In this episode Josh talks with Jeff Schechter about young mindset, investments and business tips and strategies.
Jeff has had the entrepreneurial bug his entire life and loves connecting with other entrepreneurs. He started his first business right out of college, and over the years, has developed sales and marketing strategies that have worked well across many industries… Ever the entrepreneur, he has been involved in numerous businesses ventures.
Jeff’s love for real estate investing began in the 1980’s, when he began fipping homes that he lived in. In addition to investing, he also operates a private consulting practice. Jeff has been blessed to have coached hundreds of business owners, and he thrives on helping people realize their full potential… not just in business, but in all aspects of life.
In today’s episode you will learn:
- How to maintain a mindset of a younger man, and start a multi-million dollar business right before your 60th birthday?
- What’s the better investment, real estate or an existing business?
- What Jeff does that’s so special with his consulting clients?
- What’s the most important spend for any business?
Narrator: Welcome to The Sustainable Business Radio Show podcast where you’ll learn not only how to create a sustainable business but you’ll also learn the secrets of creating extraordinary value within your business and your life. In The Sustainable Business, we focus on what it’s going to take for you to take your successful business and make it economically and personally successful. Your host, Josh Patrick, is going to help us through finding great thought leaders as well as providing insights he’s learned through his 40 years of owning, running, planning and thinking about what it takes to make a successful business sustainable.
Josh: Hey, how are you today? This is Josh Patrick. You’re at The Sustainable Business Podcast. My guest today is Jeff Schecter. Jeff and I are going to start the conversation. Jeff is actually a real estate developer or real estate house flipper. I’m not sure how he likes to be referred to. Most people I’ve known we’re like developers or flippers. We’ll stay with developer. We’re going to start the conversation off with ageism in the business community because Jeff and I are sort of the same age and sort of have the same issues around that. Let’s bring Jeff on start the conversation.
Hey, Jeff, how are you today?
Jeff: I am great. I’m happy to be here.
Josh: Jeff, what would you refer to be a flipper or a developer?
Jeff: Probably a little bit of both. I’m the co-founder of a turnkey company. We basically buy some of the crappier inner city product that’s out there and we fix them up. We make them nice. We put renters at them. We get them cash flowing and then we actually do flip them to investors all over the world as performing assets.
Josh: Cool. That’s actually interesting business. I’m hoping we get a little bit of time to talk about that later. Let’s start off with ageism because that was the thing that sort of caught my attention when you’re booker asked to be on the show. What is your experience been as you age and what have you done to counter it, if anything?
Jeff: Well, I guess first, let’s talk about dating because I’m single. That has taken on a whole bit of craziness. In fact, I was just telling the girls in the office I actually was just targeted by someone who was looking for a sugar daddy. I thought it was legit. Somebody that I met on one of these apps, but it just got to this point where she was— we’d already met actually. She was already asking me for money.
We had met for half an hour for a little shake at a juice place. She was already hit me up for cash. It’s like, “Something’s wrong with that.” So I experienced some of that sort of wanting to be taken advantage of on some of the apps. I see a lot of fake stuff and things like that.
If I’m getting any kind of ageism from the standpoint of the business world, I’m not noticing that much because to a certain extent inside. You can probably relate to this, too. I still feel like a child in certain ways. I sometimes look at my birthday and like, “I can’t believe I’m this old. How did this even happen?” Maybe I’m in denial or whatever, but I have not really experienced a whole lot of it in the workplace, but then again I’m in my own business.
I’m an entrepreneur. I chart my own course. I have a lot of friends and business associates that are younger than me and that’s just kind of become the norm for me. From a standpoint of what I have done about it personally, I’ve experienced as most people do as they age in this sort of Western world and crappy medicine and bad food and all that kind of stuff.
I’ve experienced some pretty significant health issues. I recently got a lot of stuff very, very dialed in. I went on a program to completely change not that I was doing bad, but I just wanted to understand better about my nutrition. I really wanted to push the envelope there. That had a pretty significant impact in how I look and how I feel and just my relationship to food and all that other kind of stuff. That was very, very impactful because it’s really affected my energy levels as well. I’m trying to do what I can to kind of keep from aging.
Josh: I think there’s a lot of us are there. I keep hearing, 60 is the new 40. I think actually 60 can be the new 40 I think physically 60 or 60. If you want to stay active and healthy and doing stuff, there’s a lot of lifestyle things you can do along the way. When you deal with younger folks, what kind of things do you do to help them understand that you’re still with it? And you understand what drives businesses today?
