David “Kash” Vasquez: For those of you that are brand new to the programming who have never checked this program out, Grow Yourself is an entrepreneur-based show that is also dedicated to the self-development of each and every individual watching this program. And I was fortunate enough to come across The Road Map to Rich, which is a beautifully written book about your perspective, JMD, on how to really attain wealth and stay wealthy. And so first of all, welcome to the program and, how are you? How are you feeling?
JMD: I’m getting over a little bit of a cold. But other than that, I’m doing alright.
Kash: Awesome. Well I’m glad you made the time because I know you’re busy. You’re not only an author but you’re an attorney here locally.
Kash: So how did you find the time to write a book?
JMD: Well, the book started off as an article. I was teaching at Texas A&M International University and a couple of professors, professors Mayfield, some of you may know them, said, “Hey you should write an article and then you can start looking at getting your PhD”, and I said, “Okay, well let me figure something out”. I started working out an outline on entrepreneurship, which is one of the things I’m very fascinated with. The outline turned into more than an article. Once I had that outline, I was appointed to child protective services cases. And unfortunately, there’s a lot of waiting time when you’re set for those hearings. So, you could be sitting in court for two, three hours before your case is called. So, during that time, I had my Palm Pilot out and was, you know, picking away, writing this up. And so, it took me about three years to really get it from outline to print.
Kash: So, let me get this straight. You started writing this book…The Road Map to Rich, on a Palm Pilot?
JMD: Yes. That should tell you how long ago that was.
Kash: Palm Pilot. I mean that’s old school man.
JMD: Yup. Yup.
Kash: The fact that you started writing it on a mobile device is incredible. So, you started writing it on a on a Palm Pilot. And I guess writing a book, obviously, is not something you do from one day to the next and it took you really three years to write it. Where did you find inspiration for this book? Was it through the cases that you were taking?
JMD: It was a variety of things. Some of the inspiration came from Robert Kiyosaki’s books and other real estate investment books and putting some of those things to practice. And seeing what some of my wealthy clients had done and how they got wealthy. You know, they had these very humdrum businesses that you would never think that he is a multimillionaire. He just dressed like, you know, in jeans and dressed comfortably everyday compared to us, in our ties. They are very unassuming, but they are very wealthy because they have a business that they’ve been able to grow and develop into something that runs almost on its own. It is just the money machine for them. They take that money and then invested into real estate. So, they pull the money out of their risky business operations and put it into a less risky investment, which is real estate. And so, they just keep multiplying that.
Kash: Of course. And I’ve often heard, although he might not be a favorite in the public eye, but our president is one of the many people that have done that; that has attained wealth through real estate. And that’s something that you talk about in the book. There are essentially four ways to the Road Map to Rich, which is the 1) the lottery…and we’ll touch on the lottery…
JMD: It comes in quick and it goes out quicker.
Kash: Right! All Of a sudden you got that thirty primos… Yeah exactly.
JMD: 2) … starting your own business, which we’ll talk a little bit about, which is entrepreneurship, something that’s near and dear to my heart. 3)…investing in real estate and 4) the last one, which is really interesting, is the natural ability aspect to each individual: If you have a natural ability, such as the Tiger Woods of the world, the Michael Jordans, the LeBron James…these athletes that take their ability and become super-mega rich, is the fourth way, which is really interesting. Let’s bounce back, let’s rewind a little bit. Obviously, the lottery…the chances of us winning the lottery are slim to none. But let’s move on to entrepreneurship. Off camera, we were kind of talking about what that “dive” is like. What it’s been like for me in going and leaving my regular job and just putting in my two weeks in just in two weeks later, I’m an entrepreneur. I don’t have a regular check coming in. I don’t have an alarm clock or a time clock where I have to punch in. I don’t have anybody calling me and telling me I’ve got to go to work. I’ve literally got nothing, but an idea and a vision of a business. That’s all I’ve got. All I’ve got is a vision. No guarantee that I’m going to get customers or make money.
Kash: That road is freaking scary for a lot of people. And you talk about that in the book a little bit, is that entrepreneurship is not for everybody.
