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Ross is a full time real estate entrepreneur who made a life changing decision two and a half years ago to drop out of college, move from New York to Houston and quit his bartending job to create a real estate business. He did his first fix and flip two months into getting started and two and a half years later he has already done fifty fix and flips and built a solid team that is growing rapidly. He has also raised millions of dollars in private capital to buy deals.
Find out more about Ross Alex online at:
Stefan Aarnio: Ladies and Gentlemen, 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. Anyone who’s achieved mastery and examine what it took to get there.
Today on the show I have a good friend of mine, Ross Alex, hailing from Houston Texas down in the United States. Ross is a property investor. He’s one of the top flippers in the USA. He’s a great info marketer, he’s a social media mogul. Ross, pleasure to have you on the show today, Respect The Grind, thank you so much for joining me.
Ross Alex: Hey Stefan men, thank you for the opportunity. You told me about this new podcast man. I had to get on it, and I fully support what you’re doing man. Thanks for having me.
Stefan Aarnio: Awesome. Thanks so much Ross. We were eating down at Torchy’s Tacos down in Houston last year. I actually should be down back in Houston this year for the real estate cruise that they do down there, but I dipped out this year, kind of dumb of me. But love seeing you man. We’ve met up a couple of times in what? Minneapolis, in Houston. What I love about you Ross is that you’re a guy who’s actually doing it. There’s a lot of guys out there who talk. There’s a lot of guys out there who they pretend they’re doing real estate or they do one deal and they’re an expert. For the people at home, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, the people who don’t know Ross Alex.
Ross Alex: Yes, sure man. I’ve been in the game for about four years now as an entrepreneur. Three years full time or three and a half years full time. I come from the hospitality state side. I spent a lot of my teenage years and my early 20s bartending, serving tables, whatever I could to pay the bills. I did what I was taught to do my entire life, what I was conditioned to do, which was attend college, get good grades, go off and get a good career, but the idea of that just never sounded good to me. It just never appealed to me. I looked at my friends and what they were doing, and then it was just like it was this journey that I just wasn’t interested in embarking on.
Not knowing what to do and which direction to take, I ended up going to community college and that’s when I really realized this is not for me. Here I am learning about The Mona Lisa and stuff, and that’s great, but it’s not going to make me the millions of dollars that I want my life and give me prosperity. It didn’t take long for me to realize I’m done with this. I dropped out and I ended up reaching out to an idol of mine somebody who I consider a mentor, which is my uncle.
He was down in Houston doing a bunch of real estate deals, making a ton of money, buying commercial property and he’s just been that real entrepreneurial role model in my life, my entire life. And he said, “Look, come down to Houston, start flipping some houses. It’s not going to be easy but there’s success at the end of the tunnel if you work hard. And right then and there I did that, man.
He told me to get on this plane, pack a bag, come down. I didn’t have any money. I was broke, 450 credit score, no money in the bank account, but I was hungry. I was hungrier than ever to win. So I kissed my girlfriend goodbye, I kissed my mom goodbye, got on the plane and ended up in this city that I’ve never been to before. It was nerve-racking at first. It was nerve-racking spending so much alone time, I left all my friends, I left that. I left my whole life behind and here I am, right? I’m here so let’s get rocking.
I ended up bartending here in order to pay the bills. I got a one bedroom apartment and I started reading. I started learning. I started going to different events. I showed up at every Real Estate Investor Association I possibly could. I went on meetup.com, I found all these events. I started meeting people and I actually met my business partner who’s still my partner today at one of those REIAs. We got into our first deal maybe four or five months down the line.
I borrowed some capital on it, I leveraged cash partner, and I made about $7,000 on that deal Stefan. I thought I hit it big, man. I thought I was rich. It was the most money I’ve ever made in my life, and looking back now, that’s obviously silly of me to think that, but I was hooked. I was absolutely hooked. I had this goal in my mind, was I needed to be able to quit this job, this two dollar and 13 cent hour job to go to real estate full time. It wasn’t until my third deal that I actually made enough money to quit that job, have enough money in the bank, to sustain, and just put all my energy and time into building my real estate business.
And once I quit that job, man, I haven’t looked back, So I’ve been jobs free for the last three and a half years and it’s just been straight hustle man.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow. Ross, you know, you’re a young guy. We get a lot of guys on the show who are 50, you know 60, 45, late 40s, that kind of thing. How old are you man?
Ross Alex: I’m 27 now.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow. 27. You make me feel like I’m an old man. I’m 31 now, getting old. You’ve done a lot of stuff in a short amount of time. Now let’s talk about the moment where you decided to get on that plane, go down to Houston. What are some of the thoughts that went through your head because a lot of people don’t have the balls to do this. They sit at their corporate job or they sit at their waiter job or waitressing job, whatever it is. They don’t have the balls to just get on the plane, burn the boats, come in this and commit. What was going through your mind when you were buying that ticket or about to go in and mentally commit to this thing?
