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Nico Sanchez is an acclaimed real estate investment coach, mentor and motivational speaker; He is the co-founder and President of DS Realty Solutions Ltd. and President of The Greater Than Group, a Multi Divisional Private Equity Real Estate Investment Company. Nico’s Mission and Vision is to help you create wealth through strategic real estate investments and to spearhead humanitarian campaigns worldwide and to motivate, inspire and drive others to achieve more!

Find Nico Sanchez online at:

Stefan Aarnio: Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the show. Respect the Grind with Stefan Aarnio. This is the show where we interview people who’ve achieved mastery and freedom through discipline. We interview entrepreneurs, athletes, authors, artists, real estate investors; anybody who has achieved mastery and examined what it took to get there.

Stefan Aarnio: Today on the show, I have good friend of mine, Nico Sanchez. He’s a Winnipeg entrepreneur. He has a group called the Greater Than Group, private equity group. You know he’s authored a book. Local real estate investor… Really proud of this guy. Doing some really great stuff.

Stefan Aarnio: Nico, welcome to the show Respect the Grind and thank you so much for joining me.

Nico Sanchez: Thanks, man. Happy to be here. How you’ve been by the way? I love your little American flag… What is that? A sweater or a cardigan?

Stefan Aarnio: This is my famous America sweater I wear. I wear this through customs. When I go to the states, I put this on and everybody… they just salute me. No passports to it. Welcome home.

Stefan Aarnio: They love the America sweater, so I’m going to wear like a Canada jacket or an America sweater. It’s just my thing.

Nico Sanchez: You get through a little bit easier, eh?

Stefan Aarnio: That’s right. So Nico, for the people at home… tell the people at home a little about Nico Sanchez. Who you are. What you do. Where you started. That kind of thing.

Nico Sanchez: Well, my name is Nico Sanchez, as Stefan said. I’ve lived in Winnipeg since 2001. Originally, I was born in the Philippines, 1986. Came to Canada in 94′ with my family. You know, classic immigrant story. Our parents wanted to give us a better life here. I got a couple of brothers. My youngest brother was born as soon… literally a couple of months when we landed into Canada. And we lived in BC… in Duncan on Vancouver Island, which is a beautiful, beautiful place to grow up by the way. I don’t know if you’ve been to Duncan, but it’s absolutely beautiful there on the island.

Nico Sanchez: So we went there. I kind of grew up a little bit there, had nice childhood. Classic immigrant parents… classic immigrant parents’ mentality is pretty much how I grew up. Work hard…get a good education and graduate. Get a good job… work really hard at that job for 40 years or whatever and then you retire. Classic, typical immigrant mentality. Right?

Nico Sanchez: Which has worked for a lot of people, maybe 30 years ago or more? It doesn’t quite work the same way today. I sucked at school… always been terrible at school except for grade school. I was an ace in grade school ’cause I’m a genius. Right? As soon as I get into high school, there’s some trouble there. University, yes, I did graduate university. It took me nine years to graduate for a three year general science degree. So it should have taken me three years. Pretty much.


Stefan Aarnio: Three X, man. Three X.

Nico Sanchez: Three X! I three X my university career. At least I didn’t ten X that though. Right?

Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, don’t ten X that.

Nico Sanchez: Don’t ten X that. So finally graduated. I actually started working in sales just before I graduated. That was actually my last year… 2012, I think it was. 2011 or 2012, I was… or I started working in sales. And then at that point, I just started taking online courses just to finish up that degree. You know what? It was like… get that damn degree just for my parents. Right? At that point, it was nothing. It was a general science degree. I’ve never worked in the science field. I was supposed to be a research assistant or whatever. I’ve never done any of that. It’s a useless degree. It doesn’t even hang on my wall. (laughs). Anywhere. It’s tucked away. I don’t even know where it is, to be honest with you.

Nico Sanchez: So during that time, I was working in sales already. I was going door to door. It’s actually how I started working. I was door to door sales, selling furnaces, air conditioners. I was sub-contracting, sort of, for Hydro. They’re the contractor that contracts for Hydro and promotes their power smart programs and all that stuff. I was working for one of those type of companies, going door to door. Did pretty well. Well, I thought I was doing pretty well. I was making, right out of university or before I even graduated university, I was making five grand month or so, which wasn’t too bad for a young 20-something year old kid. First time… first real job sort of thing.

