Ep. 003: REAL ESTATE & STARTING NOW – PATRICK OSTERLING

Have you ever wondered how to invest in real estate? Why do some people make a lot of money and other seem to struggle? When it comes to long term buy and holds vs flips, what should you get into?

I’ve always had a passion for real estate and architecture. In fact, my goal was to be an architect! Unfortunately, it turns out that drawing was pretty important in that field and I am no good at anything harder than stick figures.

In the episode, I was lucky enough to chat with Patrick Osterling on real estate, strategies, the mindset it takes to think about assets rather than liabilities, and much more.

Learn everything you wanted to know about real estate, on Episode 003.

"It doesn't matter how many classes you go to, how many books you read, how many seminars you pay for, how many coaches you hire.. At the end of the day, just pick a strategy and start."

Patrick Osterling is a man on a mission to make a difference in his own life and this world.

If you haven’t heard of Patrick Osterling, he’s a Senior Account Executive a DocMatter, The Global Medical Community. DocMatter is an early stage, medical start-up connecting Doctors worldwide.

I felt so grateful to sit down with him and have tell me everything he knows about mindset, real estate, and starting now.

Discover all of that and much more, on Episode 003.

A Few Questions I Ask:

  • What got you into real? (11:15)
  • How do you continue to learn at age 30? (29:10)
  • Does it make sense to pay for seminars? (44:44)
  • And much more..

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • How to use real estate to automate your life (30:10)
  • Which type of real estate to start investing with (33:30)
  • How to start saving intelligently (26:20)
  • And much more..
Click here to read full transcript of episode

Sean: We have in our studios today the man, the myth, the legend, Mr. Pat Osterling. How are you doing, buddy?

Patrick: I’m not that cool, but thanks for having me.

Sean: Yeah, dude, yeah. So Pat and I here today, we just got in a workout at a park in San Francisco, if you’ve never been to, on Crissy Field. It’s an outdoor … I don’t know. What would you call that? Kind of like an outdoor adult gymnasium jungle gym?

Patrick: Yeah. It’s right next to the Golden Gate Bridge. There’s a strip of grass. A lot of people are running. It’s a rare, sunny, nice day in San Francisco, so we wanted to capitalize on that nice, sunny weather. Hashtag face tan.

Sean: Yeah. I didn’t know exactly what we were going to do. We showed up and Pat goes, “All right. I got the workout, buddy. It’s going to be 100 pushups, 100 incline pushups, 100 ring pushups, 100 dips, and 100 decline pushups.” I can’t move, man. I’m dying.

Patrick: Yeah. 500 reps. I know. I did the math. Typically at the gym if you do five or six exercises, like 10 reps, that’s only about 200 or so reps. So we just did double, more than double.

Sean: More than double.

Patrick: More than double what we would normally do, granted it was with our own body weight, though.

Sean: That’s true, but I feel like those days are good. I feel like if you enjoy resistance training or cardio or anything else like that, I feel like having days that are body-weight days that you can kind of scrap the weights and just do something to where it’s … I don’t know how to explain it. It’s almost like you do something to where you can kind of feel yourself … You feel where you are in space with no weights.

Patrick: Yeah. Yeah, it’s good to do some exercises with no weights for sure, especially ones that involve many different body parts instead of just isolating on one or two muscle groups at the gym. We were hitting shoulders, lats, traps, chest, back, abs, triceps, biceps, with one single motion.

Sean: That’s true.

Patrick: So it was good. It was really good.

Sean: Yeah. It was pretty gnarly.

Patrick: It’s good to switch it up, too.

Sean: I think it’s good. It’s good to have a novel piece to your gym routine, too. And I’m okay, man. I don’t really … If you like to weight lift or you like to crossfit, if you’re into bodybuilding, if you’re into … Jessica takes me to … What was it? Soul Cycle?

Patrick: Yeah.

Sean: I die. I die every time. That’s crazy hard. Now, I don’t think just doing, maybe, Soul Cycle alone … I’m a little more strength-biased, so I’m a little bit more on the lines that some kind of strength routine is good, too. But … Hey, how’s it going?

Patrick: Hey.

Sean: We’re on Instagram. Nice. Yeah, but-

Patrick: I don’t like that pic.

Sean: All right. Pat’s taking it off Instagram. All right, ladies and gentlemen. This podcast is brought to you today … We are sipping on the Balvenie … I’m going to get shamed on here by Scotch drinkers. This is a DoubleWood aged 12 years in sherry oak.

Patrick: DoubleWood.

Sean: I don’t know what that is, but matured in two distinct castes. Single malt scotch. This is not too bad.

Patrick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sean: I’m digging it. I’m not even the biggest scotch guy. I feel like that’s something you have to get used to, like anything else.

Patrick: Yeah. I got a gift … but I wasn’t either. I got a gift from a client a year ago. I think it was Macallan 12. I didn’t know anything about scotch, but throughout the year, I would just pour myself a little glass here and there and it just starts to grow on you. So even when I’m out at the bars or whatever … Like I was in New York recently, and I ordered one. Macallan 12. It’s good to just sip on. It warms you up.

Sean: It’s good. Yeah. [crosstalk 00:05:15].

Patrick: You don’t get a bunch of the added calories from mixed drinks and beer.

Sean: That’s true. It’s more of like a pure source, I guess.

Patrick: Yeah.

