A shift in mindset can take your visions from concepts in your head to a concrete reality in your bank account. My guest today helps thousands of people achieve those goals.
I’ve had Mike Wolf on my other show, Get Yourself Optimized — he’s a good friend and we had such a great response last time, I’m really excited to have him here on Marketing Speak today. As a seasoned real estate mentor and serial entrepreneur, Mike has a wealth of knowledge to share about the industry. He’s an international speaker and philanthropist, as well as a passive income expert who teaches people how to make money while they do what they love. He’s been featured on NBC, Fox, and the TEDx stage. Mike has a great quote on his site which is, “Don’t wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate and wait.” The real estate game is volatile and scares a lot of people off, but entering the market with a robust business strategy makes all the difference. If building systems and scale without being personally sucked into the day-to-day is something that resonates with you, then stick around! Coming up are some invaluable insights and tips on getting in the right mindset and accessing the right strategies using the right team. So, without any further ado, on with the show!
In This Episode
- [01:58] – Stephan welcomes Mike to his show as they discuss his real estate empire and how he has automated much of his business to allow him to travel the world. Mike shares how he got into real estate investing, buying his first property while working at the phone company, and the strategy of buying properties to rent out for long-term financial security.
- [06:03] – Mike explains that he has implemented various systems in his real estate businesses and emphasizes the importance of having a team and delegating tasks to ensure efficiency and eliminate the need for micro-managing.
- [10:45] – Stephan asks Mike about his reliance on events for marketing and finding deals, especially in a post-COVID world.
- [17:41] – Mike describes his team’s size and role in his businesses. He explains the concept of true passive income.
- [21:16] – Mike shares his experience transitioning from being a solopreneur to hiring a property manager and how he had to let go of micromanaging.
- [27:31] – Mike recommends an easy way to find an amazing team.
- [30:59] – Mike shares examples of synchronicities and signs that he’s received collaboration and assistance from the universe.
- [39:36] – Mike gives his nuggets of wisdom to align our dreams with the universe’s plan for us.
- [42:26] – Mike talks about how one of the worst moments in his life was when he realized that despite his success in real estate, he still felt unfulfilled.
- [46:25] – Mike invites you to join his Wolf Pack or learn from him regarding his entrepreneurial journey, real estate or related topics by emailing him at [email protected] or by visiting his website.
Mike, it’s so great to have you on the show.
Hey, good to see you again. Thanks for having me.
Yes, you’ve been on my other show, Get Yourself Optimized, talking about real estate investing. You have such powerful, sophisticated systems in place from a marketing, sales, and business development standpoint. I figured I have to have you on this show, too. Also, we’re friends. You were at my wedding in 2016, so it’s great to see you again. Thanks for being on the show.
Thanks again for having me. It’s always good to see you. It’s way overdue.
Yes. Let’s start with a little background on how you built this real estate empire and put so much on autopilot that you can be a nomad, traveling the world and doing all amazing cool things. Give us a taste of your life.
Yeah, let’s see. If we go way way way back to before you were born, I remember I was in grade 12, and I had no idea what I would do the following year. I only knew that my parents were always driving into my head. You got to be a doctor or lawyer, doctor or lawyer. That’s all I ever heard.Creating passive income streams is the key to successful real estate investment. When done right, real estate should support you, not the other way around. Click To Tweet
Anybody who knows me knows I don’t like blood, so the doctor was off the table. You see those shows on TV, and the lawyers are in their fancy offices, I go, “that looks glamorous, I think I could do that.” I went and got my first degree. With that came a whole bunch of student loans. I decided, “you know what, before I get my second degree, I’m going to go and get these paid off.”
I’ll give you the very abbreviated version. But to make a long story short, my buddy, his mother, was a manager at the phone company. I got a job there. It was a government, a union, and it paid well. While there, I bought my very first home to live in. Shortly after, my mortgage broker called me and said, “Mike, I can get you another mortgage if you want to buy another home.”
At the time, I was 23 years old, single, and said, “Okay,” I don’t know why I needed another home. But it goes, you buy the property, you put tenants in there, and they pay down your mortgage in 25 years from now—but the home’s paid off, it’s free and clear—and that’s your retirement. I thought, “Okay, that sounds cool.” So I did it.
Sure enough, probably around two years after I bought it, the market did what we did during COVID. All of a sudden, things went crazy. The prices kept going up and up and up. Suddenly, I was sitting on a lot of equity, especially for a starving university student still trying to pay off student loans.
I remember sitting in my cubicle at the phone company and thinking, “okay, over the last two years, I’ve made this much at the phone company.” I don’t hate it, and I don’t love it. It’s not my passion. I made this much in real estate and didn’t even know what I was doing. I just bought a property. And all of a sudden, I’m sitting on all this equity. I thought, if I did this by mistake, what would happen if I did this on purpose?
I love telling that story only because I get a lot of people to come to me, and they say, “I don’t know if I’m cut out for real estate,” or “I don’t know if I’m going to do well at it.” It’s like, I didn’t even have a passion for it until I got my first paycheck, and then I was hooked.
