Hey, guys! This week on Chasing Financial Freedom, I will be sharing episode 2 on my entrepreneur journey. This week I will discuss my last business failure, how it affected me mentally and physically, and how I struggled back in Corporate America. Stay tuned, as this will be a series of 4 or 5 podcasts. I'm excited to share this with you guys because often, when we fail at something, we tend not to talk about it or even think about it much—because we feel like failures or don't want to seem weak by opening up about those failures. But what if, instead of hiding our failures from others or ourselves, we could turn them into lessons? What if we could see our failures as an opportunity for growth to help us succeed?
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[00:00:00] Ryan: Hey guys, Ryan DeMent from Chasing Financial Freedom Podcast. I hope you guys are having a great day. This is episode two of my journey of overcoming Failure in dealing with entrepreneurship when I didn't have a clue. As what I was doing. So last week, if you guys haven't listened to it sorry, the week before, if you have not listened to that episode, it is on Buzz Sprout or all the major platforms.
I will put a link in the show notes for that. But basically on a overview schedule, it's me failing twice in business, having to go back to corporate America and. Really reinventing myself and finding my passion, my side hustle, and being able to get myself outta debt. This week, I want to talk about that journey while I'm in corporate America on this last run, working side hustle, and also getting myself outta debt and then bringing you into a little bit closer to the future.
So when I went back to corporate America, I was over a hundred thousand dollars in debt from two failed businesses, so I was carrying a lot of debt. I'd also gone through a divorce, which cost me some money there too. But the biggest thing in lifesaver was I was able to go back to an industry that I knew I can make it healthy.
Income, and I knew that there was an exit strategy for myself to be able to get out of that rut that I was in financially, but also get myself to figure out what I wanted to do in life. Get my passion fired up, ready to go and keep moving forward. But like I said, in that first episode, I had a pity party for several months, maybe even longer than that.
I was in denial and it slowed me down. The thing that I want to share with you guys on this tip one, it's okay to have a pity party, but if you continue to let it control your current days' aren't days focus. You're just setting yourself up for failure. And I had it for several months. It slowed things down for me in corporate America where I was trying to get myself outta debt, making sure I was performing well for my new bosses.
It also slowed me down in life. I wasn't communicating with very many people. I was isolated, so I if you want to call it depression, whatever you want to call it, it was there, but it was a pity party and. You're probably thinking what got me out of it. It was talking to some good friends, talking to family, but it ultimately came down to me in saying, I want to make a change in my life, and I'm tired of feeling this way.
I became overweight, I was eating badly. All the things that unfortunately we've experienced with depression. I was doing it I really had to figure out how I was going to make a change in my life. And I know we discussed it a little bit about it in the first episode, but I want to go into more depth.
What helped me is, yes, I do believe in God and I believe that your inners have to match your outers. The other thing that I believe in is the secret in, in manifesting things that you want positive affirmations, the way you think, in the way you go about your life. Those are the individuals that you attract.
And while I was having to pity party for many months, I was attracting the wrong people, the people that weren't around to support me or to help me. They were just there. They didn't they weren't bringing any. Quality or value to my life. They were basically there and weren't pushing me to be a better person.
Weren't pushing me to be a better, entrepreneur or side hustle, Johnny side hustle, or a leader just in general, just wrong group. So as soon as I got back to my roots of manifesting what I was looking. Things started to change, but to back up and share how that worked, I had to sit down and understand what I wanted to do in life and what I wanted to accomplish.
And it wasn't all about money. It was all about how I wanted to feel and how I wanted to live my life. It's how I wanted to. Go through each day knowing that I'm becoming a better person and I can help others. And that's what really resonated to me in the first things I had to do was change my diet.
I had to figure out a way to reduce my stress, get back in the gym. I needed to have positive clarity on a daily basis. And I've always struggled with any type of meditation whatsoever, so I had to find something that worked for me and that was. To 15 minutes in the morning when I first wake up, keeping the cell phone away from me, not trying to get all worked up with the news or anything to that extent, and being able to just focus on the things that I was thankful for.
Thankful for my life. Thank you for, thankful for my health, my family, my friends, my dogs. The roof over my head, The clothes on my back, food on my table. All those things that we take granted, we take for granted. Some people in this world don't have, I read a lot, I listen to a lot of things.
