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David Greene on The 3 “Pillars” of Wealth That Lead to Financial Freedom


If you dream of becoming a successful real estate investor, there are three “pillars” of wealth you must build in your own life. What are these keys to financial freedom? Well, fortunately, today’s guest has written an entire book about them!

Welcome back to the Real Estate Rookie podcast! Today, we’re speaking with none other than David Greene—host of the BiggerPockets Real Estate podcast and author of SIX top real estate investing books—the latest of which is titled Pillars of Wealth. Far too often, rookie investors dive into the world of real estate without having mastered the three areas they need to succeedmaking, saving, and investing their money. Then, they are gutted when real estate doesn’t work out for them. The truth is that the money habits you build today will follow you throughout life. Work hard, foster a healthy money mindset, and master one challenge before advancing to the next. This is the real path to financial freedom.

In this episode, David shares his own experiences with money—including how he was able to steadily increase his income over time, save over $100K while in college, and find success as a real estate investor. You’ll learn about the true cost of financial freedom, how to play offense AND defense with your money, and why you MUST work the long game with real estate—prioritizing delayed gratification over immediate cash flow!

Ashley:
This is Real Estate Rookie episode 328.

David:
Really, the book is an antidote against deception. The people who are getting into our game, they don’t know who to listen to. They’ve got these people saying this and those people saying this, and this TikTok person, this podcast. While most of us go with what sounds the easiest, one of the ways that you avoid being deceived is you ask yourself if the information that you are being told works in other areas of life. Can I go to the gym with that philosophy that I don’t have to work hard when I’m there, but as long as my outfit looks good, I’m going to leave burning a lot of calories, right? And if everyone looks at the world that way, we are much less likely to be deceived by the predators that are out there that want to sort of steal our eyeballs and steal our money and take whatever we’re doing.

Ashley:
My name is Ashley Kehr and I am here with my co-host, Tony J Robinson.

Tony:
And welcome to the Real Estate Rookie Podcast where every week, twice a week, we bring you the inspiration, motivation, and stories you need to hear to kick start your investing journey. And boy, do we have an episode for you guys. Today, we’ve got the one and only David Greene, who most of you may know from maybe the BRRRR book, maybe the Long Distance Real Estate Investing book, maybe his book Skill, maybe his book Sold, maybe his book Scale. This guy’s just like a book writing machine. But today, David’s coming back to talk about his new book called Pillars of Wealth, and it’s really about he describes the antidote of the get rich quick scheme or ideas that permeate through the world of real estate investing. And as always, David brings just a ton of amazing info into today’s conversation.

Ashley:
Along with some great analogies as always. So we’ve had David on the show before. We are so happy to have him back. You can find out information about his new book, biggerpockets.com/pillars, and his book is available for pre-order now. David Greene, welcome to the show. Is this your favorite podcast to be on?

David:
I love this podcast because you guys let me talk. On my show, I never get to talk, I just ask the questions, but here, I get to be the one that runs.

Ashley:
You know what? We’ll even let you ask the questions too.

David:
Just go ahead and take the day off. I got it here. What’s going on, Rookies? This is David Greene, host of the BiggerPockets, but just kidding. You guys do a great job and your chemistry is really good. We all met together in Los Angeles and recorded in person and I just was like, we got a little bit of a John Stockton, Karl Malone thing going on here between these two. I like how you guys have developed over time.

Tony:
Who’s John Stockton? Who’s the mailman?

David:
I was so afraid you were going to ask me that because I am like, “Well, there’s the obvious gender and race thing going on that I didn’t want to walk right into,” but I don’t know how that appeals to basketball. Every analogy falls apart at some point.

Tony:
There you go. Fair enough.

Ashley:
You know what? We’ll just both lay awake at night pondering that.

David:
Wondering what it is, [inaudible 00:02:48], and which one you want to be too, right? Which one’s better to be here?

Ashley:
Well, David, you are here today because you wrote another book. How many books have you published?

David:
That’s a good question. This is number six, I believe.

Ashley:
Wow, congratulations.

Tony:
That’s amazing, man. It’s amazing.

Ashley:
Yeah, Tony and I both got our copies in the mail, so thank you to you and BiggerPockets for sending one over. We always love to read them, but please introduce your new book Pillars of Wealth.

David:
There it is. Thank you. Tony, it’s got to have…

Tony:
There it is, right here.

David:
There it is. So the book is basically an antidote to what your average real estate investor who’s coming into the game and wants to learn about it is being told. But frankly, I don’t know if it’s outright lies, but there’s definitely a manipulation of how the information is presented. Think about the infomercial of the person on the yacht surrounded by the women in bikinis. Like if you take my course, you can have this life too. They’re selling you on a dream. They’re not selling you on the reality of what it looks like. And after years and years of doing this and interviewing people and hiring people to work in my companies and giving my whole life to this process of how do you help people build wealth through real estate, patterns have emerged.
And I’ve noticed that there’s certain people that do well with this, and there’s other people that just continually find new ways to fail in ways that’s frankly impressive, how they can fail this many times. And what I’ve noticed is they’re walking into it with the wrong idea of what it takes to be successful. This book is not a complete autobiography, but it has a lot of the stories from my own life of how I went from being a guy that was just making sandwiches at a sandwich shop to eventually buying a bunch of real estate, becoming a real estate broker, hosting the podcast, writing the books, and I really believe this is a blueprint that everyone can follow.

Tony:
David, I love that you opened up with that man because I think so many people do get sold the idea of passive investing through real estate where it’s like they just get to plop their money down, close their eyes, and get these magical returns month after month, when really there is a lot of hard work that goes into it. I think you can get your business to a point where your time involvement is reduced pretty dramatically, but that takes time to build up to that level, and you have to have the systems and processes and people in place to do that. But I think a lot of new people are still looking at real estate as this get rich quick type scheme, and it really isn’t. There’s a lot of foundational things that need to be set up before you can just take your foot off the gas. So I’m excited to get into this with you, man. But when you talk about wealth, because that’s what this book is, what does wealth mean? How do you define that? Break that down for us.