Anyway, the other part of your question, how did I get this lifestyle? Success led me down a path that eventually turned me into a workaholic. Because I loved what I did so much, I was so passionate that I focused every waking hour on it. I got good at it, but everything else was falling apart. My bank account looked good, but my relationships were falling apart. I wasn’t focusing on my health at all.
Luckily, my experiences led me to hire some people on my teams over time. I had no choice. From there, I just kept scaling. I kept adding more people to my team and realizing that when we give up control a little bit, and all of us entrepreneurs, we struggle with that, and I have to admit, it didn’t happen overnight, but once I gave up that control and I started to bring more people on my team and putting some more systems into place, I started to get my time back, and then I could focus on other things besides just chasing the money.
These days, when I teach people how to invest, it’s all about creating passive income streams, not creating a job for yourself. If you do things right, real estate should support you. You shouldn’t have to support it.
What systems do you put in place or have you put in place when you teach others to do themselves? Are these systems for hiring, systems for automating, different aspects of the business, systems for quality control, or offshoring? What systems?
Pretty much everything. I’ve taken myself pretty much out of the equation almost everywhere. To give you some examples, I have several different businesses within real estate. One of them is we sell rental properties to investors all over the world. They’re called turnkey properties.
We’ve gone and bought them from the bank in bulk. We usually buy 20, 30, or 40 homes at a time. We inspect them, fix them, and put tenants in place. I’ve got a property management team that looks after them, and then we sell those to other investors, as I mentioned.
I’ve got somebody else who’s schmoozing with the bankers to get us the deals. Once he gets the deals, he knows to call the inspectors. The inspectors give a full report on what needs to be fixed. The inspectors hand that off to our rehab crew that fixes the homes. Once they’re nearing completion, they let the property manager know. The property manager then starts looking for tenants. And then I’ve got other people that sell the properties for me.Trust your dream team enough to let go of micromanaging and allow the team to flourish independently. Click To Tweet
I sometimes get some sales by mistake because people call me and want to buy them. But in general, financial planners promote them. I’ve got realtors that promote them, et cetera. To give you an idea, we sold 1200 homes in the last 11 years in Atlanta alone. That’s a business with a lot of moving parts. When many people come to me and say, “I can’t find somebody good for my team,” you just haven’t tried hard enough. There are a lot of different moving parts to that business, yet every single thing is delegated to somebody else.
Having a team is part one, and then having the systems is super important too because if I didn’t have those systems, I’d have people calling me up all day saying, “hey, what color carpet should we put in this home? What color paint should we have? What appliances?”
Everything is systemized depending on the neighborhood. This is what we put in the home. If it’s in this neighborhood, we put that in the home. The team already knows what they need to do. It takes almost none of my time. I’m not involved in it at all.
This past year, I set up one business involving myself. I mentor students. I created the Wolf Pack, where I mentor students over Zoom. I look at that as more of my give-back project because, before COVID, I was thinking I should record all of the stuff that I’ve learned over the years so that my grandkids have access to that after I’m gone, which hopefully won’t be for a while, but after I’m gone.
I started to think during COVID it gave me the bandwidth to suddenly just sit down, and instead of just creating the videos, I get an audience to be my students that I get to mentor, and we record everything. Once again, it’s all about being creative, being efficient. Why not get paid to make those videos instead of just creating them or sitting in a room by myself bored? Why don’t I have an audience that is paying me?
Teaching others what you’ve learned is important.
Anyway, all my other businesses run without me. Of course, I have to be there to create the content, but I see it as my give-back project because I think teaching others what you’ve learned is important. That’s, I guess, why you’re doing your podcast, to teach others what you’ve learned. You don’t want to take all this info to the grave with you and must share it.
That’s awesome. Congratulations on all the success. I’m curious, how many students do you have in the Wolf Pack?
I’ve got around 70 students now. That business, I’m not saying to brag because I know there are a lot of entrepreneurs listening, and I know the struggle of being an entrepreneur, but we broke a million dollars in revenue in eight months during COVID because I decided, instead of watching Netflix, go and “hey, take this extra free time that was created for me, and not just for me, for everybody, I guess, we had that little pause on the radar for everybody. There’s so much demand, and so many people are going through a transformation.”
Many friends called me and said, “Hey, Mike, my gym got shut down,” and “my restaurant got shut down.” I thought, instead of teaching everybody individually, why don’t I just put it on Zoom? That was the birth of the Wolf Pack. The next thing you know, I started to do some events to promote it to get more students in there. It did extremely well.
I just find that when you do the right things, especially if you’re doing it to help other people, because there were so many people struggling at that time, and they still are. I just find that—I’m spiritual, I’m not religious, so I’ll use the word universe, you can change that for whatever word you like—I just find the universe just puts the right people and the right opportunities on your path when you’re doing good things.The universe puts the right people and the right opportunities in your path when you're doing good things. Click To Tweet
Anyway, it worked out extremely well, not just for me but also for my students. I would have never built it had it not been for COVID. There were some silver linings in there.
