Have a podcast in 30 days

Without headaches or hassles

Most people end up ditching the world of Corporate America just to build their own 9-5 instead. They end up stressed, miserable, and overworked, like their last job. 

Loosen the grip on your business’s stage five clinger grip and learn how to profit without sacrificing plans. Put money, and opportunities, back in your control.

In this episode, you’ll discover ways to treat your business more like an ATM machine and less like the job you hated. 

Show highlights include:

  • Why your ‘dream job’ is secretly setting you up to live paycheck-to-paycheck. (3:56)
  • How to use your calendar at home as a tool to make millions in revenue. (11:25)
  • The ‘Three Key’ structure for growing your business from an airport gate. (17:00)
  • Why Steve Jobs wasn’t all that great – and how you can be better. (28:45)

To get the latest updates directly from Steve and discuss business with other entrepreneurs, join The CEO Nation Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/The-CEO-Nation-105412277846610

Ready to take your business to the next level? Let’s see if we’re a good fit for each other. https://theceonation.com

Read Full Transcript

Welcome to the CEO Nation podcast, where we believe that true freedom is being able to do what you want, whenever you want, with whoever you want, by building a business that works for you rather than you working for it—and, now, to start uncovering how to get out of your own way and start building that business of your dreams, here's your host, Steve Richards.

Steve: Hey, guys. Welcome back. This is Steve Richards with the CEO Nation. I'm excited to be back with another episode today, and I know we're going to get through a lot here, but this is really a big treat for all of you guys that are listening. I've got my friend, Joe McCall on. Hey, Joe.

Joe: Steve, how are you, my man?

Steve: Good. I'm good. I'm excited to have you, man. I think I’ve had you on a couple of different webinars and Zooms recently, and today it will be a little different because Joe is an extremely accomplished entrepreneur, a lot of it is in the real estate space. [01:04.0]

It wasn't always that way, which I think we're going to talk about today, but Joe is what I would call an OG and, as many of you guys know as listeners, a lot of or three or four of the businesses we own are in the real estate space and I’ve really resonated with you, Joe, over the years.

Even though you've come to speak at our events and we've personally met a couple of times I think, but really it's through social media and podcasts and things like that I’ve actually [gotten to know you], because I think I’ve probably listened to hundreds of episodes of your podcast. How many episodes have you done?

Joe: Nine hundred and… I just released 912.

Steve: Man, you and Mike Hambright. I just had Mike on a couple of weeks ago and he’s like you. He’s crazy.

Joe: But I’ve done my show longer than him. Don't let him forget that.

Steve: Yes, I will not let Mike forget that. It's Real Estate Mastery.

Joe: Real Estate Investing Mastery, yeah. [01:55.5]

Steve: Yes. Joe has put so much good content out. In fact, some of you guys, we've talked about this in CEO Nation trainings before, Joe, that literally when Brian and my current integrator partner—in all of my businesses, we partner together. He has been an unbelievable find as a business partner—the one thing, literally one of the linchpins that really set us apart as he and I started a partner when we both were doing different things and got together that's really a cool connection for all my listeners here today, Joe, is that when we decided to joint venture and do some real estate business together, I had to convince him to whom every dollar he spends is like a death in the family. I had to convince him that we were going to wire a substantial amount of money to you and Peter to set up.

Joe: That was a long time ago, yeah.

Steve: To set up Podio, which we already had, and to turn on our Carrot account, which we already had. He was like, What are they doing for us? I'm like, Trust me, we need this. We took off from that. You really, really helped because your guys' system really helped. In not so small of a way, you were very involved in the re-invention of me in business, utilizing things that I learned from you and your services to kind of what spawned everything over the last five or six years when we really understood - [03:12.1]

Joe: Cool.

Steve: - the difference between being a hustling self-employed grinder and being a CEO that owns a business. Today, guys, we're going to talk about Joe. Joe not only owns real estate businesses that he does projects and deals in that he’s able to partner with people, but he also owns an info product business where he sells training and coaching and things like that where I’ve been super impressed with the way he utilizes metrics and things, so I hope we can dig into that a little bit today.

With that, I'm going to introduce you, Joe, and can you give a four- or five-minute kind of run with it and just tell people when you left corporate America, kind of how that first round went?

