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November 1, 2017

Living Life With No Regrets

Episode 16:

Former Iowa Prison Guard turned real estate investor, Darin Garman is now a bank owner and board member. Darin quit being a prison guard to go into the real estate business full time but with no experience or capital. Today Darin has helped to start a bank, been on its board of directors, and oversaw almost $40,000,000 in real estate assets. Darin has also raised over $100,000,000 in capital for real estate investments.

Welcome today Darin, I appreciate you spending time with us.

Hey, great to be with you today Chris, look forward to visiting with you.

Well I appreciate it, and I want to jump right in with maybe a generic opening question that I love, and that is to kind of take us behind the curtain and give some context to our listeners about the when, the how, and the why you got started in real estate, because this is quite an interesting background, and it’s quite an interesting endeavor you’ve been on.

Yeah, there’s not really a straight line from prison guard to real estate investor. It’s not very common, and so when I graduated from college, I actually had a degree in criminology. I thought I was going to be one of these CSI/FBI TV show guys, you know? All the excitement that these FBI guys get involved in, and these CSI TV shows, that’s pretty much what I had a vision for myself, and pretty much what I thought I’d be doing.

Well, a lot of times what you think is going to happen, especially when you’re a graduate from college, and don’t really know a damn thing. Turns out to be a lot different. So I’m out looking around trying to find a job in the criminology field, finally landed my first job as a prison guard in a medium security prison in a town called Anamosa, Iowa. Okay? I figured hey, it’s a start. It gets me on my criminology career and at least gets my foot in the water so I can start moving towards being involved in this as a career.

Well, you’re probably not surprised, and your listeners probably aren’t surprised that after a couple of years of this, I couldn’t see myself working here for another 25 to 30 years. Not only that, I really couldn’t see myself in the criminology field either. So while these thoughts are going on in my head, Chris, as a college student, and even when I was out of college and working, I was always interested in real estate. I always thought it would hold something, not only fun to do but profitable to do.

I never really gave it much thought, Chris, because I didn’t have any training in it. I had no background in it, heck I didn’t even take any finance classes in college, okay? So I was really quite unsure about how to move forward, and pretty much thought oh, it’s maybe just a dream I won’t even worry about, and I’ll continue working in the prison. Well, one day it was one of these proverbial straws that breaks the camel’s back situations, Chris. So what happened was I was accused one day of bringing in contraband, which was a liquor, a fifth of vodka. I was accused of bringing a fifth of vodka into the prison so some inmates could have.

I was accused of smuggling this in, and the reason why I was accused of it was because they found an empty bottle outside of my office in the prison. Well, of course, I had no idea how it got there. I had no idea it was even there, but since it was outside my office, they thought I had something to do with it. So I go through literally 10 days of questioning about this, and of course, as each day goes by, and as each day I’m telling them my side of the story and how I knew nothing about it. I imagine you’re not surprised to hear the more and more I’m thinking this real estate thing sounds really, really good.

So before my last meeting, I’m sitting outside the warden’s office, and if there’s plenty of one thing in prisons, it’s books. There’s a bookshelf outside of his office, and there’s a book that I noticed that most of your listeners will be familiar with called “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. I thought the title sounded interesting, so I grabbed it. I started reading a little bit through the book, went in and had my last meeting, which I was exonerated, and at the end of the day they figured out I had nothing to do with it.

But I took that book home Chris, and it took me about two or three more days to read through it after I had that experience. After I read through the book, I decided I’m going to quit and jump into the real estate business and give it a go. So that’s exactly what I did. After reading that book, I quit my job and jumped both feet into the real estate business.

Wow, I mean if we stop right there Darin literally, and the listeners, especially those looking to make a career move, because I know I get those — and I’m sure you do as well — with zero experience. I think that he’s got enough hood spot to go ahead make that move, so thanks for sharing that. I’m always big on following the energy so to speak. So the fact that book was staring you right in the face, and you took action on it was also a really cool story. I appreciate that.

So real estate in general, you said okay, I’m going to do real estate. Do you have a niche or a specialty that you can share with the listeners that you tend to focus on? And maybe add the why to that? That’d be interesting.

Yeah. So I’m going to admit to you that there was no strategy in what I’m going to tell you, okay?

Even better.

