EP 560 – Building Your Real Estate Community With Gary Hibbert

NCS 560 | Building A Community

NCS 560 | Building A Community

 

Collective power can, without doubt, generate better results. In this episode, Scott Carson is joined by real estate investor and agent, Gary Hibbert, who shares how he has grown his real estate investment podcast by building a community of investors that work to help hold each other accountable and successful with his Smart Home Choice network. Narrating the growth of his network, he offers some tips on relationship building and finding the right people to work with. He also shares some ways to handle conflicts along with some exit strategies.

Listen to the podcast here:

Building Your Real Estate Community With Gary Hibbert

I’m excited for our guest who is leveraging his real estate podcast in his real estate business to do some other big things. Our special guest is an absolute rock star doing some amazing things. He likes to share a little bit of how he had too much month left at the end of his paycheck. I love his story. I love what he’s doing. It will add a lot of value to you reading out there that are looking to take your networking and connections to your local market to a whole different level. The guy I’m talking about is Gary Hibbert. He’s a full-time real estate investor, licensed and award-winning real estate agent, author and educator.

In 2008, he made the decision that would be life-changing by purchasing his first investment property. Through hard work and dedication, Gary left the corporate world, become a full-time entrepreneur in 2014. Now not only does he have a remarkable real estate investing portfolio and successful businesses, Gary continually inspires the same change that transformed his life and many others around him. We are honored to have the man, the myth, the legend, the health and wealth and everything between podcast, Gary Hibbert. How’s it going, Gary?

It’s going amazing. Thank you for that fantastic introduction. I’m happy and stoked to be here with you. You’ve got some incredible stuff that’s been happening. I’ve been keeping an eye on what you’re doing. It’s amazing. Kudos to you.

Thank you very much. I appreciate it. I’m glad that you’re a part of it as well too. Our relationship started a few months ago from me reaching out to other podcasters especially in the real estate industry on LinkedIn. We scheduled a phone call and to get to know each other and I was blown away. I want you share a little bit with our audience a little more of your background and we’ll dive into that first.

One that I maybe get into my story and why I ended up having to at least go down the path of real estate investing, what happened? It starts around 2008. If you remember back then, that was when the US market had their big crash, the financial crisis that they had there. In Canada, we were bracing ourselves to that because we thought it was coming up to Canada. We got nervous. What happened was our real estate market did more of a sideways thing up here in Canada. What did have an impact and what did take a hit was a lot of people lost their jobs.

At the time, I was working for TD Bank and I needed this job. Me and my wife had purchased a home, like you mentioned, paycheck to paycheck. We had two young kids. I go into work on a typical Monday morning, minding my own business, and sit down at my cubicle. I see a friend get called into our manager’s office. He comes out and the look on his face was jaw-dropping. You can see that he lost his job. There was this panic that set in the room. I’m in there and I’m banging the keyboards harder thinking that if they see me working hard, they’re not going to fire me.

The day is done. The manager comes out of the office and he goes, “Whoever is still left here, you are safe. You don’t have to worry about losing your job.” This changed my life. I’m driving home. I said, “Never again do I ever want to feel like somebody is in control of my financial freedom or future.” The issue was that I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to get out of this rat race. I tried a number of different things. I’ve gotten to stock market. I took a course on that. I got into commodity trading, buying wheat, soybeans, oil. I got into currency trading, selling the US Dollar and waking up at 4:00 in the morning and selling the Yen.

NCS 560 | Building A Community

Building A Community: Surround yourself with people that want you to be where you want to be.

 

I’m trying all these different things and I’m putting myself into more debt. I go into my bank and this is the third time I’ve gone into my bank where I take all my debt, consolidate it and put into my mortgage. She goes, “Gary, you don’t know how to manage your credit cards. You don’t know how to manage your lines of credit. How about we do you a favor and get rid of them for you?” I’m like, “Please do. I want nothing to do with it ever again because I would put myself into too much debt.” One thing that I realized was that my house every single time was saving me. This is when everything completely changed. She leaves the office. She goes to print the mortgage documents we’re going to sign.

