In this episode of the Discount Property Investor Podcast David interviews Alex Pardo and Steve Cavanaugh about their NEW mastermind "Ascend Mastermind".
Ascend Mastermind is a hybrid between a coaching program and a mastermind. It is broken down into 2 small groups of 15 members each, and they meet 3 times a year with each group. The first group has already filled up and they are taking applications to the second group currently.
What I love about this new group they are putting together is that they want to keep the group small in intimate, so the members can open up to each other and not feel like they can't get vulnerable with each other.
This group is really targeted towards those that have both Drive and Desire to be successful. Also, they know first hand that business and personal life are tightly connected and their goal is to help those who want to better both of these worlds, not just the business side.
If your looking to move beyond achievement and into the realm of true fulfillment then this is for you!
David: Alright guys, welcome back to the Discount Property Investor podcast. I am your host David Dodge, my co-host Mike Slane is out in the field today buying us some more rental properties.
I am joined by two rock star real estate guys, friends as well; please welcome Steve Cavanaugh, and Alex Pardo. I appreciate you guys coming on the show, I am really excited about this episode. You guys have some new things in the works, and I want to not only learn more about it, but I want our audience and our listeners to as well, learn about it and hear what you guys are up to. Before we jump in and talk about the new thing you guys are working on, let's give the audience, the listeners, the viewers a little bit of background on each of you guys. I know quite a bit about you guys, but the audience may not. So Alex, let's start with you if that's okay. Alex I know you run a podcast, you're down in South Florida, let's fill people in, in exactly who you are if you don't mind.
Alex: Yeah absolutely, and I will do my best to give you some what of a short version here. Born and raised in Miami, my entire family is from Cuba. Working middle class parents, always put food on the table for us, always provided for my sister and I. No entrepreneurs in the family. I remember being nine or ten years old, I always felt like I had that entrepreneur bug in me, started when I was at the baseball park, I would buy boxes of baseball cards and essentially I would flip them, not knowing I was-- buying low and selling high. I was just kind of wired that way. Fast forward to college I had ambitions to climb the corporate ladder as they would say, and be a future CEO or CFO of a Fortune 500 company. I am the kind of person where I set a goal and I kind of fire and then aim. Most of the time in my life that has served me well, in a few instances it hasn't. I ended up interviewing with big companies like Johnson & Johnson, and ended up getting a job with GE. Three months into that job in the financial management program, I was just miserable. I knew that I could not create the kind of lifestyle I wanted working for somebody else. I would look at my boss, and their boss, all the way up the chain, and just knew there was no way I could do this. I ended up finishing the two year commitment and went backpacking around Europe for three months. That's when I started to immerse myself in Rich Dad Poor Dad, I must have consumed eight or nine books in that three month period.
Got back to Miami, I went to a boot camp on marketing for deals and I took one of the pre-forclosure letters out of that binder I basically got, and started mailing the pre-forclosures, and got 60-70 days later ended up closing my first deal that almost basically netted me what I was making at my corporate job. I have been doing real estate full time ever since 2005.
Now over the years, my business has taken different shapes and forms. Six or seven years ago as well all know, wholesaling is a very transnational business, I got very burned out just wearing all the hats that a wholesaler has to wear. I started hiring and building a team. Up until recently, I had eight people on the team, but I am not focused on getting leaner and smaller, so we have a team of five. We wholesale properties here in the South Florida area.
I also started buying rentals and started doing some lending, host a podcast, but the wholesaling operation in South Florida is the core business.
David: Sweet! Well Alex, thank you so much for joining us today. I love it. Just to recap, you had a corperate background over at GE, you did two years that you committed to. Within a few months you decided it wasn't for you and you were kind of miserable. Quit the job after two years, went backpacking for a months, that's sweet I've done that. Attended a seminar back in 2005-ish, and you did a deal, your first deal and basically made what you made a year from that first deal versus the current job at the time that you had quit, I love it. You got a podcast, South Florida Real Estate Market, primarily wholesaling, does some lending, has some rentals, and is just crushing it. So Alex, awesome, thank you so much for being on the show today.
