TNS Podcast Episode #45: Joshua Smith

TNS Podcast Episode #45: Joshua Smith

TNS Podcast Episode #45 with Joshua Smith from the GSD Mode Podcast


Kelley Skar:                           All right. On today's podcast, we've got Joshua Smith. Joshua is a realtor in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as a serial entrepreneur. Joshua is one of the top realtors in the world, along with running many other very successful companies. Here are some facts about Joshua Smith. I'm getting this right off your website, man. I'm just reading it verbatim. Hope that's cool.

Kelley Skar:                           [crosstalk 00:00:21] Married to an amazing woman and has three extremely awesome children. Voted the 30th top realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal. NAR's 30 under 30 finalist. Sells more than one plus homes daily. Top 1% of realtors worldwide. Owns, operates the number one real estate podcast in the industry - for right now - GSD Mode podcast.

Joshua Smith:                      Bring it, baby.

Kelley Skar:                           Co-owner of a real estate software company, The Perfect Storm. Successfully coaches, mentors over 1,000 realtors yearly all over the U.S. and Canada, and is a co-owner in many other companies in many other industries such as healthcare, supplements, health & fitness, and more. Welcome to the show, my friend.

Joshua Smith:                      Yeah, no, thank you so much, man. I'm stoked to be here. This is awesome.

Kelley Skar:                           All right. You can't see it, but we've got, I dunno, 130 people in the room here today, so the theme of the podcast is perseverance. I think I mentioned that in a couple of the emails that we had going back and forth. And one of the emails that I sent out that was one of the promotional type emails that I sent went straight to your video that you were talking about getting your start and why you hustle so hard and you worked in a completely different industry at one point.

                                                      So I was thinking maybe we could start there and just kind of work forward into how you got into the business, and fast forward into 2007 through to 2009, and talk about the ridiculous times then in the U.S., and the big crash that happened and how you were able to move through that. And then building a really successful real estate team, where you're 600 plus transactions a year. So maybe we could start off with ... at the very beginning, man. What'd you do before real estate?

Joshua Smith:                      Yeah, so before I got into real estate, I was in the health club industry, which was a great foundation for what [inaudible 00:02:18] do today. All right. I'm gonna have to throw on some headphones, man. I'm getting bad echo. Hey, man, can you ... Sorry, this is the first podcast streamed live on the big screen I've ever done, so.

Kelley Skar:                           It's all good, man.

Joshua Smith:                      Yeah, so anyway, I was in the health club business before I got into real estate, and real estate just kinda happened on accident, man. My passion and my dream initially was to go out there and own my own health clubs. But again, dude, it just set such an amazing foundation. Right? I mean, people don't think about this, but in sales in the health club industry, man, you have to hustle. Right? We had to do our 100 cold calls, dials, every single day, turn in our call sheets and it was a 60- to 80-hour grind a week business, to only make 40 grand a year. And at the age of 23, at that point I realized that in order for me to go out there and create the opportunities I wanted to create for my family ... I was engaged at the time. We didn't have any kids yet, but we knew that that was to come.

                                                      And I'm like, dude, I can't continue doing this. I've gotta somehow get into ownership. And I'm one of those blessed people that ... My father was an entrepreneur. I was able to get a lot of insights from my dad as a kid growing up, who also was in the health club business, right? So, he owned and operated gyms for 30 years. And I got to the point where I'm like, dude, I gotta become an owner.

                                                      Well, 23 years old, I'm a college dropout, thousand bucks to my name, broke as a joke, bad credit. [inaudible 00:03:54] go out there and create what I wanted to create was gonna be $800,000, right? So, I go to banks, try to do whatever [inaudible 00:04:01] to get a loan, right? And not trying probably hard enough as I should, but couple rejections later, I'm like, all right, man, this probably isn't gonna fly, which thank God it didn't because the path I was gonna take would've failed miserably.

                                                      But at that time, dude ... So this was 2005, just the boom, right, when the market was just takin' off on fire. And everybody that I knew that was in real estate was just slayin' it, right? And I'm just like, I'm lookin' at the real estate business. I'm like, all right, man. I gotta go out there and bank this capital or raise this capital.

                                                      And the whole entire plan was just bank cash and then go open up my health club. That was it. This was only supposed to be a three, four year deal. But I'm like, look man, I've always been a work horse, right? I can outwork anybody. I don't need to eat, don't need to sleep much. I just like to grind. So I'm like, okay, I'll go out there and work my ass off and raise some cash and go make that a reality.

                                                      So I get licensed 2005, and I just hit the ground runnin', man. You know, right? But I always preface this with ... I sold 48 deals my first year, right? Right out of the gate, which, to a lot of agents, man, that's insane. But I'm like, look dude, you gotta understand the timing of it. It was the biggest boom, at least my area's ever seen in recorded history. Right? If you had a real estate license and a heartbeat, a pulse, you were sellin' real estate.

