Going out to do what you need to do for your business and being yourself while doing it is one of the keys to stay motivated to achieve your goals. One other key is to step away from work for a while and just absorb the knowledge and experiences you’ve been getting. And even at this point, continual learning will still prove very useful for note investors whether they struggling to close deals or not. Scott Carson shares the lessons he learned from Labadee like maintaining your motivation and narrowing your focus to not get burned out really early in the year.
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Become An Information Sponge With Continual Learning
I’m excited to be back in the studio with you back in the WCN war room here from a little vacation to start the year. I didn’t take too much time off at the end of the year because we knew we had to head out in the Caribbean and enjoy ourselves out on the most recent Financial Friends Network cruise put on by Walter Wofford and Quincy Long with Quest IRA. It’s good to be back. That’s not to say we did not have a good time. The first day or two was rough at seas. The seas are pretty rough but it was enjoyable time. It was always nice to hang out with Wayne Snell, Angela Sparrow, Natalie Patton, Karen and Stacey Wall, Jen and Adam Adams, Alyssa Getzoff. We’ve got a good chunk of our extended note family there with us on the cruise ship. Along, we meet some new friends. It’s always nice to hang out with Quincy Long and Nathan Long and then also with Walter Wofford as well.
Some of the lessons learned whenever you take a vacation like that, I always like to just chill. Before I get to lessons, it was great hanging out with about 70 people that showed up. It was one of the smaller FFN Caribbean cruises. I think the hurricane scared a lot of people off. We hit Saint Kitts, which is a beautiful area, had a really good time there. Saint Kitts and Nevis we actually had a Caribbean cruise with a couple of guys with a company that we’ve taken six months ago a cruise with before. It was great to see those guys and hang out there. That was probably the fun day, hitting out the Four Seasons in Nevis as well. We also hit Saint Martin. That island has been really devastated with the hurricanes. The port on the south side of the island wasn’t so bad. From those that want to cross to the north beach side was absolutely devastated. We were very blessed to be there, but you can see the rebuilding processes that are going to take place in some areas. We also stopped in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Old San Juan is pretty similar as far as in good condition compared to when we were last there. Obviously, Puerto Rico has been hit. I think still 40% of the island is without car but that’s obviously inland or up in the mountains. Our last excursion day was in a place called Labadee, Haiti which is the part of Haiti that Caribbean is part of an island. We had a private chartered yacht cruise for a couple of hours and was able to just jump in the ocean and hang out for about an hour off the coast of Labadee.
When I’m on a cruise, I always like to try to get away. I was only at the conference for about a third of it just because I need a break. It’s nice to get away and spend and hang time with Steph. I also hang with the rest of the note family. Just hang out, chill out, relax, recharge your batteries because God knows we run, run, run and burn the candles at both ends. You’ll learn a lot and lessons from Labadee is what I call this episode. First and foremost of this thing is I feel very blessed for what we have accomplished, for where we’re at especially when you look at what others are growing up and living with. We use to say in the United States don’t take a lot of things for granted. I feel very blessed for what we’ve accomplished and what we have. On the real estate side, investment side, I also feel very blessed that we have accomplished a lot. I was talking with the Walls from Bike Homes and Jen and Adam from AJA Investments and other people is that I think that a lot of note investors take for granted how much further along many people are in the note industry than they are on the residential side. It’s not bashing anything. It’s just simply saying that when we’re listening and talking to people whether they’re doing three to four deals a year or they’re trying to accomplish five to six or they’re trying to find more capital or more deals and they’re really struggling.
It really makes us feel good the fact that we don’t struggle for deals. A lot of note investors are out doing 40, 50, 60 deals in their year. It just makes for a really good feeling seeing how far along we are. If you’re closing a couple of deals in the last six months or your goal is ten to twenty this year and you hit those things, you have to realize that you are so much further along than most traditional real estate investors. That’s a beautiful thing. It’s not bashing anybody. It’s just that’s a beautiful thing that you are taking action and making things happen for your business.
