A Bunch of Misfits
Dave: So, do you wanna open up this morning or noontime?
Melina: I think you should definitely open up.
Dave: Oh, of course, I should. You always have me open up.
Melina: Oh, no. I'll open up if you want.
Dave: Whatever you feel comfortable.
Melina: Welcome to "Flippin’ Off," a purpose-driven podcast about flipping houses and making a difference.
Melina: You do it.
Dave: At the last second, she said "You do it." Well, hello. Dave and Melina Boswell, founders of New Wealth Advisors Club, and we are sitting in the studio today with a completely different topic. Is it about real estate? I guess it will have something to do with real estate. It has to do more with just a conversation that you and I were having, and we are... Well, this month, I guess, we just crossed the eight-year... Can you believe I'm saying that?
Dave: Eight-year anniversary of first opening our office.
Melina: Well, the current existing office.
Dave: Yeah, the second office, really, of New Wealth Advisors Club, and it wasn't really New Wealth Advisors Club back then, not like a formal entity, if you will.
Melina: Right. It was just me, and you, and a dog named Boo.
Dave: And a bunch of us just sitting around...
Melina: Bunch of misfits.
Dave: ...you know, doing real estate deals and not really having a structure, if you will, not knowing what that structure would even look like and so forth. And so this podcast today, we're gonna do a little bit of reminiscing. We're gonna talk about some of the milestones, some of the challenges, kind of looking at our life from 50,000 feet up, and where we've been, and where we might see ourselves going, and that kind of thing. And so we wanted to just share with you guys. We've been doing this now for a little over a year, I guess, and it's always in our heads like, "Okay. So, what's the topic gonna be? What's this gonna be? What's that gonna be?" And I think a couple of things prompted us to wanna do this podcast. And, number one, we were sitting around on 9/11, you know, watching the news, and, you know, the idea of never forget, right? And in New York, and Pennsylvania, and tragedy of 9/11, and, you know, you actually brought up, you know, "We wanna take our grandson there."
Dave: You know, he just turned seven years old last month, and the idea like he has no idea.
Dave: About 9/11, like...
Dave: He wasn't there that morning. I mean, you and I can both remember sitting there staring at the TV while, you know, getting ready for work that morning and looking up going, "Oh, my gosh."
Melina: Yeah. Well, I remember the boys were in school, and I had the news on, and I was making breakfast for them before school and getting lunches ready, and I saw the plane hit the second building.
Melina: And I just remembered exactly what it felt like, and I remember waking up the boys and then, you know, having a conversation with them. And I remember you and I having the conversation of, "Do we send them to school?" you know, "What do we do?"
Melina: And in the realization is that our grandson... So, as vivid as that is in our memories, our grandson has no concept, it's just a story in a book and in a history book, which is fascinating. And so the importance of really imparting to him what that was like, and the impact that it had on us, and how, you know, the symbolism immediately after 9/11 was, "We will never forget."
Dave: Right. Right. It's been 16 years, and we have, like you said, vivid memories of exactly...like, it hasn't gone away. And so, with the idea that we wanted to take, you know, our grandson there, and we will do that... That'll be something we'll put on our list for this upcoming year and jump over in New York, and we'll just take just him, right?
Dave: All right. So, it'll just be the three of us and go over to New York and check that out and give him a history lesson. So, that'll be great. Well, the second thing that prompted this podcast was a few weeks back we were doing introduction one morning, and there was a brand new group of people that came in to check out the club and what we do, and, you know, we do these introductions. Generally, once a week, not always, but maybe once a week, we have a group of a few people come in and hear a couple of hours of what we do, and we always open up for a Q&A. You know, you and I are always there, and we open up for a Q&A, and it was a great question.
Dave: You know, it's like one that doesn't get asked.
Melina: Yeah, I don't think I've ever been asked that question, frankly.
Dave: Do you remember exactly how it was worded?
Melina: Yes. It was something along the line... I don't remember verbatim, but it was something along the lines of, "How and why did you get involved in the charitable work that you do? What prompted it?"
Dave: Right. And so, as he asked that question, I realized that, you know, our memories weren't as vivid about that, right? Like, we've kind of fast-forwarded, you know, having been doing this business now for 10 years, you know, celebrating 8 in the office. Those were all great, and we could go back, and we can remember, okay, all that. But to remember how exactly did we start, like, a year-round food drive, right?