I’m sitting in there by myself and I’m looking up at the wall. I see this index chart. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the index chart, but it shows you what stock markets have done for the last 50 years, what interest rates have done. I took a look at what inflation was doing for the last 50 years. It ranged anywhere between 2% to 3%. In some years as high as 15% to 20%. Even at the lowest mark, I took a look at my raise the previous year and I’m like, “I got a raise of $1,000.” I did the math and I’m like, “I got a raise of 1.6%.” I get it. It is mathematically impossible to out phase inflation. That was when I knew that I had to get into real estate investing and that’s what got me into it.

Being an ex-banker, I can attest to those feelings because a very similar thing happened to me walking in, but instead of making it through the cut, we were all sent to the board room and told what was happening. People were crying and screaming, but it shakes you up and realizing that an employee or a lot of people that have that 40 year lives. They like to say you have to work for 40 years, 40 hours a week to retire at 40% here in the States. You’re leaving up your destiny and future success to somebody else out there that’s looking at numbers and profit margins for companies. It’s a crazy thing. That led to you sitting there at the bank and realize you had to do something. Let’s talk about that next step. You bought your first investment property. How far after that?

I bought it that same year. I had no choice but to figure out how to pick up my first investment property. I didn’t have the money. What I ended up having to do and I didn’t have any formal real estate training either at that time but I had the sense to say, “If I don’t have the money, maybe I need to go to somebody else that may have the money and show them this deal.” That’s essentially how I got into my very first one.

It’s using other people’s money to help fund the transaction, which is good because doing it the first time, for a lot of investors, that’s the biggest thing that scares them. It’s talking about other people’s money like, “I need to have the money first. I need to prove the concept works before I talk to anybody.” You’re smiling because you’ve heard that a few times.

What I was doing was I wasn’t so much selling the product. I wasn’t so much selling the house. I was selling the dream. I was telling them real-life stories that I’d gone through like I almost lost my job. The only thing that’s bailed me out over the last several years was my home. What if we bought one other property and we at least shared that together? We have an ATM that we can dip into every few years. Once he understood that concept, it made sense to him as well too.

Let’s fast forward a little bit. How did you go from focusing on your life, your entity, your family stuff to get into the idea of starting to help others around you?

In regards to now being able to help other people around me, what I had to do was change my mindset first. I had to educate myself first. It’s like when people go onto a plane, what do they say? They say to put your oxygen mask on first before you help those around you. How can I help other people if I am not where they need me to be? I started finding mentors. I started finding people where I wanted to be. Back in 2001, I asked a friend who had an investment property. I said, “I want to get into real estate investing. I know you have an investment property. Should I do it?” He goes, “Don’t.” I go, “Why?” He goes, “Because the tenants will destroy your home. They’re a mess. It takes you a year or maybe a year and a half to get them out.” I went home and talked to my wife about it. I went back into work the next day and I’m like, “Thank you so much for talking to me out of it. I can’t believe that I almost went down this path of real estate investing.”

The important part of the story is it wasn’t his fault. I’m asking somebody that’s never been outside of the bucket how to get out of a bucket. I had to go and talk to people that were outside the bucket or people that were where I wanted to be and ask them, “How do you do it?” When I started hearing their stories and how they were doing it, it was something that was so foreign to me. I never heard anything about where you have to change your mindset. You’ve got to change your philosophy. You’ve got to change the people that you hang out with. You have to put yourself in the surroundings of people where you want to be. By doing that, by educating myself and understanding that you don’t have to have the money, you have to have the why. Once you tie a why to what it is that you want, then anything is possible.

My whiteboard has everything. I’ve been doing this since 2010. Everything that I want in my life has been designed. I designed it the way that I wanted it to go. From there, once I understood that I can now live the life that I want, that is when I started saying, “Let me start to help other people.” Once I was able to get into that position, I was also showing them not only the things that were happening that were great in my life, but the journey, the failures, the problems, the issues and everything that was happening. They can see the true story and then they can jump in at the time that they felt that it was right for them to jump in.