Sean: Yeah. Why is I that we only give gifts like scotch? I want to just go out and by a vodka gift and be like, “Hey, bro. Here you go.” It’s always a scotch or something.

Patrick: Probably like a special occasion type of drink.

Sean: That’s what I mean. Where did that come from?

Patrick: So it represents some type of special occasion.

Sean: I’m going to look that up, man. That’s interesting.

Patrick: Yeah. Or champagne or a nice bottle of wine is always a good one.

Sean: Yeah. A bottle of wine. It’s always a bottle of wine or a scotch.

Patrick: Yeah.

Sean: Last-minute scotch, whiskey gift ideas. 12 bottles of scotch under $150. I’ve never spent that much money on scotch.

Patrick: Yeah. It’s like a nice bottle of wine, you know?

Sean: I’m not spending $150 on any of my friends. That’s not going to happen. Macallan’s, like, $39 at Safeway. Done.

Patrick: Boom. Done.

Sean: Nice, dude. Yeah, that’s not bad at all. Well, cool, bud. What are we talking about tonight?

Patrick: Yeah. I mean, you invited me over to kind of do a guest speak here on your podcast, and I was thinking, “Shit, what are we going to talk about? What are we experts at?” We’re kind of experts at being amateurs, whether it’s working out, real estate, business, the hustle and bustle of San Francisco, the whole gamut.

Patrick: So I had a couple ideas, but instead of telling you beforehand, I figured I could just surprise you with these ideas and we could just chat about them and make this kind of a podcast.

Sean: All right. Ideas about podcasting. I have to agree with you. I’d say we’re amateurs about stuff right now. We’re trying to find our way into being experts in certain fields. I feel like it’s good to be a Jack of all trades, but to be truly successful in something, you gotta …

Sean: I think the scary part is trying to find something that you like diving into, because most people … and this is definitely now my brain works. It’s like if I find something that I want to dive into, I get nervous because my brain instantly goes, “All right, man. That’s the thing that you’re going to do for the next 50 years.” You know?

Patrick: Yeah.

Sean: But that’s not the case, though. That’s what it used to be. It’s like what my pappy and even my dad, you know, in our generations used to be. But I think nowadays … This podcast I’m starting, I’m growing my fitness business online and then starting a supplement company, too. Even in just a few months’ span, there’s already different things that you can get into. So I don’t think it’s still this old 50 years thing.

Patrick: No. Yeah.

Sean: Awesome, dude.

Patrick: And then I was kind of thinking of, shit, we’ve known each other for four years.

Sean: Has it been that long?

Patrick: Yeah. I moved to San Francisco four years and a month ago. Met you at [inaudible 00:08:14], so pretty much became friends pretty immediate. Gave me that recommendation for a haircut down at Washington Square Park.

Sean: Oh, yeah.

Patrick: It was, like, $12. The lady’s name was Ling Ling or something like that.

Sean: Yeah, dude. That’s Sue’s Beautiful Hair. If you ever come to San Francisco, ladies and gentlemen, on Stockton Street, Stockton and … What is it? [Grand 00:08:39]? Stockton and Green.

Patrick: Stockton and Green.

Sean: Stockton and Green. Sue’s Beautiful Hair. You can literally go a no-wait, $13 men’s haircut, and you will be in and out of there … You can time it in under five minutes, no joke.

Patrick: Yeah. That was my first haircut in San Francisco. I text Sean. I was like, “Hey, man. Where do I get a haircut around here?” And that’s where he recommended.

Sean: How would you rate it 1 out of 10 of the best haircuts you’ve ever had for $13?

Patrick: I don’t know. I mean, it wasn’t bad. Maybe, like, solid five. It was good enough to keep going back when I first moved here and was paying ridiculous rent, but as soon as I started making a little bit more money, I was out.

Sean: Yeah. You know what’s really terrible, too, is I know I recommended that place just a second ago, but it is no longer Sue’s Beautiful Hair. She sold the business to her cousin, Kelly, and it is now Kelly’s Hair Salon, and a haircut is $28 for the same thing.

Patrick: Jeez. More than double. That’s crazy.

Sean: That’s a terrible idea.

Patrick: And then we started kind of getting into real estate. I don’t know where this stemmed from, but I remember where we went to a couple different things. We went out to SF State, had some type of event out there. I forget the guy’s name out there. We went out there. And then we went up to Marin, and we were up there in Marin at the … God. I forget what the hell it was called. It was like the Marin … And Marin’s north of San Francisco, maybe like a half an hour. I forget what … What was it called? It was like the Marin Business Real Estate Investing Club.

Sean: Yeah. Something like that.

Patrick: Something like that, and we went to a couple sessions up there. I think we both knew we wanted to get into real estate. It was a couple years ago, so we were probably, like, 27-ish, 28.

Sean: Bay Area … Sorry. Didn’t mean to cut you off. Bay Area Wealth Builders.

Patrick: Bay Area Wealth Builders. I think it was a lead from the event we went to at SF State, this real estate thing. So I think we both knew we wanted to automate our lives, and real estate’s just kind of proven in and out. It’s a product everybody needs. It’s not going anywhere. It’s a product. The price keeps rising in certain areas. It’s not going anywhere.

Patrick: So we kind of just dove in and didn’t know what we didn’t know. I think we started, or you started, doing those flyers for the-

Sean: I did.

Patrick: For what was it called?