Dave: That kind of prompted everything, but it didn't start with a year-round food drive.
Melina: No. No, it started with the need of one family.
Dave: Right, one family, you know, and we... Oh, that's probably 2009, I would guess, 2009, that sounds about right?
Melina: Yes, that's about right.
Dave: When we were sitting on the economy, I think, and we're sitting in church. You know, I was kind of helping on the church board and different stuff, and I remember them talking behind the scenes about, you know, there are needs in our little congregation, very small congregation, probably 40 families or something, maybe 100 people. And, you know, there's a family that needs food, and we were like, "Well, they need food. It's not that a big deal. There's plenty of us here. You know, everybody go into your pantry, grab something, and let's feed them." You know, it's like no big deal. And we said, "Well, we can do that." You know, it's something we could do. We know people and people that are charitable and wanna give, and so we fed that one family. And I remember we fed that one family. We were coming up on, like, a Thanksgiving. And we said, "Well, what other needs are there?" And I can remember us going out, and we fed people around the city. Remember there was...
Melina: The retirement home.
Dave: ...the retirement home and...
Melina: The apartment building.
Dave: And my mother-in-law bought, I don't know, 100 turkeys or something crazy, and we were able to take those out and deliver those to the retirement home, and it just prompted this, I don't know, the stirring in us to say, "It's Thanksgiving, and that's great, but what happens tomorrow?"
Melina: Right. The realization that, you know, people were literally waiting at their front door of their apartment, and I can remember you, and me, and David, and Andrew going in and delivering turkeys and then not just, like, leaving a turkey at the front door like it was a newspaper, but more like realizing these are actual people, this is somebody's mother, or somebody's sister, or somebody's grandparent, you know, and understanding that there was a need there.
Melina: Yeah, it definitely stirred us, changed us.
Dave: So, I think that we probably forgot.
Melina: We definitely did, yes.
Dave: We get in the day-to-day routine of all the things that we do, and all the something has to happen in the business and the organization now, and answering phone calls, and emails, and texts, and dealing with real estate deals, and all that stuff. His name is Matthew, by the way, that asked us that question. When Matthew asked us that question, we had to stop for a second and realize, "Okay. Well, how did that start?" Well, it started with one family, right? One need. And what we realized when we took care of that one family and as we asked...I can't say club members back then, because we weren't really a club. But it was just the people we associated with, our friends, our colleagues, whatever you wanna call them. You know, we were kind of informally, you know, training people, and helping them, and showing them what we were doing, and that kind of stuff, and we just said there's a need. And, suddenly, we were like, "There's way too much food here for this one family." So, we started a little food pantry at the church, and that food pantry grew. And, suddenly, we were weekly and biweekly.
Melina: Yeah. Well, the realization happened, was that, you know, during the holidays, everybody is charitable, right? But people are still needy in July. So, it's like, "Oh, just because we don't have food at Thanksgiving, that we don't have any in July either, you know, and they need to eat then. And that's when people aren't charity. That's when people are thinking about vacations and what are they doing, and, you know, we get really self-absorbed.
Dave: Yeah, kids are out of school.
Melina: Yeah, kids are out of school. What are we gonna go do? Not realizing that people are hungry, and they need water, and they need, you know, peanut butter.
Dave: Yeah. And, then they asked, "Like, how did you end up on, you know, this board for Path of Life, and providing for the homeless, and all this stuff?" And even reflecting back on that, because you weren't originally on that board, it was the medical board, right?
Melina: Right, exactly.
Dave: So, you know, how did you get there?
Melina: I don't even know. They found me.
Dave: I think Leslie ended up knowing somebody who knew somebody, and there was a vacancy, and said...
Melina: Well, there was a need.
Dave: There was a need and...
Melina: They needed bodies.
Dave: Gosh, there's this lady named Melina and this club, and they're providing for all these people, and they have hearts to provide for people. And so that started that whole journey, if you will. You know, to sit back now and realize, "Gosh, okay. So, not only we have a year-round food drive, we have..." I mean, just think about some of these milestones, right? So, we opened up an office in the worst time, economically speaking, that we've ever experienced, right? I mean...