Nico Sanchez: Yeah, I did pretty well. I was terrible with money at that point. I was terrible with money, man. I didn’t even have enough taxes to pay my taxes at the end… because it was commission job… commission job, so I didn’t know that you had to set aside a certain portion for your taxes at the end of the year to file it. So here I was, 20-something year old kid. Making 60 grand a year… spending almost all of it… had no regard for taxes or anything else and had to look for another job. Just graduated now, at this point. Got my degree. Didn’t even attend my graduation. I had no time for that. Then I started looking for more sales jobs because I enjoyed sales. I liked working with people. I liked talking with people. I didn’t mind the hustle. I loved the hustle. The hustle was… that part of that was what woke me up every morning. Getting out there. Knocking on doors. The constant rejection. The no, no, no, no. Get out of here. You scam… etc, etc, etc. You hear all kinds of stuff, which I’m sure you do as well. Right?

Stefan Aarnio: Every day. I’ve got it on tap. I turn it on and then its just all these haters coming out of the tap.

Nico Sanchez: There you go.

Nico Sanchez: But I love that part of it though. It makes you feel alive. Right? You always hear all these noes but every time you get that yes, and you get that sale, and you get that money, that’s something else. I sort of got addicted that feeling. So I looked up another sales job, and I ended up selling cars. Selling Toyotas, Hondas, whatever… there were seven different brands that we could sell in this particular company. This company actually did sales training, so we had sales training every single week. Before you even go hired, you went through some tests and all that stuff. They would test you and interview you and tell you to sell this pen, etc. Whatever. Right?

Nico Sanchez: That particular company had really, really good training. Self development training… They used to make us get up at six in the morning once a week, and then we’d have a 7:00 pump up. They called it a pump up, so the entire company would just fill up this one big room and then the president of the company would pump everybody up. You know, typical… sort of like a Grant Cardone, Tony Robbins type of thing. Right?

Stefan Aarnio: So Wolf of Wall Street. You guys are throwing…

Nico Sanchez: Wolf of Wall Street, baby.

Stefan Aarnio: … midgets at the wall.

Nico Sanchez: Well, we weren’t throwing midgets, but I wish we were! I’d probably would have sold more cars. That would have been fun. For the snowflakes out there, by the way, I hope you weren’t offended. If you were, I really don’t care.

Stefan Aarnio: So what’s a snowflake, Nico, for those people who don’t know.

Nico Sanchez: Okay. So a snowflake is this term that’s been surfacing around lately. Basically, what a snowflake is, is somebody that just offended over every tiny little bit of thing. I think you… was it you that shared that video earlier on Facebook? I think I re-shared it, but it was “When snowflakes go on a date.”

Stefan Aarnio: Oh, yeah and everybody’s getting offended.

Nico Sanchez: Alright, so just a quick summary of the video. This video… It was you that shared that. Right?

Stefan Aarnio: Yeah.

Nico Sanchez: It was a video that Stefan shared earlier. I re-shared it. Basically, it was titled, “when snowflakes go on a date.” So it was this guy sitting there and this girl sitting there, and they’re going on a date or eating at a restaurant or something like that. And then the guy is like, “Oh. Hey. I ordered you the chicken.” And then the girl gets all turnt, which is another key word nowadays… triggered. It’s when somebody gets all offended or touchy about something. And then the girl said, “Chicken? What? Well, excuse me but I’m vegan, so I’m very offended that you ordered chicken for me.” (laughs). And then she goes, “Well, lets just drink wine.” And then the guy goes, “Uh. Wow. Okay. Italian wine? Well, my grandfather was Italian, so the cultural appropriation that you’re doing is very offensive to me.” And then it just went back and forth, and back and forth. At the end of the day, they couldn’t do anything.

Nico Sanchez: That’s what a snowflake is. A snowflake is somebody that just gets offended over every little tiny thing that exist in this world, and at the end of the day, this snowflake is not going to be able to do anything or achieve anything because they can’t. Because if everything offends you, you can’t take steps forward. So you’re never going to anything. If you’re fine with that. Fine, keep being a snowflake, but guys like Stefan and I are going to melt you, at some point.

Stefan Aarnio: Well, hard times create strong men.

Nico Sanchez: That’s right, and then strong men create good times. And then good times create…

Stefan Aarnio: Weak men and weak men create hard times, once more.

Nico Sanchez: … a bit of a cycle.

Stefan Aarnio: Nico, you’re at the car dealership now. You’re having pump up morning. Tell me what happens next.

Nico Sanchez: Self development happens next. This is when I really saw a lot of change in myself, and a lot of improvement in my life style… in my finances, which was a big thing at the time because making money… Doesn’t matter how much you make. If making 5,000 a month is comfortable for somebody, but you’re spending all of that, then what does that matter? Right? It doesn’t matter how much money you make. It only matters how much money you keep. That was another big thing for me.