Sean: Yeah, I did. I wanted to see if I could, in the least way possible, be … I don’t even remember what they call it. It’s almost like … I don’t know. It’s almost like you’re a little paper-delivery boy kind of thing. But anyways, you send out flyers to people and then you get these leads that they call in to you. And then you put that property under contract, and then you-

Patrick: Find a buyer.

Sean: … try and sell that contract to a buyer [crosstalk 00:11:51] somebody who’s going to flip it.

Patrick: You basically … You link a buyer and a seller, but you never own the property.

Sean: Correct.

Patrick: You’re basically just linking them two and making some profit off the top.

Sean: Correct. Yeah. So I was super stoked because everybody that was telling me was like, “Oh man, it’s no money down. You don’t have to spend any money, and then all of a sudden you make 10 grand.”

Patrick: It was the cheapest way to get into real estate if you could do it.

Sean: True.

Patrick: Essentially, you had to go out in some type of neighborhood, probably a shitty neighborhood, and find somebody selling their house and say, “Hey, I have a buyer,” and then go out and tap into your network of real estate investor buyers and say, “Hey, guys. I have this property,” whether it’s in Oakland or the South Bay Area or wherever it’s at, “for X amount of dollars. And they’re ready to sell.”

Patrick: You’re basically linking up a buyer and a seller and making a couple grand commission on that.

Sean: Wholesale.

Patrick: Wholesale. That’s [crosstalk 00:12:49].

Sean: You’re a wholesaler.

Patrick: Yeah. And the beauty is that you don’t need to … You never own the property. It never touches your hands, so you never essentially need any type of down payment or paperwork or anything like that. You’re basically just signing off on, “Hey, Mr. Buyer, sign this saying you’re going to purchase it. Mr. Seller, sign this saying you’re going to sell it.” Link them up, and you get a cut.

Sean: Yeah. Going into it, I was super skeptical because I didn’t know … I was like, “Okay, well, why don’t the buyers that are either going to flip the property or hold onto it for long term just find the sellers themselves? Why do they need me to be able to scrape 3, 5, 10 grand off the top?” I quickly realized it was because a lot of these buyers have been in the game for a long time and they don’t want to do it.

Patrick: No.

Sean: They don’t want to deal with talking to people. They don’t want to deal with … All they want to do is get a property in their hand, put a bunch of capital into it, flip it, renovate it, whatever they’re going to do, either exit the property or hold onto it to put in their long-term portfolio, and then rent it out. So that’s kind of where the young blood came in, is like, “Hey, this kid’s the hustler. This kid’s going to go out and he’s going to find these properties, and we don’t have to do it.” So that was the beauty for the buyers.

Patrick: Yeah. Your value add there was scraping through all the properties and dealing with all the owners and bring in the top one or two hot leads to the buyer.

Sean: Sweat equity.

Patrick: Yeah. When they’re at the five-yard line ready to go, then you introduce them to the buyer, and then they buy.

Sean: Correct.

Patrick: Boom, done.

Sean: Small disclaimer to anybody kind of interested in real estate getting into wholesaling, there are fees associated with that, namely the marketing that you’re going to have to do, whether that … You know, you’re just throwing stuff out or you’re going and knocking on doors, that’s gas. If you’re actually spending money on marketing, it’s not going to be cheap. I think I dropped a couple grand at some point.

Patrick: Yeah. I remember. Yeah.

Sean: And I was like, [inaudible 00:14:53]?

Patrick: You almost had that one lady in Oakland, but … It’s a tough gig.

Sean: It’s not easy.

Patrick: It really is. I mean, you know, the benefit is that you don’t have to put any money up except for the marketing, but you’re not putting 20 percent down on a half-million-dollar house. But it’s a tough-

Sean: Half a million in the Bay Area? Half a million? Oh, great.

Patrick: That’ll get you a shack.

Sean: It’s, like, 800,000 upwards plus.

Patrick: Yeah. In East Oakland, maybe. Maybe. And then after … So we did those. I think there was a bunch of podcasts we started listening to. We even took my landlord, [Sherial 00:15:28], out to lunch one day.

Sean: Oh yeah.

Patrick: Yeah, because we wanted to pick her brain. Beauty about Sherial is she owns a couple properties around San Francisco. She’s actually like a old family friend of mine, or actually my grandparents, and she’s the landlord of the building that I live in. She has kind of a crazy story. She’s about 70 now, and she is from Mississippi, like rural, podunk Mississippi. Didn’t grow up with anything.

Patrick: When she was 17 or 18, her parents put her on a Greyhound with three peanut butter jelly sandwiches and sent her to live in Los Angeles with her aunt and uncle, put her through school, then she was a flight attendant. Then she came to San Francisco and started getting into real estate. Back then in the ’70s, you can get in fairly decent price.

Sean: Relatively cheap compared to what it is now.

Patrick: Yeah. The tech boom wasn’t here yet.

Sean: Nothing was here. No internet. There was no internet. No internet in the ’70s. Think about that. There’s no personal computers.

Patrick: Yeah. It was just straight, just normal real estate stuff. And I think she bought the building that I live in for maybe $700,000, something like that, back in the ’70s. Now, in 2017, it’s worth probably 15-something million.

Sean: Jesus.

Patrick: Something crazy. And then she’s parlayed that into a couple buildings around San Francisco, a strip mall up in Sonoma. She’s flipped a couple. She’s been in the game for a while, so we just kind of wanted to pick her brain and see what she had to say, because there’s so … I guess one of the things that we discovered, you and I, going to all these real estate seminars is there’s so many different ways to get in. What are you going to do?