We often have people that we look forward to that we want to admire like friends, families, colleagues. They have an idea of what we want to do. We go to them looking to get advice. They come across with opposite information that we should be thinking of because they’ve never crawled out of that bucket that they’re in. They’re the wrong person to be asking. You wouldn’t go to a pest guy and ask him how to do brain surgery. That’s the same philosophy. Somebody has only done it once and had a bad experience, they can only talk to their experience. That’s smart. As I always say, “Talk to people that are where you want to be or doing what you want to do. Talk to them and take their counsel instead of asking advice from everybody else around you.” Talk a little about your portfolio. How did you become award-winning? You said you got your real estate license as well along the way. How did that transition work?

What ended up happening after 2008, 2010 rolls around and we started a real estate investment education company called Smart Home Choice. I was like, “I’m going to start educating myself. I’m also going to start educating other people in real estate investing.” One of the earlier concepts that we came up with was rent-to-own. Because I was new to real estate investing and I’d heard of some of the horror stories, I’m like, “If I’m moving a family into an investment property where they have a vested interest in it, they’re going to own that home in a few years,” and I’m still working at my full-time job. At least it’s something that I don’t have to completely fully manage all the time. By doing that, I was able to do a lot of the joint ventures as well to grow my portfolio and the OPM, by using other people’s money. I showed them that I could help them create better returns that they were getting in their GICs or their mutual funds and down the States, it’s called the 401(k)s.

That was where it all started with Smart Home Choice, building that business, bringing in guest speakers, bringing in accountants, lawyers and people that had 100 doors, everything so we could all learn together. We started creating this nice community of investors that were trying to help each other. It was an incredible thing where you realize that when you’re in this space, you’re like, “Everybody wants to help each other.” When you go back to that corporate world that you’d ask somebody, “How do I do this?” They give you a little bit, but not everything because they don’t want you to leapfrog over them. It’s that corporate world mentality. Whether it’s right or wrong, it’s different places and it’s a different mindset. That’s what it is.

When did you start the Smart Home Choice?

It’s 2010.

You said you were starting with lease options.

I started off with single-family homes, then I tried a two-unit, which is like a BRRRR strategy. I didn’t even know what a BRRRR strategy was. I was in 2009.

NCS 560 | Building A Community

Building A Community: The cashflow is the cake itself that you can eat and put in and put food on your table.

 

That acronym didn’t even exist at that point.

It didn’t, but I ended up selling it maybe 8 or 9 months later because I didn’t understand what I was doing. It’s not that it’s a wrong or bad strategy, I wasn’t educated yet. That’s when we went into the lease option. We taught most of our investors that were new investors like, “This is a great way to get into it where it’s turnkey tech properties and you’re getting good tenants moving into your home.” I had another partner in the business and he had his real estate license. I saw how good he was doing because I was giving him all these clients and investors. I was like, “Maybe I need to get my real estate license to help him out as well too because he was getting swamped.” I saw it as an exit strategy to get out of my job. In 2013, I wrote down on my whiteboard to leave my job. I put a month beside it, which was April. In April 2014, I left my job. I’ll tell you something as well too. When you’re doing those whiteboards and you’re writing down what you want, they’ve got to be a SMART goal, which is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time. That is how we came up with the name Smart Home Choice because it was all about goal setting.

Let’s talk about the growth a little bit of your network there, your community or your real estate club. I love the fact that you talk about your community. It’s become its own organism, people pulling for each other, working together, sharing resources, sharing knowledge. How did that grow for you? What were the steps? You start off with how many people? How did that progress to where it’s at now?

Here’s how it started. Prior to us opening the doors of Smart Home Choice, what I did was I started reaching out to all my friends and all my family on Facebook in my phone and said, “I’m doing a seminar at my house in my living room, I want you to come by and check it out.”

Did they think it was some multi-level thing? You’re going to sell them some health bars or some of that stuff?