You relied quite a lot on events to do marketing and find deals and opportunities. How we met through Brendon Burchard and his events. If you’re thinking about how to market in a post-COVID world or during COVID, especially, it was not at all event-based, it was hanging out in your home and don’t go outside. How did you pivot that? Are you back in the event world? How reliant were you on events as a way to fill your funnels?
Honestly, my real estate funnels my lifestyle or supports my lifestyle. I travel full-time, for those who don’t know me. I’ve been to 80 countries. When I was teaching my Wolf Pack a couple of months ago, I was on a safari in Africa. I was waking up at 3 AM to do it, but I loved it. It was great.
Before COVID, I would do like one or two events a year of my own. I’d go to other people’s events. But to do my events, I do one or two a year. Usually, I take people, for example, to Houston, Texas, and I teach them to do a strategy called tax liens and deeds. I won’t go into all the details because this isn’t a real estate show.
Anyway, we will go for four days. After the four days, I usually fly somewhere tropical because that’s my happy place. I love to go to places with beaches, sunshine, and not Canada, my home country. I don’t deal with snow very well anymore.
Anyway, I do an event, then travel somewhere and take it easy. After a little while, I might say, “hey, you know what, maybe it’s time to do another event, not because of the money, but just because I get bored.” I love teaching real estate. Maybe six months later, I call up my team and say, “hey, start with a marketing machine, let’s do another event in June or whatever.”
When COVID hit, I wasn’t reliant on these pieces of training. Of course, these training pieces ended because the auctions I took people to were closed. We couldn’t get a bunch of people in a room. As I said, I could just see so many people struggling. A lot of people are going through really tough times. A lot of my friends are entrepreneurs, and their businesses were getting shut down. They had to reinvent themselves. They wouldn’t even be worried if they knew what I had up here. They wouldn’t be worried at all.
Anyway, it wasn’t that tough to pivot because I only had to learn one thing: Zoom. I’ve watched Brendon’s. I like to study marketing. I’m not a marketer, per se. I don’t turn all the dials and trade everything you do. I’ve studied it a bit, going to Brandon Burchard events, for example. And that’s where we met, as you mentioned. I knew the model. It’s like, “Okay, we have to track people to show up on Zoom.” We had a captive audience back then because people weren’t doing anything. They had to take a break from Netflix to come to watch what I was doing. A lot of people were interested.
We did four three-day events in one year. That’s how we filled up the Wolf Pack. A lot of my friends, I reached out to them, and they promoted for me, and they were affiliates. I went on some podcasts and gave away free tickets or discounted tickets. We managed to help quite a few people during those three-day events. Seventy of them, well, not actually 70 because some came after I stopped doing the events, but many said yes. Now, they’re working with me.
I’m just grateful they came to me because I knew I could make a monumental difference in their lives. As I said, many people are still going through a lot. Many people were going through a lot of stuff during COVID and post-COVID.
Somebody who’s made a big difference in your life is Brendon Burchard. You’re very bullish on Brendon, his materials, and his seminars. How many have you done of his events?
I’ve been to almost every live event he’s done for probably the last 11 or 12 years. I started as a student of his. I attended every event where I just got to know his team. I said, “listen, I will be here at every event. I’m not looking to get to Brendon. I don’t need him to market for me. I’m just going to be here, and if you need any help, let me know.” I don’t care about moving chairs, whatever you need, I will just be here at these events. They took me up on it. I’ve volunteered for him for probably around nine or ten years. I don’t go there just because I need a free ticket to the event. I just like to give back, help, and make a difference.
For somebody like Brendon, who has had such a big impact on my life, to be honest, I went a little skeptical when I went to the first event. I left there and changed in a lot of ways. Because I was already a giving person, it helped me take it to a new level. I could see that it’s okay to make a lot of money and help many people, but you don’t have to be embarrassed that you’re doing it. As Brendon says, “if you don’t make money, you can’t sustain your message.” It changed my mindset around a few things. It made me more giving.
I’d already done some big give-back projects, but it may be more philanthropic. The other thing is it’s very humbling. Because of my own business, I don’t do any of that stuff anymore. I’m certainly not setting up chairs at any event. I’m not putting out books. (1) It’s humbling because I used to do that. (2) It makes me appreciate the people I’ve got on my team.
The little things my team does that sometimes go unnoticed make a big difference for me to go out and spread my message.
I have my dream team now in pretty much every facet of my business. It makes me realize that some of those little things they do that sometimes go unnoticed make a really big difference for me to go out and spread my message and do the things that I’m put on this Earth to do. If I had to take the time to do all those other things, I wouldn’t be able to have as big an impact.
I’m grateful for the people that are on my team and that support me. It’s had a really big impact on my life. Not just because of the stuff I learned from Brendon but just being in that environment. The people he attracts are very similar to those I attract, including those like you. A lot of my best friends are people that I met at Brendon’s events.
Has Brendon become a friend?
Yes. We don’t hang out on the weekends or whatnot. It was his birthday, end of February. I texted him and wished him a happy birthday. At the events, we hang out. He’s usually really backstage. He’s very busy and resting. He’s got to protect his voice and stuff. I do consider him a friend.