It wasn’t like I just had this brilliant idea and it all worked out. It was all guesswork. But to your point, taking action was really the key to it. So here’s what I mean. I jumped into the real estate business with the thought that I’m going to just be involved in single family home investing and single family home brokerage.

My thought was I’ll make a little bit of money brokering and selling single-family homes as a real estate agent, okay? And I’ll make some money by maybe picking up some houses along the way. And by the way, nothing wrong with that, that’s a great strategy, great strategy. However, what I found at least in my smaller marketplace was there was a whole bunch of people looking at doing and attempting to do the same thing. After two or three months of hitting some roadblocks with that, and quite frankly competition with that, I thought what’s the best way that I can not only be more competitive in the marketplace in terms of maybe selling real estate and finding real estate to buy, but also doing something that no one else is really doing.

So I thought, well, you know apartments would be interesting. Some commercial and smaller commercial investment property would be interesting, but it was mainly apartments. Really not a lot of other people were doing it, finding a readily available list of owners was pretty easy to do, and again, I thought that since no one else is doing that necessarily, that might be something to try and get involved in. Plus heck, it sounded interesting and fun, too.

Now my only experience with apartments up to that point was living in one. I mean that was it. So I went ahead and made the decision to start specializing as an apartment property specialist. Apartment investment property specialist, and also an apartment brokerage specialist as well. With that in mind, I started focusing on that niche and continuing to focus on that niche. I’ll tell you what, 20 plus years later I’m really glad I did. As I said at the time, it was pretty much a guess. Uh, I’ll try this, see how this goes. But at the end of the day, backed up with action, it turned out to be a really, really good move.

Okay so interesting. Two questions, and two huge takeaways. Because what I got out of that, clearly, at least what I got, and I hope the listeners did, was you said a few times and alluded to it more about nobody was going in that direction. And I always say sometimes facetiously, and sometimes I directly mean it, and that is look at what everyone else is doing, and pointedly go the opposite direction. So thanks for highlighting that.

What would you say, Darin, comes natural? I mean you’re in this niche, you found your way into it, and you’re kicking butt. What comes natural to you in business in general? Just so these guys get a sense for more about Darin?

Really two things, and they’re kind of related Chris. And one is realistic expectations. And so what I mean by that is knowing that I’m not instantly going to proclaim myself as an apartment investment expert on Monday, and have a portfolio of 10 million on Tuesday, okay? Of course, I’m exaggerating, but a lot of times it’s easy, and I catch myself doing it too, of not having realistic expectations of how much work it’s probably going to take. How much time’s probably going to go by. How many deals might not work out, et cetera, before you start picking up traction.

Source: Pexels

“Have realistic expectations of how much work success takes.” - @darinrgarman Click To Tweet

So I think that part of it comes natural to me in terms of having realistic expectations. And what bridges that too, Chris, is the ability to build relationships with clients and with prospects. Those people that I hope to do business with someday. Again knowing that in most cases, I’m not going to meet, for example, an apartment property owner, a guy that owns, or a partnership, or a company that owns an apartment. I’m probably not going to meet them on a Monday, and end up buying the property at a really great discount on a Tuesday and making a ton of money, right?

Is that possible later on? Probably, as long as I continue to build and work the relationship with those folks, okay? I guess if I were to really think about what comes natural to me, is would be that. Realistic expectations, in terms of how long things will probably take. And by the way, the sooner the better for me, I’m impatient, just so you know.

Everyone, right?

Yeah. But knowing that that’s going to be part of the price you pay, and then continuing to build relationships with those people that I hope to do business with at some time in the future. Those would probably be the two things that really come natural to me, and have other the years.

I agree, and that’s our niche as well. I mean if you take a look at too many people out there talking about, lack of a better phrase, get rich quick, and just push this button, and just buy the software. Then you have all these expectations of having this windfall tomorrow. It’s just not reality. You’ve got to roll up your sleeves and get in the trenches, and setting expectations was a super clever way of how you said that.

We’ve all stumbled along the way, Darin. Obviously, for me, it was the 2008 debacle, and I wrote about it in the very, very beginning of my book, because I’m kind of a blunt person, I throw it all out there. But clearly, you and I have run into many, many people that have bumps in the road, have curveballs, even huge, colossal failures, but they don’t let it define who they are. They jump back in the trenches swinging full bore. Tell us about maybe a failure, or some kind of experience that you went through. Then maybe you what achieved because of it, or what you became because of it?

