real estate influencers
 

There are a lot of important authors, bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, and other public influencers who have shaped the hearts and minds of real estate investors around the world.

You can probably point to at least a handful of individuals who played a role in shaping who you are today. Am I right?

In this episode, we’re going to talk about some of our favorite, most well-loved real estate influencers. These are the people who have helped us think through some tough problems and see new opportunities we never would have known about without their insights.

Do you have any great influencers the world needs to know about? Leave a comment below!

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Episode 87 Transcription

Seth: Hey everybody, how’s it going? This is Seth and Jaren with the REtipster podcast. Hope you are doing well today. In this episode, Jaren and I are just going to talk about some of our favorite, most well-loved influencers in the real estate investing space.

These are people that we followed for years. We’ve probably read their books and watched their videos on YouTube and podcast stuff. And people that have just meant a lot to us over the years. Maybe they’ve helped us realize new opportunities or just think through things in a way that we never really knew about before.

Chances are you’ve got a lot of people like this in your life too, dear listener. And we’d actually love to hear about that. If you ever want to leave a comment on the blog post for this episode, you’re more than welcome to do that. You can find that at retipster.com/87 because this is episode 87. So, leave us a comment and let us know who you like.

But we’re just going to run through our short list of people that we look up to. If you haven’t heard of them yet, maybe you want to check them out. We’ll just kind of explain who we picked and why we picked them, and we’ll go from there. So, Jaren, do you want to kick it off? Who’s a person on your list that you look up to?

Jaren: I know at this point it’s redundant. Everybody says Robert Kiyosaki. But we have to give honor where honor is due. And the fact is I probably wouldn’t have been so open to real estate if I hadn’t read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.”

My first exposure to a lot of different business ideas and stuff was at a time where I had some friends that I really admired that were kind of some leaders in my life. To really get into marketing and business ideas, that was one of the books that they suggested I read. And it just makes sense.

Real estate truly is one of the simplest paths to financial freedom and generating wealth. I don’t want to paint a picture that it’s super easy or push-button easy. It’s definitely difficult. I think anything in life worth doing is actually pretty difficult.

But there are things in real estate that don’t exist in any other type of asset class or any type of investment strategy. I mean, Seth bought a property for $500 and sold it for $25,000. That doesn’t happen anywhere else. Real estate is pretty phenomenal. And if you understand it and you don’t get caught up in the shiny objects and the pitfalls of spending too much on education or getting distracted with other things, you can really learn your niche in real estate, it really can be a path to freedom. And I learned all that from Robert Kiyosaki.

Seth: Not to be a prick or anything, but just to push back a little bit on that. So, when you mentioned the buying for $500 and selling it for $25,000, not that it can’t happen in other things. People have bought domain names and random stuff like that and sold it for a lot more.

But I think with real estate, the differentiator is that it’s like, again, I hesitate to use the word “simple,” but it is a thing that has always been around. There’s always been a demand for it. It’s always been a type of business. It’s simple from the standpoint of like, it’s easy to understand, I think. It’s not like this new, emerging technology that’s all complicated. People need a place to live or do things and we can provide that for them. It’s not that difficult to wrap your mind around why it makes sense and why it works.

I would agree with you on Robert Kiyosaki. I didn’t even know that real estate is like his main thing. It’s just one of many things he talks about, but he’s like the gateway drug for a lot of people who have found their financial independence. He was kind of the guy that helped people understand the opportunity and see the world through a new lens back when there weren’t that many people doing that good of a job explaining it. So, he’s definitely very influential.

Jaren: To give some push back on your pushback though, you gave an example of real estate. It’s just virtual real estate. I feel like buying a website and flipping it is almost the same thing as flipping a house. It’s just virtual. So, you own real estate, right? Like you own the corner of retipster.com online.

Seth: That’s true. Yeah. I guess it is digital real estate, isn’t it? But it’s a real physical, real estate. It’s physical. There is something you can touch and it does break and get messed up.

Jaren: Is it instead of real estate, it’s like virtual state?

Seth: Is it fake estate? Yeah, I don’t know.

Jaren: I don’t know either. But what about you, man? What is somebody that you point back to like a major influence in your real estate development?

Seth: Well, through Robert Kiyosaki, I actually learned about the first person on my list and that is Ken McElroy. I don’t know if he still is, but I know for a long time he was a—they call them Rich Dad advisers. And he’s basically just somebody who wrote a book under that Rich Dad brand. And he wrote a book years ago called “The ABCs of Real Estate Investing.”

And it was like the first book I ever read that really got into the specifics of real estate in a way that made a ton of sense. And his writing style was just very down-to-earth, easy to comprehend.

