David, by the age of 26, you lived it up. You traveled the world, but the party ended and you had to return home to Austin, Texas, broke and unemployed. You come down from living it up, traveling the world, and you've got to come to terms with, "I've got to figure out my next move." I'm very curious what was going through your head when you returned and you said, "I've got to figure out what I'm going to do?"
It's almost the opposite. I know it sounds crazy, but I was looking through an old journal of mine. I've been journaling for a long time. I was hitchhiking around the world for two years and three months. About fifteen months into it, I found a journal entry that said, "I wish I had a steady job and I could take a shower in the same place every day." As romantic as it sounds, hitchhiking around the world was epic. I'm so glad I did it, especially at a young age when I could afford to live poor and close to the earth, sometimes sleeping on it. I was ready to get back to work. I was like, "That was great. Let's go, let's do something else." It wasn't hard to reintegrate.
What was interesting is I came back and I got a job. I'd been in high tech sales before because selling computer systems. When I got another job for Novell System selling computer software. As I was filling out all the paperwork, I'd gone through the interviews. One of them had this intellectual property agreement and I said, "If I thought of something, dreamed of something, anything that I created while I worked for the company belong to the company." That was something that disgusted me and who I had been for the free spirit, walk in the world for two years and I don't know why. I thought, "If I think of something offline, you guys get to own it?" In hindsight, it was a silly piece of paper to react to because I had no creativity in software at all.
Because of that piece of paper, I walked out with my head high, super proud. I'm not going to work under these conditions. I told the manager, "I'm not willing to accept that piece of paper." Here I am, a nothing level entry sales guy rejecting an intellectual property agreement. I don't know why I did, but it turned out to be a blessing. My mom was a realtor. I never thought I'd be in real estate. She said, "Why don't you come work for me while you look for a real job?" That sounded like a great idea to me because I was $1,500 in debt. I had a negative net worth and I said, "I'll come work for you temporarily."
One thing led to another. I'm showing an old college friend a house. We looked at houses, have a beer after looking at houses three days in a row. He buys a house and I make $5,000. I'm thinking, "This isn't such a bad way to make a living." What the adventure showed me, which was great is I don't need any money. I don't need a lot of possessions to have a great life. I lived on $20 a day for almost two years, which is more than most of the people in the countries I was visiting. For me, that's $7,000 a year, so it's low for an American. The desire to be done with it, I was ready to be done. I lost fifteen pounds traveling for two years.
What do you attribute that to? It's that the bad food in the US or were you just always in motion?
More the latter. I was in motion and I didn't have a lot of money. I was eating whatever I could eat, but there wasn't much of it to eat. I got skinnier and skinnier. Food is a variable expense and I was trying to save all my money to do the experiences.
You had mentioned being in sales or in tech and then you left to go on this trip and then you came back to it. That takes some courage to walk away very early on in your career. What was going through your mind? Was it like, "I'm only young once and I should go see the world?" Was it you were fed up with that path?
God works in mysterious ways. All of the things that have happened to me had been so much a factor of chance. My roommate in college, his family had a tradition of hitchhiking around the world. He was one year behind me. I graduated and he was still a junior. He'd been asking me, I'm like, "I'm going to get my career going. I'm going to go make some money." I got my first job selling computer systems. It was walking into a building, walking right by the no solicitation sign and try to sell them a whole set of new computers. It wasn't that glamorous, and I loved it. I was working my tail off. My boss then wanted me to have sex with her even though she was my boss and she was married. After about six or eight months where I was the top salesman, many months in that company, it got weird. I'm 23, she's 30-something. It would be a big deal now. In my day, it sucked. After one year, I turned to my friend and said, "I am going to travel with you around the world."
I got a bad taste in my mouth from that experience. I sold my car, I sold all my possessions. I had $15,000 to my name and I bought a ticket for $3,000 one way around the world. Off we went. I wouldn't have done it if I hadn't had that terrible experience at work. Everything ends up working to my favor. Tony Robbins says, "Life happens for you, not to you." If I look back to all these weird things that happen, whether it's getting into real estate or hitchhiking around the world, it's because something unpleasant happened or something I thought was unpleasant. I made a move and that move ended up being a blessing.