Next I have Steve. I met Steve personally at a workshop here in St Louis Missouri where I live and where I invest, and I have kept in contact with Steve, Steve is a great guy. He does a ton of different things. One thing I am really impressed with Steve about is his ability to work remote. So when I first met Steve about two years ago, he was in the process of moving from Maryland, or the Maryland area, wherever he had lived, and operates not only a real estate club up there, but also a fix and flip company and coaching business. But he was moving to Florida, and he was still going to keep that going. As far as I know, that is still on point, right Steve?
Steve: Yeah we are still rocking and rolling. I made that move two and a half years ago, and it's been great. Operations are really good up there and it doesn't require me being there a whole lot, so it's awesome.
David: Man, that is fantastic, I love to hear that, that's so cool. So you have an operation that fix and flips properties in Maryland, however you live in Florida as well. So two Florida guys here on the show, very cool. Guys thank you so much for giving a little introduction. I just wanted my audience to understand a little bit about where you guys are coming from and what you're doing. Now that you guys have both been in the business for several years, you are experts at wholesaling, fix and flip, and I would imagine rentals as well at this point. What is next? You guys have something new that you're launching? That's why I wanted to have you guys on today, so let's jump in. So what is it? What is the new stuff you got?
Steve: So if you don't mind I will go ahead and start off here. One of the thing-- I've coached now for 13 years, and I have had a very successful coaching program by coaching and training brand new investors. That has been just awesome. One of the things I wanted to once I got established in Florida and kind of started to re-work things was to start to help people instead of rehabbing houses, to start rehabbing their lives. I felt much more energized, and felt the calling to work with people who had already kind of had some sort of level of success in the business. They don't have to be huge, but they are not a newbie anymore, right? Is what I'm saying.
Steve: I felt this calling and I didn't know exactly what that was going to look like. I actually personally was in a mastermind at the beginning of the year, and Alex happened to be in the same mastermind. I brought this up to the group and it was a very emotional share for me during that particular mastermind. Alex came up to me on break and he said-- after my turn he said, what you're putting together, even though you don't know what it quite looks like just yet sounds really cool. If there is anyway that you feel like I could add any sort of value, I would love to have that discussion. So we did, and here we are now here today to talk to you about our new mastermind. It's a hybrid coaching mastermind group that we call 'Ascend'.
David: Okay, very cool. Hybrid coaching mastermind, did I get that right?
Steve: You got it right, yep.
David: Alright. And you guys labeled it 'Ascend' that's the name.
David: Ascend mastermind, very cool. Have you done this yet? Have you had meetings yet?
Alex: Yes, we actually-- we just had our first mastermind retreat a few weeks ago here in the Miami area. It was-- you know, David, when you work so hard at putting something together you have a vision for what it's going to be, and what it's going to look like? Yet when it actually comes it may or may not be what you thought? This was one of those distances where it was so much more. I know Steve feels the same way-- than we could have ever imagined. We have spent so much time just making sure that it is the right person, and not just someone who can make an investment. We have spent a lot of time on the front end interviewing people and just making sure it's the right fit. The chemistry in the room, the vulnerability and transparency that people displayed and showed is why there was so many break throughs. There is something to be said-- I have been a part of so many different masterminds, I am sure you have as well. There is something to be said when you surround yourself in an environment of people who not just want more out of their business, but want more out of their life. People who are not there to kind of-- beat their chest and say look how good I am, look how big I am, but here are the flaws in my life and in my business. This is where I really need help, and I think that's where the breakthrough and the magic happens so to speak.
David: There is a tremendous amount of value in that I have to say. I know a lot of individuals in the wholesaler space specifically that-- as their business grows, their amount of income actually shrinks, because their overhead gets so big you know? And it's like-- some of these individuals that are bringing 80-100'000 a month in gross revenue, that's great and all, but they might be spending $50-70'000 on all these expenses, but at the end of the day they are kind of spinning their wheels. So I love that you guys-- it sounds like you are running a very lean business yourself, Alex down in Florida, which is very powerful, but it is beyond just the business. You guys are really focusing on the individuals them self, and their lives, and their level of stress they may have in their business, the relationships they have with not only their employees, but also their family and their spouses and so on and so forth.
Steve: If I can just add to that David.