It is good to be here. Along the way, we just celebrated a milestone of hitting over 50,000 downloads on the podcast, which is exciting. For all those that are listening to us on iTunes and Stitcher, thank you so much for listening. We’ve got a bigger goal this year to hit over 100,000 downloads in 2018. That’s our biggest goal to do. I would like 125,000, if we can 150,000, and we’ll see where this thing goes in the evolution of The Note Closers Show. Our note family, those that are listening, those that are watching, we are very, very blessed to have you as a part of our extended family. I think we have a very close-knit group of people that share a lot of resources, share a lot of information and answer a lot of questions for those that are less experienced and that’s a beautiful thing. I saw over and over again when we have roundtable sessions with everybody on the first day of the cruise, a lot of people are struggling to raise capital, a lot of people are struggling to find deals, traditional deals or they’re too stringent on their one market without learning how to expand.
I think as note investors, the fact that we have to learn how to invest outside of our own market most of the time once you’re in Ohio or Michigan or things like that is a really advantageous thing when it comes to being able to evolve. I saw a lot of people that were in great markets that were extremely hot and overpriced or over-farmed I guess would be the most in Arizona, Phoenix or South Florida markets and things like that. They’re going an hour or two hours north. I’m like, “Why don’t you go to a different state? If you’re going to be two hours north and so you’re driving two hours, why don’t you just get somebody in a different state or a different market?” I don’t think a lot of people get that. I’ve seen a lot of people doing the old way of doing things and sending out postcards and door knocking or doing an event letter list. Maybe I’m an ass but that seems a whole lot of work to get a lot less results than what we have going on here.
The biggest lesson I can tell you that I learned is just be yourself. Go out and do the things that you need to do for your business. Don’t worry about what other people will say. Don’t worry about what other people are doing. I think the best thing you can do is just stick to your guns and knock things out of the park consistently. Do it again and again and again what’s best for you and your note business if you invest in the real estate business. That’s the only thing that you should be judging yourself on. Are you doing the best that you can do? We’ve heard from a lot of people what we’re talking about. They closed on two deals or one specific type and now they’re an expert. That’s not the case for the most part. Great hearing from Walter and Quincy and a lot of those guys who are out and really doing some great things in different markets. Talking to other people that are in the note space, we’re pretty blessed here to have a lot of great deals and not have to worry about minimal deals.
I was very hungry to be back in Austin a few days early. I will never combine a cruise with an event again. A cruise is supposed to be relaxing and going out and doing fun and letting go. Not always the case when you’re at an event where suddenly people say, “Scott,” out of the blue. I can’t do anything. I’d be my crazy self anywhere. I think what we’re going to do next time is we’re just going to take a cruise and tell a few people, “If you want to go, take the cruise here. We’ll have dinner a couple of nights and you’ll have fun the rest. Or hang out for an hour in the bar and talk about business, and make it to right off that way,” is I think what we’re going to end up doing at some point. I think it was the consensus.
You have to be very blessed in where you’re at. If you’re here in the United States or you’re in a country that’s still in poverty, think yourself very lucky. I saw a lot of people that were very happy with a whole lot less than what we have. You have to take that in consideration that life is what you make it. Life is definitely what you’re going to make of it. You have the right to be happy or be sad. You control your own destiny, whether you believe it or not. You control your own emotions and what happens to you and take a positive outlook on there and take a negative outlook on things. I think the best thing that you could possibly do is be happy where you’re at if you’ve got your health, your family, you’re not living on the streets, you’ve got plenty of food in your mouth. Those are the three biggest things I could tell you right there. God knows there was plenty of food on the cruise ship. It felt like we were eating the entire time. I think a lot of us take for granted sometimes. We get such downtrodden on things or deals not getting approved or borrowers delaying on things that we have to simply take a step back and realize how very blessed we are.
My two favorite moments were basically one was in Saint Kitts. We were on a Catamaran Cruise and I was the first one to jump in the water. I just floated around for about an hour literally. I have a life vest on me because they have it on everybody. Everybody was snorkeling around, trying to find fish. I was just sitting there floating, eyes closed, just enjoying laying there in the ocean for a good hour, just floating around the Catamaran, just peace and quiet. It was one of my favorite moments. The second moment was also basically just jumping in the water off the yacht tour that we did for about an hour next to Amiga Island across from where Labadee is at and just floating around for a half hour there too just enjoying the water, just looking around the massiveness of the ocean. Just bobbing along next to a cruise was one of my favorite things. I think you have to take time to step away from work.