Nico Sanchez: Self development… my mindset… number one, mindset, because it all starts up here. And then also, financial management and everything else… sales techniques. Right? All the different psychological techniques that you can do… That’s when I really started seeing a lot of change. But if I was to pick one major thing from that entire experience that caused all this positive change, it’d be here. It’d be the mindset. Because without the mindset, you’re not going to move forward on anything else because it all starts up here. It all starts with you changing your frame of thinking, and then once you change your frame of thinking, you start to change your actions. And once you start changing your actions, your actions become consistent. And then once your actions become consistent, they become habits. And once you form these good habits, then you really start to change your destiny. So mindset to actions that become habits, and then those habits can form your destiny.

Nico Sanchez: But guess where it all starts. It all starts from up here. But before you even change your mindset, there’s actually one more thing, huge thing. Because without this one thing, none of that is going to happen. You can’t even change your mindset without… What? Making the choice to change your mindset. Anybody can force feed positivity and motivation stuff down somebody’s throat. But until that person decides to make that change and make the choice, none of that is going to matter. So it all starts with a choice.

Stefan Aarnio: I like that. Decision. Choice. Decision. Decision means to cut off the other options.

Nico Sanchez: Exactly.

Stefan Aarnio: I was talking to another guy right before you. We were talking about burning the boats, and Hernan Cortes burned the boats when he was landing Mexico. And Julius Caesar burned the boats when he went into Britain to invade with the Romans.

Stefan Aarnio: Nico, you and I were drinking drinks in Nelson Camp’s hot tub a while ago.

Nico Sanchez: Oh, I was drinking a drink. You were drinking… What? Water?

Stefan Aarnio: Well, water is a drink. You were drinking scotch, like a man, and I’m drinking a fruity, bubbly orange drink because I don’t drink alcohol.

Stefan Aarnio: But we’re sitting in the hot tub… And so… you went and sold cars. And after that, you told me you got into the pizza franchise hustling… Street hustling… door knocking. I was in vacuum sales for a day and then I went…

Nico Sanchez: If you can sell vacuums, you can sell anything, man.

Stefan Aarnio: Yeah. Yeah, man. If you sell some junk that people don’t want and then you can really sell. So you went in car sales and then you told me about your pizza experience. Tell me… You went and got a franchise. Tell me how that went that because there’s probably people at home thinking, “Man, I’d love to get a franchise and get a business started.” Tell me about how that went.

Nico Sanchez: Alright, so for all the people at home thinking, “Man, I’d love to start a franchise and be my own boss. And maybe I’ll buy a Pizza Hotline or Panago Pizza…” which is the one I bought in to. I got one advice for you and that’s don’t do that.

Stefan Aarnio: Okay, and why is that?

Nico Sanchez: Terrible, terrible, terrible move for me. I thought I had everything set up. I saved a bunch of money after I was able to manage my finances well and continued to make more money when I was selling cars because I was making about… at least, easy six figures a year. 120… 140… something like that a year. When I was selling cars, I was promoted twice as a lease manager and a finance manager, and that was all within two years. I managed to save a bunch of money because I couldn’t spend all that money, because I haven’t started to manage my finance at that point. So I saved all that money and I said, “Hey. You know what? Why am I working for other people? Why shouldn’t be making all this money for myself…” which is what a lot of people’s way of thinking is. And that’s why a lot people what to start their own businesses.

Nico Sanchez: It’s like this whole huge buzz nowadays. Isn’t it? Everybody wants to be their own boss. I’m telling you something. Not everybody can be their own boss. Its just… Not everybody can own their own business. Not everybody can do it like that, and I’ll tell you why. It’s because people are not made equally.

Stefan Aarnio: Oh my goodness. You mean people aren’t equal. They’ve been telling me that
it’s equality over here. Come on.

Nico Sanchez: Well, you got trophies for trying. Right?

Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, man. I got a trophy for trying. I got a trophy for equality spelled with a Q. Tell me about equality, man.

Nico Sanchez: People are not made equal. I know that sounds harsh, and if there’s any snowflakes listening to this podcast right now, I’m not sorry because that’s the way that it is. Your work made equal. Your work made the same as somebody as. Can you become equal? That’s up to you. You know what I mean? We’re not born into equal opportunities. Hell, you’ve got people in third world countries, born in poverty, drinking water out of the sewers to try to survive. Sometimes, some of these people actually get up and become successful, more successful than somebody that was born in the United States as a trust fund baby. You know what I mean?

Stefan Aarnio: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Nico Sanchez: So we’re not born equal. That’s the harsh reality of it, but if you work your ass off, and your hustle, and you respect the grind.

