Start taking action now, and succeed in the real estate industry. Join this episode as your hosts, Ava Benesocky and August Biniaz, sit down for a meaningful conversation with Colm McEvilly on the process of continuous learning in the real estate industry. Being part of an investor’s journey from the first chat to seeing their dreams come true is his inspiration in delivering exceptional service to his clients. In this episode, he dives deep into real estate strategies, making investor calls, and understanding their pain points and motivation. Tune in to learn how to make better decisions so you can grow in this industry.
Get in touch with Colm McEvilly:
If you are interested in learning more about passively investing in multifamily and Build-to-Rent properties, click here to schedule a call with the CPI Capital Team or contact us at email@example.com. If you like to Co-Syndicate and close on larger deal as a General Partner click here. You can read more about CPI Capital at https://www.cpicapital.ca. #avabenesocky #augustbiniaz #cpicapital
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
- IronGall Investments
- Omar Khan episode
- Who Not How
- Old Dawg Podcast
- The Will to Change
- You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar
- The Hands-Off Investor
- Big Magic
About Colm McEvilly
Colm McEvilly works with an internal team and directly with prospective and current investors to guide them to the projects that best fit their needs and their goals. Colm’s involvement in real estate development goes back to his childhood. The son of a mechanical plumbing contractor, he spent his early years sorting fittings, excavating, and learning to read blueprints. He went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Cal Poly and then began a career in the HVAC industry. In 2013 he began investing in single-family rentals in Sacramento, California.
Then at age 30, Colm suffered a heart valve failure. After a successful TAVR procedure and recovery, his entire perspective changed and he realized he needed to spend his days doing personally fulfilling work. In 2018, he took the plunge out of the corporate world and into full-time real estate investing, where he heard he leveraged his engineering background and the data-driven investing methodology that he had learned.
Today, he works with investors directly, getting to know them and their goals personally and learning from their challenges and successes. Being part of an investor’s journey from the first intro chat to seeing their dreams come to fruition is Colm’s greatest inspiration and drives him to deliver his best every single day.
4000 Investor Calls And Still Learning – Colm McEvilly
We have another great show for you. Our mission is to empower investors to earn passive income through real estate investing. We are joined by our good friend, Colm McEvilly. A little bit about Colm, he attended the California Polytechnic State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering. Colm began his real estate investing career in single-family properties and amassed a small portfolio of rentals. He transitioned into working for a real estate private equity firm in investor relations.
Colm helped scale their investor relations department and was instrumental in helping to raise over $65 million, which allowed the company to grow their portfolio from around $200 million all the way up to $600 million. Colm is the Cofounder of IronGall Investments, a real estate private equity firm focused on multifamily value-add investments. We believe this interview with Colm will bring great value to anyone looking to learn about investor relations of a real estate private equity firm. Welcome, our friend, Colm.
We are excited to have you on here. Thank you for joining us.
Colm, let us discuss your start in real estate investment and if you could talk to us about your experience in purchasing your first property.
That is pretty interesting because I was forced to. I was in a situation where I had a couple of extra dollars on hand. I was living in an apartment where there is some domestic violence above me and I had to get out. I do not know if this is valuable for anybody, but I was forced to become a landlord. What happened there was I got a promotion and relocated. I was forced to buy my first single-family home, but about six months after buying my first single-family home, I was promoted and had to relocate. I did not want to relinquish that purchase and that property. In that sense, I was forced to become a landlord.
That’s what started my journey. This was in 2013. I relocated. I had a significant pay increase because it was 100% commission, so 4X my income in two years. I realized I would be working so much on this 100% commission sales job and every month, I had this income coming in from the rental. I thought, “That is cool. How can I increase it?” It is like an annuity with stocks. I started buying single-family homes every year until I relocated back to my hometown.
I want to talk about your transition into real estate private equity, also known as a syndication business. How did you learn about real estate private equity and what excited you about it?