Patrick: Are you going to do single-family home? Are you going to live in it? Are you going to rent it out? Are you going to do the wholesale stuff? Are you going to do collage? Are you going to do multifamily tenants? There’s so many different things that you can do. Are you going to do commercial real estate? So many different options. There were options that we never even heard about, we didn’t even know was an option.

Patrick: So we kind of just wanted to pick her brain. She’s been in the game for a long time, so we did that. We took her to lunch and … Where did we go? Perry’s?

Sean: Perry’s.

Patrick: Yeah.

Sean: Perry’s on Union Street.

Patrick: Yeah. And what’d she tell us? Do you remember?

Sean: I think the biggest thing … The biggest lesson … So if you pull a little nugget away from this story, I think the biggest nugget I learned from Sherial is just she … When she was telling us … She was like, “Oh, I did this land thing. I did all this other stuff,” and we had a really nice brunch. It was, like, an hour brunch talking to her.

Sean: But at the very end of it, she goes, “You know what? I don’t know what you guys are expecting from me,” or, “I’m not an expert at this stuff,” but her nugget was, “Just get started.” It didn’t matter how many classes you went to, how many books you read, how many seminars you paid for, how many coaches you got on your side and paid for. At the end of the day, it was pick a strategy and just do it.

Sean: Her first strategy, I think, was land, and it was terrible. It was a complete failure, but it allowed her to put money down and get in the game.

Patrick: Get in the game.

Sean: To where then she linked up with somebody else and was able to get this property in San Francisco. But if she wouldn’t have just taken the action, if she wouldn’t have just executed on that first land property that did terrible, then she would have never executed on the San Francisco property.

Sean: So I think if you’re looking for real estate stuff, if you’re looking to get into that, do some research but don’t do too much research. Just with anything, don’t overdo the analytics. Don’t think about it too much. Just get started with it.

Patrick: Get paralysis by analysis.

Sean: Yeah. Analysis paralysis.

Patrick: Analysis paralysis. Yeah.

Sean: It’s a big issue. We could go to 1,000 meetings-

Patrick: Yeah, but you just have to get in the game and do something.

Sean: I think that’s it.

Patrick: One of the things that I took away, my nugget, I remember … I think I was in a car with her, like taking her somewhere, and I was asking her, “Hey, if you were my age, 27, 28, what would you do?” And she just kind of … You know, she stared out the window and said, “Well, Patrick,” with her southern drawl, “I would just keep working real hard and save up $100,000 and go up there in Sonoma, and you purchase a single-family home and you rent it out, because it’s going to keep appreciating and you’re going to get that rent and you’re going to do just fine.”

Patrick: At the time, I was like, “$100,000? Oh my God.” I had maybe 10 grand in the bank. Maybe. And I was like, “That’s going to take me an eternity.” But two years later with some hustle and hard work … It’s more doable than it seems. So saving has really been a focal point in this game. And I’m primed. I’m ready to … actually just put a bid in two, three weeks ago for a single-family home up in Reno. Didn’t get it. Didn’t get it, but I’ll be back up there the next couple weeks and we’ll be putting some more bids in.

Patrick: But that was like a big thing. She just said, “Save, save, save, and save again.”

Sean: I think that’s an important point, too, is a lot of people kind of … They want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to … Oh, yeah, saving is great, but are you willing to cut out some of the dinners in this amazing city we live in? Are you willing to cut out some of the happy hours where I’m going to go get a scotch drink? It’s going to be $16.

Patrick: Yeah. To Uber there, it’s going to cost another $10.

Sean: To Uber back at a peak time is going to be 16, 20 dollars.

Patrick: Take Uber to work the next day because you’ll be hungover and woke up late.

Sean: Yeah. Had a couple too many, maybe.

Patrick: Go to Soul Cycle.

Sean: Oh, yeah. That’s only an easy $33.

Patrick: I love Soul Cycle, but I mean, $30, that’s … Everything’s so expensive around here, and it’s easy to … Your paycheck goes. Rent. I mean, jeez. Rent’s insane.

Sean: Yeah. It’s not cheap.

Patrick: It’s tough to save here.

Sean: I think it is definitely a mindset thing, right?

Patrick: Yeah.

Sean: You gotta think like, “Hey, man, I’m gonna …” You don’t necessarily have to be on ketchup and crackers or PB&Js, but just having the mindset to think that way. I know you do one thing where you go to Costco, you get some chicken, you do some stuff like that. And you had calculated it out at some point, didn’t you?

Patrick: Yeah.

Sean: Where it was like a-

Patrick: I call them my little life hacks, you know? You’re getting an income in and you want to do really well at your job and get as much income as you can in, but you always want to save that and not spend where you don’t have to. I work in financial district, and there’s amazing restaurants around. I was just talking to this guy at work who doesn’t bring his lunch ever. In four years, he’s never brought his lunch. He gets these $16 salads at [Ficosha 00:22:45] or tender greens. And he’s like, “Yeah, dude. I really gotta start saving towards a wedding and stuff.”

