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Most people think they’ll become successful by following a straight line to wealth, health and happiness. 

But if you’re afraid to fail, you don’t even have to start. To build the lifestyle you want, you’ll make mistakes, you’ll suck at things and you’ll learn some stuff the hard way. 

In this episode, you’ll find out how real estate entrepreneur and this show’s host Mike Burns went from selling trees on commission to being a seven-figure earner in real estate—and the lessons you can learn from that.

Want to discover what striving for success really looks like? Listen now! 

Show highlights include: 

  • Why freedom, lifestyle and experience are the three pillars of a truly successful life (and where to find them). (10:30)
  • How nasty self-talk and hidden emotions keep you from going from where you are to where you want to be.  (12:08)
  • The 5 most important relationships to improve if you want to live a lifestyle you love. (13:20)
  • Why fun is an important part of a great lifestyle (especially if you’ve already optimized finance, fitness and relationships) (15:38)
Read Full Transcript

In life, you have two choices. You can build a lifestyle or you can live a bullshit life, but you can't do both. Welcome to the Freedom Lifestyle Experience, where we focus on building the lifestyle you want. And now here's your host, Michael Burns.

Mike: Welcome to The Freedom Lifestyle Experience. I'm your host, Mike Burns episode one. Really excited to get this thing going, so, I'll jump right into it. If you don't know who I am or you're just tuning into the show, the first thing I'd be asking myself is who is this guy? What's he about? What's the show about? Is he legit? And should I listen to them? So, I'm going to start with that. So, like I said, my name is Mike Burns. I am 34 years old. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah, I'm married. I got a bad-ass golden doodle dog named Benz who's my best homie. But, I'm a real estate guy, we've got several businesses out here in Utah. [00:54.4]

But just to give you a quick background, I grew up in a small town in California, Tehachapi California. My parents owned like a nursery and a landscape company, Garden Center. So small town, small family-owned business to this day, that was my greatest gift I could have ever been given. Just all the lessons that I learned and seeing my dad be a business owner for 25 years in a small town and just the power of relationships and being able to make a phone call and get anything done on a moment's notice, really set me up with a strong foundation moving forward in life and business in general. So, I grew up in this small town, I went to college for a semester, was not my thing to this day. My dad jokes with me, he's like selling. I'll never forget you called me and you said, dad, I want to make as much money as I can, as fast as I can. And I don't give a fuck what I do. And that's kinda what got me rolling. [01:46.9]

So, I moved from California up to Oregon and I got a job as an inside sales rep, selling trees. So, I was working for a large wholesale nursery out of Oregon and I was an inside sales rep supporting outside sales reps in their territories. I had like 10, probably, I don't know, 8 or 10 guys, but I was 19 years old. I sold, between 19 and 20 years old. I sold $2 million that year, set a company sales record and thought I was a shit. I was getting really good at sales, taking it real serious. I was, I think I made 60 grand that year make $60,000 and you're setting and company sales records and you're like 20 years old. That'll give you a little confidence, probably some inflated confidence. So, I wasn't going to get a territory with that company guys who were in territories pretty much died in, in their territory. So, I decided to go out on my own as a broker. [02:38.0]

So, I made a deal with a nursery in Oregon, big nursery. They had about 800 acres and a ton of different stuff that they grew and sold. So, I got exclusive rights in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Utah, Northern Texas, and pretty much the west. So, I had exclusive rights to sell this guy's material. I was a 1099 sales rep, commission only. I was able to negotiate a $3,000 a month draw and I had to pay my own way for everything. So, I moved out to Utah with my brother and I hit the road. So, I spent about six enough days to fill six months on the calendar out of the year, traveling. And I get in my car and I'd bounce for like a week, two weeks at a time. And I would just go to city to city in my territory, cold calling nurseries, literally sleeping in my car. If I was stayed at super eight, that was an upgrade for the night, stayed at the cheapest hotels that I could find and I'm just trying to figure it out. I didn't start with the customer base, so it was literally started at zero, just a bunch of ambition and opportunity and a good product to sell. [03:45.2]

So, I would show up at the unannounced cold call at these garden centers and nurseries. And I'd asked for the owner or the manager. And if they had five minutes at the time, I literally would get asked if I was 16 or even old enough to drive. I had a baby face. I was, I think, 20 years old, 21 years old at the time. And I just did that for four years. Just cold calling nurseries. I, like I said, I'd asked for the owner or the manager I'd show him my photo album of all the different plants we had and give them a catalog and availability of stuff. And I grew that territory into a half a million dollars of sales, volume, wholesale. So, I was basically supplier for these guys telling them stuff by the semi-load. So, I was doing that, getting some traction, everything was going. And then one weekend my brother asked me, are you going to be in town this week? Dean Graziosi's coming to town and he's a real estate guy. We could go to this weekend workshop on flipping houses for free. [04:38.3]

