Side Hustle City

Navigating the Road to Financial Independence: A Chat with Martin Saenz

July 23, 2023 Adam Koehler & Martin Saenz Season 4 Episode 34
Navigating the Road to Financial Independence: A Chat with Martin Saenz
Side Hustle City
More Info
Side Hustle City
Navigating the Road to Financial Independence: A Chat with Martin Saenz
Jul 23, 2023 Season 4 Episode 34
Adam Koehler & Martin Saenz

Have you ever wondered how to turn your side hustle into a stream of passive income? Look no further, as we got you covered in our enlightening conversation with Martin Saenz from Bequest Funds. Martin, with his vast experience and wisdom, demystifies the process of becoming a successful cash flow investor. From understanding your assets to setting financial goals, he delivers a comprehensive guide to financial independence.

In this heartening discussion, Martin shares his personal journey of managing finances and how he overcame the challenges of being a business owner. As we navigate through his experiences, we learn about the significance of having a living financial statement, being prepared for unexpected opportunities, and the importance of having monthly passive income. We also delve into the necessity of having an accountability partner to keep track of your financial goals.

Our conversation with Martin concludes on a profound note, touching upon his personal transformation and his experience. We explore Martin's life-changing moments, his discovery of faith, and how he found a business partner through his book, "Note Investing Made Easier". We discuss the importance of service and finding something bigger than yourself, and how it plays a significant role in personal and professional growth. Join us in this captivating discussion and learn how to transform your life financially and personally.

As you're inspired to embark on your own side hustle journey after listening to this episode, you might wonder where to start or how to make your vision a reality. That's where our trusted partner, Reversed Out Creative comes in.

Specializing in strategic branding and digital marketing, Reversed Out Creative is an advertising agency dedicated to helping you turn your side hustle into your main hustle. With a team of experienced professionals and a track record of helping clients achieve their dreams, they are ready to assist you in reaching your goals.

To find out more about how they can elevate your side hustle, visit www.reversedout.com today and start your journey towards success. Our blog is also full of great information that we work hard on to provide you with a leg up on the competition. We also recently launched our YouTube Channel, Marketing Pro Trends,  which summarizes all of our blog posts.

Support the Show.

Subscribe to Side Hustle City and join our Community on Facebook

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever wondered how to turn your side hustle into a stream of passive income? Look no further, as we got you covered in our enlightening conversation with Martin Saenz from Bequest Funds. Martin, with his vast experience and wisdom, demystifies the process of becoming a successful cash flow investor. From understanding your assets to setting financial goals, he delivers a comprehensive guide to financial independence.

In this heartening discussion, Martin shares his personal journey of managing finances and how he overcame the challenges of being a business owner. As we navigate through his experiences, we learn about the significance of having a living financial statement, being prepared for unexpected opportunities, and the importance of having monthly passive income. We also delve into the necessity of having an accountability partner to keep track of your financial goals.

Our conversation with Martin concludes on a profound note, touching upon his personal transformation and his experience. We explore Martin's life-changing moments, his discovery of faith, and how he found a business partner through his book, "Note Investing Made Easier". We discuss the importance of service and finding something bigger than yourself, and how it plays a significant role in personal and professional growth. Join us in this captivating discussion and learn how to transform your life financially and personally.

As you're inspired to embark on your own side hustle journey after listening to this episode, you might wonder where to start or how to make your vision a reality. That's where our trusted partner, Reversed Out Creative comes in.

Specializing in strategic branding and digital marketing, Reversed Out Creative is an advertising agency dedicated to helping you turn your side hustle into your main hustle. With a team of experienced professionals and a track record of helping clients achieve their dreams, they are ready to assist you in reaching your goals.

To find out more about how they can elevate your side hustle, visit www.reversedout.com today and start your journey towards success. Our blog is also full of great information that we work hard on to provide you with a leg up on the competition. We also recently launched our YouTube Channel, Marketing Pro Trends,  which summarizes all of our blog posts.

Support the Show.

Subscribe to Side Hustle City and join our Community on Facebook

Speaker 2:

Welcome to Side Hustle City and thanks for joining us. Our goal is to help you connect to real people who found success turning their side hustle into a main hustle, and we hope you can too. I'm Adam Kaler. I'm joined by Kyle Stevy, my co-host. Let's get started, all right? Welcome back everybody to the Side Hustle City podcast. Special guest today Martin Sines. Hey, martin, thanks a lot for joining us. Thanks for having me on Adam. Bequest Funds. Tell us about BeQuest Funds, martin.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so BeQuest Funds is an asset management firm that's focused on buying real estate-related assets that produce monthly passive income. So the heart of it is, if we buy assets that you know buy assets at a discount and we perform all the necessary due diligence, then we can have a good level of predictability around the monthly passive income that it generates. And that's really the heart of what we're about improving our lives, as well as our investor partner's lives, with predictable and consistent monthly passive income.