Ross Alex: Yeah, absolutely. So there’s a book that I really enjoy. I recommend it to anybody that’s looking to make things happen in their life financially. It’s called The Millionaire Fastlane by M.J. DeMarco, and in that book he talks about “Every entrepreneur at some point or another … Anybody at some point or another will have what’s called an F this moment.”
I’m not going to use the full word but …
Stefan Aarnio: No. You can say that. I told you can’t say racial slurs on this show. You can swear, we can say fuck we can say about whatever you want.
Ross Alex: So everybody in their life eventually will have a fuck this moment, right? And a fuck this moment is when you’re just throwing the books on the table and you’re done. You’re fed up. You’ve hit the threshold and you just can’t physically and mentally continue doing what it is that you’re doing. Now when I was walking into the place I was working at, I would have my uniform on from last night. I wasn’t able to wash it because I was getting off at 4 o’clock in the morning going in the next day at 11:00 in the morning, and I would have these ketchup stains. Any server, or anybody who’s ever served knows what I’m talking about. These ketchup stains, last night’s ketchup stains, right?
So I’m walking into work, and the valet was always in the front of the restaurant, I would see Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys, Rolls Royce, and here I am, walking in with ketchup stains on my fucking uniform. And that pissed me off that I was gonna go in there and start serving people who are living the good life, right? Who had their freedom. They didn’t have to work unbelievable hours, 13, 14 hours a day. They were doing something with their lives, right? That’s how I thought about it. So one day I just had that moment, man. I said “you know what? If they can do it I can do it”. I watched people win, right? I watched people win time and time and time again, and I said “when is it gonna be my time to start winning? If I don’t start now, it may be never.” And I’m not okay with that, life is short, I’m a big believer in that, you know, one day I will not be here anymore, and when I’m 70 years old I don’t wanna look back and say “what the fuck did I do with all my time? What did I do?”
If I don’t go all in right now and just take the risk, I’m never gonna be anywhere. I’m gonna be here in the next 10 years. I’m still gonna be serving tables with ketchup stains on my uniform, right? So I believe that this world has these … There’s different levels to the world that we live in, and it’s up to you to unlock certain levels, right? Like being able to travel to Europe, and do extravagant things and drive luxury cars, whatever it means for you, and I refuse to not hit those levels in my life.
So that was one of the moments, and then the other moment was being told what to do. Here I am, this company’s making millions and millions and millions of dollars, I’m getting bossed around by somebody who makes $45,000 a year who thinks that they’re better than me, they’re on this power trip. And I refuse to go in 13 14 hours a day and make this person extra extra successful, when here I am struggling to pay my bills. So for me man, it wasn’t hard, it wasn’t difficult for me to make that choice. It was just taking that first step, you know/
Stefan Aarnio: I love what you said, you know, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins’ mentor used to say that the first part of change is disgust. Where you’re disgusted with your situation. And I remember for me I was 17 years old, and my girlfriend’s dad at the same said “you’re gonna be poor. You wanna be a musician you’re gonna be poor”. I remember thinking “I’m never gonna be poor”. And I love your moment there with the ketchup on your shirt and the Bentleys and the Lambos and all these cars and going by and you just say “no I’m not gonna have it”.
Now, Ross, why did you choose real estate all things? We end up with all these achievers on the show and it’s always real estate, real estate, real estate. I remember when I was younger I was like “man real estate’s boring, I got no interest in houses, I have no interest in properties”. Why real estate of all things?
Ross Alex: So prior to getting involved in making that big step in my live and coming down to Houston, I’ve always had that entrepreneurial drive where I knew I was gonna be successful, I just didn’t know what it was gonna be. So I was indulging in many different business opportunities, like making money online, and things of that nature. And I learned a lot of the skill sets from that space, in the start up world. And never had any success with it, but one thing that I did learn was the importance of leverage.
Right? Leverage leverage leverage. Like in the start up world when you have a great idea, you go and shop your idea to a bunch of VC’s and angel investors, and you wanna leverage their resources to make your idea come to life.
Well in the real estate space I learned very quickly that you can utilize leverage to get into deals and buy houses with none of your own money. And that worked great for me because I didn’t have any money, and I had no credit. So I needed a vehicle that I can use leverage, which I’m really good at doing and get people excited about doing deals and showing then returns, where I can master the skills of what it takes to be a successful real estate entrepreneur. So real estate just really appealed to me in that sense. Where I could go out there, I could get people involved in my deals, be the conductor, and leverage their resources.
