Do you come from humble beginnings? Only have a high school diploma? Want to own and operate your own apartment buildings and real estate firm? Anything is possible. Just ask Bryan Chavis!
Today, I am talking to Bryan, who is a best-selling author and founder of The Landlord Property Management Academy. He is the author and creator of one of the top online property management designation certifications. Also, Bryan has a blog for real estate professionals and is a property management coach for Keller Williams. He coaches real estate professionals and consults for large housing authorities.
[02:35] Bryan’s background in multifamily real estate leading to a school and speaking.
[05:40] From being a poor student to transitioning to be an entrepreneur.
[07:37] Writing a manual while working on a job to figure out how things work in property management.
[09:53] Building a brand, partnerships, and relationships to manage and own properties.
[10:34] Absorbing, learning, and teaching property management.
[12:08] Turning the manual into a book and more books.
[16:13] Fundamentals was the focus of the first book: Buy It, Rent It, Profit!
[17:04] Second Book: The Landlord Entrepreneur is a follow-up with additional details.
[17:38] What Bryan is working on these days; buying, renting, profiting – practicing what he preaches.
[18:18] 5 phases to become an owner and make money: acquisition, implementation, stabilization, growth, and exit strategy.
[22:42] Acquisition: Understanding how to evaluate a property from an income approach, cash basis, and how to evaluate from an income approach.
[22:57] Implementation: Hard and soft systems needed to operate properties; What systems am I using? How am I going to operate?
[23:38] Stabilization: Maximizing income and minimizing expenses.
[24:00] Growth: Growing the asset’s value.
[24:06] Exit Strategy: Determine what you will do with a property.
[24:47] Be an owner, not a steward.
[25:94] Where to start to learn more – DoorGrow.
[26:54] Advice for struggling entrepreneurs: restart and reboot.
[27:19] How Bryan restarted and rebooted after medical issues; opportunities that help you grow as an entrepreneur.
[28:58] Being passionate and making a difference.
[32:50] Resilience, spirituality, and faith.
[34:34] Is your business blessed to go where it needs to go?
[35:55] Spending too much time on your business and becoming ineffective.
[37:00] Client-centric vs. self-centric business; a life of purpose and meaning.
The Landlord Property Management Academy on YouTube
The Landlord Property Management Academy on Facebook
Jason: Welcome DoorGrow Hackers to The DoorGrow Show. If you are a property management entrepreneur that wants to add doors, make a difference, increase revenue, help others, impact lives, and you’re interested in growing your business and life, and you’re open to doing things a bit differently, then you are a DoorGrow Hacker.
DoorGrow Hackers love opportunities, the daily variety, unique challenges, and freedom that property management brings. Many in real estate think you’re crazy for doing it. You think they’re crazy for not, because you realize that property management is the ultimate high trust gateway to real estate deals, relationships, and residual income.
At DoorGrow, we are on a mission to transform property management businesses and their owners. We want to transform the industry, eliminate the BS, build awareness, change perception, expand the market, and help the best property managers win. I’m your host, Property Management Growth Hacker, Jason Hull, the founder of OpenPotion, GatherKudos, ThunderLocal, and of course, DoorGrow. Now, let’s get into the show.
DoorGrow Hackers. today I have hanging out with me a best-selling author Bryan Chavis. He is the founder of The Landlord Property Management Academy. He is the author and creator of one of the top property management designation certifications online. He runs one of the top blogs for real estate professionals at landlordacademy.com and he’s a property management coach for Keller Williams.
MAPS named one of the top 40 up and coming entrepreneurs under the age of 40 by Gulf Coast Business Review. He travels the country coaching real estate professionals and consults for some of the largest housing authorities in the nation. He lives in Tampa, Florida with his wife and daughters. Bryan, welcome to The DoorGrow Show.
Bryan: Awesome, man. It’s good to be here, man. Thanks for having me.
Jason: Glad to have you. Bryan, you have a really interesting story. You weren’t just born a best-selling author who is crushing it in real estate. You’ve got a couple of books out. You’re a Simon & Schuster best-selling author.
You’ve got Buy It, Rent It, Profit! Make Money as a Landlord in ANY Real Estate Market. I’d love to hear about that in a bit. Then, you’ve got The Landlord Entrepreneur: Double Your Profits with Real Estate Property Management.
