Overcoming setbacks and finding fulfillment in your real estate career |  Rod Khleif podcast special

Multifamily real estate investor and podcast host Rod Khleif joins Chad Corbett to discuss real estate mindset

If you’re looking for a motivational business podcast or real estate mindset podcast episode to get you focused on building a career and life that you love, this episode is a must-watch.

Multifamily real estate investor and podcast host Rod Khleif joins Chad Corbett to discuss setting goals, overcoming losses, and finding meaning and happiness in your work and life.

Where to Stream: Rod Khleif podcast special: Overcoming setbacks and finding fulfillment in your real estate work and life

Ask The Expert Segments: Rod Khleif podcast special: Overcoming setbacks and finding fulfillment in your real estate work and life

0:00 Why having the right real estate mindset is so important for 2022

1:37 Rod Khleif: How I got started in real estate investing with no money and became a millionaire

4:16 What happened to my net worth: 2008 housing collapse reaction

6:50 How to get focused, get out of the comfort zone, and embrace the real estate mindset

15:05 Understanding physiology and motivation

21:17 Overcoming setbacks through gamification of progress

27:24 Finding fulfillment in your real estate career work and life40:13 The Rod Khleif Multifamily Bootcamp 2022

TRANSCRIPT for Rod Khleif podcast special: Overcoming setbacks and finding fulfillment in your real estate work and life

Overcoming setbacks and finding fulfillment in your work and life. Rod Khleif podcast guest

Why real estate mindset is so important for 2022 [00:00:00] 

Chad Corbett: Welcome everybody. My name’s Chad corporate, for those of you that don’t know me. And this is part of the estate professionals, mastermind podcast, excited to bring a guest to you today outside of the conversation we normally have, but I think it’s very valuable for everybody.

So, Rod Khleif is here today. We’re going to talk about business and real estate mindset and all of the hard lessons he’s learned through his real estate career, an incredibly accomplished real estate professional, but most importantly he’s an incredibly accomplished manager of emotions and mindset, even in, uh, in extreme environments where devastating losses have set in. So I think coming into the environment that, and I think Rod would agree with me, the environment we’re heading into. We’re heading into rough waters and the recency bias is alive and well. And this is a lot like early to mid-2007, where at least 60% of our industry is saying it’s going to go forever supply and demand, but they’re not realizing demand, shuts off like a light switch, just like it did in oh seven.

The trigger will be different. It’s unlikely to be exactly what it was, but real estate is subject to the greater macroeconomic picture. And that’s what the most intelligent people are looking at. So I believe that it’s important as we head into this, that you focus on mindset because you can roll up and quit- probably a couple of million of your peers are going to.

Or you can change your mindset and gain strength and in an environment like this and Rod’s a great example of this he’s living proof. And I think it’s a very timely time to share this conversation with you guys. So Rod, please introduce yourself and a welcome.

Rod Khleif: How my journey to wealth through real estate started [00:01:37] 

Rod Khleif: Oh, thanks for having me. Chad, let’s have some fun today, so yeah maybe I should just go back and tell a little of my story because I think it’ll add some framework to what I think your peeps would benefit from today. So I immigrated to this country from the Netherlands.

I was born in Holland; with wooden shoes and windmills. When I was six years old immigrated with my brother Albert, and my mother Swantje. And we ended up in Denver, Colorado. And struggled initially. We ate expired food. We went to an expired food store and drank powdered milk with our cereal in the morning, which I promise you to sound better than it is.

And I remember wearing clothes from the Goodwill and the salvation army through junior high school. 

When I was 14, I lied about my age because I was tall to get a job at burger king flipping burgers so that, I could get a job and buy my clothes.

And I’m sure you’ve got listeners that maybe initially had it harder than I did, but I knew I wanted more and my mom had an incredible work ethic.

So she babysat kids. We always had a house full of kids. She babysat kids, so we’d have enough money to eat and so on. And she was a bit of an entrepreneur with her babysitting money. She invested in the stock market successfully, and she also invested in real. And her first real estate acquisition was a house right across the street from us when I was 14.

She paid about $30,000 for it. And when I was 17, she told me she’d made a, $20,000 in her sleep that had gone up in value to $20,000. And I’m like, what may 20,000? You didn’t do anything? Screw college, I’m getting into real estate. So I went and got my real estate broker’s license, right when I turned 18, which you could do back then through education. Now they got smart and you need some experience before you can be a broker, but I was an actual broker, right when I turned 18. Well, in my first year in real estate, I made about eight grand. And this is again, keep in mind. This is 1978, my second year, maybe 10 grand.

But in my third year, I made over a hundred thousand dollars. So, back in 1980, that was some pretty decent change for a 20-year-old punk. Well, what, so what happened between your two and three? Well, what happened was I met a guy- I was dating his daughter- that taught me about the importance of real estate mindset and psychology.

And really, 80 to 90% of your success in anything is just that mindset and psychology. Only 10 to 20% of the vehicle, the mechanical information, be it in my case, real estate, or other businesses that I’ve owned. It’s primarily mindset. So fast forward to today, 

I’ve built 27 businesses when they fail. I don’t call them failures. I call them seminars. 

Okay. Several of them. Several of those businesses have been worth tens of millions of dollars. Most have been spectacular flaming seminars, but we fail our way to success., Right? In 2006, my net worth went up by $17 million while I slept. And you might be like, wow.

And I was like, wow. And you do the math on that. It’s $8,300 an hour. Which of course I did. And if you’d hold still long enough, I was bragging about it.