Joe: Yeah, man, so I grew up… I think it's important that everyone has a story, kind of why they're doing what they do, and I grew up in a pretty poor family. I didn't even know it. I grew up in mobile home trailer parks. [04:09.8]

My dad was a janitor. My mom and he both worked at McDonald’s for a long time, and then my dad became a janitor and eventually started his own business, worked really hard. I don't know anybody else that has worked harder than he has, and God bless him, we were really poor but I didn't even know it. I always had food on the table. I always had clothes, had a good school education. I knew my parents loved me.

But then, fast forward, I was the first one to go to college and I thought that's what you had to do. I thought if you wanted to be successful, you had to go to college. But as I graduated and I started working, I realized I was quickly frustrated with just being that time card that clocks in and out every day, being in my little “cubic-hell” as I called it. Nobody really knew I was even there. [05:00.6]

It was a huge company, probably 8,000 or 10,000 people, and every little thing I did, I mean, I didn't feel like I was making any impact. I didn't feel like I was making a difference in what I was doing. I was just a numbers cruncher. I was just a pencil pusher, a bean counter, and I had a degree in engineering, civil engineering. That was kind of frustrating and I just looked at all the middle managers, because you know what? In most corporations, it’s just one guy at the top, right? Then there's maybe a C-level suite of five, six people. Then everybody else up there is middle managers and then a bunch of employees, right?

Those middle managers, that's where most people end up if you get promoted and those are guys that are working harder than anybody else. They're the first ones in and they're the last ones to leave, the most stress, most responsibility and they are making more money, but if you look at the hourly wage that they're making compared to what I was making, and when you factor in the responsibilities and how much travel they had to do, and all that was required to them, they weren't making much more money than I was and they were much more miserable than I was. [06:11.2]

I looked at that just kind of discouraged like, This is not a corporate ladder I want to climb. They say the ladder is kind of leaning on the wrong building. I started thinking in early-2002 about real estate investing because I graduated in 2000, so two years into it, I'm thinking about real estate investing. I had some friends that were doing it and I was thinking, Man, I could start my own business. Really, you can work for yourself doing real estate investing?

Fast forward, I just studied and studied. In 2006, I started buying a couple houses and I bought them wrong as at the height of the market, but anyway I really wanted to start my own business, and looking back on my dad and what he did, and he eventually created the largest janitorial business in the Midwest based out of Des Moines, Iowa. [07:05.4]

Steve: Wow.

Joe: The largest privately owned business, and he would have tons and tons of employees and managers. He just recently sold it. He's semi-retired now, doing really, really well, works extremely hard and was very generous, a very generous giver for church and things like that. I’m like, Now I want to be like my dad, and I didn't realize and my dad never really talked to me about entrepreneurship.

Anyway, I quit my job finally in 2009 and I was working for a large electrical contractor, building power plants, and again, man, I was just at their whim. People say the best thing to do, the safest thing to do is to get a good job, stay with them a long time, invest in your 401(k) and just be a good employee, and if you're lucky, you get promoted to middle management, and then if you're really lucky, you get a two or three percent raise every year to keep with inflation. Maybe you get an extra couple of three days a year for vacation. [08:08.0]

Then even middle managers, if you look at them, they were getting maybe four weeks of vacation a year. Four weeks. Can you believe that? And they would never use it.

Steve: Yeah.

Joe: And no matter how hard, and this was another thing that was really frustrating to me, no matter how hard I worked, I got paid the same. No matter how much profit I brought to the company, I got paid the same. Maybe I'd get a bonus at the end of the year of 100 bucks, 500, 1,000 bucks or something.

You could say I think at the time the company was transitioning into an employee stock ownership program, an ESOP or something like that, but even as an employee, nobody feels like they own a piece of the company. They feel like an employee. I felt like, I'm just one pink slip away from bankruptcy. I can get another job because I was in a good field that had good high demand, but I would have to be willing to move, to relocate my family to get another job. [09:09.4]

But if I got fired, man, I'm living paycheck to paycheck. I could lose my house. I don't have enough money in savings. I'm not investing enough in my retirement account. Maybe I was at the time, but looking at that, I'd have to invest this ungodly amount every month for the next 30, 40 years to be able to retire and I could never go live anywhere I wanted to.