I had 100% commission. It’s either you fly or you sink. There is so much freedom in that particular role that you can hang yourself with the amount of rope that they give you. I was looking for something where I felt a little bit more certainty. You guys have an excellent podcast. If anybody has not seen Omar Khan’s episode, that is one of my favorites to talk about. You were super encouraging when you told me about the book, Who Not How. Coincidentally, Omar Khan in your episode is talking about that same book and how he bought it for all his peers. Check out that episode.
There was a different podcast in 2016 or 2017. It was Bill Manassero’s Old Dawg Podcast. Kim Lisa Taylor, the syndication attorney, was at the Best Ever event. There was an hour-long episode about her talking about what syndication was. I thought that was so cool because, at the time, I thought I could only buy a single-family home with my money or do a joint venture with several of my high-income, 100% commission friends.
Did you stumble upon this podcast or was it coincidental? Were you searching and researching?
I was driving quite a bit to meet some of the clients. I would work with healthcare facilities and industrial facilities on their commercial cooling needs or their industrial cooling applications. Sometimes I would drive five hours in the day. My back hurts and I need to be entertained. I stumbled across that podcast. Some of them speak to you, some do not.
You are already in that real estate investing space. You are already getting involved. You see the power of real estate investing and then you stumbled on this podcast that describes what the syndication model is. Was it at that time that you realized, “I can raise capital to then buy bigger projects?” What were your next steps there on?
The key differentiator was I learned from a 100% commission sales role with a very concrete structured company that you cannot leverage or scale. Everybody has 24 hours in a day. The two things that I learned from the syndications, especially on the commercial real estate side, are you can scale with partnerships, bringing other people’s time in, and then you can scale with the loans. You guys understand the differences between individual, single-family, and residential home loans versus commercial loans.
One of the projects we did was a $48 million construction loan. There is no way I could individually qualify for that, but through the syndication and through partnerships with the right developers and the investors on that project, we raised $16.5 million. You could scale a lot. It is within that scale and that leverage that you create so much value, assuming that you execute the business plan according to the way it needs to be operated. It was interesting because it was real estate syndication on the commercial side that made me realize that I do not have to work 80, 90 or 100 hours a week in order to make more money. I have to create systems.
With my work, there are one-on-one investor calls, but there are other ways that we are going to talk about here on how I can scale my operations. What about automation? What about implementing systems? There are investor-facing activities and then there are non-investor-facing activities. What can I do to scale as much as I can on the non-investor-facing activities? We can talk about that here.
Colm, we have known you for quite some time. At the time that we knew you, you were in investor relations for a large real estate private equity firm. Maybe you could talk to us about you starting to work for that firm. I believe you approached the principal and you asked to work for that firm. Is that correct?
When you are listening to a bunch of podcasts, you learn about different ways to approach the real estate industry. There are so many different ways and some people, you resonate with. I have a technical background. The firm I worked for had a very methodical data-driven approach. This was probably in 2018. I realized that they are presenting in Meetups around the Bay Area. I live in Sacramento. I started driving 1 or 2 times a week to these Meetups and getting my face in front.
I realized the critical point in the process that can’t continue to grow because there’s that constraint. There was a bottleneck in the system where the principal had to talk to all the investors. I have a sales background. At that point, I had 8 or 7 years of 100% commission background. I thought, “How can I free up this person’s time so that they could focus on higher value-add business activities?” I started thinking of processes and ways that I can wedge my way into the company. I co-hosted a real estate Meetup in Sacramento called the Real Estate Round Table. I would present before this person came.Real estate syndication on the commercial side will make you realize that you don't have to work 80-90 hours a week to make more money. Click To Tweet
The head of their growth hacking, Eric Blue, is a good friend of mine. We still talk. We are going to a conference for growth hacking strategies, which is important. It’s a marketing company with a real estate platform. There are operations that are really important, but the whole point is you are right. I wedged my way into this company to allow people to focus on increasing their deal velocity so that I could handle the investor relations because that is my skillset. It is creating empathy and making sure that people are making decisions based on the right assumptions and learning how they are receiving information.