I love your outlook on life and how it does work for you. You could have taken the other approach and that wouldn't serve you. Coming from tech and now you're in real estate. It's one thing to say "Mom, I'll come over and I'll help you out," and do that while you're looking for something, but to stay for as long as you did to build the organization that you did. What consumed you about real estate coming from tech?
First off, I was in tech sales. That's not quite the same as tech. We’re the dumb guys that sell for the smart guys. I got into real estate and my mom and dad had owned rental property. I always thought I would own rental properties as a kid. I used to have a lawn mowing company. I'd cut their yards and other lot yards for other people to own rentals. I got into it and I found it quite easy to make money. That was one thing. Honestly, it was fun to make the money. You’ve got to go out and socialize. It's a super social business. I was an ambivert, so I'm a borderline introvert, borderline extrovert. I'm right on the line, but it's full of extroverted people that have a lot of fun.
Mostly I was fortunate to be around a guy called Gary Keller. He built Keller Williams
. He's a billionaire. He's the closest billionaire relationship I have. He was relentlessly focused on education and training. I would tell you that I was a C-student all through college. I was a lame student. I barely saw a reason to study and I didn't try hard, but I made it through in five and a half years. Gary's way of teaching showed me practical uses of information that would improve my career. When I learned how to say scripts, I became better at sales. When I learned how to stage open houses, I became better at selling homes. When I learned how to manage a budget and have a P&L, I became a better business person. Gary Keller was obsessed with training and obsessed with education.
He would read every book published that was an important business book and then he would teach it to us. That was an incredibly self-developmental and powerful environment to be in and a very fortunate one. Back then, Gary wasn't known. There were 800 agents. He was losing money at a headquarters level. I'd be in a class with him and ten people. Now, there are 3,000 people hanging on his every word. He was a great teacher, very intense, very focused. I enjoyed that a lot. I didn't love selling. I did it for three years with my mom. We became the top team in the company, which back then didn't take that much. Now, we wouldn't even be an afterthought.
After three years I said, "This isn't enough for me. I'd like to do something different." The company happened to be expanding very fast and selling franchises and they were looking for people to buy franchises. It was fortunate for me because I couldn't have done what I did. They were looking for anybody. I was lucky enough to be somebody, not anybody important, but I was anybody. They gave me that shot. I went up to Dallas and bought my first franchise with my mom as my partner again. I ended up buying more and more franchises. I wasn't very good at running them. Gary Keller is teaching us how to do it. I'm all in. The good thing I was good at going all in. It's pretty much a pretty consistent theme of mine, whether it's all into hitchhiking around the world or all into open franchises.
Every penny I had was going into it. Over time, you get better at it. I'm getting trained, I'm getting educated. I buy more franchises and I started doing better. The whole world turned around because I bought five franchises. As one got better, all five got better because I knew what I was doing. I got better at hiring. I was taught how to hire great managers by an outside consultant that Gary Keller brought in. I became good at hiring talented people. Anyone that works for me is very talented and I'm lucky that way. I ended up with fifteen franchises. We sell $12 billion a year in real estate, have 5,000 agents and have an incredible partner that does an amazing job.
We have great team leaders that do an amazing job, managers for the offices. It's been quite a journey. We're the fourth largest according to real trends in the United States by units. It's been a journey of stumbling from success to success. This consistency I've had is going all-in, failing forward. When I get knocked down, I don't lick my wounds too long. I get back up and figure something out. I was getting educated, getting taught and leading with revenue, making sure I never got over my skis. I drove secondhand cars until I was in late my 40s. I never bought a new car and was very conservative. I always kept my living expenses low and poured my money into my businesses.
David, I'm very curious about that. That young agent or even that young entrepreneur may be reading that aspires to follow in the footsteps, yet sometimes it can feel intimidating to hear 5,000 agents and $12 billion in sales. What do you advise those young entrepreneurs, especially those that can't wait and want it now?