Bryan, start with the beginning, when did you first catch the real estate bug? Maybe you could share your background and your journey. I love these kinds of stories.
Bryan: Yeah, very humble beginnings. I started in the multifamily industry working for apartment buildings. I learned about the property management industry from what I consider some of the leading experts in the world, the multifamily industry, the National Apartment Association. I’ve received all my designations and I became an instructor there, so I owe a lot to them my early development.
Then, of course, I moved on when I see where I considered the wealth was. I decided one day I wanted to own and operate my own apartment building, really that’s why I’m doing all these, the books, the consulting. It means a lot to me to be able to give back, but there’s always ways or means owning and operating my own apartment buildings or participating in partnerships where I had ownership interest.
Perhaps using my property management knowledge to leverage percentage of ownership in a larger multifamily institutional great assets. I was able to do that with very little money out of my own pocket. I only have a high school diploma. Like I said if I can do it, anyone can do it. Very humble beginnings.
I don’t think you can get any humbler than where I started. But, yes, it’s kind of the Reader’s Digest version of what I’ve been able to accomplish.
Jason: Where did you get started? Where are you from originally?
Bryan: Originally, I’m from Lakeland, Florida. I grew up in Lakeland, Florida. Got started in the Multifamily industry in the Tampa Bay area. That’s how I got started at a very young age leasing apartments and then worked my way up in the management.
Then, eventually that’s when I decided to become an entrepreneur, and step out, and then raise money under a private placement to go out and find my own apartment buildings, and do a series of events. I wrote this manual and all of a sudden out of the trunk of my car that manual is now the distant relative to Buy It, Rent It, Profit!
That’s how becoming a speaker came along and then developing the school, and then the school morphed in from a school into a consulting firm to where we consult for some of the top housing authorities nationwide, which led me to do coaching and consulting for companies such as Keller Williams.
In fact, the partner in this apartment building that I’m at today, my partner is Mark Willis, the former CEO of Keller Williams. It’s led me to have influence with some of the top minds in real estate. When you consider Mark Willis as my partner, he would be considered Forbes Magazine’s top CEOs.
He’s credited with taking Keller Williams to the largest real estate company in the world, come from high school diploma. Basically, the last job I ever had was a management position in an apartment community to come from those humble beginnings to have a partner like Mike Willis, it just goes to show you that anything is possible.
Jason: Let’s go back to that, because the audience that we’re talking to, they’re entrepreneurs, you and I are entrepreneurs. When did you first get that inkling? You had a job, you were working for somebody. What was that transition like? What sparked your interest or changed your mindset to think, “Hey, I could do this. I could be an entrepreneur. I don’t need to be working for somebody.”
Bryan: Yeah, we all know that when you’re an entrepreneur, you have it from the very beginning. It’s something that’s in your DNA. It’s in your makeup. When I was in high school, I was selling bubblegum, buying bubblegum, and reselling it during the recess. I was always hustling. I always had to grind or something, mowing lawns, you name it, there was always creative things I was doing, so that entrepreneurial bug was always at me.
I was always a poor student, really poor student. I was in special education. They make those jokes about riding the short bus to school. Literally, I graduated with special diploma with a severe learning disability, so school was never really a great option for me.
I knew I had to do something. Back in high school I leaned on athletics and was able to have a basketball scholarship and basketball helped me travel the world. I was introduced to a lot of other entrepreneurs. I always wanted to sit around with the owners of teams and just talk with other sporting agents. I was always fascinated with business.
Then, when that ended in my early 20s, I got a job leasing apartments. That bug is always in me. I was always saying, “I worked in property management,” which is really important. I worked in property management, but I always wanted to own the apartment building, what did it take, how did these people own and operate.
One of the owners that I worked for had over 1000 units. This guy was killing it, but he was humble. He would come in on his own plane and he would come in jeans and a pair of Chuck Taylors. I would ask him and he said, “Man, I started from humble beginnings. I used to be a roofer, Bryan.”