Jeff: Well, I’ve kind of pushed myself to be very— as you obviously I mean you’re sitting in front of a beautiful microphone. You’re using all this technology. I don’t know that there’s that many baby boomers out there like us that have really fully embraced technology. I think that has been really, really helpful for me because I’m not afraid of it. I just embrace it. It’s just part of the daily culture. And so as a result, I don’t necessarily feel like there’s that big of a divide between myself and the younger set. One of the things I do notice is it tends to be like some of the platforms that we’re on. For example, you wouldn’t catch me dead going on Snapchat.
Jeff: It’s a technology, but it’s like to me it’s just pointless.
Josh: WhatsApp for that matter.
Jeff: Yeah. Well, Whatsapp has some meaningful things if you’re looking to communicate with some people overseas that are using different cell networks and things like that. There’s some good applications for that. I have used that in certain business settings. I tend to be more— although, I’m sick of it. I tend to be more like communicating on Facebook at least for social media. Then a lot of people that are younger than me.
It’s like, “Oh, it’s all over Instagram.” It’s like, “Well, sorry honey, I don’t have an Instagram account.” That’s where I see the divide is sort of like as to which platforms people are on. At the same time, it’s easy for one generation to make fun of the next generation. And to say, “Okay, God when we were going to school, we used to walk to school both ways, uphill in the snow, blah, blah, blah.” You kids are also spoiled. That’s kind of the stuff that we say all the time, right?
We’re just joking, but you look at the cards that some of the millennials were dealt to where they just have like massive student debt. The cost of education and the fact that technology is changing so fast that their college degree is really worthless within 18 to 24 months. There’s so much less stability in the job market. They’ve been dealt a much more toxic planet and toxic food supply and whatever. I think personally given the hand they’ve been dealt, they’re doing pretty well.
I think it’s pretty easy for us to say they’re not doing all but I try to take the opposite side and look at, “Wow, look at what you’ve done with the hand that you’ve been. It’s really pretty impressive.”
Josh: It is. The truth is every rising generation has had the older generation whine about them. Baby Boomers, I remember when I was first coming up, we were the worst generation of all times ever, ever come into the labor force because we were so selfish.
Jeff: And spoiled.
Josh: And spoiled. The truth is a lot of baby boomers are selfish and spoiled. The Millennials are not nearly as selfish. They’re a spoiled if not more so, but millennials tend to clump. They have a different way of looking at the world versus the way baby boomers are. Baby boomers tend to be rugged individualists whereas millennials tend to do things as a group and look at the greater good versus what’s good for me which is probably a really good thing for our planet right now.
Because we’re sort of in an environmental crisis whether we want to admit it or not. I mean I love going to Vermont. 10 years ago, we used an air conditioner, two days a year of that. Now we’re using it for a month. Every year, it gets a little bit worse and a little bit worse and a little bit worse. I think you hit it right on the nose is that what I’m hearing you say is that if you treat people with respect they will return the favor for the most part.
Josh: I was recently at a meeting which I was the oldest person there. It’s the first time I’ve ever been the oldest person room in any meeting. I used to be the youngest person in the room. I noticed that there was a group of people who said, “What’s that old guy doing here?” More people were at least curious to figure out what my story was before they wrote me off.
Jeff: That’s good. Some saving grace there.
Josh: Well, I think the truth is we have to sort of expect that because an awful lot of our peers have not stay current with how the business world is working, or where the business world is going. For example, a lot of folks that are brick and mortar businesses think that they don’t really need to be active in social media for marketing.
Josh: In my opinion, they’re making a huge, huge mistake because we even get stuff that we need at our age from Facebook ads, or LinkedIn ads, or Google ads. We do all sorts of research there. We need to be aware that the way we get attention is way different than what it used to be.
Jeff: Yeah, it’s interesting that you say that because I also have a background in marketing. This is where I see some of the biggest mistakes made. It’s not just in the leveraging of social media, but it’s also in the way that sales get made. So old school is kind of like the Glengarry Glen Ross method. Coffees for closers, get on the phone, hammer, hammer, hammer, pitch, pitch, pitch. It’s all about what we can do for you, how great we are all that kind of stuff.