Some of them did. If they asked me questions, I was upfront with them. I would say, “Show up and I’ll tell you all about it.” That’s usually what MLMs do. Every single month, we were doing these seminars in our living room. We would have anywhere from 5 to 15 people that would show up. That’s how we got better at it. The first few, I was sweating and making a mess of it but then I got better at it. Once we felt comfortable of what we had talked about, believed in, ironed it out and answered all those questions, I was like, “Let’s launch this thing.” That was when we went out to social media and started pushing out saying, “We’re having a class on Real Estate Investing 101,” or “We have this mastermind event where these experts are coming in to educate you.”

That’s how we started creating a community. We started a membership. The hardest thing when you start a membership is you teach a class and say, “Here’s what the membership costs are. Do you want to join?” They’re like, “Gary, how many members do you have?” I’m like, “You’re going to be the first one.” It grew from there and we’re close to 80 members now, which is exciting. Even outside of the members, we still have other investors that are coming into the room that have learned from us who are investors and realtors. They’re from all walks of life. It’s all about sharing that information.

I’m sitting here beaming in pride for you. It takes time building that. Sometimes when you’re starting off, you’re the one that sees the dream. Other people have a hard time of seeing that image and what’s ahead out there. A lot of times, you’ve probably banged your head against the wall. A lot of times we believe in our students more than they believe in themselves at first. They don’t see the whole truth of what can happen for them. We’re like, “Come on, you can do this.” I love the fact that you’ve talked about mindset, talked about getting them rock and rolling. You’re merging the two together to help them, not only money-wise but the mind-wise aspect of things.

The mindset is such an important piece to it. A lot of people take a look now and say, “You were an overnight success,” but they don’t see when I was starting Smart Home Choice and working at TD Bank, putting in those 8 to 9 hours. I was also on-call because I worked in the IT department. They could call me at any time after hours in the middle of the night. I’d come home and I would work on Smart Home Choice until 1:00, 2:00 in the morning. I would get up at 5:30 and I would go to work again. I did this for 4 to 4.5 years. I was doing blogs and videos and hosting these events.

I was doing everything I possibly could. I’ll tell you this as well too. As you’re developing your mindset, as I was going back into work as well too and when people were listening to what I was doing and sharing it and they’re like, “You’ve got six homes now. You’ve got eight homes now. Gary, the market is going to crash. What are you going to do when the market crashes? You’re going to lose everything. You’re jeopardizing your family.” That started to shake the ground that I was on. I was learning it but I didn’t understand it yet. I was getting there. Once I got it and understood that it wasn’t about buying a property and not understanding where the market is going because when we buy properties, we’re buying it for cash. I’m not concerned about depreciation. I’ll take it, but that’s not why I’m buying it. I’m buying it for the cashflow. The appreciation is the icing on the cake. The cashflow is the cake itself that you can eat and put money on the table for your family. When you understand those concepts, I can have those proper conversations with them and say, “This is why I’m doing it and I’m standing on firm ground now.”

Cashflow is king. You don’t want to be property rich and cash poor.

When the market does shift or it does change, that could put you in a very tight position. We had a bit of a correction here in 2017. I’ll share a story with some of your audience, and I teach real estate investing. I educate people on how to do this. I bought at the peak. However, even though I bought at the peak, I still bought at a great price. It was undervalued. I was able to take that property that was a single-family, convert it into a two-unit and the property cashflow for $900 a month. Even though the market’s coming down, it’s still cashflowing. I can take that cashflow. I can go on vacation with it. I can put food on the table with it. I can use it for whatever it is that I decided to use that money for. It’s about buying your properties smart. It’s not timing the market, it’s time-in the market.

