Listen to Neal’s most recent podcast guesting, an interview with Ron Costa of Mapable USA
How to Succeed at Turning Dreams into Reality
Vicki, how are you today?
Vicky: Oh, I’m, I’m awesome today. This is a great day. We’re on beautiful day in Vegas. No rain, no snow, no wind. Just sunshine. Beautiful. And we have a very different kind of podcast today. Today we’re going to talk to two of our favorite guests, and we’re going to have a conversation to inspire our audience to show them that if you have an idea, if you have a dream, these are some of the steps that you can take that will make that dream come true.
And in the process. You will discover that it really, it’s easy to change the world for the better if you have passion in what and believe in what you do. So, I can’t wait to get started.
Ron: Okay, so let’s introduce our guests. Uh, let’s start off with the Judy Flores from quality. Jimmy, are you there?
Jimmy: I am here. Right, thanks Ron. Thanks so much.
Ron: Great. Great. Jimmy has been a repeat guest on the broadcast on the podcast many times, so we’re happy to have you want again. And let’s also bring in Neal Bawa from Grocapitus investments in multifamilyU. Neal, how are you today?
Neal: I am doing fantastic and it’s great to be back on the podcast.
Uh, Ron with you and Vicki. And it’s, it’s nice to run into Jimmy as well because I happen to know Jimmy.
Ron: Yeah. Your big party here. Yeah, it’s a big, it’s a big party, so that’s all good. But, but like Vicky said, we really want to bring you guys on because like I tell you folks, if you’re listening to this podcast right now, you’re talking about a lot of things.
Everybody has their, their dream, their, their, uh, you know, the things that they want to do. And sometimes it gets overwhelming and you run into a lot of people in business and it’s very, very rare to meet people who are, know, have the integrity, and have the passion and really think of deals from both the client end and the investor end on trying to make it a win thing.
You guys are really some of the best in the business. Like I said, we deal with so many people. I’m so impressed with both of you. I’m very, very happy that you were able to take time out to be on this podcast together.
Neal: Fantastic. Let’s go. Let’s get started.
Ron: Yeah, let’s get started, you know?
Yeah. Vicky, start us off here with. You have your first question for these guys.
Vicky: Well, I would say the first question would be, you know, a person gets an idea. They think it’s the best idea that they’ve, that anybody’s ever, ever had, regardless of what it is, whether it’s investing, whether it’s, uh, working in technology, doing a blockchain, these are the topics that we generally talk about.
But even if your passion is. To have a floral shop or to open a grocery store or do a delivery service. How do you get started? How do you make that dream or that fabulous idea into a reality and take it forward? So, who wants to start? Okay.
Neal: All I, I’ve done a few startups where maybe I can take that one on.
Neal: So, I’ve been both involved in, you know, startup projects on the technology side as well as a startup project or two of them on the real estate side. And I think that the common element there is that when you get an idea right, the, there’s this, there’s this immediate focus on implementation.
And what I, what I like to tell people is you’ve got to validate the idea first. Right? You’ve got to look to me to see what category is your idea in? Is it an idea that’s as unique as what Facebook did or as unique as what Uber did, or is this an idea where it’s a good idea? People have done it before and, but, but maybe they haven’t given it the tweak that you want to give it.
Maybe it’s maybe you’re taking an idea that has been implemented before. Maybe you’re opening a flower shop, but you’re doing it for this specific tweak. So, first categorize your idea. Is this the arts changing kind or is this the optimizing another business model kind? If it’s the art changing Cline, then the only way you can really figure out if this idea is right or wrong is to start doing an implementation and the way to do the implementation and in Silicon Valley be called this MVP.
MVP, which stands for a minimum viable product. So, start moving in that direction. Another way of referring to MVP is. The shittiest project product that you can create as fast as you can to get feedback from people. And I know this sounds bad because you’re passionate about things, and so you want to create this wonderful project with every bell and whistle, but that is a rookie mistake.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s Uber, it’s whether it’s Facebook. Well, they didn’t, they didn’t start with the product that they have today. Actually, Facebook’s history is well known. There are videos on YouTube that you can watch to see what the first implementation of Facebook looked like, and it was God awful.
It truly was. But what they were good at is that they would program every week and then on the weekend they would throw it out there and get lots of feedback. So, if you think that it’s an earth shaking, Uber, Facebook kind of project, you’ve got to get to your minimum viable product as quickly as you can.
But if you think it’s an idea that is a tweak of, you know, established projects. Then you really got to get tons and tons of feedback from people because that feedback is absolutely critical to you. Understanding whether this works or not. In the end, you’re going to make the decision on whether it works or not.