Steve: You know a lot of the times, personal problems manifest themselves as business problems. So problems we experience in the business are often times-- there is a foundation behind us that-- or underneath of us that typically needs to be addressed in order to right the ship on business issues. What's really interesting also is that Alex eluded to or spoke to the most recent mastermind we just had which was phenomenal. We went around the room at the very beginning, and just got a quick one minute from everybody; hey look what do you want to cover at this mastermind? It's very powerful, I will tell you that. We have a number of extremely successful investors in that room. The reoccurring theme as we went around that table was purpose, I want to find my purpose, I want to know what my purpose is, you know? So I think that's very profound and gives you some small insight into the caliber of the people in the room, but also the types of challenges people are up against.
David: I love it. So how many members--.
Alex: David, I think to just piggy back on what--.
David: No please go ahead.
Alex: Right now-- I was actually-- let me rewind a quick second and piggy back on something Steve said. We have spoken to so any entrepreneurs. Often times they come with a business challenge. When we start to dig down and ask questions, and peal the layers of the onion back, we start to realize that it is actually a personal challenge they are really having. It is all connected. My philosophy is that I don't really believe in separating work and business and life. It's all connected, we are living life and business is a part of it. For many people business is the predominant part of their life. Yet when you ask them what their 'why' is, it's for their family usually or freedom, or what the money can do for them. It's not so much the money, but yet when you look at their calendar and ask certain questions, they are spending 80-90% on business, and very little on family or the things they say is important. So for many people what I'm hoping to get across on this podcast to somebody listening is-- ask yourself if you really have a business challenge, or is there a root cause that is deeper? That if you solved that one big problem it would solve some of the business challenges. That's just what I wanted to piggy back and share.
David: No, that's a great point, Alex, thank you so much for adding that; that's a really great point. I love the fact that you say that-- the business and the personal life is so tightly intertwined and that is so true. Those that have a 9-5, they may be able to walk out of their office on a Friday at five and not have to deal with that business or job again until Monday morning at 9am. But all of us real estate investors, the three of us here on this podcast, and I would assume the majority of the audience, the viewers and the listeners-- are entrepreneurs to where we don't have the ability to just turn the phone off, and or the e-mail, or whatever it might be. It is very tightly intertwined. The ability to separate those, not only is it challenging, but it is also-- in my opinion something that-- it's very difficult to separate, it is one in the same, and it kind of goes hand in hand. I love that, I think that's very cool. So tell me more about some of the members that you guys have, how many members do you have in the group? What are you looking for in terms of-- of the members and are you looking for new people? So on and so forth.
Alex: Go ahead, Steve. You take this one.
Steve: Well let me start with just giving a foundation, the types of people that we are looking for currently to fill the remainder of the second group. The first group is already full and we are filling a second group. Once that is filled it will be weightless.
Basically [00:15:07.19 - inaudible] very early on we established core values. We believe in having integrity. So we are looking for people with integrity. We are looking for people who are willing to be real and authentic, and who value personal growth and development. Finally people who have a desire to make an impact so-- I run the Master Mission down in Guatemala once per year, Alex does his charity mastermind once per year. We are looking for people-- who those core values resonate with. Beyond that we believe in the three C's. That's being coachable, being a contributor, and being committed. People who are going to take action. If you are the type of person who considers themselves to be a 'do-er', someone who is positive, people-- someone who is willing to be real and authentic. A lot of people desire accountability. Those who are really successful truly desire accountability. We are finding that to be 100% true with the clients we are working with. Somebody who might consider themselves to be advanced. Not a newbie, but has some track record of success in the business. Then finally people who have the mindset, the passion, the drive and desire to succeed in all areas of their life.
David: Right okay that makes perfect sense, I love it, guys. So you said that you are shooting for two groups? One is filled already? I guess you guys are in the process of filling that second one at this point?
