Profit First Lessons From A Successful Real Estate Investor and Wholesaler from Gainesville, Florida with Brett McCollum

Episode 140: Profit First Lessons From A Successful Real Estate Investor and Wholesaler from Gainesville, Florida with Brett McCollum

The Profit First REI Podcast

December 22, 2022 

David Richter 

Summary:

 

In this episode, we hear from an individual who has faced financial challenges and has taken steps to overcome them, eventually finding success. Our guest’s journey has been one of great highs and lows, and they will share their experiences and insights with us.

 

Joining us is Brett McCollum: a successful real estate investor and wholesaler from Gainesville, Florida and  the owner of MVP Group International. Brett shares his personal story of overcoming financial struggles and achieving success in the industry, offering valuable insights and advice for other investors facing financial challenges. 

 

Tune in to hear Brett’s journey and gain valuable knowledge on how to overcome financial obstacles in the world of real estate investing.

 

Key Takeaways:
[00:42] Introducing Brett McCollum

[04:32] Brett on Growing up in Poverty and Other Employment and Financial Struggles

[16:50] How Brett Started in Real Estate

[24:10] On His Money Mindset Early On, and Learning How to Properly Manage It

[28:01] Why Building Habits is Key to Becoming Better With Money Management

[30:00] How Brett Learned to Pay Himself 

[34:07] Brett’s Breakthrough Moment and Working With His Wife to Manage Their Finances

[40:34] Connect With Brett 

[42:39] Closing Remarks

 

Quotes:

[26:09] “In the coaching programs that I have, most of them don’t teach you how to keep your money. And I guess that’s absolutely the reason why you wrote [Profit First for Real Estate Investors].”

[27:42] “I make plans for my business and how to market. I make plans for my business; how to generate those leads. I make plans for how to sell those deals. I make plans for how to do this and everything. Shouldn’t I then also make a plan for where my money goes?”

[32:30] “If I hadn’t had a profit first plan, 2020 would have crushed me.”



Connect with Brett: 

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brettcmccollum

Tired of living deal to deal? 

If you are a real estate investor or business owner who is tired of living deal to deal, and want to double your profits, head over here to book your no-obligation discovery call with me. Either myself or someone from my team will hop on a short call with you to get clear on your business goals, remove any obstacles holding you back, and map out a game plan to help you finally start keeping more of the money you work so hard to make. – David 



Transcription: 

 

Brett McCollum:

I make plans for my business and how to market. I make plans for my business, how to generate those leads. I make plans on how to sell those deals. I make plans for how to do this and everything I shouldn’t. I then also make a plan for how, where my money goes.

Outro:

If you’re a real estate investor who’s sick and tired of living, deal to deal, then welcome home. Hear from everyday real estate investors just like you, and discover how they’ve completely transformed their business by taking a profit First approach. This is the profit first for REI podcast, where we believe revenue is vanity. Profit is sanity. It’s time to start making profit a habit in your business. So here’s your host, David Richter.

David Richter :

Hey, it’s your host, David Richter, again for the Profit first REI podcast. This is a special episode. I know I say that about everyone and all the time or what not, but we go with Brett McCollum down his real estate journey, but also money struggles. We talk a lot that, about that with our guests. Brett is no different. And he’s got a story if you want to curl up with a good story here, listen for a while to this podcast because he tells about how he went from homeless to a seven figure net worth in real estate. All the financial struggles through there, the mindset of what he had to break through. And honestly, we tell you the key to keeping your money and what has helped Brett this entire time. So to make sure that during his real estate journey, that he doesn’t fall off the bandwagon cuz he’s a wholesaler from Gainesville, Florida and he is doing incredible job. And we’re gonna talk about relationship currency and what that means. So listen to the episode and I hope you’re blessed by it. Hey so we have the Brett McCollum here. He is literally here in studio with us and here he is. And Brett, it’s so good to have you on. I’ve been really looking forward to this episode.

Brett McCollum:

Thanks, man. Glad to be here.

David Richter :

Yeah. So we’re a part of a couple masterminds together. Now. I’ve gotten to know Brett personally, and he’s just, he’s an amazing human being. He’s got something too that you might be hearing about in the future. Uh, it’s called Relationship currency, which you might have heard of that concept before, but maybe this is the first time Brett’s gonna talk about it on a podcast. But Brett, can you talk a little bit about that concept and why, you know, why it’s important and kind of like the framework that you’re, you’ve kind of come up with that and you know, like the whole idea behind it?

Brett McCollum:

Sure. Yeah. I mean, um, glad we’re, I actually, this is the first chance on a podcast I’ve gotten to discuss that. So, uh, I hope I can articulate myself well, um, to where, you know, our, your listeners can, we can kind of make sense of it, right? So relationship currency is a simple, uh, concept. You have financial currency where you buy, you put a dollar for something and you get a something back, right? In our relationships, it’s very similar in that I make deposits into people with my relationship to David, and I continue to put deposits into that relationship with David. Then one day I can say, Hey David, uh, can I be on your podcast? No, I’m just kidding. <laugh>. Or you know what I mean? Like, yeah, there, I can make a withdrawal out of that relationship now.