Anyway, I'm just kind of maybe whining and complaining. I was grateful for my companies, the two or three companies that I worked for, and I understand there's a place for that. Not everybody is called to be an entrepreneur, but I had something burning in me thinking, I want to create my own business. I want to create my own destiny. I want to have a bigger impact in the world and I don't want to be stuck in a job that I'm working…really it's not nine to five. [10:00.8]

Whoever said nine to five, it's ridiculous. It’s like seven to seven, right? At least where I was, I had to be there at 7:00 in the morning. By the time I left and got home, it was seven o'clock at night, and then sometimes I would have to travel, spend nights in hotels, working on other job sites. I just thought, This isn't for me.

And my wife knew. She was super supportive, too. I mean, she knew I wasn't happy and I was trying to do real estate at the same time, failing and making a lot of mistakes. It wasn't until I finally just gave myself a deadline, I'm going to do this new business and within…and I was making money part time doing it, but I said, “I'm going to do this and if I can't make more money doing this real estate stuff part-time on the side than I am in my full-time job on a monthly basis, then I'm going to do real estate full time if I can do that,” and I did.

Really focusing on that, within about three or four months, I was making more money doing my side business, my side hustle, making more money there than I was at my full-time job, and that's when I jumped ship. [11:07.0]

The first thing I did was hire a coach that was doing what I wanted to do full-time successfully and he ran it like a business, not like a hobby. I sent him a bunch of money and I flew down to Texas, spent a couple of days with him and I learned a lot from that. That was really valuable and important for me.

Steve: When was that, Joe?

Joe: 2009.

Steve: 2009. Okay, let's unpack a little bit there because I think you probably are preaching to the choir here with everything you just said about… I mean, anyone listening to this has either got their day job and they can't wait to leave it, which we talk a lot about which I bet you would appreciate this, Joe, now having hindsight, a lot of people, their goal is to go full time in their business and they don't even understand how horrible what they're saying is. I want a full-time job. I'm going to trade one job in for another job. That's not what you want. [12:03.3]

You want a business that will support you full time in doing what you want, but at any rate, you were in that boat and I think a lot of people watching this and listening to this will be in that same boat. They've either just made that transition or they're planning to soon.

One of the things I want to dig into, I want to be conscious of time, but I think what's really interesting to me is you’ve got a specialized type of knowledge and you were able to apply that to make money, so that you can make more money doing that than your day job, so you knew that you could support your family at this point in time.

Now that you had some specialized knowledge, that is definitely where a lot of the hustling comes into play, because now you're like an ATM. That's kind of the way we talk about it that it’s a very empowering thing to know that you can produce money, right? Because I think that's the first hump that people have to get over and think, Can I make money? But that doesn't mean you own a business. Let's talk a little bit, Joe, about how you took that specialized knowledge. [13:03.4]

The coaching thing was obviously a big piece, but let's talk about maybe some of the things you learned in the beginning. But at some point, I don't know when that was, but you pivoted to take that knowledge and now you sell that knowledge to other people. You have a completely different revenue stream by not monetizing the knowledge. You still do that, but you also have another revenue stream, which I think happens to most entrepreneurs. Let's kind of talk through that.

Joe: Yeah. By the way, there's a show on Discovery called I Quit. Have you heard of this?

Steve: No.

Joe: This is Discovery Channel. There's also another show called Undercover Billionaire and it's this reality show where he goes into or he gets dropped into a city in Pennsylvania, Erie, Pa., to start a new business and he only has $500 and a beat up truck, and he doesn't even know where he's going in the first episode. I’ve seen his Instagram stories and his name is Stearns, something Stearns. [14:03.0]

It's all real. It's legit. None of it was fake or scripted. They drop him off in the middle of Erie, Pa., $500 and a truck, and he lives out of his truck in the winter for the first week, finally gets enough money, but it's about him where kind of his goal is I'm going to go into a new city I've never been into before. I might even give myself 90 days to start a business and get it valued at a million dollars in 90 days, and if I can't get it valued at a million dollars and I’ll put my own million dollars into the business.

But he has to do this undercover and he has got this cameraman crew following him, but his guise is nobody knows who he is, but a documentary company is following him as he starts a new business. But none of them know that he's already a billionaire, right?

Steve: That sounds crazy. That sounds awesome.

Joe: It's an amazing episode series and there are so many really good valuable nuggets in there. Anyway, they just did a one-year-later episode and I watched that, and there was an advertisement for the new series that they're doing called I Quit. [15:04.5]

It follows these eight, seven or eight different entrepreneurs that want to start their own business and it's hilarious and painful because you're watching them seeing so many of the things that I was dealing with and the emotions, the struggles, the challenges, the stupid mistakes I made, the smart decisions, things that I did, and you see these other people making the same mistakes.