Alex: Yeah absolutely. Sorry I think my internet connection is a little choppy you were coming in and out. Yes so our first group-- it filled up at break neck speed, which was just amazing. Right now we are actively filling the second group with the right people. I want to say there-- at the time of this recording about 12 or 13 seats available. Once we fill out that group of 15 that's it. The reason we are keeping it at 15 is-- I want to be very clear, because there are a lot of masterminds out there, and many of them have become very large. There is a tremendous amount of value that they bring, I mean, I'm a part of a few of them. But, we wanted to go in a bit of a different direction. We want to keep this small and intimate. A, that encourages people to really open up about what is holding them back in their life and their business, and B, this is something that-- for me this is a fulfillment piece. Yes it provides some additional income for Steve and I, but this is something I truly enjoy doing versus real estate. We talked earlier about the overhead rising and the margin shrinking. I feel no emotional connection to closing deals anymore. It's great, it takes care of my family and our team, but-- it's not really what gives me the passion and drive that I once had for real estate, working with people and pouring into their life. That's what Steve and I are passionate about. When you can see the impact you had on somebody's life and or business, then they have the desire to want to impact others. To me there is nothing better. So hopefully that answers your question as far as the two groups are concerned.
David: Hell yeah!
Alex: I just wanted to add that.
David: You did a great job. That's phenomenal! I love the fact you guys want to keep it smaller because of the intimacy factor in there. I have to say-- I have been in a couple of masterminds from time to time. I am in two actually at the moment. One specifically has only about 35 people in it, and it is my favorite group of individuals. The reason is-- not so much the individuals that are in there, that obviously plays a huge part, that goes without saying. The fact it is a smaller group, it's more intimate. When you leave these masterminds and there is 200 people there, it's not really possible let alone feasible to leave that-- two, three, five day event with really great relationships with the majority of those people. You only have so much time. I am not saying you can't build off of that throughout the rest of the year, but a lot of the magic happens in person when you are with these people and you click. By having a group that is smaller, it allows you to-- build a stronger and a more lasting relationship with these individuals. So to me, the fact-- and everyone is going to have a different thing that is going to provide value to them of course; but to me the fact it is smaller, and that it is more intimate means a ton. So like that to me is my favorite thing I have heard thus far about these groups. Again, some of these masterminds-- and I'm not here to bash anyone's group by any means, but some of these groups have gotten so large that a lot of value I think is being lost due to that. So I love that, guys. I think that's phenomenal.
Steve: Really it plays into the way we run the mastermind. I think it's valuable for your listeners, David, if I just hit the pause button for a minute and explain to people exactly the type of mastermind that we run.
David: Let's hear it.
Steve: We run a challenge based mastermind. So what that means is that anybody who might be interested in this can relax, because we don't require out members to come up with a share or a give, like a lot of masterminds do, and that causes a lot of stress beforehand, and it also causes people think, what is the next whiz bang sexy thing I can present? People may or may not implement, but will certainly get distracted on or whatever, we don't do any of that. It is, what is your biggest challenge in your business or life that you are able to jump over that hurdle that is going to make everything else easier? You think about that in the weeks leading up to the mastermind, and when it's your turn you have 60-90 minutes to present that to the group to say, hey look this is what I'm struggling with right now, and we all go around asking clarifying questions. Once we understand all sides of the issue, then we can advise and kind of coach that person through the challenge that they are having. That's how we run our masterminds, it has been extremely powerful, and keeping the group small allows for that vulnerability, people feel comfortable sharing those challenges with the group.
David: Man, that is powerful, I love that. Some of the masterminds-- focus a lot on the hot seat, you know? Some of the other masterminds don't. They have kind of abandoned it altogether. I feel like you guys kind of have a little bit of a merge between the two which is great. Essentially you are putting people on the hot seat, but it's not so much-- for everyone else just to tell them what they are doing wrong instead. It's, hey I respect the fact you have this problem, and that you are being vulnerable enough to tell us about it. There has to be some people in this group who have overcome this is in the past, or are also struggling with that issue, so let's figure out a solution that works for everybody and that's powerful.
Alex: What's crazy too is that often times we have heard-- and by the way, I have been in a similar-- Steve and I are part of a mastermind that is run pretty much in a similar way to ours, often times I get more value from somebody else's turn or share than I might from my own. I might have 60-90 minutes where it's just me and I have 14 other people focused on me and that is very valuable and powerful, and yet I might walk out of that particular mastermind retreat thinking, man I got so much more out of that person, or that person's turn-- it is incredible how that works.
David: Absolutely. A lot of times other people identify problems that you don't even know you have. So by being there to help them through theirs, in return it's a benefit, it's going to help you solve some problems that you have, that you may not think are big problems today, and they could become that way, or you just don't even associate them as problems but they are. Lots of value that can be created as masterminds as a whole. So guys, I love it. I think it's awesome. This is relatively new, right? You guys have only had one meeting thus far?