What happened to my net worth: 2008 housing collapse reaction [00:04:16] 

Rod Khleif: And when you know, I got a head so big, I could barely fit it through a door. I thought it was a real estate God. And when that happens, God of the universe to give you a nice little smack, well, that was 2008, nine. I lost everything. I lost $50 million conservatively in 2008 and nine. 

Chad Corbett: Now, let’s talk about what that was like on your balance sheet. how much of that was real estate holdings versus… 

Rod Khleif: it was all real estate. It was all real estate. I had 800 houses and I had several apartment complexes and they were up and down the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Okay. So they were two hours one way, and two hours the other way, and everywhere in between. and I was only to 30% loan to value. I only owed 30 cents on the dollar. I was not over-leveraged. Okay. People were like, oh yeah, well you borrowed too much money. No, that wasn’t the case at all.

So several things caused this to happen. One was Florida has no state income tax. So property taxes are higher, which impacts cash flow. I had properties in wind and flood zones, which is higher insurance, which impacts what cash flow, but we’re killed me was maintenance. See, these were C-class houses for the most part.

And in C classes is ABC and D houses D as the hood. Okay. But these were C and so they’re older. The demographics are harder on them. Okay. You’re going to have a lot more maintenance. And so if I send a maintenance guy to one of my apartment complexes and everything’s the same plumbing, parts, electrical parts, HPAC appliances, window locks.

So you could stockpile parts and they’re in and out in an hour. Well, if I had to send one to a house that’s an hour and a half away, one. Then have to go see what’s wrong because every house is different they’d have to go find a home depot or Lowe’s where we have an account. And that could be an hour round trip.

And I don’t know about you, Chad, but any Rod’s happy has to try to fix something at home. He ends up going to Home Depot more than once. And you know, it’s the same thing with maintenance guys. And so, what, what took an hour at one of my apartment complexes has taken all day at one of my 800 houses! And that killed my cash flow, but I thought, I thought like you said earlier, everything was just going to be great forever.

 You know, not my only, only thing that makes me feel better about myself as there were countries that went bankrupt back then. So it makes me feel a little better but the other thing, like the coup de grâce as it were, that killed me was I didn’t pay attention to tenant demographics back then.

I do now, obviously, I’ve bought, I don’t know, about 4,000 apartment units just in the last three years. But I didn’t back then. And I, what I discovered was, you know, if they had good credit and they had a job and they paid their deposit and their rent. I took them. I discovered that a lot of them were contractors, plumbers, electricians, drywallers, painters, roofers, which fell off a frickin cliff in 2008, nine.

So they didn’t have work. So it was like the perfect storm. And then what was interesting is my portfolio went upside down. Okay. So it dropped more than 70% here, along the Gulf coast of Florida. 

How to embrace the real estate mindset [00:06:50]

Rod Khleif: So anyway, one of the things that I’m known for talking about is the real estate mindset.

It took that 50 million to lose in the first place, but then the mindset it took to recover to the success that I’m blessed to have today. So, we can drill down on some of those strategies, if you’d like Chad 

Chad Corbett: I want, this is, you said you’re a Tony Robbins guy.

So you know, one of the exercises is going back and feeling that I won’t take you back, but I do want to point back to that moment. What was the turning point? Cause I’m imagining you, you might not have given up, but you at least slowed down.

You hit 

Rod Khleif: listen, I hit under. I was hidden under a rock for a few years, for a few 

Chad Corbett: months. But what I want to talk about is eventually that situation will get you to a point of apathy, which is the lowest feeling you could experience it’s worse than depression. Right. But what was the trigger that brought you out of an apathetic state?

I think that’s super important. 

Rod Khleif: Great question, Great, I have never been asked that question in a few hundred podcast interviews. Great question. So. Luckily there, and it ties into what I want to talk about anyway, because, luckily I was in Tony Robbins, so you’ve mentioned Tony. I followed him around the planet for 20 years.

I was in his platinum partnership back then, right in oh seven and eight. And that’s this a hundred thousand dollars a year. It’s probably four or five times that now. But at the time it was a hundred thousand to be in this group for a year. So I was around people that were thriving through the crash

and they were like, oh, get up, 50 million, stop whining and get up. And so I have that. Okay. Peer group is critical. Guys. Who you hang out with is who you become. You show me your three best friends. I’ll show you who you are in every aspect of your life. Be it your personal life, your professional life, your health, everything.

Okay. So, so many people default to people, they went to school with, or people they work with instead of proactively seeking people that want what they want, people that aren’t going to be afraid of their dreams or crushed their dreams because of their fear or jealousy or guilt of, being left behind whatever.

And so peer group is critical. So that’s one component. I was lucky now I only met with them maybe once before it all crashed, but I was around people that were thriving. So that’s number one. Number two is I’ve learned that what you focus on is what you get. And so it would have been easy for losing 50 million to become my story.

I use it now as a teaching mechanism, but it’s not my identity. That’s another thing. You never let your vehicle be your identity because if the vehicle crashes and burns, you’re crashing and burning. If it’s who you are, it’s just your vehicle. And so, you can fail, but you’re not afraid.

Right. The only if it’s just your vehicle now, I separated myself from that initial success to the seminar. I call a $50 million seminar. I separated myself from Matt and then I reassociated with what I wanted, and why I wanted it. If you come to one of my boot camps. So I do sell out live events around the country.

I’ve got one coming up, July 29th, 30th, and 31st in Denver. And I’ll tell you guys how to come if you’re interested in multifamily real estate, but the first thing for an hour and a half is goal setting on steroids because how the heck do you get anything if you don’t know what the heck you want? You got to know what you want and you’ve got to want, and you’ve got to know why you want it.