Stefan Aarnio: Respect. Respect the grind.

Nico Sanchez: There you go. If you respect the grind and you hustle hard, you can do a lot better than somebody that was born into a better world of opportunity than you were, and that’s just the point. So it’s not about how you were born in the situations that you have and all that stuff, it’s how hard you apply yourself in this world and how hard you hustle… and how hard you work on you and yourself and your self development because that’s really the key, man.

Nico Sanchez: I’m kind of getting a little bit off topic here. What was I talking about? The pizza place… Right?

Stefan Aarnio: Yeah. You were saying, “don’t buy a pizza franchise.”

Nico Sanchez: Don’t do that. It’s really hard. It’s not the smartest business decision to make. There is a lot of other better business ideas and business ventures that you can do. If you want to pay 10% in franchise and loyalty fees for your whole life and feel like your own boss… but you’re really not because the franchise owner is the real boss because they tell you what to do. They limit your every single move. You want to open your own pizza shop? Open your own damn pizza shop. Don’t go for a franchise. You know what I mean?

Nico Sanchez: That’s not the definition of being your own boss. Not knocking too much against franchises because I do have a buddy that do franchises, but he doesn’t run any of them. So this buddy of mine, multimillionaire… not going to name him, but… if you ever see a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, or Ashton Martin, or Porsche… This guys got 20 or 21 super cars. He’s got a 25 car garage in his house. Lives just right outside the city. He’s been a friend of mine since… 2005? This is what this guy does… is he just raises the capital for it. So he’s sort of in private equity. So he raises the capital, goes out, opens five to ten franchises or stores of a franchise in different cities across Canada and the United States. He’s since moved to doing hotels, which is also a form of franchises.

Nico Sanchez: There’s a couple of ways you can do hotels, as you probably know. You can do as joint venture with hotel company or you can do it as a franchise, so my buddy does it as a franchise. He’s sort of like a franchise king sort of thing. Sort of like… what’s his name? Jim-

Stefan Aarnio: Treliving.

Nico Sanchez: Yep. Treliving. Yep. Dragon’s den. Except he wasn’t a franchisor. He just does this systematically with franchises. He doesn’t run any of them, and then he goes and builds it up a little bit and then he sells it.

Stefan Aarnio: Wow. And it…

Nico Sanchez: So…

Stefan Aarnio: … Everybody’s got a game. Nico, so you’re in the pizza business. It wasn’t the greatest game. You were telling me all the ins and outs in the hot tub there. But then… Tell the people at home. So now you’re in real estate. Real estate is a way different animal. There’s a couple of themes we have on the show. Everybody loves thinking we’re rich on this show. Everybody started out at some kind of sales on this show. Grinding it out… hustling… whatever. And now you’re in real estate. So many other people on this show are in real estate or involved in real estate. Tell me about… You got a group… the Greater Than Group… your private equity… Let’s hear a bit about that and how that’s a better business than, maybe, a pizza restaurant.

Nico Sanchez: Well, let me start… just kind of, sort of at the end of the pizza place there. Things started falling apart near the end. Lasted about a year and a half, but it was a really tough business, man. The margins are really small. And if you don’t have that customer base, you’re not going to get that revenue, and you can’t keep your business afloat. I was pretty much on the verge of bankruptcy. I almost went bankrupt twice. I almost went bankrupt a little bit into it. And then I filed some money, and I stayed afloat for a little bit longer. And then I almost went bankrupt again, until I was able to start getting into real estate. That’s because I was already in debt, but then Rich Dad came through town. I

StefanAarnio: Rich Dad Real Estate Seminars. Right?

Nico Sanchez: Rich Dad Real Estate Seminars, which is where I learned from and where you learned from originally. Right?

Stefan Aarnio: That’s right. I’m International Hall of Fame 2014, so I took those seminars. I remember, I went to my first one in 2008. I didn’t even have a freakin’ credit card to buy the high level stuff. So I came back in 2012, and I borrowed money from a friend. I was so broke back then. Well, it might have been 2011, 2012. So broke… and then by 2014 I’m International Hall of Fame, so you can get into some education quick and go fast. So tell me about your experience.

Nico Sanchez: It goes really fast, man. It goes really fast. Basically, I had to shut down my pizza place. And this was when my wife was pregnant at the time. I was about to lose the house, lost the car, lose everything, and go bankrupt. Got into real estate… borrowed money to take the education. I borrowed 50 grand, and I paid for the top level Rich Dad course. Within the first month, I haven’t even taken… just after the three day… Remember that old three day that they do?

Stefan Aarnio: Yep.