David:
So part of the way that you deceive people, and really the book is an antidote against deception. The people who are getting into our game, they don’t know who to listen to. They’ve got these people saying this and those people saying this and this Instagram person and this TikTok person, this podcast and this YouTube, and I’m saying something and Tony’s saying something and then this other person over here says something different. Well, most of us go with what sounds the easiest, and I’ve learned in life one of the ways that you avoid being deceived is you ask yourself if the information that you are being told works in other areas of life. So if I come to you and say, hey, you’re doing it all wrong, podcasting is supposed to be really easy. You’re not supposed to try, you’re not supposed to prepare, you’re not supposed to think about how to be better, you just show up and talk on a microphone. But the thumbnail has to be good, and if the thumbnail is good, your podcast will blow up.
You should ask yourself, does that work at anything else in life? Can I go to the gym with that philosophy that I don’t have to work hard when I’m there, but as long as my outfit looks good, I’m going to leave burning a lot of calories. It sounds ridiculous when you talk about it at the gym. So it should sound ridiculous when you talk about it within podcast growth or something. And if everyone looks at the world that way, we are much less likely to be deceived by the predators that are out there that want to sort of steal our eyeballs and steal our money and take whatever we’re doing. So one of the ways people get deceived is they get sold on the goal being different than what the goal should be. They’ll say, “Hey, I’m going to help you get out of your W2 job.” Well, that’s not a hard goal. You can just quit it if you want to get out of it. The hard thing is replacing the income from it, but they don’t tell you how hard it’s going to be.
So if you had the wrong goal, it is very easy. You are susceptible to being deceived. So I start the book by talking about the three ways that I measure wealth. The first is net worth. This is your assets minus your liabilities, the properties you own minus what you owe on them and the money that you have in the bank minus the credit card debt that you have. That’s a way to measure how well you’re doing with wealth. Very simple, but it opens up a lot of doors when your brain understands ways that you create equity, ways that you create value, and ways that you limit expenses. It’s a framework that you have to grasp just like calories in versus calories out. If you understand that, you have some idea of how to get started in the fitness world, and I say that because you both are remarkably fit, so your audience probably can appreciate this, not because I think that I’m a fitness expert.
The next would be cashflow, how much money is coming in versus how much money is going out. Not necessarily equity, but when I look at a profit and loss statement for a business, how much money came in and then what were my expenses and what went out? Our personal lives, we should have a profit and loss statement for as well, how much money did I earn? How much money did I spend? That principle typically gets sold to the investor through property like, hey man, here’s the only thing you got to understand, just a cashflow. Here’s a calculator, here’s a thing. You find cashflowing properties and it’s never explained anybody that cashflow can come in more ways than one. You can earn it through work, you can earn it through a job, you can earn it through just the sweat of your brow.
You can earn it for rental properties, but having a more holistic view of ways that this principle works in life will give you a much safer portfolio of properties in your life. So we measure cashflow. And then the third is your quality of life. You do not have wealth if you are tied to a moneymaking opportunity that you can’t get away from. If every day you got to wake up before you want to and do things you don’t want to do and you’re not happy when doing it, it does not matter if you make $10 million a year, you are not wealthy, you’re miserable. And oftentimes we’ll be talked about like, well, you have to have your health. That’s a part of your wealth. You have to have relationships. I put all those things in this same bucket of quality of life. There’s many things you want.
You don’t want to make a ton of money and your kids grow up to be terrible people because you weren’t there to guide them through what was happening. It is possible that you get sold on one of these three, but they leave out the other two. They tell you how to build cashflow, but they don’t talk about equity or net worth and they don’t talk about quality of life. So you commit to this journey and you get really, really good. Maybe think of a strong man who’s super strong, he’s good at that one thing, but they have terrible cardiovascular health and they have diabetes and they’ve got all these other health related issues because they only focused on one. It’s really looking at all three of these and how they work together is how I’m recommending that people take the approach of building wealth.

Ashley:
David, the first thing is how can someone figure out their net worth and what their cashflow is, even if it’s not on a property, just their personal finances from their W2 job, what are some resources they can do to figure that out?

David:
So in Spartan League, that’s my mastermind. We give them literally a spreadsheet, but anyone can make one of these. You track what properties you have and what they’re worth and then how much debt you have on them. You track how much personal debt you have in your life, your credit card bills, your student debt, if you have medical bills that are unpaid, anything that you owe to any person and then how much money you have in the bank. And then if you own assets like a car or jewelry or something that could be sold for a substantial amount of money, and I don’t track all of your old CDs or your PS3 video games or something, that’s probably not worth looking into, but things that are worth money, you put it on there too, and you just create a formula in an Excel or a Google Sheets that says, “Here’s what I own and this is what I owe, and the difference is what my net worth is.”
Now, here is the principle that I find happens when you start tracking something, you start to care about it more. When you look every week at what your net worth is, you get this desire to want to see it get bigger. You start thinking in your head, how do I solve this problem? How do I make this thing get more? And it starts to open doors into the type of real estate that you want to buy as opposed to just the, well, I was told to look for cashflow, so I’m looking at these $40,000 duplexes in a degrade area. That’s always going to cause me headaches because on a spreadsheet they show the most cashflow. You get deceived into looking into these wrong properties when you don’t take this approach.

Ashley:
That’s great. I think that’s something that not all people are aware of. They think you have to be a CPA to figure out those things, and BiggerPockets actually just partnered with Stessa, S-T-E-S-S-A and as Tony always likes to say, assets spelled backwards, but just partnered with them and that is one way you can use their tools to calculate your net worth and also your cashflow of your properties too. It’s almost like a asset management tool, and it’s free for everyone. But if you want to unlock the advanced features, you got to be a BiggerPockets Pro member to access those for free.

David:
Now, no one likes doing that because it’s a pain in the butt. It takes some time. However, we can all agree, Tony has had some really big success in changing his… I shouldn’t say changing his fitness, but he’s excelled in the realm of fitness, right? Tony, did you go into that world not tracking what you eat and not tracking your workouts? Did you just wing it and hope it worked out, or did you have a plan?

Tony:
No, it was an incredibly dialed in plan that I tried to follow ruthlessly, so I had a meal plan that got updated every two weeks. I weigh my food at every single meal when I’m on prep. I was eating every three hours in 15 minutes. I was measuring my water. I was making sure that my supplements were being taken at the correct times throughout the day. It was an incredibly detailed process to go through.

David:
And then you saw some success, right?

Tony:
Right.

David:
I mean, we all saw your success, whether you saw it or not, right? You look way better.

Ashley:
I mean, come one, Tony, flex.