We cannot wait to get into that because of your experience in talking with thousands of investors. We have an ulterior motive to get you on the show. It was for us to learn how to manage our investor relations because of all the experiences you have. It’s something we believe that in your mind and your brain is automatic because you did it for so long. You might not come out and say, “This is a best practice,” but it is something that you have normally done for such a long time. That gets us to the next question here.
Colm was working for this large firm. He was talking to thousands of investors. I have also been on hundreds of calls over the last couple of years. I firsthand have an understanding of how difficult some of the investor questions can be. Colm, I was curious. If you did not know the answer to some of the hard questions coming your way, what was the process of responding?
There is the generic go-to response where you go, “That is a great question. Let me get back to you with the answer.” I can talk to the firm and talk to the appropriate person. That is the go-to one. You never want to BS. One of the things about sales id you never want to lie. You can withhold information but you never want to lie because then you have to remember that lie. When you are on so many calls, you have lies stacking up. I spoke to 319 investors calls while I was there. The reason I know that is every single call is documented.
They would come in and I would have a set agenda. I would have an upfront contract, and we could talk about this. I think it was only the first six months that I did not know the response because I was learning about the product and the operations of our company. Once I was familiar with our underwriting system, our execution and our asset management, it was a lot easier. I would never BS an investor. Truthfully, it is almost an excuse to come back to them and touch them again.
The issue here with Ava is that she was part of leadership. She is the CEO of the company and it is very hard to say, “I will get back to you on that.” With us, it’s also cross-border taxation because we service Canadian investors and US investors. At times, there are some sophisticated questions that are being asked. On the operational side, sometimes, there are some questions we need to ask. There are some hurdles that you have faced as well in answering questions from investors.
You learn a lot. I am like, “Ask more questions.”
We also created an FAQ questionnaire. Anytime there is a question posed to both of us and we do not know the answer to that and we have to get back to an investor, we go and put that into the FAQ. No matter what. Even if we think we memorize the question, it goes into the FAQ for us.
It is funny you say that because we did have a Slack channel for that. When you are thinking about investor relations and interfacing with an investor, typically, you lose 10% decision-making influence for every month you do not touch them. That could be an email. It has to be something of value. When you go back to them with that answer to the question you did not know, that is an opportunity for you to continue to kick that influence factor that you have down the road.
With your 3,800 calls and then some, what was the average time you spend on each call?
I would always want to establish upfront that 30-minute call. The reason for that is I do not want people to think they are going to get locked into an hour-long sales pitch. Even if the call is going well, if you do not cut it off and make them understand that you have a call scheduled right after, they are not going to value your time. Sometimes it is hard because you can jive well. I would always say, “I encourage you to set up another call,” or “Here is my cell phone number,” because I would always call directly from my cell phone, “Text me or reach out to me. Let’s talk three hours from now.”
If you could tell that this was a very motivated investor and they are going to move forward, it is still important for you to cut the call off and reach out to them later that day because that creates a pendulum of emotion. The ebb and flow are when you can create the motivation for an investor to make a change. You have to think about it. We are trying to get people to invest in a real estate project with us. No one is ever going to make any change unless the pain they are experiencing today is great enough for them to make that change and make a decision.
People invest emotionally, but they logically and intellectually qualify it and validate that decision in their minds. It is important for you to cut that call off. The answer to your question is 30 minutes. There could be the same person that I might have the same phone call with later that day. From a psychological perspective, I want them to want me. I want them to know that when they come to me, they are going to get value in the conversation. If you go longer than 30 minutes, they better be moving forward. Otherwise, I need them to continue to want me.
You have spoken to someone a couple of times, and you have that cut off at 30 minutes, but then they ended up on a call with you. Would that higher the chances of them investing with you because now they have been on a couple of calls with you and they have met you farther?
It strengthened that relationship. That is also another thing.
It depends on the project. If the project does not align with their needs, I am not pushing it on them because it is a waste of my time to try to create scarcity or FOMO for a particular project that will not be something they are happy with two years from now. It also depends on their liquidity needs. If I am having multiple conversations with somebody, I might know that they have an exit in October. Why don’t I talk to them in May, June or July? I have created very personal relationships.