A lot of people are sitting on the sidelines waiting to do something. I’m like, “There are deals everywhere if you know how to buy right.” In an up market you want to make sure that you’re not buying for appreciation. You’ve got to have probably 2 or 3 strategies to make money on an asset versus the one. That’s where you see the most number of mistakes taking place. Everybody falls in love with the TV dramas of Flip This House in HGTV, “I’m going to buy this shack and put $2 into it and turn it into $1 million asset and make $600,000 on the deal.” We all know that doesn’t exist. You’ve got to put work into it. You’ve got to understand the market. You’ve got to understand what repairs to do, what repairs not to do and understand what’s your main exit strategy and what’s your backup plan. Don’t get bit on the ass by the market changing and leaving you in a bad predicament. A lot of people get so excited. They dive and buy an asset with no education. They bought a dream that had no backout to it.

You’ve got to understand your exit strategies. One of the things that we do and what we educate a lot of is I still love rental. Rentals are a great way to invest in real estate, but you have to keep in mind that every three years, you’re going to have to keep replenishing these properties. For me now early on in my investing career, I then switched it over to buying these properties and holding them because real estate investing and wealth creation is a long-term game. It’s not a get rich quick, but it’s a get rich for sure. When I’m holding these properties, you have to think of real estate almost like a hockey stick where it goes up and up. All of a sudden, now it shoots and takes off. If you sell them too early, you can miss that edge of that hockey stick. Even though educating my investors and I’m not telling there’s a right or wrong strategy, understand the investment strategy you’re getting into so that it suits your lifestyle. That’s the most important piece.

When you’re talking with other investors and teaching them, many of them probably are still working in a regular 9:00 to 5:00 but have the dream to leave. What is some advice that you would give to our audience who are in that same situation, who want to leave their job and are getting started in real estate investing? What things should they put in place or what numbers or what are the things should they focus on to give them the best chance for success?

There’s no easy path to success. You’ve got to put the time. You’ve got to put the work in. When you get home from work, turn the TV off. That’s what I did. I turned the TV off and I started listening to the podcast or I started reading books or I started going to events. I started hanging out with the right people. I stopped saying, “I can’t do this.” I started saying, “How can I do this?” I wasn’t asking for fewer problems. I was asking for more skills. You’ve got to put yourself in that type of mindset. That’s the only way you’re going to be able to leave your full-time job. You can’t leave your full-time job until your part-time job becomes your full-time job. You’ve got to put the hours in. A lot of people make that mistake where they’ve got this great idea and they just quit their full-time job. They think that they’re going to make it. It’s not like that. Maybe there might be one in a million that can do it like that, that have that natural ability but most people aren’t. It’s not like that. You’ve got to put the time in your craft. That’s what I was doing when I was at TD. I was mastering my craft and my art. I remember going to bed with the podcast in my ear and falling asleep.

I’d wake up and it’d be some other podcast playing. It was probably programmed in my mind, but that was how dedicated I was. I remember too going into work, I would stop listening to music in the car. I would start listening to podcasts. I remember one time I was going for lunch and I turned the car on. My friends were all in there and it was Jim Rohn. They’re like, “You listen to this?” I was like, “No, I don’t listen to this. This is my wife’s. My wife listens to this stuff.” They’re like, “I thought you believed this stuff.” I’m like, “No.” Going back now, it was because I wasn’t where I needed to be yet.

NCS 560 | Building A Community

Building A Community: Doing something you love means you’ll never work a day in your life again.

 

I was still going into this shift. I’m saying that for people that are reading now because you have to shift, you have to change that mindset. Some people are going to try to pull you down. That is normal because they think that they’re protecting you from the unknown. It was very important to start hanging out with people that have the right mindset because they’re the ones that are going to be able to bring you up. They’re the ones who are going to say, “No, you’re on the right path. Believe in me. Believe in us over here because this is the lifestyle that you do want to live.” For anybody reading that are looking to get out of their 9:00 to 5:00 job that no longer like it, you’ve got to put the time in. There’s no easy way around it. I’ve tried all the easy routes but I haven’t found one yet.