It felt very empowering. He helped me realize I can do a lot more than I realized I could. And in that book, he outlines this basic way that you can evaluate income-producing properties and figure out what the cash-on-cash return is and the cap rate and all that. But I took what he said in the book and created a spreadsheet, just following exactly what he said. And to this day, I still use it. Like, it’s that useful. And I know there’s tons of different calculators out there and stuff, but I know the way he laid it out, just made a lot of sense to me.

I know he’s on YouTube now. And I believe he has a podcast and he’s a pretty well-known name in the real estate investing space. And for good reason, he’s a great mind to follow. And he has lots of valid, good ideas, and he’s got tons of experience and success to back him up. And I just really look up to the guy a lot.

Jaren: We should try to get him on the podcast. I know Keith Weinhold knows him pretty well. Right? He runs in those circles quite a bit. Maybe we can ask Keith to give us an intro.

Seth: I think he would actually do it because I remember back in the day when I first started the blog, I wrote a few what they call roundup blog posts, where you just ask an expert’s opinion, like ask them a question and they respond and you put them all together. He was like, by far the biggest, most well-known name I reached out to. And he replied, twice, for two of those. And I couldn’t believe he replied to me, but I bet he would. We should put that on our list to reach out to him.

Jaren: Yeah, definitely.

Seth: So, who’s next on your list?

Jaren: The next for me is Brandon Turner over at biggerpockets.com. When I used to work for Bigger Pockets, I got to spend a lot of time with Brandon. And I think that just rubbing shoulders with him and seeing him how he interacts behind closed doors and just his mindset and how he just approaches everything like a funnel, just like a problem to solve. It was just really fascinating. I think he had a pretty big impact on my life growing up.

And he wrote an ebook. And not a lot of people actually, I don’t know about now, but back in 2014, nobody really read this ebook. It was actually just available for free in the doc area on biggerpockets.com. But he wrote an ebook called “7 Steps to 7-Figure Wealth.” 

Seth: Oh yeah. I remember that. Was that part of his “Real Estate in Your Twenties?”

Jaren: Yeah. Before he joined Bigger Pockets, he actually had his own solo blog. That book single-handedly changed my life because it broke down becoming a millionaire into seven steps. It was a fantastic, fantastic read. It was super simple. I think it couldn’t have been more than 70 pages. I feel like it was even closer to 50 pages. I think I read it on my phone and just as a PDF and he just broke it down.

Okay. You buy a duplex or you buy a quadplex is actually how he has you start off. Save all of the income that you make from that until you have $20,000 for another one, and then buy another one. And then does this whole system where within, I think it’s seven years, you become a millionaire and you own a bunch of real estate and you’re financially independent.

And just how he thinks that way, where he breaks things that seem intimidating, like “Be a millionaire, finally make it.” And he just breaks it: “Okay, do this, do this, do this, do this, do this.” That was really impactful in my early days of real estate.

Seth: Yeah. It’s funny you bring that up. I don’t know that I ever actually read the thing, but I have that ebook on my computer. It’s 20 pages long. Brandon is one of those. He was also on my list too, by the way. And I think he’s a really unique guy. And I don’t know many people who are highly skilled at both the written word and video and doing podcasts. I feel like he’s good at so many things that you need to be good at to do exactly what he does. It’s almost like he is in the exact position he is supposed to be.

I’m sure there are other very gifted people who can do a lot of the same things, but they don’t work for Bigger Pockets or they’re not even trying to do what he’s doing. And the fact that he was able to get on board with Bigger Pockets when he did. I mean, it was like the perfect vehicle for him to get his message across. And it’s really cool to see where he’s gone and what he’s been able to do. And he’s also written some of the bestselling real estate investing books that there are. Huge. What is it, the book on rental property investing, and the book on property management?

Jaren: The low and no money down too. That one is a big one. I really liked that book actually, because it is a non-salesy breakdown of how to use creative financing and just get a primer on what financing options are available. Like, I didn’t know that there was something called a USDA loan where if you buy like a four unit in a rural area, you can get a property with 0% down. Like, that’s huge. If I was investing in the country or living in the country, that could be a really, really big deal. I don’t know the way his life worked out. He’s just really the guy that has brought real estate into like the 21st century. I feel like there’s a lot that he’s brought to the world.

Seth: That’s an interesting thing about these real estate influencers out there because I feel like there’s a lot of things, they have to do right for me to even pay attention to them, let alone like have a high opinion of them. There’s a lot of people out there that they may have great information, but they kind of just rubbed me the wrong way. Like they have this tone or this arrogance about them or I don’t know. Even like when I visit their website, their website just looks really like janky and spammy. There’s like a lot of things that have to be dialed in to really come across well.