One of the reasons I left that firm was because of the misalignment of values. I want to serve cardiologists. I have had three open heart surgeries and a TAVR operation. Because of that, I have been able to create an unparalleled connection and empathy with medical field professionals because I understand some of the individual challenges that they have. That goes into the fact that I am talking to these people not just to close.
I am talking to these people because it can become personal and emotional. I go bike riding with many of my investors that live in Northern California. I have gone to fights and comedy clubs. To answer your question, “Are they more likely to invest?” No, they are more likely to get clarity on what their needs are. They then are more likely to make a decision quicker.Sometimes, you don’t know how to respond, but that’s okay, especially if you’re just starting to learn the product and operations of your company. Click To Tweet
We were going to ask if the people you talk to or your investors have your personal phone number and if you connect with them on LinkedIn, but it definitely sounds like that is a yes. Another thing I wanted to talk about is most of these real estate private equity offerings are for accredited investors. How do you deal with non-accredited investors? They want to get on a call with you or want to learn more, but they cannot partake in the offerings?
Do you take any steps in saying, “These are the basic steps you needed to take to become accredited,” or do you just cut it off right away? Knowing you and knowing your personality, you are someone that wants to continuously add value. That is what we love about you. What do you do in case you see someone so eager to invest, but they cannot because of their financial situation? They might even have the money to invest, but they cannot because of the restriction in the offering.
There are three things. One, everybody is selfish. Sometimes when I am having these conversations and I know that they can invest with me, I think about, “What can I learn from this call from them?” In that sense, I have learned so much about a variety of things I have never had exposure to. One, “What can I learn from the call?” Two, “How can I educate them and get them exposure to the right material so that they can take the right actions to become accredited in the future?” Three, I do have a Rolodex of syndicator friends that have 506(b) offerings that I always refer them to.
Educate, add value, assess, and help others. I love it.
Do you keep track of your closing ratios? You talk to so many investors. Are you like, “I talked to this many investors. This is how many I close.” Do you have the numbers or the KPIs?
We have not kept track of the closing ratios because sometimes I have personally had investors move forward eight times with me. That is a guy who I have gone biking with. What I have kept track of is the increase and the frequency that they are investing. I have kept track of the number of investors. I worked at a large equity firm for just under three years. When we have phone calls, the first thing I start with is, “How did you hear about us?” I could have a conversation with the marketing team. I give them feedback on better targeting Facebook ads. Facebook ads have been completely shut down. There are a lot of other things that I am personally looking into.
While you are on the call, you are taking notes. You are giving those notes to the marketing team, but also personally, do you keep notes like someone says, “How are you doing? What is new and exciting in your life?” They are like, “I just had a baby daughter.” Do you keep notes of that so next time you potentially talk to this person, you say, “How is your daughter doing that was recently born?” Does it go that detailed?
There is a form that I created and filled out. It has so many different things that are like click toggle buttons that I would fill in, where they are from, are they accredited or not accredited, what is their net worth, and what is their ability to invest. There are different ways you can get that information out. I am not going to say, “Can you invest $200,000?” What I might say is, “It sounds like you have a pretty good syndication business acumen. You have probably invested in a few of these last year. What were some of those investments last year? What did those look like?” They might go, “I did not invest in those.” That gives me an idea of their past investing experiences.
To answer your question, do I take notes? I break it into three different sections. The first thing is personal information, which would go into their kids. The second thing is the compelling events. I have to have a scary heart surgery. I might be 50 when I have to have it. My compelling event is how do I set up a system of income streams so that if I cannot work after the surgery, I am set? That is a very personal thing to me. That note would go into my compelling event section because I want to know what motivates me and what is going to influence the decision that an investor has. Another example of a compelling event might be that there is a couple and one of the partners is very uncomfortable with syndication.
In future calls, I want to understand their partner who is apprehensive, and where they are getting their information. I cannot control the information that they can get, but I can try to coach them, which is why we do all these webinars. I can try to coach them so that they understand how to receive that information. The last thing you want to happen is for an investor to make a decision based on inaccurate assumptions. That happens a lot. It is confirmation bias. There is motivated decision-making. There are a lot of different decisions that are made preliminary.