Stefan Aarnio: Let me ask you this, I talk to people all the time who wanna get in real estate, and maybe the guy’s like a contractor, or he’s handy with a hammer, people always think that the money is something that’s holding them back. What do you say to the people like “oh I don’t have any money, I can’t get into real estate. I can’t find the money, I’m afraid of the money”. You’re a young kid, excuse my language, you started really young, I started at 22, what did you start at 23, 24 something like that?
Ross Alex: 23 yeah, 23.
Stefan Aarnio: 23, so we started at like the same age. Young punk kid going out there looking for money. What do you say to people who are afraid of getting the money for real estate even if they have no money?
Ross Alex: Write this down if you’re listening live with us. Find a deal, the money will follow. Find a deal the money will follow. That was one of the affirmations I told myself every single day and I still do. Find the deal the money will follow. A lot of people think finding the money is the difficult part. Finding the money is the simple part. Finding the deal is the difficult part. You gotta go out there, hustle, meet with sellers, negotiate. It takes so much more effort than to go find the money. Right? ‘Cause if you can show an investor, it’s no secret that there’s trillions of dollars in IRA money out there and people have money in savings accounts they’re seeing no returns with the banks. And you can go out there and show somebody a no brainer opportunity, where they can receive an above average rate of return, I mean it’s a no brainer. And if you can back it up with credibility, you can back it up with skills, you can back it up with available resources that you have, and you can build that trust and faith in that person that, they feel confident that you can succeed, I mean it’s a no brainer.
People that think “hey I don’t have any money, so I can’t flip real estate”. That is limiting beliefs number one. Okay? And it’s an epidemic that people continuously believe that, but I think when they do their first second or third deal they realize that it’s a lot more simple to go raise the money.
Second off, in real estate you have asset based lenders. I mean there’s lenders here in Houston that don’t even check your credit. Alright? And you can do this, I mean I’m not sure how they get down up in Canada, but here in the states, I mean there’s hard money lenders, they’re a dime a dozen. They’re throwing cash at you to get involved [crosstalk 00:13:32]
Stefan Aarnio: Dude they’re in Canada too. Like you guys got more exciting lenders in the states, but even in conservative cold crappy Canada where I live, we still got asset based lenders everywhere, so continue, talk about the asset lenders.
Ross Alex: I mean yeah, so you have two types of different lending institutions, right? You have your conservative lending institutions, your traditional like Chase, Wells Fargo, I wouldn’t recommend an entrepreneur in real estate to go to those places to receive money, to shop for money on a fix and slip deal because you’re more than likely dealing with distressed properties, so you wanna go to lenders who are willing to take higher risk, and lend based on the asset itself. You know, hard money lenders, private investors, things of that nature. You know? So I mean there’s so many of them. You go to any REIA, you’re gonna find people that are shopping loans around. And one thing for me, when I got started, was I was paying an above average premium for my lenders. You know? ‘Cause I was higher risk. Looking back, I’m happy I did because I learned to value the come up. Like I was willing to do whatever it takes so much that I was … On some of the deals my lenders were almost making more than me, right? But I was still doing the deal, I was still making the money, I was still building up that credibility. And the credibility aspect of it was more important to me than the profit, ’cause I knew I could add that into my resume, and eventually I could negotiate for lower rates.
Right? So now the rates I’m paying my lenders are prime, right? Because I have that skill. I have that credibility.
Stefan Aarnio: I love what you said there, Ross. You started out, you took whatever you can get when it came to money, you might’ve paid too much in the beginning, but you got your credibility, you got your deal. Even if you’re making 7 grand on a deal, I remember when I started same thing I was splitting every deal with every guy, I’d do hard money and a split. So imagine that. Hard money, high interest, plus a split. My investors are making like 30 40%, some insane rates at the beginning. But I was so hungry, so broke, just wanted to get in and I love that. That’s what respecting the grind is all about man. You got in there, started grinding, and now you’re in a better position. Now let me ask you this, do you think that success in general is more talent or is it more hard work?
Ross Alex: So I believe it’s a combination of both. That’s a tough one man. Do I think that talent? What is it more important than, say that one more time?
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah I’ll give it to you again. So do you believe success is more about talent or is it more about hard work?
Ross Alex: I think success, I think if it came down to it it’s more about hard work. Okay? And that four letter word that starts with a W work, here’s why, most people aren’t willing to put in the work. Right? You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t put in the work then you’re not gonna get any results. Right? When somebody’s hungry, they’re so hungry that they’re willing to work 18 19 hours a day, with that work ethic, eventually, they’re gonna get the result. So talent alone is just not enough. It’s not.
Stefan Aarnio: I love that, I love the word hunger. Now let’s talk about hunger for a minute. What makes Ross Alex so hungry?