And there are people out there that I think they’re great at maybe one or two of those areas, but not all of them. So, it kind of falls apart, which is sort of tragic I think. It’s kind of cool when you see somebody who’s doing it all really well and it goes a long way.

Jaren: So, who’s next on your list?

Seth: A little caveat here. It’s not that I’ve watched every video or dive that deep into this person’s stuff, but everything I’ve seen from them, I’ve been really impressed with. And that is Max Maxwell.

Jaren: I was going to bring him up. That’s so crazy. I was going to ask you almost like a bonus round. Who do you feel is like the up-and-coming influencers in real estate? And I was going to specifically mention him.

Seth: I probably watched, I don’t know, maybe like 15 or 20 total of his YouTube videos, but every time I see him, I’m just like, “Whoa, like, this is awesome. This guy is really good at this.” And I don’t know, but I have to assume he’s probably got a video team that follows him around and edits all his stuff because it’s really like, next level of good. It’s not just like the production quality, but what he says is legitimately helpful and useful. And when I see what he does, I almost feel like a bit of envy because I want to do as good of a job as what he’s doing. And I don’t know how he does it all.

Jaren: If you’re going to be that vulnerable, I will too. When we talk about Brandon Turner, I get super envious too. He’s living the life and having the impact that… Well, my life honestly is pretty amazing. I get to wake up every day and help people learn about real estate and do podcasting. And I don’t want to paint the picture that I’m ungrateful for what I have because being able to work here, this is my dream job and it’s awesome.

But what he has that I don’t have is the impact. And I just look at how many people have gotten started in real estate and have changed their life, their entire family’s life financially because of people like Brandon Turner or Robert Kiyosaki. I’m like man, Seth, we’ve got to step up our game, come on.

Seth: No, we’ve got to snap our fingers and suddenly be as big as Bigger Pockets. And then we can do it. That’s easy. Right?

Jaren: Yep.

Seth: Just a quick reach out to 5 million people a month. No big deal. So, Max Maxwell. The investing he talks about is not really what I’m even into that much. It’s not like we’re on the same path really. I just see what he’s doing. It’s like, I’m just impressed by it. I think he does a really good job. And he comes across as somebody who is very confident, but not arrogant. I don’t feel like he’s trying to puff himself up or be something he’s not. He is good at what he does and it’s cool to see that the way he portrays himself and delivers that info on his YouTube channel. I think he’s got other stuff to do like a podcast I would assume. But the YouTube channel is really the only thing I’ve followed of his.

Jaren: That’s so funny. I know Graham Stephan and Meet Kevin are also kind of rising stars in the YouTube space of real estate. And I vibe with some stuff with Graham stuff. And I think he has some good stuff and Meet Kevin is good too.

Seth: What do you like about those guys?

Jaren: What I like about Graham is he’s very authentic. I feel like he really tries to just be who he is and it’s nice that he actually is like super successful, super young because who he is just inherently is intriguing and engaging and inspirational. And I liked that he’s in LA and he’s done luxury real estate stuff, but he also has stories about having to evict tenants and he’s been in the grunt side of things. And I like that he’s cheap and he just owns it. I love that about him. That he’s just like, “You know what? I like saving money. That’s who I am. I don’t like spending money.”

I’m different than that, but there’s just something refreshing these days about influencers that are really, I mean, I think he has like 2 million-plus subscribers on YouTube now. And at least, obviously, I don’t know what’s happening internally with him, but it doesn’t seem like he comes to pretending to be somebody else or riding the trends of like, being an influencer. He seems to be more grim. He has this like, weird little voice. Some people love it, some people hate it. And he cusses in his YouTube, but it’s just him. Like he’s authentically himself and some people love it and hate it, but he’s who he is. And I think that’s why it’s worked so well.

Seth: He talks about stuff other than real estate, right?

Jaren: He does. He talks about personal finance and he talks about buying a Tesla for like $78 is one of his big videos. Yeah. He’s interesting. He’s an interesting guy.

Seth: So, who’s next on your list?

Jaren: So, the next one for me is Joe Fairless because of this book. For people who are listening, they can’t see this, but right here I have the “Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book” literally torn apart and broken down into sections because I’m continuing and continuing to study apartments syndications. And I’ve taken courses and other things in the space and listen to a lot of stuff. But hands down so far, this book has been the best resource on that subject.

I met him at the best ever conference. And I don’t know, it seems like he does legitimately want to impact people’s lives. And you cannot argue with the name, at least for this book. I haven’t read a lot of his other stuff, but for the “Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book,” it lives up to its name. It’s very, very, very good. I was actually on the Best Ever podcast. Did you know that, Seth?