Speaker 2:

I love it. So is this a syndication or is this evolved from? You know your typical syndicator who's going to go out and try to raise money from people to buy an apartment building. How is this different from that? Explain that to people.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so BeQuest is set up as a 506C Reg D income fund, so our investors invest alongside us and we serve as both the GP and the LP. We actually invest on the LP side as well, so we're generally the largest investors on any particular deal. But it's an open-ended, evergreen fund, so it's not a syndication as in something that's just kind of closed-end, where you invest and it gets locked up and you're there for a five-year term. This is constantly open to new investors or new investments and with no expiration date.

Speaker 2:

Oh, wow, I love that. That's how do you manage something like that, like how does that get with money coming in, money going out constantly? Does that add a layer of complexity?

Speaker 1:

Not really, because a bulk of the assets are performing mortgages and the average duration is about 21 years on those mortgages. So we keep buying pools of performing mortgages. So that pushes out that the average duration for the portfolio. So we have a lot of predictability around that. Someone can just place one simple investment and receive monthly passive income for the rest of their life.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think a lot of people would like to sound of that. So I mean, there's people out here that don't know what to do. They don't know what kind of thing they should invest in. They like the idea of real estate. We have people on here who are doing syndications and doing sub-two type of stuff and these complicated things that sound like they're really really hard to do. You don't have to be the person that goes out here and does this stuff. If that's not your personality type, if you're not the type of folks they're going to go out here and hustle and grind and do all this stuff. The idea of side hustles sounds very complicated and very scary to a lot of people. You do a lot of that hard work. You're the one that's out here looking, finding deals. You've been in the DC area it sounds like investing since 2009. You are the ones that are doing this hard work and people can just lay back, relax, not worry about what to do with their money, and earn themselves a nice return 9%, whatever. That is in most cases.

Speaker 1:

So I would just say to that well, we actually relocated the firm down to Sarasota, florida, in 2020.

Speaker 1:

So we're down here in the Sunshine State.

Speaker 1:

But, with that said, I think the problem is, or the ambiguity is generated, with a lot of folks that are having a challenge with how to get started and what investments to invest in, because there's so many opportunities, so many options. So I'd say everybody needs to put in a level of effort upfront, even when you're investing in a passive income vehicle. So, for one, you should have a good grasp of the type of asset that companies invested in before you invest in any kind of opportunity. So for us, it's really residential, owner-occupied housing. So if you're someone that owns a mortgage yourself you live in the suburbs, you're raising your family then you can appreciate what an owner-occupied property with 39% equity cushion on the portfolio, like what that, actually means, and so, as an example, so, but if you're looking at any type of opportunity, you should understand all the assets that are being invested in and you should have a comfort level with that asset class, and if you don't, then you should become a student of that asset class before investing in it.

Speaker 2:

Totally makes sense. Totally makes sense. Well, I mean I'd say you're the expert in the field here. I mean you've written five books now.

Speaker 1:

Five books, three of which are on-note, investing itself. And my last book is Cash Flow Dojo, which is more of a general book on being a cash flow investor and building your home on multiple streams of income. So I actually touch on a lot of side hustle topics in that book.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I love it. We'll talk about a few of them. Let's explain to people what they can find if they read the book.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So I mean, let's just take the example of someone who's an HVAC technician. So this individual, you know, they're well-trained, they know what they're doing, they're well-compensated, but they exchange their time for money and they're in the rat race, as Kiyosaki puts it. And so how does someone like that go out and create multiple streams of income when they have one type of expertise and that is doing HVAC technician work, working on heating and air conditioning units? Well, this individual may have an expertise in a particular type of HVAC unit or certain systems that are employed, and they can create training videos at a very low cost.

Speaker 1:

You can record yourself on Zoom. You can have Fiverr, which is an outsourced online company, edit those videos for a few hundred bucks and you can put them up on Udemy and get paid monthly income. If the better the videos, the more the demand is in the marketplace, the more you're going to get paid. But that's just one example of ways to look for monthly passive income and, I think, any type of side hustle. You should have some type of exit strategy that involves converting the active income or the activity into a passive stream of income.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and actually it's funny that you mentioned that, because my wife owns a spa and right now she is day-to-day working in the spa. She's trying to figure out how do I get out of this, how do I just hand all that over to my employees and do something bigger, right? So she's doing a facial fitness course. She's doing building in Kajabi.