But, um, and it’s, we’re familiar with real estate investing. I believe in investing in relationships. Um, we don’t invest into our real estate products or, you know, without expecting a fine return. Right? Or at least most people, you know, we expect the return. Um, it’s the same thing in our relationships, or it should be anyway. Yeah. And I believe that that stems from our personal relationships all the way through our business relationships. Um, and I’m a big, uh, believer in that. So that’s the, uh, very non-answer, answer to it. But it’s no, I love, it’s, that’s the general gist of it. Yeah.

David Richter :

So if you’re gonna set up bank accounts for your profit first, make sure you set up one more bank account and call it your, uh, you know, your relationship currency account that you’re making those deposits. Whether that’s a note to sticky note or something like for you. But always making those relationship deposits. And I like that you lead off with that too. That it’s the deposits you’re making, you’re not going to someone and asking for that withdrawal. It’s a very good mental picture of, especially on this podcast where we’re all about profit first, making sure that people have the right account set up and making sure that it’s helping them. Same thing with your human relationships, not just your banking relationships. So I absolutely love that. I wanted to start off with that because you definitely have a unique perspective there, but let’s get into the meat of it here because we’ve had lots of good conversations, know each other more on a personal level now too. So I’m gonna ask you that first question that I ask a lot of people. What money struggles have you faced in your life or business in the past?

Brett McCollum:

Yeah, this is, so we’ve been talking now for, uh, even at the last, uh, mastermind event we were at together and then since about, um, some of my story and where I come from. And, um, while I don’t or I’ve really not shared a lot of that personal journey that I’ve been on with a lot of folks, uh, I’m coming to realize that it can help a lot of people. And me holding onto that is probably, no, not probably definitely not helping anybody. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and certainly not even myself. Cuz there’s some cathartic, you know, process. They’re sharing your story. Right? Right. Um, so selfishly I even get something out of this. So I’m really excited to discuss that, although it is a little vulnerable for me to go here. Uh, so if I get a little bit emotional with you, um, I’ll try to keep myself, you know, composed as much as I can.

But this is, uh, I’ll go into, uh, as much as you are willing for us to go into. Okay. So feel free to ask any additional questions, exploratory questions, nothing’s off limits. I’m an open book. Okay. Awesome. Um, so I grew up, um, extremely and extraordinarily poor. Um, me, like, looking back, you don’t know how bad bad it was cuz it was what was normal. Okay? And now that as a you know, a grown man and a husband and a father today, I look back and go through some of those things that I went through and go, that’s just not normal. You know? Um, my family, we moved around a ton. We, my dad would, uh, get a job, lose a job, get a job, lose a job kind of thing. And it forced us to move a a bunch. I’ve lived in five states.

I went to 27 different schools. Um, I went to four high schools in four years. Um, and we were actually homeless twice, once when I was about eight years old. And again, when I was 15, turning 16. And, uh, we lived in a, that second time we lived in a car, uh, when I was 15, 16 years old, uh, for almost six months. Its my, yeah. So that was a real difficult, I mean at when you’re little, you kind of don’t really understand what’s going on, but when you’re, you know, I’m 15 and 16, you definitely understand that this isn’t normal. This isn’t right. You know, I’d wake up, we’d have just our bag of clothes, we’d change in the car and go to school, come back home, you know, and home was our car wherever we parked it. Right. Um, and that was a hard, that was hard, you know?

Um, so financially coming from a position of effectively nothing. Right? Like, you know, some days you eat, some days you don’t, you know, kind of thing. Hmm. And coming into, so I play baseball through high school and I realized that was gonna be my out, you know, I’m not a big guy. I’m five nine in nice shoes. Right? Like in good shoes that I’m really five eight. But like I tell people I’m five nine just to make it sound even a little better. Right? Right. And, uh, I’m a small frame small guy and I, but I just really wanted to outwork everybody and stick it out. And that was my way to, and I did, I made it to play college, baseball got me out and, it got me through, um, out of that poverty, like, and I was able to create something for myself afterwards, right?

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So after, uh, college is over, um, I, well, not even after during college I met my wife. Um, and we, you know, were together for a couple years and then we got married and then I took a job, uh, I was, I mean, still, I don’t know why she even decided to marry me. I had nothing to offer, you know, uh, from a financial perspective, I took a job as just a maintenance guy, uh, in a warehouse. Hmm. And worked up to a couple different, you know, made a little bit more money. I got up to, I thought I was crushing it, making $14 an hour. I was like, yeah, you know, I was making it, you know, it’s the most money I’d ever made. Right. It was $14 an hour. Yeah. And then a buddy of mine got me into, uh, the insurance got me, I don’t know why and how it worked.

I, he sat, he got me an interview basically, and I nailed the interview, um, got a job there and I started, and then I was what I thought making like really good money. Right. I was like, oh my gosh, I’m making $42,000 a year. Oh my gosh. This is amazing. Yeah. You know, I couldn’t believe this is the best thing. I’ve never seen that kinda money I grew up with. No, not nothing close to that. I never saw what it felt. And I like, this is so, this is wild. This is so cool. And I was grateful it’s anything for that job. I loved it, loved that job. I genuinely liked that job. And, um, comfortable cuz we live below our means, you know, kind of thing. Made sure that we could pay our bills, you know, when you grew up with nothing, you learn how to stretch a dollar, you know, like, kind of thing.

