JF2517: Working Less and Making More with Trevor Mauch #SituationSaturday

After a near-death experience due to being overworked, Trevor Mauch realized he needed to focus on more energy-enriching business practices. Like many business owners, he created his business to give him freedom, impact, and grow his finances, but instead it trapped him in an endless cycle of constant grind. Trevor talks about how he honed in on his motivation and overcame burnout by working less and ultimately making more. 

 

Trevor Mauch  Real Estate Background:

 

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TRANSCRIPTION

Ash Patel: Hello, Best Ever listeners. Welcome to the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show. I’m Ash Patel and I’m with today’s guest, Trevor Mauch. Trevor is joining us from Roseburg, Oregon. He was also a previous guest on episode 116, which was quite some time ago. Check out that episode by typing in Joe Fairless and Trevor Mauch.

Trevor, thank you for joining us. How are you today?

Trevor Mauch: Ash man, I’m doing amazing. And I appreciate the warm welcome on the podcast again, man. It’s been a long time since the previous one.

Ash Patel: Yes, we’re glad to have you back. So I think today’s situation will resonate with a lot of us, including me.

Trevor Mauch: Cool.

Ash Patel: Trevor’s sticky situation is one where he was burnt out, and we’re going to talk about what he did to overcome that. Trevor has 15 years of real estate experience and is the CEO and founder of Carrot.com, which helps investors bring in consistent and high-quality leads.

Trevor, before we get into your sticky situation, tell us a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on now.

Trevor Mauch: Cool, man. So going all the way back to 2004, when I was 21, I bought my first rental property, it was a little four-unit building nearby the college that I went to, and it was literally straight out of the pages of Carleton Sheets, $500 no-money-down course. I didn’t have any money, and I used the course as basic as it was to lock down that first four-unit property. I sold that one today. And then over the years, what I discovered is I’m really passionate about marketing, how to use words, how to use visuals to resonate with people and add value in the marketing that you do. And so that’s kind of what I’ve been doing for years – I buy real estate as my wealth building, and then passive income activity on the side, I own other commercial properties and we’re doing a development right now.

And then for my active income, I have a software company, like you’d mentioned, where we work with about 8,000 real estate investors and agents. But the marketing side of it is the part that I really latched on to the most, is how to use content online to attract your prospects.

Ash Patel: So you got into real estate by buying an apartment near where you went to college?

Trevor Mauch:  Yep.

Ash Patel: Did that give you the real estate bug, or was that just a side hustle?

Trevor Mauch: At that time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a career. So I had a really amazing college professor in our business law class, which business law is usually the most boring class in the school. But this Professor Harry DeGroot, who unfortunately just passed away just recently, was an amazing professor – he was a local lawyer and a real estate investor. So when he was going and giving examples and teaching us about business law, he’d oftentimes bring in his deals that he was doing as the examples. And so I’m going, “Man, he’s passionate, he seems to be really happy doing what he’s doing. I want to do what he’s doing.”

So I went up and talked to him, found out how he got into it… And that’s how it started, was I thought, “I’m just going to be him. I’m going to be an attorney and an investor.” And I got 50% of that, right, so…

Ash Patel: So you’re not an attorney.

Trevor Mauch: I’m not an attorney. I failed both times. I tried to do the LSAT tests, I failed it both times, and there couldn’t have been a more amazing thing that happened in my life.

Ash Patel: Alright, so you graduated college and you didn’t know what you wanted to do, and rather than get into a rut where you just go through the paces, you explored becoming an investor, and I’m assuming that’s a real estate investor.

Trevor Mauch: Yep. Correct.

Ash Patel: And then you got your first apartment unit near where you went to college.

Trevor Mauch: Mm-hmm.

Ash Patel: What was your next step?

Trevor Mauch: So the next step was I moved up to Portland, Oregon. So Roseburg is where I live now, it’s a small town in Oregon. I grew up in another small town in Oregon. So we moved to the big city for my wife’s college, and up there, I thought I wanted to do house flipping. So if you look at the timing of the market, that was around 2005, okay, 2006. If you kind of picture when this was, it was kind of like it is now – market was popping, everyone was flipping houses and wholesaling.

