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Nobody ever wants to fail. But, you can't learn if you never fail.

Losing clients, getting rejected by prospects and missing your targets all hurt. But, these experiences let you fail forward.

In this episode, former quarterback and millenial Mike Fitzpatrick reveals how to fail forward and become a million dollar loan officer.

Show highlights include:

  • How blowing out your shoulder as a quarterback can turn you into a multi-million dollar loan officer (1:36)
  • Why having a public temper tantrum forces you to learn humility and become the leader your team needs you to be (5:48)
  • The “Kicked In The Teeth” method that lets you write mortgages without any credit/default risk (9:07)
  • How constant failure allows you to build a team that builds a billion dollar region (10:15)
  • Why educating clients about their loan gives them a better “mortgage experience” than handing them the keys to their dream house (12:48)
  • Why using technology ruins the loan process (and how being human lets you write loans faster) (16:10)

Want to get your questions answered live? Head to MLOlive.com and discover how you could become a Millionaire Loan Officer!

Read Full Transcript

Welcome to The Millionaire Loan Officer podcast with your host, Scott Hudspeth sharing tools, tips and strategies so that you can go from a mortgage loan officer to a millionaire loan officer. It's your host, Scott Hudspeth.

Scott: Hey everybody, this is Scott Hudspeth here with Millionaire Loan Officer, super excited to have a friend of mine and we've got a lot in common man. My good friend, Mike Fitzpatrick, what's going on, Mike? How you doing buddy?

Mike: How we doing?

Scott: You know what.

Mike: Where are you at right now? That's my question, you're always all over the place.

Scott: You know, that's the fun part about life is you can do this job from anywhere I'm in Windsor, Colorado, right now.

Mike: Gotcha. Gotcha.

Scott: Yeah.

Mike: That explains the gummy bears I see on the table in the background. [01:07.3]

Scott: Yeah, that’s right.

Mike: Only kidding.

Scott: For everybody who isn't watching the video, there's really no gummy bears, but there was, I would probably be eating them for lunch, so. Dude, I appreciate you being here, man. And it's been exciting to watch your journey from such a, you know, just a short amount of time, just crank this thing up to a level that most people dream of, you know, and I'm just excited to talk about it and share with the world.

Mike: Yup.

Scott: Who you are and what you've done, and hopefully help enough other people to light their candle to go, man, I, I want to be Mike, you know.

Mike: Yeah, yeah. I there's to preface, there's definitely nothing special about Mike.

Scott: Huh…huh… [01:42.3]

Mike: I started out actually in the insurance business. So, I came from a sports background. I, I attribute a lot of my success and those kinds of things from sports and playing quarterback and playing football and, those kinds of things through the years. But after I blew my shoulder out, went into the insurance industry with my dad. He owns an insurance company. So, I got into a bunch of different facets of that. I was doing a HOI. I was doing a major condo complex insurance, which has helped me in the mortgage side and did some financial planning with him cause he also owns financial planning company. And so that really gave me framework to be successful in the mortgage business because I, I knew a lot of different stuff about a bunch of different stuff. [02:27.1]

Scott: Damn I like it, I love it.

Mike: Which, which gave me understanding that like whenever I started looking at guidelines and those kinds of things, whenever I got into the business, I actually kind of knew what I was looking at just from an overall 30,000-mile view, but started out 22, 21, 22 years old, opened up my own branch. Basically, I used my dad's financial experience and made him the branch manager. So, I had a foot in and jumped right into it with a company that was willing to take a 22-year-old newbie.

Scott: Oh yeah.

Mike: So needless to say, that that probably wasn't the best company for me to stay at. And I quickly left there once I started understanding the business a little bit, but overall, for me, it's, it's just been about creating the best experience possible. And there's somebody that I follow. I don't know if you've ever heard of Andy Frisella, but he talks about that and like our Bonnard marketplace of computers and all the different technology that's trying to arbitrage us out of the business. I think the people that are winning are the people that are actually creating an amazing human experience rather than all of the technology. So that's really been my goal. It was a passion project of mine because I had such a bad mortgage experience at like 20 years old.