I don't think you should focus on the finish line. You have to align yourself with an opportunity that will win. I knew a guy that had six Subway franchise shops. He made $120,000 a year, but he was constantly having to go in and make sandwiches because a minimum wage employee wouldn't show up. Rick Pitino, the coach said, "Put yourself in a position where you know you could win. Align yourself with a superstar." I'm not Gary Keller, I'm not a billionaire. I aligned myself with a billionaire. I know that when you read Wayne Huizenga’s book about Blockbuster, one of the things he was most proud about is a dozen guys became multi-millionaires through being in the world that he developed. You don't have to be Michael Jordan of business. You have to be on Michael Jordan's team.
What I would tell him is first off, find a place you could win, a niche you could win, which by the way, real estate is the best niche for the everyday man to be successful. Outside of my real estate brokerages, I also have a very large single residential portfolio that I built over many years that anyone could do. Find a playground or a playing field where you can win and then align yourself with a rock star. You don't have to be the rock star, be around rock stars, have peers with the rock stars, but also get close to somebody that's crushing it.
Watch out for the fake crushers. There are a lot of fake crushers out there. A fake crusher looks pretty and they look good and they say all the right things but when you look under the hood, they're at negative net worth. They're spending $1 million and making $900,000. Watch out for the false prophets. Look for real genuine and authentically successful people. Get in alignment with them. Who you hang out with matters. Put yourself in place to win. Align yourself with winners.
You founded over 50 companies. You're a family man. You're here on the show. You've put out books. You've got a tribe which we'll talk about here. You're doing a lot of different things. I'm curious as to what your day-to-day looks like in running your empire.
It's way easier with scale. This is what people don't understand. It's complicated being wealthy. I'm not going to ask for any pity from any of your audiences, but there's a lot of complexity in my life. The 50 with 25 running is a handle I threw out there. I have $200,000-ones coming in from S-Corp's we've created, but a lot of them are in the same space. I try to lump it together in a simple formula. Owning fifteen franchises was easier than owning one. Owning 100 rental properties was easier than owning one. That's what I want to get across your audiences. Scale makes it easier, not harder.
When I had one, I was the solution to most of the problems. If the cubicle was broken, I'd be fixing it. If the copier's broken, I'm on the phone with a copier company trying to get him to come out and fix it. That's with one. With fifteen, that's impossible which forces you to get better at leveraging through others. You've got three forms of leverage, capital leverage, people leverage and systems leverage. Money leverage is easy. You can whip things with money once you have it, but when you don't have any, that's a problem. You have to use your own time. A systems leverage is, “Here's my system for dealing with all this stuff.”
You could have a system of, “I only return phone calls between 10:00 and 11:00.” That gives you the rest of the day to work, or 10:00 and 1:00, 1:00 and 3:00. That's a system. People leverage is the best of all. That's where you hire great people to do the work so you have expanded capacity. I live in a world where I have an incredible team around me. My right-hand man, Matt King is amazing. He takes so much off of me. We have great leadership through the organization. My general day is I get up around 5:00. Occasionally it’s 4:45, 5:50 but usually it's around 5:00. I don't set an alarm, I just wake up. I try to go to bed at 9:00. I get up, I go to my library, I read, journal, meditate, visualize, think about the day. I look through my goals on a good day. It’s for some days of course, this is the ideal day I'm telling you.
From that, I either go exercise by riding my Peloton or lifting weights. Depending on if I got up a little late, my kids get up around 7:00. I go wake them up and hang out with them until about 7:45. They go to school at 8:00. I try to have breakfast with them, give them cuddles. Around 8:00, if I got my workout in, then I go straight to my emails or go to my team and say, "What have we got going on?" What I mean by emails is what's on the schedule. That could be a whole series of calls. If it's freer, then I'll go lift weights. I lift weights during calls. If I'm riding the Peloton, that's harder to do. By 11:00, whatever you've done after that, it's all reactionary. Who's calling me, who's coming in, what are my appointments? I have a great control over my day-to-day. I don't have to work nearly as hard as I used to. I'm at 35 to 40 hours a week. I used to be way more than that. I can take a lot of vacations. All of that is because of the scale. You have great people. With great people, you leverage.