David:
Yeah, go on Tony’s Instagram and you can see a success for yourself. And I think a lot of people think, why do I want to spend my life putting that much effort into tracking my finances? That sounds miserable, but here’s the cool thing. If Tony stayed on that program for a couple of years, maybe not even that long, maybe just nine, 10 months, it becomes habit. You start to learn how much food you’re eating and you remember from last time, it doesn’t have to be weighed every single time. The meal prepping gets quicker because you get systems in place for where you buy your food, when you buy your food, how you store it. It’s only laborious in the very beginning when you’re trying to build the system.
Over time, your workouts might even become shorter because you get more efficient at what to do and how to do it. The meal prepping becomes easier. The whole system becomes habits, and now it doesn’t have to be tracked as religiously because you’re doing it subconsciously. Wealth will work the same way when you get good at managing your money, only spending money on things that make sense, living beneath your means, earning more and more money all the time. You don’t have to spend six hours a day looking at spreadsheets trying to figure out how to make these cuts. It becomes a habit in your life and it happens on its own.

Tony:
David, one thing I want to get clarity on is you’ve got these three different categories, the net worth, the cashflow, the quality of life. Is your recommendation that people rank those or is the recommendation they try and balance those so it’s like, hey, my first priority is always going to be net worth and I’m going to prioritize that over quality of life and cashflow, or is it, hey, your goal should be to try and maintain equilibrium between all three?

David:
No, I think it depends on your personality. So just like a fitness goal, how do I know if someone says, well, am I supposed to get really big and strong and build huge muscles, or am I supposed to have really strong cardiovascular health so I can work out for four hours at a time? It depends on what that person’s goals are for their life or their sport or whatever they’re training for. Some humans would rather walk around yoked out and really big, and that’s what fitness looks like to them. Other ones would rather know that they can do 400 sit-ups in a row and they can just have a lot of endurance. You’re only going to be motivated by what you like.
So there’s some humans that are like, I want a really big net worth. I want to be able to pull big chunks out of my properties to go do really fun things, to have a Ferrari, whatever motivates them, that’s the one they’re going to lean more towards. Others will say, I love the security that comes from cashflow. I love knowing that I have way more coming in every month than I have going out. I don’t need a Ferrari, but I definitely want to know that if I lose my job or if I have a medical bill that hits, I’ve got plenty of money to replace it and others are going to be, I don’t really care about either of those. I just want to have a life and do what I want and I need some combination of net worth and cashflow to get me that.
I think it’s a mistake when the guru comes out and says, here’s what you’re supposed to be doing because that’s what they do, and here’s why you should do this one, because now they have something to sell you to show you how to do it, but it doesn’t line up with what you want. You recognize, I don’t like lifting these heavy weights. I am a long distance runner or I’m a CrossFit person. I don’t like stacking 500 pounds on my squat. I’m just not going to go. Then you feel shame. There’s something wrong with me. I wasn’t cut out for this. I guess I’m just not into fitness, but it’s because that wasn’t the kind of fitness you wanted.

Ashley:
David, it’s easy to think right now, which one of those, what kind of life you want. That’s most of the time the easy part, as you just described those three things, I’m sure each person listening was thinking about, that’s what’s important to me, but what are the actual items? What are the next steps? Those hard conversations you have to have with yourself to actually implement the things that get you there?

David:
Well, you don’t know what those conversations will be until you start the tracking. That’s what I found. Okay, so imagine that you’re in a river and the river’s your life and you’re in a current, and the current is the habits that you have, your spending habits, your eating habits, whatever they are. You are not aware of the current when you’re in the river unless you’re looking at things moving around you. If you just close your eyes and float it in this river, it’s how most of us are living life. You don’t recognize you’re in a current, you don’t feel it. You don’t feel it until you put your foot down in the riverbed and try to stay in one place that you’re like, oh, that’s pressure. It’s a strong current, a light current, but you become aware of the pressure of your habits when you put some form of rigidity in place.
Okay, some people listening to this, my hope is this is them opening their eyes and they look around and say, “Five years have gone by, this isn’t where I want to be in life.” That would be opening your eyes in this river and seeing, “oh my God, I’m in a really strong current, taking me in the wrong direction.” When you start to track where your money’s going on your personal budget, or a lot of people run businesses and literally don’t have a profit and loss statement, they just have a general idea that they have more money than they did before. There are people that work that way or you’re not tracking the equity growth in your properties. You’re just like, “Well, it’s doing okay.” You can live that way, but you’re not going to make progress. When you create the system of tracking it, you become aware of things that you would not have seen before.
When you start to track where your money’s going and where your assets are growing or what’s actually happening in your finances, the right steps naturally reveal themselves. You realize, “Oh my gosh, I spend $300 every time I go to Target. What am I getting for that?” That’s one of the things that our members frequent, Target is always what comes up, or I didn’t realize that my portfolio that I was so proud of, 14 doors in some really low income area that you’re so proud of, you get all this dopamine every time you go to a meetup and you tell people that you own 14 doors actually isn’t producing hardly any cashflow and your net worth hasn’t grown in three years. They’re not great investments. You were tricked into thinking that they were just like a lot of people go to the gym and they tricked themselves into thinking that they exercised, but I’ve seen those people, I’m always amazed at the people that go in there with full makeup or the dudes that are wearing hats and nice clothes.
I’m like, “Why are you dressing up to go get sweaty and get messy?” They’re not tracking anything. That’s what we’re getting at. So once you start this, it becomes very clear where I need to make cuts, where I need to make adjustments, and then the right questions start to come up. Well, why am I not making more money at my job? Why haven’t I gotten a raise? Why is all my money flying out the door? Oh, it turns out that I’m actually addicted to retail therapy. Every time I feel bad, I go buy something. And when you look at how much of your money you’re keeping at the end of the month, I think one of the things the book talks about is spending from gross. So we think I make $90,000 a year. I can afford to buy this $500 thing, but if you start looking at how much of that money you keep after taxes and then how much of that money you keep after all your expenses, it might be like $9,000 is what you have at the end of the year.
And so 500 bucks is a really big chunk out of 9,000 versus 90,000. But if you’re not tracking, your brain will just go to these general basic, I went to the gym today, I make 90 grand, and you can justify spending money on things that don’t matter. Those answers you’re asking, Ashley, where should people start? Don’t pop up until you start measuring where your money’s going. Just like with fitness, when Tony started looking at what he was eating, he’s like, “Oh my gosh, that quesadilla is 2,800 calories. That is not worth it. I got to do so much work to burn that off.” You cut quesadillas out of your diet.

Ashley:
David, one thing that I’ve found that can increase your cashflow by just bidding out or quoting this expenses insurance even just every year, that’s an expense you have on your properties, and that’s one that you are able to go and get quotes on that can add another $100 a month to your cashflow on your duplex or single family home. So that’s just one easy thing to do. Every single year, you set yourself a little reminder and you message your insurance agent and say, “Hey, can I quote these, quote my policies out?” And they’ll send you what’s back and either it’s better or it’s not.

