In this episode, Ron Apke interviews his brother and business partner Daniel Apke, asking him about his journey from struggling in high school to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Daniel reveals his early childhood experiences with school, being put on medication, and the huge role that sports played in his life, as well as later on in his career.
After struggling in high school, he was given an opportunity to travel to Israel where he learned an immense amount about himself and the world around him.
This experience inspired and pushed him to complete his college degree, which set him up for a good sales position after graduating.
While sales was great, Daniel knew there were other opportunities out there to build an even bigger passion.
Daniel’s first entrepreneurial endeavor involved flipping auctioned items and selling them on Ebay, but his true passion for real estate came when he and his brother Ron Apke bought a hair salon.
After running several successful businesses, Daniel discovered land investing and the amazing ROI that came with it. Ron got involved, and together over several years they built an 8-figure land flipping business that continues to grow!
Listen or watch the full episode below ⬇️ to get the full story of how Daniel Apke went from struggling high schooler to 8-figure land flipping business owner!
Dan: We drove over to the school and had a meeting with the counselors and it was just so uncomfortable. And their conclusion in that meeting was get them on Adderall. Was there a doctor? That was, I just wasn’t getting into colleges. And I was like, how can I get into college? Cause I wanted to go to college.
Yeah. When I started my first business, I was in a sales job for a long time. So, um, and I was just doing it on the side. Like most people do their side hustles, you know, within six, seven, eight months, I was doing six figure months within a year. I was doing 400 K months, 300 K months, things like that.
Ron: People ask us for twins all the time. Like, yeah, we, maybe we look the same, but we have different skillsets within our business, which kind of meshes really well. And it was always like a natural partnership that was never forced.
Dan: And it’s like, oh, here we go again This is exciting. People are telling me I can’t do it.
Ron: Anything making money. Whatever it is It’s just like, it’s always like daddy’s money. They say, Hey everybody, welcome back to the real estate investing podcast. I’m your host Ron Apke. Today we are with Daniel Apke and we are going to be talking about Daniel’s story as a serial entrepreneur to where you are today, Dan, uh, it’s going to be essentially me interviewing him.
Obviously a lot of these episodes. We have us two discussing a topic today. It’s going to be talking more about Daniel’s story. I think you can learn a lot from his story. I think seeing where he was as a kid, even where he was as a kid, where he is today and everything in between. But, uh, Dan, I think this is good that we’re doing this.
What are your thoughts on it?
Dan: Yeah, I’m excited to get into it. And we’re going to have one, the same style with Ron as well, because we have similar journeys than both of, or anyone who’s really listening. It’s, uh. We were no different than anyone listening. We had the same exact story, childhood, uh, obstacles, things in our lives.
You know, we weren’t, um, uh, in a spot of freedom before, and we both achieved the freedom we were looking for. So I think anyone Anyone can, um, get something from these stories.
Ron: That’s one of the YouTube comments we always get is whenever we’re talking about anything making money, whatever it is. It’s just like, it’s always like, daddy’s money, they say.
Uh, that’s a, that’s a hot YouTube topic I get this, gets to say when people Yeah,
Dan: people are just looking to troll online. It’s not a big deal, but it’s, um, yeah, we didn’t come from money or anything crazy like that, so it’s not, um Yeah, that’s not an excuse for anyone.
Ron: So let’s get started when you’re young, Dan.
Let’s just go like, how were you as a student? What was life like growing up? I know you’ve talked before about struggles in school, stuff like that, but let’s get into like, what were you like as a kid growing up? What were your interests? Everything like that.
Dan: Yeah, no, I grew up playing a ton of sports. Um, I was really, really competitive with sports.
Three, I played three sports growing up at all. Um, Oh, every single season we are, our dad made us played sports, just kept us busy. We had three brothers. So it was me, Ron, and our other brother, Mike, who’s also in the community. And a lot of, you know, if you’re in the community as well, but sports was a huge part of our childhood, you know, playing out back, uh, playing football, playing, you know, street hockey, basketball, things like that.
We love to do. And then we had sporting events every single, um, season. So we were always constantly at practice and things like that. That was a huge part of our life. And, uh, in the summers we’d also do, you know, sporting camps and stuff. So when I look to my childhood, I just think a lot about, like, me at practice or, you know, me, um, at a, at a basketball game or something like that.
That was a huge, huge part of my childhood. But we grew up with three brothers, so we were constantly playing other sports in the house. Competitive with each other and playing video games together. And that’s just kind of a snippet at my childhood in general.
Ron: Yeah. What about school? Like how, how did you fare in school?
Uh, or tell the people how you fared in school as far as I know it became difficult at some point, like, was it difficult always from the beginning school or what was kind of your. Mental state with that.