Patrick: But yeah, it’s big. So I call them my little life hacks. I’ll go to Costco, and I figured that I could make a meal for about $4, and that’s the cheapest way I can consume. I go to Costco, get the big pack of chicken. Then I go to Trader Joe’s and get the rice and then get a big package at Costco again of spinach. So everything you need: protein, carb source, and a green leafy spinach. I can literally make eight ounces of chicken, cup of rice, and a cup of spinach for about $4. I figured that’s the cheapest meal that I can make and consume.

Sean: Yeah, and it makes sense. And folks, we’re not saying that might be the best-grade chicken that you could ever get. It’s not going to be hormone-free. It’s not going to be the best. But these are temporary situations to where, look, we’re trying to scrimp and save everything you can. Let’s say you gotta do a down payment of a house that’s 500, 600, 800 thousand dollars. That’s not a cheap amount, especially if it’s not your primary. Nowadays, it’s probably 20 percent.

Patrick: Yeah. You just do the quick math on … I mean, we live in the Bay Area. If you want … Let’s even tailor it down. We live in California and in the Bay Area, and San Francisco’s very expensive. Let’s say you’re going to buy a house for even $600,000 somewhere. 20 percent of that is $120,000 that you need to save just to put the down payment. That’s not your closing costs. That’s not additional emergency fund. That’s not your car payment or anything like that. That’s-

Sean: A few months’ rent.

Patrick: … literally just to put your name in the hat and say, “Hey, I’m interested in purchasing this.” $120,000 at 20 percent. Sometimes, it’s 25 percent. Sometimes the house can be a little bit more, but it’s a lot of money. So yeah, that’s one of my little life hacks-

Sean: I like that hack, man.

Patrick: … to try to eat as cheap as possible.

Sean: It’s not bad. And we’re not saying don’t go out. It’s just maybe be mindful of-

Patrick: Yeah. Just be mindful. Exactly.

Sean: Or maybe … What my wife and I started doing is we started making little goals and setting little goals per month. So, hey, we’re going to go out. We’re going to enjoy ourselves, but we’re going to be mindful to do it three times a month, let’s say. That’s an arbitrary number, but let’s say you pick three times a month.

Sean: I think what we did when we first moved in together was we looked back at four months of our credit card statements, and we just put it into an Excel spreadsheet and we bracketed everything. We filtered it all out, and we just looked per category, what do we average on this? What do we average on clothes, food, all this kind of stuff? And what could we cut back on?

Sean: Do I need to go out and buy a new gym shirt? Probably not. Yeah, I want a new color, but it doesn’t matter. Do we need to go to this restaurant again and again and again, or could we get some food here, prep some stuff together, enjoy our time together, and slowly start saving some stuff? Saving on a Starbucks, probably not that big of a deal. It’s $4 here and there. But saving on clothes and food and transportation, that adds up really quickly.

Patrick: Yeah. You want to enjoy your life, but just be mindful of these things. And to touch on that, what did I do the other day? I bought an iron and an ironing board because I was spending so much money on dry-cleaning, like 40, 50 bucks a week or every other week or so, for 10 shirts and three or four pants, maybe a suit jacket.

Patrick: I bought this iron, like, two weeks ago. I’m proud and kind of disgusted to say I haven’t gone to the dry-cleaners in two weeks. You know, two, three wears in a shirt. I mean, I sit in an office all day. It’s not like I’m sweating. So yeah, I just iron that bad boy and hopefully … It was only a $20 iron, and the ironing board was, like, 10 bucks. $30, boom. That’s ROI right there all day long.

Sean: Yeah. You have to. Well, what made you stoked on real estate to begin with? I don’t know if I’ve heard this story. Was it your grandparents originally, or was it that you just liked architecture? Or was it always from the financial side?

Patrick: I think just growing up, I always knew that my grandparents were the most successful people in my family and retired early. They had always lived away. They lived in Dallas. I grew up in Florida. And then they retired and spent time in Maui, where they had a condo, where they bought a condo many years ago, and had a house in Northern Nevada up in the mountains, and always lived very nice and took very nice vacations.

Patrick: I just wanted to learn, how can I do that? How can I achieve that? What did you do to get there? One of the things was … I actually went out to Nevada and lived with them for a bit before moving to San Francisco. And one of the things was real estate. They told me they saved a lot of money and had purchased a couple properties throughout their adult life together, and then when they retired, sold them all, and now they’re living off that very comfortably.

Patrick: I started to understand … kind of like automating your life, right? Purchasing a house, having somebody pay you rent, which is basically just going towards the mortgage, but that’s your money. It’s going towards the mortgage. It’s going towards equity of the home. You need to spend a little bit of money upkeeping it and saving for another house, but after a while, you get a couple of these houses under your belt and you get some residual income, pay a couple of these mortgages off, have a bunch of equity into these homes, and you’re living a good life.

Patrick: That’s kind of going back to what I was talking about earlier, is that real estate and homes, it’s a proven product. People need them. It’s not going anywhere. If you can get in low, sell high, get into an area where it’s appreciating, do your research, it could really be pretty lucrative for you. So that’s kind of where it all stemmed from, but I had no idea how to get in the game. I just knew that I needed to just start saving as much as I humanly could to get in the game. And then doing a bunch of research, taking some classes at the local community college, podcasts, events, picking people’s brains, taking them to lunch, just trying to understand the tricks of the trade and trying to understand from people that have come before and done it and have been successful at it.

Patrick: So that’s where it all stems from. I don’t want to work till I’m 60 or so, or 65.

Sean: We want the choice, at least.