JMD: It can be a brutal sport. You know restaurants are one of the big examples. You know, restaurant opens up and if you get a bad review, a lot of times mom and pop restaurants don’t last year. And so. You’ve got to really be in it to win it. You’ve got to make sure you got some kind of plan. You’ve got to have the financial resources. A lot of times you get people who have an idea of something that they’re good at. They maybe a professional. They may be doing different things, but they really don’t know how the business side works. So, you could have, you know, attorneys and other professionals are notorious for, “I’m a really good trial attorney. I can start my practice.” Then, “How do you hire employees?”. You know, “How often are you supposed to pay them?”. “How do you keep your check?”. “How do you do that?”. “How do you make sure that your employee that’s running the checkbook isn’t stealing from you?”. So, you got to really you know, take the professional side of it. The actual technical work that you do, you’ve got to pull yourself out of that and you’ve got to be an entrepreneur business person. It doesn’t matter what the business does. There are certain aspects that everybody has to deal with. And if you can’t manage those, you are going to be in trouble.
Kash: Right. You mention even calculating cell phone minutes and cell phone plans and you talk about employees and maybe it’s something that financially may not be able to do but it’s a dive that you need to make if you want to grow. Essentially, what’s riskier? The entrepreneur road to riches or real estate road to riches?
JMD: Well, I think the entrepreneurship is a bigger risk because in order to really be a serious entrepreneur to really be doing it you’ve got to be giving 100 percent of your time to your business. It’s like a spouse, if you don’t give them a 100 percentage of your time, you can have problems. So, it’s important to focus that. In real estate, it’s a little bit different. It is a part time job. It can be a full-time job and you can increase your wealth that way accelerate it but it’s safer in that you’re using money that you get from your job or your business. And then you invest that in to income producing property or property that you are going to flip or earlier or a property going for long term development.
Kash: One of the Masters, I think. One of my mentors, unbeknownst to him, his lessons have really taught me a lot about entrepreneurship…but one of his main acquisitions of wealth, comes from multi-family which is Grant Cardone. I am a student of the Cardone University and a lot of the lessons that he talks about come or a lot of the things that guide Grant Cardone is real estate multi-family units. But that investment! That, I think is the biggest challenge, because everybody who reads this book and everybody that is watching now, don’t lie! You want to be rich! Do you ever come across somebody who says, “Oh money! I don’t need money. Oh! I don’t want to be rich!
JMD: There’s a few people that I know. But they’ve taken a vow of poverty and they are priests and nuns and stuff like, but no; aside from those that have taken a vow to God, no. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t want to be rich.
Kash: Yeah. What do you say to somebody that thinks money isn’t important? And, you know, I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t worship money and money shouldn’t be… but it’s important. It is important to our survival. What do you say to somebody like that?
JMD: I think one of the things that you’re probably reaching for is there is a quote in the Bible that is often misquoted. You know, its money is the root of all evil. That’s not the proper quote. The proper quote is, the LOVE of money is the root to all evil. So, money is a tool. It’s like the Swiss Army Knife I’ve got in my pocket. It’s like the cell phones that we use. It’s a tool. But when your cell phone becomes your everything, you know you’ve got a problem. But you can use it to get the things you want, to gain more time. When you have employees doing the busy work that your business needs to do, it allows you to go and get bigger clients or have time off to spend with your family. Those are the things that ultimately everybody wants. Everybody wants happiness, everyone wants freedom. How can you do that? Well, if you don’t have to worry about paying your bills, if you don’t have to worry about food, if you don’t have to worry about shelter, you know we are very lucky in this country that that’s not such a big problem. It’s still a problem but compared to other countries it’s relatively minor.
Kash: Yeah, because I think, you know, a lot of people don’t understand fully, appreciate the country that we live in because, you will have somebody who barely speaks a lick of English, un vecino de Nuevo Laredo o de Mexico, a neighbor, who crosses over with little to no money and will build an empire on this side. Would you say that it has a lot to do more with becoming rich on the road map, aside from it being a map to know where to go, but what else do you need? Do you need motivation? When you wake up in the morning, do you have a routine? What is JMD’s morning routine?
JMD: Well, when I get up in the morning, I throw on some clothes, go get coffee, take the kids to school. I mean, I’ll leave out other incidentals, but yeah, that’s it any kind of mantra, there is not a magic bullet. Really, you just laid out exactly what it is, you’ve got to be hungry. Unfortunately, that’s why wealth doesn’t stay in the families past two or three generations because you’ve got the grandpa who came to this country or started with nothing, built up this business, then son or daughter was part of that growth, and then grandchildren have gone to prep schools and have had a pampered life. They’ve never had experience of if I don’t make this sale, if I don’t get this product sold, if I don’t if I don’t make or get this money in, I’m not going to eat today. My family is not going to eat today. When you don’t have that, you don’t have that fear of it. I know if I don’t do it, very bad things will result. When you don’t have that, “Well ehh, I didn’t make the sale. No big deal. I’ll try again” and you don’t put the same level of intensity and effort into getting the sale, into getting your business going when you’re not hungry.