And so I thought that’s what I wanted to do. And for me anyway, Ash, I had dug in and I realized there’s two types of ways to earn income – there’s passive income and active income. And I think passive income should be from a vehicle that builds momentum over the long term. Active income should be something you enjoy every day. You should enjoy that work. You should get joy from it. You should be good at it, and then you take that money and put it into your passive. And I had discovered for me flipping houses and wholesaling houses just wasn’t what I wanted to do.What I loved, though, was the marketing of it. And I said, “Man, what if I just did this more? What if I figured out how to be a really good marketer and how to help other investors or agents attract the leads that get them the best deals?”

So that was kind of how that transition happened, but I went into real estate and I’ve continued to buy properties. We bought the building next door downtown, a historical property, we’re putting amazing apartments upstairs, 6000 feet of retail downstairs and we’re taking the active income from Carrot and seeing how many buildings we can buy downtown or revitalize this area.

Ash Patel: Alright, so what I’ve gathered is you are a free spirit and you go against the grain.

Trevor Mauch: A little bit…

Ash Patel: So you didn’t go to college, job, law school, whatever it was, you explored options. And then you also went against the grain because I think a lot of people enjoy the house flipping, getting the deals, and not so much the marketing side.

Trevor Mauch: Yes.

Ash Patel: So what was it about the marketing for real estate that attracted you?

Trevor Mauch: I think the marketing for me – and to give people context a bit… So Carrot today, so you guys can kind of see how this parlayed – we are a 45 person full-time team, we’re a multiple eight-figure year business, all built off of exactly what I learned to do during those years.

And the things that fired me up and still continue to fire me up, Ash, about marketing, is marketing is using words, videos, messages, whatever it is to move someone to a desired action. And I’ve seen so many businesses out there – it could be my parents’ business, they own a rental equipment store and a party store, it could be my contractor friends’ business who came in… I kept seeing so many people who were amazing at their craft, but they were struggling in business. And I’m going, “Man, they all think that they’re a contractor. They think they’re a multifamily investor. They think that they’re this, that, whatever it is.” I said, “At the end of the day, marketing unlocks everything.” What’s the one skill I can learn, that will translate to any business I ever do, any industry I’m in? And if worse came to worst, if for some reason my business didn’t work, what skill would translate really well to turn into income quickly and add value? And that’s marketing. It just kept on going – every business should be a marketing business that happens to be in real estate, that happens to be in the party business or whatever it is.

So that was really interesting to me, because I’m saying, “Man, if I can learn this skill, it essentially will feed me and my family for life.” And what would be even more amazing is that if I can learn to be an amazing marketer, and do marketing in a way that adds value, that people love to see the marketing, that they actually are inspired by the marketing you do, imagine how much good we could do. So I love it, man, and that’s really why I latched on to that and still continue to focus on marketing a lot today.

Ash Patel: Let’s go into detail about you just taking on too much and getting burned out. Take me into your mindset back then and what was going on.

Trevor Mauch: In those early years, this oftentimes happens when you’re an entrepreneur, so if you’re listening to this y’all and you’re a commercial real estate investor, or you want to be and you want to step into that, what happens is this – okay, first of all, we are very hyper-focused on that initial goal; our back is usually against the wall, right? We’re trying to move away from something; we’re trying to move away from a job we don’t like, we’re trying to move away from an income ceiling that we hit that we don’t like, we’re trying to prove our friends or family or all that we can succeed… So usually that motivation for us is moving away from something. And in those early years, you don’t mind grinding, because you have this clear motivation to get away from the thing.

So as an example, if you’re out there in the forest and you’re just walking along and you’re hiking this mountain, the mountain might actually feel really hard to hike, because the motivation might not be clear. But now imagine a bear coming up behind you – dude, your motivation and your energy are going to skyrocket to get up that darn mountain, because you’re running away from something now.

