Mike quit his job at the government after catching the real estate bug to live life on his terms. He’s just the kind of guy we love talking to. On this episode of The Your Life! Your Terms! Show, Mike shares his story, the type of properties he purchased, and the spreadsheet strategy he used to decide quitting his job was the way to go. We also chat how we met at a Biohacking conference in Los Angeles, and Mike shared how he now runs Epic Living Academy (www.epiclivingacademy.com). Great guy and a fun talk, enjoy!
Hey, it’s Tom Karadza. And on this episode of the Your Life, Your Terms! Show, we chat with Mike Gillespie who walks us through how he quit his job. That’s right. He bought a bunch of real estate and then so said screw it to his job and quit his job. Um, I was kind of like hearing these stories. I’m not telling anyone that they have to go quit their job immediately, but I know a lot of people want to immediately quit their job. So here’s a story about someone who did just, that walked away from his job. It was a government job. He walks away from, he does it with a bunch of real estate. You’ll hear his story and I just want to give everyone a big warning if you’re about to listen to this, is that when you hear, when he started buying real estate 1415, 16 years ago, the property prices are going to be sound very different because they were, and the financing options are going to sound very different because they completely were.
And some of you listening to this and that means you are going to think, I can’t invest in real estate anymore because I don’t have the options that Mike had had. I don’t have the property prices that he has to deal with. I don’t have the financing options that he had, so I can’t do it and I just want to explain something throughout our entire lives. People have said that they can’t do it in real estate. Whether that was people telling our mom she was doing wrong things with renting out our, our family home as part of a boarding house in the 1970s just off w just off western road in Toronto or our father flipping properties in the late 1980s and going through the deeper session of the 90s with property at that time. Um, or it was myself and nick starting to buy properties in our twenties.
Nick flipping his first property at 2021, us going on to buy rental properties together. And then starting rocks are actually when we started star rock star was incorporated as a business in 2008 people told us, you know, now it’s pretty much the worst time to start a new business. There’s this like massive financial crisis going on in the u s um, rockstars gone on to thrive. We’ve actually been one of the fastest growing companies in Canada for the last four or five years. Um, so I, I’m just here to tell you that everyone’s always going to think it’s the wrong time. It’s the bad time. What I would challenge you and thinking is look ahead 10 years. And do you think with the population growth coming this way 10 years from now, that your 10 year future self would think it’s a good time or a bad time to acquire property right now?
So we’re not, we’re not here, we don’t have a crystal ball. But I just have a funny feeling that in 10 years when another, you know, one and a half million people land in this area and the demand for real estate keep strong. It doesn’t mean there won’t be a correction of prices over one year, two years, three years, four years or whatever. But I feel like over the next 10 years, 15 years, the property’s going to be a good place to be. And the reason we think that is we all believe, or nick and I at least believe, you need good assets in your life. You either buy them or you build them, and real estate is one of the best assets you can introduce into your life, especially income properties. So anyway, um, we talk about this a lot in one of the reports that we put together.
This particular report takes income levels in Canada from stats Canada data and, and maps it against property prices. And it shows how the destruction of the middle classes happening right here in Canada. It’s something we feel like we should be aware of and we should all talk about. But yet nobody talks about this kind of stuff in a big way. Um, we in that report, we actually extrapolates stats Canada data forward and property prices forward and make some interesting observations from that. That’s actually freaking scary observations. But uh, anyway, you can get a copy of that firstname.lastname@example.org. So that’s www.nomoremiddle.com and you can see all the income data from stats Canada mapped against tribe housing data. And take a look at that. We’re actually going to update that report and come up with some new population forecasts mapped onto that data as well. So we do see that stuff super pumped about that that’s coming. Um, and we’ll be releasing that shortly. I don’t have a date, but we are working on it. So I think that’s it for now. With that, let’s get on with the show.
Are you ready to live life on your dirt? Is it time to take charge business building the economy, health and nutrition. And it’s the your life, your term show with Tom and Nick Karadza are you ready? Let’s go.
So Mike Gillespie, I dunno, uh, how, why it’s taken us so long to arrange this, but, uh, it’s, I think it’s, I’m, I’m at fault here, but, uh, you know, we had to reschedule this a a bunch of times, but, uh, Mike’s is sitting here looking at some of the books in my office as explaining that these are the books that haven’t fit into the color coordination, that my wife organizes our books because at home on our bookshelf, my wife organizes all my books into color schemes. So all the blue books go together and all the black books go together and I’ll, white books go together. And with this, what happens is whenever I want to find a book with this format that she uses, I can never find anything. You need a legend or something. Yeah, yeah. So I ended up having to go through all my books if I want to reference something.
And sometimes it takes, I feel like it’s not taking this long, but sometimes I feel like it’s taking me 20 minutes or something to find a book because I’m having to look through all these colors. But according to her, it looks way better on the bookshelf. It looks better, but it’s hard to find. But Mike’s looking up at one of these books that I am just having major flax backs. It’s the multiple streams of income by Robert Allen. And uh, I was just saying that I remember, did you read that book or no? No, I think in this dates me a little bit. I think I actually had the tape series or at least the CD series way back in the day because those are the tapes. I spent $5,000 in my twenties at some point to buy tapes off Robert Allen. And this box comes to my, it was the first house we had been. I was uh, I was just married. I did not have 5,000 extra dollars to spend. I think nick and I had already bought a few properties by then, but $5,000 like that’s a lot, a ton of money, ton of money now. It’s a lot of money. Back then it was everything. I Dunno how I convinced my wife to do it. And, uh, this box of tapes lanes at the door and I don’t even have a tape player cause even my Honda civic at the time just had a CD player so I couldn’t even
listen to these freaking things. I had to go to the Zellers that’s Erin Miller town centre in Mississauga and by I like a old ghetto, not an old, I bought a new like ghetto blaster kind of thing. Yeah. And then I would drive to work at Oracle and back everyday listening to come my cassette tapes from Robert g Alan telling me, teaching me things. I think it was like sandwich lease options and uh, know it sounds familiar. Yeah. No money, how to write no money down deals and to do all this stuff and how to find like foreclosures or wholesaling, wholesaling. And then I remember trying all these different things and that was realizing, I’m like either I’m horrible at real estate or none of this really works in Canada. Like I couldn’t, I know some of the stuff kinda sorta did, but some of the stuff I’m like I don’t, I can’t really do this.
You can read it, you get so excited, it’s like, oh no money down. Perfect. I don’t have any money anyway because I just spent it all on this course. But I find so many of us have gotten involved in real estate are Co uh, we all are lifelong learners. And it sounds like you’re, you’re the same way every time I come here. You have a new book on your desk. Yeah, yeah. Look at your book, your book shelf and it’s like, yeah, I got that one. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. There’s some that I find in the last few years. Um, I don’t know if it’s with my kids’ schedule or whatever. I’m reading a bit less and I find it frustrating because I used to do all my reading in the morning and now because sometimes I’m not coming back from coming back from a soccer practice or even a dance thing until like 10 30 at night.
And by the time we get to bed, I’m after 11 o’clock and I’m definitely not a night person. Like, I want to be in bed at nine, but, uh, I can’t get up if I go to bed at 1130 and I do this day in, day out, I’m not getting up at five anymore, especially I’m going to the gym and stuff. I need a bit more sleep and I’ve lost a bit of my reading time. And now that my son’s starting to drive, he just turning 17 this month. I’m already seeing, he’s already driving and I’m seeing them getting some of that back. And, uh, I just, today I got up at, uh, just after five and I’m like, oh my gosh, this is like, I just love getting up at that time, kind of getting back into the swing of things too, you know?