Steve: Yep we conceived the idea in June, and we filled the first group in two months. So then we just had the first mastermind two weeks ago in Miami, and we have the second one scheduled for February. I think it does make sense, David, at some point to talk about the coaching component.
David: Let's do it, let's talk about it, absolutely. That is so true. You did mention that earlier that you guys are doing kind of a hybrid model between a mastermind as well as coaching. Man I totally forgot about that, let's jump in.
Steve: Yeah so I don't want anyone to have a negative connotation with the word coaching. Keep in mind Tiger Woods has a golf coach and all that good stuff. The bottom line is that professionals and successful people have coaches. We are here to help-- number one, pull people's vision out of them, both their life vision and their business vision. Help them succeed in going in that direction. Help them with their limiting belief, but certainly get over what hurdles are in front of them so they can get onto the next one. That is our goal in coaching. So we do that as far as the fulfillment is concerned by Alex and I are each taking 15 people under our wing who we will be the primary coach for. We do that by doing one phone call with them per month. We do that by doing one annual in person meeting with them where they fly down to either West Palm where I'm at, or Miami where Alex is at and meet with us all day long to really hammer out their vision for their life and their business-- and of course we do that by periodically answering e-mails and things of that nature. We are working one on one with our students as we go along. It's not just the mastermind that you are getting, you are also getting a primary coach to work with you step by step month after month.
David: Wow that's cool. That's unique, guys. I personally-- there may be others out there, but I personally have not heard of a mastermind that also includes the coaching aspect of it. Of course in all the masterminds you are highly encouraged to build those relationships, then essentially coach each other within the group, and I'm sure that happens as well. But the fact that the-- individuals that are joining this group that are already in this group get that as well is phenomenal, it's just-- added value.
Steve: Zooming all the way out, looking at the mastermind itself, our goal is to coach everyone so effectively that from mastermind to mastermind, you are going to be able to see real growth in these individuals.
David: Yeah right. Again, not saying anything negative about any other group, that's not my intentions, but that is a very difficult thing to not only gauge, but also-- offer as-- I don't want to use the word guarantee, but you know-- insure that somebody is growing from that group, and they are just not there to be in it, be part of it, and take nothing away. There has been lots of groups that I have been a part of that I have essentially left, and the reason wasn't because the people that created the group, it wasn't because of the people in the group. It was just the way they ran-- the individual group. I didn't feel like I was taking away that value. It seems to me like you guys have come up with a hybrid that is awesome. Not only does it allow all the benefits of mastermind and masterminding, right? But also having a coaching program that is intertwined with the mastermind, I think that's phenomenal, guys I love it, very cool. I am interested in running-- go ahead.
Alex: Sorry, I was just going to add one last thing. I can only speak for myself personally, but I think Steve would probably back me on this, and probably you too, David. My biggest growth in my business, and also in my life has been when I have been part of both; when I've had a personal coach, and when I have been part of a mastermind, which is why probably the last-- going back three or four years, I have always worked with a coach, and been part of mastermind. I think when you marry those two together under one roof, I think that's when you are really throwing fuel on the fire, at least that has been my experience.
David: Absolutely, I couldn't agree more, guys. I think that's phenomenal, I like the fact you guys have that hybrid. It's very unique, there is not many other-- really none other that I can-- that come to mind that have both the coaching side of it as well as the mastermind side. I think that's phenomenal. The fact you guys are doing two smaller groups versus one I think adds a lot of value as well. Tell me a little bit about the schedule in terms of how often you guys plan on meeting, do these groups meet together? Do they meet at different times? Also the frequency.
Alex: Yep, so we meet every four months, so three times a year. I think Steve was talking about how there is the one on one coaching per month, we also have a group mastermind every single month together. But as far as the mastermind retreats are concerned they are two days every four months. Each group meets-- so we might have a group that meets Monday Tuesday, then the second group meets Wednesday Thursday. It's two very focused days, we understand that people's time is valuable. We take into account travel and all that. We have been part of this environment for many years, and we have found that this is what is most effective; two focused days, and because we have chosen to keep the group small and intimate, we are able to-- members are able to walk in there and get the value they have come to get by just having the two days every four months-- versus-- I have been part of groups where it's every three months. You finish the mastermind and before you know it, you are packing up and getting ready to go to the next one, and you are like, where did the time go? So we feel like four months is the perfect time.