Awesome. You mentioned your team. How big is your team? How many properties are they managing for you?
Managing is one part of it. My team manages, for me, close to 200 doors. My team also manages properties for my clients and students. The management’s just one small part of it. For example, since we’re on a marketing show, we’ve got people to do my marketing. My main person, she lives in Frankfurt, Germany, but she oversees a bunch of people in the Philippines and India. I have no idea. I don’t micromanage her. I just say, “if you need somebody, hire them.” She’s looking out for my interest. I look out for her interests, of course, too.
I think the important thing is I’ve got a lot of people involved in fixing up the real estate, but are they on my team? Some of these roofers, for example, they’re not on my payroll. It just depends on how you define a team. I’ve got different people that help me with various aspects of my businesses. But I think the important thing, and one thing I want people to take away, is you don’t want 1000 people reporting to you because then you’ve got a job. Now you’re a micromanager, and you shouldn’t be micromanaging.
I have maybe three or four people that report to me on a semi-regular basis. I tell them only to report to me if there’s something major going on or if they want to start a new marketing campaign, we’re going to do a bunch of ads, any content for me. I’m usually, by the way, the weakest link in my organization. They’re always waiting for me. “Okay, I’ll make a video when I get to this city,” and then I don’t.
I’m always holding them back, and they boss me around. I’ve got very few people that report to me. For example, my property managers look after, like I said, a couple of hundred properties. Back in the old days, I used to manage my properties. When I had five properties that I was managing, I was way busier managing those five properties than I’ve ever been with those 200 that other people are looking after for me.
If I should be aware of a situation, let me know. But otherwise, I don’t need to know. That’s what I call true passive income.
My property managers know they don’t have to call me. If there’s a broken appliance, fix it, replace it. If somebody’s late with the rent, I don’t need to know, just deal with it. If somebody dies, if there’s a fire, a flood, or something where I need to call the insurance company, they can phone the insurance company. If there’s something I should be aware of, let me know. But otherwise, I don’t need to know. That’s what I call true passive income.
You can take chasing money out of the equation and focus on the important things, like spending time with your kids and grandkids. Me, I love to volunteer and give back. I love to travel to recharge my batteries. When you get to do all that, and your business is still running just as well, if not better than when you’re there, actually, it runs better than when I’m there because I just slow things down, then you’ve got true passive income.
I just feel very blessed. I think I must have been Mother Teresa in my previous life because, over the years, it’s evolved into this dream team, which certainly didn’t start that way. I’ve got such great people on my team right now that there’s almost nothing I have to worry about other than getting that content created for them when they bug me to do it. I feel very, very fortunate.
Once you have your dream team, you should not be micromanaging. You shouldn’t be involved in the day-to-day. You should take yourself out of that and focus on what’s meaningful, what lights you up, what makes you happy, and also, of course, what leaves you fulfilled.
How do you get out of micromanaging? If someone listening is dealing with the weeds in their business and having to prove everything, they might feel like this is a pipe dream to them.
Yes, and I understand that because I used to be there. I’ll tell you how this all unfolded for me. I was a solopreneur for many, many years. I’ve been doing what I do for 34 years. For the first bunch of years, I did everything myself. I looked for the deals, and I managed the properties. I did, if you want to call it marketing, my version of marketing, which is pretty limited. I did everything.
As I mentioned, I’m Canadian, as you know, but the audience might not know. I used to do all my real estate in Canada, but then a good friend moved from Canada to Las Vegas. He is a physiotherapist or physical therapist, as you say in the US. He got a really good job offer there, and I thought, “oh, cool, I can go and hang out in Vegas. I got a free place to stay.” I would go there once or twice a month.
Most people love to go to Vegas all the time. I don’t even really gamble. I’m not a big partier. I wanted to see my friend, hang out, and have some sunshine. The one addiction that I did have back then is I could not drive past an open house sign and not go in and talk to the realtors. It’s like, “hey, what’s going on in the market? Why are they selling? What’s their motivation?” That was what I had to do every time I passed an open house sign.
Back in those days, I remember every time I’d go back to Vegas, the prices kept going up and up and up. You probably remember this: all Californians are moving to Nevada to lower their taxes and cost of living. They’re doing that again now. They did that a lot during COVID as well.
Anyway, the prices kept going up and up. I just realized, “hey, this is way easier to do in Canada.” The market in Canada was flat at that time. I thought this was almost too good to be true. I started investing in Las Vegas. I reluctantly have to hire my first person. That was a property manager because I couldn’t collect rent in two different countries at the same time.