David:
But you probably wouldn’t have thought of it until you were actively measuring the cashflow of your properties and asking the question, how do I improve it? And one of the uncomfortable things that I really highlight in this book that I think people need to hear but they don’t want to hear, we can all agree, the three of us, it’s very hard to add $300 of cashflow to your portfolio, especially in today’s market where rates are and prices are, it’s not easy to just go out and grab something or to earn the money it takes to put down to get $300 a month, but cutting certain expenses out of your life. You don’t need DirectTV if you just never use it and you watch Netflix, that could save you 150 bucks right there. Why are we not tackling the easy stuff and we’re chasing after this idea of cashflow through real estate as the only way to build wealth?
That’s incredibly difficult when there’s some obvious stuff right in front of us. You eat out every single night or you eat out five times a week, and you might even be happier if you were cooking at home. You might make some good memories with your partner as the two of you are cooking together or listening to a podcast while you… You could have a higher quality of life spending less money a lot of the time, but we don’t even look at it. We don’t even consider that maybe we need to work on our budget. We’re just chasing this real estate dream that’s incredibly difficult when there’s low hanging fruit in other areas. Our insurance is a great example, especially with how expensive it’s getting. Have you guys seen insurance quotes lately?

Ashley:
Yeah.

David:
It’s rough, man. I have an insurance company and I just had a really tough talk with my partner on the phone today that we literally cannot get policies for many of the states where our clients are buying homes. They’re not insuring, and the premiums are three times higher than they were. So there’s some people that may be paying 12 grand a year in insurance that if they found a cheaper provider could come in at eight grand, that’s a lot of money you could save, but it’s not going to happen until you start tracking.

Tony:
I think the tracking is such an important thing and I’m glad that we’re spending a lot of time on here. I feel like a lot of Rookies don’t have the discipline to do that yet, but I know that there are metrics I look at inside of my businesses. Ash, but let me ask you first, when you think about your real estate business, what are some of the things that you’re tracking that you feel help you make better decisions in your business?

Ashley:
Yeah, it’s definitely on the property management side as to how long are units vacant, how long our turnover is taking, how long for maintenance request to get assigned to a technician, how long until that maintenance request is completed and how long until it is billed out? So I would say the property management company by far is the thing that I track the most as to what’s happening. And that’s not only for me internally as to how my properties are performing, the sooner we get tenants in, the better, but also for that quality control that we are actually providing a great customer service to the tenants too. And I’m sure that must be similar to you, Tony, with tracking your short-term rentals.

Tony:
Yeah, absolutely. There’s a lot that we look at, even just in our cleaning business, we have pretty thorough metrics that we track there. We’ll track how many five star reviews did we earn as a cleaning company, how many were below five stars? How many inspections do we complete on our cleaners after they finish the cleans? How many of those failed inspections? What’s our average time to clean a property across the portfolio? So many little things, and it’s like when you start to see these trends, you can start to understand if you’re moving in the right direction or moving in the wrong direction.
On the Airbnb side, we track page rank for our properties. We track occupancy, we track revenue, we track just everything, any slice of data that we can track. We’re going to try and put it on a piece of paper and look at it over time because I feel like you can make better decisions and be more confident in your decisions when there’s both qualitative and quantitative data behind that decision. What a lot of people do is that they just make decisions based on how they feel, which sometimes could be a part of it, but you want cold hard facts to help you make better decisions.

David:
Yeah, and my theory that I put forward in the book is a different way to look at things, and I talk a lot about this in the second pillar, which is offense. This is the ability to make more money, but the theory is that you haven’t earned the right to make more money until you’ve done a really good job with what you have right now. You haven’t earned the right to get more clients in your business, which will result in more money until you’ve given really good service to the ones you have. You haven’t earned the right to get a bigger podcast audience until you’ve done a really good job with the ones you have. You haven’t earned the right to get more money coming in until you’ve managed well the money you’ve got. And if you try to skip that step, which most people will, and that’s what they’re sold on.
Cryptocurrency is a great example of this, man, just buy this crypto. Everything’s going up. Everything’s being pumped. You have all these instant millionaires, they didn’t know how to manage that wealth. It’s not healthy. It’s taking a bunch of steroids and you’re getting super strong really fast, but your joints can’t handle it. They’re not growing along with the muscles. Injuries are going to come. And when the market turned around on them, they lost everything. And a lot of them unfortunately deleted themselves. It was a rough, rough thing.
If you’re not managing the money you’ve got, when you get more of it, it’s just like pouring water in a bucket with holes. It’s all going to come back out. And so I think there’s a lot of people listening to this that have the ambition, that have the drive, that have the talent, that are willing to do what it takes, but they don’t have the discipline. They’re not currently managing the money they’re making right now very well, and they’re not tracking the right things, and that’s why the next opportunity hasn’t come.

Tony:
So David, you do a really good job of breaking down the importance of this, but as you started to track, how did you personally get a good outcome from doing that in your own business, in your own life?

