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The Power of No with Guest Josh Cantwell: MakingBank S2E10

with Josh Cantwell

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As an aspiring entrepreneur, it’s difficult to not say YES to every opportunity.

After all, each opportunity is a chance for you to demonstrate the value of your product or service to the market place.

But the problem is, the more you demonstrate your value, the more people will want to take advantage of it. Clients not only present you with new problems to fix, but they do so more frequently.

And before you know it, every new opportunity feels more like a burden than a blessing.

You keep saying yes. Your business keeps growing. But you—and your life—start to suffer.

Which is why saying YES to every task, demand, and opportunity that comes your way is the WRONG way to find entrepreneurial success.

At least that’s the belief of today’s Making Bank guest, Josh Cantwell, an incredibly successful real estate investor, who is inundated with lucrative opportunities every single day.

As a husband, father, and pancreatic cancer survivor, Josh knows every decision that he makes for his business—every opportunity he capitalizes on—comes with a cost that’s paid by his personal life. For that reason, Josh is open advocate of the power of “NO” as a means for achieving both personal and professional success.

And what does Josh’s success look like?

By saying “NO”, he’s built a generous real estate portfolio, a private equity firm (Freeland Ventures), and funded more than 100 residential and commercial real estate deals.

Tune-in to hear Josh talk at-length about the power of saying ‘no’ and…

How to build a business that does NOT rely solely on YOU

The importance of seeking wisdom from others

Why mentors and masterminds are WORTH IT

The role of self-awareness in finding your niche

The art of perfecting your craft

The 3 keys to making that perfect pitch to a future investor

How to achieve balance in business and in life

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J. Felber: Welcome to Making Bank, I am Josh Felber, where we uncover the success strategies of the 1% so you can amplify and transform your life and your business today. My next guest I’m super excited about to have on the show, just ’cause he has a name that starts with Josh. He’s been a real estate investor from Cleveland Ohio since 2004, he has flipped over 685 properties in the past 10 years. Josh has raised so much private equity money … Or, private money for his own business, that he cannot use it all. So in 2014, he created his own private equity fund and direct funding called Freeland Ventures where he funds deals for his members as well as clients and provides asset-based or property-based funding and no-money-down loans for residential and commercial deals. What I really appreciate about Josh is he is a practitioner, he takes action. He’s actually doing the deals and funding deals every single day. He doesn’t just show you and talk about it.

Josh has funded well over 100 plus deals for his clients in just the past 18 months, resulting in over 5 million dollars in profits and equity for his clients. I’m excited today. Josh has a very special story, something that’s going to blow you away. He is also a pancreatic cancer survivor. Josh, I want to welcome you to Making Bank.

J. Cantwell: Hey, Josh. Thanks so much for having me on. Been looking forward to this for a while. I appreciate you inviting me to the show.

J. Felber: For sure, man. I know with our schedules so crazy and everything, we’re both probably 20 minutes from each other, but we got to do it over Skype.

J. Cantwell: That’s right, that’s right. It works though, works for both of us. Like I said, I mean, we’ve been … I’ve been busting it today and spent some time with my son. He’s back to preschool and so just made it back in time to get this done, so I appreciate you having me on.

J. Felber: Yeah, no, that’s awesome. And I know that was one of the key things I really keyed in with you on is just the whole fact of your connection and your integration with your family and what you’re doing. And I know a lot of your life events have steered you in that direction even more and more over time. So, tell me a little bit about how did you get started in real estate and where you are now.

J. Cantwell: Yeah, absolutely, [gro-sh 00:03:18]. So, when I got started with real estate, it was interesting story. I was actually a financial advisor. And as a financial planner coming up, started as an intern in basically my junior year of college, right?

J. Felber: Okay.

J. Cantwell: But I noticed in my first 4, 5, 6 years in the financial planning business, I was very fortunate basically just humping it, right? Working long hours, working late nights, working weekends, calling on clients. By the time I was 24, I was making 6 figure income, was really excited about that, but I realized that my top clients didn’t have all their money in the stock markets.

J. Felber: Sure.

J. Cantwell: They had a lot of their money in real estate. They had a lot of money in multi-family, they owned restaurants, they owned buildings, they owned portfolios. So I took notice, bought my first investment property in 2001, and then just walked away from a 6 figure income in 2004.

J. Felber: Wow.

J. Cantwell: I was 26, 27 years old and walked away from it and said, “I want to do real estate full-time.” Fast forward to today, over the last 12 years or so, I’ve been involved in about 700 flips for myself, with my brother, for my own account. We’ve also been involved in another 5 to 700 transactions. I used to own a real estate brokerage.