Ross Alex: Dude they’re so much shit out in this world man. There’s so much to experience, there’s so much to do and enjoy. And I refuse to settle. I refuse. And every year of my life I need to look back and say “look at what I’ve accomplished”. Right? But not just for me, for my legacy, right? Like the Waltons. I want to be able to have my great great great great grandkids in a couple hundred years look back and say “holy shit, my great great great great grandfather Ross Alex was such a hustler, he built up this massive empire and we’re able to enjoy our lives based off what he produced”. Right? So I mean that’s the real driving factor for me. And time is limited man, like how could you not be hungry? How could you not?
Stefan Aarnio: Wow love it man, I mean when you look at the stats, the average American average Canadian, is less likely to be a millionaire than an immigrant. And you got to pick up, jump across the country. I mean, you came from New York right? New York state down to Texas, that’s like two different countries man.
Ross Alex: Close.
Stefan Aarnio: And to have that immigrant hunger is, it’s a powerful thing ’cause so many of us are just getting fat, just getting lazy, just sitting around.
Stefan Aarnio: Now, let me ask you this, Ross, you had a part of your life where you were less successful, and you have a part now where you’re certainly getting your hands and arms wrapped around success. Has success changed you or do you think you’re just a better person of the same guy, or better version of the same guy?
Ross Alex: That’s a great question, so success is, for me, sometimes it’s like a gift and a curse, because I find, you know I’m human just like anybody else and I think every entrepreneur that achieves success will go through this at one point or another, but I find myself sometimes becoming a little too comfortable, right? Because I know like, for example, I just sold a bunch of real estate two weeks ago, I’m a little liquid right now, and it’s easy to get comfortable right? I mean I got this big fat check in the bank, and I can take a day off and sit on the couch right? So it’s one of those things man, you know? The more success I achieve, the easier it is for me to get a little comfortable, right? So I need to keep pushing myself, kicking myself in the ass, saying “no no no there’s somebody out there that’s doing 4 or 500 million, what I’m doing is nowhere near that, I need to keep going, I need to keep rocking, I need to keep hustling”. To keep that fire alive.
Stefan Aarnio: I love that man, you gotta keep going ’cause it’s just, comfort’s a killer. Now let me ask you think, Robert Green, he wrote the book Mastery, he wrote 48 Laws of Power, he wrote Seduction, lots of great books.
Ross Alex: Sure.
Stefan Aarnio: He says Mastery is the blend of creativity and discipline. Do you think creativity’s more important right now in this world or is it more about discipline?
Ross Alex: Discipline man. Discipline, discipline is so huge man. I mean, I can’t stress enough just how important discipline is because discipline means that you’re not gonna go out on Friday and Saturday nights and start getting drunk and raging with all your friends because you know that you have to go out on Saturday morning and tour property, or go make some sales or do an event, right?
Discipline is what determines whether you’re super unhealthy or super healthy, right? So discipline is so important, it’s not easy, right? It’s just not easy for people to do. And sometimes in the heat of the moment discipline’s not gonna make it happen, it’s not. I mean let’s be honest here. I can think of a thousand things I’d rather do than what I’m about to do tonight or what I have to do tomorrow, but discipline is what will get you the result. Which in the long term will make you happier and seem more fulfilled, right? And creativity’s important, don’t get me wrong. Innovation and what not is so important, but if it came down to it, just discipline man, discipline discipline.
Stefan Aarnio: Right, and a guy who just does a little bit, he grinds a little bit every day, I used to be a guitar teacher and I’d tell people look man 5 minutes a day, you do 5 minutes a day, compounded over time turns into a big thing. Same with any of this stuff. How much time, this is an interesting question for debate, people always look at real estate and go “aw man I wanna flip houses, oh man I wanna get into real estate part time” do you think someone can do this in four to eight hours a week part time? Just to get started?
Ross Alex: I wanna say yes, okay. That you can, ’cause I mean I’ve seen people literally spend eight hours working a lead, they get a wholesale deal, and they make $5,000 or $1,000 whatever it is. At scale long term absolutely not. Maybe one or two deals get lucky, off of your four to eight hours part time, but one of my mentors always taught me, told me he said “Ross either you’re all in or you’re all out”. Right? You’re never gonna get the full result, you’re never gonna have that longevity and take your business or life to the next level part time man. You can get lucky for the first couple of times, but somebody like you, somebody like me, Grant Cardone, Gary V, I mean these guys are where they are today because they went all in. And they weren’t on that part time shit, you know what I mean?
