Adapting and Growing Through the Discomfort with Sam Wilson

In this episode, Sam Wilson, an active investor, will give us insights on how to adapt to discomforts that will lead us to amazing results. He will also give us tips, tools, and tricks to scale our investment portfolio.

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Adapting and Growing Through the Discomfort with Sam Wilson

Hey, everybody, welcome back to The Real Estate Rundown today you’re in for a treat. I have the opportunity to have a friend of mine on the show that I actually got to spend some time with earlier this year and really got to know him. Well, I want to introduce him to you, my buddy Sam Wilson. Sam, how are you, man?

Hey, I’m great. Shannon, how about yourself?

Doing all right, Sam, where are you in the world? This? This fine, whatever day we are Tuesday, Wednesday, Wednesday,

It is Wednesday. I don’t keep track of days very well. I’m based out of Memphis, Tennessee.

Perfect. You know, Sam, you have an interesting story. Because there’s a lot of things in your life right now that you never intended to be involved with. Am I right? My friend?

You’re 100% right. And in fact, I would say everything in my life. That is, that is good, actually, is entirely coincidental. My wife and I laugh about that. The other day, it’s like, everything from I’m kid you not my kids, my dog, my wife, my house. Even my vehicles just showed up. And it’s like, wait, like, everything is great. It’s all good. I love it all. But I didn’t go looking for any of this even even even say to my wife like I didn’t really necessarily want to get married. Just a pretty smart girl came along and I’m like, Oh, if I don’t take courage, you’re gonna run away. I better well,

So now that you’ve confirmed all of my audience members that you’re not stupid. You know, a pretty smart girl showed up. You kept her. You know, the dog showed up? He kept him. 


The kids showed up.

So far, and we’re keeping them. Yeah.

Well, Sam, how does a guy get that lucky?

Trial and error, man and a lot of hard knocks, I’ll tell you that. It’s the thing. I’ve said this over and over, like, I can write a book on how to fail. Right? 


I mean, those are the successes that come along with just beating your head into a wall way too many times.

But you know, see, I was just having this conversation with another person. And we’ve been conditioned as a society not to have failures. We’ve all viewed failures as bad things. But I’ve actually thought I’m going to try and coined this phrase that I actually do have $1 for every time I failed, because it’s through the failure that I learned how to succeed. And that’s where I’ve made the money. Right?

For sure. For sure. Yeah. I mean, there’s no, the phrase, there’s no failure, there’s only feedback, right? Couple that with none of us getting out of here alive.


You sure you sure as heck better be doing something, you know, that causes you to fail along the way? Like, if you’re not gambling, or risking in some regard, and not getting feedback on Oh, crap, that didn’t work? 


You’re probably playing it way too safe.

Yeah, I know, and that’s true. Because, you know, we don’t want that. We don’t want to get close enough to the line that hurts. You know, we want to make sure that we’re right down the middle. It doesn’t, it doesn’t cause us any ripples if everything goes smooth. But yet, that’s never where the growth happens. That’s never where you’re able to see that, because, but why is it Sam? Why does growing only happen when you’re uncomfortable?

Man, that’s, that’s a hilarious comment that you put, they’re uncomfortable. So I have a morning routine, right? It’s like it’s got yearly goals, which have changed dramatically this year, which we probably won’t have time for on this show. But part of that is every year I label like the goal for that year, or the theme of what that year would be in 2021. I said, I must become uncomfortable in everything I undertake.

Well, you know

Oh, brother. I mean, I have only known discomfort this year. And it’s and it’s but I’ve seen amazing things come out of it. Right? Like I can. So I can’t complain. It’s just

Are you getting comfortable with being uncomfortable? I know that sounds cliche. But is there a point where you recognize the best things that happened to me, growth wise, personal business? Come in that space? Does it make it any easier to stay there and get your head caved in?

Yes. Yes, it does. Because you have to ask

Where’s the part where you can just sit in the sun and eat chocolate and you get the same results? That’s the one I want to sign up for.

Not on this side of the river for him. It’s not there. You know, I guess there’s a there. I had a thought there for you that you had triggered. It wasn’t it was you know, not failing forward or not, you know, I don’t know failure, failure. There’s no failures, feedback. There was one other great thought out, but it’s gone now. So

It’ll come back to you. 

Yeah, for sure. 

And another time of discomfort.

That’s right. That’s right. Absolutely.

