No don't go in there, Daddy's working.
Jonathan: It is another one, all up in your ear buds. Daddy's Working. And, once again, I've taken the lazy route. I've taken the slacker route that I am becoming well known for. Why should I do all the talking when I can have cool people on here with me to share their insights, to share their vision, to share how they see the world? That's just better. That's better for me. That's better for you. And you're so lucky today, because we have Matt G. What is up, my man?
Matt: What's up, Jonathan? How are you?
Jonathan: Dude, I hear people call you the phenom investor. Why is that? [0:01:01.5]
Matt: There's nothing phenomenal about me. Kind of a call to action. Right? You know, it's, at my left that says Max Out. I say, "Hey, let's be phenomenal in all we do." So, I kind of thought of it and you know, it kind of stuck, so you know, I'm starting to develop a brand called The Phenom Investor, and that's more about people, like ourselves, that people are, you know, striving to be entrepreneurs and want more out of life and bigger dreams and goals. So, you know, that's the community that I'd like to start and that's the brand idea, if you will. So, you know, it's in its infancy, but we're getting some traction.
Jonathan: Bro, what does it mean to you when someone is a phenom, phenomenal? What does that mean?
Matt: I think that's finding your unique ability or God-given ability and that takes some time to navigate and it's one of the most rewarding and toughest experiences you're going to have, but once you find what you're phenomenal at in this world, that's our goal and that's our mission. [0:02:04.1]
So you can be phenomenal in every aspect of your life. The key is just to find what your unique ability is, and dive into that and really master those skills. So in essence, that's what becoming phenomenal is, in every aspect of your life. So…
Jonathan: Let's unpack that. Let's unpack that a little bit. I heard you use this term twice, and it's a term that I am quite fond of. You said "unique ability." What is unique ability, and how do you discover it?
Matt: So, we're all born with unique and special gifts, God-given gifts that we were born with. So it's part of us. It's part of our genetics, and that's what makes us, as humans, so unique is because we all are unique in our own skill sets. And what we're learning is, and what I'm learning, is that unique ability is something that we take for granted. Meaning, it comes as second nature to us, so it doesn’t feel like it's unique or special, but in others' eyes, they see it as something that you excel at, you're phenomenal at, that you're remarkable at, that you are unique because you do these things so easy, it's almost effortless. [0:03:15.7]
Right? So when you're doing these things, you're working in what your unique ability is. It's like in sports, you've heard people say, "I just got in the zone." Right? And they were just operating at the highest level and you know, without too much thinking, and that's what we have, as entrepreneurs, as people, God-given gifts and abilities. So it's our job to do the exercises, to do the work, to make the trial and error, to find where we fit in life and in business and as people and when we're in our unique ability, that's when we're working to our highest and best, and the best thing about it is we're providing impact and value to others. And so, that's been my mission for, you know, the better part of a little over a year - just know, really purpose driven and self-development and focusing on what my unique ability is, how to find it and harness it. [0:04:13.2]
Jonathan: So what is your unique ability?
Matt: Well, I can't memorize it to you right now, but I can pull out my worksheet…
Jonathan: Oh, you've been working on this. Where do you get these worksheets?
Matt: Oh, this is Unique Ability 2.0; you've never heard of it?
Jonathan: Oh, bro. I am in Strategic Coach. Of course. I'm four years in.
Matt: Okay. Okay. So this was actually referred to by another DM fam member, Ramon Gonzalez, Ray. I love Ray. He's my brother, and all of the guys in the group have done it, so I started working on it.
Jonathan: I need to get all you guys in Coach because I've heard you guys using the word. I didn't realize that you guys were onto Coach. That's, I mean, that's, Coach has been something, supreme impact in my business because of that, that idea of unique ability, of creating a self-managing company, of finding how or what gets you in the zone and only working in the zone, has been such a pleasure and really, it's amazing that you guys are onto this. So I was actually covering some time there so you could look it up. So give it to us. [0:05:17.7]
Matt: Well, that's why you're the master. Okay, so it's a, you know, these are not set in stone, but these are kind of like, you know, a little bit closer to where I feel I'm working in my unique ability. So, you know, some of the notes that I've taken is: I have a passion for business building and education. I have a passion for, you know, putting on and attending high-level mastermind and doing high-level coaching and consultation. You know, having high-level conversations, raising private money. You know, I like to educate others that, you know, are sitting on the sidelines with real estate on, you know, how they can use, you know, 401K and how they can, you know, lend money to us and make an incredible return. So I like those bigger conversations. Mindset - you know, I work a lot on mindset. I love creating culture and a vision, so I'm the visionary in my organization. And creating and harnessing relationships is another one. So that's where I feel, based on the exercises and feedback that I've been given, that's where I am focusing on in my, you know, my time and vision. [0:06:25.9]
Jonathan: You know what I messed up on because we got off on the tangent of phenom investor. So, people tuning in, they might not know who Matt G is. So can we just take a step back for a second and kind of just let them know who you are and what you're about?