Stefan Aarnio: Right. Well you can’t be half pregnant, you can’t be half married. You can’t have half a business. I always see guys, like I never got suckered into the corporate thing. Longest job I had was 10 months. And it just, like it’s weird I have employees now in my office I got nine employees, and it’s weird ’cause I don’t even know what to tell them ’cause I never had a corporate job. I don’t even know what to say. But a lot of people they hide. They hide behind the corporate stuff. They hide behind the job. What do you say to the people who are hiding? You know they’re hiding at home, maybe they listen to this podcast, maybe they read some books, and they go to this seminar and late at night they’re fantasizing about flipping properties and having freedom, but they’re hiding. What do you say to the hiders out there?
Ross Alex: First off, what are you hiding from? Right? What are you hiding from? I really like what Gary V said, one of his talks he said “listen if you’re making $75,000 a year in your job in your corporate job, or whatever it is that you’re doing and you’re not complaining, good for you. I’m not here to criticize you, critique you, do what you wanna do, do what makes you happy. But if you’re that person that goes to sleep at night and you want more, and you want to feel more fulfilled and have more, you gotta go for it. You have to go for it”. Because I tell anybody, it’s anyone’s game. Like anyone can do it. Anybody can win. You have to want it. you have to go after it. So really ask yourself what are you hiding from?
It’s like a roller coaster. You show up at the amusement park and you see the biggest baddest roller coaster in the park. And you wanna go on it but you’re nervous. You’re nervous and you’re friends, they sucker you in, they pressure you into getting on the [inaudible 00:25:15] right? And you wanna do it, you wanna look cool. And you’re freaking swallowing, like a big gulp man, you’re freaking out. You got a knot in your stomach. And you get up there and it’s time to go on the ride. And you do it because you don’t wanna look bad in front of people and you just wanna go for it, but you’re scared. After the ride is over, what happens? You wanna do it again, you realize that it was not as scary as you thought it was, right? It wasn’t as big bad and nerve wracking as you thought it was and you get addicted to that feeling of being uncomfortable and you just wanna do it again and again and again.
Well I think entrepreneurship and business, it’s the same. If you’re listening to this right now and you’re nervous, or it’s a fear of uncertainty, you’ve gotta go for it, okay? ‘Cause once you do it, you’re gonna be hooked and you’re gonna look back in 12 months and say “holy shit I can’t believe I was so afraid of getting started in real estate or opening up that restaurant or opening up that hair salon” or whatever that is for you. So you just gotta conquer your fears man, and you’ll be able to look back and be glad that you did.
Stefan Aarnio: I love that, you just gotta get your first toe in the pool, or you just gotta taste it. Just have a taste.
Ross Alex: Yeah absolutely. Yeah for sure man, or you can just throw yourself in the fire.
Stefan Aarnio: Trial by fire. Ross you’re not just a real estate flipper, you’re also a guy who has an online brand. Now let me ask this, what’s more important these days, having a great brand or having a great business?
Ross Alex: Having a great brand.
Stefan Aarnio: Tell me about that, you know, I ask a lot of guests on this show and some say brand some say business some say both, tell me why you’re a brand guy over a business guy.
Ross Alex: It’s all about the brand. Right? It’s all about the brand. I saw a meme the other day that was really powerful, and it had two cups of coffee right? One was a styrofoam cup with no branding on it, and the price was 99 cents. And one had this logo on it and was $3.99. Right? That’s branding. Okay? Branding is being able to take a look at this iPhone, look at this logo here, and say that’s Apple Corporation, okay? You can show this to a three year old and they’ll tell you that that’s an apple device. Right? That’s how powerful branding is. And I think a lot of people need to spend more time building their personal brand, because a lot of times more than often your personal brand is gonna speak louder than you did right? When I go out there and I do a capital race, people are interested in the deals that I’m working, but they’re more interested in who I am.
Because they wanna see my brand, they wanna see what I’ve produced. Everyone googles everything, right? They’re gonna go on google they’re gonna look you up. Alright? Branding is so important. If you can build a personal brand and build an audience right? Not even just in the real estate side but there are so many different ways for you to monetize that, for you to get brand deals, right? I mean take a look at Vine, for all the internet entrepreneurs out there, take a look at Vine, I mean RIP Vine it’s not around anymore, but these kids were getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for brand deals because they had a personal brand on vine, they knew if they posted a 7 second video they were gonna get millions and millions of views, right? So these brands were willing to invest in these individuals because they saw the value, right?
Personal branding is so important, Stefan before the show we were talking about these switch streamers right?
Stefan Aarnio: Right.
Ross Alex: I mean, these guys, these girls are playing video games, they have these massive brands right? And they’re making millions of dollars doing so because they have that audience. They have that brand. So it’s so important man.
Stefan Aarnio: So would you say the brand then is really a multi-relationship with the audience? Is that what it is? Is it really just the relationship with the audience and you can just stick any product in there and start monetizing, is that how you look at it?