An example of this is when an investor comes into a call and you go, “What are the returns?” You are like, “Really? Do you want to know what the returns are? How about everything else about the deal?” I promise you, a good deal can go bad with bad operators. Let’s talk about how we are mitigating the risks and downside of protection. How do you coach the investors? When they come into a call with you, they have two-thirds of their mind made up. There is a toggle of information that has to do with their location and their investing ability. There is their personal information section, which is a complete section. There is their compelling events section, which is going to influence and dictate how they might personally make a decision. The third section is what are their individual questions? Questions say a lot about people.
Do you keep a record of the questions each investor asked?
Yes, because I might have a call with them four months from now. That question is a monkey’s paw for the conversation. What I mean is I will set up a phone burner session. This investor has been identified as a high-priority investor. Therefore, within our CRM, we are going to segment them differently. I am going to set up a phone burner session or a RingCentral session where I am powering through. I do not have an offering, but I want to touch them once a month. I am powering through these phone calls and every time, I am adding value.
When I go through that section where I wrote the questions, that could be a way that I loop it in and make it seem like I am not just calling for a call, but I will spend a good 10 to 15 seconds, “Here is their question. How does this impact them in the following months?” It is the next month or something. I will say, “The last time you talked to me, you talked about 1031. I followed up with you and I sent you some information to the Madison SPECS guy. Did you get an opportunity to watch that video? I want to tell you that have been some tax policy changes potentially related to this. If you do not know about that, I will get you the latest information. It is all about adding value on an individual level, but then automating and reducing the amount of time that it takes to create something off the top of the head so that they feel like they are getting added value out of it.
You are getting vetted calls that are coming in and booked calls in your calendar. You are having all these talks with investors. Do you allocate some time to reach out to investors as well? Is that happening on a certain date for a certain slot or is that happening where you have some free time between your already booked calls?
It’s more the latter. Let’s say we are in an old period. An example was there was a time when we were transitioning. We had six value-add projects and LOI. We were doing our due diligence and then the problem was it was in the middle of COVID. The T12s, we did not know if those were trustworthy because of the instability of the future. How do you properly underwrite the rent during COVID? We did not know what was going to happen. This was early 2020. That was a transition period where we pumped the brakes on all projects, but we did not want the investors to forget about us.
In syndication, it is more of content marketing than top of mind. An example of top-of-mind marketing might be Coca-Cola. I love your guys’ logo and all the content that you do. I only follow maybe five syndicators and you are one of them. Content marketing is where you are adding value. It got to a point where you can only talk about COVID so much. During that time period is when I was going through my previous investor calls. When we do not have a raise, we still want to add value. Truthfully, you have to think about the age of these investors. The average age of the investors I was speaking to pre-COVID was 58. That was the average age of the investors I was speaking with.
These people do not necessarily want to read emails. Maybe they cannot. They are having trouble seeing the screen and they would love phone calls. It’s communicating in the media that people prefer. Typically, older investors prefer a phone call. For scaling, if you have a new project and you are doing Zoom calls, I would recommend doing group Zoom calls if you have great familiarity with the underwriting and you can speak well to the project. Otherwise, it might backfire on you if you have four people asking you questions at once and you have the sheep-like nature of investors.People invest emotionally, but they logically and intellectually qualify it and validate that decision in their minds. Click To Tweet
If you do a group call, they come out of it all blown away. One time, I had this guy ask me a question if there was a second security gate on the back of this project that we are doing in Austin. I asked our principals and they did not even know. I had to talk to the construction manager. I pushed back too. I said, “Help me understand how that impacts your decision-making in regards to this investment.” This was on a group call. That was one of those things where that guy goes, “I got you.” I have to deal with this person that thinks he is the hot shot.
