Ben Muresan, aka, “Humble Wholesaler”, has been a Canadian Real Estate Investor for 12 years. Ben moved to Canada in 1991, originally born in communist Romania. Ben jumped in to real estate in 2009 at the height of the economic downturn. Over the past decade, Ben has become an expert in wholesaling real estate and purchasing properties with no money down.
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Stefan Aarnio: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the show, Respect the Grind with Stefan Aarnio. This is the show we entry 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, we have a friend of mine, Ben the humble wholesaler. He is known as one of Canada’s premier wholesalers of real estate and he knows how to buy with no money down. Ben, welcome to the show, Respect the Grind. Thanks so much for joining me.
Ben Muresan: Thanks a lot, Stephan. Appreciate being here with you today
Stefan Aarnio: Dude, and I love it that you got all blinged up for us. You got your raper chain on, you got your glasses.
Ben Muresan: Yes sir.
Stefan Aarnio: Here’s your glaker in 1988 rapper or something. You’re gonna start dropping some beats on us now.
Ben Muresan: It wouldn’t be the first time.
Stefan Aarnio: I’m trying to keep up with you. I’ve put my sunglasses on. So we’re a cool team.
Ben Muresan: You look good.
Stefan Aarnio: I look good, stop hitting on me. Ben, for the people at home who don’t know you, tell us a little bit about Ben, the humble wholesaler, and how’d you get started in this crazy game of wholesale real estate or glass on and off? Glasses are coming off.
Ben Muresan: Yeah, they are coming off. I’m trying to just keep it humble here. Basically I was born in Romania back in, I’m a 1985 baby. I think you’re an 86 baby, is that right?
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, he knows everything about me.
Ben Muresan: I know the whole spiel. Born in a communist country, I’m big on purpose. Right? When I was born, I’m the oldest right now of nine children. There was five of us back in Communist Romania and my dad wanted to flee the country used to give us some opportunity in life because we didn’t have anything. No freedom of speech, freedom of religion, nothing like that back home. You can make a movie out of this stuff. Basically he grabbed three of us children, strapped us to his arms with my mom and they basically fled during the evening and they would hide all day and we basically ran on foot from Romania. We ended up in a refugee camp in Austria and it was crazy because we were the only family with kids there because a lot of the men would run and leave Romania, but they wouldn’t bring their wives and kids because it was very risky type of situation.
Ben Muresan: We ended up in a refugee camp and had another sister that was born there and I had to leave two kids behind. Two kids back in Romania. My Dad literally had to go to his sister the night before we left and said, “Listen, I need you to watch these two kids. I can’t tell you why,” because they had a lot of spies and a lot of incentives to rag out on people and get the communist dictatorship involved in any kind of espionage or whatever people try to leave the country. You couldn’t tell anybody anything. We had to leave … Lived there in that refugee camp. Lived there for about a year and a half. Had another sister born. Shortly after we left, they decapitated our president on live television, and long story short, we ended up in Canada in 1991. My parents had three more kids. I’m the oldest of nine children. That’s where my journey started off. Was you talking about somebody coming from nothing? I don’t think it gets any less than that. We got super blessed.
Stefan Aarnio: We got people complaining about their soy latte, we’ve got real milk in it today. Your dad left two kids behind and then the president got decapitated. That’s incredible compared to anything now. Immigrants are four times more likely to become millionaires than native born Americans, and Canadians.
Ben Muresan: Sure.
Stefan Aarnio: Tell me about the perspective of coming to Canada after being in a communist dictatorship, which we should talk more about like communism. That’s some rough stuff. Talk about the opportunity in Canada.
Ben Muresan: I don’t think people really understand the oppression of coming from communism. You see it on TV, you watch it in the movies, but the demoralization that comes as a result of somebody keeping their finger and their thumb on every little activity that you do, wears itself on you. Our whole culture comes from this attitude of, we have to live under the oppression, we have to live under the sun, to the extent where it becomes a norm, it becomes comfort. A lot of people come here, not all of them do well because a lot of people come here with that limiting belief system and their mindset and then they just … They try to find another oppressive position to be in, but for me, I came here, realized at a very early age, that I am incredibly blessed, just incredibly blessed to be in this country, right?
Ben Muresan: That was the greatest thing anybody could have ever given us, was just the opportunity to be here. The mindset is, I am one of the extreme gratitude for everything we have. Every little thing that happens in my life, my family’s life. We’re just so thankful for because we recognize that how we’ve been left back there, we would never have had this opportunity. For me the grind is, how do I put this in words that are easy to explain? There’s no minimum or maximum amount of effort. You just do it, you shut up and you do it. If you have a problem, you just face it and you do it. If you have an adversity, you just get over it and you do it. If you’ve got issues and problems. Everybody has issues and problems. There’s no excuse if you live in Canada or the US I would say, that you’re not maximizing your potential.