Dan: Uh, no, at the beginning I actually was really good at school and I, I always wanted to be like the smartest person in the class and I had, I was good like from first grade to fourth grade or third grade, first grade to third grade.
Um, and early on I, I was good in school, I think, and I, I liked it and it was like a social thing for me because school back then was more creative. Um, you’re drawing stuff and painting on the walls and putting your handprints on, you know, chalk and doing things outside. And there was a lot of outdoor time stimulating, a lot of stimulating things.
Then you get older and it’s just like you’re sitting in a classroom, listening to someone on a chalkboard talk. And that I didn’t do well in school. Um, with that type of teaching in general, uh, it’s not that it was difficult for me is that as sitting in class was difficult for me and I just didn’t like it at all.
And I got bored and I just wouldn’t listen to really anything at all. And I’d be kind of in my own head in my own world. And it created a ton and ton, a ton of boredom for me. And I just didn’t get good grades.
Ron: Yeah, I think that’s like, kids getting, and when I was a school teacher, that’s the thing, like, the kids that create issues are just bored.
A lot of times they’re smart as crap and they’re really, really smart kids, but they just are troublemakers because they are so bored in school and it’s not stimulating for them and that’s not their personality type. Didn’t they try to put you on medicine?
Dan: Yeah, they, they did put me on medicine. Oh, they did.
I was on it for a week. I didn’t know that, but that was when I got older. Yeah. Um, like last year. No, I’m just kidding, but that was, that was, um, when I was in high school, they ended up putting me, well, they tried like when I was really, really young to put me on ADD, like Adderall and stuff, and my dad was very against it.
My mom was for it and my mom wanted it because we, we had a meeting in fifth grade with my teachers and the principals and the counselors. Yeah. And me and dad and mom. And we had the whole group, like school at this meeting and it was just me. And I remember like, it was so uncomfortable. I remember, I remember the whole morning, like just waking, we had to get there early, it was before school.
So I woke up, I had to put my clothes on and I went, got in the car with mom and dad, our parents. And we drove over to the school and had a meeting with the counselors and all this stuff and it was like, you know, it was just so uncomfortable. I was, I just felt like, I don’t even know the feeling, but it was really, really weird.
And their conclusion in that meeting was get them on Adderall, no joke. And my dad was like, we’re not getting them on Adderall. What they ended up doing. Is there a doctor? I don’t know if the counselors are, but that was their recommendation. Um, but what they ended up doing instead of getting me on Adderall, because my dad wasn’t going to let me get on it, especially at that age where we’re just, you know, I wasn’t getting in trouble with like doing anything crazy.
Um, I was just getting in trouble doing, you know, normal kid stuff, getting in fights, you know, Uh, slamming lockers, writing on stuff on the roofs, things like that. Just nothing like actually harming, you know, just kids stuff. Fires out back, explode like, like pyro stuff, fires and things like that. But like all normal kids stuff, um, just from boredom, I think.
And then what they ended up doing was just taking my locker privilege because that’s where I was getting in a lot of trouble in the hall. So they banned my hall privilege essentially. So then I even got more bored and more bored. Um, but yeah, that’s, they tried to get me on it. And then in high school. I was having the same issues and having, that’s when I got bad grades too.
Like in junior high and high school. And then they’re like, all right, let’s try out, uh, Adderall. And I took it and I was like a zombie. I was like, I’m not, I don’t, I’m not even hungry. I love food and I’m not hungry. And I’m like a zombie. I was on it for just a few days, I think, or a week or something.
Ron: So if it wasn’t for sports, like, cause sports, a lot of kids like are saved by sports.
Like if it wasn’t for sports, would you have flunked out? Would you like, can you flunk out of high school? I don’t know if you can. Um, but, uh, I assume the grade issue, like you were skating by to be able to play sports.
Dan: Yeah, I think sports was a big part of it. And also, um, school wasn’t really hard to me.
It was just. Boring. So I knew what to do to get by. Yeah. Like I could get C’s. Yeah. And, um, I could get C’s like without them because I knew to just, uh, do the homework. I knew if I did the homework, I could get at least C’s. So I would do the minimum. Um, and then I do really, really bad on test. Yeah. That was my thing.
Like, cause I wouldn’t pay attention in class or study form. So like I would do horrible on test and I, I have so many, many memories of me sitting there in a classroom. And everyone’s taking their test and filling in their little bubbles, and I’m sitting there and I have no idea what anything is on the paper in certain subjects, um, math I could always skate by and get do decent science and things like that, but there are certain things like I have so many memories of me as a kid, no, no idea to any of these answers at all, guess, guess, guess, guess, guess, guess.