Seth: Yeah. You mentioned that a while back. Was that a good interview? I hadn’t actually heard it yet.

Jaren: Yeah. They asked me all about branding, which was funny. Because I’m like, well, I mean, I guess I work at REtipster but I know more about land, but whatever. It was cool. It was fun.

Seth: So how many other apartments indication books have you read apart from his?

Jaren: I haven’t read any of the other ones.

Seth: So, how do you know what’s the best ever one?

Jaren: I’ve taken the apartment syndication courses and I’ve read through like, I have a whole stack of real estate books. This one’s on my list too. “The Definitive Guide to Underwriting Multifamily Acquisitions” by Robert Beardsley. This was suggested to me. I haven’t gotten into this one, but I hear good things. I’ve sat through probably at least three different courses on apartment syndications. This book was way better than all three of those courses. It just was much more thorough and systematic.

Seth: That is interesting. I’ve taken courses like that, that were literally the same thing as the book that that same person wrote. Maybe they dive a little bit deeper, but I seriously could have just read the book and been done. And the book was like $10 and the course was like $1,500. It’s like a common thing I’ve seen. If you really, really were ambitious, you could just stop at the book and you’d probably be fine. You’d have like 80% of what you needed.

Jaren: Yeah. I mean, ClickFunnels is that way. I think in the free books that you can get by getting into their funnel.

Seth: ClickFunnels?

Jaren: Yeah. ClickFunnels. Russell Brunson. His books are phenomenal. “Expert Secrets” and “Dotcom Secrets.”

Seth: That’s true. Those are great books.

Jaren: What about you? What’s next on your list?

Seth: John Fedro of mobilehomeinvesting.net. He’s another one who’s YouTube specifically. And that’s like mostly what I’ve ever paid attention to of his stuff. But I’ve always been really impressed by his videos.

Not because they’re super fancy or hyped. I think most of them are like, shot on a phone. It’s like nothing too crazy in terms of production quality, but what he is saying in the way he says it, it just feels very, very real. And he delivers the message in a way that’s very clear and easy to understand.

I feel like he’s a natural-born teacher and I feel like I’m getting the reality with him. Not some like hyper polished, unrealistic portrayal that he wants me to see, but like just, this is how it works. As the name implies mobilehomeinvesting.net. that’s what it’s all about.

I’m not really a mobile home investor at all. So, it’s not that I’m necessarily watching because I need to know that, but I just find it interesting and I find his explanations to be really solid. He’s an easy person to watch on videos.

Jaren: I’ll have to check him out.

Seth: Yeah. I think he does a really, really solid job.

Jaren: My next person is somebody I worked with for a long time. Brett Snodgrass. I’ve talked a lot about my good old days at Simple Wholesaling in Indianapolis. I think because I worked with him for so long, inherently, I learned the most from him or almost the most. There’s one other guy I’m going to mention that I think maybe had more of an impact on my life, but he literally was my managing broker where I hung my real estate license and he taught me how to read a purchase agreement.

There were a lot of things that I learned, about how to run due diligence and how to service calls and just a lot. I also learned a lot about how to run a business with integrity from him. He would always do things that were just kind of surprising the lights, not only for his buyers but also for the team.

Every Christmas he would go above and beyond and he would buy like everybody on the team gifts. He would take them down to Florida. He was a giver in a lot of ways and just showed me. Because when I first got started in real estate, I was exposed to some pretty unethical people that kind of tainted my view on real estate investors. And I was like, man, I hope that there’s somebody out there that has integrity in this space. 

And he showed me that not only can you do this business, specifically wholesaling too, which has a reputation of being a little shady, but you can do it with integrity and you can have an impact if you do it right. And truly the higher, super-successful, like ultra-successful real estate investors, all kind of operate in a similar fashion where it’s business-savvy to be high integrity. It keeps you around for the long run.

Seth: Yeah, it is crazy how many easy opportunities there are to fall into that unethical territory or even like the gray area. This is like not necessarily bad, but it’s not necessarily good either, but because it’s not explicitly bad, it’s okay, I’ll just kind of let it go. I think this happens probably in any business really, but it’s shocking how common that is and how easy it is to do. And so, when you see somebody who resists that and sticks to the right lane, without letting it all fall apart, it’s unfortunately unusual, I think. And it leaves an impact, I think.

Jaren: Yeah. So, do you have any other influencers worth mentioning?