David:
So I started off most young high school kids just get a job, just trying to get a job. And I applied everywhere in town and I got rejected for all of it until I had a friend that was like, “Oh, my place is hiring. Let me just talk to my boss.” The next thing you know, I had a job and it was that who you know matters more than what you know was my first experience with that. That was a good lesson to learn. That was at Baskin Robbins scooping ice cream, and they paid us 75% of minimum wage because there was some loophole where they didn’t have to pay the full minimum wage if you were a student, and at my high school, you had to get permission from your high school to even get a job. So the minute you give them the forum that says, I have permission to work, they’re like, “Okay, now, we can pay you less.”
And I did a good job and the boss of the Togo’s restaurants, like a subway sandwich shop out here, saw me and offered me a job to work at Togo’s because they saw that I was working hard when everybody else was in the back screwing around. I was scooping the ice cream as fast as I could and trying to keep up with the demand, trying to keep the line moving. And my coworkers were just lazy because most 16, 17 year olds are. And so I got a job for full minimum wage, which was a 25% increase. And so now, I’m working over there and I just approached it the same way I approached basketball because that was kind of my whole life. How do I become excellent at this? How do I make sandwiches faster than everyone else? How do I become more efficient? I would practice pulling the turkey pieces off of the stack of turkey faster.
What’s the right finger movement to get to where you can get it off quicker? And I would close my eyes and visualize where the lettuce, tomato and whatever was so that as I was working, I wasn’t thinking, looking down where is it? It became a habit and I quickly stood out as a person that was the fastest. And when I had all that stuff sort of subconsciously worked out that I could make a sandwich quick, more of the horsepower in my brain could go towards talking to the client. So now, you’re making the person laugh as they’re waiting in line, you’re asking them about their day and you’re ripping through. Your boss is seeing that your line moves faster and the people are happier and you’re even getting tips sometimes. It quickly became, “Hey, do you want to be a shift manager?” Now, I’m learning how to help everyone else get faster like I was.
I would look at their sandwich making stations and be like, “Oh, that person’s running out of mayonnaise. That person’s running out of ham.” I would go get it for them rather than making them stop what they were doing, walk across the restaurant, get the ham, come back, no, the whole line’s waiting. And they don’t care because they’re just a regular employee. And it became clear how easy it was to get to the top if you just give a crap. That was one of the things I realized is nobody shows up to work like I showed up to basketball practice or a basketball game. They just don’t care. So caring a little bit got you to the top, and I still wasn’t really making any kind of money. It wasn’t until I got a job at a restaurant and started bussing tables that this light bulb went off.
So I would get paid minimum wage to work at the restaurant, but I’d come home with 30 to 50 bucks in tips. And this was around 2001, 2002 right around there. And that was the equivalent of five to six hours of work just in tips. And I’m like, I was here for six hours, but with these tips, I got paid for 12. It would be really hard to get my boss to double my wage. But it was very easy to get these tips. Something clicked. It was like this wasn’t a full sales job, but it was like this hybrid situation I got a taste of what sales look like. And then I just started out working every busser and I would help all the other waitresses with their what’s called side work, like the work you have to do with the end of the night when you’re done with your shift.
And when there was no tables to bus, I would just go help them make the salads for their tables or run their food, whatever it was. If I had a spare moment, I wanted to be productive. And I stood out to my boss and I was young, but I got promoted over all the bus boys that worked there more than me. And I got made a waiter, it was the nicest restaurant in town basically. And there was grown folks, like 30, 40 year olds that would support their families on that wage. And I’m 18 years old making that same money. And so now, instead of making 30 to 50 a night, I’m making a 100 to 200 a night plus your checks. And I started to think like, “All right, how am I going to track all this money?” Because when tips are coming in, man, it’s so easy in that business, easy in, easy out.
You get paid cash, you go spend cash. I would watch people that had been there for decades and they were never going to do anything else because they were just stuck in this treading water system of easy money that you don’t really have anywhere to progress. So I would come home at night and I would write down on a little piece of paper in the drawer where I kept all my money, how much money I made that night, $140, $80, whatever it was. And anytime that I would go buy something, I would buy it with cash and I would just subtract 20 bucks. I took that out to go do whatever. I made it a game. At the end of the week, I had at minimum deposit $500 in the bank. So my defense now that I’m tracking this was pretty simple. It was like, don’t spend money on stuff.
And I realized when I’m working all the time, and I don’t consider this to be hustle porn or this anti-hard work sentiment we have because you’re 18, what the heck do you need a vacation for at 19 years old? There’s no reason a 19-year-old man or boy shouldn’t be working two full-time jobs if he’s… All right, so I was going to college and then I had that job and I would just pick up other shifts. Sometimes you’d realize my offense isn’t enough. It was a slow week. I need to go pick up extra shifts for other people. Sometimes I’d pay another waiter 20 bucks to work their shift for them. But I’d make 80 bucks or I’d make a 100 bucks. So everyone else thought that that was ridiculous.
Of course, I’d do it for free if I could, but if they didn’t want to give it up, what about 20 bucks? Okay, I’ll do that. I’ll go party. And David gave me 20 bucks. He bought my alcohol for the night, but I’d make a 100 bucks. And so I was $80 up and this was where this framework of defense and offense working together made sense. Now, I was not crushing it. Okay, I’m probably making 30 grand a year, 35 grand a year, but that wasn’t terrible money in 2001, and I could save more than $500 a week. Well, I did this all through college. At the end of four years of college, I had my car paid off, my school paid off, and a $100,000 in the bank saved up because that’s 24 grand a year if you’re saving saving $500 a week. And I was able to save a little bit more than that. Everyone else came out of college in massive debt.
But I look at what they spent that four years doing, they were spending it on weed. They were spending it on alcohol. They were going to Cancun to vacation from their really hard 20 year old life of going to college and waiting tables. They had nothing. And then when the market crashed, I invested that money. I bought a bunch of real estate. Now, I could acknowledge I had good timing. However, everyone else had access to that same timing, but they didn’t have a $100,000. They didn’t have the resources to do it. And that was my framework of understanding that those people didn’t play defense. They didn’t save their money and the other waiters didn’t play offense. That was another thing I would do is I would stay and pick up all the late tables at night, and I would usually increase my income by 30 to 40% a night, just staying an extra hour and a half to close when everyone else was in a rush to leave and go to the bars and go have fun.
I was like, I’m going to take every last table for another hour. I can almost increase my income by 50%, well, over four years of time, that is a lot of money. And that’s the same money that all the people who listen to us keep saying, “I don’t know how to make it. I can’t earn it.” But the majority of people wouldn’t even do a good job at a restaurant job and they want to go be a CEO and they want to be a big house flipper and they want to be an internet influencer. So once that clicked in my head and I had these fundamentals down, when I started getting better jobs, I became a police officer. I applied the same thing to working overtime, and I learned a system for how to maximize that.
When I became a real estate agent, I learned how to apply these principles in a more complicated arena, but how did I save money and how did I make money? And it sort of leveled up at every point. And the people that I saw that didn’t do well financially, almost all of them, I could look at them and say, “You’re not even doing good at what you’re doing now. You constantly find excuses to not work hard. You’ve constantly find excuses to not hit KPIs.” In general, I realize they don’t actually want to be wealthy. They would just like it if someone gave them wealth. And so the principles of this book were formed in that arena that a 17, 18 year old kid kind of put together.

Tony:
David, appreciate all that insight, man. And there’s a few things that come to mind for me. So first, I’d love that you’re focusing on both sides of the coin because Dave Ramsey, he’s all about defense, right? Rice and beans all day, every day. Pay down your debt. Don’t do this. Don’t do that.

David:
Make your own soap.