                                                      So I didn't even get rookie of the year, right? If you can put that into perspective there. But what it taught me very quickly was about capacities. So this was 2005. There was no DocuSign. They weren't even releasing scanners at the time. There wasn't Facebook, there wasn't YouTube. So the amount of transactions that you could close was far less than you can today. You actually had to meet clients to sign documents, right? Had my flip Razr phone, right?

                                                      So, I hit that 48 deals that first year, and I wanted to go out there, 'cause again, to raise that capital that I needed to raise, I needed to close more deals. 48 a year wasn't gonna do it and to be able to raise the cash I needed to raise. So I was trying to business plan for my next year, and just figure out how do I go out there and double my business. Right? Well, I couldn't fathom how to even add an extra deal to my business, let alone double it, right?

                                                      So at that time, I knew I needed an assistant. Now, this was also, again, 2005-

Kelley Skar:                           Now, hold on a second, now. You mean you didn't go out and hire a buyer's agent to increase your productivity?

Joshua Smith:                      No, no, no. I've yet to meet anybody that's made that their first hire that didn't live to regret it.

Kelley Skar:                           Right.

Joshua Smith:                      Right? If you don't hire the admin first, you hire agents first, you become the admin, right? But here's what was really cool, because again, 2005, now this time it's going to 2006, there's no podcasts. YouTube doesn't exist yet. There wasn't the tools and resources there are today, and at that time, teams weren't really a big thing.

                                                      But, because of my experience in health clubs, I used to go out there and do pre-sales for the health club chain that I ran. So every time when they open a new location, I'd go in there, I'd sell the memberships out of a trailer, right? As they got built up, I used to help hire out the team, hire out the staff, right? Get everything rockin' and rollin'. I just really followed the same path we did there. Right? With outsourcing the ... With health clubs, it's like you hire the front desk person first, right? Which increases your sales, then eventually start hiring more salespeople, then eventually [exit it 00:07:22].

                                                      So I had a lot of experience with this, in hiring sales teams, running sales teams, before this. So I just followed that same path. And hired my first admin, and within the next 12 months, during that span of hiring her and then over time, right, bringing on a couple buyer's agents, [inaudible 00:07:41] up to doing 103 transactions the next year, and just continue to grow it. And that was really the start of the team, right?

                                                      And yeah, I mean when you hear ... When I'm telling this story, I always want to be very careful 'cause it's like ... It is one of these things where every single year, regardless of the marketplace, regardless of what's taking place, every year we've expanded and grown. Right?

                                                      But I also want to be very careful and I don't want anybody to ever think like this has been a easy journey. Right? I am not one of these real estate agents where any of this shit came easy to me. Right? I have failed so ... I have struggled more than half of my career, more than I propelled and got it right, right? I'm just one of these guys that has to experience mass amounts of pain to truly learn my lesson. Right?

                                                      I've been $100,000 in business credit card debt, I've owed $40,000 in back taxes to the IRS trying to refi houses just to pay off my tax liens and I've just made so many dumb ass mistakes. So I also don't want anybody to think like this has been this easy path and journey, 'cause it's been far from that.

Kelley Skar:                           Yeah, I mean you're failing forward, ultimately, right? I think any studying, any reading, any listening that I've done to podcasts, it seems like the most successful entrepreneurs are ... They talk about failure as part of their growth, period of growth plan, almost, and a lot of people are failing forward. They're learning from their mistakes. They're not repeating the same mistakes. So I can just, in the various conversations that you and I have had, I can pretty much guarantee that you're not $40,000 owing to the IRS. You don't have $100,000 in credit card debt at this point. You've failed forward, you've learned from your mistakes, and you've been able to grow as a result.

                                                      So, let's talk about that time period in the U.S. where the big crash happened. Now, you're talking about you've been able to grow over the course of that time period, continually growing. How'd you do that? I mean, 2007 to 2009 was quite possibly one ... You're talking about the greatest increase in the amount of real estate growth, or equity, in North American history, probably, in the shortest period of time to one of the greatest crashes that we've ever seen. Yet you've been able to persevere and push through, right, and continually grow. Let's talk about that for a second.

Joshua Smith:                      Yeah. Just to give you guys some perspective of what it was like here, because I was in the thick of it, like the mecca for the foreclosures here in Phoenix, Arizona. So, I used to sell a lot of dirt, a lot of land back in the day, and I was selling acre lots out here for 150 grand pre-market crash, right? The market crashes, I take on ... M&I Bank is one of my REO accounts. Those same lots that were selling for 150 grand two years before, I'm now selling for five grand, right? Homes that, at the peak in 2005, that were selling for, let's just say 275, are now selling for 85.