For example, one lady, she's a lawyer making good money. She's used to seeing money direct-deposited into her account every two weeks, right? She puts in her two weeks and then fast forward a month or two, two or three or four weeks, and that money did not hit her account for the first time and you could see the shock in her face as she's looking in her account and it dawns on her like, Oh my gosh, there's no more money coming into this bank account. You can see. You're trying to see who's going to fail or succeed. [16:00.5]

I bet you a glass of iced tea I know the people who are we're going to succeed because they're the ones that are working hard, they're hustling, and they already have proven the concept of what they want to do before they quit their job, and they have their wife and their spouse supporting them and helping them. They've already proven it.

They're at a point now where they're doing something part time on the side. They just are stuck because they don't have the time, because their job is holding them back and that's when they quit, so they can focus a hundred percent of their time on this business. You know they're going to do well, I mean, hoping they do.

But the ones that have never or not proven anything, they just have friends and family that say, Oh, this is awesome, you should start a business. Then they quit their job and are trying to grow their business before they've ever even made a sale, they don't have a minimum viable product.

You just see so many mistakes these people are making it and the whole impact of that book, Profit First, came to me in thinking about that. If you implement some basic, simple, fundamental entrepreneur 101 things like Profit First, pay yourself first, make sure you set aside money for the taxman and things like that, you will always have a profitable business when you do that. [17:13.0]

Anyway, it's a great show and it has so many lessons learned out of that, and I’ve been thinking a lot about that because the business that I started has changed a lot, but I was able to prove that what I was doing was working. Then as I started growing the business, a lot of people started asking me, Hey, how do you do that? Can you show me? Can you teach me how to do what you do?

So, I started teaching the stuff and I started really enjoying teaching it, and then I started looking at the people that I love to learn from and how they are making good money selling their knowledge. I thought, Man, this is cool. You can make money and help people. I started just teaching it. I created a little course. I created a podcast a couple of years later after I quit and I really fell in love. [18:01.8]

I've always loved marketing and so I started seeing other people do it and I just started copying and emulating what they do, but we all have different gifts and some of us like to teach and are good at teaching. I love to teach and coach, and so that has just been a natural [step]. I’ve looked at it kind of like the multiple streams of income thing, where I'm doing deals in real estate, but I'm also as another stream of income teaching and coaching and helping people how to do deals, and it's not just teaching and coaching. It's software. It's services. It's partnering on deals and things like that. Does that make sense?

Steve: Yeah, absolutely.

Hey, guys, Steve Richards here. After 20 years of consulting and coaching, and scaling my own businesses, I get asked by people to pick my brain all the time. Not only would I never have time to connect with each of you individually, but several years ago, I stopped doing lunch, dinner and drink meetings for business appointments just to better protect my time. The problem is, to serve my purpose of creating impact, I know you guys need direct access to me to get help tackling issues and to take advantage of opportunities.

So, what I’ve done is make myself available every Monday at 3:30 Eastern to connect live with all of you. During these sessions, I not only deliver in-depth trainings, but most importantly, I make time to engage in live coaching Q&A. What's awesome is that these are all totally free via Zoom and they're piped live into the CEO Nation Facebook group.

To gain access, just go join “The CEO Nation” Facebook group. In the group, you’ll be able to sign up for these sessions and you'll find replay videos to all past sessions, too. We'll drop a link to the group in this episode’s show notes, so be sure to get joined up in the Facebook group and I’ll see you on a live session soon.

Steve: Let's talk about…there are two things I want to touch on before we get into the rapid fire questions here for a couple of minutes. What's different now with your business on the real estate side versus the first time you started buying some rentals and trying to build cash flow? [20:02.4]

I think that's what it was, right? You were trying to acquire properties and build, do the work yourself, right? And then now I think what may be different is a lot of times you're working with other people. You're really good at bringing other people in to partner with, and to get vendors or teams around you and using systems automation, because I’ve watched you talking on your podcast about how you're in Prague traveling with your family for months and you're closing deals back in the U.S. I bet a bunch of people that are listening to this are thinking, Man, if I leave my business, it’s shut down. We're not closing deals.

What was the big pivot point for you there to be able to start producing revenue without you being the one that would have to do all the work?