Nico Sanchez: And then after that, then you got to wait a month, and then you go and do your courses. You fly out to Calgary, or Toronto, or wherever.

Stefan Aarnio: I took the three day twice because I’m slow. I two X-ed it.

Nico Sanchez: You two X-ed it. I three X-ed my university.

Stefan Aarnio: I two X-ed the Rich Dad classes. I two X-ed it.

Nico Sanchez: Yeah, but at least that was worth it.

Stefan Aarnio: That’s right. That’s right.

Nico Sanchez: Within the first month after I took the three day, I bought my first fourplex for zero down, and that was just after the three day. And that was because of a couple of people that I met during that three day, that I ended up doing a joint venture with. So zero down, buying a fourplex within the month. I haven’t even started my buy-in hold course. That was the month after.

Nico Sanchez: So that happened for me. I shut down my pizza store… went through a little bit of a hard time for the first few months afterwards. Of course, paying the mortgage… borrowing money to pay my house mortgage, so I wouldn’t lose it for my family and my pregnant wife, at the time. But then afterwards, it was just one after another. Because once you got the proper education in real estate and you know how to raise the money… you know how to joint venture with people… you know how to look for good deals… Because, number one, you can’t raise any money if you don’t know how to find a good deal or you don’t know how to structure a good deal and you’re not creative, you can’t raise any money. You’re just going to lose people’s money. Then you’re really screwed.

Nico Sanchez: Is this censored by the way? Or…

StefanAarnio: No, man. You can just get rated R with me, man.

Nico Sanchez: Then you’re really fucked. You lose people’s money, you’re fucked, man. That’s the last thing that you want to do. Because once you start doing that… guess what? Good luck raising money in the future. Once that started and it started going, it was just bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. It was like one, two holds per month. Within the first six months, I was doing 21 doors within the first six months. So 21 doors in your first six months in real estate, and I’ve only done one of my Rich Dad courses out of the five I had signed up for. All of a sudden, I could cover my mortgage payment. All of a sudden, I could cover my car payments again. All of a sudden, I could cover my living expenses again. All of a sudden, I could buy the crib and set up the room for my child to be, at the time. And I could start living again. I never experience that when I was working in the franchise business. The franchise business and the pizza place… Man, I was working 16 hours a day and then taking him -3,000 at the end of the month.

Stefan Aarnio: Oh damn, man.

Nico Sanchez: That’s not fun, man. That’s not fun. That is not fun

What does it mean to be a man? Find out in Hard Times Creates Strong Men, the most controversial book by Stefan Aarnio to date. Hard Times Creates Strong Men attempts to answer the question by examining what it means to be a man in money, sex, religion, and politics using examples of what has worked throughout history. Order your copy today at hardtimesstrongmen.com/podcast and receive a podcast only bonus.

Stefan Aarnio: You know, Nico, I say something. I say you’re doing the right thing when you can work 18 hours a day, lose money, and still keep going.

Nico Sanchez: That’s right.

Stefan Aarnio: That hurts, man. It hurts to work that hard and lose money. That’s demoralizing. It breaks your heart. Right?

Nico Sanchez: Yep. Yep. And that’s the thing. That’s why its hard times creates strong men. During that hard time in my life, man, it was just a fucking reality check. Its like, dude, you gotta wake up, and you really gotta rethink what the hell you’re doing here because this isn’t working. And if you continue to do this, you’re going to lose everything. And you’re going to have you, your wife,  who’s pregnant, and your baby is going to be born into God knows what. You know what I mean?

Stefan Aarnio: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Nico Sanchez: That time in my life… that was harsh reality check and…

Stefan Aarnio: Nico, quick question for you. 3,900 people take Rich Dad courses each year. 3,900 pay $30,000. You paid 50,000. I think I was 27,000, back in the day. 3,900 take those real estate courses. Some people say it’s a scam. Some people say it’s no good.

Stefan Aarnio: What makes you different? What makes you different? Why were you the guy hustling in six months to 21 doors? Whereas, other people come and they take the class and say, “this is a scam. Poo poo. It doesn’t work.”

Nico Sanchez: Well, here we go. First of all, for the people that say, “this is a scam. Or that’s a scam. Or this is a scam,” these people…

Stefan Aarnio: What makes Nico Sanchez different than the guy who’s a scam to himself coming to the seminar? Because for me, man, I was desperate. It was get rich or die trying. It was either you’re going to be minimum wage… some crap ass job for me or get rich in real estate. That was the only two option for my life. Why did you become successful whereas everybody else… 99% come to those seminars and they fail.