Scott: Hmm. [03:40.7]

Mike: I didn't immediately get into the business, but when I did, I remembered that and just how I was treated and what I felt during that time and wanted to make sure that I don't have any clients that feel that way ever again. So got in fast forward to 2017, I switched over to the company that I'm with now with a W2 that said 12 grand on it. So, I had already been in the business for a couple of years and was not successful so far. I was still doing a bunch of other stuff on the insurance side, but didn't jump in first until then. But then in 2017, got with somebody that, that felt like I could actually close loans with and started just using, utilizing social media to grow my business. And we're now 2020, we did 81 million as a branch with about five loan officers. And I was 30 million of that. So just a crazy journey and in such a short period of time and life-changing, and I tell people all the time, if you'll put your head down in this business, you can change your life in 60 days. [04:42.6]

Scott: So this is to share with the group, but whoever's listening. How long have you been in the business like before 2020? How long have you been in?

Mike: I've been in since 2016.

Scott: 2016. So, five years.

Mike: Yeah.

Scott: Five years. Okay. Four years, in 2020 it was four years for you.

Mike: Right.

Scott: Yeah.

Mike: In really, really full time, 2017 end of 2017. So, I started with this company in March of 2017 and like I said, showed them a W2 that said 12 grand on it. And they took a flyer on me. And from, from March of 17 to, I would say October, I'd made 175,000.

Scott: Wow. Wow.

Mike: And in that timeframe, just, just kinda jumping in feet first and really taking it seriously like a career.

Scott: Unbelievable, short-term success, man. That's what I love to hear. And man you just went all in. You've had a lot of experiences. I mean, I don't know you're 20 when you bought your first house, that's saying something right there.

Mike: Yeah.

Scott: That was, that was a little bit crazy, man. So, I've got a question for you. Umm, so much success. What's the one apparent failure that set you up for later success. I mean, you're so young, so it's like you might not have had any, but what's one failure that set you up for success. [05:47.9]

Mike: Yeah, I would probably go back to school to my high school days. I actually was a hotheaded kid back then and, and needed, needed a lot of growing up to do.

Scott: I know.

Mike: So actually, my sophomore year, I kind of went crazy on the football field, threw my shoulder pads off, threw my helmet at a coach and said, I'm ditching this place that you guys don't know what you're talking about. And that honestly, that failure right there really, really humbled me at that, I would say a week later humbled me at that moment because I basically threw my dream down the tubes and yeah.

Scott: Makes sense.

Mike: Yeah, and had to eat, eat crow for a long time to get back in the good graces to even be on the team the next year.

Scott: Hmm.

Mike: So, I read a lot of books in that time actually. And I don't know what prompted me to do this. It wasn't my dad didn't say, Hey, you need to like do some soul searching. I just picked up a book by Tony Dungy called Uncommon and really shifted. I think that that was the point in my life where I really shifted in a direction that by just taking every day as a new day, thinking positively and not allowing outside forces to change the way that I think about what my path is and where I'm going. [07:02.5]

Scott: Alright.

Mike: So that's probably where it shifted. And then professionally, I would say I being $75,000 in credit card debt and having my back up against the wall, felt like a big failure with a W2 that said 12 grand on it. And I was sitting with 75,000 in credit card debt.

Scott: Wow.

Mike: So that put me into a competitive mode into a boxing mode. And I just had to punch my way out and figure it out.

Scott: Well, the cool part about having you back against the wall, there's only one way, right?

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. You can't go any further back.

Scott: You can't go any further back. You know, you bring up a book, you know, books, you do audio books, you read books? Which one do you prefer? [07:39.4]

Mike: I do a mixture of the two.

Scott: Okay.

Mike: Depends on like sometimes I'll do an audio book and I’ll; I'll get so much from it that I'm like, oh man, I got to get the text and actually read this.

Scott: Alright.

Mike: And put notes on it and scribble on it and those kinds of things.

Scott: Would you say Uncommon is the book that of choice? Like what, like, or do you have a book that you've given away as a gift that you would say that has changed your life the most, what's that one book?

Mike: Uncommon is, is a great one. It's more sports mentality, but I would say that the book that shifted my professional life in a different direction would be, Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone. That was a good one. I think, I think that was, that's probably the one that I give out to, to loan officers and stuff the most just putting the blinders on and, and stop worrying about what all the haters are saying. Because ultimately when you start making money and you start doing more posting on social media, there's going to be people that come out of the woodwork and say, Hey, you don't even know what you're talking about. Like, why are you doing this? And so, I had to put something into my ears and feed my brain with saying that I'm doing the right thing. [08:45.4]

Scott: I love it. I love it, man. I love the obsessed. Be Obsessed or Be Average, man. It's an amazing book. So, if you haven't read it yet.

Mike: Yeah.