You mentioned great people. I'd be remiss if I didn't personally ask this and what we're building here. I imagine it's not necessarily you doing it, but you have a system or you have teams of people. Two questions for you, David, in terms of finding great talent. Do you have any advice you have there? Even the more important one is maintaining and keeping that talent on the team.
First off, success leaves clues. If you're going to find somebody talented, don't expect to find a guy that, "This guy has all the potential in the world. I'm going to develop them." Better to find somebody already developed. When Matt King came to work for me, his license plate said, “All Out.” He's a guy that played all out. He had already run a business, but it had failed. I got to watch him work two events where he volunteered and work 12 to 16-hour days and be gracious to the other coworkers. History leaves clues and people that have been successful tend to continue to be successful.
In the interview, they've lasted two years that have all of their previous three jobs and they hate all three of their bosses. In two years, they'll hate you and they'll be looking for a new job. That's given and how people operate. The question is how do you find talent? You ask them in the interview process, “Tell me about your past. Tell me about your history,” and you look for reasons that they've been successful. That's the simplest way to find winners. How do you keep them in a relationship? It's simple as a covenant relationship. I care about Matt a tremendous amount, so much so that in fact, he's in my will. I care about my leaders.
I try to give them equity opportunities. I want them to be fabulously wealthy, building our world together. I want them to have their economic goals hit. I want them to have vacations. I care about my players at a very high level. I don't put myself above them. I don't think I'm superior to them. I just happened to be positioned in a place where they work for me and not vice versa. They have to get results. We have agreements on our targets, but I generally care about them. I try to overpay them or give them a great deal of the upside of anything we create together. I make sure they're taking vacations, but I don't micromanage them. I find the best people don't want to be micromanaged. I sit down with them and they say, "What are we going to get done?" We write it all down and then I hold them accountable to whatever they said, but it is a covenant relationship. I care about them and I want them to win.
I want to talk about Wealth Can't Wait. You wrote a book with Paul Morris. I love the title. It's very catchy. It's something that we subscribed to on the Get WealthFit Show. I'm very curious as to the why. You can do anything. Why did you choose to sit down and write a book?
My dad was dying of cancer. He got cancer from Agent Orange. He’s a Green Beret and a 30-year soldier. As he was dying, it took three years for him to go. I was thinking he's going to take all his stories with him. I'm not going to get the stories that he has. He was a good storyteller. A lot of military guys are. I was sad and I thought, "I'm going to sit beside him." I took one year off when he got pretty bad towards the end. I tried to take most of 2008 off. That means working twenty hours a week for me. I had a great team that stepped in and filled the gap. I started writing this book. I was like, "I'm going to write a book." I don't have stories like my dad’s funny stories, but I've been pretty successful. I could leave a legacy of how to build wealth and how to be successful.
It's a great book. It should have been five books. There's so much information in it. It's totally not the normal book where you get one theme and you maximize that theme, which I get. It took me seven years to write this book. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I definitely put it in the top five hardest things. I was a C-student. I write and write and then I'd read it and I'm like, "This is crappy. There are some good points in it, but it's not good." Along the journey, I met Paul and he'd said, "I've always wanted to write a wealth-building book." I said, "No kidding. I'm writing one right now. It's going terribly."
We became co-authors. We held each other accountable to writing chapters that accelerated the success. We hired all kinds of editors and people that said they knew how to market books. I could give you a whole book on how to market books. The fact that most of the people that sell to authors are selling you BS. They're not selling you the truth. They're selling you hype like many things in life. It's not that surprising. Publishers, can they help you? Not that much. No one's going to help you. The best thing to help you is if you were the president of the United States or you were the MVP of the NFL, or you had a platform. We spent a bunch of money getting it right. I read my own book fourteen times.
One of my favorite definitions of writing a book is it goes from a sexy dream to a difficult relationship to a cruel mistress. That's exactly the cycle I went to. I'm like, "This is going to be so fun, sexy and exciting. I'm going to put down my words. It's going to be amazing." It's like a relationship where I'm working hard on it. I'm trying to make it work and then at the end I'm like, "I don't ever want to see this book again. I don't want to read it again. I don't want to touch it again and it's whipping me." We got it done, we got it released and I'm very proud of it. It's a really good book. It's a legacy piece for me. If I got hit by a bus, my kids could pick it up and I'll never make back the money I spent writing it, but at least my kids will have something to remember me by.