After I hired him, though, I said, “Okay, if somebody is late with the rent, I need to know. If an appliance breaks, I need to know.” I remember there was this one week he called me up. It was a Monday, and he goes, “Mike, the stove at 123 Main Street isn’t working, what should I do?” He knew what to do. He had been a property manager for many years. But because I made him report everything to me, I told him that’s under a certain amount, then let’s fix it. If it’s over a certain amount, let’s replace it.The most successful people are abundance-minded people. Click To Tweet
He called me three days later, and it was a Thursday. It was a different property and different appliance, but he goes, “hey, the dishwasher is broken.” After I gave him the same spiel, “hey, if it’s under a certain amount, then fix it, over a certain amount, then replace it,” I realized, “okay, I’m not doing the work anymore. I’ve got somebody on my team, but I’m spending as much time babysitting as I did doing the job, so what’s the point?”
Not only that, he treated it like a business. If he doesn’t collect rent, he doesn’t get paid. I treated my tenants as if they were friends. That’s the worst thing you can do, by the way, because tenants will call you up, and they’ll say, “hey, Mike, I get paid on a Friday. Can you wait a couple of extra days to get paid?” I go, “yeah, no problem.” Friday would come, “oh, my car broke down, can you give me another week?” “Sure.” Next thing you know, they’re two months behind, four months behind, six months behind. They haven’t paid you a dime of rent, and they’re trashing your property. Anyway, it’s a nightmare.
My property manager, on the other hand, would play good cop, bad cop. He would tell the tenants, and they came to him and said, “Hey, can we pay on Friday?” He goes, “hey if it was up to me, I’d let it slide.” He gets to be the good cop. But the owner is this grumpy old man, of course, they don’t know who I am. “It’s this grumpy old man, and if I don’t collect rent, he’s going to fire me and kick you out of the house. But if you could pay by tomorrow, I won’t tell him we have this conversation.” Sure enough, they’d always come up with rent.
I love inspiring people and teaching them about finance and how to change their financial future.
I realized even though all these entrepreneurs do it, nobody could do this as well as I do. Even though that was my mindset before, I realized he was collecting a lot more rent than I was. Even after I paid him his 10%, I was netting a lot more money without taking up any of my time.
One of the things I like to teach people is that, to me, there are three phases of entrepreneurship. The first one is we usually start as a solopreneur. We try to do everything on our own. Then we get to that breaking point where we can’t possibly put in more hours. Something forces us to reluctantly hire somebody, but then we go to the micromanager phase, which is phase two.
It can take a while to get out of that phase. But once you realize that there are people more qualified than you to do things and we get out of your controlling ways as entrepreneurs, then we get to that third phase, which I call the freedom phase. The quicker you can get there, the sooner your life will look a lot better and a lot different. You’ll get your time back.
After that, I realized, “hey, that was a mindset thing that I thought I was the best at all this stuff.” That was all on my mind. Once I realized, “hey, there are way more qualified people,” and now my whole team is made up of way more qualified people than me, and that’s why I do very, very little. I do the one thing I was put on this earth to do, and that is I love to inspire people and teach people about finance and how to change their financial future.
That’s what I’m good at. I’m not a marketing professional. I understand, but I’m not an expert like you are. I’m not an expert at fixing homes. I’m not an expert at managing properties. Once I came to that conclusion and realization, then I started to get out of my way, and I started to find the right people for the right positions. It didn’t start that way, but over time, it evolved into me having just the right people, and they’ve got my back.
I think the other part of that equation, though, is you also have their back. When you start taking care of the people on your team, look out for their well-being, and if you’ve got their back, they’ll have your back too. That’s what it’s morphed into over many years. If I could go back to my younger self, I would have said, “don’t be a control freak right from day one.” I probably would have hired a property manager right from day one, the first property. I can’t go back, but that’s what I would do.
When you start taking care of the people on your team, look out for their well-being, and if you’ve got their back, they’ll have your back too.
You rely very heavily on your dream team. Are there some unconventional ways to find these amazing people, what are some of the best tips and tricks you recommend to your students, for example?
These days, it’s so easy compared to the olden days because we have so much information online. We can read reviews on people, and we can read reviews on businesses. That’s number one. A lot of people think it’s so much harder to find a team than it is. A-players are hanging out with A-players.
In the real estate industry, if I find somebody who’s an amazing property manager, he’s already going to be connected to really good contractors. He’s not going to hire some random people. He’s also not going to be working with people that suck. Sometimes, you just find that one person, and they’ve already got the team built. They’ve already got the systems in place. That’s number one.
Number two, for real estate, once again, there’s a whole bunch of real estate investment clubs. If I went to a brand new city—we use Miami since you’re there—if I started to invest in Miami, I would either start showing up at meetings, or a lot of things are over Zoom these days, I show up on Zoom and interact with the people there.
I find the most successful people. They’re not scarcity-minded, they’re abundance-minded. They’re not afraid to tell you, “hey, I use this roofer, he’s really good, or I use this property manager, he’s really good.” They’re going to be happy to share resources with you.
The other part of it is—that’s when you’re first starting—after a while, when you’ve been in the industry for a while, and you have a reputation for what you do in a good way, it’s like if you win the Super Bowl, everybody wants to be on your team. I get a lot of people that approach me when I’m not even necessarily hiring, saying, “Hey, how do I get involved with you?”
