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 back to the Freedom Lifestyle Experience. I'm your host, Mike Burns. Appreciate you guys tuning in. It's Thursday, about midnight right now. Kia and I just got back from a week-long trip in Florida, and got to shoot this podcast so I can have it to you guys by Monday, make sure I'm keeping my word and showing up like I say I'm going to.
But, yes, we were in Florida for a week. We flew into Tampa and had a wedding that we went to. Then my DM Fam with Mark Evans mastermind happened to be getting together the following week in the Florida Keys, so we just spent the week out there and kind of covered quite a bit of ground, too, but it's perfect because it's fresh in my mind and also just ties in really well with last week's episode on mentors and coaches. [01:00.8]
This week, I want to talk about your network, your circle of people, the environment that you're putting yourself in, the people you're spending your time with, and really talk about that, because at the end of the day, your circle, your network, the people that you're spending time with, your friends, your family, they're either assets or liabilities, and you’ve really got to pay close attention to this.
For me, I'm only spending my time with people who are assets, people that bring positivity to the table. They support me. They encourage me. They’ve got my back. They're loyal. Any and everything within being a positive influence in my life.
As humans, we need a connection. We need to fill a sense of community, a sense of belonging, and the human-to-human connection is just part of the deal being here. Our family and our friends, and the people we're spending our time with, these are the people that we're connected to. They're the ones that we're spending our time with and they have a huge, huge influence on our life, and that can be great and it can also be not great as well, so you’ve really got to monitor this. I know I’ve talked about this in previous episodes, but I really want to go deeper today because it's a big deal and just I’ve had some time to reflect. [02:07.8]
The reason we went out to Tampa was to go to a wedding, my buddy, Shawn Henry, and his wife, Melia, now. We met Sean and Malia through the Arete Syndicate, which was or is a networking group that I'm a part of, a mastermind, a brotherhood. It has played a huge role in our life, being part of the Arete Syndicate and the relationship that we have and the people that we've met.
Like I said in last episode, it's the best and biggest investment I’ve ever made in myself, but just the relationships that we’ve forged from there and placing yourself in an environment where people were willing to pay six grand a month or $65,000 for the year to be part of this group, and really buying into an environment where you know if someone else is in that same room and they've made that same financial commitment than you have, then they’d better be pretty fucking serious. They're probably good people, so really going all in on that group and those relationships. [03:04.3]
We were out there for the wedding, but I kind of want to talk about the different networking groups that I'm a part of, different relationships that I have and the roles that they play in my life today, and how powerful your network and your relationships are.
The wedding was cool because it was nice to see Shawn and Melia, but also several of the other OGs you could call them of the Arete Syndicate. We all met up there, so it was probably a good eight or 10 of us and it was just good to spend some time together, celebrate Shawn and Melia getting married and catch up and all of that stuff.
But when you're around people who are just doing life and they're trying, they're building their version or whatever lifestyle looks like, but they're winning and they're showing up and they're trying to get better, and they're building relationships and you have that same synergy together, it makes a big influence in your life. [03:52.7]
Then also, not only that, but it has unlocked a lot of deals for me and a lot of opportunities. Just through Arete, I’ve got a couple of guys in that group that are like big brothers to me that I’ve never had, but in addition to that, we do deals and make money together. I'm part of a [deal in] Texas, just north of Dallas. It's a land-development deal, a 100-acre development deal, and I'm a financial partner in that. I'm not doing any of the operating, but we put in $100,000 on this deal and the returns are great, and it's with a guy that is from Arete Syndicate. There are also some other people invested in that deal.
But not only the opportunity that comes up, because I see deals and opportunities all the time, but the level of trust and just the bond that's forged through this group that we're a part of makes the deal feel safe and secure. It's not just about the return. It's also the return of your money. Just through this group and these relationships I’ve built, and the type of people that are in that type of environment that I’ve placed myself into as well. [04:54.6]
I'm investing money, six figures on this one deal. I have also several guys in the group that have invested their money with me and my deals and that's cool because it has given me more capital to do deals with. My deals are providing a return and a good solid, safe investment for these guys, but to be able to do the business and the deals together is super cool for a relationship and it kind of takes it to a whole other level.
Then, Kia and I, last year, we bought into a medical clinic here in Salt Lake. They do Botox and filler, hair removal, tattoo removal, just all that different shit. We're an equity owner in this company in Salt Lake that my buddy, his company, we basically bought out an existing clinic, rebranded it under my buddy's brand. They've got 14 other low locations across the country, but we were able to have that opportunity through Arete Syndicate. I mean, I’ve got several different deals that have happened through that.
