Gino Barbaro spent 25 years as a chef and restaurateur before pivoting to real estate and building a multi-faceted empire, including a $100M+ multifamily portfolio, Rand Capital, Jake & Gino, and the highly-rated Wheelbarrow Profits Podcast. He’s a professional coach, teacher, and speaker.
Gino and Mark sit down for an epic discussion, touching on a range of topics including financial freedom, developing your passion, navigating partnerships, and when to check your emotions at the door.
What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:
- A partnership can accelerate your growth, but it takes time, communication, and accountability to be truly in sync. In the beginning it can be messy and chaotic, but over time as roles are defined and processes implemented, you’ll begin to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
- It’s not about retirement, it’s about developing your purpose. Significance and passion make life more fulfilling and happier. Finding that thing, whether it be coaching, writing, or real estate, that you enjoy and can commit to being the best at will breed passion. In Gino’s words, “Getting really good at something and helping people out is ultimately going to make you happier.”
- When it comes to investing, you need to be able to check your emotions at the door. Passion is essential to success, but so is being able to shut that passion down when emotions cloud your judgment. Whether it’s analyzing deals, negotiating terms, or dealing with vendors, you can’t allow that passion to get in the way of common sense.
Ideas Worth Sharing:
“Success comes from committing, you commit to something and then you take the action.” – Gino Barbaro
“I wasn’t successful in multifamily until I started identifying as a multifamily real estate investor.” – Gino Barbaro
“I think getting really good at something and helping people out is ultimately going to make you happier.” – Gino Barbaro
Resources In Today’s Episode:
Books Mentioned In Today’s Podcast
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
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Mark: Today’s guest spent 25 years as a chef and restauranteur before pivoting to real estate and building a multifaceted empire, including $100 million dollar plus multifamily portfolio, Rand Capital, Jake and Gino the highly rated Wheelbarrow Profits Podcast.
He’s a professional coach, teacher and speaker. He’s also got six kids. He really needs no introduction, but I’d like to welcome Gino Barbaro.
Gino: Mark Hentemann. Thanks for having me on it’s an honor. And it’s a pleasure and we are going to dive deep today from what I’ve been told.
Mark: Excellent. Yes. I’m excited to jump in. So, let’s do it. So, there have been tens of thousands of real estate investing careers launched over the past decade, but I can’t think of any who have grown to your scale, becoming a multifaceted business empire with huge brand awareness in success. It’s a pretty amazing success story. I know behind it. There’s a story of pain discontentment and you made a bold life choice.
So, I’m curious to go back and look at the confluence of factors that came together, both psychological, emotional, and your experience that allowed you to propel yourself into this world and succeed at the level you have.
Gino: Wow. That could take like three shows right there. I’m going to try to drill it down. I think the first and foremost, you probably met my wife putting this whole contraption together. If I didn’t have an amazing wife, I would not be here. It all starts with partnerships as far as I’m concerned, whether it’s a spouse, whether it’s a business partner, I can pivot into Jake.
He’s been an amazing influence on my life. We’ve been great business partners together and it’s helped me from that perspective. The accountability piece for me is huge. And I think what’s going on in society right now. There’s no responsibility and there’s no accountability.
You can look out to anybody who is really, truly successful in life. And that’s what they have in their lives. They take responsibility for the shortcomings and they learn what they need to learn. Back in 2008 was my great pandemic. I was stuck there at the restaurant. All of a sudden construction people weren’t coming to eat.
There’s something called grub hub. We’re delivering, everything’s going on. You talked about the pain. That’s when the pain started for me, because my father had just passed away the year prior and I was working with him forever and I loved working with my dad. I was eight years old. I would go to the restaurant with him when I was eight. I thought everyone had a dad who was in the restaurant business and who went too, that’s what I thought.
I was using knife when I was nine years old. I was cooking on the line and I love that, but I didn’t think that was my dream ultimately. I wanted to build a business. I don’t want to call it an empire, but really helping other people achieve things. And for me, the restaurant was one location and that’s what my mindset was when my dad passed away. I asked the question, am I building my dad’s dream or am I building my dream?