Tony:
Yeah, make your own soap. On the opposite end of that spectrum is someone like Grant Cardone where he’s just like, 10X everything. 10X your income. Don’t worry about Starbucks, don’t worry about this. Just make more money. Make more money. And you’re saying like, “Hey, there’s some truth to both of those approaches. You want to be smart with what you’re spending, but you also want to focus on expanding your income.” And I think most people who are listening to this podcast, they probably have some idea of what it means to play defense, but I think a lot of people struggle with the offensive side, and what I’ve found in my personal life is that yes, crushing at your job is a great way to try and increase your income, but also don’t be afraid to change careers or change jobs or change industries. For me, in my life, that was always the biggest income jump that I made.
When I graduated from college, I got a degree in business management and I was working in marketing and I think my very first job after college, I think I was making $48,000 a year or something like that, and then I get a random call from a recruiter to say, “Hey, Tony, we know you work in marketing, but we like your background. Do you want to come be an operations manager in a warehouse?” I’m like, I’ve never done that before, but it was a $60,000 job, so $12,000 more than I was making this marketing gig. I said, “Okay, sure.” So I do that. I stay there for a couple years, get a couple raises, get an offer to go somewhere else, and they want to offer me $100,000. So it’s like you take these leaps and those jumps, and I think that’s a really big way to increase your income, but a lot of people, I think are afraid to take that leap. They get comfortable where they’re at, they know the ins and outs of what they’re doing, and they don’t want to take that next step because it’s too scary.

David:
I would take your point, which is exactly what the offensive section, the second pillar, it’s literally five chapters that focus on this is what people who make more money do. This is how you can go make more money. I would expand on what you said by saying not only are they afraid to take the jump, they would fail if they took it, and that’s why they’re afraid. Most people are doing the bare minimum when they go to work to not get fired. And I’m not trying to be a negative person. I’m just saying in my experience of my coworkers, the companies I’ve run, the people I’ve come across, there’s a handful of top performers, 20% of the company that goes above and beyond and they crush it. 80% are showing up and they act like clocking in that day is already they’ve done their job.
If you took one of those people who’s trying to get by in the bare minimum and you gave them a promotion to have more responsibility, more stress, harder problems to solve, all the things that come with making more money, they would fail. Just like if I can bench press a certain 200 pounds and then Tony comes along and says, “Let’s put another a 100 pounds on it,” that’s equivalent of making more money. It would crush my ribs. I can’t, I have to earn the right to do more by doing good at what I’m doing. And our subconscious knows I don’t deserve that. And it’s not always imposter syndrome. It’s not always like I’m afraid of success. I really think a lot of it is like you wouldn’t do well in that position. If you quit your job and you became a real estate agent or some type of sales position, you’d fail because you don’t know how marketing works because you’ve only worked on backend operations because you’re not comfortable.
You’re not good at talking to people. You see a lot of realtors that say, “I don’t know, I’m just shy to go on camera.” And everyone will tell them like, “Well, you got to make the videos anyways.” Then the video gets four views and two likes. They really didn’t need to go on camera. If you’re shy to be on camera, your audience sees that and they don’t want to go have you be their agent if you’re scared to talk. And I am not shaming people that are not good at it. I’m saying you need to build the skills to get confidence so that when you talk, you sound confident. There’s actually a progression of how this works. If you’re going to the gym and you’re saying you’re at the gym, but you’re not trying, you’re not going to failure, your muscles aren’t burning when you’re working out, it would be ludicrous to think you’re going to get stronger.
In the book, I give this example of the people who show up at work and they don’t try hard and they think that they won because they got paid for not having to work, are like people who have a gym membership and they show up at the gym and they brag that they made it through their whole workout without having to pick up a weight. That sounds so stupid within that context, but the world of wealth works the same way. If I gave someone a job at 7-Eleven sweeping the floors, are they doing the best job they can sweeping the floors as well as they can? And then seeing, you know what? If we move this soda display from here to here, more people would see it. And soda is one of our top sellers. Oh, you know what? That worked with soda. I wonder if it also worked with the hot wings.
That type of approach would get you promoted and then get you promoted again, and eventually your boss would leave you running the 7-Eleven and they could go start another one. And if they didn’t do that, because they were lazy, you would have the confidence to go start a 7-Eleven because you already know how all the operations work. There’s a chapter on extreme ownership where I talk about leaders are people who embrace responsibility. This needs to get done. I’m going to go do it. The people who say, “Oh my God, someone else needs to do that, that’s not my job.” You’re probably never going to have much money.
You’re going to struggle financially your whole life because wealth follows the people that bring value, that take on responsibility, that lift the weights, that learn. And there’s not a lot of people or anybody who’s really out there sharing this information, which is why I wrote this book. It was super hard to write. But to me, as a business owner, and I think you two can both agree, finding people who care about their job and take pride in their work is incredibly hard. You mentioned a cleaning company, Tony. Is that for short-term rentals?

Tony:
Yeah.

David:
Okay. So I imagine it’s not easy to find people that are going to go in there and do an amazing job. I mean, the fact that you have to have them share a picture of what they did is an indication that they’re not taking a lot of pride in their work. You shouldn’t even have to get proof if they went in there trying to crush it. But if you found one that just crushed it every single time, it was like, “What more can I do? How can I help you? Hey, I left some mints on the counter for your next guest. Hey, I put this thing in the toilet to make it smell better for the next people, or I noticed that you don’t have a sign for wifi, so I made one. Here it is.” That person would become your next manager. Easy.
You wouldn’t be like, “Oh man, I have to pay them another 25 bucks per clean.” You’d be happy to give them more money. You give them more responsibility, and you’d see how they did. These opportunities are everywhere in the world. All of the business owners are trying to figure out, how do I get employees that will work harder? And all the employees are out there trying to figure out, how do I get paid without having to work? And none of us are talking about it, but that’s sort of the dynamic that’s going on. So for the people that are listening to this, the book is just a blueprint of how you change your approach that way. And what I say is you should approach every workday like it’s the last day of tryouts and you don’t want to get cut.

Ashley:
David, I want to hear your point on, I’ve seen a lot of news articles come out about Gen Zers and how 70% of them plan to leave their job within the next 12 months, and it’s projected between the age of 18 and 34 that Gen Zers will have 10 jobs during that timeframe. Do you think this is actually a good strategy to do and you should be bouncing around to every opportunity you have? Where do you draw the line where taking advantage of these opportunities and going to several different jobs doesn’t weigh out?