My staff here has done a tremendous job coming in. We’re moving from one system into a different system here and matching up the hundreds of files that we’ve closed on into a new system that we’ll be rolling out and sharing with you. We think it’s going to be a really, really cool system, matching up with what’s going on with our servicer that into the system. I have to give a very big shout-out to Jen and Nichole and Greg who did a tremendous job while I was gone, working on getting all the files uploaded, all the properties, all the loans uploaded into the system. They got through a good chunk of going through and auditing things and what’s missing and what deeds are we still lacking on and things like that. I have to give a big shout-out to them for doing such a tremendous job. It’s always nice when you head out and you know that your staff is going to be doing a great job while you’re gone. I’m very blessed just one thing that I was excited to walk in and see them. I missed them all actually because I love seeing their growth also and seeing them doing some big things. I also could tell they’re a little worn out from doing repetitive things. I’m truly blessed to have good friends and good staff. I think that’s always a good lesson to realize.
I have a friend that would talk about, “You can’t pick your family at the family store but you can pick your friends.” It’s really good I made some great new friends on this cruise. It was great connecting and just catching up with some really awesome people from our note family. It’s just nice to get away, get a little dressed up a couple of nights and just unwind. I didn’t check my email once so I’ve got that avalanche of email to check.
We’ve got a question, “Will writing articles on LinkedIn about the tax benefits of investing in real estate help to raise capital?”
Yeah. Anytime you can provide something that’s going to give you credibility or show that you’re an expert whether it’s an article, a video on a topic, the advantages, and then you share that with your tribe. In this case, your LinkedIn connections are your tribe or if you shared it to Facebook, that’s a great thing. It’s going to add value to your database. It’s going to be something that’s good content when you market that out to your community members. I would not just post it to LinkedIn because not everybody’s going to see your article in LinkedIn. I would literally upload it to LinkedIn as an article, and then I would also tweak it one or two little ways and upload it as a blog somewhere else, whether it’s on WordPress or your website or Facebook with a link to the article. I would also send the email out to your contacts. That’s going to be valuable because you want to hit them with a three or four-step approach.
On Note Night in America, we’re going to talk a little bit more about how to take one good piece of content and roll it out through the octagon as I like to call it. It’s not MMA fighting. It’s going to be something a little bit different towards some of the stuff that we’ve talked about. I think it’s going to add a little bit more value and a little bit more clarity to what people are doing. Anytime you can do anything to add value, add content, educate your audience is one of the great things that you can do and one of the things we’ve been doing for years. A lot of times the things that we learn the most is really great content to share with our tribe because if we have questions, I guarantee somebody else in the room has a question, somebody else in your tribe. We all have different tribes. We’re all interconnected, interlinked tribes throughout the world.
What I’m trying to get at is share your information, share what you’re learning and share the journey. That’s one of the beautiful things that I love about the people that were on the cruise ship and our note family. Wayne has shared his journey. Adam and Jen have shared their journey. They’re not doing as much marketing because they’ve changed their model now because they’ve evolved, which is phenomenal. It’s the same thing with Wayne and Natalie. They have changed their model now because they have evolved. Karen and Stacey Wall are at that point too where they’ve changed their model. They don’t have to do as much marketing because they’ve built a good following within their tribes. They educated them with their table talk discussions or their videos that they did on a weekly basis for the most part. They’re getting back to it, re-ramping things up. It’s a beautiful thing.
I’m excited that we’ll have Dan Zitofsky and Wayne Snell joining us to talk about raising capital from events. I think it’s one of the biggest things that people went on the FFN Cruise were looking to do, “Let’s meet a lot of Quest clients. We can raise a lot of capital.” There are some capital we raised there but for the most part, a lot of people are looking for capital, looking for deals out of the 60 or 70 that attended. Walter asked me to speak about marketing. I had about a 30 to 40-minute discussion on some of the basic things we discussed about marketing and the biggest ROI, bang for the buck, when it comes to return on investment and when it comes to marketing. I shared that with the group. It’s always good to hang out with the fellow podcasters. Connor Steinbrook from the Investor Army was on there. It was good hanging out with him, sharing and bouncing ideas off of the podcast and seeing that he’s doing a lot of some of the things that we are doing using video in episodes, transcribing and creating blogs out of that short little video messages. He’ll be on here to guest at some point. He said I’ll be on to guest at his at some point too as well. It’s really good seeing those other things.