Ben Muresan: For me, the attitude is one of just complete purpose and mission. I’m gonna achieve everything I wanna do in life and I don’t wanna be told no, I don’t wanna be told you can’t, because then I would’ve just stayed in the country where that was acceptable. For me, that is not acceptable. My mission is so strong and my goals are so strong that there’s, nothing can hold me back. That’s the kind of attitude-
Stefan Aarnio: I’m hitting the gong for that. That’s two gongs. The hunger. Ben is bringing the hunger. What do you say to the people out there. We’re getting right in the mindset. We’re gonna talk about wholesaling houses yet, but-
Ben Muresan: That’s right.
Stefan Aarnio: It’s crazy because I see all these. Middle class, white guys complaining, “Oh, I don’t wanna put some money on my credit card, or I’m afraid, or I don’t wanna work an extra Saturday, or I don’t wanna do real estate one night a week.” If you’re coming out of a communist country of people getting decapitated and leaving kids behind, there’s absolutely no reason not to get rich in this country. What do you think of that?
Ben Muresan: I’ve got no sympathy for people who are lazy, just zero sympathy, because the reality is I don’t care what your excuses, there is somebody who has it much worse. I listened to an interview one time and Gary V was talking about, when he gets up every day, the first thing he does is visualize his family being killed and that seems really odd to some people, and they are like, “Why would you do that?” Because he realizes that anything beyond that, in that day, regardless of what happened, will never be worse than that visualization. He starts with the worst possible thing in mind. Anything else he screws up on that day or any effort he puts out, they will never be paralleled to what that feeling expression’s like. I look at it the same way. Everything I do in life here, it can never be worse than what it would have been like back home.
Ben Muresan: Anybody who’s got this attitude of, “I don’t wanna put things on my credit card.” Listen, nothing is easy, nothing attainable, nothing worthwhile is ever just gonna be given to you. It just doesn’t happen that way. If you’re not willing to step up and take a leap of faith, then you should just expect a mediocre existence. For me, everything Stefan is mindset. Everything. I don’t care if it’s wholesaling, real estate investing, trading stocks, loving your family. Everything is personal development mindset. Me personally, I’m a tough love kind of guy. I try to be very understanding because I think wisdom is the greatest of all things that we can ever accumulate is wisdom and perspective, but short of that, I just, I got no place for laziness.
Ben Muresan: If you struggled to put a thousand dollars on a credit card, you’re gonna struggle with that the rest of your life. A lot of people what they do is they get in this mentality that I just gotta save my way to wealth, and I like Dave Ramsey and all the teachings that he has, but I think that’s how we have the equation. Being able, saving money is getting to zero, you’re going from negative to zero, right? Especially in this country where we have a dollar of, what is the dollar of 80 of debt for every dollar of disposable income.
Stefan Aarnio: Inflations. I’ve read inflation is actually like 20% last year or something. Some crazy inflation numbers that aren’t published. You’re getting robbed. Inflation’s robbing you.
Ben Muresan: That’s right. I think, my answer to your question is, start with why. If your why is great enough, you will overcome whatever you have to overcome. That’s why some people go back from three times and they’re finally make it, because they got a massive why. I think the problem with a lot of folks these days, they just don’t have a big enough why. Which means they are never really gonna put themselves out there and get outside of their comfort zone because why? Why would they? They’ve got a cushy, comfortable lifestyle. Canada has blessed them with so much abundance that you can afford to sit at home, sit on Facebook all day, make videos, and youtube and never really do anything significant. Why?
Ben Muresan: Because you live in the greatest country. I think it’s a blessing and a curse. I think it forces you to make a decision though. You can choose to be on one side of the coin or you can be like you. I see you grinding or doing stuff every day, growing your business, growing your brand. That’s a choice that everybody here has to make, but the privilege is in having that choice.
Stefan Aarnio: It’s money, and I think Canada, we all live in Canada. It’s one of the last good free countries, but we don’t know how long its gonna take before communism comes over here. I don’t wanna get political right now on this show. We gotta get into the money in the real estate. That’s why people are here. They wanna hear about, “How do I make money?” What I wanna know, Ben, is you came here … We’re gonna switch gears. You came here, obviously nothing in your pocket, you’re a young guy, what were you doing before you got into wholesaling real estate. What were you doing before and how did you get into real estate?
Ben Muresan: Basically at 20 years old, I was a musician, like you actually growing up. I was gonna be a performer. I was gonna play, I play guitar, a trumpet, drums. Piano is my main instrument. I actually went to university for a couple of years and I tried to get by on my talent alone, and I struggled with discipline early on because I had some good talent when it came to music. I basically got through a couple of years of university, never really practiced and I realized I hadn’t … I always knew I wanted to do something great, and I thought it was gonna be through a music channel, but then I realized that just teaching music itself was just not something I had desired. I wanted to kind of prove to myself that I was capable financially of getting to a certain point. I had started actually a cleaning business. I started a carpet cleaning business with 500 bucks. I bought a little machine and I would just go around and clean people’s carpets and it’s such a humbling job, but it’s such a worthwhile job. I would never trade that experience, and that allowed me the opportunity to work in the evenings and I would scrub floors and clean carpets and then during the day I always had this passion for real estate. I just didn’t know where to start.