On top of that, the relationships. I remember when COVID hit, that was a big deal. Everyone was tripping, but if you're in business and you had money out there, it was kind of a scary thing, until we really figured out it was just a bullshit scamdemic that turned into what it is. Sorry, I couldn't help myself guys. I had to take that shot. [06:10.0]
But back to COVID. I remember everything going down and we had 14 flips going and it was really intimidating. It's like, what's going to happen? What's going to happen with the market? What's going on? Are the banks going to just tighten everything up and stop lending overnight? You start thinking 2008 going, the worst case scenario.
For me, to be able to plug into this Arete network and the calls that we were having as groups and the guys that I was able to call, just individually having that level of support and just knowing I was around other high-level people who were in business. Not only that, but guys that are much more experienced than I was to be able to kind of call on them and not go through that point in time by myself, and really be able to have a support group and a support system was a big fucking deal. [07:02.8]
I credit a large part of how well we kicked ass through the whole COVID thing and how well I handled it and responded that first month, just mobilizing our teams, and I spent 10 days just getting huge orders together with Home Depot and our other suppliers and setting up deliveries, so we were literally getting all the materials that we would need down to a sink faucet, because I was thinking, If Home Depot closes for a month or six weeks or all this crazy shit these guys are talking about, I need to make sure that I have everything that we need to keep executing on these deals.
But also letting my guys know, Hey, we'll figure it out, you're still going to have work, and being able to step up as a leader and lead them and let them know everything was going to be okay. I was going to take care of them and we were going to be all right.
That all played just a huge role in the whole COVID situation and that's because I had been part of this group of like-minded people who were trying to do more, get better, and really vibe with everything that I’ve been talking about throughout my whole podcast. That's a little bit on Arete Syndicate. [08:05.3]
Then, when we wrapped up the wedding, we hung out over there in Tampa for probably four days and it was just cool. We had a great time. But then we went from Tampa, drove straight east over to Fort Lauderdale and stayed at our friends, Julian and Vicky's house, who I also know from Arete Syndicate. Julian is from Canada, recently relocated from Canada to Florida, and he's building a whole new business, so it's super-cool to see them doing that.
But we went over, stayed with them, had a great dinner, hung out the house, hot tubs, got some good quality time in, and we were able to just brainstorm a little bit with my buddy, Julian. He loves business. He eats, sleeps and breathes it, and I'm that way a lot, too, so I always appreciate my time with Julian. [08:53.6]
But where Julian and I actually met, we met at Arete, but when they would open, and I’ve got this thing that I sitting in the front row, so the first few summits that we had, I mean, the first couple days of the first few summits, they opened the doors and I would kind of hustle to the front and get literally a front-row seat, and the first three times, Julian and I ended up right next to each other in the front row, so we became front row brothers. That was just kind of our thing, so it was cool. That's how we connected.
But, anyway, so we stayed with them and then the following day drove down to the Florida Keys where I met up with Mark Evans and our DM Fam, and that's another networking group, a mastermind group that I'm a part of that Mark Evans leads. I talked about Mark—he's one of my mentors—in last week's episode.
But that was really cool. We just had this resort in the Florida Keys. We got there on Sunday, no, Monday night, did a cool, nice dinner Monday night, just kind of hung out, kind of a welcome reception thing. Then we did, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the mastermind. We had the mastermind in the morning from 8:30, 9:00 in the morning to one o'clock in the afternoon each day, and then from 2:00 to 5:00, we went out and hung out. We went on a big catamaran one day. The second day we just hung out and kicked it by the pool, but that's when everyone is networking. [10:14.6]
The first part of the day, we’re sitting there learning, getting content. Mark is talking to us. We’re going around talking about each other's businesses and what we're working on, what our biggest challenges are. How could the group help us? And everyone pretty much gets a turn doing that. We would do that in the first half of the day.
Then, in the second half of the day, would be going and doing something fun, hanging out and then getting to know each other and building the relationships, and that's really where the big value for me is, those times where you're getting to know people, but out when you're having a beer by the pool or when you're out on a boat, it sets up the environment for just relationships to be built.
Another thing that was cool with that, too, is everyone brings their spouse and if they want to bring their kids, that’s cool, too, so now you’ve got kids that come from similar families and a similar entrepreneur mindset. A lot of people aren't that way, so for kids to be hanging out with other kids that are being raised and growing up in that type of environment, it's pretty cool. Then the wives get to talk. [11:13.7]
That's why they call it the DM Fam. It truly is a family thing, which is a big deal for me. Family is one of my core values and that's something that's really important to Mark, but not only to Mark, but to all the guys in the group, too, because Mark is the leader of the group, so anyone that's going to be part of this group is going to vibe with Mark and really what he's about, and what his core values are about and how he's operating and running his life. We want to emulate that. Again, an environment of like-minded people who are in business, family is important to them, and they're just trying to do more, get better and build their network and their business.