And I would, this sounds weird, but like, I remember in like ninth and 10th grade, I would try to like, Sit there and absorb the energy of the room to try to get the answers. Cause I was just guessing and I was like, trying to, you know, I was hoping don’t
Ron: be grounded. Yeah. That’s what it’s like. It was, uh, from the outside looking in, like, I don’t remember that much.
I remember like mom and dad are always like, why did you get a D on that? Why did you get a C? I remember like those things and then grounding and stuff like that. But what was kind of, as far as mom and dad doing that is, uh, you think they handled it pretty well? Cause you were different than Michael and myself.
In terms of just school in general. And you were not, I don’t want to say a project, but it was more effort from them to like, get you to at least get through school. Yeah.
Dan: They drew a line somewhere, but they were also really good at letting me be myself. I think they weren’t ever like strict on what I would do outside of there.
They weren’t like really checking in on me all the time and what I was doing. They let me be like a kid and let me run around and you know, we’d be doing all kinds of stuff with my friends outside. And they just kind of let a lot of the stuff be in school. I don’t know. They were, they were pretty laid back with it, honestly.
Like, they, they weren’t strict parents on me at all. And I think that helped me because I saw a lot of my friends that had strict parents got to college. Yep. And then they kind of blew up. I was like, I already been doing this in high school. It was no different to go to college, really, in general. And I think they did a really good job of, uh, yes, they were there parenting, of course.
And I got in trouble at times. But they had a line and a lot of the stuff was okay with what I was doing. Um, and they didn’t know, obviously, a lot of what I was doing either. But in general, they were really good parents from being hands off in that approach. They were not too, they were not overly strict at all, which I think was really good, because people like me, I’ve seen it.
They, they’re so, they have such strict parents, and they go to college, and then they start partying and taking Xanax and all this stuff, and they become zombies, and then they become drug addicts. I saw that with so many kids.
Ron: It makes sense. I was actually on the Uber over here. My driver was talking about like his son, his son, seven, his youngest son, 17.
He’s like, I don’t know if he’s going to graduate. He’s like, I just like told him like, it’s people change so much like between when you’re 16 and when you’re like 24, 22, like it is such a big difference. And it’s crazy to like, look back and like, no one would look at you or no one who’s listening to this prior to what we say is like going to be like, Oh, that kid probably struggled in school with everything like that.
Cause you’re doing what you want to do now. I think that’s the biggest thing. Let’s talk about your like first entrepreneurship venture. Do you remember that? What was it? Um, go back as far as you want.
Dan: Yeah. For those who are wondering too, after high school, I did go, I did go to university also. So the people, cause people always ask like college dropout, you see the entrepreneurs, a lot of them are like.
Um, the things you see online. It’s like, Oh, I dropped out of college and now I’m here and all that stuff. I did graduate. I did have a good experience in college. I did all the traditional college stuff. I didn’t get into college though. That was my thing.
Ron: You did go to Israel. So you can touch base on that a little bit.
Dan: I went to Israel for a year before going to college. The main reason because of that was I would just wasn’t getting into colleges. And I was like, how can I get into college? Cause I wanted to go to college. Um, it’s what everyone was doing. It seemed fun. Um, it seemed like it would get me to where I wanted to be or help me in that direction at least.
And I did want to go to college. I was never really debating not going to college to be honest. Um, so I went to Israel because they gave me college credits in the United States too, that would transfer. So I got in, um, to a, it was a university that’s based in the U S but they have a branch over there.
And I got in, I went over there and I took classes and I did really good cause I wanted to prove that I could do well and then transfer to university over here, college over here. And that’s what I did cause they took my 30 credits like a whole traditional, um, freshman year. I got the whole year done.
And they took the credits and used me as a transfer to get me in. So that’s kind of what I did to help get in. But I also traveled over there. I interned, I did a ton of stuff. It was awesome. Um, I loved it. I love traveling. I love doing all that stuff. And it really set me, I mean, you’re 8, 000 miles away from home.
With knowing very, very little people. And it was a good experience. I think you kind of, you’re thrown out there and you you’re forced to just make it work.
Ron: Is that what kind of like helped you? Cause you did well after that. And you, I mean, typical university over here, is that what like, is that your biggest growth here?
You think like between, I mean, you’re 30 years, 29 years old now. Um, but, uh, from, I guess, 16 to 29, is that like, what kind of. Built you into what you are today.
Dan: I think so. Definitely. Um, there’s multiple years. I had where I ever tried to grow tremendously, but that year in particular, I had an open mind as it was just because I knew I didn’t want to go do what everyone else.
If I went to college back home, I was like, I want to go far. I want to explore. I want to meet different kinds of people, but that took it to the whole another level because it threw all these experiences. We had it. 80 different countries in the program. I was on in the out of, you know, 200 kids everywhere from Germany, South Africa, Ireland, uh, Australia, my roommates were, I had a German roommate.