Ben Muresan: I was lacking a mentor. I was lacking some guidance in that area and like most of us, just like you, I found Rich Dad Poor Dad, picked up the book, I read the book, I was like, “This dude is onto something.” Kiyosaki’s got some gold here. I proceeded to read every other book afterwards until I came across the book OPM. Then I read that one like four times back to back, and I’m like-
Stefan Aarnio: Who wrote-
Ben Muresan: OPM is this[crosstalk 00:11:20]
Stefan Aarnio: OPM the drugs like in Afghanistan. What’s OPM.
Ben Muresan: No. We’re talking about OPM, Other People’s Money. Right? Robert Kiyosaki wrote this book called Other People’s Money. Once I understood the power of leverage, it was just a matter of time because all I had to do was learn enough of this, gain enough perspective. I basically bought a duplex, and everybody was saying, “Oh, you can’t get duplexes with no money down.” I got a duplex with no money down when I was 21 years old. Right?
Stefan Aarnio: Okay. [crosstalk 00:11:48]. Stop. How do you do that? People at home are going, “Oh man, a duplex, no money down. I could never do that.” Tell us quickly, how did you do the deal? Was it promissory note, vendor take-back, was it a weird merry-go-round thing, credit cards? How’d you do it?
Ben Muresan: Yeah. This one was actually very straightforward. It’s really not an advanced strategy. It was partial vendor take-back, partial conventional mortgage, real straightforward. I got a conventional mortgage for 70% LTV, vendor take-back for the other 30% LTV. My Bank was okay with that. I went through a broker that … The owner of the property was happy because there was a duplex he didn’t wanna keep any longer. I basically walked in. I owned this duplex, I lived in half of it at 21 years old that I was paying $151 a month plus utilities to live in this place because I had tenants in the lower half.
Stefan Aarnio: Money.
Ben Muresan: I would live in for free. I was doing house hacking before it was called house hack and it was just called common sense.
Stefan Aarnio: I love it, and that piece of advice right there, you’re 21, you’re doing that. If you’re a 21 year old out there, I did the math, I moved into a duplex when I moved out of my mom’s house. I was a guitar teacher, pay my mom some brands, and I was making 10 grand a year, that’s what you get as musician, nothing, and my first house that I moved into was same thing. VTB vendor take-back, promissory note … It was a promissory note, vendor take-back, money and credit and conventional financing.
Ben Muresan: Love it.
Stefan Aarnio: I was a little bit more of a premium area bonding because I wanted my fiance at the time, I wanted her to be in a safe area. So I paid a little more. It cost me 600 bucks a month to live, but the beautiful thing was the 600 I paid went straight to equity because the payment of the other unit wiped out the interest, and then my dollars went straight to equity. It was a great trade, and I did the math. If you do that at age 21, let’s say, and if you lets say, refinance that property three times, let’s say you’re gonna be 80 or 100 or something, when you’re older. That property will make you two, three million bucks over your life because of refinance, reinvest, refinance, reinvest. That one move, you just said that could end the game for somebody if they just want to go to their job at Safeway or McDonald’s or something. Be a manager at McDonald’s, have a duplex. Right there, you’re automatically out of the middle class by just taking care of your mortgage payment. That’s great. So after the-
Ben Muresan: 100%, and-
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, go ahead.
Ben Muresan: [inaudible 00:14:03] actually used to touch on that point real quick, we’re gonna be living for 40 years, 50 years anyways. It’s the small decisions or these incremental decisions that we make daily like, deciding to get some education and buy a duplex that I could get out of my mom’s house, that kind of thing. It’s these decisions that are gonna have great impact over time because of that compounding effect. Right? Exactly what you’re talking about is that result. I just find too many people don’t ever wanna think outside the box and look at, “Hey, what can I do today that’s gonna set me up 50 years from now?” Right? “Can I buy five properties and just sit on them,” and you don’t have to be a super entrepreneur to own three or four or five properties and just sit on them for 30 years as a rental. [crosstalk 00:14:43], but I think its just having that willingness.
Stefan Aarnio: You’re not even an entrepreneur, you just have a job and you rent it out once in a while. You’re not even technically an entrepreneur. You’re not making a product. There’s not any investors. It’s just a basic common sense thing. Now here’s the crazy thing Ben, and I wanna get more back in your story, but I wanna touch on this because I think it’s so interesting. There’s people out there that go, “Oh man, I don’t wanna deal with a tenant. I don’t want a tenant on my property with my kids and my family,” or typically you’ll meet a young guy and he’s cool with the duplex idea. Then he gets a wife and kids and all of a sudden the wife’s like, “No, honey, we gotta pay a mortgage.” What do you say to those people?
