leave us with before we move to a few final questions?

[0:17:48.2] AU: Yeah, I guess like the last thing I’ll mention is come with a spirit of humbleness. I mean that is one of the things I admire about you, Whitney, like earlier even on the show you said, “Well, I am not sure I would have said that about myself.” But, I mean, that’s the way great people behave. They’re humble and that really keeps me positive because if you are humble and you are grateful for what you have, it is hard to be negative and it pushes that out. So that’s maybe the last thing I’ll mention.

[0:18:18.0] WS: Well, thank you for those kind words again Adam. I didn’t pay you to say that so what’s been the hardest part of this syndication journey or process for you to get to where you’re at today?

[0:18:28.3] AU: Moving beyond fear for sure. A great team is probably the most important thing that you need to go far in this business looking at the bigger stuff. My Dreamstone Tea,m like Viano and Nick, those guys are amazing. They push me forward. I know I wouldn’t be where I am without those guys.

[0:18:48.1] WS: Awesome, yeah moving beyond fear and I would say, one of the first things that they write on the wall on Who Move My Cheese?, it says, “What would you do if you’re not afraid?” So, it is interesting that you say that. What about a way that you have recently improved your business that we could apply to ours that we haven’t talked about?

[0:19:04.8] AU: You know something that comes to my mind is we have started doing retrospectives. Now that is something I brought in from my day job. That is what we do with the software development teams. Dreamstone has started doing monthly retrospectives. So what we do is we get together and we ask ourselves you know, “What is going well with our processes and our business and how we’re working? What is not going well? What’s something we want to change?”

Then we’ll just take an hour and talk about that stuff and just work on inspecting and adapting our processes and continuously improving. Then we’ll make action items that come out of that, and we’ll put those on our backlog the good things to do. We use a backlog to help us work through all of our tasks each week. So we will put action items for improvement in there. So by doing this, we are continuously improving, always getting better with our processes and how we work together.

[0:19:58.7] WS: Nice. So what about the number one thing that’s contributed to your success?

[0:20:03.9] AU: I would have to say drive. Just really taking action, honestly, because there is a tendency to just read and learn and educate, and stay in that mode, and find excuses why not to actually pull the trigger. It is scary to make an offer, right? It is scary to try to raise capital. You know all of those thing, you have to take action. So I think drive, being willing to learn what you need to learn, surround yourself with the right people, and actually take action when the opportunity presents itself.

[0:20:43.3] WS: What’s your best source for meeting new investors right now?

[0:20:46.5] AU: The podcast, you know Tech Guys Who Invest is really a good way to draw people in. That’s got to be the best source right now.

[0:20:55.7] WS: And how do you like to give back?

[0:20:57.7] AU: I love to educate people. I love to help people grow. Probably one of the best tools I have for doing that is the podcast because, you can just reach more people that way and I am always encouraging people to reach out to me, contact me, whether it’s Tech Guys Who Invest or Dreamstone, let me talk to you. Do you have any questions? And any time I’m talking to somebody, I will find a way to kind of throw it out there, you know? To help people out and so I would just save my time and trying to educate people.

[0:21:30.5] WS: Nice. Adam, I appreciate your time today and giving back to us and I hope the listeners are really listening to just the importance of mindset. I know we have talked about it so many times on the show and Adam has done a great job just talking about the importance of that, and how he transitioned through that scarcity mindset, and stayed encouraged, and just servant leadership and why that is important.

You know when I used to go to conferences and people talk about mindset, I mean that would be exactly when I would tune out, and I’d be doing something else, or talking to somebody, like, “Let’s get to the meat and potatoes here.” You know, that is just not giving me this stuff. It is nonsense stuff, you know? That had to change, my thought process around mindset and I knew the importance of mindset when I was in the military and law enforcement but did not apply that to business at that time, you know or our business.

But when we did that’s really when things started to change. So thank you again Adam for just hammering that home really and I hope the listeners are listening up but tell them how they can get in touch with you and learn more about you?

[0:22:28.9] AU: Awesome, all right. Well first, thank you, Whitney. I really appreciate the opportunity, I am grateful for you having me on the show. You guys can reach out to me in several different ways, tgwipodcast.com is the Tech Guys Who Invest Podcast website. So you can go there, and you can get in touch with me or my awesome cohost Kevin, who is on this podcast recently as well. You can reach out there. We have an eBook on there for free, you can sign up for that.

We’re going to have a cool little free tool on there coming soon, maybe by the time this releases, called An Investor Identity Canvas. So you can get all of that there. You could email me directly, adam@dreamstoneinvest.com, or check out dreamstoneinvest.com to see what we have going on there with our multi-family syndication. Last, you can reach out to me on social media, LinkedIn is a really good place to find me, Adam Ulery, and tell me where you heard about me, because I get a ton of random requests. I don’t always accept them if I don’t know who they are or where they came from. So say, “Hey, I heard you on Whitney’s podcast,” and I will accept your invite.

[0:23:34.3] WS: Awesome, that’s a wrap Adam. Thank you very much.

[END OF INTERVIEW]

[0:23:36.8] 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.

Subscribe too so you can get the latest episodes. Lastly, I want to keep you updated so head over to LifeBridgeCapital.com and sign up for the newsletter. If you are interested in partnering with me, sign up on the contact us page so you can talk to me directly. Have a blessed day and I will talk to you tomorrow.

[OUTRO]

[0:24:17.5] 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.

[END]

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