And, uh, and then due to many reasons, we don’t have to get into ’em on the podcast, I was actually, uh, fired from that job. Yeah. The insurance company I was working at. And that really was a gut punch cuz we had, uh, our daughter was, so I have three kids by the way, who baby number four is on the way. Hmm. Congratulations. Our second, uh, child was, she wouldn’t have been more than six months old Wow. When I was like that job. Yeah. And, uh, we’re like, oh my gosh, you know, um, how do you get through this? And I just, all I could picture was what I, sorry to get emotional, what I grew up into. And I could not let that happen to my family the way I walked through. I just got look of a job and I can’t pay our bills now. So, um, some big time financial problems. Um, this is, we’re leading getting clo a little closer to you know, where can jump into real estate. If you want me to pause here and ask some additional questions, you know, uh, I’m getting, we’re getting closer to the real estate journey.

David Richter :

So there’s one thing, you don’t have to touch on it, but it’s the, um, the reason you were fired from that job. I know you went into this story more behind the scenes with me. Yeah. But it made an impact on me because it was for your values, you know. Sure. Yeah. And it was a definitely a political firing from what I heard. And it is, it was definitely that you stuck to your values and that’s what got you kicked off the team. So

Brett McCollum:

It did, I just don’t want it to sound like I’m making excuses. You know, at the end of the day I was fired, you know, it didn’t change anything.

David Richter :

<laugh>. And that’s why I want people to know too. Like, I want them to know who you are as a person. Like, okay, sure. Red got fired because he stood up for his values and that got him kicked off and he’s created this incredible real estate business now. So it does have a good ending. Brett is not still in that phase. Right, right. He is definitely passed that. So why don’t you go into

Brett McCollum:

Yeah, for sure. Where it, it came from in terms, yeah. I just don’t like, you know, creating excuses here. Anything. It’s not, this is what happened. So I was adjusting claims, right. I still carry my license as in an adjusted claim, uh, license claims adjuster. Um, and just for funds cease to have it, I just have it, you know. Um, and we were adjusting at a high, like high level, you know, people, you know, get auto accidents and die and then you have to adjust that. So, uh, we had two coworkers that sat kind of right near me that they were good friends and they would go out at lunchtime and drink on the job and then come back and they would adjust Glenn, Walt drunk. And they were doing it. And I went, remember approaching my manager at the time, I was like, this makes me a little uncomfortable.

She just kinda dismissed it. Well then one day, um, I noticed that she had went out with him and came back drunk with them. And I was like this. And so I pulled her aside without anybody knowing it, not in public, just very privately like, Hey, this, I just think this is, we can’t, this isn’t the place for that. You know, you can’t do that. Like, you know, have drinks, do what you want. That’s, between, you know, you guys, but like on the job is not right. Um, so I’ve been there five years at this point at that job, and they do, we call PEs or performance evaluations, right. We did these PEs and my PEs were greater at like in grade school, you get a hundred percent as perfect. You know, I would, had not had in five years, less than a 98%.

I climb, climb, climb, climb, climb, you know, uh, pretty quickly in that company. Um, you know, and I did make more than 42,000 by the end I was there, you know? Right. But that’s where I started at, you know, and, uh, I was doing really well there. And, um, within three months, four months, I was let go after that had happened. Um, and all the while my main manager, the director, if you will, um, was out of town and he wasn’t gonna be back. So they got me out of there before he could come back in. I could plead my case. Wow. Um, and so I never even got a chance to like, this is what was happening. Um, I did not, I elected not to write a letter to, um, you know, make myself feel better, you know? Cause I was kind of writing like, this is why, and this is going on. You guys should know about this. Yeah. And, uh, my wife actually talked me down from that because she’s like, what does it change? Hmm. And I was like, makes me feel better because they need to know what happened <laugh>. You know, like, um, and it turns out, uh, it wasn’t, it was maybe six weeks after I was let go, uh, she got fired for the same thing. Oh

David Richter :

Wow.

Brett McCollum:

<laugh> that. So, yeah. And uh, I was like, oh, there we go. Uh, I guess they figured it out.

David Richter :

Right? Yep. Wow.

Brett McCollum:

That’s incredible. Yeah. But it led me to, uh, the next thing, you know, and I

David Richter :

Was just gonna say, I think from there,

Brett McCollum:

Sometimes God has a plan that I don’t understand. And it takes a, cuz I mean, you gotta figure, I grew up the way I grew up, like I just described in a very quick version of it, you wouldn’t have gotten me out of that job. It was the first time I thought that this was security in my life. Yeah. You know, and you were, there was no way you were ever gonna get me out of that job ever. You know? Hmm. And maybe getting fired is the only way that would’ve happened. Yeah. You know what I mean? It stunk in the moment, man. I cried for like three days. Yeah. Because I just was scared. I’m not gonna go take care of my kids. I’m not gonna be able to provide for my wife. I’m gonna gonna be poor. I’m gonna be poor again.

We’re not gonna have any, I’m gonna live in a car. You know, it was, I went down a really bad mental journey when that happened, you know? And, um, I did pick up a job right after that and was there for another dude. I didn’t, I think it kind of got me into the real estate game, but it didn’t really yet, it got me into a job where I was a did marketing and business development for a physical therapy company that worked automobile accident injuries. So it was my world. I knew it well. Yeah. And I, and then it taught me how to meet with, you know, basically it was doctors and lawyers in getting referrals for business. Yeah. Taught me how to go meet people, you know? Yes. So then they ultimately weren’t paying me, uh, another financial struggle, you know?