When it comes to topics you should write about or make videos on, any topic is a good thing. Any topic that’s going to value you, the things that you find the most important are probably good things. Honestly, one of the best topics when it comes to doing the webinars that we do, we do a little bit of spin on things there. You’re probably raising capital. We’re doing education here. The three biggest topics are always about raising capital, finding deals and case studies. Those are always the three biggest things that we see as far as attendance on our webinars and attendance at our workshops on things. Somebody posted what should he do to raise capital? I want to discuss a little bit on that. “Should I go one-on-one at REI clubs? Should I just go and send an email to the REI club members? Should I do a webinar?” I’m like, “Don’t forget to keep it simple.” It’s the easiest thing. One of the things that many people fail to realize or fail to do is sending emails to their database on a regular basis. By regular I mean more than once a month. Once every week, once every two weeks should be the minimum that you send out to your database.
It’s good if you’ve got deals you’re trying to raise capital for is taking some photos of that property. I was surprised that so many people aren’t using Instagram or using photos on their social media from the group. It’s an older group but everybody has a smart phone on the group. Taking a picture of that property and doing a short little webinar, three slides on a deal. If you’ve got five, you’ve got fifteen slides there. Doing a webinar using a PowerPoint, record the webinar, now you’ve get a video that you can upload to YouTube, the second largest search engine out there. You can upload it to Google Plus which is owned by Google so that it’s working for you. Then send an email out to your database with a link to that. For the slides, you can use SlideShare or link to the video so that you can get people to watch. Use an email service provider like MailChimp or Constant Contact or Infusionsoft or something to get the message out to what you’re doing. That’s one of the things that we’re actually working on. I’ll be getting an email out to those that I met on the cruise ship and just, “Touching base. Check us out. This is what we do. It was great to meet everybody.” That’s a very simple thing to do, but so few people actually do it once they get back to real life.
Motivation is one thing. A lot of us get so excited about first of the year and then we either get slapped in. I know a lot of people had been getting sick with either the flu or just back to work, and then we lose a little bit of motivation to strive forward. What I have seen is if you’re trying to do too much, you’re going to get burnt out faster. I am the biggest candle-both-end-burning fools out there. I have to shrink down what I’m doing so I can be more effective. That has been a process over the last few years. Steph will say a joke that I’m still a workaholic, and my staff will say I run around, always on the phone or doing a podcast or doing videos. Marketing drives what we do more than anything else.
If you are struggling our there with motivation or getting back, you’ve been sick for a week and you’re like, “My motivation levels aren’t as high as they were once.” Do yourself a favor, cut yourself a little slack. That’s easier said than done, but narrow your focus. If you are trying to do three or four things, and out of the three or four things, if one of those is a job you’ve got to do, you’ve got to give it all there. The second thing is your side hustle. You can’t have three side hustles and be effective at any one of them. You’ve got to narrow your focus. For those that are working full time, you’ve got to keep your job. I’m sure that’s going to pay the bills, be focused on that. I know that a lot of us set lofty goals, “I want to close 100 deals this year.” If you haven’t close on your first deal then you need to change your goals a little bit. Focus on getting your deals done. Focus on smaller deals. I know we want big things. Those that subscribed to Grant Cardone out there, “10X your business,” that’s great but you’ve got to have 10X amount of time or you’ve got to learn to delegate 10X amount of things. That’s one of the big topics a lot of people discussed on this last FFN cruise with the use of VAs or assistants to get things done. I see so many people trying to do everything themselves. They’re like, “I can’t afford a VA.” If you can’t afford $4 an hour for somebody to work ten hours a week for you, then you’ve got bigger problems. You probably need to stick to your job. It’s just important to keep that in mind, learning to delegate. It’s easier said than done but even little things can help things happen.
We have another question, “Is there going to be Basecamp group for the Banking Blitzkrieg?”