Matt: Sure. So, you know, I'm born and raised in Fresno, California. So that's in the central valley. So we're, you know, dead central California, essentially. So three hours south is LA; three hours north is San Francisco. The area that I do, and when I say "I do," I'm an owner of a real estate investment company, so we buy and sell houses up and down California and I've been doing that full time, a full time real estate business owner, so I employ people. [0:07:10.8]
You know, I've learned to scale and turn that into a business model as opposed to, you know, a solopreneur or you know, just a lone wolf, if you will. Yeah, I have two wonderful young boys. They're 4 and 6 years old. I've been married to my beautiful wife, Gianeh, for 10 years. We just celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary…
Matt: … in Italy, so that was amazing.
Matt: We got to, I took the whole family to Italy, so we can get into that later, but you know, those are those things that we work hard for. Right? I grew up as an athlete. I played baseball my entire life and football. I played baseball in college and then got into door-to-door sales, like random…
Jonathan: What were you selling?
Matt: That's a great question. We were selling anything and everything. So the very first product that I learned to sell were Pizza Hut coupons, and they had like a 2-for-1, buy one baseball ticket to the Anaheim Angels, get one free. [0:08:05.7]
So I'd be like flying around neighborhoods going door-to-door, you know, thinking it's like the greatest job in the world, but in reflecting on it, I'm actually in the middle of reflecting because I'm in the middle of writing a book, so it's taking back to those lessons that I learned about, you know, my developing rapport and relationship building and all the cool things that, you know, you are experiencing, which, I heard it said and I'll repeat it: You can't connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect the dots looking backwards. So what that means is things that you are doing, you know, 5, 10, 15 years ago, I believe God put you in those positions to put you into the place that you are today, and so it's our job now to, you know, be a man of faith and courage and set an example for the next generation, which are our kids. And I'm going on a tangent. I apologize.
Jonathan: No, all good, brother, all good. Alright. Door-to-door sales. Alright. I want to go back. Let's start, let's dissect a little bit. [0:09:04.5]
I want to go back because you're a real estate investor. You're successful. You just took the family to Italy, which is pretty awesome. I haven’t done that yet, so I'm a little jealous. That's alright. That's on the bucket list. What was money like when you were growing up?
Matt: So, I had a very tough experience growing up in terms of the money situation for my family. It was bad. It was rough. Thankfully, we had my grandparents. My grandmother is still alive, but my grandparents were always in my life and they had always seemed to live like five houses down, so you know, my grandfather really was the one that set a good example for me growing up and was always there for our family. But you know, it was something that I learned a very bad money blueprint. You know, if you've read the book…
Jonathan: T. Harv Eker.
Matt: T. Harv Eker, The Millionaire Mind. [0:10:01.0]
You know, what we learn about money, right, what we observe about money, is like to a tee. You know, I heard "Money doesn’t grow on trees. We can't afford that. We'll never be rich." You know, it's always the other person's fault as to why this deal fell apart. There was never any steady employment and it just, it wrecked my parents' marriage, frankly, and so I saw how the lack of money, it's not the foundation of a marriage of course, but the lack of it will certainly tear it apart if there is even a foundation to begin with. But that really left a huge impact on me and it basically drove me to set goals and accomplish things throughout my life because I just didn't want to have my family be in the same situation.
Jonathan: So you were running from that, that's what motivated you to change your life? Is that right?