Speaker 2:

And if people if you don't know what Kajabi is. Kajabi is a way that you can create a course. It gives you an outline or you can develop your outline, but it gives you all the tools and you can put your videos in there. You put content in there, you create workbooks, you do all this stuff and then you put those up on Udemy and you know, just like Martin just mentioned, you do the videos, you send them over to somebody on Fiverr. They edit the videos if you need to. I mean, obviously you want to get a good camera and probably a nice little road mic or something that you could you could put on and make sure your audio quality sounds good, but you create this evergreen course right For her. It doesn't change Like a lot of the stuff she's talking about is like ancient, ancient medicine and things like that right.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, that's not really going to change anytime soon. So she puts that up there. Now she has something that she built. Maybe took her a week, week and a half, to build the thing and plan it out and get it All up there, and now you got chat GPT that you could put in some, some info and it'll it'll fill in the blanks for you, kind of. So you get this, this course, up there and actually we had a lady on who teaches people now how to do this. She made four million dollars and four years off of one of her courses.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, it's just talking about, you know, paper-click advertising on Google, right? So, whatever your specialty is, you just mentioned it, everybody's got something that they know about that other people are probably gonna want to learn about. You create this thing, especially if you've got the credentials and you could say, hey, look, I ran a. I ran a spa for you know, eight years, I know about this subject and here you go, here's some information. Now you can make money, do you? What tactics, martin, do you see people using? So, once you've got this evergreen course that you created, have you seen what people do to promote that course? Is it? Is it paper-click advertising? Is it, you know, facebook ads? Is it affiliate marketing? You know what are some of the most, and I don't know how far you've gone down the path of this. But after I create the course, how do I get it out there? How do I get people to find it and buy it?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So I think that you know, perhaps I'm old school, but I think writing a book is critical and you know, as a way, as a way of getting your message out there, and you know, having written five books, you know I can tell you that for one, the, the process is spiritual, so you're really kind of delving into your creative side and and you just Creating something that doesn't exist in the world. Now, whether the world reward you for it or not, that depends on how good you know the, the, the, the value of the content that you're producing. And so, in my case, when I wrote my first book, I started having people reach out because it became a bestseller in the mortgage note, investing industry or category, if you will, on Amazon. And so I created a Facebook group, I started offering workshops, I had a mentorship program and I just, and I created an online class and I just, you know, saw revenue streams come from different directions, but I've kind of I haven't done that in a while because I'm just at a point where, you know, we have a good 75 million assets under management.

Speaker 1:

I'm just very busy, you know, managing, just making sure everything goes how it needs to go, and so, but I always look back at that time is just just an incredible experience because it wasn't so much the revenue streams, which are awesome, but it was just the amount of service that was given back to a lot of people that use that information to create businesses for themselves. In this note investing space that I'm in and the book is note investing made easier.

Speaker 2:

How to buy profit from distressed mortgages. Correct so, but in just kind of what?

Speaker 1:

we're talking about. I mean you can create a Facebook group. You can. That provides, you know, ongoing content, ongoing discussion, which people like dialogue. You have to please that group. But, you know, if you build enough of an audience, you can create workshops. You can promote your Udemy videos, you can use teachable and, just you know, go outside the Udemy platform. If you can self promote your, your, your programs, you can do, like you said, the digital ads, digital marketing for for your work, for your online courses as well. So number of ways you can take it.

Speaker 2:

Well, I don't think somebody who's written five books you know if you wouldn't have known how to promote yourself, you probably would have gave up after one year. If you wouldn't have known how to promote yourself, you probably would have gave up after one book. So the first must have done okay for you to say, hey, I'll be right another one, and then that one must have done okay for you to say, yeah, now you're on five.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, and I think, I think, I'm, I think I'm done, um, at that point, I'm, I'm, I'm delivering value in other ways.

Speaker 1:

I see, and uh, but I still have a lot of people to reach out on the books and the one thing I've learned is probably something you've learned and um, doing doing the side hustle podcast here is that Is that, um, I have people to reach out constantly and they're 50 60 years old and and they have no monthly passive income. They have no, uh income source and they're very limited but yet their expenses are just growing all around them and, um, it doesn't even have to be. You know, I had a call, an hour call, with Someone who had in a law degree and a medical doctor degree, fellowships. Um, you know, this guy was as intelligent as you get and, uh, he has, he has Very, very, he has very little to show for where he's at in life in his 60s, and she's asking me, you know, for help on on creating monthly passive income, and I was glad to give him the little that I know. But there's just too many of these individuals that are out there that that are looking for answers.

Speaker 2:

I agree, and you know what. There's a lot of things that say you go to a financial planner they may not be able to uh plan for. I mean, if you live in florida right now, your insurance bills are going up, right, ever since that disaster they had down there with that apartment building. There's huge assessments on some of these condo buildings now that were built prior to 1980. How do you plan for that? You know, you don't. You don't know what's going to happen. You don't know when the next recession is going to hit. You don't know what's going on. You don't know what's going to happen with the stock market. You don't know when the next mortgage crisis is going to be that's going to or or covid Situation, that's going to drop.

Speaker 2:

So you need to be diversified. You need multiple streams of income great book, by the way. You need multiple streams of income to, you know, in different, diverse categories that may not be affected as much by different things, right? So covid affected certain things, right? Uh, you know, the mortgage crisis affected certain things the stock market. But what? What else do you have? Do you have anything else outside of the stock market? Do you have anything else outside of, say, a fixed income. Uh, you know you're earning four percent on some, on your money in a cd or something like that.