Ben Muresan: We’ll ask them, “What is the alternative?” Right? The alternative is you don’t have a duplex, you never make a smart financial decision, and all you do is you buy a single family home that maybe just eats up all of your disposable income and you end up like the average Canadian family. The question isn’t do I wanna deal with the tenant? The question is what is the result or what are the consequences of me not willing to get outside of my comfort zone. I can’t force you to be comfortable with that decision. It’s not a comforting fact. I don’t think anybody gets into rental that says, “I wanna deal with tenants. I love hard situations. I love dealing with toilets,” and things like that, but the reality is I think more people are just scared because they haven’t done it.
Ben Muresan: The moment you do something right away, it becomes less and less significant. My first duplex was the scariest thing for me too because I had the same kind of concerns. I don’t know how to deal with tenants, I don’t know anything about the landlord law. I don’t know how to deal with people. Well, you know what you learn, you grow through circumstance, you grow through adversity, right? And I think people just aren’t willing to put themselves in a position where they have to grow. I think that’s what I say to folks. If you wanna see a future, it’s gonna require you to get uncomfortable. If you don’t wanna ever make that commitment, you’re just robbing yourself of an opportunity.
Stefan Aarnio: So Ben, after that first duplex, you got the duplex, you’re a young guy, you’re living there. How do you become Ben the humble wholesaler? Where you’re wholesaling deals, you’re doing finance and you do all those different stuff. We had another call before this. How do you go from dude in a duplex now to guy who’s wholesaling a whole bunch of deals, doing it in Canada by the way. Canada is like a super, I call us communists, but compared to your story, we’re not even there yet. We might get there soon.
Ben Muresan: Not even close.
Stefan Aarnio: Not even close, we’re not there yet, but how do you go from being a dude in a duplex to a guy who’s full time real estate investor, wholesaling? Let’s hear about that transition.
Ben Muresan: On a tangible level, the way that works is I basically spent 10 years and I love your intro by the way, 10,000 hours, 10 years. The system works. Right? Love that. You know why? Because it’s true. I think a lot of people are looking for the magic pill and the secret that I get and I just don’t think it exists. I think it’s just one foot in front of the other. I spent 10 years, I bought rentals. What happened was, I bought three duplexes. My wife and I were basically house hacking. We lived in one of them, we saved half of our income and we lived on the other half. No rocket science there. We did that for a few years back in 2006, 2005. 2008 hit and our market and Windsor, Ontario was extremely depressed because we’re basically the younger brother to Detroit. Right? I remember finding a single family home for 25,000 bucks. People say, “It doesn’t happen in Canada.” Yes it does happen in Canada.
Stefan Aarnio: That’s a gong.
Ben Muresan: It’s a gong. I was actually in a real estate seminar at the time that I found the deal because I used to go to all types of these seminars, just to meet people and get around the information. It is a process of learning. I found this deal and I went to my mother and I said, “Listen, I need 25 grand like yesterday,” and they are conservative Romanian parents because my wife is Romanian as well. We can touch on that, but she was like, “I don’t wanna give you this money,” and I said, “Listen, I cleaned carpets, I scrub floors every day. I just need an opportunity. I just need you to believe in me. I will make this work.” She gave me the money to buy the property. I spent Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at that property to get it ready for my rental and I did, and for January first I had that property rented.
Ben Muresan: I had it rented for 600 bucks a month. I pay 25 grand for my mother-in-law. By the time I did everything I was cash flow positive, about 250 bucks, 220. By the time I gave her some money, interest and that kind of thing. The next year I did eight. I was like, Bam, Bam. You know what it take? It took a sacrifice. It took me not seeing my wife for a year other than Sundays because on Saturdays I’d bring my father-in-law to Canada because he lives in Michigan and he would help me clean, renovate. Doing the grimy work that needs to be done. Okay, and I think the biggest ship just came from perspective. It was mindset shift. It was no longer … I didn’t seek out to do 150 homes. Right? I just sought out to do as many things as I can do and just be, have that potential.
Ben Muresan: Fast forward, a few years later, we had about 20, 25 rentals. Okay. We’re doing pretty well. Economy shoots up and guess what? Everybody’s looking for homes, and I had about 20 of them. I got into the business of starting to resell my properties. I started a mortgage program out of that. At the same time I wanted to find a way to convert my rental income into passive mortgage income because I didn’t wanna have the ongoing maintenance and variable expense and that kind of thing. Basically that just … I believe everything evolves right in life and if you read the book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, he talks about the gradual increase, and for me it’s just a gradual increase. To give you a step by step. Sure I could write a book on it, but basically we’re talking now about six, seven years and I’m buying 45, 50 houses every year. We’re doing probably about 40 wholesales a year so we’re just doing a ton of deals all day every day. We have a small office. I don’t know if there’s any one factor that got me there. It was just a gradual application, one foot in front of the other type of process. I’m now the largest single family buyer in my city-
Stefan Aarnio: Good for you.
Ben Muresan: And I think for this region as well. That’s the story.
Stefan Aarnio: I love it Ben, in Canada we got low self esteem. I got a friend in the states is 450 flips a year.
Ben Muresan: Wow.