I had a South African roommate. I had an Australian roommate and we’re all coming together as one community. Like it was cool to see all the different cultures. It really opened up your mind. Um, you know, everything and then all the different foods and traveling and just being out there alone beings you want to grow up.
Send someone out somewhere like that alone for, you know, that’s a whole year. Um, and it, it forces you to kind of learn about yourself and make, you know, you have to survive and you’re going to live up to the expectations..
Ron: Yeah. I mean, you gotta be an adult. You gotta, you’re, you’re relying on yourself. And like you said, 8, 000 miles away, it’s not a quick freaking drive home or a quick flight home.
It’s a expensive and a long, long flight home if you do come home. Um, but, uh, That’s awesome. So going from that, Dan is like, so you went to university, did well in university, graduated. Is your first entrepreneurship before you graduated from Ohio University? Was it, what was that like?
Dan: No, so I I graduated, then I moved to Columbus, Ohio for a company called Palmer Donovan, and I was in sales there.
And my first, I guess you can call it entrepreneurship, was um, You know, we were flipping bit FDA stuff for a little bit. That’s where I kind of got the feeling of making money on the side a little bit more. I had some things when I was younger where we would do, but nothing crazy I would. And then we got, uh, when I was working at Palmer Donovan, we started flipping different auction products and putting it on eBay and doing that stuff.
But that was kind of my first entrepreneurship journey. And really quickly, really, really quickly, the same year I graduated college, um, We bought our first salon. That was right at the end of the year that year. So it was right after we graduated, we bought a salon in Cincinnati and it was a salon on the bottom floor apartments on top.
If you follow us, you’ve heard us talk about that, but that was where I was like, all right, this real estate thing’s really cool.
Ron: Yeah. So you got into real estate from there and then, uh. Yeah. I mean, doing the bid FTA flipping stuff, uh, it was big learning experience, Dan. Like we learned a lot from that.
Like, obviously we weren’t making crazy money or anything, but we had some success. And then you just kind of learn and grow from there. Like 10, 15 years from now, we might look at this business as being like a small, like you just keep on growing and building on your skill sets. Right. Um, so you obviously like.
You, I don’t know what your first entrepreneurship thing was in terms of after the real estate, but you got into dropshipping, you got into, uh, uh, Kindle publishing, you did, you wrote some love novels, um, talk about, talk about by J. J. Watt. Yeah. You got, uh, J. J. Watts, the lawyers reaching out. Um, but, uh, What, what was that like?
Were you just like looking for the thing or are you trying a bunch of things or are you trying-
Dan: I ‘m desperately look and yeah, I was getting, you were doing a sales job. So you were, I was doing a sales job and when I started my first business, I was in a sales job for a long time. So, um, and I was just doing it on the side, like most people do their side hustles.
You know, uh, if you’re flipping houses, flipping land, you running businesses, a lot of times you have a nine to five for the first while that’s completely normal. I was able to build up a multimillion dollar businesses with, uh, having a nine to five as well, which is very possible. Um, but yeah, my first job was I was looking for something, you know, I would drive, I was driving so much for my nine to five and I didn’t mind it.
Honestly, I’d liked my nine to five, but I was like, I always knew I wanted to do more. Like I wanted to be big. I just had a vision of just, just being like, uh, I don’t, I don’t even know having businesses building something huge. And I always was like, I’m, I’m, I can build something big and I feel better than this almost.
And I was always looking for a way out of that job and I hope that doesn’t sound wrong, but it was also, you know, The, the freedom that came along with it. You Mm-Hmm. know, and I got into outside sales because there’s so much freedom with that too. Yeah. I was working hard and stuff, but it was, I was making my own schedule and I, I was talking to my manager a lot, but it was a great relationship and there was just so much freedom from, um, from that perspective.
And I was making decent money and stuff too at that time. But yeah, my, I was just looking really, really hard for my next venture. And I was driving and I was listening to podcasts and I came across high ticket drop shipping, which is pretty much. If you guys aren’t familiar with dropshipping, traditional dropshipping, they’re bringing in product from China.
That’s why I don’t like to call it even dropshipping. It’s more of an e commerce brand. What I did, I was, I was, um, partnering with us suppliers. So like people who own these us manufacturing in a niche, it was an electric bike niche and I would partner with them and I was marketing their product for them essentially in a partnership and as a.
Nationwide distributor. Some places, some, uh, uh, companies. I wasn’t nationwide. I was state by state. Some most I was nationwide. Um, but that’s essentially was my first business and I saw the opportunities there. Um, it was a hard, hard, hard start. No one thought it would work. I kind of knew it would work. I don’t know.