                                                      So there's a lot of areas that were hit. 80% of what the peak prices were, and also still to this day, one of the only places in the United States that's still here, but we are still 30% below peak prices in 2005. That's how hard we got hit. We're still not recovered, right?

                                                      Now, when the market crashed ... Now, part of it was, again, man, it was just luck, it was a blessing in that, right? So when I say this, I gotta work my ass off to go out there and transition to short sales and REOs and get these accounts. But I was so new into the business, and it was like literally every single day, I'd have to come into the office and pull out a blank piece of paper and reinvent ourselves every single day 'cause really I had no idea what the hell we were doing, right?

                                                      And so with that being said, I didn't have any bad habits, right? So the pivot and the transition was actually pretty easy for me. I mean, as far as a mental shift, 'cause I wasn't stuck in like, "Oh well, this thing has always worked. If I stick it out, right, it'll continue to work for us." It was just like we were just trying new things every single day anyways, so I wasn't stuck. Right now, today, if you look at my business, dude, I'm pretty deep into open houses and Facebook ads and ... Right? I didn't have things that I was just hard core deep into for years that I didn't want to abandon or I had a fear of pivoting from.

                                                      And actually, again, it happened on accident by me in that I had this listing, we go into contract, get it ... We're under contract, go to the title company and have a conversation with the title company about this seller. They asked, "Well, how's this seller gonna bring in their funds to close?" I'm like, "What do you mean? They got equity in their house, and what do you mean, they have to bring in funds to close?"

                                                      And they're like, "Yeah, they have a second mortgage on their property, which is a line of credit." Now, the seller took out this line of credit, they didn't disclose it to me, and they had no idea that it was attached to the house, right? So all of a sudden, boom, here we are, three or four days before close, and they gotta come to the table with - I don't remember what it was, 20, 30 grand - and so that was my first experience with short sales, right? 'Cause they're just like, "Okay, dude, we're in this situation. What the hell do we do? What is a short sale?" I had to get my education really quickly.

                                                      And as the market started shifting, one thing that I have always been a big believer in ... Before I got my real estate license, right, I had a full-time job so I could only do weekend classes, so it took me six months to get my real estate license. And during that whole time, man, I mean I'm out there interviewing top agents, talking to top producers. I had a game plan dialed in, where I'm learning from the producers before I even got my license, right?

                                                      So, I've gotten better at this over the years, but I've always been this way to an extent of I don't try to reinvent this stuff. So I just started going out there and as the market starting turning - 'cause I had no idea what was going on, I had no idea what to expect - I just started asking seasoned agents that have been doing this for 30 years or so, that had the downturn in the '90s, early 2000s, that experienced this, I'm like, "Dude, what's taking place? If this market continues to decline, what happens?" Right? "Well, if it continues to decline, you're gonna start seeing short sales. Inventory rate gets to this level, you're gonna start seeing a lot of REOs." All right?

                                                      So the next question's like, "What the fuck is an REO and what's a short sale?" Right? So, quickly educate yourself on that, that process, and ... But dude, if you break it down, right ... And again, I had some really good training in the health club industry, when it came to overall sales and just business, that I was able to apply to real estate. So, every single business out there, every single industry, whether it's a sales business or not, has a sales funnel, right?

                                                      And inside that sales funnel, the fundamentals never change. So you look at real estate, right, and there's seven core functions of real estate. So you've got lead generation, you've got your lead vault, lead conversion, you've got your appointment [conductions 00:14:40], client nurture, past client repeat business, you've got your tracking, your systems, your processes, right, your operations, and then you got people.

                                                      So those fundamentals never, ever change, right? Now, how I apply those fundamentals ... Like, the fact that I have a lead gen every day will never change, right? Now, who I'm going after for that lead generation will change. So I had that foundation dialed in before I got into real estate, and as we saw this business diminishing, and started educating ourselves and myself and my team of what we needed to pivot, dude, like I literally locked myself in our office four hours every single day for six months. I can't tell you how many thousands and thousands and thousands of dials I was doing to banks, asset managers, to ... It took six months, and eventually I got my first one. Right?

                                                      And then it just started to snowball from there, and got to the point [inaudible 00:15:32] with 35 different banks. One of our best accounts is Fannie Mae Direct, which, I mean we were getting [inaudible 00:15:40] 80, 90 properties a month by them, which was just due to ... It was just insane amounts of work, right? And of course, listing short sales and pivoting.

                                                      And then you talk about that transition, it's like, okay well, eventually REOs started drying up. So then again, what did I do? Well, I don't know. I've never been through this cycle before, but there's other people that have. So I'm asking them, like, "Okay, when an REO starts to dry up, when it's ... You're at the bottom of the market, before it starts to take off and appreciate again, then what happens?" And I'm just going to other successful real estate agents that have been doing this a long time. They're like, "That's when the investors come in, especially the institutional investors." So I'm like, "All right. What's an institutional investor?" Right? Those are your hedge funds, right?