So those early years, it was about that, how do I create something that just gets to 4K a month? That’s all I was trying to do. And then after you hit those initial income goals, something interesting happens – we move the goalpost, right? You have a goal of X amount of multifamily units or X amount of passive income or whatever the goal is; you move the goalpost, and then when you move the goalpost too many times, you end up looking at it going like, “Why am I doing what I’m doing?”

So I’d already hit my original income goal, the clouds didn’t part, the angels didn’t sing, my life didn’t dramatically change other than a few more bucks in the bank… So then what we have to do – and I discovered this around 2011 or so – is after running the business for a few years, I hit some income goals I didn’t think I’d hit for a long time… I started to get to a spot where I wasn’t wanting to wake up to do the work that I had created for myself for my own business.

We have this idea that when we create a business, it’s going to give us freedom, it’s going to give us impact. And we hope that it’s going to grow the finances as well. And when we get to that spot and we build a business, too many of us trap ourselves into these businesses. We trap ourselves into jobs that make good money, but we don’t have the freedom, and when you don’t have freedom you can’t make the impact you want to make.

So that was me in 2012, Ash. I was laying there, my wife had left for the day and we’d just had our second kid at that time, Colton, our little boy, in 2012. And I remember vividly one morning looking up at the ceiling… It was [9:30]—10 o’clock in the morning when I should have been working; my wife was at work, our kids were at the babysitter so I could work… And I was sitting there going, “Why don’t I want to get up to do the work that I’ve created? Why? What is it?”

And I’d found that I was doing work that drained my energy more than gave me energy. I was doing work that people paid me well to do. The outside world said, “You should keep doing these things”, because they’re paying me well, and a result happened that was good income-wise and for them. And I said, “Well, that must be the thing I need to do.”

And that led into a transformation over the next 2-3 years, a hyper transformation that next 12 months, where I said, “What if I were to build a business around energy versus income? What if I were to build a business in my time around not being productive, but around being more energy-filled, than doing work that drains my energy?” So this was kind of the thing that really triggered it for me, Ash, was this. In my business, one of the things that brought a lot of business for us was creating content, blogging online that attracted real estate investors. And we do the same thing with our investors; the investors who are looking for tenants. I get all my leads from tenants, Evergreen inbound online, and we don’t pay for it; our clients are looking for motivated sellers, cash buyers. You can create content online and get it there, they’ll find it through Google and that’s how we built Carrot.

Break: [11:28] to [13:30]

Trevor Mauch: One of the main things that I did at that time was I wrote all those blog posts, so it was an income-generating activity, and I was really good at it. But what happened was I started to realize I’m delaying putting this article out on Tuesdays and Thursdays because I don’t want to do it. It made us money, but it was draining my energy. And I was making the excuse of, “Well, shoot, as long as it’s just impacting me… If it’s not impacting my family, then I’m good. I can put up with this through this phase of the business once we get this thing off launched.” And I remember going through one of my late-night article writing binges, and I got done at one, two or three in the morning, and we were going on a trip the next day, over to my parents house a few hours away over the cascade mountain range here in Oregon; a drive I’ve done a million times. So I shut the computer down late at night, and woke up and did some work and headed out. Two or three in the afternoon, up in the mountains, a ravine on one side, curvy mountains… And one second I was awake, and the next second I wasn’t; three kids in the back, my wife in the side. And it was just like in a movie where you see something happen in a movie and you go, “There’s no way that would have happened that way. The guy would not have woke up just in time to swerve, scrap the guardrail. 40 yards up, there’s no guardrail; 40 yards back, there’s no guardrail. There’s no way that would have happened.” And that’s exactly what happened. So I woke up, the car hit the guardrail, ravine on the other side, I got out cold turkey in the middle of the road and didn’t say anything. My wife’s like “What’s going on?” I said, “You need to drive.” And my working on things that drained my energy, my late-night binges, my grinding almost killed my family, when I was saying, “Well, this is just impacting me.”

