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Inner Game

How to Grill a Property Like Bobby Flay

bobby flay house grillingHow many of us have a somewhat embarrassing number of real estate investing courses sitting on your shelves in our home or office? 

Have you tried a little of this and a little of that from each course, but still aren't feasting on tasty deals like you know you should be?

Well let me ask you…

Been following those real estate investing recipes exactly? 

Or have you been trying to make it up as you go along, piecing things together, and adjusting whatever you want because you think your market is different or you just don’t like the way the recipe reads?

Can I be blunt with you for a second? 

Stop screwing with proven real estate investing recipes!

In this article we are going to take a gingerly stroll inside the head of Joe McCall.

Joe's a very successful real estate investor - he does a lot of deals in multiple markets, makes great money by most people's standards, and even knows how to outsource most of it to virtual assistants. And you may remember him from some other lessons he’s shared in the recent past, like how to he uses text messaging to buy houses, and others.

But it wasn't always so. Joe's early career in REI was a lot like most real estate investors.  He’d bought a lot of real estate investing courses and tried a lot of different things, but somehow success continued to elude him.  

That is, until he woke up one day, smelled the proverbial coffee, and things changed. Dramatically. As in, zero to hero.

In this lesson Joe's going to lay it all out for you from start to finish. Pay close attention and you might just find an epiphany or two of your own.

{Mogul Elite members: Joe and I had a really great, personal conversation about all this recently. Look in the Power Pack Tools for this lesson to download and listen to our entire conversation free.}

From Joe McCall, Mindset Adviser…

mindsetBefore I jump in here I want to talk a little bit about mindset. 

Mindset is important obviously, right? In any course that you buy or any kind of boot camp you go to, typically the one of the first things they're going to talk to you about is mindset, because it's important.

At the same time, you can have the best mindset in the world, but unless you're taking action on what you're learning, it's not worth a hill of beans. Step one, obviously, is get the mindset, but step two, just as important, if not more important, is taking bold, decisive, massive action on what you're learning.

For me, when I decided, come hell or high water, and I'm just going to do this and take massive action, that's when I started seeing success and started making money in real estate.

When I first got started, I bought tons of courses. I still do actually, but when I was just getting started, I bought everything I could get my hands on. When I couldn't afford a course, I would just go the library or Barnes & Noble and read books there.

The More I Studied, The Harder I Tried

As I was investing in all these courses and devouring all I could about all different manner of real estate investing strategies, I was trying to mix and match things from everything I learned into one big, master plan for Joe McCall.

I would look at one course and said, "I like that, but I don't like this." And then I’d do the same thing with the next one.

·         So I would take things out of certain courses that I liked and I would add them to other courses that I liked.

·         I would say "You know what? I don't like that letter.” Or, “I don't like the way that he says you should talk to sellers, so I'm going to change it."

·         When I'd send out some postcards, if I didn't like the way this guru said to do it, I would tweak it and make it my own.

Me: Masterless Jack

jack of all tradesFor some reason, I thought I knew better than the guys that were teaching this stuff. It turns out, I was trying to be a jack-of-all-trades, but I was master of none.

I was thinking I was going to be successful by doing as many different things as I could, but not really focusing in one or two specific strategies. And honestly, I was bleeding money. Sure, I was buying some homes. I had about 15 or 16 homes at the time – when I hit the peak of the market before it collapsed. But I was losing money every month through vacancies and repairs, and just poor cash flow management.

And man, I felt like I was beating my head against a wall, and just couldn't seem to figure it out. I knew I was missing something, but it surely wasn't knowledge or action. I was stuffing myself with knowledge at every opportunity, and working myself to death, with basically red ink to show for it.

Then It All Came to a Head

It came to a point where everything was really coming to a head in my life, personally and with my business.

  • I had a full time job working 60 hours a week,
  • and then coming home trying to work 20 or 30 hours a week on my real estate business,
  • and then trying to be a father and a husband,

…and I was failing at all of them. And I mean, doing really, really bad. Financially, we were just in a hole, and it was a really tough time in my life.