You’ve got to build that runway. You can’t go in and leave unless you win the lottery. You’ve got to build that time frame. I’m sure you’re a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk. He says the side hustle, the 7:00 PM to 2:00 AM things, based on that what you’re talking about. I get to the point where I turn Gary Vee off because I was spending too many times listen to Gary Vee talking and I’ve got to focus on my own stuff. I spoke with him on stage and I told him that and he started laughing. He goes, “That’s good advice. Sometimes you need to turn me off and turn yourself on.” You explain your story of getting in the car and the podcast is on and your friends in the car are like, “What are you doing? Do you think you’re better than us?” We’ve all experienced that mentality, whether it’s friends or family members. Our significant other sometimes is the most difficult critic that we’ve got to overcome. I’m sure your wife/spouse was supportive or was she not supportive initially? Was she like, “What are you doing,” especially when it came time to leave the job?

In the beginning, it was tough because for her, it was like, “Go out, conquer the world and be home by 5:00.” It’s tough to be able to only do that. It was tough in the beginning. She saw that I was dedicated and I joined this real estate investment group in the beginning and it was like $30 a month and then they had a higher level one that was like $160, $170 a month. I said, “Let me join it for a year. Let me at least spend this $1,600 or $1,700. Let me see if it works. Please, let me at least do that.” I dedicated myself to that.

Once she saw that and she knew that I was pulling up my socks and I wasn’t going to the clubs anymore. I was focused on trying to change our lives, she then said, “You’re real. You’re trying to change the road that we’re going down.” That was when she jumped in with me and that was when we started Smart Home Choice. We haven’t looked back since then. We have the real estate investment club. We’ve started another company called Deep Pockets, which we do private lending. It’s for investors that know there’s something important about real estate investing, but maybe a little bit nervous in the beginning to get that property.

Here’s another way of investing in real estate, but the more passive. You’re getting the appreciation. You get that mortgage to pay down, but you’re still getting a cashflow. The other thing that I’m proud of as well too is I bought into a real estate brokerage. I’m a co-owner of a brokerage. We’ve got 70 agents there. What I love to do there is to go in and now I’m only training families, investors and how to invest in real estate. I am now training, educating the realtors that are in that brokerage on the importance of real estate investments so that now they can turn around and help their clients that bought their dream home a few years ago to help them use the equity or that dead money that’s sitting in there to now buy an investment property. Not everybody needs to have 10, 15, 100 doors. I always say buy one. One investment property can change your entire life.

If you look at the tax benefits, all the income, the entrepreneurship and what you learned from that first deal, it’s worth so much more than book learning and education. Everything starts with education, but pulling the trigger, going out and buying your first property or your first deal, the “oh, crap” factor kicks in. “I’ve got to do this and stick with it.” You also learn so much from trials and errors and those mistakes you’ll make. The beautiful thing is you’ve provided a safe environment so there are less mistakes because they can bounce ideas off of you and your other members. “Don’t do this, do this,” or “Don’t use this weird guy that we don’t know out of the blue. Use these vendors to help make sure everything goes well for you.”

That’s what we’ve created. It’s this one-stop shop. Everything that you need is all here, the accountants, the lawyers, the contractors and the property management company. Everything that you need, we’ve gone out and we’ve built it for you. I tell people that when you’re investing in real estate, you will make some mistakes, but at least there’s a safety net around you when you’re with us or another investment group that you trust. You want those safety nets so you want somebody else who’s like, “What did you do when this happened?” to be able to at least bounce ideas off of and share information. That’s what it’s all about is helping each other because when you strip everything away, what’s the purpose of life? It’s to help as many people as you can. Service to many leads to greatness.

You did something initially first that is very important. You filled your cup first and then you’ve gone in and fed the world with your overflow. Many people try and help everybody else versus focusing on their own situation, their own cup. The beautiful thing is that, “We’ve done it. We’ve got our glass, get our goals. Now let’s help others do the same thing.” You’ve got a great servant leadership model that’s paying off in gangbusters for you and your community.

I appreciate it. I enjoy doing this. For me, it’s always a fight against time. That’s when you know that you’re living your dream and your passion where before in my job I was like, “What time can I go home?” Now it is, “I’ve got two hours left to get all this done.” Now I hate going to bed, I love waking up and that’s how every day should be. There are no Mondays or Saturdays. “Here’s another day, let’s enjoy it to the fullest.”