He would tell me his story and I’m just like, “Wow. How do I get to that point?” I can remember, if you have a second for a [00:08:37] story, I remember the first time. I remember selling this manual out of my car. I knew I had no money so I’m trying to figure out a way…
Jason: So you wrote out a manual?
Jason: Because you’re studying this like you had basically some mentors. You have people you can watch. You’re working the job, but you weren’t just working a job to get paid. You’re working the job to figure out how does this work.
Jason: Then, you actually started writing it down?
Jason: You made your own manual.
Bryan: Each of these companies that I worked for all had employee manuals on how to operate around the property. The key to any business is the franchise mindset which means if you’re going to duplicate DoorGrow, the key is that you cannot duplicate something nationwide. If you’re going to open a DoorGrow in every city throughout the country, you first have to have a model. That model has to be stress tested.
Then, when you create that model, then you have to have the ability to be able to show someone else how to do it. You cannot do that without trying the manuals. You cannot do that without having these procedures manuals. These procedures manuals identify the work that needs to be done and then it tells the user how to go about performing that work. That’s what creates consistency. That consistency creates profitability.
I’ve noticed these trends in the companies that I’ve worked for, so I would just take and create my own procedure manuals and help owners of real estate become successful property managers themselves. I sold this manual out of the truck of the car, so you have all of these real estate investors who are buying rental property, who are very unsuccessful at managing their tenants, so I wrote the manual for them.
Then, I went from these real estate investment clubs all around Florida and I would just travel around and sell these manuals out of the truck of my car to these real estate investment club meeting, these groups. I just remember being humble and then figured out that I had to come up with this kind of hustle to sell these manuals, because I went to speak to another investor, a mentor.
It really wasn’t a mentor, it was a guy that was selling a small apartment building. I went to him and I said, “Well, what would it take for me to buy this?” He said, “$1 million.” I was $999,000 short so I had to come up with a hustle. That’s how I started selling these manuals and then the manuals started into the academy and then so on and so forth.
Then, as I started to build a brand people started coming to me saying, “Hey, look. What would it take for me to have you on my team?” Or, “What would it take for you to come out and manage my property?” I said, “Just managing people’s property,” I said, “Well, I would like a percentage of ownership.”
I don’t want to just help you manage your property, but I’ll take a percentage of ownership, cut you a deal on the management but I want whatever percentage was worked out, and whatever deal structure that I worked out with these individuals to have a percentage of actual ownership in the multifamily buildings that I actually would manage. That’s how it all started with the idea of ownership and using their leverage of property management.
Jason: You breezed over this, but I want to point this out, because this is really brilliant. One of your secrets to your success then without a doubt was the fact that you weren’t just absorbing and learning information, but you’re teaching it and teaching is the best way to learn.
There’s the level where we read something and we think we know it enough to maybe take action on it. But when we actually go to try and teach it to somebody else, that’s a whole another level of knowledge and absorption that has to be achieved in order to have the content within you to be able to share it with other people.
Jason: Not only did you write the manual but you then started teaching this and I’m sure people started asking you questions about it. You then have to find answers. You were teaching this. One of the best ways to learn anything is you teach it.
Bryan: Yeah, and do it. Then, also, you got to remember, so I would be teaching it. Like right now, we’re having this conversation and possibly maybe teaching someone, but literally if you ask me where I am right now, I’m at one of my properties, I’m doing.
Teaching and doing is the key. It has been the key for me. Also, I practice what I preach. I have people come here and visit this property everyday and I’m talking and they’re like, “Yeah, that’s actually in your book.” They’re surprised, I can see they’re surprised that I actually live what it is that I wrote in that book.
Like I said, I’m sitting here in the Airbnb at one of my properties right now, so it’s a testament to actually living, and doing, and teaching.
Jason: I get it. That is fantastic. How did that transition into becoming books and Simon & Schuster and all of this happening?
Bryan: That’s another interesting story. One of the people that I was teaching, I’ve had a privilege of teaching a lot of celebrities and athletes with my background from Ray Lewis who I grew up with to Tracy McGrady who I grew up with, Gary Sheffield was a guy that I was talking to when I was helping Gary Sheffield with some of his real estate commercial assets.