But I can tell you that feedback is going to be phenomenal. So that research and other people that have done versions of this is critical. And if you think they’re gonna, you know, steal your idea or compete with you. Find them in other cities, find them in other States, find them in other countries, but reach out to people that have done what you’ve done.
Vicky: Well, absolutely. Because no matter how fabulous you think your idea is, if nobody wants it, if nobody wants to buy it, if nobody thinks it’s, it’s special like you are, it’s irrelevant. And until you find that out, you can’t go forward.
Neal: That’s right. And also, you’ll learn completely new objections that you don’t know.
Right. One of the most popular quotes out there is you don’t know what you don’t know until you run into somebody that actually has come across this problem and will tell it to you. And either you’ll be able to figure out a way around it or you’ll be able to say, oh no, that really kills the project cause I really can’t get around that particular objection.
And sometimes, sometimes it’s. It’s not what you think. It’s something completely different. Let me give you an example of something that happened to me this week where I had, you know, I’m partnered with somebody in a project in Jacksonville to an existing apartment complex and you know, property is doing well.
Investors are getting distributions, all, all dwell. But as it happens, the property has an unused piece of land. That we can build 20 or 30 units on, somewhere between 20- and 30-minute units and we can build them from scratch. We can build the unit mix that is the best for the area. We can figure out whether it’s granite countertops or quad.
So, we can do all of that. And so, this person came to me and they’re very, very bright, like rocket science. Bright. But he comes to me and he says, you know what? We’ve owned the building for a year. We want to go and start looking at, at, you know, new construction. You know, and I thought that I should basically just spend the next like hundred hours trying to get bids and talking to contractors and figuring our plumbing and you know, how much is it going to cost you to rip up the parking lot?
And I said, as somebody that’s done exactly what you’re trying to do. I would say none of that should be user. Spend zero seconds on that. Please spurs go talk to your lender to see if they are going to allow you to do this extension. Well, as it turned out, the lender said on this particular property, on what you were doing here, we are not going to allow a supplemental loan.
So unless you have all of this money to build this in cash, I’m sorry, you can’t do it. So, I think we saved him a hundred hours there because he was smart enough to basically say, this guy’s actually done an extension before. What’s the first step there? The first step is talk to the lender. Forget about what the construction costs.
Vicky: Exactly. So, a lot of people want to put the cart before the horse, and they go to the end of the project and they haven’t done any of the strategy. They haven’t collected all of the information they, they haven’t. Realized whether or not it’s actually going to work for what they wanted to do, and that’s vital.
That’s important. Jimmy, hop in and tell us what you think.
Jimmy: I mean, I was just enjoying the, the, the being a, an audience listener here. Neal’s dropping some nuggets. I’m trying to take some notes on my side.
Vicky: Yeah! We can but Neal do all the talking. Jimmy,
Jimmy: Hey, trust me, you don’t want to unload this. Damn.
Okay. I know, but, but, but. But seriously, uh, I guess Neal points to the strategies and structures of turning your idea into reality and looking at various, uh, or looking at other people’s experiences and, and learning from those. I would have to say for my personal experience, uh, on the contrary, I’ve done the, the opposite.
It was more of a test fail, test fail, uh, until I can just continually find that success. So whenever, you know, and my generation, um, I would be what you would consider a millennial, right? And millennials were, we’re in this whole mentality of, Oh, in order for you to get rich quick, you can start this app and, and, and be in the technology space and just really go forward with this idea.
Um, and, and, and big billions like, like what Neal said with Facebook, right? Unfortunately, a lot of people my age ran into that, uh, and ran into a brick wall versus with me, I went the more traditional route and started a retail company, uh, where we actually had to interact with people face to face.
Now that idea. With going out and thinking about a solution for a, for a market that needs to be solutions. Um, did it really come from the actual idea of, Hey, I’m trying to solve a problem. It was like, Hey, I want to make a lot of money and I want to make it quick cause I’m impatient. People that come up with new ideas, they have to realize that, okay, what, what am I actually doing here for not only the problems in this potential industry, but for.
Solutions that will be sustainable, long lasting and beneficial for my community, regardless of whatever you determine the community to be. A lot of people come up with ideas because maybe they’re under distress or maybe that they may just need, you know, money now or later, whatever that may be.
The best ideas, in my opinion, are from people that actually identify true need and didn’t even think about the financial gains but thought about the problems that they’re going to solve. For the betterment of their community. And so
Jimmy: I’ll give you an example. I mean, even with what we’re doing with quality mix, you know, we went there, we had this idea, and we went the route of money first because, you know, like any other startup capital is just really, um, hard to come by, right?