That’s the truth. We don’t live for the weekends anymore. Every day is an opportunity. It’s a different mindset than, “I’ve got to get up and go to work. I don’t want to go to work. I want to stay home and play.” When you’re doing something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. I have a question for you. You and your wife are doing some big things. What’s probably the biggest thing that you have set as a goal in the future for you?

Back in our early 30s, our mothers passed away from cancer about three months apart. That’s a heavy blow to both sides of the family. During that time, me and my wife, we started shifting apart because for those two years, everything was focused on our moms and trying to get them better. During that time, we shifted apart. We still live together but we weren’t on the same page. We came back and we started the companies. We started changing our mindsets and understood that either we grow together or float together or we sink together. That was what we did and one of the big goals that we want to do in tribute to our mothers is we’d love to build a school. We haven’t decided yet where and what country or maybe it could be here.

An important piece would be to have financial education in there. They always talk about how they’re going to put financial education in these schools and they haven’t. How is it that these kids from high school are leaving and they don’t understand how to read a credit card statement. They don’t know what inflation is. They go to college or university and the very first thing that they’re given is a credit card and they don’t know how to use it. Financial education is an important piece. We would love to put that into schools to start educating the kids at a younger age. They get to that time in their lives that they now have an understanding of how this works because it’s so important. How do you not know how to read a credit report? Yet the credit report is probably one of the most important things when you need to buy one of the biggest assets in your life, your home or a car, whatever it is that you need and you don’t know how that works. I’m not blaming them. The school system is not broken. It’s built by design. They designed it this way. I get it. I understand it. I want to change that. That’s what we would like to do.

I am friends with Sharon Lechter, who is the coauthor of Rich Dad Poor Dad and that’s been a big thing for her. I need to put you two in touch with each other because I know she’s doing a big thing in Arizona and across the country and speaking internationally. She might be a great guest for your community and vice versa. You’re right about things. The school system isn’t broken. It’s designed that way so that they can pump the most amount of kids out with the least amount of work to get funding for a lot of things. It’s evolved. It’s changing, but parents, family members have to take a much more direct responsibility in teaching their children as well versus dropping people off.

I’ll tell you a little story as well too. My daughter is eighteen years old. She’s been an assistant in my business. She does the bookkeeping. She understands all of what we do. She comes to the events so she sees it, she hears it, she understands what it all means and how it all works. She finished high school. She wasn’t too sure what she wanted to do. She’s over in Spain. I said, “You’re not going to sit around and do nothing. You’ve got to do something. You either go to work or do something that you want to do.” She decided to do that. I’m like, “I’m cool with that.”

She went to the bank to get a credit card. They denied her. I knew the branch manager. I went in there and I said, “You see the portfolios that we have on what we’re doing and what we’re building. You know that she’s part of my business. She has financial education.” He goes, “Yeah, but because she’s not in college or university, we can’t give it to her.” I looked at the branch manager, he looked at me and he knew. He was like, “I understand what you’re saying now that it’s built by design.” Yet you have these other kids that have gone to college or university that don’t have that education and understanding how to use a credit card, but yet now they’re given this dangerous weapon. It’s a weapon.

They put themselves into financial hardship and now they’re behind that eight ball for the rest of their lives. I know because I was there right up until around 33, 34 years old. I was caught in this rat race where you’d get home, there’s no food in the fridge and my son is in his last crappy diaper. I go to the mailbox. There’s a child tax credit in there for $75. I’m like, “Yes, we can eat.” That was how tight it was for us. That’s how we had to live. You get caught in that trap. That’s our goal is to try to educate and help as many people as we can in their later years to get into those schools at the younger age that they can at least have a better footing to start life on.

Talk about your podcast a little bit and tell them how they can tune into that because it’s valuable stuff.