And it’s gotta be clear. And so we spend time on that because it’s, again, you have to have a burning desire, like Napoleon hill talks about in his book, Think and grow rich. You gotta want it. And why do you have to want it? Because you’ll have fear. You’ve got to push through that fear. 

You’ll have limiting beliefs, like. When I immigrated, I was six years old. I didn’t speak English. My mom threw me in school and I found out what bullies were for the first time. And I got my butt kicked because I didn’t learn how to fight back yet. And then, and then she thought it’d be a great idea to send me to school and wooden shoes in those leather shorts the Germans wore for Oktoberfest. So I got my butt kicked again, and then they chased me home. And my mama chased him off with a flyswatter and I’d get my butt kicked the next day. So I came up with this belief system that I wasn’t good enough. And there are a lot of people who have these limiting belief systems.

I’m not. I’m not smart enough. I’m not young enough old enough, strong enough, analytical enough, whatever. There’s a reason. The acronym for belief systems is BS because 99.9% of them are BS. Okay. But you’ve got to be able to push through them. And so that burning desire is what gets you to take action and push through that stuff.

Maybe you’re comfortable and a comfort zone is a warm place. And again, as you mentioned, we’re heading into a recession, which could be a big one. And if you’re in the comfort zone and you don’t take action, you don’t innovate or pivot, it’s going to be a problem. And so again, the comfort zone is a warm place, but nothing freaking grows there.

And so, that burning desire would get you to push through. And that’s why that’s the first thing we do is goals. And we spend time on it. By the way, if you’re not interested in real estate, if you go to rods links.com, I’ve got the goal-setting workshop.

I do it every year on the first, and it’s got music it’s professionally done with a guide. You can download it, just go there and Rod’s links.com and click on the goal-setting thing. Cause it’s a great thing to do. You should do it at least a couple of times a year. And to have your spouse, do it, have your kids do it.

If there are teenagers, for sure. I’ll do some, just give me an hour in the end and I’ll do some, but of course, if you can come to Denver come to my multifamily Bootcamp 2022. Cause you’ll love it. But that’s it, it’s, it started with peers. It was reassociating with what I wanted instead of what I didn’t want, which was that loss?

Yeah. I was licking my wounds underneath a rock for a few months, but then I just picked myself back up Chad, and said, screw it. I can focus on this pain or I can focus on what I want again. And reassociating so, I redid my vision boards. I redid my goals. I, and again, guys, whatever you focus on, if you’re listening to Chad, you’re a leader and for God’s sakes right now, the world needs leaders more than ever.

But as a leader, you’ve got to pay attention to what you focus on. You know, Don’t get me started on the crap they put on the media. You’ve got to stand guard at the door to your mind and bring the good stuff like on my podcast, it’s called lifetime cashflow. I do this clip every week called to own your power.

And that’s what it’s about. It’s a five-minute motivational clip about a different topic in self-actualization and motivation. The last one I did last week was on. Playing to your strengths, I believe. And so, so if you give me five minutes a week, I will juice you. So if nothing else, you might want to listen to it and listen to those episodes.

Cause it is powerful. But as a leader right now, more than ever, you’ve got to pay attention. And direct your focus because the most successful people on the planet are the ones that have the best focus. I listened to a podcast, by a guy named Tim Ferris. I get excited about my 13 million downloads.

I think he does that in a week, but he interviews the best of the best in their class, the best athletes, Michael Phelps, the actors, Arnold and Jamie Fox and ed Norton and Hugh Jackman billionaires like Ray Dalio and he deconstructs their success. And I started to hear a pattern.

They all meditate. How does meditation enhance focus? Right. So, the focus is critical and I don’t know about you. I’ll be watching a movie Chad and I’ll be sitting scrolling through fricking social media and it’s fun. But the problem with that is your brain is making these little micro-decisions, which kill your focus.

Okay. So you know, my wife and I talked about maybe doing a social moratorium for a while, self-imposed but anyway, so, there are a few things, period. Goals are critical and focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. For example, they asked mother Teresa about her when she was alive about shoes. Anti-war she said, no, I’m pro-peace, kind of the same thing, but you see the message there.

And so the focus is just so incredibly important. Peer group is important, and knowing what you want is important. And then, if you’re someone that hasn’t taken action, it’s making a decision. Okay. That’s the first piece you got to make a decision and Latin root for the word decision means to cut off.

If you’re going to attack the island, you’re burning your ships because you’re taking their damn ships home. That’s a decision. It’s not a toe in the water. It’s not one foot in one foot out sort of thing. It is freaking done. That’s a decision. Once you make that decision you want more. With your business or your life or whatever then of course it’s massive action and, action mitigates fear and massive action starts with the first step.

And sometimes that first step, the hardest step and the most important step of your life, Dr. Martin Luther King said you take that first step in faith in this, in the next step will be revealed. And Lao Tzu, a thousand years ago, said the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but you’ve got to take that first step.

You can drive across the country at night, seeing 50 feet in front of you. And, you could encounter obstacles, but you know, other people have done it before, you’ll make it. And it’s the same way with pretty much any goal that you have. You, you can’t, if you’re super analytical, which I know many of your audience is, you can’t see the whole staircase.

And you’re not going to be able to check off every box before you take action. You just have to, you have to take some action with faith.