But. A lot of people that were going into this were also thinking money, money, first easiest way to make money. They didn’t think about community. And so, we kind of step back and go, okay, well what can we actually do if we didn’t have to make a di? What would actually be beneficial for helping this new industry of state quarters trying to find solutions and various different ways.
And so, we started with. The community needs. What is the best solution here for everyone else involved? And how can we contribute as a community member, um, that, that would, that would solve the problems. Um, and, and we worked backwards. We worked on solving problems. And then we figured out how we can monetize from solving those problems because those problems are relevant.
And there you’re always gonna find different issues. Uh, when it comes to your ideas, like what Neil was saying earlier, you have to improvise. You get to find the MVP and really chase after it, you know? But with me personally, I’ve had it, I have a history of just going out and running and doing things because I have such high energy and I’m a am I able to put things together, uh, out of left field purely because of my motivation on solving a problem. Um, which with an eye with someone who’s coming up with the idea, I knew my strength and I knew my weaknesses. So, by leveraging your strengths and finding other people that have your, that, that, that can supplement your weaknesses, that is where you can truly turn an idea into something that is.
Not only that you can monetize from, but you can actually build into something long lasting. So that’s my take on that. I, you know, I’m, I’m living my idea into a reality right now cause what we’re doing in the industry. So, um,
Vicky: Well you know, I… have done things that have actually changed the world and made it better, but I could not have accomplished those things without.
Help from other people, because no matter what you do, no matter who you are, you don’t know everything. And you need a team to help you, uh, implement whatever it is you want to do. But you have to have a team. You have to treat them with dignity. You have to treat them with respect, and you have to enhance that team to understand, appreciate them and make them realize.
That they are part of this process. And together you can make the world a different and a better place, but you, you generally can’t do it by yourself. You need people around you to help you see things that you didn’t see or to, to support you and each other. And I found that when you don’t know something, there’s always somebody out there who knows it.
And as long as you treat them with respect and dignity. They will always want to help you because people, it’s, it’s human nature to help each other. So, a team is very important as well.
Neal: I think. So. I… sorry, let me let you know. I just wanted to comment on what Jimmy said. So, I, I agree with Jimmy that knowing yourself is very important.
Actually, some of the best entrepreneurs are, they’re there. They like to run alone, especially at the beginning of the process, right? Eventually, obviously everybody understands they need to bring a teen in, team in, but some life to run a loan. So, know yourself. As Jimmy says, he’s the kind of guy that wants to forge your head.
He wants to experiment, and he doesn’t mind breaking things as he goes. I understand if that’s your strength and if it isn’t, then you need to bring a team in very quickly. If it is, then you might want to hold off on bringing in a team, right? Because what you want to do is quickly make you turns left turns and right turns the way that Jimmy does.
And so to know yourself, knowing yourself is so important to be a successful entrepreneur. What are the things that I like to do? What are the things that I hate to do? What are the things that I will, I will procrastinate on endlessly and, and let’s figure out if we can find team members that do the things that I’m going to procrastinate, procrastinate on endless.
Vicky: Oh, absolutely and you, and you can’t pretend. You can’t pretend that I can do this, and I can do that. When you, when you know that you can’t, and you have to be honest with yourself and say, I can do this, but I need help here, but I can go here, and I can do this. But, but you’re right, if you don’t know what you can do, who you are, and what your personality is and where you need help, you know, that’s another stumbling block.
Jimmy: And I’d just like to follow up with Neal’s comment on, on a successful entrepreneur, I think the you, you do graduate from being an entrepreneur to a business owner when you build a team. Because if you notice a lot of entrepreneurs that, that typically like to do it themselves, they are stressed.
They worked long hours; they are typically smaller. You know, they may hire someone, but there aren’t really is a core team. You know, Neal has built up a very strong organization and he wouldn’t to be able to able to do that alone, but I wouldn’t necessarily call Neal and entrepreneur Neal as a true business owner because he now can focus on his strengths and he has.
Reliable people in a system that, that, that know what jobs they need to get done and, and he made it predictable so that he can scale it and that that’s the American dream here is not trying to lock yourself down. Getting away from a nine to five to go into a five to nine. And requiring yourself to be part of the business.
But building a business and building a system, um, is, is the dream. And that’s what a lot of entrepreneurs miss because they get afraid of taking that risk with relying on others and, and, and not executing the vision that they have. And not believing that other people could do what they can do. So
Vicky: You’re absolutely correct because there’s a fine line between being in control and micromanaging and actually having a strategy that allows your Business to grow and become self-sufficient because you’ve implemented a team that can do the things that you don’t need to do. And by relinquishing that control, you allow your business and your people to grow.