So Sam, have you learned, I’m sure that during this year of discomfort, you’ve learned that you are incredibly special, that there’s only one like you that nobody else can do what you’re doing, that all of these things are just about your awesomeness, right?

No, Sir. I appreciate the leading question though.

You know, this isn’t a court so I can lead the witness.

Right now. I mean, I don’t know how you want this to answer to what the what the question really 

Honestly .

But no, there’s nothing special about me. I mean, anybody can do it. Anybody can do this. He’s gonna get off your dairy air and get it done, man. And that’s Fred’s. frass. I don’t know how this show is rated. Yes, but you really

R for Robnett.

Bye. That’s appropriate. 

Yeah, there you go. Right. But you know, you mean, so you’ve, you’ve put yourself in uncomfortable places. I mean, I know your story a little bit more. But you had no intention of doing all the things that you’re doing. But yet, you’re kind of excelling at it. 

Yeah. I mean, things are good. Things are going great, man. I mean, I’m running a daily real estate podcast, which, you know, 365 days ago, I had that thing that itched in the back of my mind that said, Who wants to talk to Sam wills, right? Like, who wants to get on it? Who wants to get on a podcast with me? And shoot, man, we’re not 30 days away from having three episode 365 go live? And I’ve got, I’ve got to get outside of my comfort zone and ask. I mean, the answer is always no, until you ask. Right? 


What do you do? What do you have to lose? 


What’s the pretty girl gonna say? No? Okay, what was no before you opened your mouth and just knew after she walked away? So you’ve lost absolutely nothing? 


I mean, it’s the same thing on running a podcast. I mean, we’ve done some great deals this year, and just putting yourself out there and going, Oh, my gosh, like, yes. You know what that was? The thought was, people often wonder, like, what happens if I fail? But I think you really need to focus on what happens if I succeed. Like, like, internalize that go, 

Oh, yeah. 

Like, what happens if I succeed? That’ll be really great.

And then you can weigh out the risks of not taking the chance. I mean, you know, it’s not like we’re talking about chances of winning the lottery, we’re talking about chances of you actually doing what you’ve plotted to do that you’re educated to do that you’re in, in, in your school of thought your training you’re able to do,

Why wouldn’t you? Right.

Right. Absolutely. 


So what is it? What is it that you’re finding is, is really making this uncomfortable season of your life? Work for you?

Grows? I think that’s it, you get

What are you about nine foot eight now?

No, thankfully, you know, that happened early on, I was 12 or so six feet tall when I was 12. So I stood over everybody in class, like, like the giant, I still haven’t found my hands. Yeah, my coordination never did catch it. No growth, literally literal video or, you know, growth, internal growth, like growth as a person. I realized that today when I had an opportunity to shift my way. It was something I was working on two years ago, a deal adsterra or a letter of intent we’d submitted no interest dissipated, fell apart. And then Monday, I got a call. Okay, we’re actually interested in selling this. Oh, interesting. And I knew I was a different person today reading that loi, I’m like, You know what, you know, I could want to put that together. Do I just there’s an internal sense of confidence and just knowing what I’m doing, it’s like, yeah, that’s growth. So, you know, that’s part of it. Just just having that internal confidence on the growth side? And I guess that’s probably the answer to it is just growth in general.

And, and that, really, I mean, there’s only one way to get it right. And we both know that. So with that, on a scale of one to 10 How uncomfortable were you this year?


And how much have you grown this year?

Incredible amounts. I mean, both as a business person and as an individual, you know, just on our home front, you know, we can share the 32nd version of the story. We had three foster kids show up on February 1, it literally is a 30 Minute Family. Five, three and one or five, three and eight months from abuse trauma backgrounds. I didn’t sleep for seven months. I kid you not I had no more than two hours at a time. Sleep from February until Gosh, late August. And we finally got everybody in a rhythm finally. It’s like, Oh, wow. So yeah, that’s really uncomfortable at points. There was there was there was there was we were on the knife’s edge of sanity and insanity. 


You sleep is a biological necessity. And when you run, when you run months at a time, you just go crap, like there’s like, things aren’t good things. That’s,

That’s why they use it to interrogate people, right? Sleep deprivation is an effective tool, 

An effective tool. 

It’s why your wife wakes you up at three o’clock in the morning and wants to talk about it, right?

No, thankfully, thankfully. Not. But yeah, so I mean, you know, coupling that coupling with running a business coupling with you know, we’ve taken down oh, gosh, morphine 30 to $35 million in deals this year. 