He came to listen to me give a lecture and training. We spent a couple of days as you all know at that time, he was with the Yankees, and they spring train in Tampa. We were driving around, he was looking at apartments and Aaron was buying up a bunch of apartment buildings and so Gary was looking to do the same thing. I was riding around with him during the spring training and showing him.
One day he was writing a book called the Inside Power by Gary Sheffield. His agent called me to do an interview about him for his book. The agent, Vigliano Associates out of New York reached out to me and we started talking to him.
Then, they asked me, “Do you have a book for all of these knowledge that you have?” I said, “Yeah, I actually got a manual.” They were like, “Well, send me that manual.” I was like, “Okay.” I was like, “Why?” He was like, “Well, because I think we can help you shop it around and possibly get a book deal,” so I sent them the manual, of course, right away, excited.
I never heard anything like three or four months went by and then I had another friend at that time, I was surprised by Winky Wright, a boxer. Winky was fighting. He was fighting Tito Trinidad in Vegas at the time. I flew out there and stayed a couple of weeks in Vegas hanging out.
After his fight I get a call early in the morning, I’d never forget, I think I was at Caesars Palace, I was at the pool, and I was chilling out at Caesars Palace. I get a call early in the morning and it’s this guy from Vigliano Associates, David Vigliano from Vigliano Associates.
He’s like, “Hey, look. I just read your manual. Our people loved it. We think we can get you a book deal. When can you get to New York?” I was like, “When can I get to New York?” I said, “When do you want me? I can send you out on the red eye tomorrow.”
I go from Vegas to New York and long story short, they shot me around and Simon & Schuster, I met with several people during that that stay in New York. I think I was only out there for two days. Met with several publishers and Simon & Schuster was like, “Listen, I know you met with other people but we plan on beating them all and we like your book and we like the manual, we like the way this thing is going and we want to be part of it,” so I ended up signing with Simon & Schuster. That’s how I got started.
Jason: Fantastic, so you published that first book and then…
Bryan: Yup, and it absolutely does nothing by the way. I sell, I don’t know, maybe two or three copies. I bought one and my mom bought one and maybe some other family member. It really didn’t do anything in 2000.
Now, you got to remember, man, everything was buying and selling. It was 2007, 2008, 2009, everything was crazy. Then, at 2009 the bottom fell out and then years later it just started picking up trash and we’re selling over 150,000 copies a week and things really started to take off, and it really became successful. That’s when the book started to become a best-seller.
It’s funny I was watching another guy. Someone said to me, “That book is being mentioned by people all of the time.” There’s another young kid in LA that’s doing YouTube videos in real estate and so they asked him, “Hey, how did you get started in real estate investing?” He’s like, “I bought this book way back when, Buy It, Rent It, Profit! I suggest you get it.”
It’s something is really flattering to know that that book has a lot of influence with a lot of individuals and it’s helping a lot of individuals start their careers in real estate, including me.
Jason: Absolutely, so explain the focus of that first book then.
Bryan: It’s really about the fundamentals. It’s no BS, Jason. That was one thing. Again, I’m done doing. I’m literally here today doing it. It’s just no BS. Again, I was taught, I can only teach what it is I was given so I told you I wrote the manual based on the principles that I was taught. I was taught that a manual should show you how to go about performing the work and detailed as possible.
When I wrote the book, it’s a lot about knowledge, and a lot about what I do, and how I do it, but it’s really a detailed manual on how you should go about operating and running properties, purchasing properties, and operating on day to day at the operational level which we do as managers.
Jason: Tell us about the second book, The Landlord Entrepreneur.
Bryan: It’s a follow up, because a lot of people said, “I wish you could go on more detailed here.” You know how you always get that with the books and you can’t put everything in one book, so it’s a prelude and a follow up to Buy It, Rent It, Profit! In my opinion I wrote them to go together.
Jason: People should get the first one read that, move on to the second one, it goes deeper.
Bryan: Absolutely. Yes, exactly.
Bryan: Yeah, that’s how it goes.
Jason: Cool. You mentioned that you’re at a property now, so what are you keeping busy with these days?
Bryan: Buying and operating real estate. We have a lovely 22-unit apartment building here in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg. I don’t know if you can see.
Jason: It is beautiful there in Florida today, just like here in sunny California.