Uh, some of my, I have probably a similar morning routine as you and reading was part of my morning as well, and that’s kind of the thing that got lost as well. Uh, this morning was the first morning in a while where I’m back into the five. I’m not waking up at five this morning was five 55 ish, but I back into the [inaudible] five. Exactly. So it’s close enough. But, uh, and this is the benefit of having podcasts as well. Like this is where I kind of make up the lost time reading these books or audio books. If you’re driving a lot, you know, I don’t come out to Toronto too often, but lately more often than not, um, I’m finding I’m able to get through maybe a couple of podcasts or at least a little bit of like an audio book or something. So it’s, it’s a substitute, but I, I love nourishing the mind kind of first thing in the morning. Um, it sets the tone for the day. Yeah. Yeah. So, so I don’t know all about your story, but, uh, I think I know some of it. So I
know you met Irwin here at rain at some point, or at some time you guys have crossed paths. Uh, then, uh, and he’s mentioned your name to me a couple times. We ran into each other randomly. I feel like the bulletproof conference in California, California, just to meet each other. So I was going, I went one year by myself and I came back and I told Nick, I’m like, Hey, there’s this conference, this bulletproof conference by this Dave Asprey dude, the bulletproof executive, and he’s got this bulletproof coffee and all this stuff. It’s all this biohacking and like, it’s really cool. You got to check this stuff out. And I think that’s the next year I came with nick cause with nick with me that year that I saw you. Okay. And that you were there and I think you liked it so much. I think you were just helping out at the cop was volunteering. Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, you’re bulletproof. I will ask you about real estate if you’re listening to this, to hear some stories about real estate. We are getting to that, the bulletproof coffee stuff. How did you stumble upon, are you drinking bulletproof coffee now or no?
Yeah, I usually every morning. How did you stumble upon that? Um, where did I first hear about it? Um, more than likely one of, uh, one of my friends online social media type of stuff. Uh, I’ve been really passionate about, um, human optimization and just trying to get the most energy that we can possible by following a couple of little shortcuts or tips or tricks and things like that. So I happened upon, uh, the bulletproof stuff. She, I think that I did a program years ago. I enrolled in a program and it was probably about four years ago and he was introducing the ketogenic stuff, you know, higher quality fats. And I think that’s where it was introduced to me originally and I wasn’t a coffee drinker at all. And you don’t really hear that too often. Usually I was exactly the same and it wasn’t drinking coffee at all.
So much so that I started with green tea and I was making this like weird concoction. I didn’t even have like sticking the butter in the tea. Yep. And coconut oil. Uh, I don’t think I did the coconut oil back then. Did you blend it? And that’s the other thing I didn’t, so it was, it was a swampy but it was a spoon. The butter melted in the tea. But the difference with the, the the tea and the coffee is that the tea, the coffee seems to bind the fats better. So when I’m doing it with the t there would be so much more of the fat registered residue kind of left behind. Where’s the coffee? It’s a lot different. You know, you mix it up and it’s all kind of contained in the drink. And I know you may have talked about it on the podcast before and the listeners are probably thinking you guys are crazy for putting butter in your coffee, but I can just suggest, you know, don’t, don’t knock it till you try it and it’s weird but it actually tastes pretty good. I feel
my brain was craving good fats because for the first year I was drinking it, I was having two and six tablespoons of butter a day for like a year. And I feel like I was craving the butter every morning, like literally craving the bulletproof coffee. And then after a year, I almost feel like my body had gone. It got it’s restored good fats in, in myself. Yeah. That’s how I feel like and it didn’t, uh, I didn’t really need as much after that for the first year I felt like I was just like my body had found this fats, this fuel source of fat and it would just plowing it. It was like a, it was totally brilliant. I was smuggling the, the grass fed butter in from Niagara Cause he couldn’t find, now there’s so many grasp at options here in Ontario, especially whole foods long goes, there’s tons of options.
Um, but the Kerry gold stuff still isn’t available in Canada and it’s so good. Yeah. I was smuggling and stuff in from Niagara Falls. Like I would go in and cause you’re allowed $20 per person is what your allotment is. Yeah. But I didn’t know that. So I went and bought like I think I bought $150 worth of butter or whatever and I yeah. And I declared it cause I have nexus, so I have to declare everything. So I get you with the duty. Yeah, well it’s 300% but I’m like, I thought it was 300% of the taxes, like whatever the HST would be. It’s three times that that you would pay in duty, but it’s 300% of the value of the product. So I had to pay, it was like, they’re like, you owe about $450 in tax. So I went back to Wegmans in Niagara Falls.
I returned it. Whoa. And uh, they took it back by some miracle and I just took what I was allowed to take and then they’re like, well, I’m like, thank you so much for taking it back. And then she turns around the customer service desk and throw it all in the garbage. And I’m like, oh my God, I had a heart attack. I’m like, why? Why did you do that? It’s like the best butter throwing up that gray button. And she’s like, well, it’s a dairy product and left the fridge and we don’t know how long it’s been. Yeah. And I’m like, I just left here like 45 minutes ago. And she was like, yeah, we can’t take that chance of, she just trashed it all and you don’t when your heart’s just broken. So, uh, anyway, my son was looking at me and I think we were trying to figure out like, dad, why are you about to cry over butter? They see you cry over spilled milk. But, but, but good butter was hard to get. But now anyway, we can get better butter. So, um, the bulb coffee or still doing God. Okay. Let me, I’m gonna ask you more about this, but I want to flip the real estate, um, for a second. So when did you start, what age did you start buying properties?
Uh, let’s do a little math here. I’d say 27 ish.
Okay. So we were about the same age and what, what was the allure like? Why did you, yeah, so it started to, where were you in life at that point?
Uh, I was working co op at the Ministry of Transportation. Yeah. And a couple buddies, coworkers were also relatively young, but they had full time positions there. And they introduced me to the idea of real estate investing. They had one or two of their own and they suggested I read Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, poor dad. I read it and just totally shifted the mindset around good debt versus bad debt, um, assets, um, various investment vehicles. And
then I was, I was a sponge back then and it’s like, wow, you know, you guys are doing this. They were investing in student rentals at the time. Uh, you know, I asked them if they’d be open, if they’d take me on a tour of some of their houses, just to kind of see how they did it. And at the time real estate values, I started buying in Saint Catherine’s. I started, uh, or how’s this free back then in Saint Catherine’s now? It’s funny, it’s funny you say that. Um, I got it for free because the timing when we were just chatting a little bit before, like when we got in the, the lending environment was considerably different than it is now. And my first two investments were not only no money down, they were cashback mortgages. So the banks actually has an incentive to get your, um, business would actually give you 5%, give you the 5% down payment and then give you just the rest of the loan, which is, you know, the, your listeners are probably nodding, just stayed around for quite a long time.
But yeah, that might’ve been the height of it. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, that’s Kinda how it started, you know. Um, I didn’t have a lot of money back in the day. I still, you know, was caught work term just still kind of, um, so you’re learning to buy them zero down with the cash back option to put money in your pocket. Uh, it wasn’t money in my pocket, the cash back. I didn’t have to put the 5% in. So if they are, yeah, they spot that cycle through. You didn’t, you have to put the 5% close on the property and then they gave you the cash back, uh, how it worked or no, I don’t remember. It was so long ago, but figured it out. Yeah. Okay. So, um, we did a couple of five, uh, cashback mortgages. We did a couple of no money down deals and we did a couple 5% down deals.
How did you do the no money down stuff that, was that through the bank or you negotiate with someone to carry back a mortgage? No, that’s just what the, the lender required back then. They didn’t, they didn’t want or you just did this was around 2005 six that kind of around 2006 or something. They just didn’t need a down payment. No. Yeah, not that sound crazy. You know, so it went well. The craziest is them giving you the 5% which was like just unbelievable. You were doing those at that time. None of them. These 0% down. We were getting this, we were negotiating for the seller to pay closing costs salaries. So we were doing the zero money down seller pays for our legal costs and or land transfer fees and you have to declare it. Also the banks had to know like you actually had to put it on paper, you have to disclose it to the banks, but back then the banks didn’t really care.