People will bend over backward to be on the Super Bowl-winning team. That’s what you have to look forward to. But when you start, you got to start somewhere. Just ask other people in your industry who’s good. As I said, the most successful people are almost always abundance-minded.
Yup, that’s very true. As you said earlier, the universe does have your back.
It inspires you to make your dreams come true as long as you’re in a positive and faith-minded place.
I agree. If you look back to The Secret, The Secret had a lot of great things because it brought the law of attraction more into the mainstream. One of the problems is after watching it, you feel like, hey, I can just sit on the sofa, think about money, eat Doritos, and the money is going to come. No, you got to take action. As part of the word attraction is action, you got to take action.
If you make 5% of the effort, the universe will come into play and help you with the other 95%. When I look back at when I first started, I could have never dreamed that I’d be doing some of the things I’m doing today. It wasn’t even on my radar. If you just said, what is your wildest dream, it wouldn’t even be as good as what’s going on.
When I make a mistake, I correct it and find a different way forward.
When I look back at how I built it, it’s not because I’m that smart, it’s not because I worked that hard. It’s just I always did take action, When I made a mistake, I would correct it and find a different way forward. I just keep feeling positive. Eventually, it just all falls into place. If you’re one of those people that right now is maybe struggling to build a business, it gets easier, but you just have to keep going. Don’t give up, and keep the faith, for sure.
Keep the faith. What will be a few examples of synchronicities or, without a doubt, signs that you’re getting collaboration and assistance from the upper worlds?
I’ve had so many where you get stuck on something, and then suddenly, the person appears that has the answers to your questions. In my Atlanta project, as I said, we’ve sold 1200 homes there. I was speaking at an event in Toronto, and he sent somebody from his team to speak in Toronto instead of him, and I became friends with this person.
The next thing you know, as a result of that chance meeting, now I ended up working with somebody in Atlanta who I’d never met before. As I said, we went on to sell well over 1000 properties, but it was just because I showed up at an event and spoke there. I’ve had that happen all the time. If I go to Brendon Burchard’s event and I’m networking, somebody there is going to have a solution to something that I’m stuck at. It happens so often.
By the way, when I was going to University, I mentioned I was going to be a lawyer, but there’s no pre-law program at the University I went to, so I had to get a degree in something else. I got a degree in Psychology. When you study the sciences, they always teach you the scientific method.
The scientific method says that if you can’t prove it, you can’t say that it’s true or that it exists. When I look at some of the things that have happened to me in my life that were coincidence—science would call it coincidence—to me, it’d be like winning the lottery 100 times in a row. It’s so obvious, and there’s something much bigger than us out there that I think helps us. I think life happens for us, not to us.
Even some of the worst things that ever happened in my life always turned out to be the best things that ever happened to me in the long run. I’ve had so many. Once again, it’s just showing up. Just keep going forward, stay positive, and keep showing up, and the right people will appear. The right opportunities will appear when you least expect it.
Amazing. It is so true. I’m curious if synchronicities were in play when you got your TEDx speaking gigs and TV appearances. Can you walk us through that?
Yeah. Let’s talk about TEDx for a second. I was teaching. I was doing one of my three-day online Zoom trainings during COVID. My real estate training is a lot different than anybody else’s. I bring a lot of spirituality, and I bring a lot of mindsets and a lot of personal development. It’s not just, hey, here’s how you do the strategy, make money. To me, it’s much more holistic. My goal is for everybody to have happiness and fulfillment, and that’s all disguised as a real estate course.
Anyway, when she was tuned in, she was just really liking a lot of the content that I had on there. She goes, man, you would be so good on the TED stage. I’m speaking at this TED event in Las Vegas. If you want, I can give you an intro to the organizer of the event. It wasn’t really on my bucket list, but it’s certainly not something you say no to, getting asked to be on the TEDx stage.
Of course, I said yes. The next thing you know, I’m flying to Vegas, but it happened just because I showed up to do my real estate training, nothing to do with that. That happens all the time. A lot of times, I’ll be on your podcast, for example, somebody will reach out to me. It might be a year from now, even. I might have forgotten exactly what I said. They go, “I liked what you said on the Marketing Speak podcast, can you come to speak on my podcast, or can I interview you?” Just showing up and saying yes to things. I say yes, by the way. I never asked, how big is your audience? I’m only going to speak on your podcast if you have 10,000. I never do that.
I remember I did this one event, and it was in Toronto. It was a major snowstorm, and the roads were crappy. I don’t live in Toronto. I was staying at the hotel where the event was, so I thought, might as well do it, I’m here. One person showed up, and I still did the event, and he ended up working with me. You just never know.
If you can change one person’s life, it is worth it. I never asked, how big is your audience? How big is your list? I just show up. If somebody asks me to do something for them, of course, I will say yes. I just keep showing up, and the universe keeps rewarding me.
Everything happens for a reason, and it’s always a good reason.
There’s one thing I learned that I think you’re going to appreciate. This was from Anne Marie Pizarro, who is an Akashic Records reader. I had her on my other show, Get Yourself Optimized. I’ve gotten many readings from her, and so has my wife, Orion. One thing she said that stuck with me was, “you don’t have clients, you have an assigned group.” What that means is you’re destined to be working with these people. That one person who showed up in Toronto at that event during the snowstorm was destined to work with you. It was already written.