Stefan Aarnio: It’s incredible. He’s got four cities, 100 employees, all sorts of stuff. It’s crazy. I don’t know if it’s all glamour, but that’s a lot of deals. 50 deals is insane. My team, we do about a deal a week. Same kind of thing, but what I love about your story, the most, is the carpet cleaning because the carpet cleaning and you and your dad or your father-in-law, cleaning out and fix up the houses. What I love about that story is there’s two ways that people make money in this world. One is doing things you don’t know how to do, and the other thing is doing things other people don’t want to do. Things that people don’t know how to do.
Ben Muresan: Love that.
Stefan Aarnio: I got an iPhone here. Nobody. No one person knows how to build this. That’s why apple is a huge, huge mega company. Nobody knows how to build this. Don’t know how to do. Information companies don’t know how to do it. You with the carpet cleaning rig there, that don’t want to do business. I was driving.
Ben Muresan: 100%.
Stefan Aarnio: I was driving in traffic and I saw a guy with a truck with a bunch of Porta potties on it and I thought, “Man, that’s probably a money business.” Decide to rent a Porta potty for one of my flips. We had a city game that we had to rent the Porta potty for the tenants. It was like a box or something. It was insane, but it hundreds and hundreds of dollars for this Porta potty and I was thinking, “Man, that guy’s probably making so much money because nobody wants to do the Porta potty business.” Everybody wants to get in the glamour, real estate invest. They want to get into … They always wanna get into the luxury businesses, finance, real estate investing all these luxuries, but I think the money is in the most don’t wanna do business. Cleaning, snow shoveling, cutting grass. What do you think about those types of businesses compared to maybe the luxury like wholesaling stuff? That’s don’t know how to do business.
Ben Muresan: Right, and I think for me the biggest thing when you’re starting a business is aptitude, right? Because, you use the things that you’re given. If you’re a good communicator, then you should focus on the kind of business that would allow you to communicate well. If you don’t have good communication skills, but you’re a hard worker, then find the kind of business, maybe an online business that allows you to leverage your mind and things, but you don’t have to physically communicate with people. For me, aptitude is big. I think everybody in life should start a service based business. It’s kind of like that same adage like everybody should become a millionaire, not because of what you’re gonna do with the money, but because the kind of person you have to become to achieve that goal. The self discipline, right? Get that gone, brother. You wanna hit it-
Stefan Aarnio: I’m gonna gong that. Say it again for the kids at home, I think everybody’s hearing us.
Ben Muresan: Let me repeat this. Everybody needs to become a millionaire. Not because of what you’re gonna spend the money on, but because of the kind of person you have to develop into when achieving that goal. I’m talking the discipline. I’m talking about the self drive motivation. I’m talking about the sacrifice you personally have to make with friends and hanging out and doing that kind of stuff and being so laser focused and hyper focused on a goal. I think that’s the reality because you know what, a million dollars for me, that’s the starting point. That’s getting from red to black because when you hit the million dollars, your creative mind starts to expand and you have so many other ideas and ventures because I’m no longer focused on paying the bills. That’s what I’m saying is I think everybody, if you’re not a millionaire, start a service based business. It doesn’t matter what it is. Carpet cleaning is great, because it’s a low cost of entry, easy to do. It’s just sweat and tears. That’s all it is, right?
Ben Muresan: You can start any other kind of business. Do businesses mature? For me, do I wanna go back and clean carpets right now? No. I never had a passion for cleaning carpets, but I had a passion for serving people and helping people and I love putting a smile on my customer’s face and that hasn’t changed. I’m the same guy I was 10 years ago. Only difference is I’ve got a different vehicle that produces income and it produces a lot more income. So yeah, I think it comes down to what is best for you in your life. I don’t like to put cookie cutter box answers because I don’t like to live in a box. Is that fair?
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah. I love it. The word that I really liked was the word discipline and Robert Greene, he’s got a powerful book. He wrote 48 Laws of Power. He wrote Art of Seduction. He wrote the book Mastery. I love that book. I don’t know if you’ve read it, he says, “Mastery is the blend of creativity and discipline.” What do you think is more important today in today’s world, is it discipline or is it creativity?
Ben Muresan: Love that question. I’ll tell you a quick story real quick. I basically made it through university based on talent and creativity, right? I didn’t really put discipline into it. I realized that in business that for me, discipline is actually the foundation of growth. Creativity basically compounds that discipline. You can have all the creativity in the world and zero discipline, never amount to anything, right? You can have all the discipline in the world and you can achieve a lot of things, but the moment you add creativity into that equation, I think it just grows that potential a lot further. For me, discipline is number one because I think that a very uncreative untalented person with a ton of discipline can achieve a lot of things in life, and unfortunately I have a lot friends who are very creative because I come from the art world, right? The music world, and they just, they don’t make it. They don’t make it because they never put the discipline action.