I don't want to spoil the story that's inside the book and the lessons. I do want to ask you about a few of the things because we have people that are reading. I think of the ones that are very early on in their journey. Wealth can't wait. It's one of those things that a lot of people end up putting off. People in your 50s and 60s are like, "I wish I would've started this earlier." You have seven pillars for wealth building. I'm not asking you to give them all in order, but what do you think are some of the most fundamental things that people need to consider when it comes to building wealth?
You need to start now. That's for sure what you said. The power of compounding is massive. You want to compound your investments. It depends if you're starting a business or building real estate, but the seven pillars specifically have to do with starting a business. Nine out of ten real estate investments succeed, nine out of ten businesses fail. That gives you the binary outcome of the two. If nine out of ten real estate investments succeed, what's the overall return? It’s about 10%. If you invest in real estate, you should make 10% to 12% long-term over the life of that asset, a little better or a little worse. In a business, if you fail, you lose 100% of your cash. If you succeed, I was lucky enough to do it mainly because of the incredible people I was around because of Gary Keller, the model and because of me going all-in.
If you do business, you have to know that client acquisition is number one. You have to acquire clients. Client acquisition is king, nothing else matters. I see people come into real estate, they designed the most magnificent listing presentation that no one ever sees. I see another person come in real estate that can barely speak English. The next thing you know, they're making $100,000 a year because the person that can't speak English is out there hustling with their broken English and trying to make stuff happen. The Ivy League guy that I know that designed this incredible presentation never went to acquire customers.
Client acquisition is the number one thing you have to do. If you wonder why in a law firm, the guy that barely comes the office is always playing golf and gets paid more than anybody and has the corner office. It's because they know how to bring in IBM's, the Exxon's and the high net worth clients. It's the most highly paid thing. Number two, look for something that has a barrier to entry so that you're not just going to be instantly copied and defeated. Learn how to leverage, people leverage and system leverages.
The fourth pillar is to model other people. The thing about your show and people reading into what you're saying is the number one way to be successful is to do what successful people do. The number one way to do what successful people do to find out what they do is to just go copy them, read them, listen to them and follow them. There is a formula for success like there's a formula for failure. If you model yourself after success, you'll win. Make sure your core competence aligns with what you're doing. If you're a programmer by nature, don't try to go to sales. If you're in sales by nature, don't try to go to programming. Use the 80/20 rule is pillar six, which is do the most important things every day. I had a brutal lesson around this.
I almost had an identity crisis and I got shingles when I was 30 years old. It's because I used to try to treat everything equally. My to-do list was getting so big I couldn't keep up with it. I was working all the time and it just wasn't going well. I had a crisis of identity and I went away to a workshop and I saw the richest guy I knew. I was like, "How do you do it?" At that time, the guy was worth $50 million. That was the richest guy I knew and he said, "You're doing it all wrong. Write down the seven most important things you got to do each day and do the top three." I started doing that and it changed my life. The stress went away, my results got better. Lastly, make sure you have coaches. Invest in coaches, mentors, and masterminds. There's always someone out there that knows more than you. Anyone can teach you, even the janitor can teach you, but invest in your own personal self-development. That pays the biggest dividends of all.
I'm curious because with Wealth Can't Wait, the principles were around building a business. Outside of that and somebody is in corporate or they haven't started that business, what are some things that you think people should be doing to create wealth on a whole?
You have to invest in real estate. I talk to people and I coach people all the time. I was talking to a doctor in LA, I said, "What's your net worth?" He goes, "$1.6 million." I'm like, "How much of that is in your real estate?" He goes, "About half of it, $800,000,” his primary residence. I say, "How long you've been in LA? Why don't you own two houses? You'd have another $800,000 equity possibly." His response was, "No one brings me deals." I said, "No one brings anybody deals. The deals don't drop out of the sky. You’ve got to be out there looking for it. You have to be consciously intentional about doing deals."