Bryan: It is beautiful here in Florida. We’re right in the heart of Downtown. Everyday there’s something going on at St. Pete. I think today is the international French fry, whatever. But everyday there’s something going on, man. I’m buying it, renting it, and profiting. At the end of the day, man, practicing what I preach.
Jason: Let’s shift the focus. I love all this. Let’s help out some property management business owners. There’s a lot of people that have these small, struggling property management companies. I think maybe it’s not surprising, but very few of them seem to have their own investment properties they’re just not in that game yet. What advice would you give to these property management business owners and how can they transition or what mindset do they need to have to transition into being an owner and bringing in more money?
Bryan: Let’s talk about five key principles. If I’m writing something down, if I have to give somebody something, it’s always these five principles. You got to master these five phases. First phase is the acquisition phase. The second phase is the implementation. Third, stabilization. Fourth, growth. Fifth, the exit strategy.
If you do not understand those five phases nor can navigate those five phases, it’s going to be extremely difficult for you to managing it to a level like I’m at with taking your property management business to heights that really have no ceiling on it, because you really have to understand how to think like an investor.
The problem is that most of our property managers they operate like a steward. You want to operate and understand it from an owner’s perspective. At the end of the day, I would never allow someone to manage my properties that really didn’t understand investing in real estate themselves. I just personally would not. I don’t care how successful you are as a property manager.
My first question out of my mouth is how many units do you own and operate? If you say none, you’re just, I don’t want to say, just a property manager because that’s negative, but I really want to see that you own and operate some of your own properties because then you really understand. If you can’t because not all of us can, then I need to teach you how to sit down and articulate.
For me people say, “Well, how do you attract investors and clients?” It’s because I know those five phases and I can navigate those five phases. You can drop me off anywhere in this country, any neighborhood, because you can watch YouTube videos of me doing it, any neighborhood.
Some of the worst I have with my YouTube videos and I turn these properties around within 60 to 90 days. Again, I have documentations of YouTube videos of me doing this and it’s because I understand how to navigate these five phases.
When I have that fundamental knowledge, getting business and achieving whatever success or amount of doors, for me it’s academic, it’s a second nature. It’s going to happen, but the first thing that we need to teach our viewers is to really understand this industry. Not just what you’re teaching them which is awesome and great, all the marketing and all, but you fundamentally have to have the knowledge and understand how to evaluate investment properties, how to manage them.
Again, the acquisition, the implementation, the stabilization, the growth, and the exit strategy, you really have to understand those five phases and know how to navigate them. There are some who understand the acquisition phase, the sales agents of these commercial properties. They can tell you everything they need to know about the acquisition phase, cap rates, internal rates of return. They know everything they need to understand about how to find value in these assets and sell them.
Then, you have individuals who understand the implementation phase, which are the implementing of systems like our property managers. They know everything they need to know on how to operate. You want to know how to deliver a three-day notice, kick someone out who hasn’t paid the rent, whatever, these individuals they know it.
But if you ask them about sales, they’ll look at you crazy. If you ask them to evaluate an investment property to determine caps and internal rates of return, they couldn’t tell you. If you ask some of the sales people who know all about cap rates, what it takes to manage a property day to day, they’ll look at you crazy.
There are individuals who know certain aspects of this industry and they know it very well, but very few know how to navigate all five phases. If there’s anything that I’ve done, it’s I know I’ve mastered all five phases. That’s why I book deals, and projects, and partners such as Mark Willis, that’s why I attract this to my inner circle is because really it boils down to having the knowledge, and the understanding, and the wisdom how to navigate this industry, again, all five of them.
Jason: That’s why you’re on The DoorGrow Show.
Bryan: That’s why I’m on The DoorGrow Show, brother.
Jason: Bryan, take us through these five really quickly. Explain acquisition to those that are like, “What’s acquisition?” How would you define that?
Bryan: Real simple, as if we’re on an elevator. Acquisition is understanding how to evaluate a property from an income approach, cash basis, how to evaluate from an income approach. Implementation, those are the systems. When I bought this property October 31st with our investment group who I had to show up on Monday and operate this property.