Older engineers are typically the hardest investors because they think they can engineer stuff and do everything better on their own. You have to be able to speak in a way that makes them understand. It is not about leveraging your brain power. It is about leveraging your time. Maybe talk about your team of asset managers or team of underwriters, how it might take them three years to find a similar deal with the same returns, and all sorts of stuff.
I wanted to share something, just so everybody knows. August and Colm have a serious bromance with each other. I have been experiencing this. Colm is always complimenting August on the different ties that he is wearing. August is saying Colm looks like Chris Hemsworth. It is exciting to watch you guys because there is always something new happening, talking about the beards and everything.
One thing I wanted to say about the two of you, you guys both have something in common and that is confidence and empathy for people. Talking about empathy, Colm, we were discussing this a little bit earlier, but when we were doing research, we realized that you had four heart surgeries in the past and one coming up in the future. Talking about you as this resilient person, you have a lot of resilience and empathy within you. We wanted to talk about where that comes from. Maybe you can talk to us about how your empathy has been key to connecting with investors on the emotional level particularly.
I read this book called The Will to Change. This was the changing point in my life. I did not realize that I was holding and harboring so much anger. When you go to the doctor and you are a teenager or a kid or an early adult, I was in my twenties and the doctor says, “You are going to die.” You do not realize the PTSD that you actually have. My good friends know that I wake up in the middle of the night worried I was going to die. That impacts the way that I would be impulsive with relationships and a lot of other things because I think I am going to die.
I am not unique in the sense that other people have had trauma. I am not unique in the sense that other people have deep fears. When you are talking to investors, you want to understand their pains because that is what is going to motivate them to make the decision and make a change. Typically, this is during the discovery part of the call when you are trying to understand their empathy. If you have not heard it, there is a book called You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar. It was beaten into my brain at my first job. One of the key takeaways was the pain funnel because that is what motivates people.
If you think of it, you have a lot of surface-level problems and pain. An example might be an investor might want more money. As you dive down, there is a business problem. The surface problem might be that they do not want to invest in an investment that does not go well. A business problem would be that they are not going to get the returns that they want from their investment. Financially, they are not doing well as a business.
As you drive down this pain funnel, you get to the personal problems and the personal motivators. That is what drives to change people. A personal thing for an investor as we go from the surface to a business to a personal problem, if they do not have the extra money, then they have to work twice as long as work, which means that is more times away from their kids.
Understanding how medical professionals, in particular surgeons, have two wives. They have their work, which is their first wife and then they have their actual wife, which is their second wife. It is difficult for surgeons in particular to be empathetic with their children when the craziest thing that could happen with their kids is never going to be nearly as bad as what is going on in the operating room. There is stoicism and callousness that they build up.
Understanding that and getting them to maybe spend less time away from the operating room so that they can be more empathetic with their kids and spend that time with their kids, that might be a motivating factor for them to invest and start investing now, next year, next month, and continue to invest with somebody they trust. Understanding their personal motivators is so important. Also, understanding their personal motivators is important because now you are not pushing crap investments and wasting both of your time.
You said, why am I able to connect with people empathetically? It has to go back to knowing I am not unique in the struggles. Everybody has some deep-rooted insecurities and some deep-rooted pain and concerns. My number one fear is to have a child that had the same heart issues as me. That is not related to syndications, but I have talked to some brain surgeons that they fear that they are going to miss their children’s childhood because they are spending too much time in the operating room.
How do I make it so that they can have a bunch of passive income streams to replace the amount of time that they are spending in the operating room? What has motivated me is to give back to the people that have given me a second chance at life. That is not even related to money, which is so much stronger driving factor.
To add to that is also my experience with you, Colm. Since the first time we got acquainted, there is no soliciting that was going back between us. It was a connection and learning more about each other, but I felt that connection with you right away because you came into the situation with empathy, adding value, and with an open heart. That is how felt and I connected with you. Ava talks about our bromance.
If that connection can be created with any investor relations person and an investor, the odds of that person investing is huge, as long as they believe in what they are selling and as long as the product is the right product. There is risk associated with any investment, but as long as they are coming into it knowing that their first focus is capital preservation, not to lose their investor’s money, and their second focus is capital growth, then they check off all these other points, it is a perfect marriage. Let’s move on to our last question before we move on to the next segment of our show.