Ben Muresan: If I have to pick one, which I’d rather not, I would say that discipline is the primary driver. Okay, and the other thing is this, creativity sometimes gets masked as discipline. Meaning this, you look at a guy like Stefan and he’s got a bunch of things going on, right? You’ve got a podcast, you do a real estate deals. You do, people say, “Man, this guy’s incredibly creative,” but what if I were to say to you, “Maybe the reason that he’s seen as a creative is because he’s put so much time into his discipline that the synergies of all of these thoughts are firing on so many pistons, that he’s getting ideas out of that discipline that never would have come because he hadn’t put that in.” I think there’s a lot of people that get masked as creative, but they’re just so hyper focused and discipline that people just think, “Oh, I can’t do that,” but they don’t realize the core of why that person is doing that. Does that make sense?
Stefan Aarnio: I love what you said there. It’s funny. I had a guy that used to work for me and he was my young little COO in the company. Young little kid I hired. I made him just like … I call him COO, he’s just to operate the company, and he quit. He quit this opportunity. He left and he said, behind my back to my new sales manager who’s like a, just a killer. This kid’s a killer, this new guy got. He said to my sales manager, “Stefan just needs to focus on one good winning book,” and I thought, “Yeah, what do you do? Just turn on the machine and just pull out a magical Harry Potter. Bro, it doesn’t work like.” The strategy is, produce 20 books. Two will be awesome. Most will be mediocre. Two will be total crap, but in the middle there, the production. The thing about me is I produce so much stuff. Most of it’s crap, but there is some winners and the winners take care of all the losers and then some.
Stefan Aarnio: What do you think of that statement where you’ll fail at 80% of what you do, but the 20% that went on is so big that it just carries you all the way?
Ben Muresan: First of all, if you don’t live in a 10X life like Grant Cardone and you’re not failing enough, I don’t think you’re living big enough. That’s my biggest thing. After I read 10X and after I went to growth con and that kind of thing. I realized that if I wanna reach 100, I gotta shoot for 1000. Right off the bat, I agree with that idea of not necessarily that you have to stay 80% of the time, but if you’re not failing you’re probably not reaching big enough. Too many people play it safe, right? And they’re like, “I’m gonna write one book,” and the book fails and they never do another book because, “Oh, that book sucked,” but it’s because you’re not putting out enough output to get the receipts. Too many people are focused on the external factors of success, the market, the conditions, how many … It’s all internal.
Ben Muresan: Because if I know, if I put it out there, somebody will receive that information, that message in a specific way. There’s an audience for everything. I agree with the idea of just putting out massive amounts of work, just cut the bullshit. Just put out as much work as you possibly can. Live to the fullest potential, and if you have a good message, you will reach an audience. Okay? Because you might have the next 10 books, might all be top sellers. You might go for 10 for 10, but you’ll never know if you’re not putting out the work, and I think I agree with that logic that I think too many people just not putting out the work. They’re just not writing 10 books.
Stefan Aarnio: Right.
Ben Muresan: And I love the fact that you would set out to write 10 instead of write one because it shows that you’re committed to that.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, I love it. Now, Ben, question for you. Everybody on my show who comes on here’s successful. Every successful person to me has an obsession. What is Ben’s obsession? Every day you think about this. Every day you wake up and you’re thinking about. Every night you’re trying to fall asleep, but you’re still thinking about it and you’re just obsessed with this one thing. What is it?
Ben Muresan: Purpose and impact. Those are my two things. I wanna have massive impact and purpose to represent the people that I come from because I am a firm believer that if I don’t maximize my impact and my purpose, I might as well have sent another one of my poor cousins over here and let him do it. For me, I make big goals. We made a goal here to help 100 families become homeowners in my local town and we’ve only got 200,000 people. We created a mortgage program to make this happen for people. We’re at 72 families and it’s not a rental, it’s a physical mortgage, raising of capital, putting people into homes, giving them equity. I shoot for big goals. I think that’s the biggest thing, everyday all day I’m really evaluating my why. Because if I look five years down the road and it doesn’t lineup with my purpose, I’m just done. I’m not gonna do it. I’m done tomorrow. That’s why I started doing the coaching and I know you’re doing coaching, which is awesome that you are.
Ben Muresan: I think you’re one of the few guys in Canada that truly represents what it is to be a proper coach and to help somebody because you generally care about people. I think we share that sentiment and I realize that for me, like my mentor Chris Rude was able to really open up my perspective of my life to give me an understanding of what I needed to do and the biggest mistake I would say is I never got a mentor in the last few years. I just thought they were for lazy people. I had that scarcity mindset that I thought I could just do this myself and a mentor is for somebody who needs to be pushed. I don’t need to be pushed, but what I didn’t realize was that I just needed perspective from a person who’s doing what I wanna do. Right? I think that’s it. It’s not cars. I love cars. I love nice food. Those are probably my top two things, but cars can only get you so far. Right?
Ben Muresan: I was gonna buy a Ferrari when it represented 50% of my net worth. I got there, never bought it. Then I said, “When it represents 30%,” never bought it. Then I said, “When it represents 10%.” I never bought it because I was never really chasing the car. You know what I’m saying? I was just chasing that goal and that was something that would drive me to that goal, but ultimately I realized that when I got there, it lost its luster. Now I have a longing to buy the nicest Ferrari I can when it represents one percent of my network.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah.