J. Felber: Okay.

J. Cantwell: And now we’ve funded about 200 deals roughly in the past 2 years for our clients. So I’ve done nearly 1,500 real estate transactions, either as an investor, flipper, landlord, broker, or lender since 2004. And today, my passion is all on the funding side of real estate, the private equity side. And the funding side, funding my own deals with me and my brother, our business right here locally. We flip a lot of properties down by right where you live.

J. Felber: Awesome.

J. Cantwell: [inaudible 00:05:04] where you’re at and where I’m at. But … And I love that business, but I love the systems about it, but if I woke up everyday and could spend all my time raising and deploying money, that would be ideal. I could do that 27 hours a day.

J. Felber: And I know you figured out a really great way to do it. You have a knack and a passion for it, and that’s what’s really exciting. And I know as entrepreneurs, either at some point or there’s been times where it’s like, “Man, I would love to raise some capital for my business and everything.” Or, “How do I grow my business to that next level without bringing on massive amounts of investors or going to get a bank loan?” Or whatever that may be. So I’m really excited to really dive in and learn a little bit more from you today on that. But first, I’d really like to touch on … I know as you’re building your business, you guys are crushing it, and things are going really well for you, you had just an out of the blue I guess challenge that you encountered in your personal life.

J. Cantwell: That’s right. Yeah, Josh, so it’s an interesting thing. I was 35 years old. I had two little babies, my two little girls. 2 and 1 years old. My wife was pregnant with our third child. I came home from work, I was kind of wrestling with my girls on the floor, I looked up at the ceiling. I kind of crossed my hands across my stomach, and I felt this giant lump in my belly.

J. Felber: Wow.

J. Cantwell: And I kind of went over to my wife, I said, “Hey, honey, come check this out.” She kind of sort of poking around, it’s like … You know, and it was only on the left side of my stomach, so I new it was very strange.

J. Felber: Sure.

J. Cantwell: And I thought, “That can’t be good.” So … But my wife, at the time, was 7 months pregnant. So we kind of put that off and there were also some challenges with my son when he was born. He actually had a lump in his throat.

J. Felber: Oh, wow.

J. Cantwell: So we had emergency surgery, as well. So I kind of put off anything that had to do with me until after he was born, but … He was born, he had surgery about 2 weeks after he was born. He made it through the surgery, and then I finally went and go checked out. And I got the diagnosis. It was almost about 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. And anybody who knows about pancreatic cancer knows it has just a 7% …

J. Felber: Sure.

J. Cantwell: Survival rate. Most people that say, “Oh, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. They can’t even believe I’m standing here in front of them.”

J. Felber: Here, yeah.

J. Cantwell: It’s such a rare case to survive. And so, I was challenged. Like many entrepreneurs, you kind of get your knees chopped off in business, and that’s when you kind of learn the most about yourself and your character and how you’ve built your company. And I realized I had built my business all wrong. ‘Cause it was based so much on my own effort, my own hard work. I hadn’t really leveraged up my business or brought on other people like I should have and trained them up to really support what I was doing. So it was a big inflection point in my life, obviously. And I’ve learned a lot from it over the last couple of years, and that’s kind what’s led me to where I’m at today.

J. Felber: And so one of the key points I know you said, when you this happened to you and everything … As you found out, you built your business the wrong way. And when our business revolves around us and it relies on us day in and day out, it’s almost like we’re an employee. We’re trapped in our own business.

J. Cantwell: Right, that’s right.

J. Felber: And anything that happens, health related or trying to go away for vacations and things like that, it just doesn’t work out really well.

J. Cantwell: That’s exactly right, Josh. And for me, it did not work out well. I had to take about 4 months off of work before my surgery for testing and take care of my son, and my wife getting ready for an emergency c-section. And knowing it was a pretty severe diagnosis for me and a lot of challenges there, and then I had to take another 4 months off after work, and those 4 months were spent in the hospital and in my master bedroom. And recovering, I lost 50 pounds and couldn’t really work and things like that. But I learned … What was interesting, Josh, is we were able to do a couple pretty large real estate transactions while I was out, where in my role in those real estate transactions was on the finance side of the transaction.

J. Felber: Okay.

J. Cantwell: It was to recruit and raise and get the private equity and the private money for these particular deals. And I was able to see other people go out and actually be sort of the boots on the ground to actually do the deal, get their hands dirty. And I realized, “Well, if I could just do that again, that was a relatively small, but impactful thing that I was able to contribute to that transaction.” And I kind of fell in love with the finance side of real estate, and I fell in love with the finance side and the private equity side and the investment side of business. Not necessarily being the boots on the ground in real estate, but being the guy behind the scenes with access to all the capital.

J. Felber: Sure.

J. Cantwell: And I thought, “You know what? That’s what business owners really need. That’s what real estate investors need is access to money.” And that’s where I found my niche.