Ron: Yeah. And, and you know, Jimmy, getting back to what you said before about, uh, you know, try, fail, try, fail, et cetera. Uh, you know, persistence is very important on this. I, you know, what, what is it about you that, what do you draw within yourself to be able to move forward, uh, after maybe failing?
Because a lot of people will stop and, and, and that’s a problem with, that’s a real-world problem where people reaching their goals, where they, they. They fail in theory and for whatever reason they don’t have it in them to keep going forward. You obviously hired so, so how did you do that?
Jimmy: Well, you know, I’m going to be a little bit raw here because when I was younger, I dropped out of college.
I had a full ride scholarship to Arizona state university as a civil engineer, and I dropped out because for one, I just, I really did not like school. I thought it was a waste of my time. Personally for me, not for anyone else, but two, I really wanted to be my own business owner because I was sold this bag of goods when I’ve read all of these think and grow rich, rich dad, poor dad, a millionaire mindset books when I was younger.
So, when I felt killed my first business, I felt pretty hard until the wheels came off. I was so determined to not go home and face my father as a failure because. He really, really did not support me leaving school. So purely out of arrogance and just determination and not face him again. I found another way to, to go into another business.
And as I got ordered, because I’ve had about four different successful startups, uh, and they still exist. I’m just not part of them. I’ve been driven early on purely by not facing my father to now. Being a role model for others because I’ve gotten to know the startup community very well, and I had to show them that I could not give up on this idea of entrepreneurship and to business ownership, truly being a business owner, and, and all of the lessons that I’ve learned from that, uh, and all of the experiences that I, that I’ve gathered from that, I think that would put it into one word.
It would be grit and also belief in myself and others.
Neal: That makes perfect sense. And I think greatest grid is one of those much-underestimated qualities. A lot of people believe that people are succeeding because they’re, they’re super smart. I think that yes, there’s people out there that are, are, you know, crazy smart, but most of us that are succeeding are succeeding because we have grit.
Because we have the ability to pick ourselves up over and over again when we make mistakes. I also want to add to what Jimmy said in my organization. When you have a failure, I immediately moved to celebrate it. So, we celebrate our failures and we do it on Slack. Uh, we, we do a high five. We tell people we have this great idea.
We implemented it. We think we did the best, darn his job, and it didn’t work out. We’re celebrating it as a failure because we are one failure close to a success. And we highlight that process every single time. And by doing this over a, you know, a number of failures, and obviously you have to celebrate successes too.
It doesn’t work if you only celebrate your failure. So, make sure you’re celebrating your successes when you’re doing that. You’re giving so much confidence to your team members and your employees that this is the kind of organization where risks can be taken over a year. Your employee, employees that are, that are used to seeing, you know, Oh, somebody had an idea, and if they failed, we’ll actually still come forward with their ideas.
And now your idea pool grows a great deal because now you’re working on 10 people’s ideas, not one.
Vicky: Oh, absolutely. And, and that’s another, uh, um. Another strength that you need to be successful is you need to have confidence, confidence in yourself, confidence in your team, and confidence in your idea.
And so regardless of whether it’s successful or how long it takes. Every failure that happens along the road teaches you not to do that again or teaches you something you didn’t learn so that you become better yourself. Your team and your project failures are very important.
Neal: I tell that to my kids.
You know, I have a, I have an 18-year-old who just went to college and. Um, I am, I am, you know, I’m working with him on what I call the degree of freedom. So, I tell him, go to college, enjoy yourself. He loves college. He’s, he’s been there for about five, five months now. But college is phenomenal for life skills, but terrible for job skills or, you know, basically understanding what the job market wants today.
And so we work on this degree of freedom every Sunday. And part of that degree of freedom is, I’m asking him. To create $5,000 of revenue in the first year on, on any anything that he likes, it doesn’t really matter what it is. And then we’ll try and do $50,000 in year two and then $500,000 in year two in year three in each year, I’m going to invest.
10% of that goal. Um, you know, as his, as his seed capital. And he said, why do you want such steep goals, you know, 500 and the first, if I thousand dollars in the first year, I would probably succeed with your $500 seed capital. But in the next year, you want me to go from five to 50. And you’re going to invest $5,000 with me, I’ll probably fail the second time.
And I said yes. In fact, there’s a very high chance that you’ll probably fail in the second year, or maybe in the third year, but I, I failing is necessary for success. And once you start seeing that, you’ll have a completely different feel about failure. You know, you’ll just see it as another step that you climbed.