                                                      So I'm like, "Okay." Right? So I just applied that same tactic, man. So, three, four hours, every single day, six months straight to go out there and get some hedge fund clients. We transitioned and pivoted to hedge funds. And then back to traditional.

                                                      And I mean, here's the thing, you guys, that I think's really important to understand. The fundamentals of the business never change. They are timeless. How you approach those, like I said, your lead gen, who your client is, right, those will shift and change.

                                                      But if you just study history, the markets always repeat themselves. Right? None of these markets shift on a dime. I know at what month of inventory is a seller's market. I know when it becomes neutral. I know when it becomes a buyer's market. I know at what inventory we're gonna start seeing short sales. None of this stuff should be a surprise to us if we're just paying attention, and we gotta get rid of this damn mindset that oh, this time will be different. It's never different. Right?

Kelley Skar:                           Right. You know, and [Darren 00:17:19] actually mentioned something in his presentation that you didn't hear, but he did talk about us blaming the market for a reduction in sales. I mean, like when you said, you're following the fundamental principles that never change, the lead generation stuff, the tools and tech will change at some point in the future, but you've been able to become a student of the market, a student of the statistics. You've been able to go out and ask agents that are in the business that have more experience than you in the areas that you're lacking. So you're able to glean that information from them and then go and hustle and work hard, grind it out, and figure it out and apply it to your own business.

                                                      So, I think that's really the summary here, guys, is being able to not go and blame the market because your business is down. You should be looking inward, looking at yourself, and figuring out where you can start to dig into the market to start to shift your fundamentals a little bit, but really start to understand the market, like Darren said. When you're going into that market evaluation appointment, you want to be a thought leader. You want to be telling that person something that they've never heard before. And you're only going to be able to get there by being a student of the market. Do you agree, Josh?

Joshua Smith:                      Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, dude, I mean ... And this is just ... It's the difference between the habit of a winner's mindset or the victim-hood mindset, right? If you want to blame the market for your lack of success in your business, you might as well just frickin' hang up your helmet right now and just quit this business 'cause you will never, ever, ever achieve success, right, if you're gonna be that irresponsible with yourself and your business, and treat business in that manner, right? Jim Rohn said the highest form of human maturity's taking 100% responsibility to everything that takes place in your life, right? I can guarantee and promise you, there is somebody kickin' ass and killin' it in your marketplace. Right? So, dude, don't [inaudible 00:19:12]. Just go find out what they're doin' and dial it in, right?

                                                      So as I said, man, my business has continued to grow every single year. We've sold more homes, more commissions, more production, more [inaudible 00:19:17] sales, regardless of the marketplace, right? But also, dude, I mean, we work at it, right? We grind our ass off. And one of these things I'm gettin' ... I don't know if you guys are experiencing this where you're at, but here in the States, man, we're ... This is just all over, right? It's all these discounters, right?

                                                      And I get all these agents that reach me on the podcast, my coaching programs, and they're like, "All these damn discounters. It's wreckin' the industry." And I'm like, "Look, dude, realtors and real estate, it's the only industry where real estate agents have this mindset that things should be fixed, and that they get pissy about discounters. Every other business, every other industry, you have discounters." Right? You got the Walmarts, you got the Whole Foods of the world. Right?

                                                      And I was [inaudible 00:20:02] and say to them, like, "You look at Ross, and then you look at Nordstroms." Right? Do you think Nordstroms gives two shits about Ross and what they're doin' and what their prices are? No. Right? They're delivering a whole nother product, a whole nother experience. They're not givin' 'em a second thought.

                                                      So you've gotta learn to control and focus on only those things that you can control, which again, what can you control is yourself, right? It's like discounters - I don't worry about 'em, they don't affect me, the more they keep poppin' ... I mean, we have here ... especially in Phoenix, man, we've got hedge funds that are tryin' to put realtors out of business, you have companies like Opendoor now, where you don't need a realtor, they offer directly to you, they have video camera and lock boxes, [inaudible 00:20:43] public ... They're doing everything they can to eliminate the agents. And we just continue to grow. Why? Right? Because I'm not focused on them. I'm focused on myself and what I can do to control my business, right? How well can I deliver valuations? How well do I market my properties? Right?

                                                      I mean, I have literally, dude, role played my listing presentation, I can't tell you how many thousands of times. Right? This is just something that we do as a team, and we preach, man. It's like you go out there and you work your ass off all day long in your business, come home at night, maybe see your wife and your kids, if you're lucky, for an hour or two. When they go to bed, you're sittin' up every single night for three hours practicing all your presentations, your most important scripts, you're sharpening your ax.