David: It's amazing. I really like that; three times a year I think is great. I think quarterly is a little too much, but I also think that once a year is not enough. I just-- I'm in a group that meets every February, and we just met about four or five weeks ago, not the whole group, but like a third of the group got together and met just due to the fact that it's too far out. You can have both sides of that spectrum. I really like three times a year, I personally haven't heard of anyone else doing that. I think that's the perfect amount of time in between, and it's not too far, it's not too close and so on and so forth. So that is phenomenal, two days for these events, guys, I think that's a great amount of time. I have been to events that have been four or five or six days, and it's just too long. It takes away from these individuals running their businesses, or focusing on what needs to be addressed; that doesn't have to be business, it could be family, that could be spouse, that could be whatever else. If you are spending all that time addressing those problems, you don't have a whole lot of time to actually work on those problems. I think what you guys have put together is phenomenal, I love it. I am so happy to have had you guys on the show today to-- educate my audience, my viewers, my listeners about this new model of a hybrid mastermind / coaching. I want to thank both of you guys again for your time, but also for coming on the show today. If anybody has more questions, which I know everyone does because I do, where can we point these individuals so they can learn more about not only you guys, but specifically this group?
Steve: Sure, we have a website set up, it's AscendYourSuccess.com, that's A.S.C.E.N.D, AscendYourSuccess.com.
David: Let's just run through that one more time, I am sure there is someone out there that is just as bad as me. A.S.C.E.N.D.Y.O.U.R.S.U.C.C.E.S.S, so that is AscendYourSuccess.com. Man, I am super excited to learn more about this. Guys, if you're listening, if you are watching, check out the website. Alex and Steve, if anyone has more questions beyond the site, what's a good way for my listeners and viewers to reach out to you specifically? Do you guys prefer social media? Do you prefer e-mail? Do you prefer-- whatever. What would be two good ways to-- or one good way each I would say-- individuals to reach out to you guys specifically?
Alex: Let me know if I'm cutting out here, but right below the video on AscendYourSuccess.com, there is an application button and that's the process to connect with us to schedule a call to talk more about it. It's a light hearted just more us getting to know the person, and vetting them to make sure it's a good fit for the group.
Alex: Obviously Steve and I are both on social media whether it's Instagram or Facebook. Feel free to private message us or whatever. I think we should be pretty easy to locate there.
David: Got it, okay very cool, guys. Just to recap, Alex Pardo if you are going to search him on social media. Steve Cavanaugh goes without saying, check these guys out. Don't forget AscendYourSuccess.com is where you can go to learn more about this sweet awesome hybrid model. I'm excited, I am confident that we are going to have a ton of listeners and viewers that are going to head that way, and they are going to check this out as well. Again, if you guys have more specific questions directed at each individual, check them out on social media; Facebook, Instagram and so on and so forth. Guys, thanks again for coming on the show, is there anything else that you want to mention before we wrap up today? I'm sure there has to be something.
Steve: Yeah, I just want to end with this. We have been telling folks, David, we have been saying to them this; if you are looking to move beyond achievement into the realm of true fulfillment, then this is for you.
David: Say that one more time.
Steve: If you are looking to move beyond achievement into the realm of true fulfillment, then this is for you.
David: If you are looking to move beyond achievement into the realm of true fulfillment, then this is for you. Man, that is a great quote. Is that a Steve Cavanaugh quote?
Steve: No, not entirely.
David: But we will give you credit for it. Steve that's phenomenal I love it.
Alex: It's all Steve not me.
David: That's right. Steve, Alex, thank you guys so much for coming on the show today. One more time, guys, if you are interested in learning more about this phenomenal new program these guys are putting together, coaching mastermind hybrid, check it out, AscendYourSuccess.com. Alright guys, that is going to wrap up this episode of the Discount Property Investor podcast, I'm your host David Dodge, don't forget if you are new to wholesaling real estate or investing in real estate, check out our free wholesale course. You can find it at freewholesalecourse.com. Easiest domain in history to remember. Until next time guys, we will see you then, signing off.
Steve: Thank you David.