So, we went to that, ended up signing up for the program. And then we plugged into the local real estate investor group here in Salt Lake, and really just dove into real estate, trying to learn about that and how to, how to flip houses and wholesale houses. And then after about 94 offers and a year we landed our first deal. It was crazy how it all lined up. We got lucky in every sense of the way we got lucky, but we had also been putting in time and effort for a year and out there doing it. So, things lined up for us. I got a call on a Friday night. Guy said, Hey, this guy bailed on this house. Are you interested in looking at it? And so I went, the following day, went and looked at it and I took this guy's word for everything. I mean, I, his comps, his rehab estimate, literally it green as green could be. So took all his numbers. And then my brother and I went and sat down with this hard money lender. And there's a guy that sold his business and he was new in the game too, thank God. [05:35.8]

So, we had lunch with him and his wife, and we had the whole lunch and then we got up and literally you're saying buy and all of that and I almost didn't even pitch the deal. So had this conversation not happened, probably wouldn't be where we are today. But as we're shaking hands and leaving, I, you know, it was like now, or whenever I spit out like, Hey, we actually do have a deal. And he's like, kind of looked at me funny like, why would you mention this now? But anyway, so we sit back down, tell them about the deal, give him all the information that the wholesaler gave me. And I said, here's the thing, though, we need to close on Monday and this is like Saturday afternoon. So, him and his wife said, Hey, you know, let us give us a little time to think about it. And we were essentially asking him to lend on the purchase price of the property, and we would cover all the rehab on our end. And then when we'd sell the deal, we'd pay him off. [06:26.9]

So, we left the meeting, me and my brother were like, man, we really that one up. And then the guy calls a couple of hours later and he says, Hey, you know, my wife and I talked about it. And we're going to take a chance on you guys and we're going to fund the deal. So, he funded the deal Monday and we got off to the races. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong, hired a bad contractor. After he was a couple months behind schedule, we ended up firing him. And then he put in a lien on the property. It was a faulty lien. We had to get an attorney and go through that whole process. We actually sold the house and the title company withheld all the funds because the lien was on the property. So, I think maybe a month after we sold the property, we actually ended up getting this guy, had an attorney involved and he finally dropped the lien, then we got all our money back. [07:15.2]

So long story short, we made $24,000 on that flip. I thought, hell yeah, we've arrived. This is awesome. I shut down my broker business that I'd spent four years building and jumped head first into real estate. And when we were about three quarters of the way through, with that first flip, we went and bought a second deal and at the time in Salt Lake, it was an ARV of $500,000. And back in 2012, that was probably equivalent to a million-dollar home today. The rehab was like 80,000, I think at the time. And we had no business at all doing that deal. So, we took that deal down, thinking we were to shift. We just made $24,000 on our first flip and we ended up losing 50 grand on that second flip. It was all of our profits from the first deal, plus my life savings. And it took us a little while to pay my dad back some money on that deal as well. So that's kinda how we got started in real estate. Ended up getting a real estate license, ended up getting a loan license.If you fast forward to where we're at today, 2021, still flipping homes. We flip about 40 to 50 houses a year. I've got a real estate brokerage. My brother and I had just opened our mortgage company earlier this year. [08:27.2]

We've got about 60 rental units between multifamily deals and single-family rentals here in Utah. We self-manage all of our Utah properties. So that's our primary business is real estate and mortgage. Now we're really starting to take the money we're making there and investing it into other things. So, my wife and I just bought into a medical spa that we're a 20% owner of. And we got some money in some other businesses and investment were starting to get pretty heavily involved in cryptocurrency and doing some hard money loans as well with some of our capital here on deals here in Utah. And then we've got some stuff going up in Wyoming with my buddy Luke. So, kind of give you a background of who I am, what we're doing. You know, I'm a seven-figure earner just to throw that out there, just because people want to know, like, who am I listening to? And are they legit? [09:20.0]

So, we've been doing real estate for a long time. Probably I don't know between mortgages and real estate, easily thousands of transactions. We funded well over a hundred, $200 million worth of mortgages. And that's who I am, that's what I'm doing and a little bit of my resume. So hopefully resonate with that. And I can check that box of, of being certified legit for ya. [09:41.5]

But the reason I'm starting the show guys is when I first started getting going, and, and even today, you know, I've always been looking for a place that I can plug into, whether it's a networking group, a mastermind group, whatever, it might be a podcast I've always been looking for a place that I can plug into, learn information, be around like-minded people and just do better and get better at, you know, what I'm doing. So, I've spent a lot of time and money on self-development reading books, going to seminars, part of high-end mastermind groups, and just 10 years of experience now. And I really want to share my journey, share the things that I've learned, and I'm just here to provide value and that's the whole purpose of what I'm doing. [10:26.1]

So, Freedom Lifestyle Experiences, the name of the show, you know, they break it down. Freedom, just having the freedom to build the life that you want to live. We live in an awesome country. I'm very pro America. I love this country. I love the idea of freedom, the idea of capitalism, and you truly can do and be whatever you want here and the freedom to do that. So, lifestyle, and that's what we're all looking for and chasing, you know. Lifestyle looks different to everybody, but at the end of the day, we're all looking to live this ideal life that we want, which is what I would consider to be your lifestyle. And then experience, you know, like what is your experience here on earth? So, freedom lifestyle experience. [11:06.6]