Speaker 2:

Right, you need to think about these things because when you're in retirement you can't just say, hey look, I've got this much money coming in from social security, I got this much money coming in from dividends all my stocks, I'm good. Here's how much money I'm spending every month. That's going to change and inflation could go crazy at any time. And next thing, you know, you know you thought three thousand dollars a month was great to live on in the 1980s, right, but now $10,000. I just read a report. In Los Angeles County, $78,000 is considered poverty. Yeah, that's low income, you're low income. And in neighboring Orange County it's like $82,000.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah yeah. There's a real epidemic that's out there in terms of monthly income, and the thing is that, as you get older, you have less energy and you're less active to earn the income that you're earning, so you need something that's going to supplement or, at some point, replace the active income that you're working so hard for, and so the thing with planning, though, is that I have a living financial statement that I created and I've been using for over 10 years, and it really breaks out monthly passive income and active income, breaks out living expenses and business expenses, and it helps you kind of organize and plan for yourself. You cannot let anyone else plan for you and take control over your financial future, for you and your family. That's for one and then two.

Speaker 1:

You need to be invested in assets that you either control and, as in, control the outcome control the purchase and control the outcome or you have some influence over. So, even if you invest in a syndication like you mentioned multifamily, whatever it is you need to be able to know that you can go and talk to the owners of the firm. You need to know that the owners of the operators, the GPs, have money in the investment that they're asking for you to put money into. You need to know that you can go to their office Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, and just say hello and just touch them to know that they're real. All these things are very important and you need to understand the underlying asset that they're invested in as well. Otherwise you have no business investing in that asset. So taking control and responsibility over the planning as well as the execution, with what assets to buy or what endeavors to undertake then that's on you as a person, howard.

Speaker 2:

Baetjer, I love that I'm talking to you right now because I feel like doing what I do and being in the. I'm in the real estate space as well. You go to conferences, you go places, you hear all these people. It's always like some 18-year-old kid who's like I'm raising money for a fund and you know people that are like I don't know looky-loose kind of that are, you know showing up just kind of dancing around seeing what works, what doesn't work. I mean there's a lot of people in the real estate investing world that I don't think I would necessarily trust with my money, just to put it that way.

Speaker 2:

And it's great to have you on. I mean you guys even sent me over a sheet, said you had 42 million under assets but you got over 70 million under assets. I mean it's even more impressive and you know to be around as long as you've been around in this industry, you know lends itself to your credibility, obviously. But also what I like is the fact that if I look at your education, I look at you're in San Antonio, you were at Drexel, you were at George Washington, you were in DC. Now you're in Florida.

Speaker 2:

You've had an opportunity in your life to see different places to be, different places to see different economies. Every one of those places has its own thing Cincinnati its marketing, its packaged goods, its CPG, right. You go down to Houston, it's oil and gas. You go to Atlanta, coca-cola runs the place you know, and finance runs Florida. So, just based on your experience, how has that helped you be a better asset manager, be able to forecast things that maybe somebody who's kind of been stuck in a you know, justin Florida or Justin New York, yeah, how's that changed for you?

Speaker 1:

So we buy pools of performing mortgages all over the US, so we're diversified in that regard.

Speaker 1:

But understanding how things work in the urban market versus the suburban, versus tertiary markets and rural markets, just understanding that those dynamics, is very important. And actually there's just a lot of parallels, state by state, city by city, regardless of where you are in the country. But you know, it all comes down to jobs. So it helps us understand where the jobs are at and that helps us make better decisions from a vetting standpoint when we're vetting the notes that we're buying in pools, because we actually we vet each one individually and then roll it up for the whole pool before we take down a tranche. So just understanding the different parts of the country visually having lived there or visited or what have you as well as understanding the dynamics from an urban market out to rural, helps us make good decisions when we're buying assets, because we're not just buying a mortgage, we're not buying a mortgage in its present day form. We're buying it with a good level of predictability that it's going to be performing for us for many years on out.

Speaker 2:

How do you even find these mortgage? Are you buying these from banks? Are you buying them from Fannie Freddie, Like, how does that work?

Speaker 1:

We're buying them from secondary mortgage market, so they were bank-originated mortgages. They were kicked out, they had some defect to them and sold off into the secondary mortgage market to a company like ours.

Speaker 2:

Interesting. So these banks, or whoever originated the loan, is looking to sell their loans and they have a list of companies and you're one of those companies on the list that they would reach out to, or is there an actual platform or something that companies like yours use to find these mortgages?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so it's a secondary mortgage market, which is also referred to as a shadow industry, so you wouldn't find any platforms or any type of retail environment where you can see these pools. They're transacted between, mostly in negotiated trades from trusted partners Interesting.

Speaker 2:

And is there something that exists? I'm just thinking. It sounds like there's an opportunity to create a startup here, like a software startup, to make it easier for them to transact. I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but it's intentional. They're not looking for it to be in a retail setting.