                                                      Then you become recession-proof. Right? Nobody can shut you down. You gotta start treating yourself as your own economy, adding skill sets to you where, dude, you are recession-proof. The market can't shut you down. Nobody's gonna be able to shut you down. You just go out there and dominate your competition. Right? Real estate's like the easiest business to dominate 'cause we're filled with so much mediocrity, where it's just like fishing with dynamite.

                                                      But you gotta be focused on going pro. Right? You need to be paying attention, treating your business as a business. Not only you need to be consistently and focusing and mastering your lead generation tactics, your lead follow-up tactics, your appointment setting, appointment confirmation, client leading process, right? But that's all the real estate tactical stuff, right? What else do you need to master? You've gotta master your tracking - knowing what you're KPIs, your key performance indicators, are inside your business, becoming obsessed with those daily action steps that allow you to go out there and create those success and treating your business as a business.

                                                      And if you do that, right, you'll dominate, and get to a point where ... This isn't to brag, right, but I haven't sold a house for four years, right? So, I still have my team, I'm still a real estate agent, right, but I run my team.

                                                      So last year, I actually hired my first CEO, who now runs the team. So last year I think we sold 653 homes. I can't tell you one address, right? Dude, literally, I meet with her once a month for about 30 minutes, and that's my only involvement now inside my real estate business. Right? It's because I spent so much time mastering those things and inputting the systems and processes and building a machine that gives back to me, allows me the time, money, freedom, and the money to go out there and do other things that I want to do in this life. Now, it took a shit ton of years, man - eight, nine years of working 100-hour work weeks - but the payoff is huge.

Kelley Skar:                           Yeah, I mean, it's going back to that blueprint that you had that you learned when you were 23 years old, right? I mean, it's, hire the front-end staff, hire your salespeople, get your systems and processes dialed in, continue to grind, shift with the market, shift the marketing with the market. I mean it's ... This is running a business.

                                                      I think too many real estate salespeople look at this business as a job, and not as looking at themselves as a CEO of their own company, right? It's something that you actually mentioned a little bit earlier, which I found was kind of funny. I had this conversation with an agent here a couple days ago, and there's all kinds of Facebook real estate groups, right? And we always see agents popping into these groups, saying, "Hey, I need the least expensive photographer. I need the least expensive ... I need some used lock boxes. I need the least expensive measuring guide." Yet we get so pissed off when somebody wants us to discount our commission. Why in the hell are we going out and asking for discounts from other professionals? Anyways, it was just something that I thought was kind of funny that you kind of tweaked the conversation.

                                                      Now, I want to kind of go back. The video of that, I did watch. It was on your YouTube channel. You were talking about how you worked in, I think it was a hospice. And I want to dig into the drive that you've got.

                                                      For you guys that don't know Josh, go to Watch his podcast, listen to the podcast. The guy's an absolute machine. He's got four or five different companies. He's exited himself, basically, out of real estate now. He's focusing in on his coaching program, his CRM platform. He's building a software company, you guys. This is not something that is cheap or not time consuming.

                                                      So, this guy has a lot of information that we can certainly learn from. I want to understand where you get this drive from, man. What is it that keeps you up until 2:00, 3:00 in the morning, and then you're up at 5:00 or 6:00 AM? What is this drive? What is it that keeps you going?

Joshua Smith:                      Yeah, dude, and that's the key right there, right? For people to think that they can change their business without changing and transforming their mindset, it's just ludicrous, right? Most people's issues that are not creating success, it becomes a perspective issue, a mindset issue.

                                                      I know that we just get hit with this crap all the time, man, but there's just so much truth when it comes to that, when it comes to creating your success, dude, 'cause ... I was recently interviewed and we turned it into a podcast, but I was asked, "What's the hardest thing you've ever had to overcome in your life?" And I was like, "Dude, it's businesses." Right? I've overcome depression, I've overcome obesity, I've overcome alcoholism, I've overcome addiction to other substances. None of that compared to the difficult challenge that entrepreneurship has posed, right? It's hard enough to go out there and create your own success, right?

                                                      Then all of a sudden, you look at where I'm at today. I have over 100 people that work for me, right? You got 100 employees and staff and people that work directly for you, and managing teams. Dude, it is insane, right?

                                                      So, how are you gonna stick in the game? How are you gonna stay in the game that long term? And again, dude, it's doin' that internal work up here. To the point now, today, I do more mindset work and internal work than I ever have before.

                                                      I have a personal one-on-one peak performance coach. So, peak performance coaches, you guys, is like the fancy term for a psychologist that works with entrepreneurs, 'cause you don't want to say that we're going to the psychologist. Yeah, right? But dude, it's just doin' that internal deep work. The higher success you create, the more self-care that's needed.