Yeah, well probably the best example is, and you hit the nail right on the head. No matter how good you are, no matter how hard you work, no matter how good your intentions are, Chris, you are going to have setbacks. They’re just going to happen. And so I’ve gone from a person that was for the longest time, Chris, I was surprised at these setbacks were to come up, okay? How could this have happened? I can’t believe it.

So if you do things long enough, you’re going to have setbacks. It’s really a case of not being surprised by setbacks, but being more ready, more experienced, and more capable to deal with them when they come up. Over the years, we’ve probably had more than a handful of properties that we’ve purchased that just haven’t worked out.

I call them the ‘wave the magic wand’ properties, Chris. What I mean by that is for some reason you could even wave a magic wand at these properties and have them be exactly what you want, and they still wouldn’t work out. They still wouldn’t perform like you thought. It’s still, at the end of the day, they still are not generating the kind of income or cash flow that you’re looking for. When those things happen, especially Chris, when you have partners with you that are partnering with you, that can be pretty tough.

Those can be really, really tough. And so when those situations have happened to me over the years, it’s been really two things. One is what did I learn from this experience? Okay, not only with the property so we avoid this from happening again. What did I learn with my interaction if I would have had any partners involved with me, so this would not happen again. And then what do I plan on doing about it moving forward? I think when those setbacks happen, and with that kind of mindset, it really pays big. It pays in a big way, Chris, to look at them more as important experience markers in our world real estate career than really anything else.

I appreciate your candor, Darin, so I’m going to ask you to highlight this, and I assume you’ll agree with me. Would you say that if someone’s out there, you know they listen to the podcast, and they’re trying to find their way into real estate. Or they’re in real estate, and they’re trying to fine-tune what they’re doing. If they run into people, unlike you or I, that say they’ve never failed, everything’s rosy, and they’ve never had setbacks, I would probably say they’re full of crap. But I just wanted to get your opinion on that.

Well, put it this way. If anyone that you are thinking of doing business with is telling you that they have never had a problem, made a mistake, everything has been perfect in their investment world, that is a red flag to run away as fast as possible. You name the very best investors, it doesn’t even have to be real estate, and they’ve all had problems and issues that have come up. And so yeah, if you ever have any experience with anyone that says, “Have you ever had any property issues or any failures?” And they say, “Oh no, everything’s always worked out great.” Well, guess what? End of interview, and I’m leaving.

Source: Pexels

“If anyone tells you they’ve never made mistakes, run away as fast as possible.” - @darinrgarman Click To Tweet

Yep.

Yeah, and we’ve even had the same issue, Chris, when it comes to raising capital. So we have capital raising campaigns during certain times of the year, and we’ve got everything all teed up and ready to go, but if for some reason we don’t get enough capital raised for a certain purchase or a couple of purchases, there’s a lot of time, effort, and energy that’s been wasted if we can’t come up with the money from a capital standpoint, too.

And so there are some disappointed people there as well. But again, knowing that these kinds of things happen, and taking the experience away from these kinds of things, I think, is the big, big pay off, and really helps you move and mature through the real estate investment world actually much faster as a result of it. At the time, it’s like, “God, this is not good.”

Right.

But you’ll find out later how much experience, and how good that active experience probably was, because of how you’re progressing later on.

Yeah, and I thought of maybe one exception to what you and I just said, and that’s someone that maybe started in the business last month, and they haven’t really been in the trenches. In which case, you wouldn’t want to be quite following them too quickly.

Right.

Let’s switch gears, so we went down the challenging road. What do you think is the most liberating, for lack of a better word, aspect about being in your area of — particularly in real estate in general — but in your area. And then the financial freedom that it perhaps can provide for someone and their family.

Well, I’ll actually talk about the financial freedom first. Of course, it’s rewarding financially to have money and to be able to do the things that you want to do, especially with real estate as your way of doing it. But the interesting thing about the financial freedom part of with real estate is it’s not so much the financial freedom, it’s the time that the financial freedom buys you.