Yes, there will be. If you’re part of that, stay tuned and you’ll be seeing invites to that Basecamp group. One of the biggest things that I did earlier on as a note investor is I would get distracted and it’s very easy to get distracted, especially if you’re working from home. I had a great talk with Tyler Nix who was on the cruise ship who’s also a real estate investor here in Austin, Texas. He works from home. We were talking about it’s easy to get side-tracked with either TV or phone calls or video games. If you can time block, and we’re not talking eight hours, we’re talking being focused on your schedule and knock things out at specific times during the day, you’ll feel a lot better about what you’ve accomplished at the end of your eight or nine or five hours or whatever it is. You just time-block it, “I’ve got to focus on this.” If it’s write an email, marketing, closing down your email if they’re your distractions, putting your cellphone away, turning off the social media profile so you can actually get things done is one of the most important things you can do.
We have another question, “If you don’t have any deals in the pipeline, how do you do case studies?”
You do case studies by talking to other people. If you’ve been to any of our Virtual Workshop or the Note Buying Blueprint, there are plenty of case studies that you talk about and change up some of the things. There are plenty of people that post case studies that they’re just closing on. You need other people’s case studies. One of the best things I can tell you if you’re struggling to get things done, and I saw this from talking with other people and I see this from people on Facebook all the time, if you post twelve different updates or twelve different infographics on what you’re focused on and how you’re being a badass but we never see any case studies, we never see any deals that you’re working through, your problem is you. You are spending way too much time trying to look busy versus actually being busy. There are some days we don’t post anything besides what’s automated because we’re busy. We got our heads down, nose in the grindstone, literally knocking stuff out. I know it’s easy to sit here and talk about because we have evolved and shifted things. I’m trying to help you avoid this difficult loss of time and loss of productivity because it is the first of the year. If you start off doing things between January 1st and basically March 5th or 6th or 7th, that’s 66 days, if you can consistently time-block something an hour a day, two hours a day especially if you’re working on your business, you’d be so much further along by the time the first quarter rolls around than if you’re trying to do multitude of things.
Gary Keller’s The ONE Thing is a great book to help you. One of my favorite stories from The ONE Thing is Gary talking about how he used to coach realtors. When I was reading the book, I thought he was talking to me directly. It was so great. How you give people things to do and they come back in a couple of days or a week later and they get nothing done. It’s very frustrating as an educator or teacher. We used to experience that when we’re doing our previous coaching. What we did is I would go out originally and coach people one-on-one. You want to talk intense for four days. I’m meeting with you from Monday through Thursday. People are ready to kick me out of their house because I’m there from 8:00 to 8:00 each night for the most part, literally focused on getting some things done. I’d give people homework that they have to get done beforehand in marketing or other things. Nine times out of ten, when I would show up they would not have done any of that before arriving. That’s the most frustrating thing doing this. We evolved that. We went, “Instead of me spending four days with them one-on-one, let’s spend it over eight weeks. Let’s do eight weeks’ worth of webinars. We’ll do a webinar every Thursday night, we’ll have homework.” By the fourth week, people stopped doing their homework. It’s very frustrating because then you can’t coach them on anything because they haven’t done anything. We have changed it now where you’ve got to go through the Virtual Workshop first before you come and spend three days with us one-on-one here. That’s a lot more effective because it gives people an opportunity to get things rock and rolling.
We are all procrastinators. I don’t care who you are, whether you’re procrastinating taking down your Christmas tree, procrastinating sending out your first email blast, we are all procrastinators. It’s very, very simple and easy to do that because that’s like, “I’ll get to it later. I’ll get to it later.” I procrastinate, “I’ll get to clean my office when I get back.” I planned on cleaning my office before I left and I didn’t really get around to do anything because I was doing other things. The thing is you have to rank your things. It’s okay to procrastinate the little things sometimes but at some point the little things will either grow and can be a cancer to things as well. Focus on the big rocks, fill in in your spare time the little things and you’ll feel a lot more productive about things. Do not focus on the little things first and foremost. That’s the thing that drives me bonkers when I talk with people. I see people and they’re focused on these little things. That’s great, “Forget about your logo.” “I can’t get started until my logo is done.” “No, start now.”