The name of my podcast is Real Talk with Gary: Wealth, Health and Everything In Between. The reason why I called it that was because it’s important to understand wealth. I want to help as many people as I can to create wealth. If they have that wealth, to be able to now live and design the life that they want. More importantly is that if you create that wealth, there’s no point having it if you don’t have the health. I like to bring people on to teach them about the importance of exercising, going to the gym and with so much information out there on a different type of nutrition, keto diets, 40-day fast, vegan and what’s right, what’s not right. More importantly for each individual, because I don’t think there’s one system for the whole world. To tie that all together is the mindset piece. I love having people on there talking about the mindset and the importance of that and how you can truly design your life. That’s what the podcast is all about. It’s bringing all of that together. I put the in-between at the end because I wasn’t too sure where I may want to take it a few years from now. One of my favorite podcasters besides yourself is Joe Rogan. I loved the Joe Rogan podcast.

It’s sometimes good to shake it up a little bit and throw some good wildcards in your podcasts to keep people entertained like, “What was he talking about?” I think true entrepreneurs have a variety of interests, not only in their main bread and butter business, real estate education being ours. It’s also our bodies and our health. You want to be able to enjoy it. You want to be able to discuss those things that other entrepreneurs are going through, whether it’s business, tactics, entrepreneurship, mindset or health. You opened up and talked about spouses. Marriage can be a difficult thing for entrepreneurs at some point. I was so happy to hear that you and your wife are going in the same direction, which makes it a whole lot easier. You have the same goals versus the opposite direction. I’ve been divorced. I had my starter wife to figure it out what I did wrong and how I would want it to be. Steph and I are doing well so we’re excited about what the future holds for us. We’re not married. We’re happy.

At the end of the day, as long as you’re happy, as long as you’re waking up and you’re enjoying life, that’s what it’s all about. Laughter is the best medicine. That is how you stay healthy. That’s how you keep ailments, viruses and cancer out of your body. Keep laughing. Keep enjoying it. Keep having fun. If you’re not having fun, stop doing what you’re doing. It’s a simple choice, yes or no. If you don’t like doing this anymore, stop.

What’s the best way for people to get a hold of you, to get more information, to tap into you and your network and other things, Gary?

The best way to reach out to me is by my email, Gary@SmartHomeChoice.ca. You can also go to my website, which is SmartHomeChoice.ca or you can go to iTunes and do a search on Real Talk with Gary.

Thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing your insights and your journey. I’m excited about what you’ve got going on. That’s one of the things I enjoyed was hearing all the good things you’re going. I love what you’re doing. You’re being different. You’re giving the tools to people or helping share the tools that made you successful with your community and other people around. We look forward to the continued growth and success that you’re going to show up and see come to you and your family, Gary.

Thank you very much for having me on here. I appreciate it. I love sharing my story. I love what you are doing. It’s amazing so keep it up. I’m paying attention to it and I think the world is starting to pay attention to it as well too so don’t stop.

Thanks. I appreciate it.

You learned what Gary have to say there. Think about the SMART goals and apply that in your life. If you’re doing something you dislike doing, quit doing it. Find a solution. Start planning to do that. Turn off the tube and start working that side hustle 7:00 PM to 2:00 AM, 1:00 AM. Start doing something different. If you don’t like where you’re at, change it because I don’t care who you are or where you’re at. You’re at where you are because of the decisions you’ve made on a daily basis in your past. Start making different decisions and you’ll find different solutions. Go out, take some action and we’ll see you all at the top.

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About Gary Hibbert

NCS 560 | Building A CommunityGary lived pay cheque to pay cheque as many others do. He had been accustomed to the reality that at the end of the month, there was more month than money. Realizing that there must be another way to make ends meet, he became determined to educate himself and make a change. However, at that point, he hadn’t yet realized that by changing his own life, it would enable him to help 100’s of future investors to their path to finding financial freedom. In 2010, Gary launched Smart Home Choice, a company dedicated to educating new and experienced investors through a focus on SMART goals in order to allow them to make informed decisions in their investing strategies. Currently, Smart Home Choice is one of Durham Region’s largest groups of Real Estate Investors and although the company is continually growing, it offers networking, mentoring, and self-improvement opportunities to its members.


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