It’s the time to do the things that you really want to do. It’s the time to spend on things you really want to spend time on, because I mean let’s face it. Most people today do not spend time on the things they want to spend time on. They hope to get a vacation in some time. They hope to be able to go watch one of their grandkids’ baseball games. They hope to be able to do those things, and so financial freedom that real estate provides is great. I mean it’s great, but what it really provides in terms of time, is really, in my opinion, the big, big payoff.

Then with being a real estate owner, and the liberating aspect of it is there’s nothing better than owning your own business. There really isn’t, and there are so many people out there that would love to be you. They would love to own their own business. They’d love to stick their butt out there a little bit and take a risk, and maybe invest in a property, invest in a single family home, maybe invest in a property that they’re going to maybe flip, or turn in a few months.

You and I know Chris, the list of those people that want to do it, versus actually do it, is very, very, very small. And so when you can run and own your own business, especially with real estate, and especially how good real estate can treat you, it is so satisfying to be able to be involved in that day in and day out. Because you’re calling your own shots, you’re making your own decisions. And being able to do that, and the effect it has on those people around you, family, friends, financially, and again from a time standpoint, is just absolutely terrific.

Yeah, you know coincidental to what you said at the start of that on the financial piece, last week I interviewed John Jackson, who has become a friend, and kind of a senior partner to our partners that are in Texas. Because of Texas laws, in my least purchase world, are quite different, and we finally found someone in John that can handle that. John brought up the exact thing you did about, “Okay the finances are great, I can do what I want, but it’s really the time, and spending time with people you care about.”

Then I wrote down while you were talking, having enough money, but having enough money to do the things that money can’t buy, which is the time and everything else. So that’s really cool. And let me ask you a question on this one Darin. I tell people, and this is the case in my business, every time I start a new profit center let’s say, or a new endeavor. I don’t care what my expectations are, Murphy’s law creeps in, and it takes 24 to 36 months bare minimum.

So I tell some of our clients, “Look, you might do a deal in this quarter or this month, but if you’re not willing to commit to 36 months to start, and get a business up and running,” and as you alluded to earlier, maybe that traction, wouldn’t you agree that they’ve got to allow themselves enough time to do that when they’re doing their own business?

What you just said is probably one of the most important things that your listeners can really take away from what we’re talking about. Because let’s face it, I mean if we’re realistic with ourselves, everything takes a hell of a lot longer than you think it’s going to.

Source: Pexels

“Everything takes longer than you think it’s going to.” - @darinrgarman Click To Tweet

You bet.

It always happens that way. I don’t care how good your business plan is, I don’t care how many CPA’s you got hired, I don’t care how many folks that you know like Chris or I, everything always takes a heck of a lot longer than what you think. You’ve got to be able to commit long term, at least for that 24 to 36 month period, Chris. I think you’re spot on with that. In order to make your goal, and your vision a reality, you need to commit to that up front.

And once again, it kind of goes back to that realistic expectation thing I was talking about earlier. You’ve got to know that going in. And so yeah, you are 150% on with what you just said there, Chris.

Love it, love it. Great minds think alike, right?

You got it, buddy.

So you’ve been at this for a little bit now, Darin, in the business, and I know you’ve had some success on the way clearly. What do you consider to be one of your biggest wins, and why?

Well, I tell you what. When it comes to being involved in this business, I could point to specific properties that have turned out to be great. I could talk to you about the specific deals that have turned out fantastic. I could go into some detail on all of that, but I tell you, the biggest win for me is what we have been able to successfully provide our partners and passive investors, in terms of investment benefits that they’re getting from being involved with us here.

There’s nothing that I like more than sending out that quarterly report to our investment partners letting them know how things are going, and the majority of the time things are going great. And getting the kinds of feedback from those partners, email, phone calls, text messages, I guess I’d call it the ‘proverbial pat on the back’. Nothing better than that, and having that kind of effect on partners that a lot of them have IRA money, or 401K money, in some cases the money that they’ve got invested with us in our projects, might not be a lot to them, in some cases, it is a lot to them.

When we can have people that we can connect with from all over, and they feel great about how things are going, and things are going great with what we’re doing here, and the kind of effect it’s having on them financially, as well as me personally, of course, because I’m involved in it too. That’s what’s really rewarding, is having that kind of financial effect on those folks that are really trusting us with what we’re doing with their investments here with property that they own.