Melina: In the business, that caused the collapse, by the way.
Dave: Right. Right. It's hard for people to realize, like, here we are. We've gone to like a million different seminars, like everybody else, from a hotel room into a hotel room, and we knew there was money to be made in real estate, obviously. And so, not really knowing what we didn't know, you know, we kept going to...
Melina: What we knew enough to know, we didn't know enough.
Dave: Yeah, just exactly. And every time we would go get educated, it's like, "Duh, we already heard that." You know, all just the same information we got before, but same challenges lie in...
Melina: Like, how do I really do that though? Like, that's great in theory, but what do I really do?
Dave: Yeah. And where do we find the resources to do that, because we don't have any money? And so, without money, you can't buy real estate. And we don't know what we're doing, and if we even get a real estate lead that potentially could be a deal, we don't know what we're doing. I mean, we know from the RERA sessions, and seminars, and that kind of stuff, and watching webinars, and everything. So, we forget all these, because we had somebody helping us back in the day and showing us the ropes. And then, you know, I remember the first idea, I said "Okay, well, people teach you in a seminar in a hotel room," and I said, "Well, what would it look like if we had, like, our own small office where people can get together?" Because it was just us and a few people at our house, right? And our house was too small. It was like 1,500, 1,600 square feet, and we had no room. So, we could sit around, you know, our two couches, and, you know, the idea was, well, there's a lot of available office space, because the market just hanks.
So, maybe I could get something really cheap. If I get something really cheap, then we'd have a place that we could call our own, and then maybe we could help teach and train other people what we're doing, and we could also create some leverage, because that's what we were looking for, right? There was all these real estate foreclosures happening, but we can't get to all of them. We can't afford to drive to all of them. Just gas alone, right? We can't do all that. So, how do we do that? So, I got that idea of like, "Let's go open up this little office," and it was a good idea, and it was a bad idea, because I think it had like seven parking spaces. And so, we thought, "Oh, no big deal, all these places are vacant around us. We'll just use our parking spots here, and if there ends up being a problem, we'll just park in the neighbor's parking. Because, after all, we do all of our trainings in nights and weekends, because we're working adults and we can do them on nights and weekends. So, all these businesses will be closed, and nobody will have a problem with it." But were we wrong.
Eight months into that, nine months into that, I don't know how many complaints we had, but there were people coming from all over the place wanting to know how the Boswells were making money in real estate, how are they teaching other people to make money in real estate. And so here we are, like, at these cross roads where we're doing okay, we're making some money. And this is what, 0...
Dave: 07, 08?
Melina: Yeah, end of 2007, I believe, beginning of 2008.
Dave: Yeah. So, gosh, here we are. That's 10 years.
Dave: So, now we kind of sat down. I remember saying, "Okay, so we have some money, and what are we gonna do? Because the city's gonna shut us down for the parking problems, the occupancy problems, too many people coming in our little I think it was a 2,000-squarefoot office we had. So, what are we gonna do? What are we gonna do?" And I said, "Well, I had the tax practice at that time, still an enrolled agent at that time doing tax returns." So, that business was doing well as well, and I'm taking up more time. So, what do we do? You know, and we got together, and I said, "Well, let's build a bigger office." It sounds like a great idea. It's only 2009 at that point. Recession is massive, and in my tax practice, I think, everyone moved out overnight.
Melina: Yeah, it was empty.
Dave: It's what it felt like. It was empty.
Melina: Yeah, big buildings, all empty.
Dave: All empty.
Melina: Afforded an opportunity for us to move in and do something, which was completely against the green. It was completely opposite of what everybody else was doing. I think that it's important for us to remember this conversation, because we do forget. You know, there's that fine line between, you know, remembering living in the past to where the past is, just nothing more than, like, it bugs you down, right? It can get you stuck if you live in the past.
Dave: Right. It creates that roadblock.