What systems am I using? How am I going to operate? There’s two types of systems, soft systems and hard systems, the operating and the technology. How am I going to set this whole thing up to operate from day one, because now on Monday I’m an owner. I got to collect rent. I got to handle how did all of these happen, how do we handle this? The implementation of the systems, both hard systems, technology, and soft systems, the day to day systems that we use to operate the property from the operational level, that’s the implementation.
Once you’ve established your systems, then you can focus on stabilization. What is stabilization? That’s maximizing income and minimizing expenses. That has to do with understanding it from an operational level maintaining maintenance, eliminating delinquencies, that’s all of the things that happen day to day. That’s stabilization.
Once you’ve stabilized the property then you can focus on growth. That’s growing the asset’s value. Once I grow the assets’ value, then you can think about exit strategy. What is our exit strategy for this property? Do we want to take 22 units and turn it into 40? Pull the equity out of this, maybe buy another one across the street, buy the one on the corner. What is our exit strategy for this? That’s how you determine an exit strategy.
They all go hand in hand, you can’t take exit strategy and get to acquisition. You have to understand the acquisition. You have to understand the implementation, the stabilization, the ability to grow the asset. Then, you have to have always the end in mind with any business, what is our end goal.
All those things have to work together and that’s why I stress that you have to know the five phases.
Jason: Bryan, this is really cool. You said something that stood out to me. You said, “Be an owner, not a steward.” I love that. Think like an owner rather than just being a steward. Just that mindset shift if they started thinking, “How can I be an owner? What do I need to know to be an owner?” If they want to learn more about these five stages and learn from Bryan and learn his methods, what would you say where should they start?
Bryan: They could start at DoorGrow. Start right here at DoorGrow, but hopefully we can work together and bring some things to your viewers with the academy and DoorGrow. We love to collaborate with DoorGrow and be able to offer some of the coaching consulting with you and, of course, they can always visit our YouTube pages.
Every week I’m here Jason and I shoot YouTube videos from the property. I’m showing people. I’m peeling back the layers of these onions. It’s transparency at its finest. You want to understand how to operate, you can literally log in everyday and see me at this property and there’s always a new topic to talk about.
They can log in and catch us on Facebook, our YouTube channel, Landlord Academy, go to landlordacademy.com. Then, I’m sure within a couple of weeks me and you will have something together to where we’re able to get them and point them from DoorGrow.
Jason: Awesome. You are showing real and raw tactical and strategic methods for actually making the stuff happen.
Jason: You’re not just some guy that’s teaching theory from a stage, that wrote some book. You’re in the trenches. You show video completely transparently showing what’s going on with the property and what you’re doing, so I love it. That’s awesome.
Bryan, it’s been really cool having you on the show. It’s been great getting to know you and get familiar with you and connect with you. Everybody make sure you check out Bryan at landlordacademy.com.
Bryan: Yes, sir. That’s it.
Jason: Okay, cool. What’s your best advice that you would give to struggling entrepreneurs out there? Any final words?
Bryan: Yeah. If you’re struggling, iron sharpens iron, you know a little bit about my personal story. I’ve had to even restart and reboot after having a brain tumor and losing pretty much everything and having to reboot.
Jason: You got to share that story now that you dropped that bomb. Explain a little bit about that before we let you go.
Bryan: In between this book and the book deal and everything going on, things were going well, book deal is out, becoming a best-seller, pretty much […] I have a brain tumor in 2012 and lived for two years with this brain tumor. Then, 2014 they pulled it out of my head, but then I lost my speech and all my motor skills on my left side.
You can go to Facebook, because I videotaped it. There’s pictures of me being in the operating room, because I had to be awake when they removed the tumor from my brain. I never did a go fund me page or anything like that.
As an entrepreneur I made the mistake of not investing in myself and I did not have any medical insurance, so I had to fund a lot of this myself. I pretty much lost everything and had to start over from scratch.
My point to this that being entrepreneur, I’ve written some books and I have a lot of knowledge. I always joke that I probably forgotten more than most people know in this industry, but I think there’s more to what I say on my story than just understanding the property management aspect but there’s more to the entrepreneurial, the spiritual side of this, and understanding how to bounce back.