Then one day something just hit me. I said "You know what? I've got to figure out how to fix my cash flow problem." So I went back to a lot of my old courses, and noticed that a lot of them said "You've got to learn wholesaling, because wholesaling is basically fundamental real estate investing 101.”

I always rejected that, because I thought, "Man, I know better. I don’t think it's quite sexy enough. I want the big deals. I want to own rental properties. I want cash flow. I want to rehab and make $30,000 profits on these deals." I didn't think wholesaling a deal for $5,000 without a lot of work would really do it for me.

At this time Steve Cook was actually really instrumental in this for me.  He was one of my real estate investing coaches, and still is to this day actually.  We started talking about wholesaling and I said "You know what, Steve? Maybe I should think about wholesaling again."

Don’t Question It, Just Do It

just do itSo I decided to do something kind of radical.  OK, actually it was pretty simple. The simplest thing in fact. But to me, at the time, it felt pretty radical.

I told myself that I was going to stop buying courses for a while, and just take what these guys say to do, follow it exactly step by step, and I'm not going to question it. I'm not going to worry about steps seven and eight, before I start doing steps one and two. I'm not going to change anything. If I don't like the post cards; if I don't like their script when they talk to sellers, it's fine.

Bottom line: I'm just going to do what these guys say, doggone it, and see what happens."

I also gave myself a deadline. I said "If I don't make this work in the next 60 or 90 days then I'm just going to quit the real estate business and just focus on my job and my family." My goal at the time was to quit my job and do real estate full time.

Anyway, I started just doing what these guys said, even though I didn't like it.

  • I started sending their postcards.
  • I started using their scripts exactly, word for word.
  • I started using their contracts, as-is.
  • I started using one course as my roadmap, and followed it to a tee.

And somehow I managed this time to be disciplined enough to do it all without changing anything, without questioning anything, and without worrying about steps seven and eight before I’d followed steps one and two.

I Used to Think About “What Ifs”

  • What if _________ happens?
  • What if I don't get my business cards first?
  • What about getting my website, my LLC and my checking account all set up first, before I do anything?

But this time, I said "Ah, just screw it, I'm going to do this stuff as-is."

And lo and behold, to my great shock and surprise, it actually started working!

I couldn't believe it! Go figure!

Side Note: You’d think that if you were going to spend $1,000 on a course, you would trust them, that what they're teaching you to do works. You would think "Well, they're doing it, so there must be some truth to it." But I had to do it myself to finally figure out that it worked exactly the way they were saying all along.

My Next Deal

 flipping like a bossAfter my mind shift – after I started following the course exactly I made $13,000 on my first actual flip deal. Yahoo!

All of a sudden I realized "You know what? This direct mail stuff works. When I send out postcards, I get phone calls. When I get phone calls, and I use this script, and I ask these questions, and I send these contracts, people actually sign them, and they're willing to give me their darn house at 50 to 60 cents on the dollar."

I couldn't believe it. I was floored that this stuff actually worked. Of course looking back, I’m thinking "Why on Earth? What took me so long to figure that out?" But I’m just so glad I finally came around!

I had always wanted to be one of those guys that you see in testimonials with the big fat checks, and now, all of a sudden, I'm making those checks. And I started getting really excited. I started sending my testimonials to the gurus because I wanted my picture and my check in their presentation. I wanted to show the world that, "Look, I can do this, and this really does work!"

Take Bold, Decisive, Massive Action

The big thing for me, as far as the mindset goes, comes down to believing that this stuff really works, and just taking bold, decisive, massive action. Because you're not going to make any money sitting there studying, reading another book, or reading another course, and trying to mix and match all this different stuff together; that doesn't make you money. Now you know why I can say that and really mean it!

What makes you money is taking action with what you have, and follow it just as it’s laid out. Stop complaining that it doesn't work. Keep on doing it until it works. You've got to be doggedly determined to make it work.

Schmucks vs. Real Deals

Yes, I know there are some schmucks out there who are “gurus” selling stuff that’s basically worthless.

But after years and years in this industry now, on both the dealmaking side and on the coaching and teaching side, I can honestly say that most of the guys out there selling this stuff are genuine. They really do want to help you and see you succeed, and when they have something that works, sometimes you've just got to trust them and do what they say to do. Stop defeating yourself, stop messing with their systems or halfway trying and then complaining that you were ripped off.