Joe: That's a really good question. I think it started before I quit my job. I was in a coaching program with a guy named Steve Cook and Shaun McCloskey called Lifeonaire. This guy was a millionaire and everybody said, Hey, teach me how to be a millionaire, and it’s more than money, right? Making a million dollars, isn't going to fulfill you. [21:06.1]

He came up with this concept of Lifeonaire and the idea is, and I really latched onto this early on, I thought, You know what? I don't want to have my business or my job be the center of everything and then life fill in around that, which is what most people do. I worked on creating a vision for my life, and my wife at the same time.

It wasn't a real formal sit-down process. It was just kind of what we evolved into, but it was like, Let's figure out what we want our life to look like and then design a business around that, which if we want to travel, and I have four kids and we homeschool them, we thought, Man, it'd be cool to not just teach them about Greek, ancient Greek history. Let's go to Athens, right? Let's go to Rome. Let's go to France. Let's spend some time in Prague. Let's live. Let's design a business where we can live wherever we want and then go see the world now while the kids are with us and not wait until we're retired and the kids are out of the house before we start traveling and seeing the world. [22:04.5]

We did that a couple of times, went to Prague for two to three months at a time and lived in Prague and kind of traveled around from there. Then we went on an RV trip for three months to 10 different national parks in the northwestern half of the U.S., and for three months and just did my business while traveling.

I’ve always said there are three keys to success in any business. It's marketing, automation and delegation. I figured out, Okay, now how can I have a business where you create a vision for the life, your life first, and then build a business around that? How can I create a business where I have low overhead? I don't have an office. I don't have a bunch of staff. I can make good money without the stress and the problems of owning a physical store front or an office and a bunch of employees, right? [23:01.6]

I just kind of started figuring that out and one of the things I did, and I learned this from a friend of mine, just listening to him in the other room, he was coaching somebody else and he said, “You need to make a list of everything that you do in your business and ask yourself a simple question. How can I do none of this?” and that just hit me like a ton of bricks on it. Oh my gosh, that's amazing.

I wrote down all the steps I needed to do in a deal and I said, “How can I do none of this?” And I looked at the marketing. I could have my assistant do this. Screening the calls, I can have a virtual assistant do this from the Philippines. I can have this company do this part of marketing and then I can partner with other people that can do that part of the stuff.

So, I started implementing that and that's what allowed me to really start traveling a lot because I just needed a main assistant to kind of manage it all for me and then she managed the virtual assistants, and then I found some local other real estate investors and I partnered with them, not in new businesses but in deals. I started partnering with other people in deals. [24:07.1]

I started doing deals in about four or five different cities and I would communicate with my main assistant almost every day while we were traveling, but I just needed internet access, a laptop, a cell phone and all that, and I was able to do deals while traveling and able to coach and do the podcast while traveling and things like that. That was a lot of fun. Challenging. It was awesome.

We don't travel as much as we used to, but there's nothing that's stopping me from right now moving to France and living there and running my business, and nobody would know that there was anything different going on, except unless I told them where I was, and that's a powerful thing with the internet, systems and marketing today. If we can get the right marketing automation, which means the systems and then get the right team to delegate whatever you can't automate, you can run a business from anywhere in the world. [25:04.3]

Steve: Dude, that's awesome. I want to make two points because, you guys, if you didn't catch what Joe just said, what I heard him say was two big keys to that whole thing. You got really organized about how you make money by writing it down and then you created an action plan of delegating those things or creating systems around them, right?

A lot of you guys, especially visionaries, are just hustling and you're just doing the things on the day. You just keep doing it, but just writing things down in a list and becoming conscious of what actually has to get done, you probably don't even realize all this stuff you guys do to produce money. That was a big thing I heard from you, Joe.

Then you started with the end in mind, which is reverse-engineering. In my opinion, it’s one of the key business-owner traits that you need to pick up that everything starts with the end in mind, because that's like getting on your GPS and just driving without putting a destination in, right? That's a key trait for any entrepreneur who is successful, just having that plan. [26:03.7]

Joe: A really good book that has changed a lot of things for me was The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz and another book he wrote called Profit First. The Pumpkin Plan and Profit First just had a huge impact on my business, and the power of being focused and figuring out where your sweet spot is and focusing in on your sweet spot, that's been big.