There’s just something in the back of my head. I knew it. I knew it would work. Um, so I kept pushing and it paid off. And within six, seven, eight months, I was doing six figure months within a year. I was doing 400 K months, 300 K months, things like that. And then I was like, we got to exit. But while doing that, Ron, I was opening up other businesses.
Cause I saw this, I was like, this business thing’s fun. It’s not that hard. I I’m making decent money now on the side and keep in mind. I said, I was making decent money with my sales job. It wasn’t anything crazy. I mean, I started out at 65, 000. Um, and kind of raised from there as my sales pipeline grew, but I wasn’t making like crazy six figures or anything at all.
So I had to save, I had to live cheap. And I did all that to allow me to help invest a little bit in these businesses too.
Ron: That makes a lot of sense. Um, what was kind of your mindset going into that? Was it just like, you knew you wanted to get out of your sales job, but what was like, what was your driving factor?
Cause you talked about like, and a lot of people listening, like they’re trying to get out of something or trying to create more freedom and like, you’ve got to work extra hours. Like you’ve got to put in some work effort. Like what was your driving factor?
Dan: I liked it. I didn’t mind the extra work. I was like, if this is going to get me to where I want, it was never a debate in my mind.
Like if I’m going to put in the work or not, like that just wasn’t a problem at all to me. I liked it. Like I always thought business was kind of cool. Um, but you know, there’s obviously days that I don’t want to work. And a lot of things happen and there’s obstacles and there’s times you want to quit. It wasn’t easy at all.
It’s very, very difficult. I was waking up super early 5am type stuff and going to bed late and work until then. But I enjoyed the process. I would go to a, I would go to the coffee shop every single Saturday and Sunday just about, and I’d open up my laptop and I’d do some work. And I was doing a lot of low level stuff, like entering in variables and Shopify and all this different stuff.
Cause I didn’t have any employees. It was just me doing it. And then I hired my first virtual assistant, got rid of a lot of those tasks. Um, yeah, it was really, really hard work, but at the same time, the freedom that I was looking for was well worth that sacrifice.
Ron: Yeah. And you mentioned a lot of people like not believing in it working.
Talk about like, cause I talk about why you don’t have a partner for one. And then like that mindset of a bunch of people, not necessarily saying directly, like, this isn’t going to work, but like, just, just, you know, you know, the feeling like, as far as like people not believe in.
Dan: It’s the same feeling as like going back to school and people not believing I could do anything.
Yeah. Same exact feeling. It’s like, you want, you’re going to prove them wrong. And I knew I was going to the whole time, but yeah, no one really believed in it. They didn’t understand the business. Um, I don’t know if they didn’t believe in me, whatever it was, I didn’t care. I just wanted to prove them wrong.
And that was like a huge motivation behind me. I love to prove people wrong. Um, probably stemming from the childhood of not doing good in school and having principal meetings over and over and over again, but I’d love to prove people wrong. And I knew it was going to work. Um, yeah, people would say, people would always tell me it’s not going to work.
Or they’d say you need help. Um, and they look at the site and be like, yeah, this isn’t going to work and all this different stuff. And it happened over and over and over again. But it’s a part of life, you know, you’re going to let that stop you from achieving what you want. And I just wasn’t going to let that happen.
I thought the reward of the freedom and the reward of, of everything else that comes with that is worth a sacrifice. And I’m a big stoic philosopher. I wasn’t back then, but I think the worst thing that can happen is not that bad. Almost always. And I’m just having that philosophy. It’s a learning experience at the worst case, but I thought it was going to work and I was going to make it work.
Ron: Yeah. So you asked a bunch of people to be your partner, correct? Or I don’t know if it’s a bunch, but talk about that situation.
Dan: Yeah, I asked our brother. I asked a few other people and I looked for a lot and everyone said, no, which is fine. It’s a good thing. They said, no, I sold that business for seven figures and made seven figures off of it.
And it was making good net profit every single year. Um, so it worked out in my favor, I think, because You never know how, but partnerships are 50 50. You never know how they’re going to be. Um, they’re hard. I didn’t know a lot back then either, uh, in terms of business, you know, that I was starting fresh. I didn’t know anything.
Um, and you just have to have that learning mentality. But yeah, I asked multiple people and everyone said no. Um, but I was going to move forward no matter what, you know, I started the process. I actually got a supplier like to test it out. I was calling electric bike companies saying I have a company when I really didn’t have a company yet just to see if I can get it and a guy sent me a term sheet and I was looking at the margins.
I was like, all right, bye for 1800. Oh, I can list this for 4400. It’s like shit. I need to sell one of these. You can tell me I can’t sell one of these and make a month, you know, 2, 000 a month. Um, that wasn’t, I wasn’t aware of ad spend and all that stuff as much yet. But like when I saw that term sheet before having it, his name was Frank.