Kash: Is it complacency that is the killer of all wealth?
JMD: I think complacency has a big impact there in both keeping the family involved in moving the business and to keep continuing, growing. But it can also be the actual business itself may run out of that industry, that industry may no longer exist, like film, like Kodak. I was a photographer in high school and we developed in black and white film, but now everything’s digital. You know I’ve got a little point and shoot camera that batteries have been dead for years because you don’t even pull it out because you have got your phone and the phone camera is even better. So, you’ve got to see the changes coming. There’re certain things that are taking place and you’ve got to be on top of it. That’s kind of why going down to real estate, it’s a little bit more stable of an investment because, number one, I know where it is; it’s right there. No Wall Street guy is going to move my property and take my real estate away from me because they made a bad bet. It’s there. If you want to get it to make more money you can improve it. You can change what it does to increase the income you getting from it. Real estate is easy to get into if you find the right deal. That’s really the key when you don’t have money, but you want to get into real estate. You really don’t need money to make money in real estate, but you need to be able to analyze deals, you need to be able to go and look at 100 deals and find the one that is really good, then you need to make friends who have money. You need to make friends with bankers and you need to bring the deal and be willing to give up the being the quarterback of the deal at a certain point. Because you may find, “Hey my best friend’s sister’s cousin”…the same person who saw Ferris Bueller pass out at 31 Flavors, well they have got a property that they have got to get rid of because they have a problem and are giving it away at 30 percent below market by. You have the inside track. Well, you get that contract and you bring that deal and you show this property. If we just put some lipstick on it, we can we can rent it out for X dollars and we’ll be able to make a profit of this much every month even after paying taxes even if we have to do repairs. So, you bring it to somebody. If you’ve got a good deal, people will line up. The problem is people don’t want to spend the time and then people say they want to be 50/50 partners with you because I brought the deal and somebody else has all the money. Sometimes you’ve got to adjust your expectations because this isn’t your “one”. It’s not a one-shot deal. The first deal, you may need to give up all of it. It might be, “Hey, I’ll give you ten thousand dollars for the deal”. Okay. Get that $10,000 and go look for another deal. Don’t get personally involved. Don’t get your heart in your business. It is the number one way to lose money. I’ve done it before, so I’m not I’m not just saying it from an outsider’s point of view. I’ve gotten into investments because I felt like I was invincible. Just because you wanted to, that’s not enough. Sometimes when you’re lucky on deals, you think that you’re good. You’ve got to reassess, because if its really luck, luck runs out. You need to make sure you are doing the math. You know math doesn’t lie. You know four plus four is eight. No matter how you slice it, no matter where you’re at, whether you’re in the U.S. or Russia or in China, four plus four is going to be eight.
Kash: In the words of Jay Z, “Women lie. Men lie. Numbers don’t.” You would say, then, that not getting emotionally involved in deals is one of the lessons that you have learned. What are some of the other lessons that you have learned in terms of investing in real estate and investing in in business? What shouldn’t I do as the new guy on the block? How do I stay safe and stay rich?
JMD: I’m going to give you some “Dickerson-isms” as my wife likes to call them. The first one is, “If you don’t ask, the answer is already No”. So, if you’re trying to get a prospect to buy something and you are just like, you know, you say no, I can’t approach that person because they’re the president of the bank or they’re the president University, whoever they are. Maybe they are a Facebook Live star and you can’t approach them because they are never even going to talk to me. If you don’t go up to somebody, if you don’t talk to them and you don’t ask for the sale, you’re not going to make. If you never ask for the sale, you didn’t make it. So, if you ask and they say no, guess what? You know you tried. And they might, at some point in the future remember that you have this business. They may then say, “You know what. Now that time passed, I think I need to get with the times now” and they will be calling you because you made that pitch even though they weren’t ready at that time. But if you don’t ask, the answer is already no.
Kash: So, ask for the sale.
Kash: Love that. He’s already talking car language. OK, so you got me on that one. Ask for the sale. What else?