I love that. I believe that. I think everything happens for a reason, and it’s always a good reason. I just think that’s part of it. It would have been very easy for me just to say, hey, the roads are bad, let’s just cancel the whole thing. In all honesty, even if I wasn’t staying at the hotel where that event was if I knew there was one person showing up, I would have shown up. I know you’re writing another book right now, congrats on that. To me, if that one person that needs to read that on any given day gets that in their hands, and it changes their life, it was so worth it.
I had an experience like that. Back in the last recession, I used to have a company called Foreclosure Fixers. Instead of sending out those postcards that say, “we buy homes,” “we’ll pay cash for your home,” or “we buy ugly homes,” I sent out something that said, “I can help stop the foreclosure.” In all honesty, in a lot of cases, I could stop the foreclosure, in some cases, I couldn’t.
There’s one lady who got my marketing flyer. What I would do for the people who I couldn’t help stay in their homes I would do what I call to give them a soft landing. I would buy their home from them, make sure they had enough money for a damage deposit and moving expenses, and a few months’ rent and money for food. They don’t want to leave them desolate.
Anyway, I helped her get into something. She probably would have been on the streets, in all honesty, the bank taking the home away from her. Probably a year or two later, when she’s on her way back up, she’s rebuilding. I always give people advice and say, hey, here’s how you can get back into homeownership, let me know if I can help you. Here’s how you can rebuild your credit. She called me up around a year or two later. I remember she told me the day I got your marketing flyer, I was thinking of killing myself that day.
When you hear stories like that, you don’t know who needs your help. All it takes is that one person. I would do that business all over again just to help that one person because if you can change one person’s life, it’s magical.
If you have zero listeners, I’ll still show up because somebody down the road is eventually going to hear. I’m sure you have lots of listeners. If you write that book and nobody buys it, except for your mom and one person, still, if you can change somebody’s life, it’s all worth it. I never measure things in terms of how big your list is.
I think that’s one of the reasons for my success. I know other people that have a similar mindset to that. Once again, things always seem to fall into place for them. I think it’s your mindset and how you show up on this planet and not do things just for yourself and what’s in it for you. It’s what’s in it for the other person on the other side of that transaction.
Amazing. When you said that that woman was thinking of killing herself on the day, she got your flyer, and I got goosebumps.
I still feel like crying every time I tell people that. That’s one of the reasons also why I wanted to create this video content for my grandkids. Financial literacy isn’t taught in schools or entrepreneurship. Anyway, all the stuff that I became good at, I had to learn on my own. It wasn’t offered to me in the curriculum.
For almost everything that’s made my life what it is, I have to figure it out independently and I want to share it with the world.
I learned how to square dance in grade three, which certainly comes in handy almost every day. But other than that, for almost everything that’s made my life what it is, I have to figure it out on my own. I just want to share it with the world.
Did that woman keep in touch with you, or did you keep in touch with her?
I haven’t spoken to her in a long time. I should reach out to her to see how she’s doing. It’s been a while.
Good idea. Let me know what she says.
Yeah. I should have done that a while ago.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, and the second best time is today.
Right, so true.
What would be some of the more unconventional bits of wisdom that you’ve collected over the years that you haven’t already shared on this episode that our listeners would benefit from?
I think just the biggest thing is don’t listen to everybody else. I’m guessing if somebody’s watching this or probably an entrepreneur in most likelihood, especially if you’re just starting, you’re going to have these voices in your head saying, “who am I to think that I’m whatever?” All the people around you are going to be negative.
When I first started in real estate, everybody told me I was going to fail. Again, I remember I was super young. I wasn’t that confident back then. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I knew I could figure it out. Everybody told me, you’re never going to make it, real estate is a doggy-dog business, et cetera. I didn’t listen to them. I didn’t listen to the voices in my head. You can control those, by the way, and can get good at that.
Now, it’s interesting because a lot of the people who told me that I couldn’t are now my clients, and they come to me for advice. I think the biggest thing, and I don’t even know if I’d call it unconventional, but just don’t let anybody else squash your dreams. If you have something you’re passionate about, just go for it and make it happen.
Move forward a little bit everyday, and you’ll be surprised what can happen.
As I said, you just have to do a little of the work, and the universe will do most of it for you anyway, but you have to show up. You have to show up. You have to take some action. Move forward just a little bit every day. You’ll be surprised what can happen.
My life today wasn’t even imaginable to me. If somebody told me that, hey, in 30 years, if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to travel the world full time, and you’re going to do what you love every single day, I would not have believed that was possible for me.
I never really had this big vision. I just took every day as it came and moved myself a little bit forward, a little bit forward, and a little bit forward. Eventually, those small steps compound and big things start to happen. People who maybe were naysayers before start to notice you and great things unfold. Don’t let somebody else squash your dream.
Don’t listen to the naysayers, but don’t hate them either because they’re all just messengers of God to help us course-correct and stay on our path.