He was up in New York with an electric bike company, called him on the phone, had that conversation. But when I saw that term sheet, I was like, wow, we can make some serious money here. I just need to sell this to this 4, 000 product. It’s a nice bike and I’m getting it for 2000.
Ron: That’s crazy. Yeah. I mean those margins.
That’s the, that’s why I like about high ticket dropshipping and it’s. Some markets, I’m sure I’ve got oversaturated if you guys have looked into a little bit, but, uh, there’s still opportunity in your company that you had, uh, and sold is still running. Um, so you’re, you kind of overlap a little bit when you started getting into land investing, talk about when you got into land investing, um, when we became partners in that, and then like you, that kind of overlaps with selling your company as well.
Dan: Yeah. And I, yes, I had plans to sell it because it was, I always know I wanted to exit the company. So I was building it to exit and I had employees and I was training employees. I was putting a lot of time on that side of the business. And to be honest, like I could, I could go away from that company, uh, for a while and it would run perfectly fine.
So that was not like that one company wasn’t taking much time to grow. It took a little bit, but to just sit and float, like it wasn’t taking much time out of my day. No, I didn’t really have to do much at all, which was nice. Um, so I got it to be that and I always knew I wanted to sell it and I needed to have employees and processes and email list and Klaviyo and all the different emails and the whole business setup.
So after setting up that business and multiple others, I was running a lot of businesses. I always knew I wanted to get into land because Mike and Joe Brusca. We’re telling me about it. Um, and that’s who I learned dropshipping from. They were mentors of mine. I still talk to them every once in a while.
They’re great, great mentors. But Mike and Joe, uh, introduced me to land just, uh, the profitability of the business and the opportunities in it. Um, and that’s what opened my eyes. And I, I remember looking at it and it probably wasn’t until a year after that, until I actually called you on the way to a cabin, I was in Ohio, uh, driving to a cabin.
I called Ron. I was like, listen, we got to start this. I told him I have the capital. I was like, you can put in the work I’ll put in 20 hours a week. You put in the rest and we got to get this thing going. Um, that’s kind of how I approached it. And then that weekend I was sitting at the cabin. I filed for our LLC and stuff, I think.
Ron: Yeah. And it kind of changed as far as that. Um. I ended up selling a ton of stock and stuff like that, where we, we turned into a 50, 50 partners pretty much with effort, everything like that. Yeah. Uh, money and effort.
Dan: I ended up loving it and saying, yeah, I was like, I need one deal now to give you 30, 000 a month.
Yeah. You know what I mean?
Ron: So you kind of took on the sales role and that’s a nice thing about our partnership was like, We have different skill sets, like people ask us for twins all the time. Like, yeah, we, maybe we look the same, um, but we have different skill sets within our business, which kind of meshes really well.
And it was always like a natural partnership that was never forced.
Dan: Right, exactly. And I saw that opportunity. I don’t know. I don’t think I asked anyone else for land to do land with me, but I was thinking like it was on the back of my head for a long time and I was just waiting for the right opportunity and Ron moved from.
Ohio to Charleston, and he was a basketball coach, so it wasn’t the right time for a long time. But then he was starting to look for money and stuff, and I think I saw that subconsciously. And I just thought it would be a good fit. Um, and Ron was answering, I mean, we’re going to do a separate interview with him and we’ll get into all the weeds with how your side of the story looked.
Ron: Yeah. It was, it was a fun time. Like looking back, you always look back at those like grinding times when like your motivation was, I don’t know, motivations change over time for sure. Um, but, uh, and you’re doing little things, but it feels big at the time. And every little deal, like it’s. It’s an emotional rollercoaster at first.
Dan: in your, in your mind.
Like you’re going to make it happen. Do you like, remember that feeling? That’s the same thing it was with my,
Ron: Like when you said let’s stop sending mail.
Dan: I didn’t say let’s stop sending mail. I said, should we pause mail?
Ron: We have like, there’s a big learning curve. Like when we were making, we’re making adjustments ourselves.
Dan: I never, ever said, and I said it to put pressure on you
Ron: To give you guys in perspective like we sent 10, 12, 15, 000 mailers in very little, more than that. I’m just saying, like, our first 50, 000. We sent 10, 000 our first month, didn’t we? Yeah, I mean, we were sending a lot of mail.
Dan: We were trying to figure it out.
We were testing things out. We were sending mail out to Nevada, like, God dang, we didn’t do anything for a while. And then we get our first deal, and it was just 10, 000. We thought we hit a home run. It was 5 for 5, 7 for 15. We were so happy. Um, because that was our first win. You know what I mean? We got a picture in our office, a big portrait of that land.