So I’ll toss it back to you, but right after that, things changed for me.

I said, “What would happen if rather than building this business off of my shoulders and off of my time, I found a way to build the business to where I can still continue to scale it off of 30 hours or less a week? What if I no longer work any nights or weekends?” And I just said, cold turkey, “No more working nights or weekends.” My computer didn’t come in the house at nights and weekends; I didn’t work nights or weekends, and I still had a goal to build a big business.

So I can kind of walk you through what I did to transform and shift out of being burnt out into energized, and out of doing work that drains my energy into work that gives me energy.

Ash Patel: Alright, for most of us, that’s an oxymoron; you want to work less, make more. And for a lot of us, we have that long-term goal… I don’t know that we all know how to get there, but going clean turkey is certainly not high on anyone’s list.

Trevor Mauch: No.

Ash Patel: What was that like? And would you recommend others doing that? People that are just burnt out, just grinding… Is that the only way to do it? Or is that a good way to do it? Cold turkey, versus getting a coach and learning to be efficient and putting systems in place.

Trevor Mauch: I think if I would have had a good coach back then, then yeah, I probably would have avoided that and maybe I didn’t have to go cold turkey. But for me, sometimes having a shock to the system is what you need to get out of your current habits or patterns. It could be a shock to the system health-wise, where I know a lot of people who they had certain patterns in their life, there were unhealthy, unhealthy eating, unhealthy movement, they weren’t moving enough, and then they had a heart issue. And that was their issue, they went,” Shoot!”, cold turkey, “I am now no longer going to do what I’ve done before.” And for me, that shock happened to be almost running my family over a ravine in the middle of the afternoon, because I’ve been working too many nights and too late.

So I hope you guys don’t have to have the experience where you’re forced to say, “No more of this pattern, this pattern stops today.” But for me, that pattern had to stop today and I just looked at it and I said, “I’m not willing to build a business anymore.” When people ask me, “What’s your Why?” The most common thing that people say is, “It’s my family”, and they’ll show pictures of their family. And then they’re working 60 or 70 hours a week; or they’re not home with their family for dinner some nights during the week, or even worse, they’re home physically, but not home mentally. And that’s really common for a lot of us, where we get home and we’re playing with our children, and we’re actually looking at the phone or our mind is somewhere else, and I think that’s the worst of all worlds.

So for me, going cold turkey was critical because I said, “Okay, no longer am I willing to have these patterns that create this business this way.” Because when I started business – I think a lot of people can relate to this – when I started, I wanted freedom, flexibility and impact. And I’d built a business that did not give me those things. And it was because I was choosing to do things that drained my energy, but I got paid well to do, versus finding out how can I mainly do the things that give me energy, and outsource or delegate the rest.

Ash Patel: Alright, so in addition to not bringing your laptop inside the house, what are other steps that you took to have this change in lifestyle?

Trevor Mauch: One of the biggest things was this – at that time, a mentor had told me this advice, which is good advice, but I had learned that I think it’s a little bit misguided or opposite of what I truly believe today. And the advice that a lot of people would say is—you’ve heard the term “unique abilities”, or you’ve heard the term “your genius zone” or whatever it is, those are all amazing things. I misinterpreted it big time, and that’s what got me into this situation before.

And the advice that I was given was, “When you find something that you are good at, people tell you you’re good at and you get paid really well to do it, that’s probably your unique genius.” And there was a lot of advice where, “You take the piece of paper, draw the line down the middle, write the things that make you money and the things that don’t make you money that you’re currently doing, and then circle the things that you’re doing that don’t make you money, and then stop doing them. And then circle the things that make you money, and do more of those.” And I think we’ve probably all heard that advice, right?

Ash Patel: Right.

Trevor Mauch: And that’s exactly what got me in that situation, because I would go through the exercise, and the things that didn’t make me money were oftentimes the things that gave me the most energy, but I didn’t know how to use them in the business for value, and I’ll give you guys some examples here in a bit.