Nico Sanchez: Well, number one, it was, like I said… I had a solid why, so I could overcome any how. My solid why was I was on the verge of bankruptcy. I had a pregnant wife. About to lose a house. About to lose a car. Just lost my pizza business. That was my why. I had to stay afloat somehow. I didn’t see any better way than real estate. Yes. Initially, I fell for… “Oh wow. This is going to be easy.” At the same time, I’m not stupid enough to think that it was actually going to be that easy. Of course, it’s going to take work. Of course, it’s going to take hustle. But hey… Guess what? I’ve been working fucking 16 hour days for the past year and a half, and I was still going. Do you think I would be able to take a little bit more hustle? Of course, I can!

Nico Sanchez: To answer your question very shortly, it is because of motivation. If you have a motivation, and you have why behind what you’re doing, you’re going to be able to do anything. That’s the real reason why most people fail, man. It’s because most people just do it for the money. And if you’re just doing it for the money… You can do anything money. Hell, you could sell crack down the street downtown. Higgins and Main or whatever. Sell your body or whatever. You can make money doing that to. If it’s just for the money, you can do anything for the money. There’s a shit ton of ways in the world to make money.

Nico Sanchez: If you have real motivation, you have drive, and you make the right choices, and you choose the right business venture… number one, which, by the way… and not just because this is…

Nico Sanchez: Is this even a real estate podcast? Or not really even?

Stefan Aarnio: You know what, Respect the Grind is mostly about people grinding. Its artists, athletes, entrepreneurs… There is a lot of real estate people, obviously.

Nico Sanchez: Yeah. Yeah.

Stefan Aarnio: The thing about it, Nico, is everybody who has success has some real estate at some point.

Nico Sanchez: Exactly. That’s the truth.

Stefan Aarnio: … Everybody has stuff in real estate. All roads lead to real estate. I’m sitting in real estate. You’re sitting in real estate. We drive to your office. That’s real estate. You can’t escape real estate. We’re always using it.

Nico Sanchez: Exactly. Like I was going to say, real estate is the number one best business venture that you could ever do. But speaking of that, there’s a difference between having a real estate as a business and real estate as an investment. A lot of people think real- Even wholesalers think that they’re real estate investor. No, you’re not a fucking real estate investor. Are you giving me money? Are you buying real estate yourself? No, you’re selling real estate without even owning it. You’re a wholesaler. It’s not a real… you’re not being a real estate investor. You’re using real estate as a business. You’re a real estate entrepreneur, is what they should technically be called. So there’s a difference between the two. Right?

Stefan Aarnio: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Nico Sanchez: You use real estate as a business, and you’re also an investor. I use real estate as a business, and I’m also an investor. Why? Because I also pay money. I invest money in other people’s flips or whatever else. I buy money with my own money. I buy real estate with my own money, here and there, for my personal holdings. But I also run it as a business. The private equity real estate business… where you’re raising capital, buying commercial buildings, doing renovations to it, or buying land and building new builds on that… Whether you’re keeping it or selling it later down the line, doesn’t really matter. That’s real estate as a business. If I’m paying money or giving money to somebody else to do work for me, at that point, I’m an investor. If I’m not giving money out, I’m a real estate entrepreneur. I think that’s a clear line there that people should be aware of. It’s pretty blurred to most people, and I think everyone is calling themselves real estate investor nowadays.

Stefan Aarnio: Yeah. Well, even people who have never even done a deal are calling themselves real estate investors.

Nico Sanchez: Yeah

Stefan Aarnio: Nico, one interesting thing, I mean, about me and you. I had this building tied up. I was going to do this big. What is it… 80,000 square foot building on Jarvis Winnipeg. I tie it up for 90 days. I’m doing due diligence. I wanted to do an apartment conversion to this building. I couldn’t get the price I wanted. I dropped the deal. Lo and behold, Nico Sanchez and his band of thieves goes and ties up this building on Jarvis. I see him on Facebook. And you guys are putting in steel stud, and you’re doing this building. I texted and I go, “Hey, man. Is that this big building on Jarvis.” Big commercial building… Why don’t you tell me a little bit about the Greater Than Group, the private equity you’re doing. You guys have done some tremendous stuff in the last year. Tell me a little bit about this building on Jarvis that I had tied up. I dropped it. You bought it. Really interesting way to cross paths. Tell me a bit about that.

Nico Sanchez: Well, we’ve been having really, really good luck with these warehouses these days, man. That was the first warehouse that we’ve picked up. We’ve picked up two, since then. That one… the Jarvis one. That was a really interesting one. I think it’s about 80 to 100,000… it’s 100,000 square feet if you include the basement. Basically, I think, it was just a matter of what are you going to do with the building to bring the value up. I know you said you wanted to convert it into an apartment and stuff like that. I looked at it, and I was like, “Okay. What do we do with this building, and how do we make as much money as possible by doing the least amount of work… and having to get them to lease out the permits and variances or whatever else we needed to do. And having to do the least amount of renovations.”

