“We have this notion in America of the Lone Ranger/Batman type – you know – someone who takes on the world alone. But in reality, all successful people need help. We need advisors, coaches, lenders, customers, and clients. True we ourselves have to do the work, but our “team” that we put together – makes it all worth-while. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can reach our goals.” – Robert Shemin

Although many entrepreneurs enter the field of business alone, achieving success in just about any field is impossible without a team.

This is especially true in business where “lone rangers” get squashed on a daily basis by teams of professionals.

1) The local “mom and pop burger shop” gets wiped out by McDonalds,

2) The local “mom and pop hardware store” gets crushed by Home Depot

3) The local “mom and pop” department store gets destroyed by Wal-Mart.

These small “lone ranger” businesses may provide better services than Walmart; They may provide better burgers than McDonalds and they may offer more expertise than Home Depot. However, they cannot compete with teams of professionals that make up the talent at Wal-Mart, Home Depot or McDonalds.

One thing that separates “mom and pop” from the Walmarts, Home Depots and McDonalds is that “Mom and Pop” have to sleep: Walmart, Home Depot and Mcdonalds don’t.

Kevin O’Leary, Canadian Investment Guru, once said that he prefers investments that make money while he sleeps.

Investors make decent returns when their money grows during business hours… However, the same investors get rich when their money keeps working for them after they have gone to sleep.

In real estate investing, many investors don’t consider themselves to be entrepreneurs. Most investors manage their own properties, hammer their own nails, paint their own walls, lease their own suites and pick their own deals.

Most real estate investors do not get ahead because they are too busy pinching pennies at the $10 an hour level to make serious dollars at the CEO level.

In order to break out of the $10/hour mentality, it’s up to the entrepreneur to break the link between time and money.

Most of us are taught from an early age that:

Time = Money

In reality, time does not equal money:

· Sales = money

· Assets = money

· Brand = money

· Press = money

· Information = money

When time equals money, we are stuck in an advanced form of slavery. We must trade hours for dollars. The problem with this model is that we only have a limited amount of hours and cannot make money while we sleep.

Sandman Empire: (noun) An empire of business or real estate created passively through a joint venture or partnership between a passive money partner and an active working partner. The active working partner handles all aspects of the business and the money partner is only responsible for financial backing. The passive partner is removed from all operations and can essentially sleep; hence the word “sandman”.

Investors who can create a “Sandman Empire” can earn serious returns in a completely passive way and have unlimited earning potential: Investors who fail to create a “Sandman Empire” are limited by time, focus, management, skill sets and capabilities.

But how can one create a “Sandman Empire”?

In investing, there are two types of investors: Active Investors and Passive Investors.

Active Investors are essentially entrepreneurs. They pick their own deals, manage their operations, manage their contractors and run the enterprise. Naturally, these entrepreneurs get the highest returns possible and in many ways, they take a risk on themselves to perform and run the enterprise profitably. Active investors may or may not invest money into their enterprise. Since they invest their entire lives into the business, usually they do not have money invested.

Passive Investors are more like silent partners who park their money with an Active Investor. Silent partners trust the Entrepreneur to run the enterprise profitably. Silent Partners need to be proficient at analyzing people and deals. These Passive Investors are the ones who get the benefits of building a “Sandman Empire” if they can select the right Entrepreneur to grow their money.

Usually passive investments have lower returns than active investments. However, Passive investors can get much higher returns by partnering with an Active Investor and splitting the profits.

If a Passive Investor can find the right Active partner, the possibilities are endless. When financial backing is paired with time and talent, tremendous value and profits can be created.

However, if the Active partner is not chosen correctly, massive financial destruction can occur; including losing the investor’s capital or worse.

A Passive Investor must perform proper due diligence on their Active Partner before “taking a leap of faith” and making a final decision to place their money with him or her.

Some questions that need be answered in the due diligence period are:

1) Does the Active Investor have experience with these types of assets?

2) Does the AI have experience with this strategy?

3) How do we recover if things don’t go according to plan?

4) Has the AI lost money before? How did he or she handle the loss?

5) What is the track record of the AI, does it show success? Is he or she hiding anything?

6) Has the AI built an adequate team? Can the team handle the additional business that the Passive Investor is funding?

7) How has the AI handled himself when things went wrong? Can he turn bad luck into good luck?

8) What transparency is offered?

9) What options does the Passive Investor have to exit if things don’t go right?

10) Does the AI have good relationships? Is he loyal and in what way?

11) What is the brand of the AI? What does he stand for?

12) Is the AI 100% focused and committed to the venture or does he or she have a day job? Do you want a “weekend warrior” managing your money?

13) What is the X-factor for this AI? What makes him the over-the-top best choice for your dollars? Are you investing in someone who takes care of the details and provides an excellent product and experience? Or just another “real estate guy”?

If an Active Investor can provide satisfactory answers to all of these questions, then he or she is a prime candidate to build a “Sandman Empire”.

Of course you will have to trust and verify all of the answers to make sure that the “walk” matches the “talk”. When it comes to money, people will say whatever they have to get your dollars. Don’t be a victim of bad due diligence, put your potential partner through extensive scrutiny, ask the hard questions and make sure that you have a competent, trustworthy partner to build your empire while you sleep.

Respect The Grind,
Stefan Aarnio