The things that made me money at that time were the things that drained my energy the most. And so it was like this vicious cycle. So I created this process, Ash, called the Energy Audit; and you guys can get the Energy Audit, you don’t have to put in your email or anything. Just go to carrot.com/energy/. I want everyone to see it. I want everyone to download the PDF. There’s no opt-in, I just want people to use it because I want you guys to build businesses that give you energy.

I did the line down the middle of the thing, but I said, “ What if on this piece of paper rather than line down the middle and it was things that made me money and things that don’t make me money”, and I tried to eliminate the things that don’t make you money, do more than things that do, I said, “What if I just do it based on energy now? What if more of my weeks had good high energy, and the work I was doing gave me more energy when I was done doing them than when I started? Wouldn’t that be an amazing business to run? Would I like my work? Would I be excited to get up in that day to do the work?”

So I started to do the list, and on the left side write all the things that drain your energy on any given week. Any given week of work that you’re currently doing, or even outside of work and in life, what things drain your energy?

And for me, writing articles drained my energy. I loved the strategizing of it. So on the right side, on the energy give side, I’m like, “Cool, strategizing.” I love strategy. I love getting on the whiteboard and just blowing up the whiteboard. But then I want to leave and I don’t want to implement it. So implementation was on the left, and I’m looking at this list going, “On this left side that drains my energy, so much of that is directly tied to how we make money.” I said, “Am I willing to give up some money in the short term in exchange for figuring out how to build a business that’s based off of energy?” And then I think if I go all-in on things that give me energy, I can be better at those things, and the money will be even better than the other side.

So I started to do this every quarter, and on that worksheet, what you guys will find is this – line down the middle, energy drain left, energy giving right. And I want you guys to give yourself a ratio; because like they say, “What’s not measured can’t be moved”, right?

So at that time, Ash, my energy ratio was 80% energy-draining activities, but they made me money. And 20% energy giving. No wonder I wasn’t enjoying my work.

Ash Patel: And there’s that free spirit again…

Trevor Mauch: Yes, right? It’s like 80% energy-draining, 20% energy giving. So I said, “Okay, what if I flip-flopped it? What if in two or three years I was able to flip flop it to 20% energy-draining, 80% energy-giving?” And then I honed in on the things that I’m the best at and it gave me a lot of energy and I wanted to be fired up about work, and I wasn’t guiding my actions off of what made me money anymore.

And then here’s the part that makes it work, and I’ll kick it back to you – I looked at this list in front of me, there might have been seven or eight things that drained my energy on every given week… And then a whole list of things that gave me energy, but half that list that gave me energy, I wasn’t actually doing – working out, hanging out with friends.

I love this right here, podcasts, but I wasn’t doing any podcasts because I couldn’t figure out how to make money doing it. So I said, “Well, it doesn’t fit in my list, so I’m going to put it over here.” So then I looked at that ratio and I said, “What are the steps I need to do this quarter to just slowly swap out energy-draining activities for energy-giving activities?” And you take that list of energy-draining things, circle one or two that are draining your energy the most, even if they make you a ton of money, especially if they make you a ton of money. Okay, circle them, and then write down how many hours you’re spending on those one or two things a week.

Ash Patel: Wait a minute, let me clarify that… You want things that are draining energy, but make a lot of money?

Trevor Mauch: Yes.

Ash Patel: Alright, I got you. I’m going to follow along.

Trevor Mauch: And I’ll tell you why and I’ll tell you how it transforms. So at that time, I was making low to mid-six figures a year; and none of this is to brag or anything, it’s kind of to show the journey. Today, we’re multiple eight figures a year, multiple seven figures a year net profit as the bottom line. I work less today than I did back then, and I have an amazing team, which I didn’t have then, and that was part of the shift.