Mark: Sure. Yeah.
Gino: It really hit me hard Mark. I’m like, am I faking it? And then what happened is you become comfortable. And I was comfortable and I continue to work hard, but I didn’t see the results. And I didn’t want my kids to see myself working hard and coming home and being frustrated and not liking work, linking that hard work with not liking work.
And I said, I have to change my situation. I have to do something. I had done a couple of real estate ventures. That didn’t go well. And it wasn’t because of the real estate ventures. It was because of me not doing the due diligence.
Mark: And where was this? Was this in New York?
Gino: Yes, I did a deal back in 2005 was a mobile home park. And I partnered up with somebody who had experienced, who had track record. It was down in Florida, but it was me. I didn’t get on the plane. I didn’t know what a syndication was. I didn’t do my due diligence. All of these things that I learned. And that was a big, $172,000 mistake.
The next one I went and bought a strip mall. Same thing. I didn’t do research on the market. I didn’t do research on the asset. I didn’t know what a commercial lease was. I just jumped in head first. I was taking massive action, but education times action equals results. And I wasn’t following that. And like the finished at the point. I think there was a part where I was fearful at that point, fearful where the country is right now. You don’t take action when you’re fearful.
I was afraid of what was going to happen until that catabolic energy of fear turns in that catabolic energy of anger. When I got angry with my situation, I got upset with myself and I know that God gave me these great talents and he gave me a great mom and dad.
And he gave me a great spouse and he gave me a great situation and a great country, and the list goes on and I’m squandering that when I got mad at myself, ultimately, I think that’s when I really took action by getting educated and by going out there and looking for something that ended up becoming multifamily.
Mark: Cool. That’s amazing. Where was the restaurant that your dad had? Did your dad start the restaurant?
Gino: Yes. What happened was 1977. He opened up a restaurant. He was in Brooklyn. He went to Westchester County, New York. Back then there was no competition. It was a completely different facet. It was less consumerism. So, people went out to eat less, but there was no competition. Now., everyone eats out all the time, but there’s so much competition.
So, he had that restaurant for about 20 years. I tried to buy into it and he had partners and couldn’t buy it. So, we ended up buying something about an hour North of New York city in a small sleepy town back in ’94, same thing. There was no competition. We did really super well for 15 years. It was the middle-class dream where you could go out. You have a couple of people in a little place, it was a 70-seat restaurant.
We did fantastically well. But the problem is when that tectonic shift of all of a sudden, the internet comes along and such changing everything. If you’re a mom and pop, you don’t know how to pivot. You’ve been doing things for the last 20 years and you have limiting beliefs. An immigrant father was telling you; you need to be at the restaurant. You need to be there. You cannot leave, you need to work.
I didn’t know what the system was. I didn’t know what anything was. I’m going to do this. And I’m going to do that. That’s the way I was raised. And I didn’t know how to look out of that. But then when I got into real estate, different venture, very complimentary, but I was just able to look at that from a different perspective and start growing that business with Jake and have an amazing partner and start actually coaching.
I didn’t know what coaching was 15, 20 years ago. I didn’t know what mentoring was back then. I wish I did. And I think that’s one of the things that held me back, but really those limiting beliefs that we all have that person can do it, but I can’t. I think we really have to dive into that.
Mark: Right. So, you had already gotten into real estate while you were working in the restaurant. How did you stumble on that? Or what drew you to that asset class back then?
Gino: I think it’s very similar to your story. I was making pretty good money. And is your money working hard for you or you working hard for your money? I was brainwashed into that. We all read the Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad. And back in 2002, I bought my first fourplex. I didn’t want another job. I didn’t want to fix and flip.
It looks sexy. It’s such an allure. It’s such a dopamine, to buy a crappy house, fix it up, build it. And then at the end of the day you sell it. And then you’ve got a chunk of money that you got to pay taxes on and go do it again. I didn’t want to do that because I was already working 60 hours a week. So, I’m like, I want something passive.