Okay. What the job was worth.

David Richter :

Yeah.

Brett McCollum:

And then I kind of came to realize like, I’m making this company a ton of money and I was always taught, you know, if you work hard, you get, the raises will come to you. You know, if you work hard enough, it’ll happen. And it never happened. And so I finally went to the owners that I consider family, even today, I still consider them family. And I was like, Hey. And I broke it down. This is how much money I made in year one, year 2, 3, 4, break it all the way down. Right. And I’m like, I’m not asking you to pay me market value. I’m literally asking for a 30% increase. Yeah. Of because I was market value should have been about 96. Yeah. A thousand a year. It would’ve been market value for the position. And I was asking for 55.

David Richter :

Wow. Nothing

Brett McCollum:

They would’ve given me that again, I would not be doing anything else.

David Richter :

Wow.

Brett McCollum:

Because I liked it. How think about it. My job was to drive around and meet with doctors and lawyers and eat fancy food and tell them to give us business. I mean, come on. It was great, you know, but it just,

David Richter :

Great. So how many of you are listening to this right now? And you’re in that, you have that situation, but maybe like Brett, you’re, you don’t have someone that’s being obstinate or pushing you or whatnot, but you wa but you’ve got the real estate bug. You know, like you’ve especially if you’re listening to this podcast, you’ve probably got the real estate bug times like 10 because this podcast is like, uh, podcast four, the real estate investing world and worrying about the money struggles and what to do. And this is such a great one because Brett has been there times 10 of like, what a lot of people’s situations are and has been through those struggles and has gotten into real estate and done very well. So let’s talk about that. What got you into real estate and what,

Brett McCollum:

Starting down struggle number three. Ready? Okay. So we had an exchange, a foreign exchange student that lived with us for three-ish years. Right? Yeah. While that was happening, at least for three, that those last three of those years, uh, they were, he was paying a decent amount of money and it basically paid my mortgage for me.

David Richter :

Um, okay.

Brett McCollum:

And so he was graduating though, right? And so when he was like that clock was ticking, may is coming and he’s getting ready to graduate high school and he’s gone. And that ain’t, that’s gone. And I knew that was coming. Even it was, there was no secret. And I know that if I, this is when this money’s out, how do I make ends meet? And I had about three or four months after he, so it would’ve put me May, June, July, August-ish, maybe September.

David Richter :

Yeah.

Brett McCollum:

Where I would’ve been like, I can’t pay my bills. Now I realized this before May. Right. It wasn’t like May came and then I gotta figure this out. It was like I, for you could forecast it cuz he had an expiration date, if you will. Right? Right.

David Richter :

Yes.

Brett McCollum:

And, uh, so I was like, what are we gonna do? So my wife’s aunt, this is how we got into real estate, has been flipping and had been flipping houses. Uh, I live in Gainesville, Florida, by the way. I don’t know if we said that. Um, and she’s about three hours south in St. Petersburg area, Florida. And, uh, she’s been flipping down there for about 35 years. Long time. I mean, since the eighties, you know, early nineties. Wow.

David Richter :

Yeah

Brett McCollum:

she’s been just doing this forever, you know, and she’s been at me, you gotta get into real estate. You gotta get into real estate. And I’m like, yeah. Right. It costs money. I don’t know how to do it. It’s way, sounds way too difficult. And, uh, she just been in my ear. And so I’m trying to figure out what am I gonna do next? Where’s the next move? I can’t pay my bills right now, or well, as soon as he gets out, I cannot pay the bills. And so I started clicking, you know, trying to figure out what I’m gonna do next. And, uh, you know, we do, so a lot of us investors, we do Facebook ads. Right. You know, and we retarget and we do all that stuff. So I got retargeted by, um, Ashan, Terry ad.

David Richter :

Nice.

Brett McCollum:

Uh, so we, a lot of us know who that is. Right. And his, and it was a 10 minute webinar that I <laugh> watched and I was like, he’s talking to me. And, and I’ve been looking, I was getting ready to do some like 10 31 exchange things and this, that and the other. And I was like, that sounds like what I wanna do. You know? And then I watched that and I was like, no, that’s it. You know, it was basically, it was wholesaling real estate. Right and I never heard of wholesaling. I don’t even, this things can’t be real. This isn’t right. But I was desperate, dude, like, what am I gonna do here? Like, and I was like, well, it’s a free jump in. It doesn’t cost me anything to jump in based on what Sean told me. Cuz I took him at face value. I did. I took him right at face value. Yeah. And I watched a tenement and, uh, my first deal and it’s gonna upset a lot of people when I tell you guys this. Um, and I don’t, I care a little bit, I don’t care that much that’s gonna upset you <laugh>, but cuz this is what happened for me. It’s real life. So I went to, this is back in 2017, I went to Zillow for sale by owner. Um, at the time I was still working that marketing business development job. And I was, uh, we had seven offices in six cities. Right. And so I, one of those, uh, markets was Jacksonville, Florida. And so I knew I was gonna do Jacksonville twice a week at that point. And I said, so I called up this four owner in Jacksonville and I said, Hey, I see your house. You have the Zillows things that he wanted. 1.45 was the listing asking price. Zillow did. I didn’t even know that. Like how to comp anything. I saw his estimate.