Ben Muresan: The goal keeps moving out.
Stefan Aarnio: The car has been out. I was at Tai Lopez’s house and it’s cool. It’s 20,000 square foot house. He’s got couple Lambos and the Rolls Royce, whatever, the blue one and the … I’m not a car guy. I go, “That’s the blue car. Red Car, yellow car, whatever”. I drive a total shit and it’s crazy. My 2008 Chrysler Sebring, 2009. Sorry, it’s 2009, give it a year.
Ben Muresan: Yeah. Give it a year.
Stefan Aarnio: That’s my $4,000 car. I’ve spent 6,000 fixing up the other day, look at that financial IQ. My crappy car, I remember when I bought it. Everyone is like, “Man, that’s a nice car.” Everyone’s like, “Oh, can we go.” I remember my grandma’s like, “Let’s all get in the car and go around the block. Take us for a spin.” Because, it was brand new.
Ben Muresan: Nice.
Stefan Aarnio: It was so beautiful back then and now I bring my car out and people are like, “Man, that’s a piece of shit.” They’re like, “Dude, that car is such a piece of shit,” and I had a date with a girl. She gets in my car and she’s like, “Do you think your car is gonna make it tonight?” And I’m like,-
Ben Muresan: Wow.
Stefan Aarnio: “Oh God,” but that thing is a total, it looks like an ass and it looks all shiny, looks pretty and beautiful, but now that’s an ugly old ass car. So I’m glad that you’re investing in mentors, invest in yourself because the cars, that stuff doesn’t last. It’s all, it all-
Ben Muresan: Here’s what I realize here, is that everybody has a center for something. People are money centered, they’re family centered, they’re faith centered. They might be self centered, they might be pleasure centered, they might be purpose centered, and I think everybody will justify spending money and time and resources on whatever their center is. When somebody says to me, “Hey man, it’s stupid to buy a Lamborghini,” but yet you have the newest clothes and you have every computer game possible. You have just a different focus. I think each of us on an level we justify. I get people who’re like, “Earn financial independent, retire early,” kind of people, and they all live in an ultimate frugality. That’s a center. You’re spending energy, time and money on being the cheapest and most frugal person you can be. Guess what? You’re gonna justify spending money on stuff I will never justify.
Stefan Aarnio: I’m gonna hit the gong. Let’s talk about those frugal, I don’t know if I should say motherfuckers. Let’s talk about the frugal boys that just wanna hang out at home. Fire financially independent, retire early, but you’re one penny above the rat race. Tell me about that.
Ben Muresan: Listen, I think everybody’s gonna live their life however they want, but to try to justify and push your agenda and opinions on other people, I just don’t think it’s acceptable because I think that’s a very limiting belief system. Personally, I don’t live that way. I don’t wanna live below my means. That doesn’t mean purpose to me. That means taking advantage of an economy where the market’s gone up, x amount of points in the last six years, making a million dollars is really not that hard in this market, and if that sounds arrogant, I’m sorry, but it’s not. If you really apply yourself, anybody can do it. I don’t agree with the logic of living at or below your means because there’s too many factors in the world that are gonna put you right back where you started. If you’re not always growing. If you’re not growing, you’re dying.
Ben Muresan: The other thing is this. I believe that is the most selfish type of existence a person can have. Why? Because you’re gonna just make enough money just for you to be good, but you’re never gonna give back to society. You’re never gonna help your family. You’re never gonna be able to help other people. You’re never gonna … Sure I get everybody has a different plan, a different way of doing things, but I personally, I don’t wanna get the good and never see great. Do you know what I’m saying? I don’t wanna get to good and go back to average and then the market craps his pants and go back to poor. I think living in a false reality and people who have made money in the last 10 years and forgot about 2008 and 2007. I just think you should expect something different out of life. Right?
Ben Muresan: The other thing too is, if you financially retire at age 20 years old, then you make whatever kind of money and you’re living on $4,000 of positive cashflow and that’s the epitome of your life, what are you doing with the next 50 years? What do you do? Are you sitting at home? What happened to your purpose and your goals and your mission? I just tell people, “If you’re gonna do that, then go be a missionary.” Go and do something else where you’re actually providing value in the world. Don’t sit at home and play on the computer like, you know what they say, opinion. Everybody has an opinion. I think is the most overrated commodity in today’s society because they cost nothing to have and everybody shares it freely, right? It’s like a virus.
Ben Muresan: If anything, I want people who are gonna push me to become the best version of myself and maximize my potential. Not live a mediocre existence and just like, “I exist and I made x amount and I have this pride about my existence and I’m entitled.” For me, that is the ultimate example of someone who’s throwing away potential in life. It’s somebody who gets to a level and completely crushes it by giving up. I think those people are giving up.
Stefan Aarnio: Amen brother. We’re here at the Church of the Grind. It takes 10 years, 10,000 hours to be a master and I’ll love everything you’re saying. Ben, we gotta wrap up here pretty soon, bro. I wanna hit you with two more questions because these are two of my favorites. Okay? Top three books that changed your life. Hit me. Let’s go.