                                                      And so for me, dude, movie, that video that you're talkin' about. I didn't start off driven, man. My dad used to work so much, and I always used to despise his work ethic and what he did, and never being around and never seeing us. And I was always like, "That's not gonna be me. That guy is not gonna be me." Right? And of course, what I discovered later in life is I can put in the grind but also not neglect my family and still be there for my family. It's not a either or, right? I can grind 80 hours a week, work out every single day, sleep ... I still got 41 hours left [inaudible 00:27:16] week to spend with my family, right? So that whole time thing is just a total bullshit [inaudible 00:27:22] that most people attach to.

                                                      But for me, dude, I was ... I just dropped out of college, got massively depressed, right? Just allowed myself to adopt this victim-hood mindset, blaming everybody else. Like those agents blaming the marketplace, I was blaming everybody else for how shitty my life had turned out. And it just started to spiral, man, to the point where I became morbidly obese, I was drunk every day by noon, and just unhappy, unhappy, unhappy. Lots of thoughts about suicide and whatever else.

                                                      And then one day, dude, I just ... It just ... I had this internal voice, if you will. I got to a really low moment, right? And had this internal voice. I essentially played out my suicide and was plannin' on goin' out there and executing on it. And I had this internal voice. I was like, "Look. This path obviously isn't working. Let's try this other path." And you know, I am in my early 20s.

                                                      But it scared me so damn much that really, it just shook me. It really woke me up, just searching for a different path. And I wanted to be successful at this different path. I had no idea what it was going to be, but I'm like, what's the opposite of depression? It's fulfillment.

                                                      Now I'm like, "Okay, what would make me happy? What would make me fulfilled?" I'm like, dude, I have no idea, right? So I'm like, "Well, what do I hate about myself?" Right? Well, I hated being morbidly obese, right? So I went, got back into working out, lost 118 pounds over time, right? I hated being broke constantly, right? So that's when I got back into sales and started doing the sales game, that then led to real estate.

                                                      And so at that same time ... and here's what's so cool about life. You guys have probably all heard the proverb that the teacher appears when the student is ready. So while all this was going on, I was a nurse's aide. I was actually a float, but most of my time, 80% of my time, was on the hospice floor. Now I'm at a point where, after this low moment, where I'm seeking fulfillment. I'm trying to find this path for happiness and seek fulfillment, and what it's going to take for me to go out there and be successful long-term with this.

                                                      So then, though, I start paying attention. And here I am ... Those of you that don't know what hospice is ... I'm sure all of you do, but it's like heaven's waiting room. That's where people go on their last days or months to expire. And I'm having in-depth conversations with patients on their deathbed that are gettin' ready to leave this planet.

                                                      And I don't know if was my age, the fact I was 21 years old, or if I wasn't a friend or family member, but my whole entire job was to keep them comfortable and just hang out with them as a nurse's aide. And I'm just having in-depth conversations. I'm telling you guys right now. I could see the pain in all of their eyes, right? And every single one of 'em had this massive shoulda, woulda, coulda list. Right? Wished I would've went after the dream career, wish I would've married somebody different, wished I would've been a better father, husband, travel more. Whatever it may have been.

                                                      And then now, it's like boom, they're on their deathbed, and it's, "Oh, shit. It's too late to go out there and do these things I really wanted to do." And now, as I'm reflecting, it's like ... [inaudible 00:30:21] you could just see the pain in their eyes. It's like, oh crap, I pissed away this one gift called life. And now there's no time for me to do anything about it.

                                                      So I then created this saying called the ultimate scoreboard. And I realized that at some point in our life, right, like the average age of the average human being in developed countries is 84 years old. So, at 84 years old, let's call it, we're all gonna be in that situation where we're on our deathbed, we're gonna have an internal conversation where we're reflecting on our lives, and we're gonna ask ourselves what the hell did we do with this gift called life? Did we go out there and create something amazing with it? Do everything we possibly could to operate at our full potential and create an epic life and have a huge impact on others?

                                                      Or did we, like 99.9% of all these other human beings, go out there and piss this life away, and then die with this massive, heavy heart of regret? So I was like boom, that is how I go out there and achieve true fulfillment, is I have to live my life in such a way that that conversation can only go one way, yeah, right? Like maybe I don't accomplish all my dreams, goals and visions. I want to become a liquid billionaire before I die, right? And if given enough time, I feel like I could do it.

                                                      But maybe I don't accomplish them, right? However, on my ... In that moment, that conversation, I want to know with 100% full certainty that I did everything I possibly could to get on the field, play ball, I wasn't a fucking spectator, right? Went out there, did everything I possibly could, left it all on the field to create an amazing, epic life, be the best husband, father, entrepreneur, have the biggest impact I possibly could and [inaudible 00:31:51] I possibly could.

