I want to talk about a very specific moment in time. This moment in time was the “aha” moment for me. It was where everything clicked about what I should be doing, where I should be spending my time, what I was passionate about, the investment models that worked, the ones that didn't, how I should be spending my time and more importantly, how I shouldn't. In the three categories of health, wealth, and legacy. That exact moment took place. It was 2018 and I was in the middle of an escrow for my company. I had worked for six, seven years nonstop, essentially hundred hour weeks. I was killing myself. I was working myself to the bone. The truth is I absolutely loved it. I could not imagine doing anything else.
I loved my day to day. It was exciting. It was fun. It was a very fast-paced industry. It required constant upgrading of business plans, strategies,etc.. Our marketing was very exciting. We had a team of 40 something people, which to me was massive at that point in time, I could have never envisioned something bigger than that. We had a marketing budget of six figures a month that we were just killing, resulting in sales being through the roof. Things were ramping up. We had multiple locations. It was a really fun, exciting time, but it reached a breaking point. And while it was fun at that time, it wasn't sustainable. And every area of my life suffered and, and hit a wall in one moment.
And that wall was in the middle escrow selling this business. My stress level had reached an absolute plateau. My health had reached an absolute low. My health in every category, was terrible. I was sleeping very poorly, only a couple hours a night, three, four hours a night, max. I was chugging caffeine constantly, just trying to get more and more work done to ramp up to make sure those sales were continuing to increase. During this escrow period, I had to make sure everything was on track, every detail I wanted to perfect. I wanted it to be the easiest escrow anyone's ever been through, and I put it on my back to do so.
Basically, my health was suffering and I found a lump somewhere that should not have existed. I instantly thought the worst, cancer. Health was always a passion for me, the majority of my life and d I knew I had not been living it. I reached the point where it was so bad, I knew there had to be a better way. But, I didn't know how to be successful and make good money, while providing a good life for my future family without living like this. So, I actually had to literally go and educate myself and learn how to do it. But that moment in escrow was the absolute worst my health had ever been.
The next area in my life I analyzed was wealth. I was making a ton of money, but I was paying for it. I had no friendships. I had no relationship with my family. My professional relationships were all that I had. Even in my dating life, my relationship was over. It was killed by the business and I chose the business. I chose to move forward confidently with my business and with my passion over that relationship. But I gave that up and that was a very difficult thing at that point in time.
In legacy, well I couldn't even think about legacy. I was so wrapped up in that moment because the business was doing good, but there were times it wasn't. It really was brutal. So there was no legacy. It just consisted of me, working myself to death, health was failing , relationships failing. But the absolute “aha” moment that I'm talking about was right before the escrow, when I woke up one morning and evaluated the business and said, my heart and soul, aren't in this because of the price I'm having to pay, there has to be a better way. “Aha” I was in the right place at the right time. And there were a number of real estate deals. It was a unique investment model of investing into zoning changes of cities that were changing zoning all across the state of California. I looked at this opportunity with some of the high net worth wealthy individuals that I was lucky enough to be friends with and I just said, guys, this is a snapshot in time. This is one moment that we have to go after- the cities are changing all their zoning. They're allowing all kinds of new uses. We switched zoning from industrial to a higher value in multiple other cities. So I raised that money and we moved forward on that and I thought it would be easy. Oh. Real estate. That's the handoff hands off investment. Right? That's the way that you do this is you make money and then invest in real estate. And it does all the work for you. I was extremely wrong. But we did put in the time, we built a small team around that and we had a very successful ability to squeeze massive returns out of that. So I woke up one morning and I'm still running my other business and my body hurts every day, my mind's fuzzy, I'm chugging caffeine, I'm drinking alcohol to calm down, not sleeping, no recovery, never taking a break.
BUT THEN, I analyzed my income. I analyzed my net worth and I realized very clearly that 90% of my effort was going to a business that was not making me the most money. The most money was coming from real estate. So once I realized that I went “wait a second”. I need to do the math on my time, how much time I spend towards something versus how much I make per hour doing each and the real estate and the investments and the model that we built there. The team that we built there was better than the other business that I was spending 90% of my time on.
That was an “aha” moment. I could never go back once I realized that and I literally poured into the three topics of health, wealth, and legacy. At that point, I instantly knew that there had to be a better way. The real estate moment was the “aha” for me, So we aggressively shifted course to a sales model of that business and that's the reason that we're here today. That’s the reason that we're doing what we are today. It was that “aha” moment to take those funds and go full-time into real estate. Then those wealthy individuals that we were smart and lucky enough to invest with and learn from, to transition to work full time.
So that’s what we're doing today. I'm living my dream. I'm living my passion. I'm extremely excited to do that every day. There was not a more defining moment in my life t. Say hey, I need to focus on the three things that are the most important to me, to me, my health, I need to get that back on track. I needed to be able to get enough sleep. I needed to be able to eat healthy, to not have to chug caffeine to get through my days. I needed to be working on something where I'm excited to go to work and to live my passion. Then there’s wealth. I always wanted wealth. I don't want to be rich. I don't want to get rich quick. I don't want to work for a hundred hours a week in order to make a few bucks in order to feel good and to look at my payroll and then never be able to spend it and enjoy my life. I want to be able to enjoy my life. So THAT is what wealth is to me and that's really important. That's something that I build into my life on a regular basis now.
Then there’s legacy. I have kids now. I didn't have kids at that point in time and I couldn't have kids at that point in time. There's no way my life would've supported that without me being a really bad father, but at the end of the day, I'm very happy, I'm very involved with my family, I've reconnected with my family, my relationships, with everything. There's a better way. And I wanted to share my “aha” moments and what that means to me. Since then, we've been able to do fun things like philanthropy and planning for future generations. The things that make the world a better place from our actions.
A master in Investment, Marketing, and Capital Raising.
Nic has honed his focus on the Real Estate and debt markets with Saint Investment Group and pursues large-scale Distressed Asset purchases with his partners and syndications.