Speaker 2:

Gotcha, yeah, yeah, okay. Well, what are some of the?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, If it's retail then you're overpaying. That's just kind of general rule of thumb. If you want to go buy a house to rehab, you're better off bird dogging, knocking on doors or sending mail outs than you are looking through the MLS, kind of thing.

Speaker 2:

Oh, 100%, I haven't really heard of anybody. I mean, I've gone to a lot of conferences real estate conferences and a lot of syndication ideas have been thrown around out there but I have never really heard too many people investing in mortgage notes. It just doesn't seem like an option that comes up, probably because it's not available to retail. But even people offering the opportunity for people to invest in these things, I just haven't ever really been approached by anybody that's doing this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's really like an alternative way of investing. There's very few players in the industry and a lot of them aren't taking on retail investors like BeQuest, like our company, BeQuest Funds there's Goldman Sachs is in this game. They don't need your $50,000.

Speaker 2:

They're Goldman Sachs. I mean they've got yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

There's countries that are funding, they're bankrolling them, and so it's just not a well known or defined industry. But I've written three books on note investing and I lay out a plan if you want to start a note investing business for yourself.

Speaker 2:

So I don't even know if I want to do that. I think I'd be better off just giving you some money and having you do it for me.

Speaker 1:

So that's what I have found over the years is most people are like well, they read the books and they're like, okay, well, you sound like you know what you're doing, so I'm going to give it to you. But, in all honesty, whatever operator you invest in, I mentioned knowing the asset class, so that helps you with capital preservation risk, but you should also have there's also operator risk. So you need to be able to vet that the operators. Do they have any civil judgments against them, criminal backgrounds? How much money do they have in the game? How can they prove that? Are they out there to be seen? Are they visible? Many people that or are they hiding? Are they hard to find? And so you should do as much as possible to vet who the operator is that's going to be managing the assets that you're invested in. Howard.

Speaker 2:

Baetjer-Massey 100%. So I mean you obviously know what you're talking about. You've run a successful business. You run a successful business. You've written books on running successful businesses. How does somebody run a successful business Like if you are out here and you're thinking, oh, I'm not the right kind of person. What is there an outline that you would suggest people go by? Is there something that they should read? Is there, are there sources out there that people should go and find? You know what helped you?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So if what I would say is everything starts with a living financial statement and people can email me at martin at bqfundscom, and I mean I may email that out for free, I think everyone needs to have a financial statement with income, expenses, assets and liabilities. They should have it completed and they should be reviewing it on a weekly basis with an accountability partner, and I've tricked this template out in a way that helps you from a goal setting standpoint as well as as well as you know, a historical reference of where you're at. But it gives you your picture of where you know where you're at, where you're at and where you need to be, helps you set goals so that you can strive forward and work on your your acquiring assets with monthly passive income lower in your expenses and so forth. But I think that's the starting point for anyone. They need to get their financial house in order before they go out and take on new ventures or new, new efforts.

Speaker 2:

Is this also called a living balance sheet, or is that something else?

Speaker 1:

No, that's, that's yeah, it's good living financial. It's something I created. I don't, I don't, I have never seen anything like it. That's out there, but I send it out to. We send it out to all the people that we have connection with.

Speaker 2:

Oh, wow, that sounds super valuable. Yeah, I mean you gotta have a plan. I mean, at the end of the day, if you don't have a plan, what are you doing? I mean you, you gotta know where you're going, where you're coming from, like what assets you have to work with. If an opportunity to invest pops up which you know, if we go into a recession and everything goes to crap, there's going to be people trying to unload assets. There's going to be people trying to get rid of things.

Speaker 2:

I've got a buddy down in Fort Lauderdale. He grew up in orphan, built a yacht building business, came to America. He was in Australia, lived under a bridge, came here when he was like 12 as an orphan, sold his business years ago for around 60 million. He was the only owner. Wealthy guy now, you know, lives up in Fort Lauderdale, has got a yacht in his backyard. You know he's right on the water, you know how it is, you live in Florida. But he said he's in the misery business. I said what are you talking about? You're in the misery business.

Speaker 2:

I was over at his house. He opens up his garage. There's a McLaren, there's a Phantom. He's got three or four unbelievable cars. Right, you're like man. I mean, I know you got money. You know how'd you get all these cars? He said.

Speaker 2:

Everybody in my neighborhood, he said that every every several years somebody gets into tax trouble. The market takes a dive. Something happens. You know, people need to sell off stuff he's like, and I've got cash and I just wait for it to happen. They come to me. So people in his neighborhood even know that he does this. And they come to him and they say, hey, I want to sell my Phantom. What do you? What do you? What can you give me for it? He bought a I was like a $350,000 car for a hundred thousand bucks off some guy. So you never know when these things are going to come up. And do you have, do you have, resources? And this is how people get wealthy in these kinds of times. People get wealthy in depressions and recessions and, yes, it's just the way it is. So if you don't know where you stand financially, how can you, how can you take advantage of these situations? You can't.