Ross Alex: I do. I do. Now of course there’s, it’s a case by case basis because you wanna do something that is in alignment with your brand. For example, tomorrow, if I started selling nutritional supplements, by audience might look at me sideways, you know what I mean? So you wanna make sure it’s in alignment with your brands, but I mean, yeah. Absolutely. Branding is changing the game. Personal branding is changing the game from these big corporations these fortune 500 companies spending millions of dollars on T.V. commercials, they’d rather just go over to YouTube stars and Twitch stars and Facebook celebrities and pay them money to have Freeroll adds in their videos, right? I mean that’s how important branding is, and it’s not too late. Okay? It’s not too late. The internet’s not that old, it’s really not, and I think everybody should start focusing on building their personal brand, like today.
Stefan Aarnio: Let’s talk about what you said there with alignment, and congruence. You’re like “man I’m not gonna start selling vitamins tomorrow”. Now I’ve been around the real estate space for a long time, I’ve been an entrepreneur for, we’re coming up to ten years, coming up to ten years, that’s how freaking old I am now, 31, I’m old man.
Ross Alex: No you’re 31 dude, that’s not old.
Stefan Aarnio: Well, you know, it’s all relative right? So I’m feeling old. And you probably get approached by lets say MLM vitamin guys or goji berry juice or supplements, or, there’s always guys that wanna get you on some band wagon, have you every participated in that stuff? Or are you just like a pure real estate guy in how you look at your brand?
Ross Alex: Yeah man that’s a great question. Just like you I get pitched every single day, somebody wants me to take a look at their opportunity. And the truth is Stefan is I’m really big on focus. I mean there’s a thousand opportunities out there that I can go get involved in, and I believe that the more opportunities like MLMs and things of that nature that I get involved in, the more diluted my brand becomes.
Stefan Aarnio: Right.
Ross Alex: K? So I’m very very cautious on what I engage in, and I’m also very focused because, I can’t have ten different baskets and ten different revenue streams, but only put in 10% of my focus and energy and effort into each one. Right? So I maintain three different income streams, and I’m pretty much like all in on those income streams.
Stefan Aarnio: So what are those income streams for you?
Ross Alex: So I have my real estate business which has a rental portfolio, it also has a house flipping business portion of it, and the whole sale component, my second one is the internet marketing, right? I create digital info products and I sell them via webinars and things of that nature, I do a little coaching and consulting here and there, and the, my third revenue stream is software. So over the past 14 months I became very involved in a real estate software for Lead Generation, they were based out of Houston. So I became a partner over there and that’s been the majority of my focus lately.
Stefan Aarnio: Right. Now I love what we’re talking about right now ’cause this is multiple streams of income. Whenever I do an event, I ask people “how many of you guys want multiple streams of income?” Everybody’s hand goes up. You ask people “who wants 30 grand” some people put their hands up you say “who wants multiple streams of income?” Everybody put’s their hand up.
Stefan Aarnio: So I love what you’re talking about here Ross, you got an intentional congruence, you got real estate, the bricks and the sticks, and you got some info in some training, then you’re going into software. Why do you think that software is where you wanna put your effort and attention right now?
Ross Alex: Every entrepreneur needs a system. It’s a no brainer. The most successful companies in the world have systems and they use software. And I believe that every real estate investor needs software, I mean we’re in 2018, we’re not in 1982 anymore when software wasn’t as available, right? Whether it’s a CRM, whether it’s email marketing software, whether it’s new generation, whether it’s MLS, I mean you need a software. Systems are there to help you achieve your goal faster, and it’s a no brainer, right? So if I can help, I’m a big believer that if you help people get what they want then you’ll get what you want at the end of the day, so I know that this software helps people, and I’ve made it one of my focuses to get people involved in the software and use it so that they can make more money, and they’re gonna go out there and tell their friends about it. And then they’re gonna make more money and so on and so forth, and I’m gonna make more money so it’s kinda like a win win win situation.
And I love tech, man. That’s another thing, I just love tech. So it works for me.
Stefan Aarnio: Right, right, that’s awesome man. Ross what do you think is the biggest cause of failure in people?
Ross Alex: The biggest cause of failure. Okay. So two things, number one, if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re doing something, you’ve gotten results, and in that business, not once did you ever level up and you just keep doing the same shit over and over and over again, even if you’re making money, eventually, you will hit a plateau. Whether it’s lack of creativity, lack of innovation, you will hit a plateau, right? You will hit this brick wall, and if you fail to innovate eventually the market place will chew you up and spit you out. Okay? We see that happen with brands all day long. Failure to innovate is … It could be catastrophic.