Seth: There are actually a lot of other people who I think they’re like rising stars, people who are going places and they have a big impact on just a much smaller crowd that they have influence over. And part of that I think it’s not because their information is any lower quality than some of these bigger names. It’s just that their audience is just smaller and they haven’t gotten the PR and the huge funnels of traffic pointing to their stuff yet, but they probably will in time.

But other people that I think are really notable and worth paying attention to, people like Chad Carson, coachcarson.com, I believe it’s his website. Dustin Heiner at Master Passive Income. I think he’s got some really solid stuff. Brian Davis, he’s actually a guest writer for us and his main website is the SparkRental blog.

And by the way, I’ve actually got a list of a lot of these people and blogs worth following. I’ll link to that in the show notes. Again, retipster.com/87. So there are lots of other great voices out there. They haven’t necessarily changed my life personally, but like, if I were a beginner, I would probably be paying attention to them.

Jaren: Yeah, that’s solid. I got one more worth mentioning and not to make you feel super awkward, but probably my biggest influencer is you. And I know that’s kind of weird because we worked together and stuff now, but my land business and my career really are all fingers point in your direction, Seth, because I took the Land Masterclass. 

It’s crazy to look back, but we had you on the Simple Wholesaling podcast. And then we started meeting in like a countability mastermind-type format which was really interesting for a number of years. And then I took the Land Masterclass in exchange for some feedback and a review. And I just literally did what you said. And within three deals I made that $38,000 in that one deal. And the amount of money that I’ve made in land, it’s crazy. The fact that this land business is a real thing.

And I don’t know, just all of your videos. Sometimes I’ll just be working and then I’ll just be on retipster.com and I’ll just be scrolling through the blog and I’ll be like, “Oh my gosh, Seth wrote an article about that? I’ve been wondering that for years.” And the answers are right there, that’s crazy. And the same thing with videos too. There are so many videos that you make that are just really, really good.

And especially, I think in the last three years, probably, your videos have just gotten really good and they are super-engaging the watch, the delivery is on point and the subject material. I mean, how do you make a video on perc test and make it entertaining? But you can do it. I don’t know how you do it, but you’ve had a tremendous impact on my life and I’m sure a lot of other people who are listening here too.

Seth: That’s great to hear, man. I really appreciate you saying that.

Jaren: Yeah. Save the best for last.

Seth: Man, that’s crazy to think that I would be on the same list in anybody’s mind as those other names that we’ve been talking about. Like that’s amazing. Yeah. Thank you. I appreciate that and really cool to hear that anything I’ve done has made an impact.

The video thing. I don’t know what happened. I mean, I still have improvement ways to go, but I think you’re right. Like in the past two or three years, something kind of clicked. They’ve gotten a bit better in terms of, I don’t know if it’s maybe my delivery or just like my tone of voice or I think maybe editing. I’ve sort of learned how to keep videos more engaging and less boring.

All those videos take a long time. People don’t realize it. Like days and days and days in some cases to make one 8-minute video. And that’s something that a lot of people don’t realize when they just watch it and give it a thumbs down. They don’t realize how much time went into that.

Jaren: I hope to really go all-in on video. I’ve been watching a lot of Peter McKinnon lately. I get so inspired and I hope that one day I can join the ranks of one of the greats like you.

Seth: I do wonder, like where is video going to go? When you just look at all the different mediums, like you’ve got Instagram where people communicate with just a picture or Facebook, YouTube, blog posts, podcasts. There are so many different ways to get a message across in different mediums through which to deliver that. Is video going to be a more common and more popular way to do that, or is it going to be less popular?

Because personally I would always rather watch a video if given the choice, but a lot of people hate video. They don’t want to just sit there and watch something for 10 minutes. They want to scan through a blog post and pick out the parts they want to read and do it that way. I don’t ever want to mistake my preferences for what the rest of the world wants. But I’m just curious to see, what are the next five years going to look like?

Jaren: It’s exciting times because things change so rapidly. I love being able to paint with pictures that are moving. I feel like when I’m editing and I have all the raw material and I can slice and dice. And I mean, I saw one incredible YouTube video where they took the Lion King as an example, and they just didn’t change any of the material at all. But all they did was edit it in different ways. They did one that was like a murder mystery. It enters in Scar and it’s like black and white and the music and everything made it that way. And then they did another version that was like a comedy, like a romantic comedy between Nala and Simba.

And this is crazy because just by editing, you can completely change the story. I love that. I love being able to share really helpful information and share stories and be able to tell it the way that I want it to be told through editing.

So, I think I’m going to try to make filmmaking my long-term hobby and just really get into it. And hopefully, develop my skills and start coming out with a bunch of cool stuff here at REtipster. Because who gets to get paid to make videos all day? That’s pretty awesome.