Right. And I was like, oh, that must be right. Um, which we know differently now, but Right. I, and it said one 90 and I was like, he said, what’s a deal now? It wasn’t a deal yet. Anyway. So I said, I can come out there and meet you on my lunch break, Mr. Seller for one phone call, first phone call I ever made for a sale. Light owner got him on the phone. He said, yep, meet me on Monday, 10 o’clock. And I said, well I guess I gotta take my lunch break at 10 o’clock on Monday. So I took my lunch break at 10 o’clock on Monday. Went over to meet him at the house. Have no idea what I’m doing, by the way. Right. And I was like, just talking to him, shooting the breeze, you know, not really talking about the house, just talking to him.

Cause we gotta build rapport, you know, we gotta do that. You know. And I was doing that and then I was like, man, you wouldn’t consider 130,000 for this, would you? And he goes, yeah, I would. And I went, oh shoot. Cool. Yeah. Uh, oh man. You know, I got forgot the paperwork in the office. Can I meet you out here tomorrow? You know, and cuz I don’t even know how to sign the contract so I can’t do it tomorrow, but I can meet you on Wednesday. I said, it sounds great. So I had 48 hours to find somebody that knew how to write up a contract. Right. I don’t even how to write the contract. Nice. So found somebody, don’t even know how it was a Facebook group. Found him on a Facebook group, you know, and he came out there, he walked, made sure that I was not dumb.

The guy said, yeah, I’ll take 130. He helped me write the contract up. Signed the contract, right. And I was like, now we gotta sell this. Oh, I don’t know how to do that. He goes, I’ll help you sell the deal too. I was like, you sure man? He goes, yeah, this guy had been in the game for probably four years at that point. And uh, I said, cool. Thanks man. So we sold it and it was a 10k deal. We split it 50 50 and I made $5,000 one phone call, one appointment, one deal. I was like, what? In the act eight days by the way.

David Richter :

Yeah.

Brett McCollum:

I was like, this is stupid. You know, and I’m like, and I have no marketing cost in the game and that was $5,000. Did I, my income with, you know, and I, now I can pay my bills for a little bit longer. That’s what, that was how I started. I was like, that’s it man. I’m just do this a couple times, you know? And during like I might all, I have to do this three or four times throughout the year and I’m good. Like I need to make, you know, I’m good.

David Richter :

Yeah.

Brett McCollum:

Now I thought that was the initial plan was I’m gonna do this part-time, make a few fun for sale by owner calls <laugh>, you know, like Right. And this is it cuz I was spoiled, right. And I was like, let me see if I can do this again though. So call number two down in Ocala, Florida. And uh, it’s about 45 minutes from me, another phone call answers met her, she accepted on the spot. Two calls, two deals. I was like, I’m great at this. I’m the best

David Richter :

<laugh>,

Brett McCollum:

You know, I’m like, this is fish in a barrel, man can’t, I’m super good. And then, uh, title came in, it was mess Messy and I didn’t know how to do it and I didn’t know what, and I lo end up losing that deal. Oh, ok. And then it was about four then it was about four months <laugh> until I

David Richter :

Until the next one. Yeah.

Brett McCollum:

So then let’s, so

David Richter :

Let’s go into, now I wanna go into a little bit more of the profit first side. Since the profit first I podcast. We gotta get to that portion of, so when you did that first deal and then, then it took a little bit of time to get to the next deals or whatnot. But you’ve created a business out of this now. Like this is what you do full-time. You are in real estate investing, which is amazing. So then during that journey of going from being in these different jobs and struggling with the finances, did you have some of those same money struggles or mindsets when you first started the business? Or did some of those money struggles help and you were able to pay yourself what you needed to from the beginning? Like can you tell me that? Like how has that transition from

Brett McCollum:

So I absolutely did not pay myself in the beginning. Are you kidding? Like, no way. Right? Yeah. Um, so for me, I had no concept of money, what it meant and how it works and everything like that. All I know is it came in and I was terrified to spend it because if I spend it, it’s gone.

David Richter :

Right.

Brett McCollum:

Okay. So I was the opposite of like the hyper-spender. I was the guy, I’m not gonna touch this, you can’t make me. Yeah. Right. Like, but like we both, you cannot build a business that way. I, right, right. That just doesn’t work like that. So I had to, but I got this obsession with real estate specific at the time, wholesaling. And I mean, I immersed into it and when I say immersed, it wasn’t just how to acquire deals or sell deals or anything like that. It was, these guys are making money and now what do I do now that I have a little bit of money? And I was, and I made a ton of mistakes, dude. I mean, and I’ve probably made three and a half years worth of mistakes. Right. <laugh>.

David Richter :

Yeah.

Brett McCollum:

You know, and I’m like, cuz I mean I had no framework, you know? And so there’s a lot of coaches out there. We both know a lot of them. They’re um, a lot of ’em are amazing, truly gifted people. And they’re, that is, I love and I consider ’em great friends, but in the coaching programs that I felt most of ’em don’t teach you how to keep your money and how to they don’t. Right. No. You know, um, and that, I guess that’s absolutely the reason why you wrote the book you wrote Right. Is cuz I know your background too, you know, and you.