On the staircase to success. And so, I’d much rather have you do that when you’re in college then when you’re out of college. And so my goal is, and he said, so if I succeed the first year and I make $5,000 on your $500 seed money, and in the second year, if I succeed to make 50,000 in revenue on your $5,000 investment, are you really going to give me $50,000.
What authority are on a $500,000 revenue? And I said yes, because if you succeeded the first two years, you’re going to be a different person. You’re going to be somebody that is now launching his third startup, and the value that you produced in your mind is so spectacular that I’m the lucky one for investing 50 grands in you.
Vicky: Oh yeah. What a concept. What a concept.
Jimmy: Okay. Neil, where do I sign up?
Neal: Currently, we have one student in the degree of freedom. Let’s see how it goes.
Jimmy: That’s Odyssey really good. That’s really good.
Ron: Yeah, I liked that a lot. That’s her. That’s her. That’s a great thing. But you know, Neal, let me get change of topic here for a minute.
You, you work on some pretty big projects and in real estate and business, et cetera. And some of them, I would imagine maybe started off with a blank sheet of paper where you had a concept or somebody had a concept and you’ll look at something like this and you see a big mountain and you say to yourself, okay.
How am I ever going to start this? What? What am I going to do? How do I get this thing going? And some people might be intimidated at that point. Oh yeah. What do you say to someone like that? Or if you feel you felt that kind of intimidation of a big project starting from zero, like not really knowing where to go.
Neal: Uh, all the time. I think I; I don’t think that that ever changes. Right? So, you, your aspirations change, which means that you go from climbing the local Hill to climbing a mountain, to climbing a bigger mountain to climbing Mount Everest so that the, the, the, you know, the, the project sizes never gets smaller.
They only get bigger. And I think that my two ways of kind of mentally dealing with it, number one is that I break it down as follows. I basically say I’m going to break this mountain down into pieces. The first, so let’s assume that it’s a mountain that has a hundred steps, and I’m afraid to, you know, take a hundred steps.
Let’s write down a step. That’s 1%. Off this mountain, just 1% of the overall work. Let’s write that step down and take that step. Now, I can’t be afraid because it’s a hundred step mountain. I’m only taking one single step. I find that once I take that one step, it’s easier to take the next step because you’ve had some achievement and that mental block goes away.
It’s wrong to assume that people that have been successful that have run companies don’t have these mental blocks. We fight them the same way as somebody who’s never done it.
Vicky: Well, well, right, and, and, and you, I think that you can start with one thought and that thought evolves until, as long as you’re thinking in 360 degrees, pretty soon that one step shows you the path to the next step, which shows you the path to the next four steps.
And pretty soon you, you’re confident in your ability. To do the a hundred steps or more because you’ve been successful and whatever failures you’ve had, you’ve been able to adapt because you’ve already contemplated the possibilities and it doesn’t scare you because fear is what’s gonna make you turn around and go back and say, no, I’m not going to do this anymore cause I’m afraid nobody wants to be afraid and nobody who’s successful is afraid.
Ron: Well, I, I forget who said this, but somebody told me that, uh, the reason why you should make your bed every morning is that at least you accomplish something. You put something in the check marks and psychologically you could move forward in the day seeing that you did something good. So, I don’t know if that’s true or not, but anyway, uh, know, and another plant wants to make.
Jimmy: Yeah, yeah, I was, I followed, it was in the air force and uh, and that was probably one of the things that I had to do growing up every single day. And if I did it, you knew that that wasn’t a good thing. So, it definitely, it’s true. Making your bed very, very good.
Ron: Yeah. And one of the last parts I really wanted to touch on with this podcast was, was really the, the importance of, of setting goals.
I, I, you guys, I’m sure you set your goals when you do you do your project, like how important is goal setting to, to both of you?
Neal: I, I don’t think you can succeed without goals. I don’t know of anybody that just randomly succeeds without. Seeing the end result in their mind. I’m a dreamer. I dream about what I’m doing all the time.
I see myself in that future. I see myself, you know, at the end of this process. And, and I, I find that it’s very difficult for me to really execute without first dreaming about what that happy end looks like. You can often find me on a couch looking like an idiot, smiling away with my eyes glazed over.
I mean, I’m visualising my goals. And so, if you’d have no goals, you have no visualization, how are you going to get there? I don’t know how to do it without goal.
Vicky: Oh, absolutely. Cause if you can’t picture yourself in your success and in your future, then you’re, you’re just going to stay on the, on the sofa with the glazed over eyes. You never gonna make it.