Understanding physiology’s role in building successful habits [00:15:05] 

Chad Corbett: I want to interject there because this is something like that like I think Tim Ferriss is an amazing individual. I’ve walked on fire with Tony Robbins and I think that’s so much fun. And I learned so much. I take for granted how much of that. I like it imprinted on me.

And the second time I went back to UPW, I’m like, well, who the hell doesn’t know this? And it’s like, when you’re in a negative state, when you’re not in the right mindset, a lot of that, it just bounces off.

Right. It’s like, oh, easy for him to say, he at least had $50 million to lose, and it’s easy for our ego to go, no, defend yourself- retreat, so you don’t have to look silly and I’ve been trying to figure out how do you convey, like what we’ve learned to use to our advantage?

How do you teach that to people in a simpler way? And I thought, what about physiology? What if I just talked about the physical, what is happening in your pituitary gland, like in your brain, in your amygdala, and your prefrontal cortex? What hormones are coursing through your blood that caused this pile of cells to take certain actions or inaction that causes an electrical impulse to this electrical impulse to happen versus that one, like those neurocircuits to fire in one way versus firing in the other?

And I started following Carol Dweck, Ph.D., Andrew Huberman, Ph.D. Steven Kotler. And I’ve looked at the actual neuroscience Of this and something I’ve never really heard. Even those people talk about the hormonal response to those steps. So you threw out a couple of metaphors, like the headlights and you can’t see all the steps and Lao Tzu, like those represent the necessary components of achieving a goal.

In retrospect, what I’ve found about myself and almost everyone else around me is, that the reason you pick up your phone and scroll through that while you’re watching a movie is what? You get dopamine from it built. You quite literally have built a neural pathway to release this little squirt of feel-good hormones from your pituitary gland when you see somebody likes you, or when you see a sexy woman on Instagram or whatever. Yeah, whatever your belief system, your values have fired hundreds of times and created a neural pathway in your physical brain. You get a reward for doing that and your baseline dopamine keeps going up.

Okay. And the more you do that’s why you hear people talk about addiction. You think about drugs. Well, we’re all freaking addicted to cell phones at some level. 

Rod Khleif: Sure. 

Chad Corbett: People who can’t put them down it’s they have increased their baseline dopamine level to a point they can’t live without their phones.

And that’s problematic. I haven’t had a television since 2006.

I haven’t had notifications on my cell phone since 2015, 15, or 16. So, my phone is only a proactive device. It is not reactive, I do not react to a cell phone unless I’m expecting a call from my family. And it only vibrates it doesn’t ring. It makes no noises. It has no badges. And that has brought so much quality to my life.

But what I find is I get my dopamine hits from things like saving money, reading books, like the steps. And when I say I’m, I will give away, I will in front of the world for who knows the umpteenth time, I will contribute $20 million of pure value to the world in the next nine and a half years before I turned 50, it’s going to happen.

There’s no doubt in my mind. Now, heading into the environment we’re heading into people are like, how the hell are you going to do that? And I’m like, I have no damn clue, like, 

Rod Khleif: but you’re doing it with your podcast, buddy. You’re doing 

Chad Corbett: every time I get a YouTube view. Every time I get a sale, every time a new amazing person comes into my life.

Every time a positive review comes, I get my dopamine hit because that step got me closer to 20 million in value. I don’t need the money for myself. I don’t need to be doing it. I’ve gamified this where I get dopamine releases from things like that. Like by getting every step I take, every turn you turn to go back to your metaphors.

Like, don’t try to get your positive reinforcement from those, that hormonal response.

It doesn’t come from achieving the goal. It comes from the pursuit of the goal 

Rod Khleif: Celebrating progress on that pursuit. I don’t care what you got done. I don’t care how little it was. I teach this weekly planning process. And one of the important most important pieces is to look at the previous week and acknowledge and celebrate what you got done because you’re going to have setbacks.

You’re going to have delays, but if you acknowledge consciously in the operative orders, don’t pass it over. I don’t care if you just read one page of a book, pat yourself on the. That’s the key to happiness. Its happiness comes from progress and growth. Never the goal. 

Chad Corbett: Dr. Ben Hardy and Dan Sullivan. They co-authored a book called the gap and the gain. Have you read that? 

Rod Khleif: No, but I know Dan Sullivan, he’s brilliant.

Chad Corbett: Yeah. So Ben writes the book and then he and Dan come together and discuss it and talk about it. So, Dan’s mindset.

And it’s essentially what Dan has, what he discovered in his, I think in his thirties probably is that, you can either measure the gap, which is how you came up short, how you lost a $50 million portfolio, how you all this negative, or you can look at the game and you can say, well, yeah, I lost $50 million back in ’08, but, we were eating expired food 40 50 years ago, look at the gain!

A lot of people tried to teach this in a lot of different ways. And for me, like, I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration, but When my psyche rejects something because it’s like, oh, easy for him to stay. Then I stop and immediately I try to identify that like, is that ego or does that violate your beliefs or your values and that person is just full of it? Or is it you, is it in you? Is it you thinking small and you, your ego response? That’s impressive. What I find is almost always it’s coming from. It’s an ego response saying, oh, that God doesn’t know, that’s not for me because I’m scared.

Right? I’ve found it fascinating looking at the actual neuroscience of it and where does tenacity come from? Where does grit come from? Like, why will you not quit?

Like you, you can’t quit. And it’s because you’ve learned, I believe you hit that point of apathy, which created an emotional low point in your story. And you said never again, 

Overcoming setbacks in your life and career [00:21:17]

Rod Khleif: It’s so funny. You said that, cause I want to give you an incredible example.