David Richter :

PS that’s profit first for real estate investing. Same name as this podcast or just so people know <laugh>

Brett McCollum:

Shocker. Yeah. Uh, yeah. So I had no concept or framework to do cuz I was never taught money growing up. Yeah. Obviously. Right? Well I knew the, how poverty mindset thinks, you know, and I was was real. It that came natural to me. Cuz that’s all I knew Right, sure. Was how the poverty mindset works, which is if you spend it, it’s gone. You’ll never see this again. And that is horrible. Um, and then I did, I got the original profit first book, three and a half years. Four, three and a half dose to four years in. And I saw this concept of profit first. Now I hadn’t spun it like the way you did it, like, uh, you know, but I knew that I was, there’s a better way. Yeah. Right? Yeah. And I was like, okay, this makes sense to me. And I started trying it a little bit and I only opened one account. Right. It’s just a profit account. I paid myself of it. Yeah. I maintained thousand bucks. It’s

David Richter :

A good start.

Brett McCollum:

I made 10,000. Well, it’s absolutely, I mean it’s, if you do nothing else but open one x different account, you’re winning more than the average person is.

David Richter :

Yes. Exactly.

Brett McCollum:

I mean, I didn’t know that it was just a, it was a faith, a step of faith, if you will, of like, if I have a plan for my money, I make plans for my business and how to market. I make plans for my business, how to generate those leads. I make plans for how to sell those deals. I make plans for how to do this and everything. I shouldn’t, I then also make a plan for how, where my money goes. But like, nobody talks about that. So you don’t do it. Right. So that is,

David Richter :

That is so good. I lemme just park there a little bit because what he’s saying right here is the key. It is the magic bullet. It’s the secret sauce. It’s the form. It’s like everything here rolled up into that one action. Because what he did was start a habit. That’s what Brett really started, was a good habit. It wasn’t that poverty mindset. It wasn’t the struggling. It was, there’s going to be an account called Profit that I pay myself from. Or like, just getting into that habit. Like I love that you even mentioned that Brett, like that is more than what the typical person does. Like whether they’re business owner, entrepreneur, real estate investor. So I just wanna make sure I planned that out because

Brett McCollum:

Yeah,

David Richter :

If you’re listening to this, you could stop right now listening, which we don’t recommend. But I do recommend going out right after this episode and opening up that one account name it profit, and start transferring a percent in there to get into that habit. So there you go. I had to throw that in there because it’s

Brett McCollum:

So absolutely man. And I’ll be honest with you. Like I didn’t know what that magic, like what is that percentage that you put into that profit mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But I was like, I knew that I made a certain amount of wholesale fees, you know, and I looked at my bank account and it reflected that I didn’t make any of those wholesale like <laugh>. Right. You know what I mean? It’s like where I don’t have anything to show for this.

David Richter :

Yeah.

Brett McCollum:

Mind you, I paid my bills and we went on a couple nice vacations and you know, this is cool. You know, and like I like, I wasn’t as scared, you know, anymore. And I, by the way, I worked that marketing job for 18 months Wow. While working 50, 55 hours a week for them. Yeah. Yeah. And built my business on the side until I could replicate my wife’s income, retire her to home. That’s what she wanted to do. And then, and to raise our kids. And then I replaced my income there and then I had a six month buffer. That was what I had to do in order to quit. That was my wife saying, Hey, if you’re quitting, this is how you can’t do it unless it looks like this. And so that’s how I ended up, you know, and I did all that and it just saved the money.

Right. Because we talked to that good at not spending anything. I could save money. Sure.

David Richter :

Right.

Brett McCollum:

You asked me to not spend it. Awesome. You know, I got you there <laugh>. Um, and that’s still my, if I’m being honest, my natural brain to like, I fight it oftentimes to like, don’t spend it. Don’t spend it. Don’t spend anything. Don’t spend, don’t spend, don’t spend, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> don’t even pay yourself. Because if you pay yourself that money’s also gone from the holes. So when, and it’s just the way my, I don’t know if anybody can relate to this at all. It might just be a weird quirk that I have, but let’s say it was a $10,000 deal that we did. If I move, let’s say 15% to profit. Okay. And I move it over, how much money’s left off of that $10,000 deal? Not as much as it was. Oh God. It’s gone.

David Richter :

Yeah.

Brett McCollum:

It’s gone. Yeah. Even though I paid myself, which is stupid to think, but like, it’s not how my brain worked. I’m losing that money is how I saw it. And it was just a, I have to have faith in the pro and trust the process. You know? And sure enough, man, like moving fast forwarding now back to where we were. Um, I did that for about a year. Okay. And I went through some, another financial catastrophe and I went through two actually where I had two business partners named back to back partnerships that, that stole money from our accounts. Mm-hmm. And um, that really stung man. You know, the second one was the one that hurt the worst cuz somebody that I, that I genuinely love and trusted. And it was a lot of money. It was gone two days before Christmas.

David Richter :

Oh.

Brett McCollum:

December 23rd, 2019. So this is recent.

David Richter :

Right.

Brett McCollum:

So I went through, I went into 2020, which we all know happened in 20, it’s funny right? Not knowing where it was gonna come from next. Now I knew on how to make money again at this point. I’ve proven that to myself. You already, that scale, I don’t have to be poor forever. I know how to do this now. And I have this framework of profit first and sweet, goodness gracious dude. Like that’s why I’m loving this conversation. Um, cause it’s not the one that everybody wants to have. Like, you know, they wanna talk about the deals and how big the deal is and you know, how much money, how’d you get the deal? How’d you do that? Like, but what are you doing the deal for, you know, at the end of the day so you can make money. Right. Like, like that To me that’s the way. So if I hadn’t had a profit first plan, I 2020 would’ve crushed me. Hmm. Absolutely. Crushed me.