Ben Muresan: Okay, one of the books recently that’s been a big impact, is The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. Okay? That whole book talks about … The reason I love it is if you follow the recipe in that book, you will know in 10 years, 10,000 hours if you’re gonna be successful, healthy and happy, or you’re gonna be in a bad financial situation, unhealthy. It’s the small decisions we make every day that dictate where we are in the future, and the reason I love that book is the one critical thing I learned was people say, “Oh, I wanna make money and I wanna do this,” and I tell them, “All you gotta do is read 10 pages of book a day. Do this a day, do six pushups a day. Just do this a day,” and the reality is this, it’s so easy to do, but the people, the reason they don’t do it is because it’s just as easy not to do. It’s just as easy to grab a cheeseburger. It’s just as easy to not do the pushups.
Ben Muresan: It’s just as easy to not save your money. It’s just as easy to not buy another course. Those compounding decisions, that’s why I love that book. That’s probably number one. The other one that I really liked is the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey. He’s got this thing in there, talks about instead of a transaction, be transformational. You know what I mean? That’s what I love about, the part of being a coach is I don’t wanna just transact with somebody. I wanna transform people’s lives via the mortgage business via the coaching business, via my relationship with you. I hope this is a transformational experience, not a transaction. I just love that idea that everything is a transforming, and then the other big one, that business book, if you want just tangibles the E-myth revisited, Michael Gerber, I love that book.
Ben Muresan: I think that is the book that opened up how to actually blow up my business, and then the one that’s probably my latest, I’ll throw this one in, is Chris Rood’s book, The Source of the Deal. Just Chris sharing a story from zero to hero. That dude is crushing it in the US with wholesale and I think he’s got an awesome story. Really good motivational. Those are my things. I love those books.
Stefan Aarnio: I love that you didn’t just pull out the standards. That’s good. Now, last question today Ben-
Ben Muresan: And the Bible, [crosstalk 00:39:25]. That one’s a given, right?
Stefan Aarnio: It’s the reigning champion over here. Now, let me ask you this Ben, last question today. Are there any resources you can recommend for people starting out and wanting to follow a path like yours?
Ben Muresan: I think the biggest thing for anybody wanting to do anything, regardless if it was me, Stefan, anybody else’s is just get started. Stop listening to everybody else around you. Just put one foot in front of the other. If you wanna do wholesale and you wanna flip 100 houses a year, you can join us. I know Stefan’s got some incredible coaching stuff that he does. You can join us on Hustle Wholesale or Chris Rood. Com. You can find me as a humble wholesaler. There’s tons of resources for that. I think Reached Out has a great resource. I tell people this, “Don’t pick one mentor. Try everybody and find the person that you best drive with and find the person who’s aligned with your goals and just go with that,” but I think everybody just needs to have a mentor. I think that’s the biggest mistake I made over the last 10 years, is not having enough mentors who are at where I wanna be. You know what I’m saying? [crosstalk 00:40:29]
Stefan Aarnio: With the young people nowadays going to university and going to school and sitting in classrooms. There is no more coaches. There is no more mentors like the old days. Would you say the mentor is everything?
Ben Muresan: I think the mentor is more than everything. Yeah, because here’s the difference. I could’ve flipped 100 houses in my life and never had a mentor and been okay. Just shatter my sheer grind and not have my sheer whatever, out of my sheer discipline. I think the mentor’s where the creative comes in, because you asked me really what’s more important, creativity or discipline. The creativity is somebody else walking in, expanding your perspective. I think you can make money without a mentor, but I think you could make a fortune and have massive impact by having a mentor. That’s a decision for everybody that they need to make. For me at this point, I would never do anything again without getting the right mentor and coach. I just wanna shrink time and I wanna get to my goal Fast. I don’t wanna spend 10 years doing anything else again.
Stefan Aarnio: Ben, this has been a great talk today. Thank you so much. How can people get in touch with Ben if they wanna know more,
Ben Muresan: Real easy. Facebook, Instagram, humble wholesaler. I keep it humble, that’s why I got the chain or at Chris Rood.com. Just check me out there. I appreciate you. I appreciate you putting on this show. I think you’re doing an amazing job and I think that you’re a great role model, especially for younger guys because there’s not too many people doing it. I gotta give you a shout out. I appreciate everything you’re doing. I see you popping up on my Facebook every other day with your sponsored ads and stuff? I’m like, “Man, Stefan is putting in the work. This guys grinding it out.” I think if there was more people like you, there’d be more role models to look up to. That’s why I gotta give you some mad props too for a second here because, and I gotta float you some power too brother. You’re doing a great job.
Stefan Aarnio: Thank you so much.
Ben Muresan: You represent the North, I’ll hit the south. That’s how we roll.
Stefan Aarnio: Thank you so much Ben. Respect the Grind. Been a real pleasure. We’re gonna talk to you later, brother. Thanks for being on the show.