Okay. I, that was that 50 million was the second time I crashed and burned. The first time I crashed and burned, which I don’t talk about publicly. I was in a million-dollar house out of Maserati at a rolls Royce. I was banging and when my twenties, every thought I was a drug dealer, but I was just good at real estate.

But I lost everything okay. To the point where my house got foreclosed on. This is 30 years ago. Okay. My house got foreclosed on I’m sorry. More than 30 years ago. This was 40 years ago. My house got foreclosed on. I lost everything. I had to sell my rolls Royce to make payroll for a fraction of what it was worth.

And I ended up painting houses to have enough money to eat. So I went from rolls, Royce, freaking millionaire house to paint, and my mom bought me groceries and brought them to me because she was worried about me. Okay. so rolls Royce to mom bringing me fricking groceries. This that’s the apathy the, that was the low point.

I remember painting a house, throwing the brush down, and crying and saying, this, I’ll never do this again. And having that moment you just described, that’s where I had to interrupt you, man. Cause that just defined exactly what I went through back then. And I said I’ll never go through this crap again and feel sorry for myself.

And that’s one of the reasons I was able to pick myself up that second, big time, I was in an $8 million house. Okay. I was a mansion on the beach the second time around. And I lost that and all the craziness too. And now I live in a compound, six buildings, a big, main house, a two-bedroom guest house on the water media building exercise facility that’s off the chain. 

And because God’s got a sense of humor, I can see my old house across the bay. It’s right across the bay from where I live now. But anyway, I had to interrupt. I’m sorry. Sorry. That’s rude 

Chad Corbett: as hell, but I became an emotional anchor for you. Yeah. And as, as Tony has, you’ve heard him say many times you get what you tolerate. That’s it and good or bad you get what you tolerate. And it sets a point. It sets a low limit. I will not tolerate it, I will not go back into this mindset. I will not go back into this. And for everyone listening, where this has become relevant to you is what I’ll caution you of is the most dangerous emotional state that I’ve ever encountered in my life is complacency, is being comfortable.

So you there’s a band of you’ll tolerate so much, like so much to the upside. So much to the downside. If you tighten that down and you’re very specific about what you won’t tolerate and very specific about what you will tolerate or what you deserve.

Right put differently, then starts to happen quickly. And that’s been true in my life. Like anytime where I let off the gas and I just say, oh, whatever, I don’t have time to, to resist that. Or I don’t have time to pursue this. Then you just like a boat. If it’s not underloaded it’ll eventually just coast.

And then you just kind of stall out and you may not be off course. You may still be on course, but you’re not moving forward. And what I find in my own life, And if you look at neuroscience, like, and if you listen to Tony Robbins or almost any other psychologists, like if we’re not contributing and we’re not growing, we’re not fulfilled, we’re dying.

And you can say that, working eight hours a day, coming home, watching five and a half hours of television sleeping six to seven hours, and then going back to do it all over again. With an 80% debt to income ratio, the American dream, you can say that’s okay and you’re comfortable.

But if you get a taste, if you say I won’t tolerate that, I want this. Like, you’re allowed to have anything you want. You’re supposed to have everything you want. And I learned, I don’t know. I wish I could put my thumb on what happened to me around six or seven years old, but I just like you, I was like, there are the leather basketball shoes that my parents can’t afford. I want, the Jeep in high school, I want this and that. And I’ve turned my addiction, my dopamine dependency on saving money, negotiating deals, like kind of the opposite.

Other people go out and they call it retail therapy to me to go to a store and blow a bunch of money at retail price. That’s depressing as hell. I don’t care if I do come home with new stuff, I’m like, I got bamboozled. I paid retail. Now I’ll walk into a Macy’s and pick out a Tommy Bahama shirt and offer him 70 cents on the dollar.

And if they’d take it, I’m like, hell yeah. And that’s a true story. I did. I did it to prove a point in front of one of my friends. I bought, you can walk into Walmart and make offers. I did that. I bought $2,500 worth of stuff from lawn and garden to prove a point thousand bucks helped me offer.

And like, I get dopamine from those because I set a goal to retire by 40. I achieved it well before that. And then I realized it, wasn’t in alignment with who I am. Like, I’m a contributor I want to grow. I want to be pushed. I want to be challenged. I want to have these conversations.

 If you Are tired of hearing. You got to work on your mindset and you’ve got to set goals. If you’re tired of hearing that, I just want you to be able to hear something different, like physiologically the reason the goal works is it forces you to have a hormonal response to the day-to-day, whether it’s progress or regress. You can create neural pathways to give you a hormonal response to the progress that you’re making daily. You become addicted to what outcome you want to achieve. And I’ve not heard anyone teach it that way.

And it’s still a form of developing thought in my head. 

Rod Khleif: I got to tell you it’s brilliant. And it ties in though to that acknowledgment I was talking about and, because the happiness comes from progress and growth, and I hate to say it, but we’re a lot like dogs in that regard. We, some people do it through food, but if you can train yourself to do it through that progress where you get that little dopamine burst because you’re making progress.

That I think is one of the solutions. But I got to say a couple of quick things that, because you covered a lot of material and one of the other things with goals is it triggers your reticular activating system, and that’s that subconscious filter in your brain that your brain points you in.

It’s not conscious. You know that, if you associate with your goals and you own them, and you think about them, I got vision boards behind my green screen here that I’ll look at. And I’ll visualize as if I already have them. That triggers that res the greatest example of your reticular activating system are when you first buy a car, you never really noticed them.

And then they’re everywhere. Were they there before? Of course, they were. 