Patrick: Yeah, I want the choice. I want to be able to get up and go wherever I want and travel and maybe retire early with my wife and just enjoy life. So up front kind of sacrificing and trying to save and buy one or two properties in the next couple years, and more and more down the line.

Sean: Yeah. It makes sense. What I think was interesting, kind of what you said, too, and you skimmed over it, but you’ll be turning 29 this year?

Patrick: I’ll be turning 31 this year.

Sean: You’ll be turning 31.

Patrick: I’m 30 right now.

Sean: 30. So I think … You skimmed over it very briefly, but I think it’s a-

Patrick: Just a couple months younger than you?

Sean: Yeah. I’ll be turning 31 in two days from when this was recorded.

Patrick: Damn. Really?

Sean: So there you go, buddy. March 30.

Patrick: Oh shit.

Sean: 31. Yeah.

Patrick: Friday. Oh, wait. Friday, or-

Sean: Thursday.

Patrick: Thursday.

Sean: Thursday. Oh, so … What’s today?

Patrick: Today is Wednesday.

Sean: Oh. Tomorrow. One day. It’s the day that … Yeah, that’s right.

Patrick: It’s the 30th or 31st?

Sean: The 30th.

Patrick: Oh. Like in three hours?

Sean: Three hours from now, it is my 31st birthday.

Patrick: Wow.

Sean: I think that’s a big thing. You kind of skimmed over it, but it was 30, almost turning 31, and you’re still learning. Right? Like you’re going back … You said you went back to community college just to go through a few classes to learn a little bit more, and I think … or going out and talking to people, going to seminars, and doing things to continue to learn.

Patrick: Yeah.

Sean: I think that’s where a lot of people struggle, is they’re like, “Okay. The learning chapter of my life is over.” It doesn’t have to be real estate. “I’m just working.”

Patrick: Yeah. “I’m just working now.”

Sean: “I’m just working now, and I’ve closed that chapter of my life.” I think that’s probably where a lot of people start struggling, or they do that for 10 years and then they wake up one day and they go, “Wait a minute. I don’t-“

Patrick: “I don’t have anything.”

Sean: “Where am I? What’s going on? Why-“

Patrick: “I’m 40, 45. I’m not where I want to be.” Yeah, that’s my fear. I don’t want to do that. But yeah, I think you’re absolutely right in the sense that you do have to sacrifice and do these weird things. Sometimes, I’m a little embarrassed to … You know, these girls at work are like, “Hey, what are you doing after work?” Like, “Oh, I’m going to the gym.”

Patrick: But I’m going to the community college to take real estate classes. They’re going to look at me like I’m crazy. But yeah, absolutely. I really think that continuing education and sacrificing and picking people’s brains is absolutely essential to get ahead and to pick something, like you said earlier, pick a goal and stick to it and sacrifice for it.

Sean: Literally, one of the main reasons I started this podcast was to just try and learn more all the time in any aspect. Doesn’t matter if it’s real estate or training or business. The more people I have on this podcast, the more questions I ask, the more I’m open. I think the biggest thing is just being open to learning. That’s hard for a lot of people.

Patrick: Lifelong learner. I’m trying to read more. Yeah, absolutely. Love podcasts.

Sean: How many books are you reading nowadays? Say, like, a book a week?

Patrick: I think my goal at the beginning of the year was a book a month. We are about three months in, and I am zero books in.

Sean: Very nice.

Patrick: But I got in my fitness goal.

Sean: There you go.

Patrick: So that’s one goal I’m keeping ahead of. But no, I need to read more. It’s really benefited a lot. I listen to a lot of podcasts.

Sean: Yeah. Podcasts are good. I feel like they’re probably the wave of the future.

Patrick: Definitely. They definitely are.

Sean: And it’s pretty interesting that two people could be talking to each other and four listeners could be listening to this and maybe getting a little bit of-

Patrick: Maybe two.

Sean: Maybe two, you know … education on this too.

Patrick: Maybe just us two.

Sean: Yeah. But yeah, for those of you that don’t know, I learn from Pat all the time. We’re … I guess we’re training partners in the gym, at least for … Current goals for me are a few fitness shows coming up, and that’s a lot different than anything I’ve done in the past. Been doing crossfit-type workouts for the last few years, and then kind of found weight lifting, competed in that for a long time. Now kind of moved over to the more fitness side of things, like fitness-

Patrick: Physique.

Sean: Physique and training and body-building shows. For me, it was a lot different. I had to be open to learning new ways and methods and kind of funky ways of doing things, and it’s actually been pretty fun.

Patrick: Yeah, yeah. It’s been fun.

Sean: It’s cool.

Patrick: It’s different. Yeah, and on the flip side, I remember when I first met you, I tried crossfit for the first time and weight lifting and snatches and clings and stuff. Wasn’t very good at them, but … Yeah, yeah. We’ve been working out for a while, and I think, to kind of hit on a point earlier of goal setting, for the last … I’m 30. You’re going to be 31 in three hours.

Patrick: I think we were just kind of … At least for me, for the past few years, I’ve been in and out of the gym for 10 years. My dad worked out a long time. He still works out today. So I got it from him, and I would just … It was like throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks, trying this program, trying that program, trying this dye, trying that dye, and nothing really worked. It was just up and down.