And we all know that multifamily is not passive. It can become passive, but in the beginning you still need to deal with tenants. You still need to deal with landlords. My big paradigm shift though, with multifamily was when you start buying them each little asset that you buy is its own business. Jake and Gino what I like to say is we create multifamily entrepreneurs because you’re buying an asset, you’re buying a multifamily, but you’re buying a business.
You need to learn how to scale up a business. And in the beginning, I didn’t know what that meant. I didn’t know how to do that, but I knew intuitively that if I can buy a few of these, I’ve got six kids. I can start paying for some colleges. And for some weddings, that was my small mindset to do that and still have the restaurant.
And not really rely so much on the restaurant, but rely on the cash flow from these little asset generators, from the refined roll ability on these things and just start small and work my way up and buy one deal at a time for the next 10 years, I’ll have maybe five or six or seven assets at the end of 10 years. Does that sound familiar Mark?
Mark: Sounds very familiar. So, you had your eye on real estate years, if not a decade before making that shift. And then, what happened? You ultimately got frustrated or what made you make that major break? Especially with six kids to walk away from the restaurant and go full time. You had met Jake by this time. Is that correct?
Gino: I’ll give you the chronology because it’s really important for everybody out there because there’s no such thing as an overnight sensation. Mark Hanson, doesn’t become an amazing writer just because, God gave him a pen and he says, go write. You go through a lot of trials and tribulations and it really becomes upon you about what goals you want. In 2008, I’m sitting there, like I said, it’s the great recession. It’s the pandemic for me.
And I’m like, I need to make more money, but this is not working out. I’ve already crapped out on two real estate deals. The third one I need to go out and I need to invest in my education. I need to find a mentor. Somebody who’s doing it. I did rich dad, poor dad. And I was great, but it wasn’t enough for me. I started buying assets outside market because I couldn’t cash flow in the market that I was in.
I went to Rochester; New York and I don’t like the cash flow play. Because it’s just too much up and downwards in California. You probably have much an appreciation play. New York, it’s tricky because sometimes you’re buying these assets with debt on them. You can’t even go neutral on these things because their property taxes are high. The insurance is high, the labor is high. So, I didn’t want to be a speculator from the very beginning. So, I did the rich dad, poor dad. I bought a couple of assets in Rochester, New York. I knew that I couldn’t scale up in there.
So, in 2011, when I met Jake, Jake was in New York also. He moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, so, I’m like great. This guy’s moved to Knoxville. I whip out the computer. I look at LoopNet. I’m like these things are trading for 30 a door and they’re like 500 bucks a month in rent. We can make this work, Jake.
So, he gets down there, but it takes us 18 months to find that first deal. It doesn’t happen overnight because he’s a sales rep. He’s a young guy. He’s bullying the brokers. He doesn’t know how to build a rapport. He has no credibility. And we didn’t have buy right manager and finance right. So, it took us 18 months to find that first deal. We found that first deal. We got lucky. We found a great broker. We found the second deal three months after that.
And then six months after that, we found our third deal and it was just building relationships. We found a great partner who partnered with us, our first thousand units. We were able to buy ourselves. We refined money out. But I remember specifically sitting in my shed at the restaurant is like March or April of 2015. And I’m making a few thousand dollars a month in cash flow, nothing to write home about.
But I have proof of concept. I can see this works and you see it in your mind we’re linear creatures. We only can see straight. Whereas life is really linear. Then all of a sudden it becomes exponential. I’m working on this deal. I’m doing this work in my shed. I’m putting away these to go containers and I’m putting away all the tomato cans. And I’m sitting there with my cell phone and I’m talking to Jake. We are negotiating an $11 million owner finance deal.
And after I got off the call, I’m like, I am a chicken little here doing this kind of work when I should be sitting around and focusing full time on real estate. And that was the day that I said to myself, I’m getting out of this business one way or another because I have more talents than being a dishwasher. I was holding myself back because I was comfortable.