And for me, lifestyle is sitting down and designing and just figuring out what do I really want in life? What does that look like? Building a plan to go obtain it and then executing on that plan and living it, experiencing it, freedom, lifestyle experience. So that's who I am, that's what the show is going to be about. And that's why I'm doing the show. Another thing too, just to kind of roll into the next segment here. And I've really been thinking about, you know, what do I want my kind of my intro topic to be? And this podcast that I'm doing is such a great lesson and representation of that. But I think when it comes to lifestyle, whether it's, you know, making more money, creating a business, getting in better shape, having a better marriage, finding a boyfriend, girlfriend, a wife, a husband, whatever it might be, you know, taking that vacation and buying that nice watch, just all the different things that we want in lifestyle. I think the gap of where we are today and then actually realizing that lifestyle and, and that process of being from where I am today to actually doing that. I think that's where the majority of people get stuck mentally that either they don't know how to do it. They don't think they can do it. They don't think they're good enough to do it. They don't think they deserve it or whatever that story might be, but the space of where you're at to where you want to be. And this episode one is a really good example of that. You know, you gotta be willing to suck at something to get it or to get good at it. And this episode, when I look back at this, I'm probably going to be like, man, that was terrible, but you gotta be willing to suck. You gotta be willing to start. And that's really part of what I want to talk about in this first episode. [12:50.8]

And really where we're going to start is you got to acknowledge where you're at and, and really identify where you want to be. And then we can come up with a plan to get there and executing on that. But again, so through this show, I want to talk about all the different pillars of life and a lifestyle. So, money and business. I'm super passionate about that. I love money. I love business. I love doing deals. I'm a real estate guy, so we're probably going to talk about a lot of real estate stuff with a sales background. And the other thing that's important is relationships. Whether it's the relationship with your spouse or your boyfriend, your girlfriend, a relationship with yourself, relationship with family, relationship with your friends and your associates. You know, your environment also is a really big deal who are, you're spending your time around and what type of environment are you putting yourself in? [13:40.9]

Self-Development, I'm where I'm at because of self-development. And I'm going to be where I'm going, because self-development is a huge part of that journey. You know, they say, if you're not growing, you're dying and not really is the truth, but self-development is just so huge. It's, it's such a cornerstone of any successful person, no matter whether it's business, finances, relationships, health, and fitness, whatever it might be. Self-development is super important. Health and fitness - without your health, you got nothing and fitness. Everyone worries about how they look, everyone's self-conscious of their body. So, health and fitness is such a, an important thing and it's a passionate thing about me. You know, the majority of my life, I've really struggled with my weight and how, how I look. You know, I grew up, I was always shorter, kind of little on the pudgier side, and that's really mentally been a struggle for me. And now that my whole life really, but I'm really getting that dialed in and taking my health and fitness serious. So, I want to talk about that. [14:41.6]

And spirituality, I've never grew up with much of a religious influence and a lot of people hear spiritual and they, you know, go to religion and I'm not, that's not even part of this conversation. I think spiritual is a relationship you have with yourself. If you're living your life on purpose and really being connected to source your God, whatever it might be. But the last two years have been really awesome for me cause I've gone down this spiritual road and we'll talk, you know, more in depth about that and some experiences that I've had. But the more that I work on myself and the more that I work on, the spiritual and focus on the inside the outside gets so much better. I mean, right now I can genuinely say you pick an area in life and it's the best that it's ever been for me. And I would really attest that to doing the work inside. And as you do that, your perspective changes. And as your perspective changes, the way that you see the world also changes. [15:34.8]

And then fun and experience, you know, the material things, the fun things. I love that shit too. I love being in a position to where we can fly first class. My wife and I, we travel every, you know, a few months we're taking a vacation. We really love to be wherever there's Palm trees and blue water, you can find us there. Bought my first Rolex about this time last year, I just picked up another one, you know, just have a nice material things and some of the finer stuff that life has to offer. That's awesome too, as you know, so fun and experience. So that's all the stuff that, you know, lifestyle really means to me. But at the end of the day, I'm here to offer value. I'm here to share my journey and I really want to create an environment and a network in place where people can come and plug in, learn somethings, meet some people, maybe we'll get an online community going, but at the end of the day, there's, there's so much negative going on out in the world. And I think if everyone were to just take some personal accountability, your life's going to get better and the world's going to get better. [16:33.8]

If you're focusing on yourself and you're focusing on developing and building your lifestyle, and you're focused on building a better you every single day and that's what people were focused on, that this world would instantly be a better place. And that's really the entire purpose of Freedom Lifestyle Experience, why I'm doing this. And I hope you guys come along with me on the journey. I want to hear the stuff you want to talk about. So please reach out to me, let me know what you want to hear about. Let me know some stuff you disagree with me about. Let's have some conversations and let's see where this thing goes. So, I really appreciate you guys tuning in. You can follow me on Instagram at michael.burnz with a Z. B U R N Z. I'm on Facebook at mrbichaelburnz. And I'm looking forward to this. We'll see you guys on the next episode. Until then go kick ass and build that lifestyle. [17:24.1]

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