Melina: Absolutely. And so I think we talk about that a lot, like, "Hey, stay present. Stay in the here and now. Don't let your past failures, you know, stop you." And that's all true, but there's also power in remembering the past where you came from. Because, especially on days, like when we're feeling overwhelmed and like, "Oh, my gosh, I'm just..." you know, it's like a robot that just keeps on hitting the wall, you know. And, you know, you're, like, running up against the tide, and it feels like challenge, after challenge, after challenge, and we're not making any headway. And then to remember, "Oh, right? Remember back then when that happened and remember that?" You can use the past as a springboard, if you will, to move forward and to continue to keep you moving in the right direction. Because I think, you know, we could get stuck really, really easily. I think this happens for everybody. This was more of what our conversation was this morning, which was...or the last couple of days, I guess. Like, "Hey, let's remember that, and let's, you know..." The importance of remembering is such a big deal, you know.
So, you were talking about milestones. You were talking about how we had milestone of, you know, "Wow, look at what we're coming up on." All of a sudden, you blink, and five years has gone. You blink again, and another five years has gone.
Dave: Yeah. I mean, we go to management, and we say we wanted 5,000 square feet at that time, because we're in 2,000, so we thought 5,000 would be plenty.
Melina: Right, exactly.
Dave: Five thousand would prepare us for years, and years, and years to come. And I remember the 5,000-squarefoot office, and it was, you know, a concrete 4 walls with a couple of lights in it, and it was used as a storage basically for a company that went out of business.
Melina: Yeah, it had a random toilet, I remember that.
Dave: Yeah, in the corner, that random plumbing that was in the corner. And, you know, I told management, like, what our idea was. They were like, "That will never work."
Melina: Yeah, bad idea.
Dave: Bad idea. "Your business model won't work, bad idea. This city will never allow you to have that occupancy for that use, bad idea. You're gonna put too many people in a spot. We don't have parking for it, bad idea." It was just one bad idea after another bad idea, is what I was told, and we just kept plugging away, plugging away, getting through one objection over the next objection, over the next objection. And who knew? If you told me today we'd be sitting where we're sitting with the growth of the office and what it looks like today...and I always caution people when they walk in and say, "Okay. Don't look at this office as though this happened overnight," right?
Dave: This is 10 years in the making, and, you know, we built 5,000 square feet and... I mean, do you remember? I'm sure you do, but do you remember us running out of money while building it?
Melina: Of course, are you kidding? Yeah, well, we run out of money, but we thought we had credit. We were like, "It's okay. We have credit."
Dave: Yeah. And it turns out we hadn't used that credit. And so, when I went to use it, they said, "Oh, by the way, you haven't used it." And because, I don't know if any of you can remember this, but there was a time when if you had credit and when the market's all taint, they suddenly would, you know, cut your credit limits down to either what you owed.
Melina: Yeah, what your current balance was, "Oh, you have a balance of 5,000, or, you know, your limit is 5,001."
Dave: Exactly, right, you're not overlimit, because they don't wanna charge you a fee. But that's what you got.
Melina: That's right.
Dave: And so I remember us running out of money and saying, "Okay, no problem. I'll pay for it on the credit card." And, I mean, our credit wasn't great, so there was really high interest, but it was like, "We've gotta get it done, because we're almost finished." And we needed to set the air conditioners, right? Like, you can't have an office in Southern California with no air conditioning.
Dave: And I remember giving my credit card, and they're like, "It's declined." I was like, "Oh, that's impossible. I haven't used that card, and there's plenty of money available there." And I called up the credit, and they're like, "Oh, no, we're sorry. We closed your account last week, because you hadn't used it." And I'm like, "Last week? I need it, you know, this week. And if had just charged it last week, it would've been fine." I'm freaking out in that moment like, "What am I going to do?"
Melina: Yeah, I remember that.
Dave: And I think we told one of our friends at that time, like, what was happening. And I don't know if it was the next day, or a couple of days later, or the following week, whatever, but I remember Terry just showing up to the office while we're still building. All right, we're still trying to get into this office, and there's a cashier's check on our desk for 25,000 bucks. No promissory note, no nothing. Just, I believe...
Melina: She said, "Finish the job." That's what she said, "Just finish it."
Dave: "Just finish it." And I remember being overwhelmed with, like, "What do you mean you're just giving me?" Like, "What does this mean?" And she is like, "I know you'll pay us back. Just pay us back when you can. You know, get the office built, and you do your real estate transactions. Just pay us back," you know. And we did that. Ultimately, we closed at least one deal, I remember, with her, and we made some money on that deal and helped her make some money on that deal, and that was really cool. So, we get the office built, and we're thinking, "This is good. It's great. This is 5,000 square feet. We did it. We've arrived. Wow, this is awesome." And it was like filled the dreams. We, like, overbuilt it, and, you know, it's so big, and there's, like, so few of us. And so little...