Pick a plan, follow the plan exactly, and keep on doing it until it works.

Keep Things Simple

simpleI guess, in summary, I’d like to say this:

One thing I've found works well for me in my business is to keep everything as simple and straightforward as possible. I don't worry about steps seven and eight until I start doing steps one and two. If I'm learning something new, just take it one step at a time.

I find the easiest way to make money in real estate is to do what's easy.

That's been my motto; if it's easy then it's good, I can do it. It's not difficult; it's not complicated. If you find yourself confused, just take a step back and just remember that in real estate, the easiest way to make money is to do what's easy.

If you want to be successful, copy somebody who is successful, and just do what he or she does. It's not that difficult.

I have students who call me up from the same city, let's just say San Francisco, for example and say "Man, Joe, this wholesaling lease options thing doesn't work."

And I say "Really? Why doesn't it work?"

"Well, every day every seller I call and every buyer I talk to says this just doesn't work."

I just shake my head, and say, "Man, I just don't understand, because I have a student in the same city who's flipping 10 to 20 of these a month."

What's the difference? Is it belief? Is it just a numbers game? Are they not trying hard enough? Do they not have enough faith that this really works? 

More often than not, it simply comes down to over complicating things; they're not following the recipe in the cookbook. Somehow they're changing it.

If you look at the guys who are actually making a lot of money, and doing this business really well, they're doing exactly what we teach them to do. They're talking to five, ten, twenty sellers a day. They're making 50 offers a week, 100 offers a week. It's a numbers game. It's a game of faith, believing that this stuff really works, and just doing what we tell you to do. 

Follow the Recipe and Your End Result is Predictable

recipeIf you want to learn to become a master chef from ground zero, what do you typically do?

Well it usually starts by registering for culinary school. And in culinary school, how do they teach you?

They start off by teaching you some fundamentals, and then they hand you a recipe. They say, "Based on the fundamentals I've taught you, follow this recipe exactly, without changing anything. Do this, and the end result should be exactly what I have created before. Just follow the steps I've laid out for you."

But let’s say you started thinking, "Well, that sounds boring. And I want to be creative. I don't want to make exactly what this guy's made," or maybe, "I think I know a better way to make what he's making."

Can you smell what I’m cooking here?

You haven't earned the right yet, to be creative. And frankly, it's pretty darn egotistical of you to think that you know better than the master chef who created this recipe you were just handed.

Bottom Line:

I love to grill and one of my favorite chef’s is Bobby Flay.  He gives simple, easy to follow recipes, that if you follow, you will be grilling up steaks to perfection every time.  But if you veer off and do your own thing, your steak will likely fizzle and not sizzle on the grill. 

It’s the same in real estate.  If you follow the recipes the gurus give you, don’t over complicate them or adjust their formula you will be grilling up houses just like Bobby Flay does steaks!

Allow me to hit you squarely on the nose with a humbling fact: You're not Bobby Flay yet! So what makes you think you're qualified to start changing the ingredients?  

Follow the recipe you've been given, even when it doesn't make sense to you, and your result will predictably be the same awesomeness of the "Bobby Flay" who crafted it for you. Then once you've graduated "culinary school" you'll have earned the right to be a master chef. And then you can start creating your own recipes.


If you want to actually learn how to grill steaks like Bobby Flay, here are a couple of fun, helpful tips :-)

Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps
  • Step 1:  Stop screwing up other people’s recipes.
  • Step 2:  Find someone that has been successful and just flat out copy them.  Do exactly what they do.
  • Step 3:  Pick ONE real estate investing technique: find a recipe that resonates with you, your personal style, your preference, and your strengths
  • Step 4:  Once you find that recipe, follow the steps, don't question them, and the end result is predictable.
  • Step 5: Stop over complicating things.  Just follow each step to a tee.  Once you complete each step move on to the next.  Don’t worry about Step 7 if you haven’t completed Step 1.
  • Step 6:  Take action on what you're learning, taking bold, decisive, massive action.

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