I’ve just had one of my friends come here and visit the property doing onsite coaching. He was telling me, “My uncle had a brain tumor. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it.” It’s like to come back and to bounce back from these things, it’s tough so how do you handle that as an entrepreneur? You have to keep moving forward and you have to have a strong resiliency and a strong faith.
In whatever it is that you do, you have to have passion behind what it is you’re doing, and really feel like at the end of the day you’re making a difference. The education, the training part of what you’re doing is making the difference in people’s lives. If you’re really not making a difference in people’s lives, then really what are you doing?
That’s really what keeps us moving forward. For me as an entrepreneur, I’ll find something that keeps you moving forward, find something to where you’re providing a service that’s beneficial and helpful to others. When you find that passion, you’re able to sustain hardships, because there’s going to be hardship. Hopefully, not drastic as a brain tumor but you’re going to have setbacks.
These setbacks, they are key to defining you and helping you grow as an entrepreneur. I would say, don’t look at these setbacks. I don’t care if it’s your past, I don’t care if you’re battling an addiction, you’re battling bankruptcy, I don’t care what it is you’re battling. You can look at these setbacks that you have. They are setbacks, but I look at them as set-ups.
They’re setups to take me to the next level. If it weren’t for this brain tumor, I wouldn’t have the amount of knowledge, the wisdom, the spirituality that I have. These setbacks are really not setbacks, I think they’re really set-ups and they’re really there to take you to the next level.
I think if most of our viewers can understand when they have these hardships, and they’re going through the struggles, and they’re not able to make their bills, not able to make their electric bill or figuring out do they have to turn this service offer, discontinue this service, it’s a grind, grow through it but don’t give up. Grow through it.
These are huge opportunities. They don’t look like opportunities right now, but trust me these are opportunities. They help you grow as an entrepreneur, then they’ll help you develop the character you need to build the business and the life that you’re looking to have.
Jason: Yeah. If anybody can find opportunity in problems, it’s entrepreneurs.
Jason: That’s what we do, so I love it. Setbacks are actually set-ups. Going through this, having a brain tumor, initially I’m sure it felt like a setback, what do you feel you came out of that with that you didn’t have before? What did you gain from that? That’s a big deal.
Bryan: It’s a huge deal, it’s everything. It’s the foundation of who I am today. The old Bryan died on that operating table and then the new Bryan came and then that new Bryan didn’t just happen overnight. It was a series of years of also trying to really find my way and starting back over from scratch.
But really I learned about faith, I learned about the ability to […] getting some stuff delivered. I found a lot about myself, Jason. I found a lot about, again, being able to go to the worst places. There’s no worse place than being on the operating table with someone removing a tumor from your brain and being awake.
I didn’t have the benefit of being asleep. They’re literally paralyzing me while I’m awake. It’s the worst place that I’ve ever gone through. A worst feeling. Then, having those seizures, all of the stuff that I went through for three years before. I would have seizures before I even went and spoke and gave lectures in the hotel room.
Then, I would have to go and give an eight-hour lecture right after having a seizure. Here’s another thing, I wasn’t in this low, Jason, for a day. This wasn’t an inconvenience for a month. This wasn’t a small setback for even two or three months.
You’re talking about a five year setback, do you know what I mean? Two years of chemo, two years of having these crazy seizures that would just debilitate me and tear me down. You’re talking about a lot that I had to actually to go through, so I’m not just freaking and saying, “Oh, yeah, I know.”
Jason: Right, it was so tough and I got over it.
Bryan: I got over it. This took years.
Jason: No, I appreciate you painting the picture.
Bryan: Yeah, that’s years of suffering. At the end of the day, the resilience and the spirituality that I got, and the faith in God, and how if it wasn’t for Him delivering me, and being there, and showing me a lot of things, and continually showing me this growth, that’s the reason why I’m still here.
I really feel like a lot of these is really tapping into that spirituality. I think as all entrepreneurs, we really need to tap into that spiritual side. There’s one thing that I learned. There’s two sides of you, there’s the flesh side and the spiritual side.
Unfortunately, eight hours a day we’re always feeding that flesh side; marketing, media, TV, food, whatever, arguments we’re having, whatever it is we’re always feeding that. That flesh side gets fed, man, fed, fed, fed, but that spiritual side gets deprived.