Yeah. So I mean, you know, still humping it out on the work side, which still, you know, I mean, that’s very uncomfortable. Still put on a daily podcast, which for those that don’t know, it’s a heck of a lot of work. 

It is. 

And, you know, I don’t know how often yours airs Shannon. But you know, it’s work. 

Yeah. No, it is. And, and, you know, when you look at what your next year is looking like, you know, you said you write down goals every year are you going to? Are you looking to be at a 9.9? On the uncomfortable scale for 2022?

Absolutely not.

You gotta want that much growth. Hmm.

Well, you gotta pick your discomforts. Man. I mean, there’s a point between self mutilation and growth, right? Yeah, you got to pick the areas where you say, you know, like, this is, this is a growth. And then there’s also once you grow into that stage, whatever it is, Monday, I already got my theme for next year, I’ll pull back the curtain on it’s called the year of quality, like I want everything that I do to be not just not just not good, but quality, it needs to be authentic, it needs to be well thought out, it needs to be planned, it needs to be purposeful. So I think those are, those are also areas of growth, coming off of a year of discomfort, and then going into a year of quality, I think is really what I’m aiming for. 

Well, and when you’re looking at that quality, you know, you can appreciate that more, because you’ve looked at some of the things, some of the mistakes, right? There’s been mistakes this year. But you’re looking at that, being able to look at that and go, I just saw how not to do that. Now I know what quality of time looks like, you know what quality of sleep is, you know, you know what, you know what that that looks like, and now you can really kind of be at that place where you can decide, because you’ve been able to do what you’ve done. I mean, doing $35 million, where the deals, buddy, that is that is big. I mean, when we talked in January, when you were here in Boise, you were looking at a parking lot, right? You were looking at maybe some you are going to buy this piece of property, you are going to fence it, and you’re going to make some RV surface parking was all you were going to do. That was all you had on your Horizon. And from there to do 35 million bucks is enormous.


And now you’re gonna take that up again, and bring that stabilized thought process into it.

That’s it. It’s the stabilized thought process. It’s no longer like, you know, running a gun, you’re running around, would you say run 100 mile an hour with your house on fire? 

Yeah, exactly. 

That’s fun for a season as well. But it’s also like, Wait, we’re gonna we’re gonna be very intentional and very methodical about what we do and what we undertake, and really put the blinders on.

And I also said, if I wasn’t doing that, I’d probably be on the hunt for a gas cannon, the lighter you know, I mean, and there’s a lot of truth to that, but but you’re right to have that quality to have that balance in, you know, deal flow and family life and sleep. And, you know, all of those kinds of things are, but you wouldn’t know that unless you’d had the year you’ve had. 


Right. Right.

And so there’s that yin and yang of it all that you don’t really know what you have until you don’t have it or you don’t know what you want until you haven’t or have had too much of the other thing, right? 

Yeah, that’s right. So right, now that you’re looking at that, did you overestimate what you could get done in a year? Or did you underestimate what you could get done in a year?

Probably overestimated something. Yeah. It’s like, that’s a great question. I’m not sure I know the answer to it, you know, this year. I mean, at the end of the year, I overestimated because I’ve had to rewrite my goals multiple times. Right. Usually, I have a goal for the year, there’s an income goal, there’s an X goal, there’s all these different goals, and they kind of just go all across from all the different roles. It’s based off of a book called your best year yet. And you know, it’s got all these roles, and then what do you what’s your goal for each role in your life? And I’ve had to rewrite that probably five times as you get 80% of the way through the year and you go, Oh, wait, I’m not gonna hit my income goal. It’s just not gonna happen. Like there’s with the current set of circumstances I’m with, my time is limited, my focus is limited. It’s just not going to happen. Oh, well, like rewriting it and accepting it for what it is.

You know, I had a gal on my show, Rachel Richards, who wrote a book called Money, honey, and she was she’s, she always set more goals, and she could achieve. She always came to the end of the year and said, Well, if I didn’t have 150 goals, and I never would, if I did 75 I’m, and I knew that I could. I put my goals out there so that I could get to them. And I know that maybe I’m not gonna put 75 goals on the paper, I’m gonna put 50 But if I put 150 and know that I’m not even gonna get close to all of them. I’m going to get 75 which is more than if I just wrote something I would achieve, right? So there’s both sides, then you’re me, and I gotta remember what I wrote down, right? I gotta keep revisiting it. Because I forget, but it also goes to the thought process that says that, you know, you overestimate what you’ll get done in a year, but you underestimate what you do in 10. 