So I took that list and I said, “Okay, there’s these two things over here that drain my energy the most. But man, I’m having a hard time with them, because they make me money. They can’t stop in the business, I just have to not be a part of them or I have to do the part that gives me energy.” So I circled the one that was writing blog posts – seven hours a week. That’s how much time I’m spending on blog posts. And I said, “Well, what part of writing blog posts do I like?” I love the strategy side. I just want to talk to a writer and then just give them a strategy. And I said, “Well, how can I find the best writer who’s even better writer than I can?” We can align on strategy and he can do all the work and I’ll pay him really well to do that.

When I found the guy, I said, “Okay, I’m going to pay you a bunch of money, $1,000 an article, which is way more than I had ever thought I was going to spend.” I said, “It’s not worth it for me anymore to spend my time to write it, I just want to strategize it with you.”

So I started to do those things one by one, and every quarter, I do this energy audit, I pull it up and I go, “Okay, cool. There’s 11 hours between these two things that drain my energy every week.”

And the first actions [unintelligible [00:23:50].28] I do that quarter, Ash, is go, “Okay, I either need to create a process to document how I do that and hand it off or I need to say no, and never do it again.” And over the course of two years, I flip-flopped it from 20% energy giving and 80% energy-draining, to about 70% energy giving and  30% energy-draining, and it changed my life. So every quarter, do that y’all.

Ash Patel: Okay, devil’s advocate…

Trevor Mauch: Yes.

Ash Patel: All of this sounds easy. You’re lucky; you’re in an industry where you can do that. It’s too hard for me to train somebody else to do what I do.

Trevor Mauch: Yes.

Ash Patel: It’ll take more time and effort for me to train somebody than just doing it and get it over with.

Trevor Mauch: Yes.

Ash Patel: Help me with those…

Trevor Mauch: Those are all legit. And I still struggle with some of those. I did the energy audit going into this quarter and I’ve found that my time got pinched again… Because as entrepreneurs, we see opportunity and we want to keep grabbing this opportunity. It’s a constant struggle to say “yes” to the big opportunities and “no” anything that’s good or below.

So for me, Ash, I’m going through that right now, where I’m looking at the marketing team and I’m going, “Shoot, it’s just easier for me to roll up my sleeves and just do this thing” and I had to pull back and said, “Every time I do that, though, I just adopted and owned that task.” But I’m probably going to adopt and own another task in a month or two months or three months, and over time, you’re going to be massively full of tasks again, and you’re going to get to the burnout phase.

So the first thing I would say is, it’s either invest time to do it now to create the process now, which yeah, it will take time to create that, or you can continue to do that task for the next 5, 10 or 15 years. I call that hamster wheel versus evergreen. Okay, hamster wheel is the thing works, right? It’s easy to get on the hamster wheel, it works. You step, it moves and gives you immediate reaction. But the problem is, when you get off the darn hamster wheel, which is doing all these tasks, the hamster wheel slowly comes to a stop, which is your business. So then you’ve got to get back on the hamster wheel. So instead, I say, “How can you build evergreen?” and I picture it like a brick wall. A hamster wheel is easy. It’s easy for me to say, “I’m just going to do the task, immediate feedback. Blah”, but you get tired eventually. What if you want to go on a vacation? What if you just get tired and you get off the hamster wheel? Your business slows down.

So let’s pretend I’ve got a stack of bricks over here instead. The bricks are heavy, they’re dirty and I have this vision to build this wall, so everything bounces back for me. And I go, “Okay, I know this is going to be hard.” I know these bricks are heavy, I know they’re dirty, but I’m going to pick up a break, which is a process – it could be training, it could be a person, whatever it is, it could be a piece of software… And I’m going to stack the brick, then we get back over here and get on the hamster a little bit to keep things going, because I don’t have my brick wall built yet… Okay, then I go back over here, stack a brick, stack a brick… And eventually, I can then stop turning back to the hamster wheel, and I can eventually have this brick wall balance a lot of those things back for me.

So as long as you guys want to be on a continual hamster wheel forever, you’re never going to get true freedom in your business. And the things that you should be doing are the things that give you energy, and the things that drain your energy should get off your lap as soon as you can, so you can run a business you enjoy.