I do audio books, through Audible and I think it's Gary V's. Latest book 12 and a Half, where he states that somewhere in the close to a hundred million people worldwide. Don't have access to secure housing, water, and indoor plumbing, all the things that we take advantage of or we take for granted.
And when I heard that, that really resonated and brought me back to this point in my life, was like I'm bitching and complaining about the things that I have when in the grand scheme of things, I'm pretty. I'm pretty blessed to have the things that I have. I went back to corporate America and was able to earn a very nice six figure income very quickly, right outta the shoot, plus a bonus.
I don't know many people that could, leave corporate American, come back to it and do that again.
So that, that's tip one, being grateful, for what you have. Cuz once you start, once you are grateful for what you. Then you can start actually, Manifesting and thinking about the things that you want. And it always doesn't have to be money, guys. Money is not, Believe me I'm not allergic to money, nor do I, nor do I wanna stay away from it, but I can't make it as my number one driver to do things.
What I'm doing in, the affordable housing are nonprofit buying, non-performing notes, coaching. Podcast is all driven by helping others, serving others, Getting to a place in life to where you put your passion first and then you can start making money. People think it's crazy that people think that you cannot go after your passion, monetize it and make money or monetize it and be happy and also make.
And that's a bunch of bs because you can I think there's limitations on certain things that can be monetized, and you have to be very creative, but in the end, you can monetize practically anything as long as you've got an audience and you're passionate about it. You don't have to be an ex, you don't have to be an expert.
I That's one of the things that Gary V talks about. Stop trying to be an expert and just talk about your passion. That's when everybody comes along and starts seeing your stuff and. The turning point for all this was, like I said in my, in the first episode, is I found non-performing notes and started doing the research.
I spent months researching because I was so afraid to pull the trigger on one, and I was so afraid to put money in because I'd lost money and I didn't have money to invest begin with. So I had to find a way to creatively put in the sweat equity, do my homework, understand where I was. But the other thing I was doing is I was putting out videos and content on social media and it wasn't going anywhere.
I was kidding. Like zero likes. And it's funny is you gotta tune out all the noise, whether it be good or bad and just focus on you and start putting out your message, because ultimately that's where people will find you. When you're talking from your heart and talking from your passion, people find.
And it's not an overnight success. One of my podcasts, four years, it's now starting to take off, and we talked about that before. I have Chasing Happiness Podcasts. It's only nine months old. It's doing better than chasing Financial Freedom was in the beginning because I already have the base from one other podcast and I've got more social media followers.
But that all came with persistence and consist consistency. Persistence and consistency and the, I don't know how to describe it to you guys, other than if you're not posting three to five, six times a day with some messaging on social of about your passion, what you're doing, letting people know you're not gonna, it's not gonna become gospel.
It's not gonna resonate with people. And believe me today, I still get some that have very few views, very few likes. But I don't care. I'm putting out what I enjoy. I'm putting out what I love, and I'm just talking from my heart. I'm talking about helping others. I, it's not about a monetization game. Do I wanna monetize some of this stuff?
Sure. But it's not the top of my list. I would like to be able to see both podcasts take off and be able to get monetized with advertisers and be able to push it to another level that will come with. I'll continue to be putting out a weekly episode. I'll be, continue to put out daily social media posts on it and I'll make sure that at some point in the future it will all happen.
It's not gonna be something that's gonna happen tomorrow because I know there's a lot of work to still be done and I don't even have the knowledge for all the podcasting piece. I still have a lot to learn and that is where that journey, while I'm in corporate America. Trying to hone my side. Hustle is where I wanna get back to, is learning.
I had to learn a lot about mortgages. I thought I knew mortgages, but I clearly didn't. I had to learn. Servicers, I had to learn about the definition of a non-performing loan versus a performing loan versus a scratch and dent loan. The type of mortgages, there's first and seconds and thirds, but there's also different ways to underwrite those, and some of those are horribly underwritten where you can't do anything with them.
From a legal standpoint, if you, God, Have to foreclose on somebody, you won't be able to do it because the underwriting package or the closing package, the documents that we all sign at closing was garbage. It wasn't done by law. And if you don't do that homework upfront on your due diligence, before you buy one of these, you could get stuck with a turd and then you can do nothing.
These people can stay in there until the cows come home, and that's pretty sad. A lot of people get into this industry because it's a quick buck and they think they can do it, and it really is not. It's a 12 to 24 month process before you start understanding that you can realize roi. Cuz there's gonna be several months that you have to figure out how you're gonna work with these people to get repayment started.