I felt really comfortable. It was an easy thing to do. And I felt like I was doing busy work and that’s all I was doing. August, we closed the deal 2015. October of that year I said to my brother, I’m going to quit the restaurant during the week. I’m going to work on real estate Monday through Friday. And I’m going to go into the restaurant Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
I did that for six months because I wanted to prove to myself. And I wanted to prove to my wife that I could do this. And I didn’t want to burn the boats to say because I had a lot of expenses. So, for everybody out there, you don’t have to do that. You don’t have to say goodbye to my career and jump into real estate full time, depending on where you are in life.
If you’re a young person or you’re retired and you don’t need that, you can take that risk. I couldn’t take that risk. So, I worked for six months and then I didn’t want to feel as if I was band-aiding my brother also. I wanted to give him some runway to do that. And other limiting belief, I was blaming my brother for holding me back kind of thing.
But in March of 2016, I finally said, you know what, I’m going to quit restaurant full time. The restaurant’s yours. Guys I’m going to go in real estate full time. I ended up moving to Florida the next year. Because that’s what I ultimately wanted to do. I wanted to leave New York and I wanted to get down to Florida. And for me multifamily, I could do it from anywhere.
Our portfolio was in Tennessee and I was helping him manage it. And at that point I started taking off and started doing Jake and Gino. So, for everybody out there getting into real estate, it can be a slow process. It can be a proof of concept, knowing your goals, knowing what you want to achieve, knowing how much money you want to make, knowing where you want to go. Those are things that you can take your time with.
There’s no rush in this. And if you want to quit tomorrow and go into it full time, you can do that also. It’s really all about your risk tolerance and where you are in life and how much capital do you have. There are so many different variables that go into it.
Mark: Sure. And you straddled two worlds for a while and a lot of people can do that. It makes sense for a lot of people.
Gino: Well, Mark, let me ask you, didn’t you do that? Like you’re writing, you’re investing in your deals and I think you had a clear vision of what you wanted because one day you’re not going to write. And the great thing about your story, it’s a little mind. We love what we do now. And if we want to walk away from it, we can, but we’re not going to cause we love it.
And that’s what I want everyone to take on this podcast is to find what your soul purpose is. And a lot of our students that come to Jake and Gino, they like their job. They don’t want to quit their jobs. They work for Apple. We have a lot of people who work for Apple. They love the culture. They love the core values, but they just want to create a little retirement, a little nest egg.
They want to learn how to invest in real estate. So, for you out there, there are so many different ways you can utilize real estate, just become clear with what your goals are. Don’t listen, the internet, you don’t have to close branch and unit deals and you can start really small or really learn what you want to achieve in your life.
Mark: Yes. Mine was basically just to get out of that uncertainty and instability that comes with a career in entertainment. So, I found real estate and yes have straddled too, but never been looking to quit my job. I love my job. I’m passionate about it. I think it would be a big part of me taken away.
It would be like a part of me died if I ever walk away from that, but I love real estate. I immediately clicked. As soon as I started doing it. I’m like, this is the thing. Yes. Find something you’re passionate about and do it forever. I’m in the television business and I think Norman Lear you remember Norman Lear? I think he’s producing television shows and he’s like 102.
Gino: Is he really.
Mark: I think that’s the way to do it is just find something you like get really good at it. And then you’ll love doing it. If you’re one of the best in the world and just keep doing it.
Gino: And I’m going to say something a little conspiratorial here. It just came to my mind right now, to be honest with you. If you think about who is winning with that model of working for 40 years and then retiring. I think corporations are, I think the government is who’s losing? The employees. We’re, taught with the golden handcuffs that we need to have this.
We need to be able to be consumers and buy things that will make us happy and all that. I think everyone on this podcast, you need to become a producer first because the irony is you start producing, you start creating value. I can go out and buy a Ferrari every month If I want. I don’t really need that anymore. I don’t care about that anymore. But in the beginning that might’ve been the goal for me, but now I could really care less about that. And as you grow older, you start accumulating more money.
It becomes a snowball effect. You can use your money to do whatever. And now that my kids go to college, they can go to school anywhere. There’s still going to a college that costs me one third of what Harvard costs, because they don’t need to go to those more expensive colleges. You’re a steward of your money and you’re able to allocate your money.