I love it, and maybe on that note, I can go to, I made a note here at the beginning, are you okay with talking a little bit about how the listeners might be getting involved in your passive hotline investment partnership program, can you spend a little bit on that? Spend a little time?

Yeah, yeah sure. What we do is provide investors an avenue to be an active owner in apartments and some commercial investment property here in the heartland, without being an active owner. What that basically means is we have partnerships that we put together with investors to own real estate where I go ahead and I take care of all of the daily cares of life details of the property Chris, and you know all about this, all the tenant issues, all the management issues. We even take care of the tax returns as well for the investors.

What this allows passive investors to do, is just what I said, be passive. So they get all of the active owner benefits of owning the property, which of course is income, appreciation, equity build up, and really nice tax savings as well. They get all those benefits as if they actively owned it, but the only time they hear from me, four times a year when they get their quarterly report and their income distribution, that’s it. So we provide a way for investors to find out more about this, and really what I recommend Chris, what investors do if they’re interested, is get a hold of what I call our property catalog.

And it pretty much is a catalog of here’s all the properties we own, here’s how well they do, here’s where they’re located, here’s how big or small they are. A really good way to at least start that communication with us, if anyone’s interested in doing that, is really to go to our website, and the website is heartlandinvestmentpartners.com. That’s pretty much where you’d want to start if anyone would have an interest in getting more information on our passive investor program. We’ve been doing it for a long, long time, and we’ve got a lot of happy folks all around the US. We’ve got some people even out of the country too, Chris. But yes, if anyone wants any information on how to get involved with us, and at least starting getting some information on what the heck we’re up to, that’s where they want to go.

Fantastic, and so if they go to that website, that will have contact information and everything on there, all inclusive Darin?

Yeah.

Very good.

You bet, and you can also get on our email list, and not only get our property catalog but then they’re kept in communication with upcoming projects, upcoming deals that they may want to consider and get involved in, they’re really plugged into us at that point.

I love it, I love it. Thanks for sharing that, and that’ll be in the show notes as well, so the listeners know. And let me get to my last two or three questions, and we’ll wrap it up. Because I think, I don’t think, I know there’s some serious content, and some serious takeaways there, including that action item we just shared with them. Simple question Darin, what book are you reading right now, if you read a lot? Or what magazine or CD?

Well, the book is probably going to surprise you, because a lot of times people, especially in the real estate world, would be thinking I’m reading some kind of a business, or real estate book. And I am, but the book that I’m paying most attention to now is a book about wrestling, of all things. The name of the book is “A Wrestling Life,” and the author is Dan Gable.

Dan is legendary in the wrestling world as one of the greatest wrestlers in the history of wrestling. You may be thinking, Darin, why in the heck are you reading a book about wrestling? There are so many takeaways Chris, in this book, for folks like us doing what we do. It’s incredible. And so a lot of the things that Dan Gable talks about in this book are so applicable to what we do every day, it’s definitely a recommendation I would have for anybody. I’m not even done with it yet, but I’m blown away at how good it is.

So that’s one book. And the other book that I’m about a quarter of the way into is a book called “Am I Being Too Subtle?” by Sam Zell, and a lot of listeners will probably know Sam Zell’s name based on the big real estate investment trusts that he’s been involved in and the big purchases he’s been involved in. It’s really interesting to hear about his methodology in terms of deals and deal-making and how he approaches his work day as well. So those would be the top two books that I’m looking at and reading right now.

Great share, because I have heard of Sam Zell, and for whatever reason, slipped my radar as far as getting his book, so I appreciate that. And the wrestling one, just for the sake of a title, I’m going to go grab that just to be different. Appreciate that. Darin, let’s do this. My last two wrap up questions, let’s say for a second there was a reset button or a reboot button. And you could go back yourself, and start over, what if anything would you do differently the second time around, and why?

Well, that’s a really, really good question. I’m going to apologize up front Chris because my answer’s not going to be that grand, but I think it’s going to be instructive. The answer is if I had a button to push, I would have started a lot sooner in the investment real estate world. I held myself back Chris, for almost five years, because I didn’t think that I had the ability, the know-how, the smarts, the experience, to really do well in the real estate field.