David:
Well, they date the same way. All the studies show that Gen Z is bouncing from partner to partner all the time, and what’s behind it is there’s something better for me. There’s someone else out there who would appreciate me, who would like me more, who would spend more money on me, give me more attention, whatever it is, and that belief is what causes them to bounce from partner to partner. I think the same thing is happening within work. There’s a better job, but better usually means easier, or makes more money but fits within my personalities. I do think there’s a component of you want to find the right fit for yourself, but the question that I think people should be asking is, how is this job making me stronger? Is it making me smarter? Am I learning things that are making me a more valuable employee?
Am I getting stronger by lifting these weights, not just are they paying me more? For the last decade, we’ve had one of the best, easiest economies ever because we printed so much money. I don’t even blame Gen Z. They grew up with easy money everywhere. Why wouldn’t you be thinking, I want a job that fits me when there’s jobs everywhere? Why wouldn’t you be thinking, I want a romantic partner that worships me when there’s options and opportunity everywhere? Dating apps, social media, it’s all made this thing to where that it feels like there’s unlimited opportunity. We see the same thing happening within the workplace. My fear is as we head into a recession, people are getting laid off. We saw what happened when Elon Musk took over Twitter. A lot of people lost their jobs that thought that they were safe, and he’s like, “We don’t need them at all. They don’t do anything productive.”
A lot of other companies, like in the mortgage industry, a lot of loan officers are getting laid off. You’re going to see a lot of insurance brokers losing income. From where I sit, I’m seeing a lot of people getting… I literally had a conversation with someone yesterday who reached out to me looking for a job because he’s losing his six figure a year job that he was able to do in two hours a day. The companies are figuring out, I don’t need to pay you to do this. There’s cheaper ways to get it done. Now, no company looks at that when the money’s rolling in, when they’re just making a handover fist because the economy’s great. They’ll let people work for them that aren’t doing a great job. If Tony’s short-term rental business is crushing it, he’ll pay a cleaner a lot of money to go in there and clean the house.
But what happens when his vacancy goes up and there’s not as much profit margin there? Now, he’s tracking. He’s looking at every little expense. He’s like, “I don’t need to pay a cleaner $600. I can find a person that will do it for 300 because there’s no jobs out there.” As we enter into that type of an environment, it becomes very clear who’s been working out and who’s been slacking off. I just don’t think this has been a relevant conversation because the money’s come in so easy and we’ve gotten used to thinking that’s normal. I’m seeing that starting to change. So the Gen Z people that are bouncing job to job to job, I mean, do you guys get these DMs constantly of someone that wants to put an email campaign together for you or edit your reels and they’re going to be using AI to do it and they think they’re smart.
They’re like, “Well, I can make all this money editing reels, but AI does all the work.” That only lasts for so long. It’s the crypto thing. It goes away. You don’t have any real skills. You are pursuing an easy life, not how do I go to work every day and try to get stronger and they’re all going to get exposed. I think that our workforce in general isn’t building these skills and the good news for the people listening to this is if you’re the one who is going to go work out, you’re the one who is going to track. You’re the one that approaches every day at work like it’s the last day of tryout and you don’t want to get cut, you will get promoted, you will get more opportunity. Every job I had, I worked until I was the best person there and then I went to my boss and said, “What’s next?”
And when they said, there is no next, you’re already the apex. I knew it was time to find another job and I didn’t have all those thoughts in my mind like, I don’t know. What if I don’t make it? I’m scared. I was like, no, of course I’m going to go be good over there because I’m already at the top over here. I’ve earned that right. That’s the next step. I just had humility that I knew when I took the job, I’m starting at the bottom, and I’m going to have to fight my way back to the top, but there aren’t that many jobs that you couldn’t be the best person there if you wanted to be, especially when you consider that hardly anyone else is trying.

Tony:
David, so much good insights there, brother, and I love everything that you’ve said so far and I feel some people are hearing this and hopefully it’s like a bit of a wake-up call for them. We’re like, “Man, a lot of what David is saying here is how I’ve been living my life.” I want to talk just about the next pillar here. We talked offense, we’ve talked defense. Where do we go from there?

David:
The last is investing, which you don’t get wealthy by just saving money and making money. You accumulate seeds, you get wealthy by investing those seeds and letting them grow, and I think everyone listening to the three of us, they get that, that’s why they’re here. The problem from my perspective is they’re never told. How do you accumulate the capital to invest? They’re always given a backdoor sidetrack thing like a shortcut. Well, invest with nowhere low money down. Go find a partner who worked really hard and saved $200,000 and buy your first deal with their money because it’s OPM. Well, it’s still someone’s money. A lot of those people, no one talks about the big Ls they take, but a lot of people that listen to real estate content have lost other people’s money because they weren’t responsible enough to manage their own because they didn’t have any.
The message I think gets really muddied as we’re telling people, well, you don’t need money to invest in real estate. You don’t need skills. You could just go out there and use this system and then they pay a bunch of money to learn some system that involves none of their own money and they can’t hack it and I might not be able to hack it, right? A lot of these methods we teach people like find an off market deal. You make a 100 calls a day, you do it for eight months and you finally get a wholesale deal where you make 20 grand. All that the person hears about is the 20 grand that they made, but if you put that many hours into a job, you might’ve made 80 grand at a job.
It was a stupid endeavor to take that we keep getting marketed to and sold on like this is what you can do as opposed to let’s start with building the foundation that you’re going to need to get to the point where you’re lifting the really heavy weight or you have the six-pack or whatever the case is going to be. So the third pillar is investing, which is what BiggerPockets is providing, what all of us are providing. The beautiful thing is our audience doesn’t need to be sold on this where a lot of people do. Dave Ramsey’s audience, they’re not going to want to hear about that pillar. They’re like, “Nope, I make my soap. I’ve worn the same clothes since high school. I drive a Toyota Corolla that’s from 1987 and I’m always going to,” they’re good at that. They’re not going to be good at investing. Or the people that are like the boiler room fast talking, I make a lot of money.
I do crypto trading. They’re good at the offense side. They’re always looking for the next opportunity, but they don’t put their money anywhere stable, so then they lose it. You have to get this investing part down. The reason I don’t talk about it as much is because most of our audience already understands this. For the person who finds this book that isn’t in the BiggerPockets world, the real estate investing world, this is mind-blowing to them and I just detail strategies at a very high level, very basic things that people can do to build wealth. I’ll give you an example of one that no one thinks about, but you don’t have to be a super high level Grant Cardone investor. Let’s say that you find a property that you buy and you put it on a 15-year note and it loses $400 a month when you first buy it because this 15-year note is more expensive, but that’s okay because you’re saving three grand a month because you live beneath your means.
You’ve earned the right to buy this house that’s going to lose 400 a month, but your principal reduction is pretty big. Maybe you’re paying off $1,400 a month. The principal, even though the cashflow is 400 negative, conventional wisdom would say, “Don’t buy it because negative cashflow is evil,” but when you expand and you look at the whole budget, you’re like, “Well, I’m gaining $1,400 in equity, which is adding to my net worth. I bought an asset below market value in an area where rents are going to grow, so in 20 years, it’s going to be in really good shape. The only downside is this 400 a month I’m losing. Well, how can I get around that? Well, I live beneath my means. I work overtime, I have plenty of money coming in. I’m good.”
Next year, you buy another house on a 15-year note, same thing. It loses 400 a month, but the first one you bought now only loses 300 a month because rents went up. Every year, you progressively buy another house and put it on a 15-year note, or you put it on 30-year note to make extra principal payments. That’s the equivalent of a 15-year note. Same idea. At the end of 15 years, that first house is completely paid off. You refinance it on another 15-year note and you pull $200,000 out of the house or the property. That’s tax-free. You have $200,000 of tax-free money to live on for the year because of work you did 15 years ago. The next year, the second house that you bought, same thing. It’s paid off. You pull $200,000 out. You live on that tax-free. You probably didn’t spend the whole $200,000 from the first one. Maybe you only spent a 100,000, so you got a 100 in the bank. Now, you pull out another 200, you have 300 in the bank.
You spend another a 100 grand that year. You’re left with 200 at the third year when the next house is paid off. When your 15th house is paid off, the refinance of the first one is done. If you can for 15 years, just take a very simple process of buying one house, putting it on a note, living beneath your means, paying it down, you will live in perpetuity on tax-free money that you pulled out forever, not having to work if you don’t want to. That’s not a super complicated strategy. That’s not a thing that you have to listen to podcasts all day to figure out. This is a very good example of delayed gratification mixed with tracking, mixed with defense, mixed with investing, and voila, you’ve got an easy life where you’ll never pay taxes again. It doesn’t even occur to someone that life can be that simple because that isn’t sexy to sell.