Patrick: I really wouldn’t stick to anything because I wasn’t seeing results that I wanted. Trying this supplement, trying that supplement. So I … We both. I got this idea from Sean, actually: hiring a trainer that we found on the internet, on Instagram. Sounds crazy, but found some random dude on Instagram that had a couple thousand followers and put a lot of content out there and looked like he trained a bunch of people, had an email address.

Patrick: Hit him up. Hit, like, three or four up, and just basically same message: “Hey, looking to get a personal trainer with my …” An online coach is what they call themselves. This guy hit me back right away. He was very personable. We got on the phone pretty quick. Was super nice. Asked me my goals, and before you know it, I was Venmoing some dude I had never met $550, and just took a leap of faith. Sent me right away a program he had laid out for me. We’re in week four or five. I went to New York, had this New York trip planned, so went there for a week, so it kind of set me back a little bit.

Patrick: But we’re in week four or five and starting to see some great results, more so than I had ever saw before. Got me on a regimen, supplements, workouts, letting him know … I have to text him every morning when I wake up, the meals I eat, what time I work out, what time I go to bed. Every Friday, we have to do a check-in. Sent him some pictures, front, back, side, side. He critiques it, sends it back, switches up the program, switches up the weights or the nutrition, and just kind of setting that goal of, “Hey, here’s where I want to be.”

Patrick: Paying somebody $550, which is probably the biggest payment I’ve had in … I don’t know. I haven’t bought anything in a long time, so-

Sean: That’s a pretty big investment.

Patrick: 550 bucks in one thing was kind of a lot. And yeah, it’s worked out great, and we’re only 25 percent of the way done. So I can’t wait to see what it looks like at the end.

Sean: Yeah. So you were open enough and you went out and reached out and got a coach that could then help you, an expert that could help you in what you were doing.

Patrick: I think it started in recognizing I’m not an expert. What I’m doing is okay, but it’s not that great, and being able to critique myself, look myself in the mirror and say, “Hey. You’re in the gym four days a week, and you don’t have a six pack. Why is that? You have some love handles. Your metabolism’s changing. Things are different. You need some help. You’re not an expert here. You don’t know all the answers.”

Patrick: So that’s where it started, and then I reached out to him and-

Sean: Makes sense. And you could have … shameless plug … went to a website like [seancfitness.com 00:38:56] to probably find the same thing.

Patrick: Yeah, absolutely.

Sean: But I really do feel like there’s got to be a distinction with friends that could help you do that same thing that maybe are an expert in this area, went to school for kinesiology, have different degrees and have trained people for years … Friends versus actually making this like a business transaction. I think that’s a big distinction.

Patrick: That’s powerful.

Sean: There’s been a lot of people that have come up to me over the years that are my friends that want to get training from me, online coaching and things like that. I could have them go to Sean C. Fitness, and I could have them look through that website, which is great. But they’re friends, so it’s like it’s a weird balance.

Sean: I usually offer that stuff to friends just at no cost because it’s just easier to kind of keep that separate, because I feel like at some point if a stranger … You’re paying them money. They’re giving their expert advice. That accountability, it’s got to come at a higher level because they’re not-

Patrick: And a higher price, too.

Sean: At a higher price, too. Yeah. They’re not known.

Patrick: On the flip side, do you think those friends that you give these free services to aren’t going to take it as serious as if they paid a stranger or a trainer or an online coach a couple hundred bucks?

Sean: I think so. I think it’s a bigger investment to put into yourself, and that’s something I’ve learned not just through fitness but through real estate, too. Investing in yourself, especially after college … You can invest in a lot of things, but investing in yourself after school’s over, whether it’s seminars or training courses, anything like that, that’s probably not just the most powerful thing but also the biggest return on my investment.

Sean: A few hundred bucks for a seminar, and it results in us getting a place in Hawaii that we now rent on Airbnb. That is way more money … you know, if you take it from a financial standpoint, way more money than just whatever that course was that I did a few years ago. And it was just an investment in myself. I think that’s powerful. It’s … You know.

Patrick: Yeah. No, that’s … Yeah. I think it separates mediocre and people that want to be great, people that want more out of just their nine to five, and want to have more freedom down the road and more control of their life.

Sean: Exactly.

Patrick: And not wake up at 45 and have to answer to a boss that’s five years younger than them and just be in a shitty situation. I want the freedom. I know you do, too.

Sean: Yeah. I think that’s one of my biggest fears, man, is waking up at 85, looking back and being like, “Did I do everything I could to make this life the best life I could?”

Patrick: Yeah. Let’s see. What else do I have here?

Sean: What do you got?

Patrick: Yeah, actually. My second point was … These are kind of all hitting on … continuous thirst for knowledge, which we kind of just talked about. I mean, the books. And you know, what’s kind of helped me a lot, I’ve noticed, is having somebody on my same level that I can constantly interact with, like you. Constantly going to the gym, constantly chatting. It’s not just like a drunken night. We don’t really drink together too much.

Sean: Except for this delicious DoubleWood scotch that we’re having right now.

Patrick: Yeah. DoubleWood. And kind of bounce ideas off each other, and what are you listening to, what are you reading, what are you up to, what have you learned? Kind of just sharing our knowledge and what we’re learning out there with each other, kind of almost multiplying your efforts, plus you have somebody that motivates you. If I fall off for a little bit, I learn something for you that I can take back and kind of get back on the wagon and vice versa. So continuous thirst for knowledge.