What's great about real estate is you think of the market as a slowly filling bathtub. We all have the appreciation and inflation. $1 in 200 years ago bought way more than $1 now. Why is that? Because it's appreciated. In the same way, because of that, you could buy a house 50 years ago for $10,000 and you can't buy a house now for less than $100,000. It's a slowly-filling bathtub. Normally in life, the only thing going up with the filling bathtub is the one house we own and maybe our 401(k). What I encourage people to do is go have ten houses or five houses. As the bathtub slowly fills up over time, which is inevitable, you're going to have ups and downs. Occasionally the water gets let out, but mostly it's just a rising tub of water. The asset prices go up and your loan amount is fixed. If you buy cashflowing real estate and add it to your portfolio, you plant trees, but you manage orchards. When the market suddenly pops 10%, it's not just you, your house and your 401(k), it's ten assets that pop with you.
If you're a corporate worker, the guy I was talking about makes $160,000 a year. His wife makes $75,000. Together they've taken $230,000. He's got his primary residence, he's got one rental property. I'm like, "You should be able to save $50,000 to $100,000 a year off of that money. You should be able to buy with $25,000 per house, two to four houses every year. That's what you should be doing.” You should be buying rental properties because the stock market's driven by a bunch of smart guys. It goes up, it goes down. You don't have control of it. It’s not a bad place to be with some of your assets, maybe your 401(k). Where you can have control, be aware, learn and develop skills is by buying properties in the same neighborhood and building a little portfolio.
Once you've got your real estate going, let's say you've got some investments in businesses or you start some businesses. I'm curious as to what other areas that you would advise. What is your portfolio outside of real estate look like? Are you a gold guy as well? Do you like stocks? Where are you at?
I don't do any stocks, although I don't hate them. I have a lot of good friends that are financial planners that could help me in that area. I got burned in Y2K and that was enough for me to want to be completely in real estate. I have a bunch of real estates. I have 101 single-family homes. They cashflow $500,000 a year, $450,000 a year after paying all managers and all expenses. They're pretty low-leveraged. I bought a lot of them in the crash. That helps me a lot. I had some before that and then I expanded that portfolio. I have other businesses. I've got my tribe of millionaires at GoBundance
. I have a private equity firm that buys single-family residential. I have a technology company that I purchased, but I mostly got the franchises. I've got intellectual property, but I mostly keep pouring into real estate.
I'm constantly looking at real estate deals. I looked at a mobile home park deal. I love real estate. In the long run, it goes up, the banks will loan you money against it and as long as you get good solid cashflow. I do have a royalty income from my books, so I'm making about $2,000 a month from books. I've looked in oil and gas. I wanted to add an oil and gas piece to my portfolio so I could say that I have most of the major cashflowing assets, but we ended up spending $50,000 underwriting about four or five deals and I never could get comfortable with that. Oil and gas have all kinds of issues too. I would do high dividend-paying stocks. I have a few of those back in the day. I haven't added to that. I like small businesses too. I looked at a deal about buying the tail end of licensing, the revenue from small businesses. They likely will have long-term revenue, but no exciting growth. I'm a cashflow guy. Ultimately cashflow feeds you and negative cashflow kills you. I'm always looking for things that will cashflowing me. You can't cashflow gold. I don't do gold.
It's perfect timing. You had mentioned mobile home parks and a lot of times people give it a bad rep, but we just had a guy talking about mobile homes. I love how you are diversified in real estate. You have a bunch of different things that you're looking at and a part of.
I've been in 41 different states.
You brought it up a little bit, GoBundance. It's about who you surround yourself with. One of your businesses that you do is putting together a tribe of millionaires who focus on their own grove. I'd love to know it in your words as to why you started this and what you see as the vision for GoBundance.
When I was ascending, I was lucky enough to meet two guys, Pat Hiban and Tim Rhode who became my peer partners and my brothers. We were taught by a guy called Fred Gross, how to hold one another accountable. What Fred said is, "You need to write down your goals. You need to share them with these guys. You need to be not friends. You need to be accountability partners." What I mean by that is when you get on the call, it shouldn't be like, "How's your day going?" "Did you catch that game?” You should be, "You said you're going to work out 30 times. How many times you worked out?" "You said you're going to take your wife on for date nights. How many did you take?" "You said you're going to donate $10,000 to charity. How much did you donate?”