The reality is in this day of age when everything is on social media, there’s a constant battle for attention. The way that you get attention is not by beating people up with a sales process, or a sales pitch or a pitch deck or whatever. It’s really by giving and putting out good content and good things to say. Here’s something of value that you can have for free. This is going to help you.
By doing that over and over and over again, you draw the right prospects to us. There’s been almost a complete shift in the way sales are made over the last generation. There are many old school business owners that do not get that shift. They don’t understand why they’re having such a hard time keeping the doors open.
Josh: Well, one of the big shifts I’ve seen is no longer should you be talking in a marketing or sales conversation for that matter about who you are and what you do is we need to be talking about and asking the question, what is the problem that we solve for our customers? We need to be talking about that.
Josh: I think that’s a really huge area that as we get older— for us who are older in business, it used to be me, me, me, me, me, me. Let me tell you about me because I’m so great in what we do is so important for you. It’s really now is I’m not very important, but through the content I provide, through the question I asked, through what we know about you, you’re going to figure out that I know what you need to be successful and I can help you get there.
Jeff: Yeah, absolutely. I think there’s a psychology there, too. I mean human beings I think in general would rather make that decision to buy feel like it’s their decision than be sold. Nobody really wants to pressure it.
Josh: By the way, that is nothing new. That been around since I first got in business in 1976.
Jeff: Sure, but it’s more prevalent now than ever before.
Josh: Yeah, people now want to buy. They definitely do not want to be sold. If you’re not an expert at asking good questions you need to become one. I want to pivot for a second because we like to pivot. You have something here, this has me intrigued. What’s the better investment real estate or an existing business?
Jeff: It’s a tough question. I’m in the real estate business so you’re kind of putting me on the spot.
Josh: I’m going to— actually, I may surprise you a little bit with my final answer here, but go ahead.
Jeff: I’m going to go with businesses. Here’s the reason why. There are exceptions, but most real estate deals are based on certain metrics. You make an investment. You expect a certain approximate type of return based on the kind of real estate investment that it is. In a good smart business way, there is somewhat of a predictable result there.
If you know what you’re doing. From a business standpoint, when you start making increase sales or invest in your business and you’re profitable, if you can start tweaking your marketing, investing in the right kinds of ads, you have the opportunity to increase your business exponentially. The ROI could be exponential as far as the difference of what you’d get assuming you already have somewhat of a successful business model. I think in that regard, the better investment is your business plus you’re also investing in yourself that way, too.
Josh: Yeah, I would actually say both believe it or not.
Josh: Here’s why. I mean we do a lot of business succession planning, help people figure out what they need to do to how to get out of the business and be able to afford to retire. The truth is for most people the business isn’t even close to getting in there. However, if they have investment, real estate which they have bought in their 40s and 50s by the time they get to their 60s is paid off and there’s no reason for them to sell it.
They can still get the rent. And in a cash flow basis, investment real estate often is more important than retirement than the cash flow you get from the sale of your business. So I always say both. I mean while you’re working having a business is really important because that’s where you create the excess cash that allows you to get ready to leave your business someday.
After you leave your business, investment, real estate becomes more important because in many respects it provides more cash flow then the sale of your business. If I sell my business for a million bucks, I’m left with $600,000 after taxes and fees.
Josh: I can spend $24,000 a year and not run out of money under most circumstances. But if I have a piece of investment, real estate for that size business is likely going to get $3,000 a month in rent. The last time I checked $36,000 is more than $24,000.
Jeff: Yeah, for sure. It was a bit of a trick question, but I’m not disagreeing with you.
Josh: It’s really not a trick question. I was sort of expecting you to say real estate is a better investment because you’re in the real estate business and that would be something that would be important. Here’s my next question for you which also has me curious, what’s the most important spend for any business?
Jeff: Marketing and advertising. You have to be known. It doesn’t make any sense to have a business and not be doing marketing. Otherwise, you’re you have no predictable way to keep getting sales and customers.
Josh: So where does sales fit into this?
Jeff: Well, I’ve studied a lot of marketers and probably the best— I don’t even know who said this. It was probably some famous ad guy from the 1950s. The intent and goal of the best marketing is to make sales superfluous. So as if to say that your brand and your marketing, your value offer to the world should be so good that people just want to buy. You don’t need necessarily need a fantastic sales organization.
Josh: I would say that’s probably very true in B2C sales business to consumer sales, but in business to business sales I would have to push back on that. Here’s why is that my marketing might get the attention of one person in an organization. Once I get that one person’s attention then I need to move into a sales process because there’s probably multiple decision makers.