Melina: I've been getting pictures of, like, one of our first trainings where there's, like, you know, the big giant training room. There's like nine people, maybe not even nine, maybe more like four and like six, including you and me.
Dave: Yeah, and looking at the idea of like, "We're gonna build it. They'll come, and no big deal. Well, I don't know how we're gonna pay the rent."
Melina: Right. Details.
Dave: Especially because now we have no credit available, all of our money is dumped into this office space. And wow, like, just remembering...
Melina: It's crazy now when you can fast-forward, and you'd remember those moments. I remember like, "Well, what colors are we gonna do the, you know, flooring and walls in?" Like, "Whatever is on clearance at Home Depot, that's the color we choose."
Dave: That paint bucket over there, somebody returned, and it's 30% off. We'll take it.
Melina: Bought. Do you remember the tiles? The tiles were...
Dave: Are you kidding? The tile on our bathroom, I remember like, "Okay, what do you have on clearance? No, I don't mean clearance out here like sold to public. What do you have in the back that you're probably gonna ship back to the manufacturer that nobody wants it, it's super ugly that we'll just take it?"
Melina: I feel like it was like 25 cents or something, the tile, or something crazy.
Dave: It was stupid.
Melina: It was so cheap, and we said, "We'll take it all."
Dave: Yeah. They're like, "All of it?" I'm like, "Yeah, but just put the whole pallet on my truck." And I remember putting the pallet on my truck, and it was completely bottomed down. I drove from Home Depot to the office at like 2 miles per hour, hoping my tires weren't gonna blow out. But we didn't have money to pay for people to do all that stuff.
Melina: That's right.
Dave: I remember, you know, it took us 60 days, I remember 60 days, to the day to get that place built. And in those 60 days, I remember taking one day off. Otherwise, we pretty much lived there.
Melina: Yes, because somebody bought us an overnight trip to a winery. You and I, remember, we went to a South Coast overnight one time.
Dave: I don't remember that.
Melina: Yeah, it was for my birthday.
Dave: Oh, got it.
Melina: Yeah, somebody had given it to us, and we went, like, on a Saturday and spent the night. And then I remember, on Sunday, we went back to the office.
Dave: Yeah, there we go.
Melina: We spent one evening, and then we went back to the office and ended up working that whole Sunday.
Dave: There you go.
Dave: So, we got this done, right? So, we thought we had arrived. It's done, it's 5,000 square feet. We've got like, I don't know, 10 offices at that time. Those offices were primarily empty, and, you know, we're doing our best to fill them, you know, day in and day out. We gotta get back on the horse. We gotta do real estate transactions. We gotta pay for all this stuff, and, you know, there was, you know, that burden as well, right? But now we're done. Let's move on. And so, actually, the very first training we did was on your birthday, September 24th of 2009. And so, obviously...
Melina: It doesn't matter what birthday it was. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. It wasn't significant. I'd already passed the significant ones at that point, so it didn't matter.
Dave: Got it. We won't go there.
Dave: So, we finished that, and then a year or two starts going by, and there's this crazy trend that I started looking at. It really started to freak me out, because we weren't four people training anymore. Now, you know, it's 30 people, and there's people consistently showing up, and they're coming from a distance. Like, people start calling us from different counties and, "Hey, we've heard about what you're doing. You know, we wanna come join you guys." And then, you know, at some point, we decided, "Okay. So, we're gonna... It's official. It's official we're really doing something here, and let's form an entity." And we formed, you know, New Wealth Advisors Club, the entity, as it sets in January 1st of 2011, right? So, that gets done, and, gosh, we need a logo. Let's get on and buy one, whatever. I think it's 75 bucks, so we can afford that. So, we get all that done, and then later on, probably toward the end of the year, to be honest, the growth scared me.
You know, what are we gonna do? We're going to... The city of Riverside is gonna be back on us again, because we're gonna be overdoing parking, and there's too many people. And what do we do? So, there we're going to management, and everything around us was still vacant. And so I went to them, and I said, "What it would it look like for us to take on the two suites that are around us, and knock down the walls, and take on more space, and make our room bigger?" And, ultimately, we ended up doing that, and I think we completed that August of 2012.