So you just now the banks are like, no, no, no, no, no, we’re not having any of that. You’re not allowed to do that. We’re not going to do it. But back then you disclose it on a schedule a or schedule B of the offer. You put it out there. The banks were completely fine with it and we were amazed and we were like, oh my God, we’re buying zero money down. Literally like they’re paying for our, yeah, we’re getting the seller to pay for our closing costs and or lynch prince for all declared and upfront with everyone. And we’re like, oh, this is the, yeah, is this the a miracle from the Ha the the mortgage heavens, you know, so it’s funny you bring that up because it sounds one of those too good to be true things. And back at the time when I first started I was, again, I didn’t put much money in, if any, and I was buying them for 120,000 ish back in the day.
What kind of property was it? A student rental, sorry, a student rental. So 120 and the, and it was like a bungalow raised range. Yeah. I would buy it as a three bedroom bungalow. Usually drive way up the side. No garage. Right, exactly. Yeah. Um, renovate it, converted into a six bedroom student, rent tall, three bedrooms, three bedrooms down and usually a duplex bubble. Whereas, you know, there’s the kitchen, there’s a living space down there or I could open it up to a side entrance off the garage in case driveway. Yeah. It just makes it a little bit more convenient in case I want it to convert it. So, um, back to the whole too good to be true. You know, I used to, uh, and I’m sure you did too. You know, we had our spreadsheets, money in money out, and then you’ve got formulas and then it comes down to cash.
In the end. It’s like I was positive cashflow usually on average about like 1300 bucks. And those were the days at the end of it. Right. And I could just like keep buying these things and I’m like, am I missing a field in my spreadsheet? Like, what am I missing? Why is not everyone else any? And you start having doubts. You’re like, I guess this isn’t that good because no one else seems to be doing this. And at the time there were less networking groups I found and less waste for us to all communicate to each other. So even though you were doing it in Saint Catherine’s, nick and I were doing this stuff in Hamilton. I remember, I didn’t know what you were doing. You didn’t know we were doing, we were all up there looking around going like, is this anyone? Hello. And I contemplated Hamilton first.
I’m actually from Hamilton, I live in Niagara now. But I contemplated Hamilton just cause it was local. And I looked at the market and Hamilton rents and property values and St Catherine’s and I just made the comparable, like you guys at the time were charging comparable rent, but the houses were a good amount more. And this was before like the crazy appreciation. That’s interesting because everything is your perspective. I grew up in Mississauga. So when we looked at the numbers and Mississauga compared to Hamilton, Campbellton, Saint Catherine’s, we were comparing Hamilton Mississauga and we’re like, wait a second, why are we going to buy and Mississauga these Hamilton numbers our way. But we never took the extra step to go to Saint Catherine’s. That would have been like to Hamilton at the time was rather adventurous because a lot of our friends were like, Camp Hamilton, you’re going to the hammer, you’re gonna invest in the Hammer.
What’s wrong with you? But uh, yeah. So That’s interesting. But your perspective, what that’s to me is that the story of life, the way you’re perspective is set and how you kind of manage your own perspective on life in so many different facets of life. Kind of dictate your happiness levels, what you think is good, what you think is bad. Totally. I remember we were buying a property, one of my student rentals was up by York University and at one point we were cash flowing on that thing, $1,800 and I remember telling people and they were like, no one really kind of seemed, I was in the tech world at that time and no one really seemed to care or anything. I’m like, I dunno, I think this is pretty good. Like, but I got no reaction from any peers or friends or anything. Now looking back, I’m like, remind me why I didn’t go by and 10 by 10 more of those properties at that price point.
And I think it’s at the time, like in Saint Catherine’s at that time, or at least nick and I did in Hamilton, I don’t know if you felt this way when you were buying. We were still scared. We still thought maybe we’re overpaying for some properties. We’re like, you know, even though we were buying, and back then in Hamilton we were buying like low twos was like an expensive house. You could get high 100 thousands, like, and remember us thinking, Eh, that’s probably, we’re probably getting ripped off, but the cash, like, like you said on the spreadsheet of your works, I guess we’ll do it, but did you, it was that unique to us. Did you feel comfortable? I had a lot of second guessing as well. Um, just mainly because I’m making this and it’s like, well, why aren’t other people doing it? But also I started in student rentals.
I bought a bunch and then I started to contemplate other options to start instant rentals. Then contemplating flipping, uh, I got into rent to owns, I got into, um, you know, buy and renovate type of thing and then rent. And then ironically at the end of all of it, full circle, right back to student rentals, you know, like, uh, and since then I’ve now converted the student rentals to, uh, duplexes. Yeah, that makes sense. And I’m making the same or more as duplexes and there’s a lot less. Uh, I need you man. Yeah. And turnover. Yeah. Got It. Okay. So I’m curious, when you started, you were taking the cashflow then and just saving it up to go use to go as more down payments for other or closing costs because you were doing some 0% down. So you were just taking the cash and just trying to buy as many properties as humanly possible.
Yeah, it was. Anyone turn to talk you out of it. Because most people we meet, especially new investors in their twenties if their parents, their girlfriend or boyfriend, their spouse, someone’s talking them out of it, especially to people in their twenties. Did you have that? Um, a little bit. My parents. Um, but I was pretty mature for my age and you know, I’m, I’m making bigger decisions then the average person in their twenties would make. So yes, of course. I mean they thought they had my best interest. Um, but they’re giving you the advice on what they know and what they know is their pay off your mortgages, you know, debt is bad, all that stuff. So it was one of those, I appreciate the advice, but I’m going to do it anyway. So mostly it was, it was parents and can’t blame them for that because their contexts just says, we were talking was an era of the 1970s, eighties stagflation super by interest rates. Debt was bad, right? When interest rates are in the teens, pretty much all that, even if it’s good debt, can be turned bad on you because if you can’t carry it on a good property, right, it’s still bad. So, um, they had
that context and they’re trying to protect you. They didn’t know that the central banks of the world would screw the world good. And it’d be low interest rates for the rest of eternity and good debt, good debt. It’s actually even better debt when low interest, low interest rates are so low. Yeah. Okay. So you plow through that. And then, um, how did you, who taught you to by student or like did you take a course, take a course on buying student rentals are mostly, yeah, mostly I learned from the couple of guys at Mto that we’re already doing it. So they were my guides and mentors. This was around Barack, I guess. Yeah. So in Niagara, there’s Brock university and there’s Niagara College. So my strategy was buy in a location which could accommodate both. In the event there was, um, some supply issues with one of the schools over another.
So, um, yeah, so I learned mostly from them and I learned by just getting in and doing it. So looking at kind of my first initial leases, it was pretty basic, but as you get some experience and there’s some lessons learned along the way, you go back to your lease and add some stuff. So for instance, like with a student rental, people are, well, you’re crazy, you know they’re going to trash your house. I’m like, yeah, they could and so can families, but you protect yourself as best you can. And one of the best protections is you get a parent to sign as a guarantor. No kid wants to, um, bugger up the house and do some damage and then you’re calling their parents. Right. So, you know, for the most part, and I’m, you know, it might be similar for you, like I had a pretty positive experience investing in student rentals.