Jonathan: Where did you make that decision, Matt? Like where is it that you say, "Uhhh, this isn't working. This doesn’t look right and I need to do something different." How does that happen in your mind? [0:11:03.2]
Matt: I mean, I was very conscious of it when I was in high school. You know, and I remember always thinking there was more out there, you know. My mom would say at times to me, because I wanted the new Jordans - right - the new Jordans growing up. Matt, you know, you have champagne taste on a beer budget. She would say stuff like that and I'm like, "Yeah, but these are made for someone. Why does the other kids at school get to have them and I can't," you know. And so, you know, I always had this inner drive of, you know, wanting the finer things. My, you know, I always wanted the nicer clothes or you know, whatever it was as a kid. I just, you know, never thought that it was impossible to get, you know. And at that time, you know, my focus was on playing college baseball, you know. And so I never thought I'd be a professional player, but my mind has always worked at, like, you know, if I see something and I want it, my mind immediately goes to work on how to get there. And so, earlier in my life, I knew I wanted more but it wasn’t like money focused. [0:12:03.3]
It wasn’t, hey, I want to just start this real estate business or become a, you know, I wasn’t selling, you know, lemonade on the street corner. You know, I wasn’t that natural born entrepreneur. I just always ignored the obstacles and just started working through to get to my goal despite setbacks and challenges. So when it came to, hey, I know that I need to provide a better future. It was me working through several avenues to get to where I'm at today. It wasn’t like, hey, I have this great idea. I'm going to just be a wholesaler, you know, and I pushed a button and you know, dude, I mean, I've paid a lot of time and energy and money, blood, sweat, tears into this, you know. But that's just what I've always done in my life. [0:12:44.6]
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Jonathan: Where did that ability to turn what seems to be obstacles into opportunities come from? Is that from your family? Is that learned? Were you just born with it?
Matt: That's a great question, and when, going back really quickly to the unique ability, Mark actually helped me discover that more about myself. [0:14:01.3]
Part of the exercises, I'm sure you know, you send out to, you know, 10 of your closest colleagues or people you trust that you want feedback. Right? And so one of the things that Mark, you know, showed me was, "Dude, you have an amazing ability to focus on the end goal, and not the obstacle," because 99% of the world will focus on the obstacle and it'll, it starts and ends there. They can't see past to the goal. Right?
Matt: I just never had that, and trust me, you know, it's a constant battle. I have to constantly remind myself why I am good enough, why I can accomplish it because you know, I have very low self-esteem, you know, as a… I'm actually an introvert, you know, if you could… it doesn’t seem like I'm an introvert, but if you put me out of my element or you put me in a party, I'm probably finding like one or two people to have a conversation with, you know. I'm not the social butterfly that's like shaking hands and kissing babies, you know. [0:15:01.5]
It's just not me, but when I can sit in front of you and have a conversation, because I can think and I am very cognizant of this, and I focus a lot of time and energy on my mind and really trying to harness that. Because I think so many people overlook the fact that your mind is actually like a weapon, and so, what we're loading it with is either beneficial or harmful for us. And as an entrepreneur and a provider and an example and an influencer, if you will, if you don’t have this right, I mean, how can you sit and tell people, you know, with an honest heart that, you know, they can do better? You know, and so, I just find it fascinating, man. I think this is the, it's a, it's definitely a blessing to go down this path, but man, you better be ready to answer some serious questions because you're taking on a serious load. You're taking on a serious responsibility. Other people's lives are and livelihoods are connected to you and if you're not prepared to lead by example and really go out and provide value and impact, if you can't get it together, man, it's going to be a long road. [0:16:19.3]
Jonathan: Fascinating. So how did you or when - this is more interesting to me - when did you get into this mental work of fixing the programming that you were dealt as a child?
Matt: I'm still uncovering it. I think it's still a process.
Jonathan: When did you first realize, though, that your programming was screwed up, and what were the first things that you changed?
Matt: Well at first, I first realized this when I started reading books seriously, when we first started this journey of self-growth and entrepreneur lifestyle, it's more of hey, let's figure out what the mindset is about with some of the people that are succeeding and at the places you want to be in life. [0:17:01.3]
So you can consume tons of content, right, or you could read books and a lot of books that, especially T. Harv Eker's book, you know, really struck a cord with me because it was like, man, like, I … it resonated with me and it allowed me to really think back and pull out those experiences and then see how I was wired. And then, now I can identify the problem and then go in and fix it. As opposed to like, dude - I'm just weird, you know, like, I feel like I'm bipolar. I wake up, you know, one day happy and the next thing, I'm sad, you know. Like my emotions are tied to my bank account. If there's money in there, life is good. If not, you know, watch out. You know? So you go through all these emotions and you know, if you don’t have a baseline, if you don’t have something to refer back to, it's a, it can be a dark hole, like a never-ending spiral down and you don’t know … if those things start to add up and pretty soon you're out of sync. [0:18:04.2]
Jonathan: Yeah. Yeah. There's nothing and that book did a lot for me because I used to.. I don't know, I, anytime I got money, I found a way to repel it before that book and the envelope systems and all that. And nowadays, I actually talked about this. I was being interviewed on a financial podcast. Nowadays, I strive to put away 50% of my paycheck, at least.
Matt: That's amazing.