Here is our last question. What advice do you have to a passive investor looking to start investing in real estate private equity?
The motto of the college I went to was, “Learn by doing.” I think that they should do two things. The first thing is to read a couple of books related to passive investing. The go-to book is Brian Burke’s The Hands-Off Investor. It is a fantastic book. One of the ways you can build credibility with your investors is by educating them and encouraging them to go to different syndicators and look at their deals. You need to make sure that they are evaluating the information correctly. This book written by Brian Burke, The Hands-Off Investor, teaches you the questions to ask and how to spot the BS that certain syndicators do and the information that could be altered within a spreadsheet. It is garbage in, garbage out in the spreadsheet.
The first thing is to educate yourself. That book is a good start. The second thing is to pretend like you are investing in the deals. It is silly to say because I do not know everybody’s time constraints. You cannot do an hour a day. Maybe you have kids. If you can look at one deal a week and pester the investor relations person and ask them thought-provoking questions that are related to your true concerns, if you can do one deal a week, start there and keep it simple. I do not want to say a bunch of things. I just want to say read that one book by Brian Burke and evaluate one deal a week.
Colm, this is the ten championship rounds to financial freedom. Whatever comes top of mind, we are looking forward to hearing your responses. I am going to get started here on the first question. Who was the most influential person in your life?The last thing you want to happen is for an investor to make a decision based on inaccurate assumptions. Click To Tweet
I need more specifics, but definitely my dad. Even when I get into an argument with my girlfriend, I sometimes hear my dad. There are so many different people. From a sales perspective, my first boss, Dale White at Trane. Trane is one of the leading manufacturers in HVAC. I would say my dad and my first boss, Dale White. The reason is they slammed into my brain the thoughts and concepts from You Cannot Teach a Kid How to Ride a Bike at a Seminar, which talks about customer interface. Let’s go to the next question.
The next question is what is the number one book you would recommend?
It would depend on the person.
It does not have to be a financing book. It can be any book. It is totally up to you.
I have two books. The first one is The Will to Change. This is talking about feminist traits in males, how the man has in society has not been encouraged to become open and comfortable with their emotions, and how that has directly impacted their ability to be communicative about their heart and what their true feelings are. Instead of asking yourself, “Why am I feeling this way?” They might just project an attack. I know because I did 30 years of attacking, not physically.
The second book is Big Magic. These books are free on the Libby app. If anybody wants to know about the Libby app, you can reach out to me. I can send you the links. I do not have Audible. I have Libby. It has 7 out of 10 of the books out there. I stopped paying for Audible. This is worth the whole episode. Great audiobooks on the Libby app. It is connected to your local library. You are supposed to have a library card. You do not have to prove it yet because of COVID, but download it for free. Pick up Big Magic and The Will to Change. If you are a guy, The Will to Change would be super helpful. If you are a girl, then you can spy on the enemy. I am just kidding.
Big Magic is interesting because it talks about the fears that are unjust and how many different phobias people have that are not merited. It talked about if you have a passion, do not dive completely into your passion and starve yourself. Work on your passion and then have your W2 pay for it until that passion can support you. There are other key takeaways, but it is interesting. There are a lot of books that are super encouraging. The truth is this book presents all of the motivational ideas in a completely unique way. As somebody that has read 50 different inspirational self-help books, this book stands out.
Next question, Colm. If you had the opportunity to travel back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
I think there is a job that I would not take. That is about it. There are some other things. I am not religious, but God gave you your two ears and one mouth. Use them in that order. I was a fighter growing up. I wish I would have recognized that earlier on. I love my dad incredibly. My dad is from the projects and there are so many good values that come from hard work, but also there are some things that I do not want to do for my kids. There are some things that I do not want to do to my lovers and my partners.
