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Today we recap the prior week's interviews and give our biggest success takeaway from each one.

Success Takeaway Saturday 5
microphone for success takeaway
Photographer: Matt Botsford | Source: Unsplash

Summary from our interview with Ellie Perlman

  • After being a real estate lawyer in Israel making comfortable W2 money, she comes to the U.S. with nothing and starts from scratch. 
  • Moves to the U.S. and gets her MBA from MIT. 
  • Right after this, moves to California with no network or anything. 
  • She learns about multifamily and then sets out on a mission to build a massive company. 
  • Builds a platform to start attracting investors and has now scaled to over 2,000 units owned.

Success takeaway

Get laser focused on what you want to achieve and it’ll happen. She came here with no money or connections but was super focused. 


Summary from our interview with Michael Cuevas

  • After being an active real estate agent for 10 years, he gets burnt out and bored. 
  • He still loved the marketing side of things however and had a background in branding after a painful experience while he was a realtor. 
  • Moves across the country to California with his family to surround himself with some guys that he knew would create the spark to start his next venture. 
  • Starts a business centered around helping other realtors build their brand. 
  • Goes broke again, because he was funding this personally. 
  • Then it catches on and he’s now killing it and is focused on this niche of creating content for realtors. 

Success takeaway

Your income is relative to the amount of value you provide to others. 

bedroom of success takeaway
Photographer: Christopher Jolly | Source: Unsplash

Summary from our interview with Colin McIntosh

  • Starts at Bridgewater Associates, world’s largest hedge fund. Gets fired after 5 months. Thought his life was over. 
  • Maintained a relationship with the recruiting firm that got him his first job and connects with the guy that helped him. Ended up becoming a recruiter for this company. 
  • While he is a recruiter, he hires himself at a B2B SaaS startup in Seattle and goes there. Then gets let go later on in that year because he didn’t fit in with the culture. 
  • Then takes an opportunity at another startup and learns all about business, venture capital and raising money. He says this was instrumental. 
  • At this point he was tired of the boom or bust nature of working at startups with no control, so he was either going to go work for Amazon and get a six figure salary, or start his own company. 
  • Decides on starting a company, and after lots of research and homework, lands on a bedsheet company. Decides on the business model even before figuring out the product. Very data driven, he shows that this is going to be successful. Worst case, was he would lose 6 months of salary. 
  • Starts this out as a quasi-lifestyle business but it far exceeds that and he is super busy and doing an awesome job. 

Success takeaway

He goes over working for someone and describes how we have to show up at an arbitrary time, do what we are told, take breaks when we are allowed, leave at an arbitrary time, and if we do all of this then we get our survival check and get to continue this cycle forever. 

Summary from our interview with Laura Briggs

  • Goes to grad school and then starts teaching 7th grade in Baltimore. 
  • Very quickly realizes she doesn’t want to work in traditional education. 
  • Resigns after teaching there for only one year
  • Jumps into working as a freelance writer and has been doing that full-time for 6 years. 
  •  Opportunities start opening up for her and she gets some speaking engagements, as well as 2 Tedx talks. Also lands some big jobs as a freelancer. 
  • Published a book last summer as well and is continuing to grow. 

Success takeaway

There is some serious money in Freelance work. If this is a passion, you can absolutely leverage your talent to do this full time. 

White cup and MacBook
Photographer: Alex Knight | Source: Unsplash

Summary from our interview with Ryan Narus

  • Graduates from Wake Forest in 2009.
  • Looks for a B2B sales job and cannot find anything because no one was hiring at the time. 
  • Out of necessity, starts as a used car salesman. Wins some awards and starts doing very well. 
  • He realizes that he was a hamster on a wheel and unless he works, he doesn’t get paid. A guy higher up than him gets candid and basically tells him to go do something else. 
  • Starts some businesses that he ultimately fails at, but learns a ton. 
  • Goes back to get his MBA, while he is doing this, he’s hanging out with a childhood friend and he suggests they invest in mobile home parks. 
  • He realizes this matches his exact skillset and they set out on a mission to do this. 
  • Starts in July, 2015 yet doesn’t close their first deal until September, 2016. They didn’t go full-time until June, 2017. They made huge sacrifices when starting out, he starts living in one of the properties to stay lean. 
  • Raises private money and it is a grind to do so. 
  • He’s now closed 10 properties and is killing it.

Success takeaway

You have to sacrifice if you want to achieve anything meaningful. 

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