Jimmy: Yeah. And I would say too, when it comes to goals, um, um, I, I’m a really, people like to say like what I grade comes to these grandiose, like. Ideas are, or you can’t really do that. That does, that’s not part of the set. It’s the right. Uh, I like to start really big and then parse down, and when I think about our goal and the ultimate rule, we want to know, I can explain it in story mode.
So, when I talked about it even out loud and talk about what I want to see and what I want to do, I like to express it with my, with, with stories, with my body language. And even drawing it on a, on a whiteboard, you know, or dry on a big flat piece of papers and, and, and trying to paint a picture of exactly what could happen.
And I like to ask why. You know, when, when you’re at, when you have these goals and you make them so big and so grandiose, you got to ask yourself, why can’t I do this? Why hasn’t this been done? Why can’t this be done now? And going from there really helps. I know with me, but also, I’m sure others on identifying truly what they want to accomplish because sometimes the goal that you set are just objectives to get to the ultimate goal.
You really want to see.
Ron: Exactly. Yeah, totally agree with that for sure. I always tell Vicky, uh, you know, uh, I’m a big fan of the white boarding and I’m big with the posted pads and the Thumbtack theater. If you came into my office, you’d probably think I was some kind of a, uh, candidate for criminal minds or something.
But, uh, this is this, there’s all kinds of arrows are all kinds of stuff going on. And I, I, I find it helps me organize a lot and I know a lot of people feel the same way. White boarding is just amazing for me personally.
Neal: I think there’s also this concept, and I’ve, maybe I’m, you know, this is something that is deeply personal to me.
You know how we all have these amazing mentors and leaders that we look up to, right? So, I look up to people like Elon Musk. I look up to people like, like Steve Jobs and many people like that, right? I think one of the other tricks that you can play too, for yourself, just a self-esteemed trick is.
I also keep a list of people that I think are terrible. They’re low IQ people or they’re people that I know are not very smart or not very hardworking or not very driven, don’t have a lot of grit, but have somehow succeeded. And I keep a list of those people because every once in a while, the devil that’s sitting on my right shoulder, the devil, Neal says, you’re not good enough.
Right? And whenever it does that, my, my ready answer is, you know, that guy and that guy and that guy, those guys are total guys are total Dunces and they’re 10 times richer than me. And then that devil shuts up and lets me move ahead.
Vicky: There you go.
Ron: True. Yeah, that’s true. I love it too. God is good. That’s a great, great analogy. I love it.
Vicky: You know, a big, uh, important. Mmm. Important part of the whole picture is I think people have to learn how to make decisions as well. You know, you have this choice or this choice, or you can go down this road or that road, but you have to know how to make a decision so that you do the right thing.
Or if you don’t do the right thing and you come up to a roadblock, you have to figure out. How do I go from here? How do I adapt from here so that you don’t lose that, that stamina, or you don’t lose that sense of persistence so that you can continue on? Decision making is a big important part as well.
Jimmy: And I’ll do that one. One thing that I’ve had to learn over the years, and I think that it can be attributed to our success here at quality. Is I’ve learned how to make decisions very quick, but also changing that decision on the fly and not being afraid to make a new decision? That might be completely opposite of the decision that I made.
Because actually in a startup environment where, and also in the opportunity’s own world, you have to adjust with your environment. With your, your cash flow needs, with your team needs, with everything else involved. And, and your ha you would, you have a small lean team. You have to ultimately be that decision maker because everyone else is looking to you and they’re looking for direction, right?
So, by making decisions, hard decisions immediately, it saves you a lot of time, stress. And. And, and, and having the confidence to adjust that decision is how you can be able to continue to move forward. And I guess that kind of plays back into my hole, build it, break it, sort, break it. Right.
But for that, that just comes with my whole, I’m not afraid to change my decision. Even though sometimes my team really hates it.
Vicky: Well, you have to be adaptable. You have to be able to, if this isn’t going to work, know that that’s going to work. But but I think before you can get to the decision making.
Aspect of it. You have to be able to anticipate the cause and effect. If I do this, this is what’s going to happen, but if that happens, it’s going to cause a chain reaction of things that are going to happen. As long as you know those things or think you know those things or can anticipate the cause and effect.
Of every decision you make, it’s easy to adapt and it’s easy to change and do something different and do it quickly because sometimes you don’t have time to wait to figure out what the next step is and you, so a lot of decision making comes from cause and effect, which goes back to strategy
Neal: Well, to, to so much.