Tony:
Yeah. David, I think that last piece you said is the linchpin here is that that’s not going to capture people’s attention, and that’s the unfortunate truth of the world that we live in today is that you have to say things that are outrageous. You have to say things that are almost borderline unbelievable. You have to make these super crazy claims about what’s working and what’s not, because if you don’t, if you tell someone, “Hey, here’s a very simple strategy that if you follow for the next 15 years will allow you to live in financial freedom,” you’ve lost people’s attention. And so I think the reason I point that out is because I want all of our Rookies who are listening to try and fight the natural pull towards all of these hypey flashy headlines and try and find the stuff that’s sound, the stuff that’s just rooted in common sense. And if you can do more of that stuff and just do it long enough, you’re almost guaranteed to be successful, and I think that’s a really important point that people are missing today.

Ashley:
So David, to recap here, I think you did a great explanation of a lot of things that Rookies can take into action today. Talking about how to figure out your baseline, building that foundation, getting an understanding of your finances, whether business or personal, also tracking them, keeping your eye on your expenses, where your income is coming from, and also your investments. So is there any last piece of advice that you want to give out to our listeners today before we wrap up?

David:
And it has to do with something you guys mentioned earlier, which is making money is important. A lot of people come in the real estate world because they’re like, “Well, I suck at making money at my job, so maybe I’ll try my hand at real estate.” It’s just terrible. The 49ers that moved to California looking for gold, hardly any of them ever made money. The people that did were the merchants that sold them things. They took the sound approach that made more sense. It wasn’t as sexy, but all of them raked it in while all the people that were trying to strike it rich, trying their hand and hoping luck would favor them, they lost everything. Defense, I talk when the book is all about discipline, having a budget is not sexy and it’s not easy, but it’s pretty simple. You only spend money on the things you’ve allotted money towards, and so if you want to be good at that, you really need to be in a community of other people that are encouraging you so that you can keep encouraging and keep your eyes on the ultimate goal.
But defense is about discipline. Offense, that’s about personal growth. You will not make more money at the job you have now, at the job you want to have, at whatever endeavor you have if you aren’t becoming a better version of yourself. I get that the realtor’s nervous to make their video on Instagram, but none of their clients care. They’re going to choose the realtor with the most confidence and the most skills that’s going to help them the most. No one cares about your dreams. We often get told, “Yeah, your goal should be to be able to get passive income, so you could go to the beach and drink your Mai Tais and get fat and just that’s what the goal of life is,” but no one else in the world caress about your goal. They care about their goals. So the secret is how do you provide value to the other people?
That’s what the vendors that sold the shovels and the pickaxes and the materials to the 49ers figured out. They were giving the value to other people. Offense is about growth, and the chapters are about taking on more responsibility as a leader, which is what no one wants to do. Skill development, there’s an art of building skills. There’s an actual process to it. If I dropped either of you in a new situation, you would immediately start figuring out, how do I build the skills to be successful here? That’s why you’re both good. It’s why you’re on the podcast. It wasn’t luck. It wasn’t privilege. It wasn’t just like, oh, everything happened to be handed to them. You guys do well because you’re doing that. There’s a chapter on a winning mindset. Just taking that approach, like I said, of every day I go to work, like I got to be the hardest worker here.
I control that. I can’t control the opportunity my boss gives me. I can control the effort that I put forward. So personal growth is really important. If you’re just looking for a way to live life on cruise control, you’re also choosing to not be financially fit. And then the third piece of advice, I don’t think anyone needs to hear that is you got to invest your money. You got to put in smart investments, and my advice is to delay gratification. Don’t chase after that year one right now cashflow that you think is going to make you attractive to a girlfriend or help you quit that job that keeps making you be at work at nine o’clock because you don’t want to. That’s a bad motivation and it will lead you to buying the wrong properties. Take the longer term approach. In 20 years, in 30 years, what’s this property going to be worth?
Where are rents going to be 15 years from now? Not where are rents right now. Frequently when you just use the BP calculator and you run your ROI, you’re like, “Oh, this property has a 12% ROI. This one has a two. I’m going to go with the 12.” We’ve all seen that five years later, that property that had a 2% ROI has a 30% ROI because rents has increased a lot and revenue has increased while expenses have stayed the same. And now, the person that looks stupid for buying the 2% property looks really smart. In life, take that longer term approach. Don’t chase after escaping your pain from an easy route because that’s what’s going to draw you to the 12% returns.

Ashley:
If you want to learn more about everything David talked about, you can go to biggerpockets.com/pillars, and his book is available for pre-order now. And David, where can more people find out more information about you?

David:
Thank you guys for that. They can follow me at davidgreene24 on social media. They can go to davidgreene24.com or they can go to spartanleague.com.

Ashley:
Well, David, thank you so much for coming onto our show again. We always love to have you as a guest. There’s always a ton of knowledge and information you bring, and also motivation to our listeners and to Tony and I. I’m Ashley at Wealth from Rentals, and he’s Tony at Tony J Robinson, and we will be back on Wednesday with another guest.

 

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.



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