But through the DM F there's a guy named J.R. and he's actually the one that produces my podcast. Because I'm in this group in this environment, I meet a guy that really understands building a brand, and that's what I'm trying to do and that's what I am doing with the lifestyle brands. [12:04.2]
But he offers a podcast service, so I do what I'm doing right now. I record it and then upload the raw data, and they actually produce a podcast and do all the marketing and stuff for it, which is cool. Through that group, I have my podcast. Instead of talking about it and it being an idea, it's actually happening.
Another huge thing that has come from that group for me is crypto. About a year ago, I didn't know shit about crypto, and now I'm heavily invested in crypto, doing well. Of all the things that I do in business, I think crypto has actually got the biggest upside potential and I'm really excited about it. I wouldn't be in crypto, and I certainly wouldn't be as aggressive and as confident as I’ve been able to do with the investments that I’ve made in crypto, if not for this group that I'm in and I'm involved with.
Also, one of the guys in the group, he and I bought a 40-unit apartment deal a year ago, last December. I’ve got another guy who is about to place $100,000 with me in a real estate deal that I'm doing. [13:02.5]
Business happens when you're hanging around people who are doing what you want to do and there's this level of trust and respect for each other, and everyone is doing deals and doing business and shit. Stuff happens and that's another reason you want your network, and the environment that you put yourself in, you want to put yourself in an environment where shit is happening. Deals are happening. People are growing. People are moving. People are shaking. Stuff is going on.
That's what I’ve said in previous episodes, too. It's like when you're doing something or if you want to start doing something, or to be doing more of something that you're doing, you’ve got to put yourself in an environment where that stuff is happening.
But it was really cool and extremely valuable for me, the last few days, to be able to be talking with these guys. A lot of them are in real estate or at least invest in real estate. They own businesses, a pretty broad range of things that people are doing in this group, but there's 36 of us. For me, to be able to sit down in front of everyone, and everyone is familiar with me and my business and what I'm doing, but for me to say, Hey, this is kind of where I'm at. These are a few of the key things that I'm focused on and working on. [14:08.8]
Every meeting, Mark asked us to come prepared to the meeting with like, Hey, what's the one thing that, if I fix this one thing, it'll take care of a hundred other things? That's pretty much what he asked us to do when we’d show up.
My big thing was really growing my brand, and my personal brand and the lifestyle brand, and starting to recruit people into our atmosphere, whether it's loan officers, real estate agents, investors that want to invest money in deals or people that have deals and just could use our assistance, putting it together, liking my podcast, Freedom Lifestyle Experience, and just really everything around this brand that I'm building.
That's kind of my big focus right now, and to be able to get the feedback and just the encouragement and everything from the group, and the different ideas and strategies, but to also see what some of these other guys, who have done a really good job doing the things I want to do, [are doing], being able to get advice from them. [15:01.8]
Like I said last week when I was telling you, there's only one hack and it's having a coach or a mentor, or someone who's done something similar to what you're doing, able to kind of give you the quick tips and the shortcuts. That's a really big deal when you have that access.
What I like to do as I'm talking about these things and topics and points that I'm trying to make, I really to relate it to what I'm actually doing, so I'm not just some guy up here talking full of shit, and it's nice to just share my version of how these things have come together and how I’ve come to realize the things that I do.
But the 10X Growth Conference, I'm going to it at the end of March this year. I think it's probably going to be the sixth one, but I’ve been to the first four. But the first 10X Growth Con was in Miami, in 2015, I think, and on the plane go one out there, I saw a guy named Ben Lemon who is a mortgage loan officer, and I had known Ben and he was flying out there to go to the conference, too, out of Salt Lake, but he had a guy named Tyler with him, who I had met for the first time. He was a real estate agent, but I met Tyler only because we were both on a plane leaving Salt Lake, going to Miami to go to this 10X Growth Conference. [16:13.5]
Fast forward seven years and this dude is one of my best friends. We're homies. We're doing deals together. He's one of my best friends. That's because I'm putting myself in an environment where I'm trying to learn, I'm trying to grow, and other people are there because they're doing the same thing, so these are the types of people that you're going to meet.