Real Estate Mindset: Finding fulfillment in your work and life [00:27:24] 

Rod Khleif: But the other thing you talked about was sort of being fulfilled and, we’ve all been taught to achieve, to be happy. Like we can’t be happy until we’ve achieved. Right. Let me give you an example of this. I told you about that $8 million houses I built on the beach.

I, when I lived in Denver, was 18. I knew I wanted to live on the beach and there’s no beach in Denver. And I dreamt about it for 20 freaking years. I’d visualize it. And the Palm trees and sand and. And I built this incredible home is a beach on one side. And I had my boats on the backside.

It was called a Gulf to the bay. And so, it was a slice through an island. And, just to give you a quick description, there was a giant waterfall from the second-floor balcony into the pool. You had to walk through the waterfall to get to the pool was in magazines, and had tens of thousands of dollars with trees bending out over it.

It had a spiral staircase up to the middle of the house, and an elevator wine cellar. On the second floor, I had a query and built around the spiral to cost me almost 200 grand. So it gives you an idea. So two months after I moved in, I’m floating in the pool at night, pools changing colors, got fiber optic lighting.

And I’m looking up at this Testament to my ego is really what it was. It was to prove the world. I was good enough and my family was inside sleeping and I got depressed. And this was, I worked for this thing for 20 years. This was two months after I bought it. I moved in. Okay. And I was depressed and.

I went out and bought some books and one of them was Tony’s book. And I went and saw Tony and I found out that he fed families for the holidays. And I’m like, what a concept? Do something for someone else. So I called my brother in Denver, who I was visiting for Thanksgiving. I said, Hey, let’s feed five families.

And so he went to his church and found five families that needed. And we brought toys for the kids, big boxes of food and frozen Turkey and everything else. And the third family changed my life. I, we brought this stuff to the door and a woman came out. She’s a woman with five kids in this crappy one-bedroom that wasn’t even a one-bedroom, but anyway, she sees the food and stuff and starts crying or kids come out to the older ones, and start crying.

I start crying. And I’m hooked. And I’m blessed to say in the last 20 years we fed 110,000 kids here in my, where I live in Florida. Oh, thank you. We’ve done tens of thousands of backpacks filled with school supplies. We’ve done tens of thousands of Teddy bears, and local police departments for their officers to keep in their cars.

If they encounter a child who has been traumatized. And I’m not saying this to brag, but there’s a message in this, that ties into what you were saying. And that is again, we’ve been taught to achieve, to be happy. But if you give back, see Tony Robbins calls. It’s caused it, the science of achievement versus the art of fulfillment.

Achievement is a science. If you want to learn multifamily for God’s sake, come see me in Denver and I’ll give you a fantastic deal if you want to come. But fulfillment is an art. Okay. You’ve got to find out what juices you. And so, for me, it was kids maybe for you, it’s the elderly or the environment or animals or whatever it is giving back right now.

I don’t care if you’re listening to this saying, yeah, I’ll do it when I have money. No, do it right now because. Instead of achieving to be happy, you’ll be happily achieving and you’ll get there faster. Okay. So that’s not why you do it, but trust me, that’s the way the universe, God works, whatever you believe you get back a thousandfold.

And so that’s how – you’re fulfilled while you’re achieving if you’re incorporating giving back while you’re doing it. So anyway, I just had to throw that in before we, 

Chad Corbett: well, that’s great. So I want to go back to the eight-and-a-half-million-dollar house. And what you experienced right there was in less than 60 days, hedonistic adaptation.

 Hedonistic adaptation is the reason you shouldn’t set goals based on tangible outcomes. A house as a house. And I let you can see anyone who watches my show you know, I’ve lived in an RV for a year and a half.

I’ve lived in multimillion-dollar homes in Maui. It. Like it wears off. It’s just a house. So you got to set goals internally not like intrinsic goals, not extrinsic goals. Well, for me, like I know I look out as in 10 years, I want to be respected. I want to be loved. I want to be healthy and I want to be lighthearted.

And I want to know what it feels like to give away $20 million to make the world a better place. Okay. So, but what I’m chasing is the. So I don’t like it, I’m not saying I need an 8,000 square foot ski home and Aspen because that’s going to prove to me or the world X. What I try to focus on is what I call feeling based goal-setting.

So let’s sit down and say, what are the emotions, the positive emotions that you appreciate the most in your life. And it can be different for everybody, but write down those words, like what are all the ways you want to feel? And it can be like, literally just cover a page, let it be a word cloud. And then for the next five minutes, go through and keep, kill, combined.

So which of these are synonymous and which one do I have the strongest emotional response to? That’s your word. So you can say, care, love, happy fund, and love is going to be the one with the most intensity. So one of those core desired feelings would be love. I want to feel loved.

And you can say, I want to be, I want to be happy, playful. Joking, funny, and happy is one. So you want to feel love and you want to feel happy and then really like, get it down to like five core feelings, like the way you want to feel. So no KPIs, no numbers, nothing like this to get the tangibles out, like in your heart intrinsically.

Who the hell are you and who the hell do you want to be? And what does that person feel like? How do you want them to feel stressed? Like, do you want to feel cynical? Or do you just want to feel lighthearted and peaceful and I as a contributor. So really think about those things. Like instead of saying, I’m going to do X number of deals, or I’m going to, I’m going to own X number of doors, or I’m gonna have X number of square feet or this or that.