There's 12 different. Options for them to go through. They've gotta start making physical payments, and if they don't, then depending on if you're in a judicial state or a non-judicial state, you either have to go to court to foreclose or you have to go to a magistrate in a non-judicial to go through that whole process.
Or a judge. Either or. But one, the judicial states take, 6, 9, 12 months cuz it's a long process. And then the non judicials, you three to six months. So you're still sitting on it. And guess. You still have to make sure the bills are being paid, otherwise these, if you financed it or you're having to pay investors, you gotta pay them.
So you've gotta have some, excuse me, reserves in the back to make sure that you can pay your investors or yourself or whatever you're doing. All those things were moving pieces for me that I did not know anything about whatsoever. I thought I did. I thought I was a knowit, all which I was not. And ends up being, I knew Jack.
So I had to find people to help me to learn all this. So I started joining some groups on Facebook. I found this guy that I talked about in the first episode that talks about this. He puts out a weekly podcast. He puts out a weekly show that talks about all these different aspects, and then he puts on some weekend seminars and he's got other things going on.
So I was bought in and started searching and went through it and started attending some of these, and it's. I'll tell you this, I got overwhelmed. Overwhelmed. There was so much information I was drinking through a fire hose. I did not know where to go with it, and I just froze because I was so overwhelmed.
I had no idea. And it all came to a stop for several months and I just sat there and sat there and tried to think about it and think about it and just didn't work. So what did I do? I came back, tip number two, I came back and wrote down some goals that I wanted to accomplish.
Goals written down are always gonna be easier to accomplish cuz they're sitting there right in front of you and I literally wrote 'em down on paper, put 'em on a whiteboard like's on the other side of me so I can see them. That works too, but you've gotta physically ride 'em. We can get into smart goals and all this other stuff.
I was just trying to get goals written down so I could actually start moving forward. And I wasn't looking to hit home runs. I was looking to even bunt and single, just so I could say I'm making progress. And the first thing I needed to do was I reached out to this gentleman, I started talking to him and just told him what my situation was.
I'm overwhelmed. And he goes, I get that a lot. And he's a very direct guy and he just said paralysis by analysis. And I'm like, Yeah, pretty much overanalyzing everything. But I said I'd rather just sit down and have a conversation and start walking through some basic steps of what needs to be done to do the due diligence upfront to know that I'm looking at a good deal, so I'm not out one, pissing my money away on a deal and.
I'm educated enough to where I can make a decision. So when I do get to that point to pull a trigger and put a bid on a deal, I know it's gonna be in the ballpark and it's gonna be, potentially accepted by the lender. And so he told me most people, will put 10 or 15 bids on their first deal, and more than likely they won't get a deal out of.
Just for the simple fact cuz they're a little afraid and fearful of the bid. So they lower the bid. But he also says some people go over the top and bid 25 and 50, then all of a sudden end up with three or four and can't pay for them. So they have to back out of them. So he suggested, stay in that range of five to 10, knowing that you might get one in there, maybe possibly.
But the ones that your strongest inkling tells you to go after, from the data that you pulled in, from your research and your due diligence, those are the ones that you bid a little bit stronger on knowing that you want those, The other ones could be missing some pieces or not totally up to par, but there's still worth a good shot at or a.
Lower those down. And then you've got a third tier to where they're not so hot, but the houses are in good solid markets to where you have a resale value or you can rent it out. So there's an exit strategy if you have to foreclose, put those on a third tier and mark 'em down a little bit further. And He didn't give me a lot of data on how to price the tiers.
He did gimme some direction on where pricing should be. And you gotta remember, this is, 2007, 2008, 2009, to where the market is crashed. Mortgage default swaps are all over the place. We're having a financial meltdown These were really going for dirt cheap, 30 cents, 40 cents, 20 cents people.
The lenders were just trying to sell 'em, and it was just a free for all, but majority of the houses were ransacked people stole all the copper. They'd left the house so you couldn't find them, so you wouldn't even be able to evict them, or excuse me, foreclose on them. So you had to do a bunch of, service by publication to where you put it in these newspapers that are approved by the city or the state that you're in to do a publication.