For sure. So now looking at the foundation that you’ve built over the last 10 months since we checked in last, and everything that you’ve done, do you think your 10 year goal is too big or too small? 

Too small? 

Yeah, and I love hearing that from a guy like you. I mean, seriously, because, you know, there were so many things when you and I spent the day together, we just really understood a lot of the background. And we really, I mean, you know, we there was a lot we had in common and to hear that you can put that foundation and have that year of tribulation, you know, biblical tribulation. I mean, there was everything but locusts in my life. I don’t know how years went, but we’re coming to the end of it. And now we go to that quality. I had frogs at frogs. But I almost never go to Florida. But now you can put that quality and now you’ve got that ability to go. I’m gonna blow this up. I am absolutely going to get way farther. And I thought about everything. I had your one right. 

Yep. Yep. It’s the foundation man. That’s it. It is establishing a firm foundation from which to now build upon, you should know something about building foundations.

I know a few things. But as you know, I love your compression of the timeline. I mean, you’ve got the dog, the kids, the trunk all this year, right.

Not the dog that killed the truck. And the Yeah, the kids in the truck for this year. But yeah,

I mean, that’s I mean, like, you’re like one thing short of a country music song. 

I know. 

You know? I mean, you need you need you.

I do. I do have an RV. I mean, maybe we could throw that in there for me on accident,

too. Yeah, I could put your address on here and tell my listeners to bring your dog then you gotta know. But So Sam, if you’re going to boil this down, and you’re going to just hone in on quality, what is it that’s going to give you that quality? Over the other options that you have? And why did you pick quality as what you want for next year?

Yeah, I think because I’ve lived, I turned 40 in December, and the first 40 years, I would say have been really just ready fire aim. And I’ve done a lot of different stuff I’ve had my hands involved in and we’ve been successful in them, I’ve had a good time, I’ve learned an incredible amount. I was looking at buying a business here. I went down to Texas here on Monday with a younger associate, and she was going to be the operator. And I just realized I’m like, gosh, you’re, you know, 13 years younger than me, very capable, but just haven’t had the life experience. Right? Which is fine. But that said, I just realized I’ve done so many things that at this point, I go look . I want to hyper focus on those things that bring meaning and value to my life and to the people around me. And whatever that looks like to me or whatever it looks like to you as the listener, you have to find out what that means, what is meaning and what is value. And from those will stem quality. And if you live into that if you allow yourself to focus on those things. So yeah, this is what quality or this is what meaning and value is to me, and then internalize it and allow yourself the freedom to live from that, then your stories obviously look different than mine. You don’t necessarily have to be a multifamily syndicator. You don’t have to be, I mean, you can do whatever you want. But you just gotta make sure that that’s the place from which you are living because I know for me personally, I have chased the almighty dollar one too many times and done things well. It’s like, man, you know what, that’s a great opportunity to go, we can go, we can turn a quick profit on that. And I hate what we’re doing. And you slog it out, you’re like, Oh, we made money. But that sucked.


And life’s too short for that.

Yeah, we’ve all done that. You know, the other thing too, though? How does that apply to your business? I mean, what are you looking for? I mean, let’s just take this straight to a B, the personal growth has to happen, right? The foundation has to happen. You have to internalize that growth. You have to get that to happen. After that happens. How’s that gonna manifest in your business just straight up in your business.

It’s gonna come in. I mean, the very practical things are selecting and retaining the few key operating partners I’m working with. It’s like, okay, here’s my operating partners. I know how they work. I know what they do. I know what they like to buy. Personally, I want to stay on the capital side. I think it’s fun. I enjoy it. You know, what do I want to be an operator maybe someday but if I don’t, it’s not killing me. Right? A it and then and then also slowly compressing maybe what I have previously put as a net worth goal and saying, okay, you know, maybe we just work on what a cash flow goal is.


Like, yeah, at this point that’s basically covered. And I want more than that on a cash flow basis, though, that’s part of quality too, but also going, Okay, if I can establish within these, you know, realms of investing a few different things that will produce a cash flow for me to give him that time back sooner, then maybe we’ll stick with that focus more on that. So those are really practical ways.

And Tony Robbins, I don’t know if you’ve read his book, Money Master the game, but he does a great cash flow scenario there because he talks about people wanting to retire and what you think it takes to retire? And then what it takes to replicate your life if the cashflow is there every month. Right. And that’s really, you know, most indicators’ goals is to get to that cashflow piece first, and then go for the net worth. But the reality is, if you’ve got the cash flow, and you’ve got the time, I think your network just went off the charts,

For sure. And if you can, if you can triple that, or get the trifecta there, where you have money, time and health, 


But the third leg of that stool is health. 