                                                      And then from there, right, I started reverse engineering. So I'm one of these numbers freaks, right? Like the path is the math, so I developed my lifetime study, right? So every single day I'm looking at my lifetime study. It breaks down how many months I have left to live on the planet if I'm blessed to live the average age of the average human being.

                                                      And that's how I goal set on everything. My 2018 goals exist to get me one step closer to ensure that conversation goes the right way that I want it to go, right? Then every quarter, then every month, then every week, then every day, every single day, I spent 20 minutes planning, reflecting, and then of course, I'm executing. [inaudible 00:32:27] reflect, plan, and making sure I'm congruent with those goals. And it's that daily attention. But that's where the drive comes from.

                                                      'Cause it gets to a point where it's no longer about the money. Right? When I first got into this business, dude, it was about the money. But what I found for me, and I just ... I don't know if this is true for everybody, but I found it to be true for me and a lot of people I have conversations with this on, is there is a minimum amount of money that we must make to be able to have the opportunity to experience happiness, right? If you're super broke, if you're stressed about money 24/7, it's kinda hard to go out there and experience happiness and really enjoy life and your family, right?

                                                      But once you hit a certain threshold, and I know for some of you this might sound kinda crazy, whatever. Some people kinda look at me like I'm crazy when I say this, but for me, that number's $40,000 a month. Right? When I make $40,000 a month, 'cause it is ... My wife stays at home with the three kids. That allows me to live the life that we want to live, travel, do the things that we want to do, as well as invest and invest in the future and save. I'm not living extravagantly at 40 grand a month, right, but I'm able to go out there and create the opportunities I feel I must create as a man and as a husband, as a father. So that that's what I've found for my minimum amount of money to experience happiness.

                                                      So I've made 40 grand in a month, and I've netted 400 grand in a month. And I'm telling you, netting 400, I wasn't any more fulfilled or happy than netting 40. Right? At that point, it just kinda becomes like a video game, like you're just tryin' to ... right? So then it's like once the money is there and [inaudible 00:33:59] good enough, what else is driving you? Right? The why, the purpose, whatever the hell that you want to call it, has to be bigger than the money, man. And I believe in setting goals, dude, that have no finish lines.

                                                      Those of you that are parents. You can never sit there and tell yourself, "Oh, I'll hit a point in my life where I'm a good enough parent. I could just stop being a good parent. Oh, I'm good enough." No, it'd be like every phase of your kid's life, you can level up and be the different parent that they need you to be, and you can always improve. So it's like-

Kelley Skar:                           I love it.

Joshua Smith:                      [crosstalk 00:34:31]

Kelley Skar:                           [crosstalk 00:34:32] every baseball game. I'm just good enough now, right?

Joshua Smith:                      Yeah, exactly, yeah, [crosstalk 00:34:35].

Kelley Skar:                           [crosstalk 00:34:35] baseball game. That's good enough, right? Yeah, no. So, sorry to cut you off. We are kinda runnin' short on time here-

Joshua Smith:                      Yeah.

Kelley Skar:                           ... and I do wanna get this last question in here. One of the things that ... I can't remember which video it was I was watching here the other day. You were talking about really looking forward to the day where you cut that one check to work with that one individual and it's gonna cost a million bucks. Right? And you just can't wait to cut that check for a million bucks to go and coach with that one individual for one year.

                                                      And I love that. I love the idea of the ability to be able to cut that check. You're obviously somebody that has coaches in your life, psychologists, coaches, whatever you want to call them. Why do you feel that you, at performing at such a high level, why do you feel like you need coaching? And is this something that you advocate for? Obviously I know that you've got a coaching program, so obviously you believe in it. But I just want to hear your perspective on this. Why is it that somebody that's such a high producing individual, whether it be in real estate or your other companies, feel like you need a coach?

Joshua Smith:                      Yeah, so I mean if you don't feel ... I don't care what level that you're at, if you don't feel like you need a coach, man ... The second you stop growin', the second you start decaying. That's when your ego gets in the way, dude. You gotta stay humble, you gotta be a student. Bill Gates has a coach, Jeff Bezos has a coach, LeBron James has a coach, Michael Phelps has a coach. The best of the best on the planet have coaches, right?

                                                      And there's always somebody that's out there at a much higher level than me that can show me that path. Right? So what I'm always look ... The most important thing to me today is time and speed. So I want to shorten that path as possibly as I can. Right? So, right now, man, I invest well over $200,000 a year right now, [inaudible 00:36:24] P&L for coaches and consultants. [inaudible 00:36:26] I only have one Mastermind. That's 60 grand a year. And inside that Mastermind, I only get one hour of a conversation with my coach. Imagine that.