Seth: I know, man. I’d like to do more of it too when we’re just talking yesterday. I feel like I’ve been so tied up in administrative stuff lately. But man, I would love to just have a clear schedule and just have time to create. That’s really what I love to do. So hopefully we can do that more over the next year or so.

Jaren: Definitely. It’s important.

Seth: Again, folks, I think this is not by any means an all-inclusive list of everybody. There’s probably a lot of people that we don’t even know about and don’t pay attention to. So, if you have suggestions or if you know of other people worth following, leave a comment in the show notes at retipster.com/87.

And it’s an interesting thing, Jaren, when we look back at all the people we’ve talked about, what do you think they’ll have in common? Why is it that they have stuck out to us and that we’ve noticed them?

Jaren: That’s a fantastic question. I think a lot of it is confidence. It’s easy to get into kind of wooed territory and talk about calling, gifting, and all that stuff. I think, practically, if you boil it down to the lowest common denominator, why I pay attention to them is because they actually believe very strongly in what they’re sharing. They have very strong convictions and a lot of it makes a ton of sense, especially with the way that they convey their principles and insights and just thoughts about things. It makes you believe them and trust them and try it out.

There are certain things like all of them say that I don’t believe a hundred percent, but because of Brandon’s track record, because of your track record in my life, because of Robert Kiyosaki’s track record, if you guys say something, I’m going to be like, “Hey, wait a second. Let me really weigh this out before I come to a conclusion myself and see if what they’re saying is valid for me.” And I think that it’s unfortunate because there’s so much that attacks people’s confidence, but that’s really, I think one of the foundational things that lead to success.

Seth: Yeah. Sometimes I struggle with that. I didn’t use to struggle with this until back in 2011 to 2013, I was in an MBA program and it was a cohort style. So, we had the same group of like 22 people, I think, that stuck together for two years as we went through this. And there were people in that group who were like, it was a very eye-opening experience because they were very confident and they sounded really smart when they were talking.

But as I got to work in groups with them and like really get into the details, I learned that they were kind of idiots. They did seriously, like very, very simple rudimentary stuff. Like they just couldn’t do it. And a light bulb went off and I realized like, “Man, you’ve probably gotten as far as you have in life because you are confident.” But that does not mean you know what you’re talking about. People gravitate toward confidence. 

So, I don’t know for me, it’s got to be something more than just confidence. What they’re saying really has to check out. And I think the track record definitely helps. This isn’t you just sounding confident. It works because I can see this and this and this and this. So, now I know the confidence is well-founded.

I think when I look at what they all have in common; it seems like they’re all able to very clearly articulate the information and ideas in a way that I can understand them and implement them. They take something that at first glance might seem super complicated and they just sort of distilling it down.

Jaren: And make it simple.

Seth: Yeah. And I think inherently, a lot of life is not simple. Everything has complications to it, but I’m one that I sort of start by looking at the obstacles like, “Oh, okay. So, this is going to make it hard.” Which I think is a huge liability on my part. It doesn’t help me in life. But because I’m that way, if somebody can sort of break down the obstacles or make me see past them for me personally, that’s really powerful. It helps me to just see why it is achievable and it’s not something I should ignore.

They also typically don’t spend a whole lot of time boasting about how awesome they are or how much money they have. I think sometimes that will come out, but it’s not like that’s the purpose of their content. It seems to be focused on helping me or their viewer or their audience. And I think that’s part of what makes them so effective at what they do.

Jaren: Yeah. Maybe you’re right. Because I feel like that’s your superpower. I think that with your content, you take something that seems overwhelmingly complicated or mysterious or scary and you just say, “Due diligence is not that bad. Here are the 15 warning signs that you have to look out for in land.” Here you go. And here’s like all the videos you’d ever need.

There’s something really powerful about over-preparing that just brings that level of confidence. When you remove ambiguity. I know for me in my life, clarity is probably in the last like year has been a recurring theme that has just really something that I’ve been mulling over in my mind a lot lately is about clarity. Because a lot of my problems in life come out of stress related to the unknown. So, I can remove the unknown out of my life, just by over-preparation.

What I used to do when I was afraid of taking motivated seller calls in land is, I broke down every single question that I needed to ask them and I had a checklist printed out. And when they would call, I would go step one, step two, step three, step four. And it was simple. It removed the obstacle out of my way and made it so that I could answer the phone. And I think that that’s what these guys do is they take how to become rich, how to get started in real estate, how to XYZ, and they distill it down. I think you’re spot on, man.