Melina: Yup. I think that's right.
Dave: So, we go from 5,000 square feet to nearly 10,000 square feet.
Dave: Wow. What on earth are we doing? Now, we have 17 offices instead of 10. We've got a training facility that I can do double the amount of people that we once did, but we want enough space. We want, like, our space. One of the big keys was we didn't wanna go to a hotel room and have to rent space and be like a transient-type thing like we had experienced before. And so, as we do that, and we crossed that milestone, well, keep in mind this year-round food drive's still happening, you're serving on now two boards at that point, the Path of Life, the one that you current sit on, and that organization, the needs of the homeless there, we're doing everything we can as a club to fulfill that. So, now we started providing, not only food, but toiletries. The toiletries are really a big deal. And so we do that as a club. Well, in this 10,000 square feet, part of it was a small warehouse that we thought, "Oh, we're gonna have that for our supplies, and, like, when we do fix and flips, I can put my extra base boards over here that I use. I'm gonna buy a paint. I'm gonna buy a paint. Like, you know, I'll buy 50 gallons at a time so I can save money."
And that's what we used the warehouse for, and it started like that for like a couple of months. And, suddenly, as the club grows and more and more people are getting involved in the charitable work that we're doing, that explodes. And we're walking in the front lobby, and it's like, "Oh, we just had a club meeting, and one of the things we do at a club meeting is we ask everybody, you know, 'Go in your pantry and bring something and pass it on to somebody at the shelter.'" And we come in, and it looked like a grocery store exploded. That's why I always used to say, "Like, Walmart was here, and it just blew up," because there was just stuff everywhere. So, I had to put that warehouse together. Well, today, I mean, that warehouse sits in...I mean, I don't know how many square feet it is, where we take 2,000 square feet...
Melina: Two thousand square feet, yup.
Dave: Double stacked, so that's a mezzanine, completely full.
Melina: Yeah, so awesome and so wonderful. Just a great opportunity for people to be able to come in and get whatever they need. So...
Dave: And when you say whatever...
Melina: Yeah. It's food, it's toiletry items, it's furniture, furnishings, dishes, you know, pots and pans, coffeemakers, whatever it is that they need. And it's fascinating, too, because it's not only that we allow people that are, you know, guests of Path of Life, but also oftentimes we have home owners come in who are in desperate situations. We've had plenty of home owners come in, and then I've had other people that know somebody who says, "I get phone calls or text messages a lot that say, 'Hey, I know so and so who really has a need for food.'" And I just tell everybody, "Give them a, you know, grocery bag and let them go take whatever they need."
So, it's a really, really great space and a great opportunity for us to be able to really facilitate something that has very little to do with us. I don't feel like, you know, we work really hard at keeping this going. It is truly a labor of love from several people, specifically club members that really run it. The entire thing is run by volunteers and people who have such a heart for, you know, the underserved, the vulnerable, and we don't care where they come from or why they're there. It has no bearing on anything. Many of them are the working poor, you know, who don't have extra money, and they can't qualify for whatever needs they have, and so it gives them an opportunity to maintain dignity, and feed their families, and get whatever extra things they need.
You know, we had a time where people needed umbrellas, you know, backpacks for their kids for school. There are many things like that we just don't even think twice about getting, and you realize that families that are the working poor, they don't have the extra, you know, money to do those things. And so it's just such an honor, I think, and a privilege for us to be able to do that when you think about where we came from, right, where we started. Like, you know, we ran out of money, and somebody gave us 25 grand, which we paid back, by the way.
Dave: Yup, in two installments of...
Melina: In 2 installments of 12,500 each, because she wouldn't take interest. But, I mean, the idea that that's where we started almost in a space of...we could have been in a space of scarcity, right? But we just were so committed and had such deep conviction that what we were doing was right. And I can look back now and go, "I don't know that we understood what was going to happen," you know, but I think that that's a really important thing. I think that that's why it's important to remember, because when you start to realize that, sometimes we have a stirring in our gut, a stirring in our soul that says, "This is what you need to do," and then everything on the outside world is opposing that.