It’s the same with us. Yeah. The main reason I got into student rentals was primarily cashflow. Um, same with us, about halfway into working for the government. I’m like, I actually enjoy doing this other shit more than, what do you mean halfway in? Because you’ve got like a few more years or something that, you know what? I was a, I worked for the government for about 13 years in total. So about six or seven years in, it started to shift for me at work because I really enjoyed this real estate stuff. Like I was getting a lot of fulfillment from taking something that nobody wanted. And I got it at a discount. I went in, I got creative and did the right work and now I turned it into something that’s of high demand and I get to charge a premium for. And that kind of filled, you know, my, my fulfillment tank, right? And then I got thinking, uh, can I do, can I do that? Like, can I work in that live a life of passion and fulfillment? How dare I, right. Why would you think that? Yeah. So, uh, yeah, the, the seeds were kind of planted then. And um, I started to put a plan in place to plan my exit. So, and then that’s crazy. So you were planning your exit where you’re still in your 20s when you started thinking this? No, at that point I was in my third
year. In your 30. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Um, so I want to get there in a second. I’m just curious, were you living in Saint Catherine’s at the time you were buying in Saint Catherine’s? Where were you? In Hamilton. In Hamilton. Okay. So you’re like 45 minutes. What’s the 35 ish? It depends. Um, and that was okay with you cause a lot of people, again, we will meet, we’ll meet a lot of people from Toronto and we’ll tell them about like berry for example. And they’re like, well I’m never going to buy him Barry Barry’s way too far. And we’re looking at all, you’re an investor, like go where the opportunity is, right? I mean you can buy in Toronto and they’re absolutely opportunity in Toronto, but look at these returns up here and look at the trends that are coming their way and sometimes we can convince them of sometimes we can’t.
Um, we, you were okay with that. That 35 minutes didn’t bug you. I had a little bit of a benefit cause I worked in Saint Catherine’s, so MTO was in Saint Catherine’s. I lived in Stoney creek anyway, so I’m already commuting and if I had to do something, like I can do it on my lunch break or it’s government. So we had some, some flexibility. Your lunch break, you’re 60 minutes, three hour lunch break, right? 60 ish. Um, I don’t know if Nick’s, I think I can share an extra, I remember coming home to my parents’ house one lunch because, um, when I was working at Oracle and Ms Sog, our parents’ house was close by. So sometimes I’d go by there for lunch and sometimes I drive in and I’d see the region of peel truck parked in our parent’s driveway and my brother’s swimming in the pool in the back.
And it’s, this is like, you know, 1:30 PM or something like that. I’m like, nick, what’s going on? He’s like, lunch. Yeah, I’m just on my lunch break. I’m like, really? I think an interesting job that you have, but I’m sensing a little jealousy. You know what? I worked for the government and listen, anyone listening to this works from the government. I mean, government services are obviously huge. Canada’s a great country. I love, it just wasn’t for me. I worked for the government for a little while at Pearson as a student customs officer. And uh, I just couldn’t do it that the pace of it, I just felt like my soul was leaving my body. And that was just me as a part timer in there. So I just knew I couldn’t go full time into this. I never met. And that’s how I was feeling kind of in my later years of the government where I’m all about progress and let’s push this forward, let’s get these projects done.
And there, sometimes there’s meetings and they, their solution not always is to throw more people at it, maybe hire contractors. And now you’re in the cell conferences have like 2025 people, people aren’t making decisions. Then sometimes at the end of the day you’re, you’re going backwards. And at the same time I’m looking at my real estate. It’s like, you know, here I am coordinating contractors and you know, I’m going to my rentals and seeing the progress of like a basement rental. It’s like, yeah, things, things are moving forward. So there was that sense of accomplishment. Yeah. And I’m curious, uh, roughly what, what price point were you buying the properties in Saint Catherine’s back then when you started 14 years ago and roughly what are those properties worth it ballpark, just to give everybody a some context of an area. So first buying, I think our first one was in and around one 20.
Yeah, Gosh, yeah, one 20. Yeah. And you were renting out six bedrooms, six bedrooms, bringing in 2,400 in rent. Oh my God. So you’re doubling the 1% rule that we all are state books. If you’ve never heard this, and these real estate books very always taught. You’re always taught these things that you can’t really do. Mike went and doubled down on it because you’re taught like the 1% rule that you should never buy a property where you know 1% of the value of the property should be generated in monthly rents and that’s a good deal. So like if you buy a property for $300,000, you should get 3000 in rent. That’s really hard to find. And unless you use different strategies are doubling it. That’s insane. That’s what, and that’s the kind of the second guessing. It’s like this isn’t just a little bit that you’re making.
Like this is substantial. Like, and I’m just a Newbie. Like how am I happening upon this? And some of the experts aren’t always $120,000 so like in how many year, if you took all the cashflow, you’re paying off the property and cash and like you could do it if you really put your mind to them. Yeah. So, so what we did is we’ve always just had kind of a revolving line of credit from day one. We had the CIB see line of credit and all of our rent would go in there. Um, all of our expenses would come out. And eventually over time, if we’re not taking money out, it’s just starting to get paid down. Then we buy our next property. We use that line of credit for rhinos. It goes up again. Hello. Yeah. We always did it and we never really had a separate bank account.
It was just always, this is our line of credit and this is like before corporations and corporate accounts and business accounts knew about that stuff back then. It was easy back then, what account everything’s going in. Yeah. So, um, yeah, that’s kind of how we did it. So to ask, to answer your question about like the cashflow, you know, what’d you do with it? But that, that’s what we did. We would, we would buy the house, we’d use the line of credit as, um, um, to pay for the, the rhinos and then a cashflow over time. Like 1300 bucks every month would just eat at it. So that would bring it down. And then we buy the next one, we find some more money or no money down deal and we repeat it. Good for you. And then what do you, what is, so that $120,000 house as an example, what is it worth now?
Uh, three 40 ish. Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. So I bought and a lot of, that’s the last probably three years, four years, three or four years. So there’s the announcement of the NGO service going out there and it’s not as much of a secret anymore. Rockstar ruined the trust me, we, we were keeping us JP Gulbis on our team leads in Saint Catherine’s. Okay. Yeah. For years he was, we were doing stuff in him, our officers obviously in Oakville and for years we were doing stuff in Durham. Barry, Kitchener, Hamilton. Yeah. And then, uh, then all of a sudden GP in a starts doing, cause he lives in Saint Catherine’s. He starts doing things in St Catherine’s and he’s kind of quiet about it. He’s not really mentioning too much about it. Just some of his investors he’s
working with are buying properties out there. Yeah. And then we kind of get wind of it and he was always, we were always laughing cause he used to always have to make the drive from St Catherine’s to Hamilton or Burlington way back. We were doing stuff in Burlington and uh, and then he, uh, he was like, yeah, I always got to drive it this way. And then he was starting to laugh at us because he’s like, oh, it looks like the tables have turned, come and go my way. And then a word kind of got out. And uh, we uh, yeah, we shared St Catherine’s, which a bunch of people internally we started talking to people like Erwin about saint gather when we started talking more investors about St Catherine’s and now St Catherine’s has a bit of, um, a name to it. But I find it’s still very much just in the real estate investor community.
Like most people don’t know about the opportunity that Saint Catherine’s percents. And so many people are coming to us today. In the year, like 2019 saying, Hey Tom, I hear Hamilton probably like there’s some opportunities in Hamilton, right? Like it’s, they live in Toronto and there are, and Hamilton has and will continue to have amazing opportunities. Yeah. But I’m like, holy smokes, that’s so 10 years ago. But uh, but the downside with that is what I find is people like yourself and myself, when we’ve been investing or you lived in Hamilton, we’ve been investing in Hamilton. You think the opportunities over the next 10 years in Hamilton with the population growth, all of these communities between Toronto and Niagara are going to explode. I can’t remember if I shared this stat with you, but, um, the, my favorite one right now is that one of the Toronto housing authorities at a population analysis and they said the GTA.