I’ve got a really good friend who’s launching a business and said, “I can’t send an email blast, I don’t have a logo yet.” Yeah, you can. What’s stopping you from getting it out and get it going? They’re not going to know who you are with your logo. They’re not going to know who the logo is. Get them out. They’re used to getting emails from you and flipping, “We’ve got a new logo.” That could be a content piece for you later on once you’ve already started talking to your tribe. Focus in on one thing and get it done, get it out. Don’t worry about all your ducks being a rubber for you. Do anything because at that point, you’re too much of a perfectionist, you’re too anal, you won’t get things done.
Another thing that dawned on me was something that happened. Are you aware of the whole freaking, “Somebody hit the wrong button,” in an impending missile strike in Hawaii? What is up with that? Talk about that being crazy and waking up to that at 8:00 in the morning on your cell phone, likely to happen on any day of the week. That’s another thing to think about. If something was to happen like that, how would you feel? What would you do? Would you be prepared for anything? I don’t think anybody of us will be prepared for that aspect of things, whether in your personal life or business life. I’m not making fun of that right now. That’s got to be a very stressful 38, 40 minutes between when that first went out and those that got the final follow-up. Those that slept through it, you missed out on something. You missed out on the craziness that was going on.
The thing you’ve got to keep in mind is, are you doing the things that you want to do? Are you accomplishing or working towards accomplishing your goals? If you’re still struggling and expecting different results, you have to really just have that good long look in the mirror. We all have to have that talk. We all have to have that come-to-Jesus, kick our own ass time in front of the camera, and literally realize that we are all where we are at today because of the decisions we’ve made, nobody else. If you’re in the United States and you’re listening to this on the podcast, you’re at where you’re at today because of the decisions that you have made on a daily basis. You weigh today because of the decisions of what to put in your mouth or the lack of decision to watch TV versus going to the gym. You are where you’re at your business today because you either have chosen to send emails out or chose not to do things. If you’re brand new and you’re still figuring things out, kudos to you, you’ve taken action to hopefully step away from that 40, 40, 40, 40 nightmare and start living or working towards your dreams.
I want you all to realize that the only reason I’m at where I’m at today is because I started making different decisions years ago. I was a little bit different than most people. I am different from most people. You all can be a little bit different. That difference may be a variety of things. Instead of going out drinking or going out bowling, you stay at home working. Instead of going late night to a movie, maybe you’re home writing up or connecting on LinkedIn connections. Instead of you posting twelve posts on Facebook how badass you are, maybe you could actually go out and make ten offers or you reach out to ten asset managers and make some phone calls. It’s up to you. Ultimately, we hold the key to success in our own palms. It’s up to you whether you want to hold on to it or if it’s going to slip through your hands like sand through an hourglass. I think it’s the biggest thing I want to tell you is the lessons learned from Labadee isn’t just about me. It’s things that I realize that I’ve done over the last years that have been good and things I’ve done over the last few years that did not always turn out the greatest. We’re always evolving as entrepreneurs and people to get better at what we do on a daily, weekly, monthly, even hourly, even seconds basis.
I think that’s where I’m going to leave you at where I’m at. Go out, make something happen. The year is 1/24th of the way done. It’s almost 4% to 5% gone. What are you going to do? If your goal is to get lighter and get healthier, have you been to the gym? If you’re not that, start doing. Have you been working with a trainer? If it’s to make 100 offers to close your first deal by January 30th, have you been making offers? Go out and make something happen. Thank you for downloading the podcast. We are so excited that we hit 50,000 downloads in the first four and a half months. We’ve exceeded our goals. We have some big goals that we want to accomplish in 2018. We want you to be a part of it.
We look forward to our upcoming guests on the show. We’ve got Carol Ellis. We have Paige Panzarello from California joining us. We know somebody from Atlanta, the West Coast, with Paige. We have Bob Malecki from the Pacific North West join us. Stay tuned in and make sure to listen to those guys. If you love what you are hearing, please, please, please do me a favor and leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher. We love to see those. It helps us identify that we are doing the right thing. If you have any suggestions or topics you like to have us cover, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at Scott@WeCloseNotes.com. Go out and make something happen. We look forward to seeing you all at the top.