On Sunday you may give God or whomever you may give, God, going for two or three hours during Sundays, but after that, that’s about it but that’s not enough to sustain you as an entrepreneur and go through these hardships that you will go through, that we all encounter. It’s not enough to sustain you.
You really got to fed that spiritual side of who you are to be able to help you out when you face the time like I faced. You’re going to need that help and that help always doesn’t come from family and friends and just prayer alone. It’s going to come from something much deeper and I just encourage people to cultivate that spiritual side and just put down Facebook for a minute, turn the TV off, unplug, and really get to know who you are, and get to know that spiritual side because that side of you is going to take you to the next level. The levels that you really want to go.
Sometimes you have to understand that you’re not blessed and your business is not blessed to go where it needs to go, because you’re not ready. You’d be like handing the keys to a car to a 9-year-old. They’re not ready to drive. Can they drive? Is the car there? Are all the things available for this individual to do whatever it is that they need to do?
Absolutely, but they’re physically and mentally not ready to take those keys. Sometimes you may want your business to get 800 doors, but you’re not mentally ready to handle 800 doors. Sometimes, God knows that He won’t allow you to grow into those 800 doors, because then it becomes like you were to hand the keys to a car to a 9-year-old then it becomes a disaster.
It can become a wrecking ball for whoever’s on that road or for the child themselves or for pedestrians, whomever. It can become a mess real fast.
Sometimes, if you’re not growing and your business is low, it’s not because you’re doing something wrong, it’s because you’re not really turned into the inside and speeding that spiritual side and you’re not growing as an individual. As soon as you start focusing on growing as an individual, watch what happens to your business. I promise you, your business begins take off and opportunities begin to present themselves when you’re ready for those opportunities. Ready means, like I said, both the physical and the spiritual side.
Jason: Every time I said this to several clients many times that your business isn’t struggling or has a lack of growth, because you aren’t spending enough time focusing on your business. That’s not the problem. Entrepreneurs spend plenty of time focusing on the business, sometimes too much time focusing on their business and they become ineffective. They’re spending so much time on their business.
I got to the point once where I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t spending time with my family, I was just working and working, because I thought that’s what I need to do to get ahead. It was less effective. I was probably at 10% of my capacity as to what I’m doing now and I spend way less time focused on the business.
Focusing on family, spending time with my kids, spending time with my wife, doing date nights, doing personal training, and getting fit, and eating healthy. But the spiritual side, you’re absolutely correct. When you get connected and some people call it getting centered or getting spiritually connected or connecting with God, when you get clarity on your purpose in life and what your mission is, I think that’s different for every single person because in our hearts there is a different joy for every single person.
Jason: Some people say follow your bliss, but we all have different things that just light us on fire and make us feel alive and those things always involve an outward focus. They always involve other people. In business that means having the client-centric business. It’s like a self-centric business.
Bryan: I agree, absolutely.
Jason: We need purpose, even the millennials nowadays, people complain about millennials, but they just want purpose. They don’t want to do meaningless work anymore. Entrepreneurs, especially, contribution focus, visionary entrepreneurs, we want to have a life of purpose and a meaning.
If you can give that to yourself and give that voice deep down inside that’s telling you what you need to do, and you know what you should be doing, if you follow that, your business will grow and things will expand. It just happens.
Bryan: Yes, it just happens. Absolutely, I agree. I couldn’t say it better myself.
Jason: It’s not something that you can just force. It’s not something you can go just read a book and you’re like, “Oh, I’m going to change.” You just need to get clear on what makes you feel alive and do more of that and you got to give yourself some time for that. There has to be space for that.
We don’t even allow our brains space a lot of times and so some people is meditating, it’s being quiet, it’s having those mornings or evening hours alone, whatever it might be. Make sure you’re investing in yourself, so I love this. I love the direction of this conversation went, Bryan. It’s been fantastic having you on the show.
Bryan: Good to be here.
Jason: We’ll let you get back to your sunny Florida and get out there to those French fries that you’re excited about.
Jason: Thank you so much for coming out. I appreciate it.
Bryan: Thanks for having me, man. Good to be with you.
Jason: All right, we’ll be talking with you soon, bye, Bryan.
Bryan: All right, take care.