So wherever they drew the borders of it, I don’t know if it ended up Mississauga or whatever. In 2016 the population was 6.7 million people. By 2041 which is 20 years from now, the population is going to be a 9.7 3 million more people. And we look at the condos going up and thinking there’s not going to be a demand for these, but well, the calculation of Toronto itself is 2.7 million right now. 2.8 million. So basically in the next 20 years, another city, the size of Toronto’s coming in here and it’s going to spread out through this Golden, the GTA golden horseshoe area. And I’m like, wow, the next 10 I used to think, oh, maybe the last 10 years was like kind of a lucky run. But I think man, we got another 10 year run in here where the population is just going to explode.
We are attracting a high level of quality immigrants into this country that are coming in, educated, joining the workforce, starting to pay, contribute taxes and that kind of stuff. Yeah, it is really going to be a dynamic area is when you mix in more money creation with more people, big things are gonna happen. So Saint Catherine’s is going to have more than one go Trina Day, Mike. That’s why. That’s my, that’s my medicine. So, uh, anyway, so you’re in Saint Catherine’s, you sparked by these properties. How do you finally, are you, when you decide to quit your job, are you, I don’t even know. Are you married right now? A separate it you’re separated kids or no kids. Two kids. Two kids. Okay. So how do you approach the whole quit the job thing? Was that a difficult conversation to have where you married at the time that you did that? Yeah. Yup. No, uh, she
didn’t really understand the whole real estate investing thing at first. Um, we had a lot of money coming in because I worked for the government and she had a full time job as well. So it was one of those, well, what’s the risk? You know, we’re not putting a lot of money in any way. You go do your thing. Right. So I did and we started buying properties and money started to flow in. She’s like, Nah, you might be onto something here. Keep doing that stuff. Right. Um, so that’s a good feeling when you stumble onto something like that. I know, right? So good like that. And, um, she saw a shift in me over time where, you know, I’m, I’m really feeling these other things and my confidence was higher and she felt that confidence. So she had a lot more belief in it.
Now she’s a little more conservative and you know, um, you, you work your job security in the normal way to be. Yeah, exactly. So, um, there was some apprehension, but I, I’m really good with planning and spreadsheets and numbers and all that stuff. So when I contemplated doing something like that, you know, I kind of put a plan in place, I put all my numbers in the spreadsheet, I put all my, all the cashflow money in money out, and then all I did was changed the field of personal income to zero and looked at what the impact that would have on my cashflow. So obviously it would make it negative. So I thought, well, what number is I call it the magic number, what number would I be comfortable with? Whether it’s negative or not, you know, maybe it’s negative 500, maybe I’m okay with that because the, the cushion that we have in our bank account would sustain us for a good amount of time had I made like $0 million and something else.
Right. So, um, yeah, that’s what I did. So, uh, I’ll just hypothetically say I was negative $2,000 in cashflow, whereas before I was maybe positive, positive 2,500 or something. Right. So negative 2000. So I’m like, okay, well, well, um, maybe we just buy two more student rentals. There’s thousand each done, there’s my income supplemented, um, I’m doing something else, things more I enjoy. So, um, that’s Kinda how I went about it. And usually when people transition into something else, they don’t know exactly what they want to do or have an idea and I didn’t. So, um, yeah, I started to take a couple breaks from my job. Like I still had my safety net, like a leave of absence. Yeah. So first it was like, you know, maybe I’ll take half a day off and you know, just question things, you know, what do I want to do?
What do I enjoy doing? I think one of our common mentors, you Philip McKernan yeah. So Phillip coming and he’s come out and speak, uh, spoken at one of our your life, your terms event. Yeah. Good guy. Yeah, totally. And you know, the irony is like, we got connected kind of in the real estate field, then he’s shifted and I’m kind of following a similar path as him. But yeah. So he was my mentor back in the day and you know, just challenges you a lot with stuff and you know, quit settling and you know, live life on your terms, create the life that you want. Right. So, um, yeah, I started to take a couple breaks from my job, half a days turned into full days, which turned into maybe two days off and I would use my vacation time to, to just take time off and then explore and experiment with things that I enjoy doing.
All right. So, um, I knew real estate and I liked helping people. So I became a real estate business coach, right? So at that point I was on an unpaid leave of absence. I had coaching clients like, this is working, you know, I’m confident I can do this. And then, uh, I asked for a second year leave of absence and they’re like, okay. I’m like, sweet. Wow. So I, uh, I transitioned from a real estate business coach more into life coaching, holistic type coaching, you know, not just, you know, here’s business, here’s money. It’s balanced. Holistic, meaning you’re looking at all aspects of someone’s life. Yeah, exactly. So, um, you know, I can teach you how to make a million bucks in real estate, but if that’s all you learn, you, the rest of your life is going to be lacking the relationships, the health and all that stuff.
So yeah. So that’s where I’m at right now. Yeah. Good for you. Wow. Yeah. And you’re smiling as you say it. That’s a, that’s really good, man. That’s really cool. Okay. So I want to backtrack just a little bit on the real estate stuff because you said something that your student rentals turned into, um, duplex legal duplexes or whatever. Yeah. Just can you paint the picture? How much income do you generate from that kind of set up? So, um, just for someone listening to this who has no idea how much can you rent a top floor and bottom floor out and Aaliyah duplex like that. So now I’m at, some of my houses are 3000 ish. Um, I get them to pay. That’s why it’s close to what you were getting on student rentals or [inaudible] and I am or even more than you were getting maybe on snow.
Exactly. That’s kind of what the mark and the, not only did property values increase, but obviously so did rents. So, uh, I’ve fully converted all of my student rentals, um, early 2018. Okay. Now they’re all family and you were able to navigate it. They were all in St Catharines or management of them is less though because you have just two families, right. Instead of this set of six students. Yes. You’re happy with that? Yeah. So, and this is where a big shift has come over the last couple of years. I hung onto the property leasing in the property management for probably longer than I should have. And now like looking back, I’m like, why didn’t I do that sooner? Like, yes, I’m paying money to do that stuff. But that was such a huge distraction and it’s freed me up to do more of the stuff that I enjoy. Why does it take us of us so long to
do that? Not just in real estate, that’s in all aspects of, well, it’s the mindset of nobody can do it the same as me. And it costs money to pay other people to do it when I can just do it myself. But we fail to realize that there’s an opportunity cost there. And what is your time worth? Right? We all, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re in it. Sure. Yeah. Um, we’re doing this, we’re saving money, we think, but maybe my time is worth 50 an hour and I could be paying a cleaner, 20 an hour. So there’s a gap there. Right. And had I paid the cleaner, it freed my hourly time up to do maybe finding the next deal that could potentially make me 25 grand just closing on the deal. Right. It’s so true. I mean, I’m just thinking back to all the times nick and I have, um, I remember hiring our first assistant, we were so panicked, um, that we hired her for I think two and a half days a week, not five days a week.
Cause we were like, I don’t know if we can afford her. And, and it really, that time it wasn’t that much money. Um, and uh, I don’t know if we have enough work to keep her busy. Yeah. And it’s funny how we justify things because you’re like, well, if we don’t have stuff for her to do every minute of the day, why are we even hiring her? We should just do it ourselves. And you kind of play all these tricks with yourself and, um, we still, even now, even today, we’re better at it, but you still find yourself in that kind of trap. So, uh, cool. So those, um, so yeah, that’s interesting. Those properties. I just want to touch on what you said about rents. Um, because of the banking changes in Canada, we’ve just seen rental demand right across the board. Increased like from Toronto Condo, like literally from downtown Toronto condos all the way to Nag.