So that’s number one, and number two, one of the biggest causes of failure is just not pushing yourself to that next level. Not going, reaching for that higher goal. Being unorganized, not being prepared. All those things come together. A lack of skills, lack of education, a lot of people they get comfortable, they know how to flip a house, they stop reading a book. They stop reading books. They stop learning. It’s like, come on, you know? Eventually you will … You’re business … You’ll get smoked. You gotta stay sharp, you have to. Every day you have to keep learning, feeding your brain, feeding your mind. [inaudible 00:36:21] once said I believe motivation’s like showering, it doesn’t last, you have to do it everyday. You have to stay motivated. You have to surround yourself with winners, it’s this culmination of things that comes together and puts you on the path to success.
When you don’t do that, you end up funking out. Now failure is inevitable, every entrepreneur will fail at some point or another. I failed at many different things and Stefan I’m almost positive you failed at a few things in your business career.
Stefan Aarnio: Oh yeah.
Ross Alex: Gary V says “you gotta fall in love with failure” right? You gotta love it ’cause it’s gonna happen, you gotta learn how to bounce back from it. It’s not about falling off the horse. I mean it may be cliché but it’s true. Think about how many times you get up how many times you keep going. You know earlier this year I lost $25,000 on one of my deals, because we had a massive hurricane here, you know hurricane Harvey devastated the city. And that motivated me so much, I was so angry that I lost on that deal, I went out and locked up three deals and I made my losings back three times over four times over. So I used that as fuel, you know? You gotta keep going man. You have to.
Stefan Aarnio: Nice, I love that. Talking about books Ross, what are the top three books that’ve changed your life?
Ross Alex: Top three books that changed my life, number one the classic, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki. I read that in my teenage years. Every entrepreneur needs to read that right now.
Stefan Aarnio: How old were you when you read it?
Ross Alex: Man. Maybe like 13 years old 14 years old man. I was young.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow I got it, I think I got it at like 21 22 man. I’m jealous that you, 13’s a good age to read that.
Ross Alex: I was young man. You know one of my annual gifts for my birthday, my uncle was always sending me these like mindset books, and get rich, and finances, and this and that and usually I would just put them to the side and let them collect dust. I would never take them seriously. Had I taken them seriously I probably would’ve been successful or more successful a lot sooner. But I was interested in video games and money and stuff like that, you know? Not the books. But Rich Dad Poor Dad was one that I read and that definitely set me up for that mindset. Don’t get in the rat race. Get out of the rat race. The hamster wheel.
Number two. Dude M.J. DeMarco Millionaire Fastlane. That book will get anybody inspired and ready to rock. You know, you never hear anybody saying they wanna get rich slow. And a lot of people man they’re out in the slow lane and they don’t even know it. Like you gotta get fuel for your car. You have two different gas stations, they’re a mile apart from each other, and one gas station, the further one is 20 cents cheaper. Well a slow laner would go and get the 20 cent discount. Right? The fast laner would pay the 20 cents because time is more valuable than money. You can’t buy time, it’s not for sale. So changing that mindset, right? You know, there’s a saying, what is it? Stepping over a dollar to pick up a penny? I don’t know what the saying is, but it’s that mentality man you know? Getting on the fast lane.
And then number three, I’m gonna go with some Napoleon Hill. Think and Grow Rich. You know, I love that book, and I loved the three feet from gold story. You know. Stuff like that, you know? I love those books.
And then my fourth one is Respect the Grind by Stefan Aarnio.
Stefan Aarnio: Oh dude it’s not even written yet man.
Ross Alex: No I gotta go with Ten X Negotiation man.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah.
Ross Alex: Dude I gotta give you some props man, your books are freaking awesome dude. Like sometimes I read your books and I’m just like “this dude got skills man. Come on man”. This is some Barnes and Noble status like best seller man. I’m not even just saying that dude. Like you put a lot of effort and work into your books man they really helped me out and I know they’ve helped a lot of people. So, keep going man.
Stefan Aarnio: Thank you. You gotta get the close man, Seven Level Selling just came out last week in …
Ross Alex: You know I’m gonna get it. You know I am.
Stefan Aarnio: Dude it’s powerful. And then we got Hard times Create Strong Men, I’m doing three books this year, so.
Ross Alex: You’re a beast man.
Stefan Aarnio: It’s the year of the book. Cool man. Well for the young people out there Ross, I love asking you this question. I ask everybody this question. Old young side ways whatever age you are. What do the young people, the millennials, generation Z people need to succeed these days?
Ross Alex: Number one, the people that they choose to spend their time with is very important. You gotta surround yourself with winners, right? Birds of a feather, they flock together. And like Joel Osteen says, “you can’t sore with the eagles if you’re hanging around with chickens”. You know, if I could go back when I was 16 17 18 I would’ve cut a lot of people out of my life a lot sooner. Because they were poison and I didn’t realize it. And I was stunting my growth as a human being by surrounding myself with losers. Right? For lack of a better word, just straight up right? So if you’re somebody, you’re 18 19 20 years old. Really take a look at your circle. Okay? And it’s shocking. When you start a business, you start to see people drop like flies, right? And you realize that they were never really your friend in the first place. So make sure you’re surrounding yourself with winners. The conversation changes when you’re surrounding yourself with winners. And you’re encouraging people and you’re able to talk about your results, and learn from people and it’s so important.