David Richter :

I think there’s so much, man, this is just so good because, it is this whole journey that you’ve taken mm-hmm. <affirmative> then I love that you had that mindset. I feel like there was a big wall that you personally broke through when you said, I know I could make the money again.

Brett McCollum:

Yep.

David Richter :

And you have the other side too, which a lot of people don’t is not only do I know I can make it, I can keep it too. Right. I do wanna say too, you’re not alone in that mindset of like, I gotta keep it or it’s gone. That’s how I viewed my finances for a long time. Like, I didn’t, you even with the profit first mentality and all of that, even some of the internal struggles I had was like, if I pay myself this, it’s not in the business anymore. Like, then I can’t, what do I do to grow it or whatnot? And the biggest breakthrough for me was literally talking to people that had been down this road or people smarter than me. Like sure. I have a fractional CFO service and I hired one of the CFOs to just coach me through how I was thinking because it was like, that’s awesome. You know, like, I can’t have this anymore. I’m going to keep our business, I will not be able to impactas many people. So I just want you to know too, you’re not alone in that. Like,, that was me just a couple years ago, you know, like when I was first starting all of this and whatnot too. I’m like, I have some bad, bad habits and bad mental stuff going on up here.

Brett McCollum:

So how it broke through for me was very, I think unique. Um, and that it wasn’t in a business setting that made the breakthrough for me. So we had this, uh, it was through our church. We had this marriage awesome seminar thing that we did. Right. And they were talk basically. So you’ve been married for more than a day, you know, that, sometimes you fight in your marriage. Yeah. Right. You have arguments. Yeah, for sure. Like, it’s part of REI again, the relationships, things we let off with, you know, it’s a part of relationship is you’re gonna have discourse. Yeah. You know, it’s, it’s going to happen. And what we, uh, learn and uncovered is it’s typically a pattern of, it’s a cycle. Like you’ll hit a trigger of some kind. There’s usually a few, one or a few of ’em. And then it goes on this cycle, right?

David Richter :

Yeah.

Brett McCollum:

And it ends up and all like, you find yourself and must be able to married for long enough. You end, you’re like, dang, didn’t we just argue about this before? Right. Wait, we’ve been there, we’ve done this argument before.

David Richter :

<laugh>. No, I’ve never been there.

Brett McCollum:

Right, right. But you get it right. So like, totally. But it’s, it was the same thing. And I realized, and it clicked. I don’t know why it did, in my finances is I go, been doing it like this and I lost money again. I did it. And then it’s like I made all the money again and I lost it again. And, and it’s like, well why is it I didn’t, it clicked. It’s a cycle. You know, it’s framed on the decisions that I was that I’ve been making. And while you never make bad decisions on purpose, you know, and maybe they weren’t even bad decisions. I’m gonna ramp up some marketing because I know it’s gonna, like I saw the, I tracked my KPIs and the KPIs tell me that this lead channel was, is where I need to park more money into so that I can do more deals. Sounds right. Guess what? That money’s now gone. Right. I didn’t have a plan for it. <laugh>. And so I was like, that clicked, you know, and then I, and I had just finished reading the profit first thing, you know, and it was like, oh, oh,

David Richter :

Oh, okay,

Brett McCollum:

<laugh>. And it, it, I read it and I was like, oh, that’s cool. Book what? You know, and then it cl when it clicked, it did so now like, dude, like there I I mean it’s a discipline thing too, right? <laugh>, it’s

David Richter :

A discipline. It’s a mental habit. It’s also some, it’s, for me it was a struggle of control. Like I had, even though I wanted to look at the money and I wanted to control it, I had to give up a little bit of it, of the, of the control of it. Because I <laugh> it’s so funny that you say this on the personal side cuz on the personal side, like the money fights we had was from my insecurities Yeah. Of that I wanted to control every dollar. And it was, it was over the last year. It’s just been in the last year. So if you’re listening to this now, I don’t have everything figured out. I have a lot of things that can help you. But like in the last year, my wife took over the budget, like, and the checkbook and like the, what we like our system for doing that. And I never thought in a million years she’d want to, she never thought she’d want to. And it has just been amazing cuz it’s like, here’s the money we have, make it work. And then it’s like, then we get to work on, if there’s an issue that comes up, she brings it up. And then we talk about, like, before it was like, I’m tracking every single dollar, making sure everything’s going to the right place and giving all, then

Brett McCollum:

It’s that. But then it’s a new story. Right now your wife’s talking to you about like, Hey, we’re struggling with this thing right here. And you’re like, excuse me, I, uh, <laugh> we are not struggling with that thing. You know? And it’s like not, but we are, you know. Exactly.

If it’s a humbling process that I think we have to, that I’ve had to deal with.

David Richter :

Yes.

Brett McCollum:

For sure, for me, I got, so my wife also keeps our budget and does everything That is because habits are hard to break. Yeah. Sometimes. And even if you want and you have the best intentions, you still sometimes, and she didn’t have the same habit society. Cause she didn’t grow up the way I did. Yeah. Either. So I was like, let’s just remove the bottleneck, you know, and put

David Richter :

You in charge of So good, good. Yeah.