Nico Sanchez: So basically, I’m just being cheap. I want to spend the least to make the most. And figured out… Hey. You know what? We could keep all this raw warehouse space because why? Who likes raw warehouse spaces? Fucking artists… Winnipeg artists. And then I started thinking from there. It’s like… Okay, wait a second. So all these artists right now are here in the Exchange But a lot of them, and I’ve been hearing this in the art community, that the Exchange is getting too expensive. There’s not enough space. There’s not enough space there. It’s too expensive for artists nowadays. So I was like, Okay. Well, damn. Why don’t we create a brand new space for all these artists. Make it more affordable because there’s a lot space in a 100,000 square foot warehouse.

Stefan Aarnio: It’s like a hundred homes. It’s massive.

Nico Sanchez: Exactly. That’s the idea that we went after. Artists, musicians… so the third floor right now… Half of the third floor is for bands. There’s a recording studio up there, which is almost finished being developed right now. There’s a few bands already, actually, up there. We’re subdividing the entire space. A bunch of the space is already complete. We’ve already got a bunch of bands in there. They’re all paying rent now. You know what? We’re subdividing it into small spaces, but they’re paying 400, 500 bucks a month for space. That one area upstairs, which is… I don’t even know how many square foot it is…

Stefan Aarnio: 13,000? I think it’s 13,000 or so.

Nico Sanchez: Might be ten, 13,000 something. It’s a little less than half of the third floor.

Nico Sanchez: They’re all paying four or 500 dollars a month on there, and we’re able to subdivide that space into 30 different spaces. And we put one person in there that’s managing all this stuff for all the bands. It’s a local rock star. I don’t know if I should be saying any names up on here publicly. Because… you know. Whatever.

Stefan Aarnio: That’s fine

Nico Sanchez: Anyway.

Stefan Aarnio: … but you’ve got one master lease that you’re leasing to and then you got-

Nico Sanchez: Exactly. Exactly. Exactly.

Stefan Aarnio: … so it’s interesting. This is really how we really started talking. But I think always knew a little bit about you. You knew about me. I think I got one of your books. You got my books. But one thing that I thought was

Stefan Aarnio: Oh! There we go! Hold it up, man. Show it off. Show the book off. Creativity Over Capital, by Nico Sanchez.

Stefan Aarnio: Let’s talk about the book super quick. We gotta wrap up pretty soon here, Nico.

Nico Sanchez: Sure.

Stefan Aarnio: Tell us about the book and the creativity over capital because one thing I liked about you and that Jarvis deal or that massive warehouse is that you came to that real estate deal with fresh eyes. You came in with a creative angle. Is there a risk with that? Hell yeah, there’s risk, but there’s a major creative element there. And you turned the value of that building from, what… 900,000 or less. I think it’s worth less that 900, but you turned it into, what? Three, four million dollars of value by creating and transmuting it into something else.

Nico Sanchez: Currently, it got appraised as is last month for 2.45 mil’. And at that point, we’ve only put in about $80,000 worth of development. So we’ve got about another $600,000 to put into the building, but they’re giving us AR of 4.75 after. That appraisal just came in last month. Bought it for 900,000.
That’s 900,000… so we’re in it for 980 with the 80,000 that we’ve put in. We’ve created almost 1.6 million in equity in literally the first three months of 2018.

Stefan Aarnio: Wow! Unbelievable.

Stefan Aarnio: Now, creativity over capital… Let’s talk about that. Why is creativity more important than the money?

Nico Sanchez: Because if you’re creative and you can find ways for people to make money while you make money at the same time, by the way… never forget about you making money. Always got to take care of yourself. If you can find ways to help you and other people make money, you’ll be able to find the money to help you do that. That’s why creativity is more important than capital. There’s a ton of money out there in this world. Lots of people. Lots of free money just floating around. Do you remember what the money was in RSBs that are unused? I forgot. It’s not off the top of my head but…

Stefan Aarnio: Oh, billions or trillions or something. Insane amount of money.

Nico Sanchez: There’s a ton of RSBs. RSBs are sitting there doing nothing. There’s billions of dollars of RSBs out there, sitting there doing nothing or making less than 2%. Where you can sit or you can take the RSBs, and you can let those guys make 8% to 10%… sometimes even 12%, instead of 2 or less. Those are all capital that’s available to you if you know how to turn that capital and actually help them to make that sort of return. Of course, if you take their money and then you lose it… Guess who’s giving you money next time? Nobody.