Jonathan: Yeah. It was, I mean, I like, I start feeling guilty if I'm not doing that and I feel like a lowlife. I even…
Matt: No, that's amazing. Yeah. I mean, that's a muscle, right? Like that's a learned habit. So, congrats to you, and that's an amazing thing, that's an amazing accomplishment.
Jonathan: So you were in sports. You said you thought, you didn't really think you'd go pro. So what was your plan for life? How did you end up in real estate?
Matt: My grandfather was a real estate broker and a general contractor and so he would… he always said, you know, get your real estate license. It's a license to make money, and so that kind of like resonated with me and I saw him, you know, selling deals and doing stuff, you know, throughout his life. [0:19:08.6]
When I came back from college and I was actually, you know, kind of lost, you know … I went from, you know, having the time of my life and having, you know, really no rules. I mean, I was a young kid living in Southern California, having my rent paid for me and what else did I have to worry about? You know, having a great time, and then when that came to an end, it was like, yeah, the parents were like, okay, you know, time to move home, you know, like you got to figure something out. So moving back home was like, wow, like that was a reality, because… a shot in the, you know, like devastated because I was gone for six years, having a great time and then coming back to Fresno, living in your parents' room again, or your old kid, you know, your old room growing up? It was like, bam, like I didn't expect this, you know. And so, from that point, for probably, I don't know a year or two, I think I gained over two or three years, I gained like 70 pounds. [0:20:02.9]
Matt: So, I was in great shape in college, playing baseball. Once that stopped, I was like just tired. I was like I don’t want to pick up a ball ever again in my life. And just inactivity and your metabolism changes and the next thing I know, like, you're out drinking all the time and you know, not taking care of yourself and you're just kind of like languishing in that early, I don't know, your early to mid 20s I guess. You know, where you're like, you have no direction. You're just trying to find the odds and ends. That's what I was doing and I was getting more and more depressed, and I'm like, you know I have no direction. I don’t really have, you know, a resume. I got a Bachelor's Degree in philosophy from Long Beach State.
Jonathan: That's useful, huh?
Matt: Right, yeah. Exactly. So you could see where, you know, my prospects were very little. I had that small experience from going door-to-door and I really liked it, but you know, coming back to Fresno, like, you know, the reality hit and it was oh boy, what do I do? [0:21:02.9]
And so, to make a long story longer, I got into a little bit on the real estate finance side towards the tail end of the crash, made a little bit of money, thought I was balling. I bought a house, went to Europe furnished it, had fun. The next thing I know, market crashes, I lose everything. My house foreclosed. I had my car repossessed. I was tens of thousands of dollars in debt. And now I'm like, wow, like, I'm really confused. I don't know what to do. About that time, I met my wife. So we became serious. I couldn’t figure out what she saw in me at the time because I was pretty much losing at all facets of life. I was out of shape. I had no money. I had no direction, and she's, you know, super focused, beautiful, intelligent, and I'm like, and everyone was like, okay, this ain't going to last. You know? But…
Matt: They're like, dude, you're way out of our scheeze on this one, but I'm like, no, you know, like I'm ready to change. I know I had to, you know, take it up another level because you know this wasn’t like a girl. [0:22:04.2]
This was a woman, and she was looking for, you know, her soon to be husband and I think she was just in that mode and I knew she wasn’t playing games, so I had to like clean up my act. And so then that led to, you know, talking to her about, you know what, I'm thinking about getting my broker's license and she sat down with me and we studied in her parent's dining room, you know, together. I ended up passing the test. That was like in 2009, and then I just ventured into just random things in real estate. The first year I was trying my hand in commercial deals in Stockton, California. I was doing leasing office buildings and space because a friend of mine had a couple of buildings he bought. So I tried that and I tried residential real estate and I tried you know, I built and sold a property management company. I sold apartments. I just kind of dabbled until I found what, you know, I thought was going to be my path. I started building this property management company, thinking that was going to be the answer. [0:23:02.6]
And then that turned out to be, you know, something that I built and sold because it was, at the end of the day, it was a time waster for me. It was a distraction. And learned about wholesaling and once I found out about it, I dove into it, and I don't know - the rest is history, really. You know, there's a lot of detail in between, but that's kind of the roadmap at a 15,000 foot level.
Jonathan: Yeah. That real estate stuff is boring. I want to rewind back to you're losing your ass, everything is going wrong.
Well, guess what? Time is up for this week. I know you were just getting into that, and I don’t blame you, because it was just getting good, but we're trying to keep these episodes under a half hour, so we split it up into two. We'll be back next week with part two of this interview. Make sure you tune in then, and if you love what you're hearing, why not share this episode with someone who will also love it? Thank you. Daddy's out.
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