Seth: Yeah. It’s a tricky thing, man. The end product looks simple, but just like that topic of getting rich, there are actually so many different directions you can go on that. So many different things that live inside each one of those directions. So, you sort of have to take everything apart and lay it out on the table and then rearrange it in a way that all the unnecessary obstacles are kind of gone or at least they’re downplayed. And it’s kind of an art, really, to be able to take something like that and really create something useful, but not overly complicated that a person can do something with.

And sometimes I feel like I’m pretty good at spreading everything out on the table, but I’m not always good at putting it back together in a way that is simple. If it ever falls apart for me, it’s there. It’s trying to make it “Okay, this is why it’s still doable and achievable.” Boom.

Jaren: Yeah. Something that you do, I think better than most is you don’t say an emphatic “This is the way you have to do it,” unless you really know emphatically this is the way that you need to do it. You say, “Here are all the options. Here are the pros and cons and ultimately make the best decision for yourself.” And I like that a lot. I think that that’s healthier.

And I don’t know what it is, but a lot of these influencers and super-rich people and famous people, we idolize them a lot. And I don’t know if it’s like, biological or evolutionary, because we had a tribe and there was always like a tribe leader or something. We’re looking for that overarching supreme figure to like worship, essentially.

But I like how you always keep it honest and how you always keep it real and just say, “Hey, I’m just a normal guy. And here’s all the information. There’s nothing special about this. If I can do it, you can do it too.” And yeah, I just really like that about REtipster’s content.

Seth: Thanks, man. That’s good to hear. Cool. Well, is there anything else we want to talk about with regard to this?

Jaren: No, I think it’s time for our end of episode question.

Seth: So, the question is this. Everyone hears discussions that they consider boring. What topic can put you to sleep faster than any other?

Jaren: Probably for me, it would be math. I don’t find math interesting at all.

Seth: Literally anything that involves numbers, addition, subtraction?

Jaren: Outside of money. I feel like math makes the most sense in the context of finance, but in school, they don’t teach it in the context of finance at all.

Seth: Isn’t that crazy? That’s like so backward. It’s like the most basic purpose of math is understanding money. Maybe not the only one, but you would think that would be part of the conversation in school.

Jaren: Yeah. I don’t know. I don’t get it, but I know that in math class, there were math geniuses and stuff that would geek out about this stuff and they would be like, “Yeah, everything in life is math. Music is just math.” And I know it’s all true, but that view of the world, that window into the house of life, I find extremely boring. Like I would much rather look at it from the view of art and other things. So, for me, math is kind of like…

Seth: Yeah, I know what you mean. I understand the importance and I can almost understand why people like it, but I’m like, yeah, I think it’s because my brain is just impaired in that way. I was terrible at math in school. Very, very bad at it. Like once we hit anything beyond basic algebra, I was starting to fall off.

Jaren: They didn’t even let me go beyond pre-algebra. I took like, an easier math class that allowed me to graduate. So, I’m with you, man.

Seth: I actually had a similar thing. In college even, where I went to college, they required kind of a lot of math stuff, but there was like this backdoor way I could get around it by taking, I can’t remember what I did, but I was a similar thing where if anything was going to make me not graduate from college, it was going to be math. And I did almost sink my whole college career actually. So, it’s funny that we struggle with math so much.

Jaren: And we’re in finance.

Seth: Yeah. Well, not finance exactly but math is clearly an important part of what we do. I mean, you can’t not understand it. It just begs the question, how important is this advanced algebraic calculus stuff? Who really uses that? And why should we judge a person’s intelligence based on that if I’ve never had to use it? It kinds of makes you wonder.

Jaren: I was talking to a friend the other day. I don’t think that my personality is wired for the education system that is dominant today. Because I struggled really badly in school. Like I just was bored. I literally remember the day that I graduated and I felt like I was being led out of prison. I felt such a release because I was not into all the clique groups and all the clubs and like extra.

I literally was just like, show up, do my time, and get out. I can’t tell you how thankful and how grateful… My life has just been way better ever since I got out of school. I didn’t have a lot of friends. It was not an enjoyable experience. I don’t look back at my high school days like, yeah, that was great fun. I miss those days. I don’t. Like my life is way better now.

Seth: A few months back, I read Robert Kiyosaki’s book, “Rich Kid, Smart Kid.” It’s been out there for a long time, but I think it’s about like, how to help your kids be financially intelligent. He’s got a lot of great insights in that book, but one of the things he was talking about was that he was saying that we don’t have learning disabilities. We have an antiquated school system with teaching disabilities.

Jaren: Wow. That’s so good.

Seth: So much of the academic school system is a bunch of people who say, if you’re not smart in the way that we define smart, then you’re stupid and we’re going to score you low and make you feel stupid. It’s like a parent’s job to constantly shape your child’s perception of what smart really is and not let school tell people that you’re dumb.