Melina: We can buy into the thought process that says, "Well, it must not be meant to be," right? "Maybe this isn't what I'm supposed to do, because I keep on hitting these challenges," and we definitely could have done that.
Dave: Oh, my gosh.
Melina: But for whatever reason, we just... Well, I mean, you and I know the reason, but, for us, the conviction was so deeply seeded in our hearts and souls that we just stayed the course. And I remember us having conversations of, "What's the worst-case scenario? We go belly up and we lose everything? Who cares?"
Dave: Right. That's it.
Melina: That's it. It's better to do that and then ignore the stirring in our heart, the stirring in our soul, the conviction that says, "This is what you're supposed to do," and the desire to do it, but now I can look back and go "Wow. It was really that story and that conviction." You know, I was thinking to myself, "That stirring and conviction was set there to serve people that we didn't even know existed."
Dave: Right. Right. Today, we don't have any idea of how many are really served.
Melina: No, we have no idea.
Dave: I mean, we don't keep track. We don't...
Melina: I don't wanna know.
Dave: Yeah, and we don't take names.
Dave: It's just people come, and you just open the doors and whatever it is.
Melina: Right. That's exactly right.
Dave: You know, what just prompted my memory was I remember... You know, I don't know why at the time other than for financial reasons like, "Why do I wanna do real estate?" Okay, because we wanna make more money. So, which is why almost everybody comes to us.
Melina: Of course.
Dave: Right? "Teach us what you do. I wanna make more money." And I understand that. We were there, and I can remember us going to all these seminars and all these different things and then never touching real estate, right? Coming back, and then ultimately, you know, when Greg introduced us to some education that he was involved with and a group of people that he was involved with, and I remember it was $20,000 to get involved with them. But they were gonna train us, and there was gonna be local people, and they could hold our hands, and let's go through this. And, you know, the sheer skepticism of me, and I'm like, you know, "I don't know." And Greg had some credibility in my life, because we knew him through church, and I knew him through playing softball for years with him and stuff like that and he was a neighbor. And I remember you saying, "Okay, so what's the worst-case scenario?" So, that $20,000, we didn't have $20,000.
Melina: We had credit though.
Melina: No way to pay it back
Dave: I remember that, and we were like, "We're just gonna put it on the credit, and if we can't pay back, we're bankrupt anyways. You know, what's another 20 grand on bankruptcy?
Melina: That's right.
Dave: And I remember in that time being like, "Okay, well, if this doesn't work, then, obviously, we have to retool and figure something else out. But other people are doing it. And why can't we copy what they're doing? And if they're doing it, you know, we could do it, too." And that's exactly what we did, you know. And I remember now our very first transaction sitting down with the home in Ontario, and that home going to foreclosure, and we saved it from foreclosure, and I can remember holding that check for $83,210. Still have the HUD, the closing statement on our desk, and, you know, we kept $50,000 of that deal. And that prompted, I mean, all those different series of choices, right? So, we go broke, you leave the mortgage industry. Done with that, we're broke overnight, right? Because when you walked away from the mortgage industry, you know, as things changed and you were no longer congruent with having people sign up for mortgages they couldn't afford, and we're broke, like, in that moment, because our bills can't get paid without your income from the mortgage industry.
Melina: Right. But I didn't care.
Dave: Yeah, yeah. You're like, "It is what it is, but I'm not doing this anymore," and you were right. You know, didn't take away the fear.
Melina: Oh, no, I was scared to death. Are you kidding? Yeah, that's why my word this year is fearless. Are you kidding?
Melina: I wish I didn't pick that word, but, anyway...
Dave: You know, and I guess maybe this podcast is all for you and I to sit here and go, "Do you remember? Do you remember?" And I think a takeaway for everybody is, especially those that are in our club maybe listening to this right now, we can remember certain things, and having looked back at some of the podcasts with some of the people that have been in here and where they've come from years ago, I can name off so many people that they're not the same people today.
Melina: Completely true.
Dave: And I think anyone who is listening to this, maybe you should stop, and reflect, and maybe write down some of those things that you remember and the things that we need to never forget, and, like you said, not dwelling on the past, but really being able to just, you know, put those benchmarks, and, you know, we call it enjoying the journey, right?
Melina: That's right.