Ash Patel: I’m going to assume that you’ve helped a lot of people make this transformation. Is there a specific thing that you tell them to do or something you say to them that gives them that heart attack moment, that gives them that epiphany and that’s effective? Because everything you’re saying is great in theory, man; I want to get there. Listen, I want to do fun stuff during the day, I want to have lunch with friends, I want to work out and not make excuses…

Trevor Mauch: Yes.

Ash Patel: But what have you found that’s really effective in transitioning people’s mindset?

Trevor Mauch: There’s a quote that I read years ago, and I’m going to butcher it a little bit, but it’s going to be pretty close… “My definition of hell is I get to the end of my life and I meet the person that I could have become.”

So for me, when I was going through that period of time, I had to pull back and I said, “Why am I continuing to do these things that make money over here, to do the things society says is good, but drain me? Why am I doing that?” And it came down to this, Ash – I didn’t have a vision for who I wanted to become. I had no clue exactly the person I wanted to become. I had all these goals around business. I had all these goals around money. I had all these goals around income, but I had no clue who I wanted to become.

So that’s the thing I would suggest people do, is sit down and write down, what’s your vision 20 years out. I started this process right then in that year. I said,” Let me sit down and write my vision.” So I write a 20-year vision story. It’s literally just like story format. And I start from the time I wake up in the morning – who do I see first? What do I hear? What room am I in? What do I have for breakfast? What conversation do I have? When I go to work, what time do I go to work? Where do I go to work? What type of work do I do? When do I stop work? Who would I have lunch with? What car am I driving? You get the idea, right? Insanely detailed for the whole day; do that 20 years out, and then walk it backwards and say, “Let me write the 10-year vision story now.”

So 10 years from now, I’m 38. So when I’m 48 years old, what will my average day look like when I’m 48 on a Sunday, 10 years from now. Same thing, I’m going to write that, and then I walk it back to five. And I say, “Cool. I’m 38. Now, what about five years from now, when I’m 43?” And then you walk back to the one year—I’m going to finish with this—is when you’re insanely clear with your vision, and who you want to become, and the traits that you want to have, then you need to build a business that helps you fuel that. I think until you get crazy clear about your vision for who you want to become and you see the vast difference that your business is creating a different person the way it’s currently structured, you’ll realize man that business is a vehicle to get you to that vision and you have to structure the business accordingly.

Break: [29:22] to [31:30]

Ash Patel: That’s a lot to take in. I wrote down that quote, your definition of hell is, “At the end of your life, you look back and look at the person that you could have been.” That is incredible. And then with what you just described with your vision I think is also great, because we’re taught to write down your five-year goals. But I’ve never heard it presented to where, “Write down what your day is going to look like in five years – where you are? Who you’re with? What you’re eating? What you’re doing? How are you spending your time?” That’s, I think, a powerful vision that would motivate a lot of people.

Trevor Mauch: And the main reason I like to do it that way is goals are great. I love goals. Inside of that vision story there’s some goals in there. It doesn’t say like this type of revenue, but in that vision story 20 years out, it says, “Today I’m going to work at X company, and this company owns shares of 35 other companies that collectively do over $100 million a year in revenue, and I get to do this in my work. I get to mentor those leaders.” And that’s the vision I have for it.

The cool thing about when you write a vision story is it goes beyond the numbers, and it goes into the habits and disciplines. The habits and disciplines are the key, because if you picture yourself operating in a certain way, that I’m organized in 20 years or in five years, where I have a great team of people around me who are insanely smart, and I just get to do the things I love and they get to do the things that they love, and they’re great. I wake up early in that 20-year vision, [5:00] AM is the time that I do, and I have ample time to wake up and just enjoy the morning. So you start to create these habits and disciplines in your vision story. Let’s go with that one. Let’s say that in your vision story, 20 years out, you’re consistent, you’re predictable, you have an amazing team and you’re able to do these things that interest you, you have an amazing morning routine that just fires you up.