Those multiple decision makers have different sorts of needs. One of the things we always teach is that there’s a reason we use the term customers not clients when I talk about business customers because in almost every business transaction there’s a customer and there’s a client. They’re two different people and they have different needs. If you don’t fill both of those needs never get the sale made at least in my experience.
Jeff: Yeah, I love it.
Josh: One of the things I like Michael Port has this great saying is that marketing is to create awareness. I think that marketing is to create awareness, but sales is to create a customer.
Jeff: Okay, I’m not arguing. I like the way you phrase that.
Josh: In my experience, it’s really kind of a cool thing that when you do that, but I have to agree with you. I would say that a fully funded customer acquisition strategy is the best investment you can make in your business. That would be both marketing and sales. No question about that. You do some consulting, what do you do that special with your consulting clients?
Jeff: Well, I don’t know if what I’m doing is special. I just operate really off of the energy of the person that I’m helping. This is kind of more of a side gig for me. I’m really just talking to a fellow entrepreneur that I have on the phone. We’re having similar conversations to this.
Usually what I’m trying to do is find out what’s working, what’s not working just kind of the basic stuff. He would get into marketing and sales in some of these kinds of conversations, but I think where people lose track of things is they get very hung up on just the money and the profits. To a certain extent, many entrepreneurs tend to get so wrapped up in that, that they lose sight of their lives, of why they were actually doing this business or this thing that they do in the first place.
So what I like to do with people is just let’s not just look at your numbers, but let’s look at what you like to do. Let’s look at what you’re good at. Let’s look at what you’re passionate about, what really motivated you to get into this business in the first place, what’s the value that you’re putting out in the world and let’s try and focus on that stuff. So I probably tend to be a lot more woo-woo and talk about energies and purpose in life and all that other kind of stuff than what most consultants will talk about. I am not nearly as bottom line driven as most consultants will be. I’m more about life driven.
Josh: I think Peter Drucker would probably approve. Peter Drucker used to say, what’s the purpose of a business? People would always say to create a profit. He would always say, “No, no, no, no. The purpose of a business is a great customer.”
Josh: And I have to agree with that 100%. Profit as a result is not a purpose and anybody who says my purpose is to create a profit will likely never create a profit.
Jeff: Or they will, but it’ll be short lived.
Josh: Right. I mean you can always create a profit for a period of time, but to have a sustainable business that’s going to last past you. It’s really about what is it that drives money to the bottom line not what is the bottom line and work backwards.
Jeff: And I think the other thing is kind of like what I said about passions and things like that like, “What’s your purpose? What’s the good stuff that gets you out of bed in the morning?
Because if it’s just about cranking cash that’s not enough.” I think human beings do best when they really feel like they’re working towards a greater purpose.
Jeff: That prevails not only through the business owner, but throughout his or her entire organization. When they’re on point with that, that energy gets transferred to everybody else in the organization. They should be able to feel that way as well that they’re part of that that’s a mission.
Josh: Right. That’s why we like to see people start with their values first.
Josh: If you start with your values and everything else tends to flow easily from there.
Josh: At least that’s my experience. Hey, Jeff, we are unfortunately out of time. I’m going to bet there are some people who are listening to this podcast, or watching on YouTube, and they would love to get in touch with you. How would they go about doing that?
Jeff: It’s very simple. We are at https://highreturnrealestate.com/. That’s where you can find us. There’s all kinds of forums and contact forums there. By all means reach out even if it’s not real estate related and it’s related to this conversation. You just want to further the conversation. You thought a forum, it’ll get to me somehow. My team on that.
Josh: That’s cool. I also have an offer for you, too. We’ve been working on this little thing for months and months and months. It finally came to fruition is it I actually have this automated quiz for thing I call The Four Boxes of Financial Independence and what it will do. It’s going to help you figure out whether you’re on track to be financially free from your business or not.
It’s free to do. It takes about 10 or 15 minutes to go through and do it and the find is really easy. Just go to https://thecashflowcode.com/ all one word, spend five or 10 minutes filling out the information there. You’re going to get a sense of whether you’re on track for financial freedom or not. I’m always happy to have a conversation with somebody who’s on either end because we help with both sides that. This is Josh Patrick and you’re with Jeff Schachter. We’re at The Sustainable Business. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.