Scott: So, but Mike, what, like you've been in it five years now, knowing what you know, now go back to five years. What would you tell yourself five years ago that would like, cause like we're, you know, people will be listening to just got in maybe two years in maybe one year in, what would you tell yourself five years ago that knowing what you know, now,

Mike: The only phrase that comes to my head is, ‘Don't get high on your own supply.’

Scott: Hmm…hmm.

Mike: So, like, don't get too high on, on this roller coaster ride. The business is a roller coaster. We've seen all kinds of different stuff in the time that I've been in it. I mean, 2018 was a pretty tough year leading into 2019, just with some rate turmoil and, and those kinds of things. So, people have to be here. And this is what I tell my loan officers that I coach on my team of like, you gotta stay even keel. If you throw three interceptions, you can't be scared to go back out there and keep shooting at it.

Scott: Love it.

Mike: So, you, you gotta just keep working at it and not let the failure, cause ultimately in this business, I think like you have to fail a bunch to be good at it.

Scott: Yeah.

Mike: So, you've got to get kicked in the teeth with a guideline that you didn't know about. And you thought that you had the file the right way and ultimately find out that like, uh-oh, I missed something, you know? And that's the only way that you learn. [10:02.9]

Scott: Excellent. Love it. Dude what's next for Mike? Like Mike you've come so far in five years, like it's hard to you know, like have you put a, you do yearly planning? Like what, like what do you, where do you see yourself or what's next for Mike?

Mike: Yeah, next for me would be pulling down my personal production and building a billion-dollar region. I’m taking steps towards that, but it's fail forward.

Scott: Yeah, yeah.

Mike: And and you fail with personnel. You fail with people, you, you fail with teams and ultimately you, you get to a place where you've got a good core group and you start building on it. And so, I failed forward until that point, which is where I'm at. I've got an amazing assistant. She's a stone-cold assassin when it comes to mortgages. My production manager, which is downstairs, she's the same way as me. If it's 12 o'clock at night, she can't sleep unless she fixes something. So, you got that core group and that's what we're building towards. We're, we're building towards building that billion-dollar region with some partners of mine out of Atlanta. [11:02.5]

Scott: Unbelievable, man, I'm just excited to watch your journey. I know you'll get there. What, what area of your business, and this is a broad term, like, you know, and you got a lot of going on your own production. You want to remove yourself from your own production. You got to have a LOs. What area of your business would you like better results in?

Mike: That's a tough one. I would say area of my business that I want better results in would probably be just the overall organization. I'm very detail oriented, but also not at the same time. So, it's a really weird statement, I know, but like there's some things that I'm like uber, uber very detailed about. I want to go a certain way and those kinds of things and then there's other things that, that I just, it's not my biggest strong suit. So just overall getting the factory to run as a factory. That's my biggest thing. I tell people all the time that I'm trying to create Chick-fil-A of mortgage experiences, because it's just such a different experience when you go through the Chick-fil-A line versus the McDonald's line. So, I think that that's where I want to see the most results over the next five years is to really, really get that factory operating on all cylinders, which we are right now. But we can always get better every day. [12:14.6]

Scott: You know, it's funny you bring up something so important, like the Chick-fil-A versus McDonald's or Chick-fil-A versus anybody, really the experience.

Mike: Yeah.

Scott: You started off this podcast with, you know, creating a, an amazing experience for your client. Like, what is that? Where did that come from? Do you have any idea? I mean like so many, like if you can do that, your business will grow infinitely, you know.

Mike: Right.

Scott: Like where does that come from do you think? Like, how do you manifest that or help somebody realize what that means? Obviously, you had a bad experience.

Mike: Yeah.

Scott: You know, you don't want anybody to have that, but still like a lot of people don't know what that really takes to create a referrable experience. [12:48.9]

Mike: Yeah, to me is just, it comes from an education place. So, I was going to school to be an educator and decided that $38,000 a year was not going to be any fun to teach other people's kids. But education is everything for me. So, what gives our clients the best experiences, we actually educate them. When they're coming in, we don't go, Hey, yeah, you're pre-approved, here's your loan documents. Don't ask me another question because I don't have time for you. That's not what we do. We, this is what I preach to the people that are in my organization. That if you will just take the extra time, five minutes to explain to them, all right, you're in this part of the process, this is what the next three steps are going to look like. They're not going to care if you pass them off to your assistant at that point.

Scott: Hmm.