Source: Pexels

“If I had a reset button, I would have started a lot sooner.” - @darinrgarman Click To Tweet

It took me up to almost five years to get over that and start getting involved in the real estate business. And viola! It wasn’t merely as scary, and as difficult, and I wasn’t nearly as uneducated as I thought I was. And so I would say getting started a heck of a lot sooner, and not procrastinate as much. So if I had that button to push buddy, I would be pushing that button right away to get started four to five years sooner.

I agree I agree, I have a board I look at to my right as you’re talking, I have a whiteboard of people let’s just say on my radar. People that have told me, “Yeah Chris, I want to do some partnering with you, I want to do this,” and every single one of them, as you’re talking I’m looking, just haven’t pulled the trigger yet, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. And so I love that, and I hope they listen well to your message you just said.

In the show notes here Darin, before my last question for you, you are nice enough to give us a link to one of your books, “Paranoid Banker’s Secrets,” can you give these guys a little snippet as to what that might be about? And why they should go ahead and read it?

Yeah, “Paranoid Banker’s Secrets” is a book about where I recommend investors, especially us folks. Us real estate investors look, in terms of not only where they should be investing from a real estate standpoint, property types, and even other kinds of investing that involve real estate. So for example, I’m sure that you and your listeners have looked into and discussed, for example, tax lien certificates. Or discounted mortgages. And so I talk a little bit about those as well.

I come from the standpoint of what I was exposed to after we started our bank, and I sat on the board of directors in the credit committee. The interesting things that we would see on the credit committee that would cross our path where we have to make decisions, are we going to be making loans on these opportunities for these investors or not?

The book really covers those kinds of real estate investments that I saw sitting on that credit committee and board of directors that were working out really, really well for our borrowers and our customers. From a standpoint of sitting at the table reviewing these deals, doing due diligence on these deals, and when these deals are working out well, that’s what the book covers, and really talks about what those deals are.

Fantastic, so but surely go to the show notes, I will remind you guys again as we wrap up. And here’s my last question, on that note, let’s do a visual here for these guys. I love ending most of my interviews this way. Let’s imagine for a second that you’re standing in front of a room, Darin. You’ve got a bunch of brand new investors or want to be investors. And so of course, they’re battling all those fears, anxieties, risks, and uncertainty that you and I alluded to.

Yeah.

And they want to know if they made the right decision or not to be an investor, what two or three strategies would you recommend besides what we talked about, and what might be in the books that you’ve done, and courses, that they can focus on the best ensure the success?

Well, the first thing that they need to do is be prepared, Chris, I would say be prepared to pay the price up front. So again, and it sounds a little bit repetitive based on what we’ve already talked about, so I won’t spend a lot of time on it, but again, you need to be prepared to do what’s necessary, and pay the price in order to see the success, and see those financial goals through. So that would be number one.

Number two is, and I hate this, by the way, I can’t stand what I’m going to tell you, but it’s the way it is. Success works in zigzags, it doesn’t work in a straight line. I’d love to go from point A to point B and have it to be as straight and as smooth, and as easy as possible. There’s this thing out there called Murphy’s law that prevents that, unfortunately.

Source: Pexels

“Success doesn’t work in straight lines. It works in zigzags.” - @darinrgarman Click To Tweet

So know that success works in zigzags, but that’s okay. Knowing it works in zigzags is key, you’re not going to get from point A to point B quickly, and knowing that up front I think is a huge benefit to somebody. And then again, long-term time perspective and relationships are key. If you’re in the real estate business, and you’re going to be a success in the real estate business, you’ve got to have a really, really good sense of long-term time perspective, and relationships. Because you’re going to be dealing with people day in and day out, and it’s hard to really think Chris, about any other career choice. Any other investment choice that you deal with as many people as you do within real estate.

I really don’t, I mean I can’t think of one off the top of my head, but you deal with a lot of people. And so relationships are key, especially when it comes to long-term relationships and long-term time perspective. So I’d say really those three things, be prepared to pay that price up front. Know that success, I don’t like it, works in zigzags, it’s just the way it is. But knowing that up front is key, and then those long-term time perspective and relationships.