Speaker 1:

You need to have self-awareness and, even if your situations really dire, even more so you need to be able to see it on paper and and I know a lot of people that that just may be struggling or just they'd rather not know and, and so this, this podcast, this financial statement, isn't going to help those people. If you've hit rock bottom, if you've had enough, if you're fed up, if you're seeing recessionary times which many, many folks are then then you should be scared. You should be scared into action and and this is the way you start you start by understanding your financial house and where it sits, and it should make it, should burn something in your soul to want to get up and take some action.

Speaker 2:

Well, I'm sure, mark, you've you've been through some stuff. I mean, everybody looks at people like you as always written five books. He's, you know, he's gone to these great schools. He's, you know, always had it. He's got it made right. Talk about some. Talk about some of the lessons you've learned along the way and the bumps in the road you've had to get where you are now.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so you know, first three years of getting the business off the ground in 05, just were very painful times.

Speaker 1:

My wife and I, we we started a government contracting company selling to the federal government in the DC area and in 05. And we bled money for the first three years. And so there was just countless times we made payroll, the day of payroll being due. And I remember one time, you know, payroll was due at noon, all the checks go out to all the employees and and I literally got a check, a customer check, in the mail at 11am, an hour before the payroll check went out, and I just sat in my car and cried and it was just like, and that wasn't the only time we made payroll day of and just the times of making, you know, paying vendors with credit cards and paying credit cards with credit cards. It's just just, just, just to get, just to get moving. So three years of of a lot of adversity, and you know that was just to get off the ground. Even when you're making money there's still lots of adversity that comes your way.

Speaker 2:

Well, and cash flow issues. Every company deals with cash flow issues, especially early on. You know a bunch of money laying around. Hopefully you can get a line of credit from the bank or something to cover some of those things. But one of the scariest things is being a business owner and having a responsibility of covering other people's bills. I mean, you are responsible for these people's lives. I mean, if you don't pay them, they can't. You know their kids go hungry potentially. You know they, they may lose their house. You know they may. They may get into financial hardships. It is a lot. It's a huge burden to bury. These are to bear these. These are like your children in a way. That's the kind of responsibility you have.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, their livelihoods are based on, you know, really dependent upon you and you have to take that seriously and that should be a motivating factor. But what happens in business ownership is, as I'm sure you know, is that you know there's a wear down effect. So so, like business you know I've been a business owner for 20 years but there's dog years to that, you know, that's like more, like 50 years, it feels like.

Speaker 2:

It definitely does. I'm right there with you.

Speaker 1:

I'm at about 13 years right now, but yeah yeah, it's dog, yeah, it's, it's brutal, it is brutal. So even more the reason why, if you're a business owner, entrepreneur, you need monthly passive income, because the wear and tear on your body and soul is that much greater and you don't have the number of years that that, say, someone you know in a government job or what have you has. So you need to have your. As your active income decreases, your monthly passive income needs to increase so that you, you're, you're working because you want to work, and that's the best situation you can be in.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, I mean you've got people that are nine to fivers that are doing great. I mean I've got a cousin. He's, you know, worked for Procter Gamble. He was in the military, in the Air Force, for I think he retired after 24 years and that was just maybe two years ago. So you know he's got, he's set up because you know he's he's going on. You know he could leave work.

Speaker 2:

I think every year they would ship him off to Iraq or Guam or somewhere, and you know, for several months. And so you know Procter and Gamble would have to let him go. And you know he's playing ping pong or whatever he's doing, fixing planes, and I think that's what he told me they did most of the time. But you know he's getting his pension right. He was in the army or he's in the Air Force. So he gets a military pension, you know, because of his service. And then on top of that, the whole time he's working at Procter, he's getting stock, he's, you know he's gonna, he's gonna retire with a nice little thing from them too.

Speaker 2:

So you know, if you went the nine to five route, there's ways you can go and be well off and do great and everything else, but you don't have full control and I think there's folks like you and I out there who they just can't be told what to do, and it's it's hard. You know, you could leave your work right now, after this podcast, go down to Starbucks, sit there for a couple of hours, read a book, if you feel it. I mean, maybe not. You probably got stuff to do, but I got four kids.

Speaker 1:

I got four kids 11 to five. So that ain't half that ain't half it, we'll see.

Speaker 2:

You did that to yourself, so but but you don't have a boss, except for, maybe, the wife, the wife's probably the boss.

Speaker 1:

She's definitely the boss.