Like you could go from Durham like way east. Bellville let’s go from Bellville right. All the way over to Niagara and rents across the board are up and strong. But tell me, you tell me what rents are in, uh, uh, Stoney creek for like a three bedroom, a semi. Cause I have a, our first home that we bought, we lived in and we kept it and we kept it as a rental. And we have the same tenant in there for the last probably 12 years. So I just cashed is etransfer today and it’s for, it’s for 1,460 for three bedroom semi, uh, in Stoney Creek [inaudible] kind of hose, uh, to Bartlett to lower. Okay. And there’s the ghost station that’s going in on centennial and I’m literally five minutes from it, so I could go in every store under your under market. So we’re seeing all over the place.
We’re seeing homes. Uh, I don’t want to overshoot because cause sometimes what I do is I share like the most aggressive price I’ve seen. Right. And yeah, I’ll guess I’ll give you the range but it’s, it’s definitely like low would be 1700 figure and the high is like, or the range against 1700 to 2000 and we’re seeing more and more go at like 1900 steady and it’s not too long ago where we were renting out whole houses, nevermind a semi entire house for like 1450 on the Hamilton mountain 1450 thinking that we people in the area where like you got 1450 houses rent out here for 1200 bucks and we’re like no we got 1450 were great and I had no idea I could get what I could get until I hired a like a leasing agent and they’re like, really you, you can get me that amount.
Like I just thought that it was going to be a lot less. That’s why I never really considered that route. But it has skyrocketed so much and it’s a student rental demand. The, the light bulb went on for people and then a flood of people came in and bought, which made it more difficult for, for me to rent. Right. So, uh, that’s what kind of triggered the shift for me as well as knowing that the rental demand for like the family stuff was a lot higher than I originally expected. So originally I bought for cash flow just like you, but these last couple of years, this appreciation is, yeah. And that’s when it creates bonus. Your financial needs kind of change. Like we all want cashflow because everybody wants to quit their job tomorrow. Right? So everybody wants a cashflow and people will constantly tell us, you can’t find cashflow.
And I’m like, you’re just not creative enough. Like between legal duplex, creating a duplex on a house or doing student rentals or doing airbnb stuff that we see people doing from Toronto condos all the way down to someone on our team is air being being her, uh, well into property and making a great amount on it. So there’s, Oh yeah. So there’s always ways to make cash. Logistics, I want to gets in their head that like you can’t, the prices are too expensive. And to me that’s just an such an uncreative, unimaginative answer. It’s like there is always ways to make cashola. You just have to Kinda like think outside the box a little bit. Um, and that’s what’s good with real estate. There are so many options. You can experiment with a couple, and I mentioned this earlier, you know, I started with student rentals and then I don’t know if it was boredom or fear of missing out on other things.
Probably both. Yeah. Right. Um, so I bounced around. It’s like real estate investors are notorious for that. What did you say? AIRBNB is the place to be and then they run off and go do airbnb stuff. And we joked, but, um, there was, uh, there was a time where I used to go to networking events and real estate groups often. And, um, it was almost as if my buying froze when I attended some of these things because I was so handcuff. There was just so many opportunities. Right. Yeah. Um, but we, and that’s something when we work with new investors, we do, uh, we try to work with them, um, to eliminate some of their options by saying, Hey, look, you know, if your goals are this, you don’t want to do this type of option or that type of offering just to kind of bring them home. Because most people, once they get into real estate investing, they think they should buy an apartment built one student rental, one apartment building, do a flip and you know, do a rent to own. And we’re like, hey, let’s just talk about what your goals are, what your lifestyle is like. Dot. Come up a bit, back them up a little bit and then make a choice.
But what you, what you said is really important there. Nick and I, obviously we’re invested for the cashflow at first and I feel like everybody starts that way. But once you’re in real estate for any length of time, so I would say like, especially 10 years over, the appreciation kicks in to such a point where the mortgage is being paid down in. The appreciation is going up that um, that’s where the big money in these properties lies. And that’s actually the game changing money that yeah, we often don’t even talk about as real estate investors. I think almost to our own detriment, like sometimes enough, like some rock star members that we’ve been working with since 2007 a couple of them came up to us and we don’t even talk about this too much. I don’t know why, but they’ve come and thanked us and said, hey look, you know what from the properties I purchased back then I have it like a couple million dollars in equity, you know, thank you.
And I’m just like, yeah, it’s good. And we just, we do, I think because we don’t want this to be about the money, and I know I’m talking about this right now and kind of pair talking about money. But yeah, I think real estate gets such a bad name around the get rich quick, make a lot of money, make millions that we sometimes downplay that aspect of it so much. But there is big money in real estate. Yeah. That’s the weird part. There’s, there’s multiple ways to make my multiple streams of it also. Yeah. So then you, so you ultimately, uh, you, you’re, you’re buying the properties, you make this transition, um, you quit your job and then how do you, um, are you lost for a little while? Do you go into this holistic coaching that you’re doing now? Like seamlessly because it started with business coaching, so it was seamless then, like you weren’t kind of wandering around, lost with yourself, you had found something for herself and that’s a nice transition. Kind of got lucky.
Yeah, no, it was, uh, I was doing the real estate business coaching. Um, I actually had a partner at the time and you know, he wanted to continue just the real estate business coaching and um, I’m like, you know what, there’s, there’s something more like theirs. I started to tap into the gut a little bit more and just kind of go with the feeling and it’s like, you know what? Like, I really enjoy this other stuff. And you and I, you know, we share a common interest of health and things like that. And it’s like, you know what, like, um, so I started to make a little bit more of a shift in learning some, some health stuff and starting to get some positive results. And Yeah, I wanted to share more of that with other people because once you get the more energy and more health, like you’re that much more productive and focused and you’re able to, to not only do more but enjoy life that much more.
And that’s, that’s one thing that I was missing. And I know there’s a lot of other real estate investors. It’s like, what are we doing this all for? And then sure, at the beginning we, we write out our alert list and here’s our why, here’s our bellies, here’s whatever. Right? But then we were so in it, and I’m speaking from example, from experience that we forget, you know what? Like I said that I wanted to get in this so I have more freedom. Like we all say that, right? I want to spend more time with my kids and all that stuff. And then I got to
a point like we got to like 13 properties. It’s like, wait a minute. Like, and this is probably my current and drawn this out to me. It’s like I already have what I want. You know, I already have the kids like I create, I could have the time if I choose to have the time, what’s going on here. So it was at that point, the light bulb went on. It’s like I already have what I want and I just took a break from, from buying. And I started to enjoy my efforts from years ago. Like I worked my ass off just like you guys did to get to where we’re at. I don’t want to retire when I’m 60 and go on the cruises when I’m, I’m old and I can’t necessarily move around. They go enjoy the freaking journey, like, you know, so that’s kind of what I did.
Yeah. So we obviously you’ve summed it up perfectly there. And, and it’s funny because I think when I got busy with stuff in my career and then in the real estate and even beginning of launching this business, and I remember telling myself, I don’t have time for some of these other things. I don’t have time to go to the gym. I don’t have time to eat. Right. You know? And uh, and now I realize when you win, when you add these different parts to your life, you feel so much better. How could I ever go back? Like counter intuitive, right? It’s totally like, you know, people with meditation, like I don’t have time to meditate, you know, those are the people that need it and, but it just fuels, it actually gives you more energy. So. Sure. Yeah. You might be at the gym for 45 minutes.
A lot of people see that as last time just yet, but that 45 minutes may give you an extra two hours of productivity or maybe just that when I go on vacation with my kids, I feel like I can run down the beach and play beach soccer. Like I’m not old. I’m 46, but I feel like I can play like a kid. You know what I mean? I totally was 46, 46 years old. I feel like I can run down and like jump around with it and like yeah, jump off the sides of cliffs and do all kinds of crazy stuff and yeah. I feel alive like whereas I feel even seven, eight years ago in my mid, uh, or 10 years ago, it would be in my mid thirties. I couldn’t do that. I wouldn’t, I didn’t have the energy. Right. And I feel like I have more energy now than I almost ever did.