Every single time now you wake up and that alarm goes off at whatever time; [6:00], [5:30], whatever your time is, I want you to ask this question – as soon as you’re getting ready to hit that snooze button, ask the question, what would the person I want to become do in this situation? What would the person that I want to become do right now? Would the person I want to become in five years, 10 years, 20 years hit the snooze button? Or would the person I want to become get their butt out of bed and go do the thing that, you know, they should do? Well, the person I want to become would get out of bed and start my morning routine; the person who I am today would hit the snooze button – who would I want to be? That person, or the person I’m already being? Ask yourself that question. It’s going to shock you into that spot. It’s like, if I truly want to become this person, this habit that I am doing today won’t work; it can’t happen anymore.

Ash Patel: That is amazing. So this transformation – was it all self-realization, self-taught, or did you get coaches and mentors along the way?

Trevor Mauch: No, man, I’m not smart enough by any stretch of the imagination to self-teach this stuff. There was a couple of things… So in that time period, Ash, around that 2012, when I was going through a kind of my own transformation and shift, looking back, I can put the pieces together and see, “Oh, that’s why I did that. And that’s why I did that.” At the time, I didn’t know. I had seen a vision of a person I wanted to become and it was actually a real person. My friend Greg Clemente, he’s a real estate investor. He owns golf courses, he owns a big farm, he owns tons of property, and a software company. He’s an amazing man of faith. He’s a great family guy. He would show up and he would explain how he ran his business with good people; and Tuesday, he gets to show up to this part of the business and just bring energy and just strategy; and then Wednesday it’s the other business… And I’m going, “Man, that just looks amazing.” It’s like he’s got his stuff together from the outside, right?

So I captured the vision of the person that I wanted to become, not knowing what I was doing at that time. I just saw that guy and am like, “There’s a big gap between how I’m living and how he’s living. I just kind of want more of that.” So I said, “How do I get around him?” And it just so happened to be that he created a mastermind, and that’s the only year he ever did it; he literally opened up that year and shut it almost like it was needed for me to make this transformation. So I joined his mastermind, I plunked down more money than I ever had for anything like that, and I said, “I’m going to love the people who are in the mastermind, but I really just want to get closer to him. That’s it.” So I did.

I paid the 20 grand. I spent a lot of time with him that year, and I adopted a lot of the processes and thinking that he did. So that accelerated my path in that. He’s the guy who introduced me to Strategic Coach, Dan Sullivan and his team, where I learned about unique abilities and energy-draining and energy-giving things. That was the thing that got me.

And that next year, after that mastermind with Greg, I enrolled in Strategic Coach, which at the time was six or seven grand a year. Every quarter, we would get together, we would plan out our businesses, plan out our lives, find ways to pull ourselves out of our businesses even more, so I adopted their practices, and then modified them to myself.

And over the years, Ash, I’ve just always continued to go. Now I’ve seen so much value and I surrounded myself with the right people; I can always find ways that I can borrow traits from them and processes, and how can I give back to them as well. So I’m definitely a patchwork of amazing people and grabbing their traits and practices. And hopefully, I’ve added value back to them, too.

Ash Patel: Well, Trevor, thank you very much for sharing your story. You had a potentially negative life-changing event and you turned it into an incredible positive. You’ve given us, and the Best Ever listeners, a lot of specific steps to take in the energy audit. I’m going to take that as well. It’s very unique, a different way to look at things. Tell me more about Carrot. What does Carrot do?

Trevor Mauch: We primarily help real estate investors – it could be house flippers, wholesalers, we help some multifamily people as well to get leads online. And what we specialize in is highly motivated house sellers. So about 500,000 house sellers per year submit their information through our clients’ websites on Carrot, and we help them do that through our content marketing and what we call evergreen marketing tools. So if you want to flip houses, if you want to get tenants… I use it for Airbnb. That’s what we do at Carrot.

Ash Patel: Awesome. Trevor, I can’t thank you enough. Best Ever listeners, thank you for joining us, have a best ever day.

Trevor Mauch: Awesome. Thanks, Ash. Appreciate you guys.

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