Speaker 2:

But that's your boss, right? You don't have two bosses. You got one boss, it's the wife, right, and then your boss are the kids. But but you know, when you're talking about that too, talk about your family, and you've got to have support. If you're gonna go down this entrepreneurial path, you're gonna forego that safety of a job that we just talked about potential. You know the safety of this nine to five life. You know this pension that you're gonna get someday, all that stuff. You know people are sold that dream. If you're gonna go down this entrepreneurial path and have full control and say, look, I'm gonna be what decides my future, you gotta have support. You gotta have a wife that's you know or a husband, or you know whatever that is willing to go through those ups and downs, those three years of just making payroll and then raising kids at the same time. It's tough Talk about that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, no, you're the. This is what the reason I mentioned accountability partner. Oftentimes, when it comes to a financial statement, you should be reviewing it every week. You should be looking at your goals and how you're working towards them every week and have someone that's gonna hold your feet to the fire. Hopefully that's a spouse or partner. If you don't have that support, then you need to find it with a business coach. I do business coaching, I do life coaching, so you need to have those individuals that will help you along the way. I you know sometimes they can be therapists. Right To like yeah, my business coach is also a therapist with me, you know, like Polly so, but you just need that because, also, business ownership can be very lonely.

Speaker 2:

Very true, very true. I just matter of fact, I just got a real estate license. So I don't know. We people on the show know we created a real estate software. We sold it to Zillow back in 2015, which was great, you know. It's a big blessing. I was able to do other things with that once we once that happened, but I never got my real estate license. And you know, we built this transformative software, changed the industry, never had my real estate license the whole time. So I'm like you know what? It's one of the things like I want to learn a second language kind of thing. It's like one day I'll just get my real estate license for GP, you know.

Speaker 2:

But then I realized once I got my real estate license and I joined this EXP. They have meetings all the time, they have events, they have expos, they have all this stuff. Now I have a community. Now I have access to this healthcare thing that I was paying for by myself before, right, and people don't know about that. You start, you know, have this corporate healthcare access anymore? So now I got corporate healthcare access. It's cheaper than what I'm paying for. Now I've got a community of people.

Speaker 2:

So, even if it's just like, hey, look, I've got a co-working space, I've got a software company, I've got a digital marketing agency, I meet people all the time for lunches and coffees and all that, but you still feel like you're not part of a community and it's kind of like, hey, I may never sell a freaking house, but it's fun to go to these events. Right, it's fun to go to these events, it's fun to feel this camaraderie. It's kind of the rah, rah, rah kind of thing. You know, get you motivated. So, even though I may not be selling a house, the stuff, the people that these folks bring in to speak and everything, kind of motivate you for the other stuff you're doing too.

Speaker 2:

So it's almost like if you're a business owner, maybe try to reach out and find a community. You know you've got a coach and all that good stuff you were talking about, but maybe there's a community, a larger community of entrepreneurs or whatever, that you can join to feel like you're part of something bigger. And I don't know. Do you have something like that? Have you run into that?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So what's interesting, one of the outlets that I use is I normally speak at a lot of the industry conferences on mortgage investing. So I'll go there and then I'll meet with peers and people that have other funds and other operations and I'll go that I've known for years and I'll go meet with them and we'll commiserate or we'll celebrate or whatever the case is, and so that's very helpful, but it's not. I don't have like a community of entrepreneurs. I have a social club that I'm a part of here in Sarasota. That it's a private social club, so, but they're mostly business owners. So you can go there and you can kind of network with those individuals and but, to be honest with you, I'm really just focused on growing our fund, making it the best it can be, and then going home and having enough left in the tank for my family.

Speaker 2:

That's right, and we've made people, we've kind of depressed people a little bit on this, like we've given them more warnings.

Speaker 2:

We've given them more warnings and things to look out for. That we have that. People are probably like man, I'm never starting a business. This sounds like awful. This sounds like I need all kinds of help. But talk about some of the your greatest accomplishments, some of the things you're proud of and maybe the things that you couldn't have done if you were maybe working a nine to five. I mean you could probably. You could easily left college and went and got a job at Fidelity and been a fund manager or, you know, manage people's portfolios or whatever. I mean you're over qualified for that. But you know what are some of the things that you've done where you're like I could never go back and I could never have a nine to five. This is awesome.

Speaker 1:

I would say just a few highlights is when we started buying. My wife and I started buying real estate properties. We started with their commercial building that we operated the company out of I don't know. I mentioned I sold a company, a government contracting company. We sold that one. Oh, you sold that one. Okay, we sold in 2013.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so selling that business was a big achievement. But more than that, I had been traveling a lot for work to various military bases, and so I was not living the life that I needed to live. So I gave my life to Jesus in 2013. And so that was a very so selling the business, finding God, and was a very big, transformative part in my life. And actually, a month after I did that, I stumbled into someone with note investing and I got involved in this incredible world of note investing.

Speaker 1:

A month after all that happened, so it was a really life changing point in my life. And then I was in church in 2017. And I've received a message to write my first book, and so that's when I wrote note investing made easier, and so, after writing that and publishing it in May of 2017, my business partner now was the first one to read that book after buying it off Amazon and we connected and I mentored him and then we sent, since became business partners, so that was also so just I think the amount of service that has been given back is what I'm really proud of, well, and, I think, finding a relationship with God.