Patrick: We are constantly scouring the internets and reading books. I need to read more. And podcasts. Talking to people. I go down to LA and visit with these business owners, these startups, these high-growth companies as I work in technology and consult these folks. They give me huge tips and great nuggets, and I’ll come back and tell Sean, “Hey, dude. I met this CEO of this company that’s doing X, Y, Z. This is pretty cool. Here’s some advice he gave me. What do you think? It’s pretty badass,” because they were in our shoes at one point, trying to start a business.

Patrick: Some of them are getting millions of dollars in funding, taking off, being on Bloomberg. Some of them are not doing that great, but yeah, I mean just all over the place, talking to everybody who’s in real estate, everybody in LA in real estate kind of gave me some cool ideas. Just using our networks. So just continuously wanting to learn more, continuously being curious, genuinely curious about how things work. How does this person [inaudible 00:44:12] his podcast, number one? How did this guy scale his business to 500 employees and X amount of millions of dollars? How are you doing this? So just continuously, genuinely curious.

Sean: Yeah. Just pretty much curious. I think books … Books, in my mind, have always been … When I was a little kid and we were forced to read, I would pick Goosebumps or something like that. You remember Goosebumps?

Patrick: Yeah.

Sean: Those things were fantastic.

Patrick: Love Goosebumps.

Sean: Fictional crazy books that you would read, you’d get captured in the story, but still, I only read them because I needed to. It wasn’t because, oh, I decided to, or this is a great idea. But after college, school’s over. Learning’s over. You take a year, do whatever you gotta do. But then that thirst for knowledge starts to come back and starts to knock on the door.

Sean: It wasn’t until I realized that, wait a minute, I can spend anywhere from 7 to 14 dollars, maybe, for a book, an actual paperbound, hard leather-bound book. If you want to do a Kindle or a podcast audiobook now that they have, that’s fine. Audible is fantastic. But 7 to 14 dollars and you could get somebody’s lifetime experience put down into a few nuggets and pearls or chapters, and you could read that and learn from somebody that’s been around for 70 years. For $7.

Sean: When I realized that and the light bulb went off, yeah, it was like a whole new world. I just picked up stuff from everybody, and I think just even if you only learn one or two things from a book or if you just have to give yourself the ability to start reading a book, and if it’s not for you, be completely okay with putting it down. You don’t need to finish a book. Or if you’re halfway through a book and you get the gist of what that book is trying to tell you, what that author is trying to tell you … We’re not talking about fiction right now. We’re talking about books that people have, nonfiction self-help books.

Sean: If you get the gist of that book, it’s fine to put it down. But for $7, you can take somebody’s life work and be able to learn from that person in a few hundred pages.

Patrick: Definitely.

Sean: I think when I realized that, that was a huge game changer. That and getting a coach.

Patrick: Yeah. Definitely getting a coach. Yeah, I agree. I agree. Just the continuous being genuinely curious and wanting to learn more and how the world works.

Sean: I like it.

Patrick: Yeah. And then the last two were kind of things we just touched on: power of goal setting and being absolutely committed to something, and kind of just wrapping up with title of this podcast. Being experts on not being experts at anything.

Sean: [crosstalk 00:47:17]. What are we going to title this podcast is just going to be The Power of Amateurs.

Patrick: Yeah. Everybody was an amateur at one point.

Sean: I think so, man. Or maybe we’ll title it Give Yourself Permission to be an Amateur.

Patrick: Yeah.

Sean: I think the biggest thing is people start to feel guilty that they’re not … Right? They’re like, “Oh, I’m not where I want to be,” and they don’t realize that the person that they’re looking to be has put in 20 years. People do in private for 20 years what people then see in public. I think that’s a big … just giving yourself permission, not feeling guilty to compare yourself to the person that’s being successful, whatever successful means in your mind.

Sean: I hate using that word because in our society, it usually means making money, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be what successful means. Successful could be setting up a life to where you’re helping other people as much as you can and you’re spending as much time with friends, family, and relationships as you can. That’s my definition of successful.

Sean: So it doesn’t need to be the word “successful,” but just don’t … You don’t need to compare yourself to others. I think that’s the main thing.

Patrick: I’m guilty of that. I do it all the time, is compare myself to others and look at everybody’s highlight … you know, Instagram and Facebook and Snapchat. You’re really just kind of looking at everybody’s highlight reel, and you really aren’t seeing the behind the scenes. But yeah, definitely putting in the time and really putting that sweat equity in and really earning it is important.

Sean: Very cool. All right, man. Well, it was awesome having you on the show. Thank you so much for spending the time.

Patrick: Yeah. Thanks for inviting me.

Sean: I think main wrap-ups are going to be just be open to learning, don’t compare yourself to others, and just constantly strive to be better.

Patrick: Yeah. Be … I think one of my bosses as Salesforce, first boss at Salesforce, told me, “Pat, you gotta be comfortable being uncomfortable.” That’s … Anything you dive into, any new venture, whether it’s real estate or fitness or anything, you have to be uncomfortable not knowing anything at first and kind of just easing into it.

Patrick: So if you could be comfortable being uncomfortable and comfortable being an amateur and comfortable making, maybe, looking a little silly, then you’re going to go places. If you’re not, well, check yourself.

Sean: Very cool. All right, buddy. Well, thank you so much for having … Or thank you so much for coming on the show, spending the time.

Patrick: Yeah.

Sean: We will chat soon.

Patrick: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

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