                                                      But imagine how powerful that one hour of a conversation is when you get to that caliber. And that video came about as somebody that's one of my teammates that was asked [inaudible 00:36:46] that ... What would you say is a big difference between you and - when it comes to your mindset and perspective - compared to a lot of others? And it just kinda popped, 'cause I've been ... We've been growing really massively, really rapidly, in a couple of my companies, and we're hiring a couple people a week, right, on a consistent basis. And everybody I interview, what do they say? "Oh, I want to make 100 grand." "Okay, what does 100 grand get you? The car, the house, whatever." Everybody's fixated on that.

                                                      And my mindset was always like, dude, I've never wanted to make the money to go out there and buy the house, the car, whatever. It's like I couldn't wait 'til the day I was droppin' 100 grand a year on coaches and consultants, right? 'Cause once I get to that level, right ... I mean, I'm making the loot to be able to afford that, plus the caliber of training and coaches and consultants that you get access to is just insane. Right?

                                                      So, Warren Buffett spends six hours of his day, every single day, in self development. Right? So, you gotta learn to be a student for the rest of your life, man. Student of the game, and just a lifelong student.

Kelley Skar:                           Awesome. Okay. So we got about seven or eight minutes left. Have we got any questions from the audience for Josh? Anybody want to put up their hands? We'll get the mic to ya. Oh, we got one up there in the corner. Okay, just a sec. I might have to repeat it to you. You might not be able to hear it.

Speaker 3:                              [inaudible 00:38:07] question, but any books on top of mind that you're reading right now that you want to suggest to the group?

Kelley Skar:                           Did you hear that?

Joshua Smith:                      I didn't.

Kelley Skar:                           Any books-

Speaker 3:                              [crosstalk 00:38:16] books you want to suggest to the group?

Kelley Skar:                           Any books that you're reading right now that you want to suggest to us?

Joshua Smith:                      Yeah, so before I suggest a book, I want to talk to you about something that's really important here.  There's no such thing as a quick answer out of my mouth, right? So, this is what ... And this is something that I got wrong for so many years. But when it comes to your self development, self development should exist in your life to solve your problems. All success is is in your own ability to continue to solve your own problems. Right?

                                                      So it's identifying what are my goals, what are the biggest problems and obstacles in the way that if I can overcome these problems and obstacles, I can be crushin' my goals. And that's where, then, your self development comes in. Every podcast you listen to, course that you listen to, book that you read should only exist to solve your problems. Otherwise, self development becomes entertainment, right? It is wasting your time. I call it mental masturbation, right?

                                                      So, but my favorite book right now ... I'm actually reading it right now for the third time straight, is called Principles by Ray Dalio. Principles by Ray Dalio. He is the number one hedge fund company owner that's ever existed in recorded history, and he's just ... I mean, he gives the playbook, man, of his personal life and his business life. I mean, it's a 700-page thick book. But it's the best book I've ever read in my life.

Kelley Skar:                           Awesome. Any other questions?

Brad:                                          Any other ones?

Kelley Skar:                           Got one over here.

Brad:                                          Anybody else want [crosstalk 00:39:42]?

Kelley Skar:                           [Brad 00:39:43]? Got one over here. Got one mic and he's wearin' a suit and he's havin' a hard time climbing the stairs.

Speaker 5:                              So, you do a lot of coaching. Do you have any coaches that you [inaudible 00:40:02]?

Kelley Skar:                           So, the question was, "You do a lot of coaching. Do you have any coaches, other than yourself and your company, that you would recommend?"

Joshua Smith:                      Yeah, so [Camille Rose 00:40:11] is my peak performance coach, and I'm telling you right now, man, that's probably the best coach, the best money I've ever spent. I do her one-on-one coaching, which is 40 grand a year, but she's got some more affordable programs out there that you could still have big impact. So, I coach with her. I coach with Jon Cheplak. He actually coaches my leadership team now, my real estate team. He's the number one recruiting leadership coach in the space.

                                                      [Alex Sharfin 00:40:40], who's my operations coach. Russ Rufino, who is my webinar ... Yeah, I mean, he's coaching me on how to coach, right? So those are my main coaches right now.

Kelley Skar:                           Cool.

Brad:                                          Right on. Any other questions?

Kelley Skar:                           No? We're good? All right, dude. I want to thank you so much for this. I really appreciate your time. I know all these guys probably got just a shit ton of value from this, and I know you're all about bringin' the thunder, and I think you brought it here today. So I want to thank you for being a guest at TNS five, and obviously on the TNS podcast. We'll get this thing loaded up as soon as we possibly can.

Joshua Smith:                      Yeah. It was an honor. Thank you guys so much. Keep up the amazing work.

TNS Podcast Episode #47 with Elise Montgomery

TNS Podcast Episode #47 with Elise Montgomery

Thrive Not Survive Podcast #44: Artificial Intelligence in your Real Estate Business

Thrive Not Survive Podcast #44: Artificial Intelligence in your Real Estate Business