Because I went through most of school just assuming I was an idiot and I’ve gotten way farther than almost every classmate I’ve had. I think it is kind of messed up honestly when you think of this idea.

And in another part, he talks about there’s this issue of ADD. What is ADD? Attention Deficit Disorder. And really what ADD is, is when you’re sitting in front of the TV, flipping through the channels. Boring, next channel. Boring, next channel. Everybody has ADD, but in school, you don’t have the luxury of changing the channel. And if you have ADD, they just drug you so that you’ll pay attention. It’s not that a person is actually mentally deficient. It doesn’t agree with this school system we’ve set up.

A lot of schools or a lot of teachers rank high as fact-finders and follow through instincts, but they’ll label other people with similar instincts as smart. But if you don’t match up just with the way that they happen to think, then you’re dumb and it’s messed up. So anyway, good book. I recommend it.

Jaren: I like how he says that A students typically work for C students. And it’s true. A students are really, really good at taking an assignment and making the result happen from that assignment. Whereas like, it’s C and D students he says, I think. But I was probably closer to that. Definitely my freshman year and sophomore year, I had really, really bad grades, but in my junior year I turned it around a little bit and was able to graduate.

I had to look at it like, “Okay, the purpose of this degree is so that I have leverage in the future. I had to really get honest and just say, okay, I have to do this just so that I can check a box and move on with my life.” Anything that was in school, I had to connect it to something real, something tangible to have it work for me.

Seth: Have you ever had your banker ask for your report card in school? Because I haven’t either, but they will ask for your financial statements. That’s not me. That’s Robert Kiyosaki. That’s his genius coming out.

So, my answer to that question, I actually have a very specific example in my mind. So, I used to work in banking, and specifically we did SBA 504 loans. And especially in the beginning when I didn’t understand it and I was learning, it took years for me to really understand everything that SBA does.

By the way, SBA is like a government, it’s the U.S Small Business Administration. And they have different loan products that help build the economy and stuff like that. But we used to go to these annual conferences, put on by a trade organization where all they would do is just sit around and talk about SBA loans. And it was like the most painfully boring conversations ever. Like I remember sitting there just thinking, because some people were like, really into it. They were all passionate about SBA loans. And I was just like, “Man, you are pathetic that this is like a highlight in your life. What is wrong with you?”

As I actually learned more about them and developed my own expertise, I started to realize why it’s important and why they were getting excited about it. I think my lack of enthusiasm was really coming from ignorance. Just not understanding it. And when you don’t understand something, it’s really easy to tune it out and not pay attention anyway. But that’s just an example that comes to mind when I think about that question.

Jaren: I bet I’d probably have fallen asleep.

Seth: Yeah. I wouldn’t doubt it. I think most sane, normal people would, but if you’re like a finance geek, then it’s probably super interesting. Well, that was a fun conversation, man.

Jaren: Yeah. I really enjoyed that one.

Seth: If you want to check out the show notes, if you want to mention anybody that you think is worth following, go to retipster.com/87 and you can do that there. We’ll link to the websites and YouTube channels and books of all the people that we’ve mentioned so you can check that out as well. I think that wraps it up.

Jaren: Hey Seth, I just realized we’re on episode 87. We didn’t do anything special for our 25th episode or our 50th episode. We should do something special for our 100th episode.

Seth: What do you think we should do?

Jaren: I don’t know. Maybe do the podcast live or something in our Facebook group.

Seth: Hey, that’s a good idea.

Jaren: Yeah. Do something that’s really special.

Seth: I’m really not good at thinking of ways to do cool stuff like that. Like my brain just doesn’t go there. When it comes to like, launching something, or announcing something, I have such a lame way of thinking. I don’t know how to do that, but that idea right there of doing a live episode. It’s a great idea. I agree. We should do that. That’d be fun.

Jaren: Yeah. If you guys have any ideas of what we could do for our 100th episode coming up and I don’t know, it’s probably going to be a couple of months away, though, but it’s approaching. So, if you guys have any ideas, leave them in the comment section below as well on the show notes. We’d love to hear from you.

Seth: Thanks again folks out there for listening. By the way, if you’re listening on your phone, you can always text the word “FREE,” F-R-E-E to the number 33777 and you’ll get some cool updates. You can stay up to date with the blog and the forum and the podcast and the YouTube channel. All the REtipster stuff that’s going on every week. So, feel free to do that.

Thanks again for joining us and we’ll talk to you guys next time.

About the author

Seth Williams is the Founder of REtipster.com - an online community that offers real-world guidance for real estate investors.

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