Dave: And a real big thing for me is, you know, always life isn't a destination, right? It's a journey, it's a process.
Melina: Well, you have to remind yourself of that. That's why it's your big thing. That's why it's your tagline.
Dave: That's my tagline.
Melina: Because you tend to always be tied to the outcome.
Melina: Because you're very results-driven.
Melina: So, people that are very results-driven, which I think I am, too, but I am now much more committed... I think I changed so much in my way of thinking over the years that, instead of being results-driven, oftentimes I forget the wins that I've had, right?
Dave: Oh, for sure. We actually... Just popped on something else. Do you remember us sitting back and saying, you know, "We don't stop and celebrate the victories in the real estate deals that we close," right? We close the deal, and it's like, "Yeah, we closed the deal." And I remember, you know, closing Capella, right? Was that like a seven, eight, nine-month project or something?
Melina: Right, big deal.
Dave: We closed the deal, and it's a six-figure pay day, and not even...
Melina: We didn't ever celebrate it. We don't even know how much we made. We couldn't remember the numbers.
Dave: I have to go back and...
Melina: I mean, we have to look at, or I have no clue. I can kind of remember the numbers, but I definitely wouldn't. I don't remember the numbers well enough. I remember that we decided to paint the kitchen blue. Like, that's one of the most things I remember. Like, there was this big risk, and I kept on saying, "I really want the kitchen to be blue, this really pretty blue," which was very, you know... Anyway, it's not weird. It's not weird. I just remember all the unique things about the project and the property, and Mrs. Kravitz across the street, and, like, all those awesome things, but I don't remember the numbers.
Dave: Yeah. I think that there's so much at that time. Like, if you ask me, like, the last real estate deal we did and closed, I forget all of them.
Melina: I do, too.
Dave: I forget them all, and what I do remember is the students and...
Melina: The seller.
Dave: ...the seller, the paydays that...
Melina: Other people got.
Dave: ...other people got, and I think that's what makes this whole journey and process worth it.
Melina: I agree.
Dave: Because, otherwise, I can promise you neither one of us felt like getting up today and saying, "Let's go record a podcast."
Melina: Oh, yeah, definitely not.
Dave: There was other things that we would...but maybe this would be a podcast that you and I can play back more often and...
Melina: Yeah, maybe this was just for you and me. Hey, everybody out there, thanks for being a part of our pillow talk, because that's really what this is. It's really more of a conversation on the importance of, you know, as you start to come up on milestones, to really just stop and celebrate the milestones and remember where you came from, because I think that it definitely gives you hope and it reminds you, puts things back in perspective. You know, I told you this morning it's the idea of missing the forest because of the trees, because you're just staring at one tree, and you're not realizing there's an entire forest all the way around you. So, for us, today, it's just a day of remembering, it's just a time of milestones and celebrating the milestone. My goodness. So, I wouldn't wanna be in business with anybody else but you. I love you.
Dave: Aw, I love you, too. Eight years in this office. Can you believe...
Melina: Oh, yeah, I was like, "Eight years? Oh, yeah."
Dave: No, eight years in this office.
Melina: Yeah, that's exciting.
Dave: Has it flown by for you?
Melina: Yes, yes, I can remember how... Yeah, oh, yeah, totally. In fact, I was just talking with Spoon about that the other day. Things that used to be really important to me about the office, I don't even notice anymore, because things just changed so dramatically.
Dave: Spoon a.k.a. Adriana.
Dave: For those of you that don't know.
Melina: We'll tell you later about that.
Dave: Yeah, it's remarkable. So, if you're listening to this, thanks for indulging us and allowing us to go back and just remember a few of the milestones and the things that have taken place, and then maybe this will prompt some of you to do the same thing.
Melina: Yeah, I hope you do.
Dave: And I hope you do as well. And maybe we'll get to hear about some of those at the club meetings. And if you're listening to this and you've never been out to our club or seen what we do or where we're at, then, you know, get a hold of us and let us know you're interested in what we do. We do real estate, but...
Melina: Kinda good at it.
Dave: ...there's a lot more to life than just the real estate deals.
Melina: For sure.
Dave: So, given that...
Melina: Dave and Melina.
Dave: We are...
Dave: Out. Off, out, something.
Dave: Whatever it is, but we're out of here.