But going to these 10X Growth Conferences over the years and just seeing people that are kind of Grant Cardone and running that tribe, you could say, I’ve developed the same thing, multiple relationships that have come from that. I don't know that I could link any deals. Actually, Tyler and I, we've got four newbuilds going right now, so deals right there came from that, but the relationship that I have with him is far more important than any deal. [16:58.0]
But another network or another environment or group that I’ve plugged into and played a huge role in my career and really got me started in real estate was SLERIA and that's the local Salt Lake Real Estate Investors Association. Last week, I talked about the coaching and the mentoring and some of these groups. Arete is expensive. The DM Fam, that's 35 grand a year. 10X, it costs money to go to these things. You're out of state, you’ve got to travel.
But there's also a lot of local shit going on, too, and SLERIA was a big deal for me. It still is my first probably 10 deals where every part of the deal came from SLERIA somehow, whether it was a wholesaler that brought the deal, a hard money lender or a private money lender that lent the money, a contractor that did the work. Christina, my title lady for the last 10 years, I met her there.
SLERIA is the same thing. It's a place where people in your local area are doing what you want to do. This is real estate investing for this particular thing, but every trade is going to have a group like this in town, I guarantee you. You’ve just got to look it up into a little bit of looking, but people are doing what you want to do. You’ve just got to plug into it. [18:09.2]
SLERIA was big and it's cool now because I spoke there a few months ago, and I run the skills training and our mortgage company is now sponsoring the group. We're going to be the preferred sponsored mortgage company broker for the group. But a lot of the relationships that I have here locally in Salt Lake with other investors, hard money guys, people who I consider dear friends and, again, circling back to the COVID thing or just any sort of uncertainty, being able to bounce ideas and ask for counsel when needed is a big deal.
I’ve got guys like that here in my local market in Salt Lake and that's the relationship that I have with them. I can call them and ask them for help, ask for their input on something, and when you can bounce ideas off, that's the power of the mastermind. [18:57.7]
That's the power of the network and the relationships. You're not doing this shit by yourself and other people have different perspectives that you might not that's going to help you, shed light and maybe give you a fresh idea or a different perspective that you didn't and think about. They could really help you progress with something or it could prevent, help you not progress in something and kind of put the brakes on a situation that maybe you didn't see.
One other early on when I was first getting going in real estate is I joined Century 21 when I had already been flipping houses. I’d gotten my license and I decided I wanted to start doing some of their retail real estate agent shit. What I did was I joined a team. I joined a guy named Chris Martindale's team. He was selling, I don't know, probably 60 homes a year at the time and he was doing what I wanted to do, so I joined his team and was able to get mentored by him and be around that environment.
Back then, Century 21, George Morris & John Ciet owned that, and George is one of the best speakers I’ve seen and he would run every morning. We would have what they called Morning Ascent. It was at 7:30 and we'd go in there and kind of do some hoorah, Tony Robbins dancing around shit. [20:04.8]
But then, George or John would give a really awesome sales meeting talk on all sorts of different topics, but they would really get you fired up and set the tone for the day. Then you're writing down 10 things you're grateful for, writing your goals down. They had some mantras that they would say and it was just really cool. It was a great environment to be in.
Also, when you're in an environment like that, that office at that time was the top-producing real estate office and the Salt Lake area or really in Utah, I think, so to be able to plug into that environment really kind of catapulted me towards success because I was around people who were being successful in real estate and that was exactly what I wanted to do, so I put myself in that environment.
Now I'm consistently monitoring the environment that I'm in and the people that I'm spending my time around, but now, actually, I'm trying to create the environment. I'm trying to create the space for people to come plug into and that's what we're doing with the podcasts. That's what we're doing with our monthly meetups at the Lifestyle offices, just creating a space where people can come plug into it. It's positive. You're going to learn something. The networking is there and just you're showing up to a space where there are like-minded people that are trying to do more and get better. [21:17.8]
That pretty well covers the message I’ve got for you guys this week. Actually, like I said, I just got off a plane. It's 12:45 a.m. now, but tomorrow I'm speaking at my buddy, Stratton's [mastermind]. “Strat Daddy”, that's his IG handle. I like it. He asked me if I'd speak at his mastermind that he's throwing on Friday and Saturday here locally in Salt Lake, so going to put the finishing touches on my presentation for that and go do that tomorrow.
Other than that, I really appreciate you guys listening, for all the cool feedback and comments and texts. It has been really cool and I appreciate you guys supporting me, and sounds like everyone is getting some value from the show. If you're getting value, if you're learning, if you're liking it, please leave me a review. Please share the show. I want to connect with you online. You can follow me on Instagram @Michael.Burnz with a Z, B-U-R-N-Z. On Facebook, I’m MrMichaelBurns.
We'll see you guys next week, and go build that lifestyle. [22:17.0]
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