That’s what I mean. You enjoy life that much more and yeah. And to me now, it’s funny when we have problems, I kind of laugh at when, when cause I don’t really believe in having really problems anymore. It’s just like this is life. Like this situation that came up that we’re calling a problem and it is legitimately a pain in the ass of something. I Dunno, a property needs a new furnace on an emergency basis or something’s going on at rock star here that we need to address. And it is like, I guess a legitimately, you could call it a problem, but I’m like, this is life. This isn’t good or bad. This is just what it is. This is how live this is. I’ve chosen to deal with this stuff. This is my life. So I’d rather just be happy, full of energy dealing with it and classify it as a problem and everything kind of sucks, you know?
So I think when you make that mind shift, it really helps change your context and uh, having the, by taking care of your health and going to the gym. Yeah. Huge man. You talk a little bit, and it kind of reminds me about the comparison of employer versus entrepreneur. And I’ll just share real quick as, as an employee, as an employee, my, my feelings, my, my energy levels, my, my interest, it peaks at the beginning. Like it, there’s this huge incline. There is some excitement, there’s some variety. Um, you’re, you’re learning like all the things that, you know, I look for in things, right. And for me eventually, like it kind of tapers off and then it kind of flat lines for a bit and then the longer you’re in it, the it starts to decline. Whereas as an entrepreneur, there’s ups and downs throughout, you know, like you’re totally or you’re not, you know, you talk about problems or whatever, however you want to categorize it.
I’m like, yeah, that’s, that’s part of it. It’s how you deal with them, how you get out of the loader bad. It just, it’s a problem. And let’s see, how are we going to have a handle it? And I just tell people as long as your previous lows and highs are lower than your new previous lows and highs, cause I just think of it like a graph. You know, it’s, you know, uh, w when you’re in your job, it’s kind of like flat line. When you’re an entrepreneur, like you’re bouncing from, you know, this may happen where you on a complete high, you just got you just, there’s some deal that got accepted and it was amazing. Another time the cleaners don’t show up and I’m emptying the trash into the kitchen because we have a class the next day and there’s no one else here to empty the trash doing though the ups and downs.
And I tell people like, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. You know, as someone that’s a little bit on the other side of this, you know, I’m, I’m a little past the work your ass off, learn everything that you need to. I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m able to now kind of reflect back on where I was and it’s freaking amazing. On the other side of this, uh, it really, I really, uh, yeah, I totally hear you. And uh, I find now the only time I get frustrated is if I’m working on something that would be considered a problem. And the only reason I would get frustrated, I find if they’re small problems and I’ll tell myself if I get, if I’m feeling frustrated, it’s likely because in my life at that moment I’m dealing with small problems and that as soon I just need bigger problems, I need bigger, more important problems to work on.
And as soon as I put my attention towards those I feel good again. You know, it’s, it’s just when you’re handling kind of mundane stuff. But I want to, and I also want to share one other really important thing. I think you said earlier that we kind of glossed over. You said that when you were quitting your job, you didn’t really know what you wanted to do or you, you kind of alluded to that a little bit. I want to call that out because most people will talk to us and they’ll say, well you guys got lucky. You had it all figured out and I want to see, look up one morning and I want to say the reason that we chose real estate is that I was art. Nick and I were already buying property. So nick did his first flip when he was 21 years old. Yeah, you’re buying properties in our twenties. We didn’t have this network like we all know each other now and so we’re just kind of felt like we were floating out there on our own. Um, but I remember about 30 years
old and then 31 and thinking I’m going to quit. Like I have to quit my job and I couldn’t figure out what business I wanted to go into. And I really just thought, I remember one day vividly thinking, well everyone I know in life who has like a lot of money, they ultimately have real estate. I already have some real estate and those properties are cashflowing. They’re doing well. I want to even buy more. I guess I’ll just go into real estate. Like that was the full analysis and I just thought, I guess, you know, maybe if we could help some people, we won’t go do the regular real estate thing. It’ll be good. And that, that was literally the entire analysis. And I got out a piece of bread one day. I don’t really bad, bad day at work. And I got on a piece of Bristol Board and I kind of mapped it out a little bit better than just that. But there wasn’t this like heaven’s partying and someone’s speaking down to me saying, Tom, you will begin a company called Rockstar real estate. You know what I mean? And you will live life on your terms. Know it wasn’t that at all. So if you’re listening to this and you’re, you’re kind of struggling of what you’re thinking, you might quit. No, that, I mean, that might, that’s, you didn’t have the perfect plan. You just kind of went your, you found it right? We didn’t, it just kind of evolves. Yeah.
So yeah, if I can suggest a, uh, something to the listeners is w, w. W. W we get so busy with things that we don’t know what we want to do because we don’t really give ourselves some time and space to think about it. So the game changer for me was to take a little bit of a breather and I can appreciate that maybe some people can’t take a full year off. I’m telling you, like I, I didn’t start with the full year start with what you can do. Maybe it’s half an hour in the morning and you’re just kind of contemplating things. Um, but if you stay in the busy for Islam for, for as long as you do, like you’re never going to figure it out. Um, all we did is we just went with what we knew at the time. Same with me. Like I knew real estate, I knew I liked to help people, so put them together and I just went with it. So I tried it. I’m like, oh, this isn’t too bad. Oh, well what’s this other thing? Right. And then I, it just evolves the more you experiment with things. But the challenge is that some people are so busy that they don’t have no space. Yeah. They can’t create, they can’t create the space to think about other things or they don’t have the time to actually do some of the other things. So again, it doesn’t have to start with a year of a year of a leave of absence.
No, I wish, I wish. I, yeah. Mice small was literally, um, my space was getting up at 5:00 AM and then from five till just about seven in the morning before my family would get up, I’d be hiding in my unfinished basement of my house with a notebook and reading and just having time with myself to think, yeah,
this is the stuff that people don’t hear often about, you know, this is, this is, this is where it goes.
Yeah. Yeah. And I remember it just those times, literally probably mornings on end, not really accomplishing, but just having the opportunity to think and think about what I wanted to do with my life and what my, where my career was headed. And at that time I would, I was meditating a lot back then in the mornings. Um, I don’t know if I’ve ever told you, but our mom took it. I always make this joke you to meditation came to sound like I went to some cult or something when I said that. It was so good. It was like the best thing ever. But, uh, anyway, uh, back at that time, that was my time. Like I didn’t have the year off, but every morning I had from five to 7:00 AM and I found it really valuable. Like some of the books that really had the biggest impact on me were the ones I read during those hours, you know, and then I remember, uh, writing out just different goals and some of them came true, some of them, um, I don’t even know what, where they would be right now, but just kind of planning and playing with your own thoughts, like this might sound ridiculous, but for me, that was my space.
Like I needed that, those creative hours just to read and think. And those two hours it adds up. I ended up like, that’s potentially, if it’s every weekday, that’s 10 hours a week or it added up building some websites. That’s how I learned about some search engine optimization stuff because in that time I started monkeying around just building stuff, uh, learning about different things and it was huge. Yeah, it definitely changed my life. I did that for years. Um, so, uh, and that’s I think how affordable that education is. Like, Oh my page, 20 or 30 bucks for each. There’s a website that we bought. We bought that, it was like a website, kind of like a for dummies, for search engine optimization. Yeah. It was like 250 bucks. I remember thinking, wow, this is a lot like 250 bucks for this like guide. And I implemented in it, in it today.