Super high-quality shares. I took, I love the interviews, Darin, I take notes, on occasion, I have one, or two, or three bullet points. But I’ve got to tell you, you can’t see, but I’ve got a good three-quarters of a page of notes, so I appreciate that, and I’m sure these guys are going to want to hear more from you.

This is not in my notes here as questions I wanted to ask you, and these guys can’t see you, but I’ve got to ask you, there looks it’s what’s behind you looks like a board of money, am I right? In what I can see?

Yeah, you are correct. So what I like to do is, and it’s kind of a mental trigger for me, in terms of goals, is I like to have things that look like and symbolize either real estate or money around me. And so what you’re looking at is framed US currency from the very beginning of when currency started in the US. And so it goes all the way up until the early 1800’s, when they started circulating paper currency, all the way up to today. So you’re seeing a framed history of currency is what you’re seeing.

I love that. I just wanted to ask you that, because again, these guys can’t see you, but I can see it, and that’s interesting. And also interesting that they hear you say that you surround yourself with that. So thanks again for a great share. Darin, I’ve got to tell you, that was really, really awesome. I mean from the beginning to the end, I know that at times when I’m being interviewed afterwards I’m thinking, “Man I wish so and so asked me this,” or, “I wish I had thought of this one point. I wish I could go back to that.” Are there any last minute comments or thoughts you’d like to share? And also any other ways besides the website, and you can repeat it, that they can reach you?

Yeah, so I’ll hit the website again. And if you want to hear from me more consistently, and you want to get on our email list. You really do, and it’s www.heartlandinvestmentpartners.com. So make sure you go there, at least visit, and see what the heck we’re up to, and get on our mailing list so you hear from me more consistently if that’s something you want to do. So that would be number one.

Number two I guess when you and I first started our conversation Chris, and you asked me about my beginnings as a prison guard. Going from prison guard into real estate investor, one thing that I thought of while we were talking about that was the amount of risk it seemed like at that time I was taking, okay? So at the time, I was married, we just had our first child, and she would have been maybe five months old, and here I’m going to quit a job, okay?

There you go.

So if I talked to, for example, my mother-in-law, she wasn’t too happy about that. So I tell you that because there is always going to be a certain level of doubt, in terms of what you’re able to do. And the decision I finally made in finally deciding to quit that job and jump into real estate was basically this. I would rather give something my true and 150% effort to see it through and fail miserably at it, then not try it at all, and wonder 20, 30 years later, “I wonder what would have happened, if?”

I would say all of us are so busy with what we’ve got going on, there are so many distractions, and there are so many pressures on a lot of people to do certain things. But if you really, really want to be profitable in real estate investing, you really want to make it a career. You really want it to have a huge financial impact in your life, whether you have it now, or maybe you want it to continue to be. I think it’s important to be thinking along those lines because at the end of the day you don’t want any regrets. You want to do whatever you think is necessary to accomplish what you want to accomplish, and you always want to look back on it and say to yourself, “You gave it your best shot, you’ve done your best.” Versus, “Gee, I wonder what would have happened if?” I don’t want to ever ask myself that question.

Yeah, and your thoughts on that remind me of Tony Robbins, I’m sure you’ve heard his stuff, but he talked about people that say, “I should have,” and, “I should have done that, and I should have done that.” And he said, “Don’t should all over yourselves.”

That’s a great way to put it! But he’s exactly right, he’s exactly right. And so I think if somebody has that kind of mindset, they will be unstoppable, they really will.

Great way to wrap it up Darin, I appreciate it. Okay, smart listeners, my closing thoughts, as usual, you can listen to this podcast, I encourage you to over and over, as well as the other episodes on here over and over. But in order to experience a true quantum leap like I alluded to when we opened up this interview, you’ve got to take action. Grab one, two, three action items that Darin and I have shared with you, there were probably 30 or 40, and literally, go take action.

Also, be sure to see the show notes below this podcast so you can grab the “Paranoid Banker’s Secrets,” as well as the website. If you didn’t get a chance to jot it down, so you can go ahead and jump on Darin’s email list. And Darin I know, you just alluded to this actually, that we all have the same hours weekly. It’s 168, and those go by so fast and are so valuable, so thanks for sharing one of those hours with us today. It was great to have you on.

You bet Chris. Pleasure, great talking to you today.

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