That was very important to him that we were coaching one another and our fee for that was to coach the other person. It was a quid pro quo. I was lucky, I got a strong partner in Pat Hiban originally. We met Tim a few years later. In our relationship, all three of us became financially free, in better shape than we'd been and had long-serving marriages and children. We had developed an accountability click. What we decided to do after a period of time is to stop going to the conferences we are going to, but instead, go take adventure trips. We started going to the Camino de Santiago. We did the Appalachian trail. We did whitewater rafting and the Downieville downhill.
We started tying our accountability meetings into adventure trips. We did that for many years. I met Pat in 1997, Tim in 2004. Finally, we got sick of each other. We ride in a few other guys to see what we'd been doing for so many years. One of the guys was Tony Robbins guy and he said, "You’ve got something here. You guys need to expand this. There's a value to the marketplace with this." It’s a tribe of brothers that hold each other accountable and focus on financial freedom, age-defying health, authentic relations, genuine contributions, and bucket list adventures. We said, "We'll invite some people." We invited some people in, we went from just us to 11, 24, 50, 100, and now we have 230 members. It's been an eight-year journey. Everyone that comes into our tribe, we have one-sheet, which is your life on a baseball card. We have accountability meetings. We always build adventure in everything we do. We're having our event in Aspen. We ski all day and then we mastermind from 4:00 PM until midnight or 10:00 or 11:00.
It's all about getting the most out of life and then holding one another accountable as brothers to being the best leaders and teachers that we can be. It's been fun and successful. It's way more of a legacy piece. We wrote a book called Tribe of Millionaires
that all your audiences can get for free if they go to TribeOfMillionaires.com
. They've got to pay shipping and handling. It's a fun book. Unlike my first book that took seven years, Tribe of Millionaires
took seven months. When you ask me why, I'd say, "It's easy, I figured out the leverage piece." I hired a ghostwriter. He interviewed me on the phone for two hours and then he wrote a killer book that's way better than I could have ever written. It's a business fable type book. It tells the story of a young guy, Ethan, whose dad died and what he learns from the guy's pallbearers.
Where can you go when you succeed? One of the things that happen, Dustin, is as you rise, you become lonelier. If I sit down with a college friend who's struggling to make a payment on his car or his house or doesn't like his boss, I can't relate to any of that. I can be compassionate. I can listen, but I can't relate to it because I'm my own boss. I have now plenty of money. I've been in a place where I had no money and I had a negative net worth.
Entrepreneurs and people that have gone all-in for financial freedom understand this. They run out of people and they resonate maybe in their hood or their neighborhood or their families that can understand who they are. It becomes the one-way street that they're always pouring into others and not receiving that much back. That's great. Your honor to be there. In GoBundance, we've created a tribe of millionaires and a tribe where people that are successful can come together and have a group that challenges them to be more and to be better humans, better fathers, better husbands, have balance, have health, have fitness and find a way to give back.
To start it off as core group with 11, 24, but now 200. I'm sure that that's going to grow. What challenges or what obstacles have you had to overcome in the scaling of that particular business?
What's interesting about a group is you always have about eight people that you're close to in a group if you're in a big church or if you're in a big organization. There are about a 50-people limit after that. It's been difficult to scale because everyone always like it when it was smaller. I don't blame them. I loved Keller Williams when it was 800 people. I loved it when I knew the name of almost everybody in the company. In Austin, I knew everybody. As the conferences got bigger and bigger, that's an issue of keeping connectiveness and connectedness inside the tribe. We do that through exercises, through the one-sheet process, the go talks, the accountability programs we have. If people don't plug into that, they fall away.
It was about learning to work with Pat, Tim and Mike, my three partners. Mike McCarthy came along later and became a hugely valuable guy to us and to our relationships. We became the four Amigos from the three Amigos. That's been a challenge as owners and not having to butt heads and want to go in different directions. It's like four cats running in different directions. It’s making sure we're delivering a lot of value to our tribe members when all of us want to go in a hundred new directions. It's focusing back on the basics of what got us here, which is the accountability, the goal setting, creating a vision for your life, living into that vision. It's a constant challenge, but it's been one of the most fun things I've ever done.