And there’s nothing less stressful than saying I got to pay the mortgage this month. I don’t even know what the hell my mortgage payment is. Because it’s so insignificant right now. Whereas five or six years ago, I was like, crap. I have to pay the mortgage. I think we’re told this lie of, as we make more money, we consume more.
But I think entrepreneurs think of producing first. And as you produce, then you can start consuming a little bit. The more you produce, the more you consume. But I don’t think about making money and thinking about where to spend it. I think about making money, where to reinvest it. That’s what my goal is.
Host: Now, if you’re enjoying the show, please do us a favor and hit the subscribe button. As a listener I always wonder why podcast hosts are always begging me to subscribe and rate them. Well, now that I’m on the other side, I see why. It allows other listeners to find you in an era of unprecedented hype over real estate investing. My goal is to be a truth teller. Real estate is not as easy as it’s made out to be, but you can do it. If you can get past the hype and get to the truth.
My aim is for this show to help with that. And if you’d like to learn more about who we are and what we do at Quantum Capital, please visit our website at quantumcapitalinc.com, where you can find podcast episodes, multifamily resources, and learn about opportunities to invest with us. Anyway, let’s get back to the show.
Mark: I like to be aesthetic sort of philosophy of less is more minimalism. I can’t wait to get rid of a lot of the material, things that I have. I’m just so happy when you keep minimal.
Gino: But Mark, on the same instance, we’re all different. So there may be some people who are out there saying, Hey, listen, I want to buy that Ferrari. I’m just telling you right now from my experience, that is not, what’s going to make you happy. Ultimately, what really is going to make you happy is helping other people, having that Go-Giver mentality.
And I know it’s hard for a lot of us out there. When I was working at the restaurant, I could barely help myself, but still I would find charitable events. I’d find ways to help other people. I was starting my coaching career and I found that every time I got on a call and I got off that call, I learned something from that student. And I also helped them out and it made me feel better. That was my dopamine hit every time that happened.
So, for me, helping other people and then obviously learning how to monetize that, making money off that. And that is just like the icing on the cake for me. So, don’t be thought that in this world, you’re going to be happier by accumulating more stuff. I don’t think that’s true. In most instances, I think getting really good at something and helping people out is ultimately going to make you happier.
Mark: Yes. Not only just not accumulating stuff, but the retirement myth too is you don’t want to stop. Like we’re all sharks. Like you stop, you die. You need to continue having a purpose. And I guess you could shift your purpose, but it’s great. If you can continue adding value through something, you’re passionate about. So, if you’re lucky, if you can find something, you’re passionate about.
Gino: Mark, you said it eloquently before your identity was a writer, right? So, if you’re identifying as that and you’re identifying as a corporate executive, and then all of a sudden you give that up, you need to replace that with something else. If you don’t have something else to replace that with, you’re really going to live a terrible life. You’re going to live a life of insignificance.
And I think one of the six basic human needs is significance. We want to be significant and we want to matter to people. So just put that in your mind, even when on thought of retiring, make sure you find something to replace it. Mark found real estate. I found multifamily in Jake and Gino. So, really think out there what you want to replace your current lifestyle with, because if you don’t, there’s going to be a big void in it.
Mark: My dad worked until probably he was like 67, 68 and then retired. And I was living very near him at that time. And he was lost. He couldn’t make that transition. He had gone from working 60 hours a week, 70 hours a week with this identity. It just impacted me. Like I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to step away from something that I was really good at and enjoyed and brought meaning to my life, to just sit on a couch or putter around the house.
Gino: And I love you to say that I know we’re having a conversation and I keep throwing things in here, but that word identity is so important to me because I wasn’t successful in multifamily until I started identifying as a multifamily real estate investor, which is really weird. Because picture Gino in the restaurant with a chef’s skewed on, he’s got marinara sauce. I really think of myself as that multifamily investor.
But then when I said to myself, what does a multifamily investor do? They go to events. They underwrite deals. They talk to brokers, they close deals. They network. Once I started doing that and I started identifying as that multifamily investor, I became more comfortable. I started taking those actions and I became successful in the space.