If I would have told myself when I was 25, “You are turning into your dad,” that would have been a good tip to go, “Let me leverage the incredible things about my dad because if I am half the man that my dad is, I am going to be incredible.” Knowing how I respond to certain things and recognizing that, “You are responding in a way that you did not like when you are little.” I think that is the number one thing. It is to know that you learn how to behave from what you see growing up and you have to break that cycle sometimes.
What is the best investment you have ever made?
Fortuitous timing with my first rental. The best investment I ever made was working hard to go back to college. Not that college is important from getting a job perspective, but college taught me how to learn. I carried that through to my following jobs. I think the best investment I ever made was going to Cal Poly and meeting friends that I have created. I have only been out of college for a number of years, but I am getting old. I went there and I was thinking, “These freshmen are born when I was a freshman.” College taught me how to learn.
What is the worst investment you have ever made and what lessons did you learn from it?
The worst investment I ever made was not even related to real estate, but I thought I was going to flip cars in my early twenties. I signed up for this automated car flipping service. It is the auction car stuff. I totally forgot about it.
How much would you need in the bank to retire today? What is your number?
I think $10 million. I thought about that number and that is based on the return that I would invest.
If you could have dinner with someone either dead or alive, who would it be?
Genghis Khan or Napoleon Bonaparte. My mom’s side is white Russian, so they were fleeting from all that. There are red Russians and white Russians. My mom’s side was on the white side. One person that I continue to be to be inspired by is the rise. You talk about these people that are disrupters of history and often people want to talk about Alexander the Great, but he inherited Philip II’s army. I think Philip II was more impactful and Alexander the Great had an incredible focus on conquering and dimensional.Understanding investors’ personal motivators is so important. You want to understand their pains because that's what's going to motivate them to make the decision and make a change. Click To Tweet
I would not say Alexander the Great, but Genghis Khan because of his rise. When he was born, he was Temujin. His father was a local tribe leader and he was killed. Genghis Khan, his brothers and sisters and his mom had to fend for themselves when everybody else in that clan turned their back on them. If know anything about the weather in Mongolia, it can be up to negative 70 degrees. With the brutality of the weather, those people have to have incredible resolve in order to survive. I would want to learn his perspective and maybe even Kublai Khan because, for the purposes of control, his grandson was the first to be accepting of all of the different religions. There are so many good historical characters. The Achaemenid Empire is good.
Next question, if you were not doing what you are doing today, what would you be doing now?
I would be pretty sad, truthfully. I would probably be doing the same job that I was doing before. One of the reasons I got away from my job is you got paid well, but it was because it was a bad job. It was constantly conflict resolution and dealing with customers. I have a friend who has made $500,000 5 or 6 years in a row. He hates his job and he has got three kids. He is so tired of it. He wants to get out of it. You go, “That is an incredible amount of money,” but not if you are happy. I would be doing that job because I had not had the courage to walk away from it because I was getting paid well. I was able to sustain a lifestyle that would be fun, but deep down inside, it would be a struggle.
Let me ask you that question in a different way. What if you could choose any option you wanted? Dr. Tom Burns, for example, said he would be a hunter. If you could pick and choose any job out there, like a race car driver or a professional athlete, this is out of my curiosity. I have never asked this before, but if you could do something else in the world, what would you be doing?
Other than a professional football or soccer player, I would probably want to do this job. This is my opportunity to help the cardiologists that have saved my life.
Book smarts or street smarts?
Last question, Colm. If you had $1 million cash and you had to make one investment, what would it be?
A hundred percent go to CBI.
That is why you are our favorite person.
We appreciate all the wisdom that you bestowed upon us. We are sure that just as usual, you added a lot of value to this show by being transparent and open, and sharing your journey.
Colm, can you let everybody know what is the best way that people can reach you?
We did not get to dive into sales or investor tactics. If you wanted to do a round two in the future on specific sales automation and how to become an omnipotent work god, leveraging virtual assistants and technology, that is something that we should do. The best way to reach me is by email. It is Colm@TGAIP.com. My goal is to service cardiologists and medical field professionals. If I can get hyper-focused on helping the people that have helped me, that would make me happy.
Thanks so much for coming on and being our guest.