And after 21 days or 28 days that they don't answer, then you get a default judgment and you can foreclose and botta being bottom, boom, done. But majority of these houses were in bad shape. And so now, Huh, I'm learning construction and I had no idea how to learn con. I had no idea about construction. Some basics, and that was it.
These houses were local to me at the time I was in Vegas, but I was also gonna have to move to Delaware. So they were gonna be across the country. That was going to be a daunting task to manage 'em remotely because one, I didn't know anything about construction Two. How to find the right general contractor to work with.
That was two pieces. And the third piece was, I had no idea what cost would go for nowadays or back then. So back to the drawing board. I reached out to this gentleman, talked to him about this, and he pointed me in d a direction of, being able to get some data. I talked to my dad since he has some background.
We started calling some people and started getting more information. But a lot of contractors during that time were unfortunately going belly up because of the housing market. Everything stopped building and no one was really taking on any clients. So now you're stuck with, who the hell am I gonna get to do this work if I decide to buy these properties?
Where these people have torn all the copper out, for. From the wa, from the water, and sold it because they needed the money. So I learned. Another thing, tip number two, I should say two. Ask more questions, dig deeper on your due diligence on the front end. So when you're doing your side hustle and you're trying to learn a little bit more about. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and if people don't want to answer 'em or say you're asking too many, go on to somebody else. And I started learning that when I started asking questions, I had no idea.
I, I have heard of this before in my prior life in corporate America and in running call centers and collections is door knockers. Door knockers are typically off duty officers or some type of process server that would knock on the door and they could, serve people, documents or whatever the case.
In this situation, the door knockers, were actually going to see if somebody was living in the house, what the status of the home was. What did the house look like? Were the utilities on. Be able to talk to the neighbors on the right and the left and across the street to understand what was going on. All while these door knockers and just like myself, we cannot physically talk to the people living in the.
It's against the rules because we're not a authorized servicer or the lender, we're a third party, so it'd be disclosure. So you have to go through this whole process. And these guys are not cheap. They're quite expensive. So then there was another layer to add. So this is the fourth layer that I'm adding to this process, to where now I've gotta.
Figure out how I'm gonna bid the three levels. And then once I get bids back from the lender, if they accepted it or not, maybe I got two or three. Now I've gotta figure out what's the one or two assets or homes that I wanna have the door knockers go knock on, understand what's going on so I can get my due diligence back so I understand what I'm up against.
And at the same time, those, that one or two homes that I'm looking. I also then have to start doing title work, which is not too expensive, co couple hundred bucks to make sure the title's clean and so forth. But you're also doing the due diligence from the lender to make sure that underwriting package is legit.
You have to send that to somebody also. So now we have door knockers. We have a title. And now we have a third entity that's actually reviewing the underwriting or the closing documents to make sure that it was closed properly. And if it's not, you basically walk away. There's a due diligence process for this, and you get the ability to walk away once you find something.
And it's typically anywhere between seven and 15 days, sometimes 21 days. So during that time, you've gotta be efficient with doing these steps to ensure that you're getting. A deal, and you actually can control the asset. So you can become the lender and then turn it over to your servicing company, which will then allow you to start that process of remediation, whether it be, foreclosure or let's say we can do a rehab.
We can do interest only. We can forgive some interest. There's so many things you can do, but you have to lead all that up to the right piece. And that's where I got overwhelmed and that's what slowed me down was that piece. So understanding where to digest this and be able to put it in my mind in steps and be able to understand the steps.
And the best way for me was visually is writing it down. And I'm like, There's gotta be a better way to do this. And at the time there's no one out there that had a CRM or anything to that extent that was specifically for notes. . And during that time I was like, Why can't we build a platform that does that?
And that'll lead me into episode three. And that's just a little bit of a teaser there. We'll get tech going at some point in this journey and I'll share where it's at today. The process of due diligence is manual. It is completely manual from the Excel spreadsheet that you get from a lender that could have 15, 20, 30,000.
Rose to you manually doing your due diligence with the door knockers, with the title company, and with the individuals that are reviewing the closing package. All manual. You can send via email and stuff like that, but there was no automation that could go through things and kick things out and say, Okay, you need to look at this, and this didn't work.
So what did I do every single night when I came home from work after working 12 to 14 hours a. I would actually come home and start working four to six hours on my side hustle and doing all this due diligence. That's after I got through the pity party and getting myself right. So the pity party, I just came home and just laid in bed and watched TV and was a fat, sob.