And I, I disagree with that. I have to say many decisions that we make as an entrepreneur early on. Our decisions were causing effect is not clear. And so, there’s a lot of room for bravery. There’s a lot of room for Ngoc field. There’s a lot of room for jumping into the unknown. I understand what you’re saying about causing effects, Vicky, but I found that it’s easier for me to do cause and effect when I have 20 employees than when I had none.
At that point, a lot of it is, a lot of it is jumping off into the unknown and be able to be willing to accept the fact that your original decision was right. You made a U-turn, the U-turn turned out to be wrong. So firstly, you have to be at peace with yourself or making the U-turn, just like Jimmy says, right?
He says, you know, I, all of a sudden, I have to make my decision and change it. Well. You also have to be okay and be at peace with yourself. If the original warns turned out to be right and your U-turn turned out to be wrong, in my mind, it’s better to quickly make those U turns than to wait too long to figure out the data early on in the process.
In my mind, being nimble. Is better than being very, very data-driven and trying to get all the inputs. But as you go, you have to change. You change from being the nimble CEO of one company with one person and you being the only, only employee, just having 10 people. And, and as the number of people being pleases, you’re more and more a cause and effect CEO, not the snap decision CEO.
So, I think that as you go down this journey, you’ve got to adapt yourself and become different from who you are ideally. And I think almost every successful CEO as they build their companies goes through that adoption process where they’re changing themselves.
Vicky: Well, yeah, I absolutely agree with you, Neal, that it’s easier to make decisions as there’s more people around you with more input.
But, um, but, but you’re right, and, and it’s important to be adaptable and not be afraid to adapt and, and be at peace with yourself because you did adapt and not beat yourself up because, Oh, I didn’t have it exactly right the first place.
Neal: Yeah. But sometimes I think people stop cause they beat themselves up too much.
Ron: Yeah. And Jimmy, you want to fix him.
Jimmy: No. Just say a hack that I like to use is, um, I, if we’re going to make a significant decision, I like to have an accountable person on my team to second my decision. So now they’re accountable for that decision being made.
And so, so, you know, it wasn’t just me and me alone, and that’s why you have people write you, you want to hire or work with people that are smarter than you.
Uh, yeah. Would you ever want to do the smartest person in the room? Why did you hire them? I mean, they have a skill that that, that you don’t ask or that you don’t want to do, so you’re holding it. You’re the smartest person is really good.
Ron: Yeah. Good. The smartest person in the room, you were in the room, the wrong room.
That’s what they say. So, um, before we, we close this podcast out, I thought maybe, uh, either Neal or Jimmy, maybe you guys can give us an example of maybe some of them have a dream or a project that, uh, that you guys have been working on, uh, recently that, uh, you, you’ve seen it move forward and you’re proud about, or do you want to talk about, is there an example you guys can give?
Neal: Jimmy, you want to go first?
Jimmy: Yes, of course. All right. So, um, well, other than our project of quality, um, we, we actually have been moving forward, um, this idea where we can work with the community first and, and truly measure impact with a project and an opportunities on space, not just in an urban area, but in a rural environment.
Uh, because right now you’re not seeing a lot of those, uh, use cases out there right now because either it’s hard to do or there’s just a lack of interest because of the other, uh, lowest hanging fruit opportunities are out there. So, you know, I would have never ever guessed that I would be on the phone with hedge fund managers of billion dollar funds, or I would be meeting with, uh, government officials that are very high ranking on the state side, County side, city side.
Taking photo ops with mayors and never in my life would I ever imagined that this would be something that I would do, um, at such, at my age, uh, in this type of industry, but doing it without asking for anything in regards to a benefit for us immediately. What I mean by that is that I can truly go somewhere, and I can truly be myself and go, Hey, I’m here to help.
How can I help you? And ER, the early on days when we were doing this, we got a lot of negative feedback. They’re like, this is too good to be true. What do you actually want? Right? But now that we have our reputation and we’re actually pushing for a project where we put our money where our mouth is on this project, we get so much information and so much credibility and so much trust for what we’re doing that.
That that it feels right. It feels like we are actually bringing wealth and development and impact within a community. And, and the project that we’re, that I’m highlighting is, is in Douglas, Arizona. I mean, Douglas Arizona is a small border town of 18,000 people. And we have the ability because of information that we found out.
I know Neal is a big data guy, so he appreciates this data that we found out that no one else had an effort to, uh, put together.
And, we started by going to the cities, to the counties and going, Hey, what do you think of this? Or what do you want here? And it matched. And because we understood how to do this project, we were able to be a lead driver on bringing wealth and investment and to a small rural community where they would have never really had this opportunity if there wasn’t.