For me, I use that to propel myself. I’m one of those people that if somebody tells me I can’t do something, I almost want to show them that they’re wrong. I want to prove to them. I used that as fuel to push myself further the fact that they were saying I wasn’t going to make it.
I’m pretty sure you’re not going to be able to make this episode the highest viewed and listened to an episode in the history of Marketing Speak.
There you go. We can do that. You’ll see.
You just wait, Stephan. Bring it. That’s fun. If you had to look back on one of the worst moments in your life and how it turned into one of the biggest gifts, what would it be?
I think the one that stands out for me is, back in the day, I was extremely good at real estate. My bank account was pretty impressive. I had a big home and fancy car, and I had all the things that most people think are, I guess, success in most people’s minds. I won’t say I was miserable, but there was always something missing. Anyway, sometimes the universe will give you some lessons.
I used to get gout all the time. I’m not sure if you know what that is. It’s a form of arthritis, and it usually goes to your feet. Anyway, I’ve been dealing with it for years and years and years, and it’s something that keeps coming back. When I first got it, I was 28 years old. If your kidneys aren’t good at processing the protein from meat, for example, and you’re a meat eater, which I used to be, eventually, it forms these uric acid crystals, they flow through your body and usually end up in your feet.
Anyway, I used to get attacks once a year, then they became twice here, then they became three times a year. I ended up around 11-12 years ago now in a wheelchair because my left foot was twice the size of my right foot, and I couldn’t walk. I went to the doctor, and the doctor said what I knew. She goes if you don’t give up meat, you’re never going to walk again. If you give up meat, you have maybe a 20% chance that you’re going to get out of this wheelchair.
Sometimes, you get really good at something and think your life is perfect, and then you realize you’re missing some other things in that balance.
To me, that was just a wake-up call because I was so good at making money. I was so good at some of the stuff that I did, but I was so dumb when it came to my health. I wasn’t focused, and I didn’t have balance in my life. That day, I quit eating meat. I’m not preaching to anybody, by the way, because I wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for that.
That was one of the best things that ever happened to me because obviously, I’m not only in my walking, but now when I travel, I like to put myself in the middle of the city and walk everywhere, just taking advantage of the fact, and be grateful that I can walk. It’s just a wake-up call.
Sometimes you get really good at something and think your life is perfect, and then you realize that you’re missing some other things in that balance. Had that not happened, I probably still suffer from sore feet all the time and unable to walk a lot of the time. I’m a lot healthier now as a result of that. Really, at the time, it felt like the worst thing that could ever happen to me. Now I see it as such a big blessing in disguise.
The way Orion puts it, it’s a gift, sometimes, the bow is on the bottom.
So true. That is great. I had never heard that before. I love that.
One thing that comes to mind as we wrap up this episode and you share your story is a book called The Body Keeps the Score. It’s number six on Amazon this week. It is an incredible book about how we store trauma in the body.
Also, if you think about what is the spiritual root of a particular ailment, illness, or chronic pain, a lot of times, it is something that needs to be corrected in your spiritual work. For you, it sounds like one of the things that were a spiritual decision was to stop eating meat. I don’t eat meat either and haven’t for 15 years at least.
I’m not preaching either because my wife is a carnivore. I don’t give her any grief over that. But the concept of looking at your body as a clue to what you need to work on could even be past life-related. I think that’s a critical point.
I’m going to get that book. I’m glad you mentioned that. I’ve never heard of that before.
Awesome. If our listener or viewer wants to join the Wolf Pack, if they want to follow you or learn from you, anything that would be related to your entrepreneurial journey, real estate, or anything like that, where should we send them?
Awesome. Thank you, Mike. It was great to see you again and have you on the show. Thank you for everything that you do and for the light you are in the world.
It’s great to see you too. I am going to come to visit you in person very, very soon.
I look forward to that. I look forward to you, a listener, getting out there and making a difference for your people. We’ll catch you in the next episode. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, signing off.
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Anne Marie Pizarro – GYO previous episode
Mike Wolf – GYO previous episode
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
Leverage my team member’s expertise to build a strong support system. Seek the right people for the right positions in my business.
Establish efficient business models and systems that enable smooth operations even in my absence.
Foster creativity and efficiency in marketing channels by identifying my target audience, creating engaging content, and catering to their interests.
Embrace innovation and see every opportunity as a chance to thrive and grow in my business.
Determine my core values, interests, and strengths to create a plan that aligns with my passion and brings fulfillment.
Maintain a positive attitude and take action towards my goals. Learn from mistakes and challenges along the way.
Harness my motivation and drive to achieve great things and reach my goals.
Embody perseverance in both personal and professional pursuits. Never give up on my goals.
Network with industry peers, attend conferences, and connect with mentors for new opportunities and growth.
About Mike Wolf
Mike Wolf is a serial entrepreneur, real estate mentor, international speaker and philanthropist. He’s also a passive income expert and teaches people how to make money while they do what they love. He’s been featured on NBC, Fox, and the TEDx stage.