And that’s something else that, you know, I take very seriously. 


You know, if you can put those three together, man, then yes, you have absolutely achieved quality, at least in my opinion.

Well, that’s great to hear. Because you know, so many people, and it was nice to hear you admit that, you know, chasing the dollar has been something we’ve done, because, you know, I like park cars, you know, you hope you don’t catch it, but, but you know, at the end of the day, when you’ve done that, and you’ve seen what that gets you now, again, like we said, it makes what you have all that more meaningful, because you’ve got the reality that I’ve got this, I’ve got the best, I may not have, you know, 10 million bucks in the bank, but I have a quality of life that can’t be beat and I have my health and I have, you know, the other things that go with it. I mean, you know, and not to bring your story up again, for you to brag, but I mean, you’ve got the dog in the truck and the kids and the wife, I mean, you’ve you know, so So I mean guys, if you want to know more about where Sam’s at and how he got the dog truck, the wife and the kids, you can follow Sam where

You can follow me. I mean, shoot, the best thing to do is the following podcast on how to scale commercial real estate. So there’s one way second way is just to brick an investment group dot coms B Ric que en investment

And you know, when you’re looking at how to bring other people along that journey, Sam, what’s the first piece of advice you would give someone on our way out of the show here? What’s the first piece of advice that you would give them having been through the fire of last year? And this previous year? Or this current year, actually? And where are you going with that? What would be the first piece of advice you would give them if they really wanted to get involved with syndicated real estate?

To get involved? Got your guess so not not on the not on the more mindset side of it, but actually practical if they want to get involved in syndications? 


Three things. Actually, I would say that you need to really focus on the first and foremost of those three is, who is the team, right? Find a team that you like, or find multiple teams that you like, so spend time getting to know your teams, go to conferences, phone calls, other investors get to know the team, the second thing that you really want to focus on is the market that team works in or the markets that team works in. You know, if they’re a great team and crappy markets, it’s not going to do any good. But if they’re a great team and great markets, okay, then the third thing you’re gonna focus on, and that is the deal, right? Like the deal. And that’s where people I think, oftentimes get that in reverse, like, Oh, this is a great deal. Yeah. But if they’re a crappy operator, they’re going to lose your money. 


Start with the again, like I was talking about earlier, the foundation, start with start with the team. 


Get your team figured out. Okay, that’s my team now. And now we go out and find the markets that the team works in, you say, Okay, I like this market you’re working on but not that other one. So whatever, do your market research and then the third thing, of course, then start looking for the deals they send you and when they send them to you, you find out if the projections and everything lines up, make sense? I even asked for the underwriting file. But you know, and that’s, that’s, that’s where I’d start. 

Yeah. And you know, that’s important, because if you’re not doing that, then you’re not learning and, you know, if you’re thinking every deal works, and you’re gonna, I mean, look, I’ll be honest, there’s never been a piece of real estate I haven’t fallen in love with but it doesn’t mean I went home with it. Right? I left some of them with the seller, right? So Sam, I really want to thank you for showing up here today and really bringing that authentic truth that a lot of people don’t give us on in our lives where you’ve you really been able to be vulnerable and talk about the challenges you’ve had this year. And the way that that’s helped you to grow. Not everybody wants to talk about that. So I really appreciate that man. I really appreciate you. And guys, I want to thank you for being our listeners and tuning into the real estate rundown. Don’t forget to like Share and Subscribe to The Real Estate rundown on Spotify iTunes wherever you get your podcast to get automatic updates you’ll also find us on Instagram and YouTube love it if you’d leave us a review we’d love to hear your feedback and I will answer it personally but guys once again thanks again for tuning in the real estate rundown we’ll talk to you next time.

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About Sam Wilson:

Sam is an active investor in self storage, parking, retail, multi-family apartments, RV parks and single family homes. He hosts the “How to Scale Commercial Real Estate Podcast”, where he interviews real estate experts to give listeners the tips, tools, and tricks to scale their investment portfolio.

Sam holds his bachelor’s degree in business finance from the University of Memphis and holds his real estate license in Tennessee. In addition to his years of real estate experience, he also has a diverse background in business ownership, building construction, and management.

Instagram: @howtoscalecre