Ron: First property we ever built. Um, but, uh, really cool looking back at that. So we obviously we’re doing, I don’t know, starting off our first year, we probably did 50, a hundred deals growing from there for three, four years. And then like grinded though. I don’t remember the conversation, Dan. Oh, a hundred percent.
We were grinding, we were answering phone calls for whenever, like. We were overlapping roles, which is fine at first. Like if Dana wasn’t calling a lead back, I was texting him like, Dan, when are you going to call this lead back? If he doesn’t respond to my text within two minutes, I’m calling that lead. Um, because he was responsible for that part.
And like, we were just, we were grinding, we were pushing deals. We were forcing deals. My wife was pregnant. Um,
Dan: we knew it was going to work. Well, keep in mind when I went to Ron and said, do we need to pause mail? We are in the transition of hiring too. Cause we just knew it was going to work. Yeah. We started hiring before we had deals cause we knew we were going to make over a half a million dollars, like in our heads, we’re like.
It’s just going to come eventually.
Ron: I just look back and I remember every, every, every single deal from that beginning time, like from, and you freak out about every deal. Like that’s the thing. And if you guys are just starting, like, I always wonder like, okay, is this gonna. Um, is something going to be wrong with this property?
What about this? What about this Creek? I remember that Kentucky property with a little Creek that we had in the back, the info lot. Um, we looked at it recently, we were just looking back at it and um, yeah, I remember it had a little Creek. I was, you’re just a little find reasons to be concerned. Like it was, it was, it’s scary when you put out money, but at the same time, like we never had a doubt about it working.
So going from there, Dan, we did that for a few years. We grew the business, we hired people. Um, we were never. Especially you, like you really push forward to the hiring part. What were your thoughts on that? Like, and right now, now we know like hiring, like that’s how you grow your businesses, but we were early, like we weren’t thinking twice about it.
Like let’s pay this person 60 grand, 50 grand, whatever it is.
Dan: Yeah, exactly. Part of it’s having, uh, we, we grinded so hard for the first six months that we understood the, uh, business model very well. Like, we put in the hours, we were on the phones, we understood, and we could outsource it, and we knew we could outsource it and understand all.
I feel like the thing we didn’t know the most about then was title, probably. Because title has so many issues that come up over the years and you learn over time. Um, but in general, my, my plan with hiring was just to continue. We just did an episode on one on outsourcing and buying back your time. It was to buy back our time so we could work.
I could stay focused on sales, right? For that first little bit. And then you stay focused on pricing and the data and the marketing stuff. And I think that’s the biggest aspect is you’re, you’re outsourcing the lower stuff that one, you don’t want to do. And ROI with doing higher level stuff.
Ron: Yeah. And it’s like the way I still today look at it is like, how many deals do I need to do to replace the, to pay for this person’s entire year?
And when we looked at like, we’re hiring transaction quarter, 50, 000, whatever the situation is, it’s like, that’s two deals. That’s two deals for averaging 25 grand. That’s still how I look at it today.
Dan: And it’s never permanent. Like if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out and you can make adjustments in business.
Ron: So going from there, Dan, we obviously got into the education space. Uh, talk a little bit about that in terms of like why we got into land investing in line, why we’re doing this podcast today. Um, talk about that. From your perpective.
Dan: I mean, it’s a lot of fun and it also helps like seeing other people, uh, obtain the freedom they’re looking for.
Like we’ve had close people in our networks that have done deals and seen freedom that we have, including our brother, you know what I mean? And that’s rewarding to see other people make tremendous amount of money that, you know, off a couple of deals or whatever they are. From nothing from no side hustle.
And that was the main reason it’s that comes back to that freedom, just helping others obtain that freedom. Like that’s a true thing. It’s really, really satisfying and rewarding. Um, we’re doing that. And that’s, that was kind of the start to land investing online. It’s like, I know this stuff so well. I feel like we can help other people do it.
And we kind of work from there and we have other plans going forward. And we, I love to build a personal brand with the podcast, uh, Instagram, all that stuff as well. And we’re not going to end here. There’s going to be many more ventures. Um, but right now this is really cool and we have a tech company coming out soon as well that we’re getting into software for land.
Um, it’s called the land portal, but in general, yeah, we have big plans going forward and it’s, it’s about continuing to grow.
Ron: Yeah. And I think we’re kind of, especially, I mean, I think always kind of looking for something to keep you excited. And I think like building an education company, helping other people, seeing other people’s like aligning with the mission, a hundred percent.
Like it’s all, it’s all aligning with our mission. And last thing, Dan, before we end this up, like talk about that experience, like you’re building a tech company with. People right now, like you’re outsourcing this to overseas people. This is not a. It’s a little job by any means. This is a 50, 000, 100, 000 project in terms of building it.
Talk about that process. It’s a completely new thing. You say 50, 000 to 100, 000 I’m saying 50, 000, 100, 000 just for a development. Then we have another couple hundred thousand.