Speaker 2:

Well, I'm part of a group called Legatus, which is a Catholic business owners organization, and I was just literally at a meeting last night listening to a nun from Ireland talk about all the service trips she went on and the things that she saw around the world. That just blew her mind. And she grew up in Northern Ireland in a country that was. She grew up during the troubles right Like where you had the division up there between Catholics and Protestants, and now she leaves there and she goes to some of these countries that are war torn and they're not gonna send a nun to a nice place, they're gonna send her to where the problems are right. And it's just some of the stories and some of the unbelievable miracles she talked about and things that she's seen.

Speaker 2:

It's hard to believe and if it wasn't a nun saying it I almost wouldn't believe it, you know. But it's wild that it happens and in the camaraderie you get with that kind of stuff and folks that have decided that they cause you deal with a lot of egos in business. You do. You just deal with a lot of egos. It's not about me, it's about something bigger than me. It's about me making a difference and helping others the way Jesus told us to right. But you see an actual change in the personality of people that have foregone their ego. Let's just say that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I was ego driven, I was materialistic, and then I found humility and so that kind of changed the lens by which I view the world and I've just been service driven since and it's just been much more gratifying.

Speaker 2:

Well, I mean the fact you're on the podcast, you're sharing your story, you go on other podcasts. Obviously you talk about this stuff. You're willing to help business owners. You're willing to talk about this stuff, shepherd people through life and in these experiences they're going to have with business be it good things, bad things, just being there for people. Obviously being there for your family. It sounds like you've got a great family, a strong family, a supportive wife. These are the things we talk about.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely, and so I think that, yeah, I keep in touch with the macroeconomic factors that are going on and just world politics, and I do that, but the bulk of my focus is on me and the company and the value that we're delivering and making sure that the assets we buy are performing how they need to perform, and then we're growing our portfolio and all these things that are within my power and control to work on, and I think that's the thing. I think a lot of people are caught up in the distractions, and that's one of the first things. Like you do your financial statement, you get an accountability partner and then you start weeding things out of your mind that don't need to be in your mind.

Speaker 2:

Well, and with all the stuff that's going on in society right now, I kind of it's hard to ignore some of the things that are happening. Put it that way to even focus on some of the stuff that you know is way more important that you should be focusing on and that's a topic that's a discussion for another day. But being able to have the ability, the willpower to block a lot of that stuff out and focus on what you know you should be focusing on, that's something people I think need help with, not just hey, how do I do my books every month for my business, but how do I ignore all this nonsense that I really have no control over and it's just going to get me upset.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, and I think even ones that have a good control or they have a disciplined mind, they have to fight it daily. And you know, because you have to fight it daily, you have thoughts that come in your mind and then you have to immediately address them, right?

Speaker 2:

Oh, my God.

Speaker 1:

You need to be balanced out. That's right. And so if you let things kind of fester and you know doubt, discouragement, fear, you know any kind of distraction, even like mediocrity, like there's just so many things that are insignificant that you think about, well, you just need to bounce those out and just stay focused on doing what your purpose is on this earth to do.

Speaker 2:

That's right. That's right. Well, martin, I appreciate it. You're giving us so much time. You're a busy guy. Your kids are probably waiting. You're on East Coast time. Sometimes I talk to people on their side of the world so I don't know what they got going on but your kids are probably waiting for you to get home. I really do appreciate your time. This has been great. You're obviously a well-decorated person. You know, the five books are awesome. How do people find you? How do people reach out and get ahold of you? If what they heard on the podcast today inspires them and they want to talk to somebody like you, how do they reach out?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I'd love to send you a living financial statement template, and you can email me at martinfbqfundscom. Myself or someone will respond back with the Excel spreadsheet template for you. To get started, you can look up my name on Amazon and get any of the books and if you're feeling frisky, you can get on note to be a note investor. I wrote the how-to book on it and you can check that out. Cashflow Dojo is about various side hustles that you can create in your life and you can check that out as well.

Speaker 2:

Unbelievable. This is great. Well, guys, everything's going to be in the description for the podcast, so if you want some links and everything, we'll link off to all the books and Martin. Again, I appreciate it. Thanks for being on the show and thanks for taking the time.

Speaker 1:

Thanks.

Speaker 2:

Adam, all right, thanks for joining us on this week's episode of Side Hustle City. Well, you've heard from our guests. Now let's hear from you. Join our community on Facebook, side Hustle City. It's a group where people share ideas, share their inspirational stories and motivate each other to be successful and turn their side hustle into their main hustle. We'll see you there and we'll see you next week on the show.

Speaker 1:

Thank you.

Turning Side Hustles Into Passive Income
Financial Planning and Investing in Mortgages
Managing Finances for Success
Challenges of Being a Business Owner
Personal Transformation and Giving Back