Steve: Yeah. We had Mike on the podcast a while ago. We talked about Profit First. That has been super pivotal to me, too. If you guys haven't read that, I’ll put these links. Then I appreciate the I quit and Undercover Billionaire. I can't believe I haven't seen those, but I'm definitely going to check those out.

Really quick for asking you a couple of questions before we finish up, Joe, we didn't get to touch on this, but just a 62 second. How important is marketing and business”

Joe: Great question. I love marketing. We're not in the real estate investing business. We're not in the whatever business you're in. You're in the marketing business and when you figure that out, that changes everything because leads are the lifeblood of any business. [27:15.7]

I know a couple of guys who are developing software right now for certain industries in the construction space and they… I feel for them because they're working so hard and they're spending so much money, and they've bought, gone into tons of debt to build this software, to build this company and they hardly have any sales to show for it yet. You hear him talk, he's like, Man, I know marketing is important, but I'm not a marketing guy. I'm an engineer. I'm going to, I’ll just get somebody else to do that. I really am scared for the guy. I don't know. Maybe he'll do well, I don't know.

But if you're an entrepreneur and you're starting a business, you cannot let that be an excuse. You have to be the marketing guy or you need to have somebody who is the marketing guy partner with you from the very, very beginning. Don't just think you can build it and people will come. That's not the way it works. [28:04.4]

There's a really good book called Ready, Fire, Aim and I forget the guy's name. But he talks in there about the three different stages of business in general terms. But that first stage when you're zero to a million dollars, marketing is your job description. You need to understand sales and marketing, and you need to learn how to sell and market your business, your idea before you even build it and that is so huge for people to understand.

I say this all the time. We're not in the XYZ business. We’re in the real estate investing. I'm sorry, we're not in that business. We're in the marketing business, right? And I like to say this, too. Marketing is everything and everything is marketing. That is so critical to understand because what good is it to have the best software, the best product, the best service, whatever, if you can't sell it and nobody knows about it? That’s so important and there's a lot. You can really complicate marketing. There are a million people teaching it. [29:02.3]

What I tell people all the time, don't complicate it. Just look. Just find somebody that is doing what you're doing. Find somebody that is already selling whatever they're doing well that already you can tell that their business is growing, they're doing, they're getting customers. Just see what they're doing and copy it. Model, not plagiarize them, but model what they're doing. What kind of ads are they doing? How are they going out and finding customers? Pretend to be a customer and see what the customer journey is like, and then just model it.

There has never been a time in history when it has been easier to go model what other companies are doing and that has been one of the biggest secrets to my success, not coming up with original ideas, but looking to see what other people are doing. Oh, that's really smart. I can do that. And then model it and copy it in a certain sense. I'm not plagiarizing anything, but I'm modeling it into my own business and, sure enough, it works. Always the biggest mistakes I made in my life when I’ve tried to be the pioneer and to be the first one to go do something, and that's not the thing you want to do. [30:07.0]

Even if look at Apple, they didn't invent the MP3 player, right, the iPod? They came in after someone had already created it. The same with the phone, the same with the tablet computers. They saw where the trends were going and they capitalized on it and created a better product. So, don't be the pioneer. The pioneers are the ones with the arrows in their back. You’ve got to understand marketing.

Steve: Bleeding edge.

Joe: And if you've got a good product or a good idea, learn how to market it and sell it before you create it. So important.

Steve: I love that, dude. I know that was worth it. I knew we were pushing it up on the back of the time there, and I would just add to that that everything Joe just said, we'll put the notes in here. Just track everything you do. Whenever you're modeling, just track it. Everything in marketing, write down what you're going to do and write down what you think is going to happen, and then write down what did happen and then just continually learning from that, so it's so key. [31:04.8]

Normally, Joe, I know we’ve got to go, but I ask a few different questions. I do want to ask one of those from you and then we'll end up here. What is something that you know now in business that you wish you would've known when you got started that you think would help people kind of accelerate from being a hustler to more of a CEO? Some sage advice you can leave people with?

Joe: Profit First. Pay your taxes. How do I know that that's important? Man, I went through this… I’ll just share this real quick. But I went through this process where I had a bunch of write-offs from the losses in my real estate business in ’08, ’09 and ’10. Lots of losses, lots a lot of money and I had a lot of write-offs, right? And because we adopted our four kids, I had a lot of adoption credits, so we could write that off. [32:02.8]

There was one year where I ran out of writing write-offs and my credits, and I made a lot of money, and all of a sudden, I was hit with this huge tax bill that was pretty freaky. I didn't understand Profit First. I mean, I kind of did. I’d heard about it, but I didn't understand the importance.