And I’m sure it’s probably the same thing with you that you thought of yourself as the writer. But then when you bought a dealer tool, all of a sudden, Hey, I’m an investor also. So, the identity component into it is also important. You’re setting goals and your habits.
Mark: How did you and Jake, when you started down the road of real estate investing, how did you divide up your responsibilities?
Gino: When, we started Mark. I think the important thing is in the beginning, you really don’t know it’s the Wild West. Don’t think you’re going to understand and split up everything perfectly because it’s not going to happen. For us, we did everything like, he was down there. So, he did a little bit more of the property management, but I was still talking to the resident manager. I was still helping with the bookkeeping. I was still teaching him the management systems.
And as we start to grow, we started delegating responsibilities and really put an accountability chart. When there’s two of you, one of you has to be accountable to certain tasks. He was doing the property management and now we’ve morphed into, he’s doing day to day and the property management I’m doing day to day and the education. But we have what we call level 10 meetings, where we have meetings every week to figure out what ‘A’ is doing, what ‘B’ is doing and how can I help, on the property management and how he can help me on the education space.
Because right now we’re dividing and conquering I’m on this podcast and he’s doing something with property management. So that’s the great thing about it. When you first start out, you’re going to learn how to do everything. And then at a certain point, you’re going to gravitate to what you like to do and to what your partner likes to do.
Mark: Right. And I like your comment that when you start out, you don’t know these things, you feel it out, you’re both doing everything, but you guys have an amazing success story, but it’s still messy, but you go back through it and it is very messy and that’s okay. That’s part of it.
Gino: It’s still messy right now. We’re still trying to figure out this whole marketing thing. It’s taking me like my whole life to figure out that sales and marketing are two completely different things. I knew it intuitively, but like I hate marketing. I just don’t like it. And that’s one thing that we’re learning. And I want everyone out there to know this, that if you think somebody has got it figured out, one of our coaches told me.
Actually, Bill Ham, he’s like “Gino, everyone out there is winging it right now. We’re trying to figure it out. We’re all winging it.” So, I felt really good when he said that. Because I was like, man, “I feel like I’ve winged it every day. I guess I’m not the only one.” So, when you wing it, I think success comes from committing. You commit to something and then you take the action and whatever it happens, it’s okay. Because I think we’re all in that same boat. We’re all trying to figure things out.
And that’s how you learn. Nobody was born with these skills. Nobody was born to be a great salesperson. You can become a great salesperson. You can learn, but you just have to commit to it. To that thing.
Nobody was born learning how to underwrite a deal or what NOI was. We can all learn that skill. Knowing why you’re doing; it’s going to help you out and surrounding yourself with a great team is going to help you out. But I think, like I said, we’re all out there winging it.
Mark: Sure. You just have to jump in at some point and fumble through and get your bearings and learn how to walk.
Gino: I agree.
Mark: And you bring up coaching. And I think that’s something that I don’t have tons of coaching but you found it instrumental to your success. It sounds like it catapulted you forward at times. How do you recommend going about finding a good coach and what to look for in a coach?
Gino: I think it’s like everything else in life. I think if you’re ready for it. And you’re looking for it. It’s going to hit you right? If you’re not ready for it, if you’re like, you know what? I’m not ready to take responsibility. It’s not for me. Then it’s not going to work. It really isn’t. Just look around and look at everyone who’s super successful in life.
The majority of them, whether it’s Tiger Woods, whether it’s Michael Jordan, they all have some type of coach. Whether it’s a health coach, nutritionist coach, a finance coach, a swing coach, a workout coach, whatever that may be. For me back in 2008, I read the book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker. And I got really pissed when I read that book because I’m like this jerk doesn’t know me. Who is he to say that your responsibility?
And then I read it again. I’m like, he’s right. The fruits are in your roots. I say that to a lot of people. And I took responsibility that day and I said, how do I become better? I don’t know what I don’t know. So, I went out and I just started, I wanted to get into the real estate space. But then as I was doing that and I got coaching on that, I wanted some life coaching. I wanted some personal development.