That website has generated for rockstar real estate, probably literally no exaggeration, millions of dollars in revenue. Gross revenue, not like negative, like not after I just meet gross revenue, probably millions of dollars. It was a $250 guide that I thought was expensive. Yeah. I was like, no way. I’m never going to spend that. Um, so tell me more about what you’re up to now. So like how, how are people finding you? Are they finding you from listening to you on podcasts like this? Like it’s just kind of word of mouth. Yeah, mostly word of mouth. Um, what’s the, what’s the URL people can go to, to find more about what you’re up, www.epiclivingacademy.com, epic Living academy.com. And what are they going to find on there? What are you, you’re, you’re taking on new coaching clients? No, you sell product on there? Yeah, I got a little bit of everything. Um, one on one coaching group coaching. Uh, over the last couple of years I’ve started to create programs. So the first program I created as a next level health program. So it’s a two month program just to help you have kick ass energy levels and feel really, really good. Uh, just created a new program I launched earlier in the year. It’s called the best year ever program. So it’s a combination of operating at your best with energy levels, but also at the same
time helping you get clear and maintain your focus and figuring out what it is that you want. Um, and most recently I’m starting to host epic experiences. So some are local. I have something called hikes with Mike. So, uh, actually it was at high park late last week. We went for a hike, we hiked the Niagara Gorge. And literally it’s just, you know, a group of us, we get together, we get out, we, we mastermind, there’s a bit of coaching, you know, we, we eat, there’s just, so I’m really looking to combine multiple life areas into experiences. So if there’s a way where you can improve your relationships, your fun and adventure, your personal growth, your finances, um, your health, that’s what I’m looking to do to bring them all together. So I’m super excited. I’m, I’m almost ready with all of the details on, uh, an experience that I’m putting together in Alberta, this, uh, summer.
Uh, actually just after the summer in September. So yeah, bringing a group of people down there and um, yeah, I’m really big about getting cool people together, doing cool things in cool places. So that’s a, that’s a start for me. Very cool. So if you are listening to this and you don’t remember the URL, you can go to rock Cerner, circle.com, forward slash podcast. We will have Mike’s episode there on the, on the show notes, we’ll have the URL say that URL one more time. Yup. www.epiclivingacademy.comepiclivinginepiclivingacademy.com and the epic experience is such a good idea man. The experience of stuff I used to kind of like, I dunno, I used to take them to discount some of that stuff and then over the years nick and I have been a part of some mastermind groups that did some experiential type stuff. Like it wasn’t just getting together in a banquet hall in some Stuffy Hotel.
It was like, hey, we’re going to go mountain biking and we’re also going to like meet at this awesome resort and spa and do some mastermind. But in the middle of the day we’re going to go mountain bike for like two hours. And I remember doing that in California and it was just the best thing ever. No, and you make the friendships you make during those things and then the conversations you have totally changed. Like it takes it to the next level because you know, it, it doesn’t end at, you know, the, the things like nine to four. Sometimes you go to these things right on a Saturday or Sunday and then it’s done. But what if, you know, your doing something at eight to 12, like the rock climbing or mountain biking or, um, stand up paddle boarding on like this cool lake or whatever, right? And then you come back, you have lunch together and then you do a little bit of masterminding or one of the attendees gets up and does like a training session or whatever. And then you go back and do some fun. And then in the evening there’s like fireside chats and things like that. Um, but I really admire you guys. Like I, I really enjoy how you guys have created, uh, a really cool environment with your, your company. And like I see the, the ax throwing and all the really cool things. Like, I think it’s, it’s a unique way bring
the group together and just like creating a really good team and community. It’s really, really cool. Thanks for that. And, uh, just having said that, the next thing we’re doing, if there’s a coffee roaster just down the street here in Oakville, I’d, we stumbled into, I’m at the gym and someone’s like, Tom, you like coffee, right? I’m like, yes, I love my coffee. And they’re like, there’s a [inaudible], there’s their coffee roaster. He’s from Ecuador, just came up here. I think he’s ex Ecuadorian. Don’t hold me to that, but just in the back of this tattoo parlor on the other side of this industrial unit, off of spears road here in Oakville. Um, you should go check them out. So I go into the back of this, uh, industrial unit, and this guy’s got a coffee roasting machine back there, and he’s bringing these beans from Ecuador and he’s talking about all the different volcanoes that they have and just the different quality of beans.
So in a couple of weeks, we’re renting out his space there and the team’s going to go over for like coffee tasting. So he’s going to make us humble, different brews, and we’re all gonna get hopped up on coffee. So, even if it’s someone, a couple of people on the team don’t drink coffee. And I’m like, on this day you’re drinking coffee and you’re going to enjoy it. So, uh, that’s our, I dunno how adventurous it is going to drink coffee, but I’m so excited. But it can’t tell you. You know, it’s a unique, Ellen you love coffee too. So yeah, it works. And having, having said that, um, I ne I just curious, are you drinking espresso or just the bulletproof coffee and that’s it. Yeah, just bullet proof coffee. And how many years you’ve been drinking bulletproof? Uh, I’d say three years. Uh, on and off. Um, but yeah, I’m on right now.
Got It. And this is kind of the whole bio hacker stuff. You know, you try something, see how you, your body reacts to it and then you maybe add something or remove something. But it’s just all about documenting the protests and tracking and measuring. Even though I’m not having, so if you’re listening to this, you’re wondering about bulletproof coffee. It is. It’s just coffee with butter and co and concentrated coconut oil. You blend it together. It comes out to this awesome substance called bulletproof coffee. Um, but, or some people call it butter coffee or high fat coffee or whatever you want to call it, but bulletproofs Dave Asprey’s name for it. But even though I’m not drinking bulletproof, I still have brain octane oil all around because I really liked the mental benefits that I get from the clarity I get from the concentrated coconut oil.
And I eat way more butter and fats than I ever did. So I’m still having all those ingredients just in a different way. But I went two and a half years straight pretty much every single day without missing a day. Even traveling. The first time it had bulletproof was in San Diego and then I bought the grass fed butter is the first time I bought it, I ultimate and I bid it and there was like a 24 hour fitness kind of place across from the gym and all these guys on elliptical machines, they’re running on these little [inaudible] seeing this guy eat a stick of butter straight. Oh, it’s in my room. And I made a bulletproof coffee and it was like an explosion in my mind. I was crazy. They’ll have in the scoop pulls up like the coconut oil butter. Anyway, so the last, um, speaking of like a good quality fats the last couple of years, Irwin and James and I, we’ve been splitting on half a cow.
Yeah. Also we literally have like a freezer full. My freezer is a beef, a butter and broth. I have a whole of all that. Yeah. My freezer is all the same things but half of Nick’s cow because nick buys half account for himself and then he goes will happen itself and then cause he gets the best price that way and then they still use all the different studios and stuff and uh, he doesn’t have enough freezer space, Mike. So then he has an older brother and I have a standup freezer that’s massive. Yeah. I guess it’s about seven feet tall. We know where we’re coming from. The barbecue. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Anyway, he’s occupying half my freaking freezer with all his meat. But that’s true. Totally with me. Another stream of income. But Mike, thank you so much for doing this. We’re going to have to do it again.
Really appreciate you coming. I know we’re not close exactly to you, so really, really appreciate this. Thank you man. I appreciate it. Good. Hey, everyone’s so hopefully enjoyed Mike’s chat. Um, good guy. Interesting to hear his story. Anyone who walks away from their job and quit their jobs, always an interesting story to me. It takes a lot of guts to do something like that. So, uh, thank you Mike for coming on the show. Thank you everyone for listening. Listen, if you are listening to this and you have any feedback for us, feel free to send it in. The best email address to use for that is email@example.com. So if you send any emails and use that email address firstname.lastname@example.org and that will get over to us. Um, so if you have any guest ideas, any content that you want us to cover, any feedback on the show, um, we’re always open to hearing that. That’s the best email address to use. And if you want a copy of that report that shows property prices mapped against income levels historically here in this area, you can get a copy of email@example.com so it’s www.nomoremiddle.com and with that, I think that’s it for this episode. Until next time, your life, your terms.