Mike: That you're going to still be involved, but they're not going to care because they understand what the next phase looks like. Too many people will take in an application in our business, have a five-minute conversation. And then that person never hears from that loan officer again and never was told what's going to happen next. They just get called by an assistant and they start getting in the minutia of being in the mortgage process. So that's a big, big factor, I think of the reason why my production has been the way that it's been is because when I have that initial conversation, I'm gleaming all of the stuff that I need to hear in my head of like maybe what they're trying to hide from me. And then I communicate what the next couple of steps are gonna look like. And then I communicate to my assistant and then I'm basically done. And they, they call me and thanked me and say, oh my God, that was the best experience ever when they're done. So, it's really just about educating that client. And if they need 30 minutes to understand what's happening, you need to take that time to talk to them. At least in the first couple of conversations before you're relying on salaried employees for your livelihood. [14:36.2]

Scott: Is this all in your head or do you have a checklist or like detail oriented? I'm good on the same way, by the way, detail oriented, but like have no notes, you know, I’m taking notes from others, but like, is it a checklist? You like, make sure you cover with the client, knowing that they're going to eventually have questions on that or is it just, you've been through it so many times that.

Mike: I've had so many touches. I have been extremely lucky in the way that I've been brought up in the business. I actually review every single file for disclosures before they go in to, to our processing centers. So, I have so many touches on files that whenever I get on the phone with a client it's natural, I'm poking and prodding and trying to hear the things that I want to hear or don't want to hear. And that way I know how to structure that file in a way that I'm putting the least amount of documentation possible in it to get it through the system. I think that that's, what's lacking in our business a little bit is I don't think that people get that privilege. I think it's really, really tough in our business to find something that will give you that as far as like scenarios and those kinds of things. And luckily, I am just a fact finder so, I dig through guidelines and research and, and those kinds of things. But yeah, I would say that, that it's, it's definitely all up here and that people off sometimes cause it's kind of hard to teach them without putting it on the paper, but I've been doing that over the last six months or so. [15:54.2]

Scott: You know, I mean, you have what I call that x-factor man. Like when I first met you, when our first conversation, it was just some calming feeling that you have. So, like, you just, you're a natural for what you do, taking care of, like you actually care about.

Mike: Yeah.

Scott: And it comes through very, very, very clear. And that's probably where your secret sauce is.

Mike: I think there's just being genuine.

Scott: Yes.

Mike: You know, unfortunately there are people in our business that are snakes in the grass and when they're genuine, they're just not going to get business because they're exposed.

Scott: Yes.

Mike: But I come from a place of just being genuine. I wouldn't want anybody to take advantage of me because at one point I was a millennial that had no idea what up from down was, you know, and, and honestly, that's a question I've been getting a lot that, that millennial question, just because I am one, but my generation needs a lot of explaining. And I think that these companies that think that everything's going to go to tech are making a huge, huge mistake, because I think that the millennial generation, because of the lack of financial education is going to be the generation that needs explaining too. And technology's not going to be able to do that. And it's going to be a human factor in that experience that we talk about, that's going to ultimately win because they do need, they are going to need their hand held and they don't want to read about it online. Their, our attention spans are very short and that's been bred into us. So, telling us to go look at some documents online and do our own research is a, is a lot of the times not very effective. So, they need a lot of explanation and, and that's probably that 19 to 35 age range. That's what I've seen from my experiences. And, and once I started seeing that, whenever I got in the business, I knew I was on the right path of creating that experience rather than going full technology all the time. [17:33.0]

Scott: Gotcha. Well, man one of the things that like keeps sticking in my head is fail forward.

Mike: Yeah.

Scott: And I want to kind of end with this and any final thoughts you might have, but like I think a lot of people fail and they think, I don't know what they think. They think I'm not good enough. This isn't going to work for me. You said that a couple of times, can you give us like, like what is it to help other loan officers that maybe are having a little harder time today. You know, cause it's changed so much.

Mike: Yeah.