Dan: Yeah, so it’s a lot more than 50, 000 to 100, 000 but a 300, 000 project, let’s say minimum. Um, and that’s not even considering the next just to get it launched just to get it up to launch.
And we have 12 month rolling expenses too. But. Um, yeah, that’s part of the, you know, part of flipping so much land. We have the financial freedom to be able to invest in passion projects too, which is really cool. But, um, no, it’s been a fun, new, exciting journey. Cause I’ve never been in tech or anything and same exact shit happens.
People are going to tell you, you don’t know what you’re doing with tech. And it’s like, Oh, here we go again. This is exciting. People are telling me I can’t do it. Um, and that’s what drives a lot of it too. But I also see a gap in the industry and I know I can fill the needs and create more freedom for you guys.
through this software. And it’s been fun. I have a bunch of Ukrainians working on this project. Um, they’re highly skilled. It’s been a long process. Like we, we have all the data to all the parcels in the country. We have tons of data on, um, we have tremendous software. We have good software developers working on things.
It’s going to be really, really solid tech. Um, but it’s been a process because I don’t have a tech background. I don’t have a development background. Um, Do I do I need one? No, I feel like this is going to be part of its night. The naiveness, I think, is getting us to a better spot because I don’t understand what’s going on in the background, really.
Nor do I really care. I just want it to look like this and function like this. And let’s get there. And then you kind of figure out a way when you have a vision for something. It’s, it’s, it can, it’s not, I don’t want to say it’s not hard to come to life, but you just take step by step by step, you know what I mean?
And we got blessed with a really, really good software team too.
Ron: Yeah, I mean we looked for a software team, you looked for a software team and connected well with them. Um, we, I mean, we were 50, 50 plus percent done and we completely scrapped it. It was more than 50, it was close. I mean, we were close to launch and then, I don’t want to get into the tech of that, and we completely scrapped it.
It wasn’t like a Long decision that we had either. It’s like, this is not good enough.
Dan: It wasn’t, it wasn’t good enough. It’s not going to enhance the industry till it’s not going to move the industry forward to the needle that we need it to move. Would it have functioned? Would it have been profitable?
Yeah, but it’s like, it was a clear scrap and we are connected to different APIs and the data wasn’t there and the functionality wasn’t there. So we scrapped everything and started from square one. And this was, you know, not that long ago,
Ron: probably a 50, 000 hit right there.
Dan: I would assume more than that because we bought the data, which is 165.
Ron: Well, that was, yeah, I mean, that, that, yeah, that’s going forward to improving that. Yeah. Um. Last thing, Dan, like what’s your advice for people? There’s a lot of young people watching 22 year old, 24 year olds who are trying to get into entrepreneurship. And I think a lot of people right now, like in today’s age, they like want results so immediately.
And your thing that you kept saying this whole episode was like, I just believed, like, that’s all it is. I just believe, but what are your kind of advice for people, whether they’re starting in land investing or they’re starting a bagel shop, like what’s your advice for people trying to get into entrepreneurship?
Dan: You just got to get comfortable with not knowing things. And, um, I think just understanding, like you’re going to start like embracing, knowing nothing almost. Cause you’re going to start just cause you’re not there. Now doesn’t mean you can’t get there and you build confidence over step by step by step.
So like, if my goal is to build that tech company, okay, let’s scratch that. Where do I need to go? Let’s, let’s get the vision right for this and let’s take steps back and how do I start? And you learn step by step by step by step. So I, I think understanding that it’s okay to be a beginner and you’re like that.
I, it’s just, it takes time to understand what’s going on, but you need those reps to build, you know, your knowledge base and it’s fine. Just dive in not knowing anything like it’s going to be all right.
Ron: It’s everything. It takes time. Like anything takes time. You’re not going to go from being skinny to being a jacked bodybuilder in a day.
Like it’s, there’s steps to going from A to Z. You can’t go straight from A to Z. Um, other than that, Dan, this was fun. Um, I enjoyed it a lot. I think it’s a good for everyone here because we’ve never done anything like that in terms of. Yeah. Really talking about our stories. Cause we both have very different stories and we’ll have another episode, like Dan said, with more folks on my story and where, how I got to where we are today.
Other than that, guys, if you guys have not already, please hit that subscribe button. Um, below. It really helps us spread the word. We put out a ton of YouTube content for you guys to help educate you guys for free. Other than that, thank you so much. We’ll see you next time. Thanks for joining.
Dan: As always, thank you for joining.
Please do us a huge favor and like, and subscribe our YouTube channel and share this with a friend. It really means the world to Ron and I, but more importantly, it could help change the life of someone else. Thanks for joining and we’ll see you next episode.