Well, today started off reasonably happy. I volunteered in my daughter's classroom for approximately 25 minutes where I was put to good use: consolidating bottles of Elmer'sglue. But hey, it's a brainless task and sometimes we need those once in awhile, right? Especially during this hectic (and mostly un-enjoyable) time of year for me...and many others, I'd imagine.
Of course, those happy moments of glue compiling were short-lived the moment I came into the office for...yep, you guessed it. A pile of over 200 new emails waiting for me which, of course, reflects that 90% of the people who email me have an "emergency" of some kind. (In which I fantasize about responding in the rudest way saying, "Please hang up and dial 9-1-1." Or rather, "Please cease emailing me and go jump off a bridge.")
Now, I say that in jest, of course. Most of my students are incredibly amazing people. Let's be clear about that! But it happens to be those handful of screw-ups and those I'm convinced have ridden (and are still riding) the short bus through life that really messes up my good mojo for the day.
And today, I must mention, there are several of those.
One in particular would be someone who is adamant and outright hellbent on not following basic instructions.
Now, a little back story: When I did the Detroit event last month, I presented an incredible life-changing opportunity in which my students who attended (and only those who attended) could participate in The $9,000,000 Opportunity. An investor partner who I've been working with for -- forever, it seems -- is ponying up $9,000,000 cash (not including due diligence and closing costs) to put down as a 20% cash down payment which will result in the acquisitions of about $45,000,000 in property between now and this coming spring.
Pretty good deal, don't you think?
In fact, one portfolio we put under contract last month is set to close the first week of the year. And we just put 2 more under contract in the past 2 weeks; one of these 2 deals is a property located in the greater Detroit area (one county removed...not sure it's really "Detroit" but close enough). One more deal will more than likely go under contract right before (or after) Christmas...whenever we can get the listing agent to wake up out of his holiday stupor.
So...I can't really complain that every single one of my students who attended the Detroit event this past month is following instructions as presented on a clearly illustrated bulleted one-page flyer. All students, except for one, of course. (There's always that ONE person that can't follow basic freaking instructions.)
Well call this difficult student "Mr. NYC" since that's where he brags he's from with each and every event he attends of mine. (Yes, he's been to several events.) Now, Mr. NYC is a nice guy. I actually like him.
However, what I don't like is that Mr. NYC refuses to follow freaking instructions!!
Let me give you a little clue-in on how ALL of my partnership arrangements work with my investor partners. They've all gotten used to looking at things on my CFE (Cash Flow Evaluator, which you can get at www.monicamain.com/cfe
if you don't have it yet). And they like to get these files in the form of an Excel spreadsheet rather than a PDF because they can change the numbers in certain respective columns if they want to "test out" different scenarios such as lowering management costs, lowering the interest rate (since many work with local banks that can give them killer interest rates), lowering the asking price (to see where the cash flow will be), increasing rents, etc. to see where their cash flow numbers land.
And in case you haven't figured it out yet, you can't do all this with a PDF file. You can't do any of this with a muddy fax or a printed out CFE file.
Yet Mr. NYC keeps sending me the same f****** file in every way imaginable EXCEPTthe required Excel file format as clearly outlined during the event.
Even worse, he calls my staff all day every day (since the beginning of this f****** week) wondering what I think about the deal.
First of all, the first PDF file he sent me had a ridiculous negative cash flow of something close to losing $9,000 a month. Yes, a $9,000 a month LOSS in the PDF file (of the CFE). Yeah...where do I sign up for that kind of shit deal?? (Apparently with Mr. NYC.)
So, I rejected the deal based on (1) not receiving the required Excel format of the CFE, and (2) because we will not invest in a property that's taking ANY kind of loss. Period. (Isn't that common sense, folks? I thought so, too.)
If that rejection wasn't enough, he sends the same deal by way of overnight express. Yep, in the mail. Same exact deal. So, at this point we're getting further and further away from my basic requirement of getting this deal in the form of an Excel spreadsheet via email. Rose tried to give me the envelope and I refused to take it. Why? Because...what am I supposed to do with it? Since my investor partner is taking deals via email ONLY, what do I do? Send the printed out CFE to him in the mail? And, yet again, he can't do any of the things I outlined above (changing the numbers in certain columns) with a print-out of the deal.
Years ago I learned some hard lessons about not following directions. So, I've learned when I can buck the system and when I need to fall in line like an order-taking soldier. And when you're working with Other People's Money (OPM), you must -- I repeat MUST-- fall in line as an order-taking soldier. Period. No exceptions. You cannot make your own rules when using all of someone else's resources (especially money) unless your somebody like Warren Buffett. But, if you're not Warren Buffett, fall in line, soldier! Fall in line!!
Here's the other thing I learned when working with investor partners -- or any kind of partners (including that of marriage, believe it or not) -- is that you have to be easy to work with. Wow. What a freaking concept! You mean that the wealthy people holding the purse strings don't want to deal with jerk-offs and assholes when doing deals or funding projects? Especially idiots who refuse to follow instructions? Yep, you got it, Bucko. Millionaires and billionaires who want to do business and investment partnerships have to know that you're willing to concede to their basic requests and requirements...and that you're easy to work with. If not, they'll fund one of the many other people out there with kick-ass deals and businesses that are easy to work with. Simple as that.
So...back to Mr. NYC who can't (or won't) send over the right file.
Here we are in the very beginning phase of this process (not even getting to first base yet) and we are already experiencing a high level of difficulty. How is the rest of the process going to be when it comes to getting due diligence done or asking for financial docs on the deal? What about management? How's that going to work out? It'll be a nightmare, that's what.
I've been working with some of my investor partners for over a dozen years and I know what they guys want and who they like to work with. The other thing that a lot of my students don't know is that these investor partners ask me what I think of the student who is submitting the deal over. And I have never lied to any of my investor partners of what I think of a specific student sending a deal over and I never will. My reputation requires me to be 100% honest with them when it comes to this otherwise they'll never partner in on another deal again.
I'll also mention that there have been more than a few really solid kick-ass deals that we've ended up rejecting and not doing at all due to one element only: a difficult student coming in as an investor partner.
A word to the wise: whenever dealing with any money people -- including money brokers, banks, lenders, and investor partners -- you have to give them what they want while being an amicable person. If you can't do that then...do something else and leave this business alone.
Am I being too harsh here? I don't think so. I think one of the reasons so many of my students keep reading my emails and continue learning from me is because I'm real. I tell you the real truths about how the business world works. And if you don't want the real deal, go buy an infomercial guru's course and learn how the fake world of investing works. See how far that gets you.
But if you want to know how the real world works, hang with me, kid. Because this ride is about to get real fun really fast in the months to come. (And I can hardly wait!)
See you at the top!