So I think that’s a big one. Number two, if you wanna set yourself up for success, you gotta start right away, okay? The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. You know the second best time was today, yesterday, right? You gotta start. A lot of people think that time is unlimited, right? “Oh I’m only 19, I’m young”. Well there’s a 16 year old that just made a hundred million dollars. So you’re already late. You better get to fucking work. Right? Get to work. I promise you, life is a lot better when you’re successful and you have millions of dollars in the bank account then going out to the club on a Friday night getting home at seven in the morning drunk out of your mind, right? Trust me on this. Get started, like right now. Okay? The clock is ticking. Okay?
So that’s another thing. And then the third thing is, whether you’re planning on going to University, or not, or you just wanna go out there and hustle and start a business, regardless whatever you choose to do, you gotta get your skills up. Get your skills up, get educated, consume as much information as you possibly can, okay? Because knowledge isn’t just power, the right knowledge is power. If you know how to go out there and make ten million dollars, a hundred million dollars, it’s gonna require you to have certain skills, certain know how, certain resources, so get your skills up as fast as possible. Learn how to negotiate. It’s one of the most powerful skills, if not the most powerful skill. Learn what a business looks like. Learn how to scale a business. Learn how to hire, learn how to build a team. Teamwork makes the dreamwork. Learn all of these, when you do those three.
And then the fourth one, is you gotta find a vehicle. Okay? Everybody needs a vehicle to success. Whether it’s real estate, whether it’s the internet, whether it’s going out and starting a mechanic shop, whatever that is for you, you gotta have a vehicle and you gotta go all in. Okay? Go all in, have tunnel vision, stay focused. Don’t turn your head to the side, alright? We all saw what happened in that swimming competition when the guy looked over for a half a second and lost the race ’cause he was worried about what the next person was doing. Stay focused on your shit, okay? And don’t look up until you get the results that you want. Okay? Don’t look up. Just keep going keep grinding.
Stefan Aarnio: I love it man, that’s all money money right from Ross Alex’s mouth. And Ross is there any resources you’d recommend for people starting out wanting to follow a path like yours?
Ross Alex: Okay, in the real estate space or in the just entrepreneurial space as a whole?
Stefan Aarnio: It’s open bro, it’s open.
Ross Alex: Okay so one thing that worked very well for me was a website called meetup.com. Alright. Meetup.com. It allows you to tap into local meetups in your area, right? So I found myself going to a lot of business networking events, a lot of real estate events and meeting like minded people at those functions. So meetup.com is a great one.
Social media of course, it’s a no brainer. Right? There’s over two or three billion users a month on Facebook. Tap into social, start doing some cold messaging, reaching out to people. If you’re interested in real estate, go join your local REIA. Alright? I promise you it’s a game changer. Go meet people that are doing what you wanna do. Alright? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, alright? Somebody’s done it, they laid the path, go follow what they did. And as you succeed you can start putting your twist on, right? So you wanna find people that are ten steps ahead of you and find what they did and what worked for them and learn from their mistakes. So definitely start attending local events, networking groups and things like that.
There’s so many I could go on and on. Go to the library right? Spend a day at the library and just read books on success and business. You know?
Stefan Aarnio: Awesome. One final question for you there Ross, is there any programs or causes you’d like to promote?
Ross Alex: Programs or causes. Follow me on Facebook, Ross Alex. I’d love to connect with you. But as far as programs and what not, you know I do live streams every single day, you can always come onto my page and get that inspiration of the day, or the lesson of the day whether it’s real estate, or making money online. If you’re in real estate and you’re hear in the states and you’re looking for leads you’re looking to do more deals, you can hop over to realacquisitions.com and that’s the software I’m partnered up with and you can check out what we do over there and see a demo. But other than that, stay focused, stay on your grind, go make it happen, and I wish you the best.
Stefan Aarnio: Awesome. Thank you so much Ross, really appreciate having you on the show, respect the grind. We’ll see you on the next episode.
Ross Alex: Later guys.
Stefan Aarnio: Hi it’s Stefan Aarnio and thank you so much for listening to my podcast. If you enjoyed this episode today, then you’re gonna love my new book, The Close: 7 Level Selling. Everybody, everyday has to sell and influence to get what they want in business and in life. If you loved this podcast, check out my book, you can go to 7levelselling.com/podcast to get a special promotional offer just for podcast listeners. Once again that’s 7levelselling.com/podcast. We’ll see you on the next episode.