And once that started happening and I got myself outta bed moving forward doing the due diligence, going to the. The cool thing was the employer that I was at had, excuse me, had a gym. So I would take 30 minutes and I just started slowly doing some cardio, doing some weightlifting, making sure that I spent some time on me.
Cuz if I don't take care of myself, no one else will and it will all fall apart. So at night I would come home. I got myself in a good routine, and this would be tip three. Finding a routine that works for you at home if you have a family or you don't have a family. The routine has to be something that works for you.
Then the routine was for come home, play with my dogs, feed them, walk them, get something to eat, chill my mind out a little bit, watch a little boob tube, and come seven o'clock. I was grinded in a way, so I gave myself some time to unwind and I started grinding away, and I would probably go to, typically to midnight sometimes later.
Just depends on how. I needed to go or how long I could go, Cause I was getting up at five o'clock, so I was only getting four to five hours of sleep. And this went on for many months doing this. I was passionate about it guys. I know sleep is a major piece that we need to have, but I was very passionate about it.
But I did this for many months and like I told you guys in the first episode, four years, almost four years, I actually did my side hustle while I worked a full-time. Now some of that was being scared and making sure that I had what I need to survive. As I say, entrepreneurship, when I left corporate America and some of it was I had to pay off a hundred thousand dollars worth of debt and it took me four years to pay it off.
It wasn't easy, but I needed to do that. The piece that I wanna end up here with you guys, cuz we're coming up on the 30 minute mark is. If you're focused on your side hustle and you want to make that happen, The side hustle has to be something you're passionate about that you can monetize. Sit down, figure out what that looks like and make sure that you can actually monetize it.
Do research, talk to experts. Go to stores if it's something retail, start doing your homework. Make sure you have all the data upfront before you make that decision to. Once you make that decision, execute, start making small steps via goals. Here are the things that I wanna accomplish. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, however that looks.
And number three, you have to find a system that works for you when you have a full-time job and a side hustle, whether you have family, you have friends, you have animals, you have kids you have a wife, you have a girlfriend, you have a boyfriend, whatever husband. You have to be able to find a way to make it all work and all mesh, and that's a conversation you have to have with loved ones, to be able to talk to them about what was going on, what is going on in your life and what you're trying to accomplish, and them buying in is a huge aspect of your journey.
Me, I was single at the time. I just had a dog. It was just me and the dog, and we grinded away. It was a lot easier for me. I started dating. Afterwards, and it became a problem. And I had to get a, become a better communicator. And the tip there for you guys is be upfront and honest about what you're trying to do.
Have the conversation. Sit down, talk about the pros, talk about the cons, talk about your passion, and you see where it. If they're not supportive of it, I mean that, that becomes a challenge. You have to make a decision. Am I wanting to give up my friends and family for my passion and they just don't understand?
Or is there a middle ground? I can't tell you guys that. I can just tell you those are roadblocks that I've had and I know what I needed to do to overcome them. Lucki. When I started dating, she understood initially and then it became more of a problem as things started to grow. And then I had to be able to find ways to come back and find opportunities to meet her in the middle ground.
That took a lot of work and we could talk about that a little bit more in the next episode number three. But guys, I wanna wrap up. Don't let the pity party control your life. Start living for today, not what happened in the past. Take that past those learnings and move them forward. You got through them, you survived, and you'll become a better person for those.
Don't let them control you. Two, it is okay to have a pity party, but you gotta move forward, like I said, from number one, but that pity party is your way to say, Okay, I screwed. Time to go. You don't wanna stay there. Three, the side hustle and where you wanna be. Make sure you do your due diligence upfront to make sure it's monetizable and it works with your family dynamic or your personal life.
I know your work life will balance itself out, but you gotta do with that. And the last thing is, Always take care of yourself. Make sure you're healthy, you're eating healthy, you're doing things right for yourself. Cuz if your mind is not clear and your health is off, you can't make it in life one.
Two, you're not gonna be any benefit to your passion in what you're trying to do. And three, your family depends on you. So you gotta make sure that you're right on all aspects. Entrepreneurship is a journey of many aspects. You have to find what makes you happy, and then you have to work it into your life.
All right, guys. I hope you guys enjoyed this week's episode. I love sharing this story. Please leave us, Please leave me, I should say some feedback and some comments. I'll be talking to you guys on the other side.