I was horrible if my numbers, so if anybody could tell me something back then it would be you need to know your numbers. You need to understand cash flow, how to manage cash flow. You need every dollar that comes in. You need to set some aside for profit to pay yourself and to pay taxes, and then whatever is left over goes to your overhead, right? So, I was spending way too much money. I don't have a checkbook here, but I was a checkbook entrepreneur, right? Just look at my checkbook to see how much money I had and that's what I would spend, right, forgetting.

I was horrible at managing my numbers and if somebody woke me up and slapped me across the head, and I don't remember when this was long time ago but they said, “If you don't know your numbers, you don't have a real business,” and he was saying this in a mastermind. It was a Collective Genius, which I think you've been to before, right, where 50 of the top most successful real estate investors in the country were there. [33:16.3]

He was telling this to everybody and you’d see everybody kind of like sulking in their chair like, We don't know our numbers. Most entrepreneurs do not know their numbers, and if you don't, you don't have a real business. You need a bookkeeper. You need an accountant. And I just hired a fractional CFO that's going to take a look at my numbers from a high 30,000-foot level. But it's not enough just to know what's in your checkbook or just to even update your QuickBooks. You need to know how to manage your cash flow, and every dollar that comes in, you've got to have the discipline to set it aside.

It's not revenue minus expenses, equals profit. It's revenue minus profit, minus your salary, minus taxes, equals expenses, and if you do that, your business will always be profitable and if you realize, okay, this is what I have left. This is my overhead, right? I can't go get that office. I can't spend all this money on this fancy stuff. Do I really need that thing? [34:15.2]

Knowing how to manage your cash flow, I wish I would have been better at that. It took me five years to figure that out and I figured it out because I fell flat on my face and was hit with this huge IRS bill, and the IRS doesn't care. You can't plead ignorance with the IRS.

Steve: Hey, Joe, you should check out Mike Michalowicz’s book. It'll really help you and we'll give you some grace while you do that. That's how it goes.

Joe: Yeah.

Steve: I just had a conversation last night with a guy that was complaining about something and how horrible the IRS is and I'm like, No, they give you 21 to 30 days to pay them before they take your stuff. They
don't just show up and take it unannounced. They'll at least send you a letter a few weeks before they lock your business account up and…

Joe: And send you to jail. [35:01.4]

Steve: Yeah, and send you to jail. All right, man, thanks for going over it a little bit.

Joe: That is a real depressing topic to end this podcast on, but…

Steve: Listen, the show notes are going to be great. Joe, you've been a big influence on me over the years and I appreciate that, and I appreciate everything we do. I know we have a huge following of real estate people in the CEO Nation. There's a big segment of that, so how can people follow you and check in on what you're doing?

Joe: Yeah, the best way is my podcast, Real Estate Investing Mastery, or if you just go to REIMPodcast.com, that will redirect you. I'm all over iTunes, Spotify, all the different podcast players, but you just go search for Joe McCall or Real Estate Investing Mastery.

I just did my most recent episode that was about leadership lessons from Michael Jordan and I know it's not real-estate-related necessarily, but I watched his documentary on ESPN, was it, The Last Dance, and there were some really, really good leadership lessons about winning from Michael Jordan. It was such a good series. I don't watch a lot of TV. I've already talked about three different shows. [36:11.0]

But I do three episodes a week and I'm always constantly interviewing really cool people. Sometimes I'm driving and I’ll just record my thoughts of something that I'm learning or something I'm going through, or something that I know is going to be helpful for people. Check it out. I think people would like it.

Steve: I'll put a link in for not just the podcast, but I’ll link you guys to that. I'll find that episode. We'll put that in there for the Jordan one, too. All right, Joe, I know you’ve got to run, but thanks for being on. I know this will help a lot of people. I appreciate it.

Joe: Good talking to you, Steve. I appreciate you. All right.

Steve: Yeah.

We hope you enjoy this episode of the CEO Nation. Be sure to give us a rating, leave a review and subscribe on iTunes. And to connect with Steve and learn more about this movement, visit TheCEONation.com. That's TheCEONation.com. Until next time, take care, be safe and live free.

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