I get more positive feedback. We almost made it a nonprofit, but it's complicated. We went ahead and made it a for-profit. It's definitely a legacy thing for me way more than a profit thing. There’s the amount of guys that reach out to me and say, "You changed my life," which of course isn't true. I just provided information that they use to change their lives. A lot of people provided information for me over the years that I used to change my life. It's encouraging. It feels good to me. It feels karmically correct to give back when so many people gave to me on the way up and to pour into others the way I was poured in too.
In my research, I discovered that you have summited Mount Kilimanjaro. Was this part of GoBundance or is this something you did on your own?
Right before we birthed it as an economic entity, it was one of the last trips. We went with a group of fifteen, but only five or six of them were my crew. One of them was Tim. It probably saved his life. He went and got his heart and they found out he had 95% blockage and they gave him a bypass. He was the fittest of us. When he'd been younger, he'd been overweight and smoked and that damage was already in there and that saved him. He didn't come because of that surgery but it was amazing. It was built around the GoBundance concept of asking powerful questions.
We have an app that asks questions. It was built around the one sheet, the authenticity, the transparency. It was before we'd opened it up to many other members. Mike was on it and Pat Hiban was on it. It was so much fun. It was very challenging. We've done some other mountains. We did Mount Whitney. We've done a few other fourteeners. There's something about summiting a mountain where you're working hard and you get to the top and you get that peak experience for a minute and then you go home tired and you feel well and used the day. It was a blast. Have you ever done it?
I have not. I’ve scaled little mountains but not anywhere near you.
It's 20,000 feet. The last day was hard, but it was a six-day walk, four days up, two days down. The last day was definitely challenging. The rest of it was hiking.
I can't believe how much we've packed into the show already. I have to ask with so much that's going on in your world, I'm curious as to what the future looks like for you. What are you most excited about outside of GoBundance? I know you have that passion and excitement for that. What's on your vision board?
Being a dad, I'm a family man. I have a credible community of people around me that I'm very lucky to have. Four entrepreneurial families live within 500 paces of me. We all have kids. There are ten kids and four couples. I'm trying to be the best father I can be. There are way better dads out there than me, I'm sure, but I'm paying attention to it. I went and watched my daughter play tennis. I would have never thought it was something I’d love to do like I do now. I was so into business and working and making money, but I have kids and I want to be the best I can for them. Be a great husband. I'd like to give away a lot of money to worthy causes. I have an older daughter that does great work with people that have unlucky times.
I've been so lucky in life. I want to find a way to pay that forward and pay it to others, pour into others but also keep building businesses. I love seeing young people show up, come up, win in my environment, help pour into them. If I could make another dozen people multimillionaires through association with me, I'd be very proud of that accomplishment. There's already been quite a few that have made it. I'm lucky enough as I pour into those people, I feed off the energy and the excitement and exuberance they bring to it. It’s a covenant mutual relationship. It’s all about legacy for me.
I appreciate what you're up to in the world. I want to acknowledge you for your humbleness. You've created a lot of success and you describe it as you kept failing forward and clumsing your way through life. At the same time, I don't want people to mistake that because there were a lot of nuggets in what you've shared with us in terms of taking your seven most action items and doing the top three following in the way. There are so many things I want to encourage people learn about this episode. Go get a copy of the book, Tribe of Millionaires
. Also, people can visit you on DavidOsborn.com
. Check out what you're up to, to continue the conversation. Wealth Can't Wait
is available on Amazon. Is there any other place that people that want to continue the conversation with you should go check out?
at Instagram is our little inspirational piece we throw out. Your audiences are on the right track by reading this episode. It's all about self-development. That what makes a difference. Your life will a direct reflection of who you turn yourself into.
I appreciate you being on the show, paying it forward and sharing your message with the world.
Thanks for having me, Dustin. You're a great interviewer. It's been fun.