Brett McCollum:

And put you charge of,

David Richter :

He was point to himself for those of you just listening, so

Brett McCollum:

<laugh>, let’s remove that and put you in charge of this. And then, but there’s a, the control thing that you’re talking about, it’s like, if I trust you to do this, but I’m overseeing your every move, I’m not really trusting you to do this

David Richter :

<laugh>. Right?

Brett McCollum:

Yep. And that is, uh, that took some time and I’m still, we still are on that journey if I’m being perfectly honest with you. Because now that I’m making money, you’ve heard the old phrase mo money more problems,

David Richter :

Right?

Brett McCollum:

<laugh>. Yes. You know, it’s, it’s not like it’s just quits. It’s just a different battle. A different cycle, a different thing.

David Richter :

That’s why I like for the business side, you’ve got the profit first system to kind of keep you in that framework of like, as long as it’s in this framework, I know that as long as I make the money, we’re gonna be able to keep it. And I feel like that we’re on the journey now on the personal side of we know we can make it and bring it in here. Now it’s just making sure that we have a plan together that fits in with what we want to accomplish together. So this has been incredible. I’m gonna have to wind it down here with just one final question, but Brett, this has been awesome. I usually am taking a ton of notes because I, you know, like I want to absorb more, but like, I was so absorbed, like I only have half page of notes here because like, your story I think is going to resonate with a lot of people where they are right now and where they can get to what you said about breaking through that barrier of now I can make the money.

Because if we’re gonna recap here, you know, from your background of being very vulnerable with your story of, you know, sweeping on for sweeping in the cars, like from that mindset to your jobs, how that carried to the jobs, then losing those jobs, then starting in real estate and like how that carried over to real estate to now have, knowing two things for sure. I know I can make it even if I lose it and I can keep it, you know, like I have a system to keep it. So kind of came full circle there, which this was a great episode because I feel like no matter where you are on your journey right now, if you’re listening, you probably resonate at some point. Whether you’re an investor who’s done deals, you’ve probably been where Brett is. And if you’re, if you’ve got analysis paralysis or if you’ve got, like, if you’re not starting in real estate, you could probably relate at some point in that as well too. So Brett, this was incredible. So I want to ask you, how can the listeners provide value back to you? How, what are you needing right now? Is it lenders, deals, whatever it might be, and how do they get in touch with you?

Brett McCollum:

Yeah, so pre-show, man, we were, uh, talking about that, right? Um, and I think, and it’s crazy. I’m gonna, I’m not gonna even go the direction we talked about. Um, I think I owe it to, um, any listeners Okay. That I’ve walked through some stuff and, uh, a lot of people in the entrepreneur side of things, your friends don’t understand you. They don’t, there’s no way they could get it. They worked nine to five jobs and you wanna talk about business and you don’t have, they don’t get you. Yeah. Um, if you’ve been through any tough things, you know, where you need a sounding board and somebody just to talk to, like, I’d like to, to offer that up to people. Um, you know, somebody like, Hey, I’ll listen to you. I’ve walked through some stuff and I can talk to you about that.

I’m not even talking about coaching you or mentoring you. I’m talking about like somebody to listen to you that understands you a little bit. Um, and I think we need that. Um, and that’s a part of the relationship thing that we led off with too, is, um, you know, I’m not gonna, I can’t preach this relationship currency thing if I’m not practicing it on a higher level. So I’d like to, anybody that’s listening, if you have, uh, or wanna just, I’m not talking about like, you know, like a therapist kind of thing. I’m just saying like, Hey, you know what, this has been a challenge that I’ve had in my life with, with business, you know, and your friends. I get it. They don’t get you know, reach out to me. My best way for me is a Facebook message.

Honestly. I, you know, Brett McCullum, you’ll see me, I’m there with my wife wearing a baseball jersey. You know, um, it’s the best way to reach me. It’s the one I check the most. You can grab me on Instagram too. I just, it takes, I just don’t gravitate to it as fast. Yep. Um, you know, you can email me, you know, or whatever that way too. And then, um, we can, you know, figure out a time to get on the phone, you know, and spend a few minutes together and kind of talk you through some stuff.

David Richter :

Well, this has been incredible and Brett, thank you so much for being in here. I really appreciate that. So if you’re listening to this right now and you’re a business owner, especially who has either lived deal to deal, like Brett was talking about, not paying himself or has one of those mindset barriers, or you want to keep more of that money, not just you know how to make it, you need to know how to keep it head over to simplecfosolutions.com. Book a call with us because either way, even if we’re not the right fit, we wanna get you to someone who can help you. Like we know, like Brett said, that a lot of people just don’t talk about this side of the business. So we want to help from that perspective. Even if we’re not the right fit, get in touch with us. We will ping you to someone or if we are the right fit, we will hold your hand during this process to get where Brett is now. He knows he can make it and he knows he can keep it with the Profit First System. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. Thank you for Brett again for being here. And remember, start making profit a Habit in your business.

Outro:

This Episode of The Prophet First for REI podcast is over, but there are plenty more where that came from. Are you ready to learn how David and his team can help implement the Profit First system in your business? Schedule a discovery call at simplecfo.com right now. We’ll see you next time on The Profit First for REI podcast with David Richter.

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