This opportunity is on the legislation, or if there wasn’t this, um, this need for bringing investments to these areas because of that, over their incentives. And, and because of our position, we are getting information from organizations that I never would have imagined would be able to wound to give the information to us.
You know, the government, private companies that are billion dollars’ worth of evaluations and, and nonprofits that just are doing phenomenal work. Meeting with their CEOs, presidents. It’s just awesome. And it really is.
Ron: Yes. That’s great. That’s impressive.
Jimmy: I mean, yeah. Anyways, I was so blown away by it and thank you guys so much.
I mean, I would have never met, been able to be you guys at all, so thank you.
Vicky: Congratulations. Shoot me. That’s excellent.
Ron: And Neal, you want to close it down? What is your story.
Neal: Yeah. Um, my story is that, uh, a number of years ago I made a disastrous investment in a part of South Chicago that was a horrible neighborhood.
I bought 10 triplexes there and got stuck there for five years. Took me, it took me an incredible amount of time and effort and money to pull out of that years. And I think that in terms of opportunity cost, I lost millions of dollars, but right. Could’ve taken that. And basically. Ended my real estate journey there, but I went the other way.
I said, let me research. Why this neighborhood was so bad and why I can figure out never to do this again. How do I figure out the best neighborhoods in America to invest in? How do I figure out the best cities to invest in? So, I took that on as a challenge. It took me a very long time and a massive amount of effort.
But at the end of that time, I figured out some pretty amazing metrics for, you know, how, where to invest in the U S where real estate and where not to invest. And at that point, my initial thought was, I have to turn this into a company. I’ve found something of true value, and I should turn this into a product and sell it for 20,000 bucks.
The problem though was from the very beginning, the dream was that other people should not have the problem. Other people should not make the horrible mistake that I make. Other people shouldn’t lose, lose years of their investing lives. So, for that, I couldn’t make it into a product because then it would have, I would have to sell it for a lot of money.
So, I eventually made a decision to give it away for free in as many ways as I could. So, I started teaching the system. It’s called a wheel focus system at meetups, and it was, it was very satisfying because I was giving it away to hundreds of people, but then I realized I wanted to actually give it away to more people.
So then one Christmas, I shot myself in the room for a week and I made it into an online course and stuck it on Udemy.com with a goal of having maybe 500 or a thousand people take the course every year. And enjoy the benefits of it. There was, I didn’t even collect people’s email addresses on Udemy.com I just gave the course away and what was amazing was it was, it ended up going so far beyond my dreams that I didn’t even have a dream of where it ended up.
Ended up going 10,000 people a year. Take that course on udemy.com. Right now, if you go Udemy.com/ real focus, 2,700 people are enrolled in the course. Wow. What does amazing, what’s do? By giving it away. The contacts, the partners, the connections, the investors that I’ve received have been in an avalanche.
There’d be no flood, and, and I didn’t even have a marketing or monetization strategy. It was just a concept, an idea to make sure that this system went into as many hands of as many people as possible. And now I get calls every day from meetup groups across the U.S from podcasters, from conference organizers asking me to present on the system.
So, it’s been an incredible financial success, completely without a financial model.
Ron: What did mean.
Vicky: Unbelievable? It goes to show that when you do things altruistically, it comes back a hundred-fold from the original concept. If you, if you are good to people, goodness will come back to you.
Neal: That’s what I’ve seen. It’s been true in every case.
Ron: Well, maybe we should make this podcast available to anybody who wants to go from having a dream to implementing and putting him in motion. Because I think the, uh, the gems that you guys have handed out today have been really great and I really loved this pocket. I love the topic and Vicky, uh, thank you for coming up with this idea.
It was brilliant.
Vicky: Well, what can I say, Ron?
Neal: Vicky. Ron, and they know that.
Vicky: Yeah. You know, I would, I would say one last thing for everyone who’s listening, when, when I was a little girl, my father used to tell me all the time, he’d say, if you’re going to do a thing thick, do it the very best that you can.
Otherwise don’t do it at all because you are wasting your time. So regardless of what it is that your dream is, what you want to do, what you want to accomplish, even making your bed every morning, do it. The very best that you possibly can, and you will end up like Neal story where all of a sudden things will be happening to you and coming to you because you started off doing the best you could for as many people as you could to make the world better.
Ron: Okay, well, once again, Neal Bawa, thank you so much for taking the time to be on our show and Jimmy Flores as well. If you guys have been great, uh, Jimmy Flores, he’s at quality.com we’re going to check that out. We’ll have a link to that on the show notes, and of course, Neal, is that, is that grocapitus.com as well as multifamilyU give me, was that right by the way, call onyx.com or is it something different?