What the hell is that going to bring you? What will a portfolio of 8,000 doors bring you? For a lot of people, if you don’t, if you don’t have the right skill set, it’s going to bring you the worst job you’ve ever had in your life. It’s going to be a massive fucking headache. And it’s a huge amount of risk, and you’re going to have trouble sleeping at night, but if you’ve built your way up there slowly, and you’ve had good mentors and you’ve got a good operation in place, it can be passive income, but it’s that way for very few.

But even if we scale this down, you say, I want to do 50 residential real estate deals this year. What will 50 residential real estate deals bring you will it pay off your kids’ student loan debt, which will make you feel the love? Like you’ll feel like anyway, there’s no right answer.

I can’t give that answer to anyone. What I can do is say quit focusing on KPIs, numbers, and tangible objects focus and on, on inside of you, how. To feel. And when you set a goal, it should be moving you toward that. When you make a decision, everything gets passed through those filters. When you meet a new woman, does she make me feel like her, or does she help me get closer to these five feelings?

Or when you go to buy a new car, does it help you get closer to those five feelings? Maybe you should drive a Ford, even if you can afford a Ferrari because you wanted to contribute to a food bank. And the Ferrari is going to take that money where you’re not going to do that. So you won’t feel that sense of contribution.

You’ll feel hidden hedonistic adaptation. Right? So I’ve been challenging myself to find a way to incur more of the how-to set goals. And I know that not everybody’s me, every different thing works for different. But what has helped me achieve things, the desired outcome, and the shortest amount of time was focusing my goal setting on emotions. And then really looking at creating habits around your daily activity and even the tangible things you surround yourself with like, like getting addicted to progress or getting addicted to the process, the steps in place.

So nobody wants to say, I. Well, everybody wants the feeling of Mount Everest, but I think it’s around what is it? Around 3% of people who attempted. Okay, finish at the summit. And that’s those people who look at every single step as an achievement, right? Like, so I got all right, one step closer.

Where if you just focus on staring at the top the whole time, you’re probably going to be in one of the ones that come down on the stretcher.

Rod Khleif: My only question to you. How do you see in my definition of goal setting, that they need to be quantifiable and measurable?

And emotion is a little ethereal. It’s a little more challenging not to say you couldn’t do it. I could just say. It being harder than a tangible, a tangible, it’s never about the goals. They say that it’s the happiest days of a boat owner’s life aren’t the day they buy the boat or the day they sell the boat, it’s about who you become on your path to your goals, as long as you’re, acknowledging progress and growth.

But like I say, we do this, we do goal setting as well. It is more tangible, I think than your example, but. Most people spend more time designing and planning a birthday party than they do design their lives. And in both of our situations, we’re designing our lives. Be it goals based on emotion or goals based on tangible and you need to get the bottom line is you need goals because otherwise, you’re like a ship just drifting in the ocean.

You’ve got no destination, no outcome. 

Chad Corbett: Yeah, give you an example of when I got rid of, I used to follow Verne Harnish’s Rockefeller habits. I had the one sheet and, I had my one-page strategic plan. I meant and I had that and I tracked KPIs like relentlessly I had hundreds of things that I tracked. What I found was, that I had built a real estate brokerage.

What I found I was working harder than I ever had, and I was less fulfilled than I’d ever been with the worst profit margin of any business I’ve ever run. And I was just busting my ass for a 10 to 15% margin, which to me seemed like a really stupid business model because why work so hard when I could do three or four deals without all the expense and overhead and activity and headaches.

I had all, I can sell two houses and make the same amount of money as I did on a 15% margin. Right. Because I have like a 90% margin. So that’s when I challenged myself because I had built a trap… Like I did what, like through my own numbers goal setting, I said, I’m going to do 150 residential real estate transactions, single-handedly.

I’m going to net this much off of it. And I was chasing numbers and I just wasn’t doing the things that made me feel the way I wanted to feel. And my, inspiration for me, there was a lady out of British Columbia named Danielle LaPorte. I’ve never met her, never been able to thank her, but she was a guest on somebody’s podcast.

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I just heard a five-minute snippet of this podcast and she was talking about why don’t we set goals based on how we want to feel and not what we want to achieve. And I’m like, damn at the end, ultimately any number, any goal that you set that could have a number or a tangible outcome, you’re chasing a feeling.

So let’s identify that feeling and just chase that today. So instead of pursuing happiness, let’s fight, let’s be happy. And then happiness. Well, we don’t have to wait 20 years. We don’t have to wait until we have 5,000 houses. So I sat with that. I went home. I barely slept that night. I got up at like four the next morning and just started riding.

And that’s where I came up with my core desired feelings. And I, as hard as it was, I kept, I kept a paper copy of my one-page strategic plan with me at all times. And especially when I felt down, I would get it out and I would go through it. I would go toward it. And I completely committed to changing that behavior that day.

And I put it in the desk drawer and I said, you will not look at this. What ultimately ended up happening is I shut the real estate team now because what I looked at as I had built a trap that wasn’t serving me and it wasn’t okay. I wasn’t getting any closer to being the man I wanted to be. What I was doing is that I, the metaphor I use, was riding a line.

So when someone sees you riding a line, they think, oh, I got a studded look at him. He tamed the line. But as soon as you have to pee, you jump off your line’s going to eat you. So you’re, you have to stay on that thing back. Otherwise, it’s going to consume you. And that’s what the brokerage world had become for me.

I’d created lots of busy-ness lots of activity, lots of revenue, lots of money, and lots of deals, but it was a lion for me because I just wanted sometimes to go camping for four days and to relax and relax with something that I hadn’t done in weeks or months. 