Stefan Aarnio: It gets harder and harder if you do that.

Nico Sanchez: Exactly.

Nico Sanchez: Yes, you have to take risks. There are risks for everything. If you aren’t taking risks, you’re not stepping forward. If you’re not taking risks, as far as I’m concerned, you’re not making any real money. You always have to take risks. But that’s why you have to be creative and you have to be smart with the way that you do your deals. See, there’s a lot of money out there, but there’s not a lot of brains out in the world. Not a lot of brains, in terms of doing what we’re doing, and whatever you want to do in investments and stuff. It takes a certain amount of specialties. It takes a certain amount of education.

Nico Sanchez: So number one, education. Mindset. Knowledge. Education. Then you get the skills, and then you go out there and do it.

Nico Sanchez: You don’t need the money. You don’t need the money to start. You don’t need the money to keep ongoing. There’s a lot of money out there. Where did the money come from? Look, just think about it. How many professionals are out there? Doctors, lawyers, whatever… Yes, they want to make money in real estate because they make all this money, and they’re able to save all this money from their profession, or their sole proprietorship, or small business, or whatever. They make all the money from their profession, but they don’t have the time to learn how to turn that money into more money. So what do those guys do? They give that money to guys like Stefan and I so we can help them to make more money out of that.

Nico Sanchez: Guys like Stefan and I, we invested in our education and our skills in order to learn and be more efficient at turning that money into more money for people like that. So that’s how you can buy real estate, flip houses… commercial… whatever you want to do. That’s how you can do all that stuff with zero money is by using what? OPM. OPM stands for other people’s money. You just have to know how to use that money properly, and you have to have the knowledge and the skills to do it properly.

Stefan Aarnio: I love what you’re saying there, Nico. It’s creativity over capital. If you’re creative, if you got the deal, if you got the contract… that’s what I love about you. I had this thing under contract. I was trying to transmute this thing into something else. You come. You take the contract. You’re creative with it. Boom, you bring something out there-

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Stefan Aarnio: For the young people at home… second final question today. For the young people at home, what do young people need to succeed nowadays? To the millennials, or generation zed, to the next group, what do you got to say to them?

Nico Sanchez: Guys, you got to fucking hustle, man. You got to have respect for the grind, man, you know what I mean? If you’re sitting there, thinking, offended about chicken breasts because it’s got the word breasts in it. You’re sitting there getting offended about this and getting offended about that; and you think that you deserve the world. Guess what, man. You don’t deserve shit. You gotta fucking put in the work. You gotta respect the grind. You gotta put in the hustle. You gotta work, work, work. You gotta sometimes… you just gotta have your back against the wall. You got no other choice but to move forward. That’s what it’s going to take to really move forward in this world. That and if you’re not in a bad situation like that… Okay, you don’t always have to be in a terrible situation in order to succeed. At least, get the right mindset. Decide to have the right mindset. Acquire the right mindset. Take the proper actions. Turn those proper actions into the right habits, and then those habits are going to lead you to a real destiny. And your destiny is success.

Stefan Aarnio: Mm. I love it, man. Now, Nico, for the people at home. How do they get in touch with you? How can they get a copy of your book? I’m sure it’s all fantastic. How do they get in touch with Nico?

Nico Sanchez: You can get a copy of my book and it’s got all my contact information and everything like that… in the book too. But you can get that from nicosanchez.ca.
So www.nicosanchez.ca. Nico Sanchez is spelled with a C.

Stefan Aarnio: -S-A-N-C-H-E-Z

Nico Sanchez: …all in one word. S-A-N-C-H-E-Z. C-H… yeah… E-Z. N-I-C-O. Yup.

Stefan Aarnio: Well, awesome. You know I had to take Rich Dad two times. You three X-ed university. I did a three year degree in four years, so we’re learning here?

Nico Sanchez: Yeah.

Stefan Aarnio: Awesome, Nico. Any final words before we wrap up?

Nico Sanchez: Respect the grind, man. And teamwork makes the dream work because you can’t do it alone. But it all starts with you.

Stefan Aarnio: We have, basically, a big teammate, self made. It’s a yin and a yang, man. That’s  what it is.

Nico Sanchez: It’s both! It’s both is what it is. Right? It’s both is what it is. It all starts with you, and it all starts with each of the other individuals that’s eventually going to form the team, that’s going to achieve that greater objective. So, greater than… be greater than.

Stefan Aarnio: I like that, man. Well, thanks for coming, Nico. Great having you on the show.

Nico Sanchez: Alright, man. Thanks a lot. See you later.

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