So, I went to IPEC, Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching and did that. And the skills that I learned, the empowering questions, the ability to listen, the ability to connect with people, the ability to learn what a limiting belief was, the levels of energy. All of that helped me personally. I can coach people on that, but from my personal development, I needed that. I need to have clarity in my life.
Why am I buying all this multifamily? What’s it going to do for me? And how am I going to do it? All those questions. I was asking myself and a better question. You can ask yourself the better answers you’re going to get. Most of us can’t ask ourselves questions like, no, what do you want to do for life?
Most people going to tell you, “I don’t want to do that.” But that’s not what I asked you. Like when people were asking me when I was in the restaurant, “What do you want to do Gino?” And I always say, “I don’t want to be here.” That’s not the right answer. The right answer is I want to build a business. I want to get the multifamily. But I couldn’t even ask myself the first question.
So, to go out and find a mentor, actually Jake answer the questions for us this morning. Basically, find somebody who’s doing what you want to do. Find somebody with the results that you want and in multifamily, make sure they’re doing deals. Make sure they’re actually still in the business right now because things are constantly changing. Make sure they have their heart in the right place that they want to help others.
Obviously making money is paramount. You need to make money. My priest told me there’s no margin. There’s no mission. You need to make money in whatever endeavor you’re doing. If you can’t pay the bills, that’s not the primary focus. The primary focus is on helping others. And what we’ve been able to try to do is create that community of investors in there that are actually working together.
But finding a mentor is finding someone who has the results that you want having a system and they can teach you and making sure that’s what their main goal is to help others succeed and to teach others. Because right now, my dad and those old schoolers, he never told me his recipe for cheesecake. I never got that freaking cheesecake recipe. I mean, dad, “I go online. I can find 50 cheesecake recipes.” “Nope, my special.”
And I think right now there’s no such a thing as proprietary anymore. It’s all open source. So, the more people you can help, the vodka sauce. My mom would always tell me, “Gino, if you sell vodka sauce by the jar, they’re not going to come to the restaurant and eat.” I said, “Mom, they’re not only not going to come in. They’re going to buy the sauce, bring it home. And then they’re going to love the sauce. They’re going to see the brand is genius. And they’re going to come in three times.”
So, it’s really all about how you look at things in life. So, for me, helping others, having an open source, we’d have cooking classes. She goes, “Gino, why are you having people in the restaurant and you’re doing cooking classes? You’re going to teach them how to make the chicken franchise. They’re going to come home and they’re going to want to make it at home and not come in.” I’m like, “No, mom, that’s not what’s going to happen.
They’re going to make it a home once. Then the other two times they go out there on a week day. They’re going to come to us and not to go to your competition because they love your brand.” So really go out there and find a coach who their goal is to help others succeed.
Mark: I love your point about how you’re talking to somebody and like, what do you want to do? What’s your goal? And they give you what they don’t want to do. And I thought about this lately. Random thoughts are, humans have evolved with the reactive brain. You just react to everything.
And you know people, everyone knows people in their lives that all they ever do is react but mindset and the training and coaching that you went through and embraced. And you could get it from any source, but if you’re willing to embrace it, you could change your brain. You could change your mindset and become totally proactive instead of reactive.
Gino: That’s a lot of work, right, Mark? That’s a lot of work to do.
Mark: A lot of work. You got to have conscious effort and be willing to override all those impulses, all that dopamine, that’s sending you in a different direction.
Gino: And it’s funny because Jim Rome talks about that basically. You surround yourself with five people. If the five people you’re surrounding yourself are all victims are all blaming the economy and say, there’s nothing out there. When you start gravitating. There are one of two things that can happen. You start believing them or you pull them up to your level.
So, your success is based upon the expectations of your peer group. So, if your peer group is expecting to be W2’s and they’re okay, and they’re going to retire in 40 years, that’s what your peer group is. You can either leave your peer group or change your peer group’s status, thought it’s all up to you.