Scott: And change is the one thing that you got embrace, but can you talk to me a little bit about more about that fail forward that might help other people to not give up? [18:06.3]

Mike: Yeah. The biggest thing for me, whether you're spiritual or not is just have faith that you're on the right path. So that, mine comes from a place of Christianity, but it's all in a realm of like, just understanding that you're on the right path and never giving up. The main thing when you do fail is to take it as a learning experience. Too many times, and, and this isn't really just my generation. This is a full kind of United States thing in my opinion of, we don't take failure very well right now. And when we fail, we think that the world is crumbling, but it's not. The worst that can happen and I tell people this all the time, if you fail to the point to where you have to file bankruptcy, there's nobody that's going to come to your house, break your legs, kill your family, and take you and bury you alive. Those days are over. So, you have a way out. No matter what, there's a way out.
There's a legal way out. There's things that you can do. So don't make it seem like that everything is lost if you make a financial failure and that you're not doing well in your business. You, you can turn that around, I'm a Testament to that and you can do great things if you just put your mind to it and think outside the box. That's kind of where, where it comes from with me. I know that no matter what moves I make, nobody's coming in, they're not going to break my legs. Guido's not going to take me and and throw me in the Hudson River. It's going to be all okay. But that also kind of final thoughts for me and this is kind of something that hit home. [19:28.7]

In the last year in our area, we've had to mortgage people end their lives. And I think that as we're talking about failing forward, we also need to talk about the mental aspect of this business. It's a tough business mentally. I tell people all the time that it's literally the hardest thing that you can do that doesn't require a college degree, because there's just so many different things. So many different facets of the business that you have to understand from the rate environment to guidelines, to all the different stuff. So, if I can ever be a resource or an ear to listen to you about something that, that you've got going on, if whoever's listening, if you're at a place to where you're so mentally down, that that you're having really depressing thoughts, please reach out to me. I don't want to ever see that happen again. I think it's under reported in the sales industry as a whole, but I definitely I definitely want to be a resource for people that just need to be listened to and help through the process. [20:24.0]

Scott: Sincerely appreciate that man. Dude, that gave me chills. I don’t know about, I mean, that's just a, I love ending it on that note. And how would somebody, what's a way for someone to reach out to you or get ahold of you? What's the.

Mike: You can find me on social media. I think that my Instagram handle is therealmortgagemike, my Facebook's just Mike Fitzpatrick. You can friend me on there, you can reach out to me on my cell (843) 580-2490 and I'll answer that anytime. So, if you ever need anything, just reach out. I'm always here.

Scott: Unbelievable Mike, man I sincerely appreciate you being on the Millionaire Loan Officer Podcast, Man right now. And I can't wait to see it. You might already be at that mark, but the billion-dollar mark, man, I'm going to hold you to it. Can I hold you accountable to that?

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. It's going to happen in the next five years.

Scott: All right. And off topic, man, the camping thing, man. You and I have a, you know, I said at the beginning we have a bond to this, this RV thing, traveling. Where's the best float? Like where's your favorite place? Or where's the best place you've been so far? [21:17.5]

Mike: Yeah, so far, we've got a we've got a campground here called Carolina Pines. It's like the Ritz Carlton of campgrounds.

Scott: Okay.

Mike: So far, it's one of the, one of the nicest ones I've ever been to. It's got a water park and a bar.

Scott: Wow.

Mike: And you can like get drinks delivered to your camper, which is just absurd.

Scott: What!

Mike: So, it's really cool. But there's one in Michigan that I actually want to go to soon. It's on lake Michigan somewhere and it's got like tiny houses next to where you're like putting your camper and stuff in. It just looks crazy. I want to go there so bad.

Scott: It’s cool. Michigan is awesome, man, Traverse city, Petoskey, there's so many cool places to be.

Mike: Yeah. [21:53.0]

Scott: And I lived there for 15 years.

Mike: I can't go there when it's snowing.

Scott: No, no, no, you gotta do. You gotta do something, man. Mike, I sincerely appreciate your time, man. I appreciate what you're doing for the industry and congratulations on all your amazing success. Anything I can ever do for you, brother, man, I'm here for you and thank you again, man. Appreciate your time.

Mike: Yeah. Appreciate it. Have a good one.

Scott: Alright guys, thank you for joining Millionaire Loan Officer until next time signing off, be safe. But fail forward as Mike says and man, if you need us just reach out and super excited Mike, to share with you MLOlive.com. MLOlive.com. I'm going to be going once a week to just answer questions, live on a zoom call. So, visit MLOlive to get signed up for that zoom call. And Mike, do you ever want to join me on that zoom call just to answer questions and be a part of it, man.

Mike: Yup.

Scott: I’d love to have you.

Mike: Yup.

Scott: So, appreciate you man.

Mike: Sweet, have a good one.

Scott: Have a good day.

I'm a Millionaire Loan Officer.
Thank you for tuning into the Millionaire Loan Officer podcast with your host Scott Hudspeth, don't forget to visit MLOlive.com to have your questions answered. See you next time.

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