And so ultimately that shift and goal setting took me out of that whole reality changed for me because I realized:

I am not loving and peaceful and appreciated. I’m running around, busting my ass. I’m always busy. I never sit down to relax. I’m reading a hundred books a year, but is it really what I want to do? And what I’ve found is I never really had peace in my life. 

I was kicking ass from business metrics if you look at KPIs, but it wasn’t the person I wanted to be. And that’s not to say that anyone who’s setting goals differently, I’m not saying you’re wrong. What I’m saying is if you reject the traditional conversation about goal setting, it’s just another perspective. 

Rod Khleif: No, it’s. It’s a valid perspective.

 My only feedback or comment about it is the actual facilitation of it and the acknowledgment of success in its attainment. Where a tangible goal is pretty straightforward. You get it or you don’t.

With that emotion. It’s a little more ethereal. So I could just, I could see the challenge. 

Rod Khleif’s 3-day Multifamily Bootcamp [00:40:13] 

Rod Khleif: I would like to mention, though, if you don’t mind, can I put a plug in for my upcoming event, if anybody’s interested in multifamily, do you mind if I mentioned it? No. Go ahead. Okay. Yeah. So if you guys have an interest in multifamily I, I’ve got a three-day Bootcamp.

If you DM me on any social channel, you can come for 197 bucks. The price is going up in a couple of days, this will air after that. But you can come for $197. It’s not a sales pitch. 

So if you have an interest in real estate, if you don’t just mind, but if you do, you can text my name, Rod to 72345. We go through every aspect of buying apartment buildings. My students on somewhere between 60, and 70,000. And I’ve only been teaching for about four years. So I’m proud of that. And that’s my coaching students, not my Bootcamp ticket students, but we should have a thousand people in Denver.

Again, just text rod to 7, 2, 3, 4, and 5, if you have any interest in that at all. But back to my, my comment, how do you measure success in your example? 

Chad Corbett: So that was the other thing like the self-awareness is what really, my self-awareness grew tremendously because of this methodology. So I have to check in with myself more often.

Right. What do you feel like, cause I don’t have a KPI sheet to look at. So it made me way more introspective and I had to say, how do you feel and why, and what can you do about it? So, behavioral changes happened way faster because of this. Because if, I’m stressed out, it’s like, well, we’ll both take a step back.

How do you feel? I feel I’m pissed! Why? And you realize you’re living out of alignment with the goal you set. So if you’ve created an environment of employees, tenants, contractors, whatever that is, if it’s a constant headache and you have heartburn and you’re holding pressure, you’re trapped, and you can’t sleep.

Well, for me, that’s where I say, let me pull out my KPI sheet, which is my emotions. Like how did I say I wanted to feel and how do I feel? Well, then I’m living wrong. That’s ultimately what led me to camp over 1500 nights in the backcountry and in a tent or a hammock to travel Nepal, developing clean water systems on motorcycles to villages that no white person has ever been to, to just say yes to things that I had to create hard boundaries in business. I want to, I wanted to feel like I was contributing to the world and giving money away had that hedonistic adaptation set in on that. I could give a thousand bucks and it didn’t mean to me anymore.

But when I go to the, almost to the Pakistani border and get her on a Royal Enfield motorcycle and ride almost to Myanmar and save thousands of lives in between. That got my juices going. Right. Like I got, nor epinephrin I got dopamine, I got adrenaline. Like I had all that stuff. So I started to live my life based on emotional goal setting.

Now I still have numbers. I still, use the EOS system, the running. Yeah, 

Rod Khleif: me too. Gino Wickman’s book, Traction. Love it. Yeah. Yeah. 

Chad Corbett: Right. So I have emotional goal setting as my top tier right below that is all the strategy. So it’s not that I don’t have numerical goals or tangible goals. They just, they the emotional goals are the top level. And then obviously to achieve that, you’ve got to have some tangibles and that’s the next level down. That’s what got me through my stinking thinking about hearing people say, get the right real estate mindset. You got to set goals. And every time I rejected it, I changed the last set goals. And I didn’t just kind of move that traditional approach down to the second layer in the stack. 

Rod Khleif: Yeah, 

Chad Corbett: I’m 40 years old. I’ll change my mind then the next 20 years, I’m sure with the experience we become more experienced, we become, 

Rod Khleif: Well I’ve got socks that have two decades on you.

So I’ve got a sock that’s experienced too. That’s funny. Well, I appreciate you having me on the show, brother. This has been a lot of fun. You’re a brilliant guy. I’ve enjoyed this conversation. you know, I really, honestly, if it’s take anything that you want and you ask yourself why enough times, and you drill down on that why every time, we all just want love, we all just want happiness 

Chad Corbett: You’ll land on emotion every time. 

Rod Khleif: Every day, and that’s it.

Yeah. And those are typically the two emotions that everybody wants love and happiness. And so, and. And so it’s a very unique perspective, and I appreciate your sharing it. And I’m going to, I’m going to think about it myself. 

Chad Corbett: Well, thanks for being here and contributing to our community.

Guys. We’ll have all of his socials and links and all the many ways you can get ahold of him and sign up for the event in the show notes below. And uh, if you guys have any questions, please reach out to him or reach out to us and we’ll, we may have you back. Thanks. Thanks, brother. Thanks a lot, guys.

Have a great day.

Rod Khleif: Contact information and Multifamily Bootcamp registration:

Host of the largest Commercial Real Estate Podcast In the World ‘Lifetime Cash Flow Through Real Estate Investing‘ With over 12 Million
downloads to date.

Host of Largest Multifamily Facebook Group in The World With 44,000 Members

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