So that’s what happened to me. I was around a lot of restaurant owners. I had one or two restaurants. They were comfortable, they were complaining that business stunk and then it was busy during the holidays. And that’s what I learned. And that’s what I was gravitating towards. Once I met Jake and I met my partner, Mike and I actually created the Jake and Gino community.
And that helped me mastermind. And actually, starting a podcast, believe it or not starting a podcast and interviewing Robert Kiyosaki, interviewing T Harv Eker, interviewing all these people. I looked at them as my peers and that completely changed my mindset. And I said, if they can do it, I can do it. So that’s really important for everybody out there.
Mark: I’ve heard that quote, you become the average of the five people you hang around most. Is there a daily habit that gives you the greatest benefit?
Gino: I used to be really into habits as far as getting up and meditating and maybe walking the beach. For me, just trying to walk every day with my wife, we’re at a different point. Now we can actually leave the kids and leave for 30 minutes. So, for me, I love to do that. Try to read every day. I try to engage every day. As far as reading a book, I’ve read so many great books in the last few years.
I think just reading and getting a different perspective and not trying to be in the group think and trying to get the other person’s perspective and look on it will really because we have so much confirmation bias going on and I’m really guilty of it also. And it’s bad as an investor. Because when you’re looking at a deal, if you’re a confirmation bias, you’re basically like, how is this deal going to work, but you’re confirming your own biases.
Maybe get somebody else’s perspective on it. I’m working hard on that. But for me, daily is recently. It’s just trying to get out and try to be more out in nature. I love living down in Florida because the weather is great here. That’s why I moved down here. I moved down here because just the weather being near the beach, going on bike rides with my kids and just spending time with my family.
Mark: Love that. I love the walks as well. I’m sure I’m not the first to observe this, but I don’t consume a ton of media. But it seems like our society is spiraling out of control due to confirmation bias, just going in a different direction and having their pre-existing beliefs affirmed. ‘Cause they can find them ways to check them.
Gino: And that’s very important when it comes to investing, you need to check your emotions at the door and in negotiation and these people are not doing that right now. When you’re calling the other side evil and you can’t even have a conversation with that person. Think about it when you’re trying to do a real estate deal. When you’re a real estate investor, we call it the SPY technique. It’s the Seller SP, Property and why you.
You need to get to know the other side. You need to get to know if they’re motivated, you need to get to know why they’re selling and you need to get to know how to solve their problems. That’s the basis of being a good investor. It’s not what you want. It’s what they need and what they want and how you can solve their problems.
Now, if you come at it from an emotional perspective and you come at it from a confirmation bias of saying, I think they want the highest price. No, maybe they just want to sell the damn property because they’re so burned out.
So, having those confirmation biases when you’re investing is not good. Check your emotions at the door, low emotions lead to low intelligence, higher emotions, empowering emotions. When you get off this podcast and I’m ready to go, that’s going to lead to higher intelligence and what’s going on right now.
We have a lot of really stupid people saying even stupider things. And they’re all echoing themselves and not stepping out and saying, well, let’s take a look at this from a logical perspective. Numbers can lie. We can make numbers lie.
But at some point, you look at something and say, what’s going on here? What are the facts, facts over emotions. And as an investor out there, obviously you need to be emotional from a perspective about the deal.
You need to be enjoying what you’re doing, but at the same time, if you fall in love with the deal, but you don’t fall in love with the numbers, that’s not a good thing. You need to fall in love with the numbers and make sense from a business perspective and then be emotional. You be excited about the deal secondary, I think.
Mark: I agree. I think real estate requires both passion and dispassion. You’re not going to last very long when you get hit with the bumps in the road, unless you have passion. But when you get to examining or underwriting a deal, you get to turn off that passion. You have to be like Warren Buffet. You’re just someone who just looks at it logically, I don’t have to do this. I’ll walk away. I always kind of remind myself and observe that it requires total dispassion at certain parts of real estate.
Gino: I love that. That is awesome.
Mark: Well, this has been great. Are you ready for our question round?
Gino: Yes, I can go another three hours with you, bro. I love this.
Mark: And now our question round.