J. Felber: No, that’s awesome. And one of the things that we … We’ll have to take a break here in about 2 minutes, but tell me real quick … I mean, as you’re dealing with all these challenges, where was your mindset? As entrepreneurs, we hit so many challenges, we fail, we do lots of things. How did you really work through all that? Supporting … Managing the family with your son and your wife and your own health? I mean, that’s …

J. Cantwell: Yeah.

J. Felber: That’s just …

J. Cantwell: It was a lot, Josh. It was my own health, my son’s health …

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: Health. It was a failing business, it was … Not that I was really thinking about bankruptcy, but to be honest with you, it became part of the conversation.

J. Felber: Okay.

J. Cantwell: And that was a scary time after doing a lot of real estate transactions. It just became part of the conversation. And so, you know what I did? Couple things, Josh, is … First of all, I realized I had to take care of myself everyday. I had to get sleep, I had to rest, I had to meet my doctor’s appointments. So there was survival mode.

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: And there was starting to think, how do I rebuild my life and what have I learned? And the first thing I did was I started really surrounding myself with guys that were successful in business. Guys that had already done things successfully. Guys that I could just rely on or call in a few favors. And a couple of them kind of partnered up with me to strategize and write copy and come up with new offers and new things that could help me kind of relaunch myself into my publishing business. And then I started to really become passionate because I saw the impact I could have from a financial perspective. I really started to do my own due diligence and research late at night when I was recovering, just open up my computer. I started studying private equity, I started learning about the securities laws, I started learning about real estate private equity. And I learned that there are very few people that knew anything about it. And I thought, “Okay. When I come back, and I’m healthy enough to get back to work, this is an area I want to focus on.” Because I knew that’s what I enjoyed. So it was really about being self-aware.

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: It was being self aware within this giant scope of real estate, Josh. So many things you can do from being a loan officer, to commercial, to residential, to raising capital. So many things I could do. It was really about being self-aware into what I truly loved and finding that little niche where I thought there wasn’t a lot of people playing that I could make an impact.

J. Felber: And that’s … Yeah, definitely. You definitely hit on some key points I want to jump on when we come right back. So can you stick around for a few minutes?

J. Cantwell: Absolutely, Josh. You bet.

J. Felber: Awesome. I am Josh Felber, you’re watching Making Bank, and we’ll be right back.

I am Josh Felber, welcome back to Making Bank. We’ve been speaking with Josh Cantwell today, talking about his business that was on top of the world, and just all the challenges with his health and his family and everything that he’s gone through to get to where he is today. And as entrepreneurs, we’re not strangers to failure, to challenges day in and day out that we encounter. And I think Josh mentioned a couple key points right before we took a quick break here. Is one, he asked for help. I think he reached out and he connected with people that could help him, whether it’s with health or with his business. As well, he started to immerse himself in learning and studying what his next level of his business was going to become. And then the third thing was self-awareness, and I think that’s very important, especially today as knowing and being self-aware of what’s going on with us and what’s around us.

So, Josh, welcome back to Making Bank.

J. Cantwell: Hey, Josh, thanks again. And it’s funny, every time I talk about this and tell the story, it’s such an interesting and crazy part of what happened to me that … And I don’t really talk about it very often, so it’s exciting to be on the show and kind of rekindle what’s going on. And the interesting thing is, coming up this November, November 21st, will be my 5 year anniversary …

J. Felber: Wow.

J. Cantwell: Of my surgery, and then I’ll officially be cancer free. So I’ll be officially …

J. Felber: Congrats.

J. Cantwell: Be in the 7%, so thanks a lot. Yeah, appreciate it.

J. Felber: That’s awesome. It takes a special person to break through that 7%, man.

J. Cantwell: Yeah, yeah. You know, I wish I had more to do with it, but it was really my surgeon. I got to just tell you. His name is Dr. Matthew Walsh at the Cleveland Clinic. Unbelievable guy. But I was told by many other oncologists and surgeons that he basically pulled a miracle. So I want to give a quick shout out to him, because without him I wouldn’t be here.

J. Felber: No, for sure, man.

J. Cantwell: It wasn’t really my effort. All I was trying to do was put one step in front of the other, man, and trying to recover. It was him and I think God’s hand that …

J. Felber: Yeah.

J. Cantwell: That day. So, yep. You bet.

J. Felber: Cool. Awesome. So, one of the things you said you were starting to do is really immerse yourself in the learning and starting to figure out this whole fundraising, how to raise money, and just understanding the ins and outs of it. And that’s where you’ve been passionate about, that’s what you just been crushing it on over the last several years. Tell us a little about that, ’cause as entrepreneurs, we always have come into a situation where we may need to raise money for our business at some point.

J. Cantwell: Yeah, and my business is really … Is the business of raising money because, for us, I didn’t need money … Anymore money to fund my own real estate transactions. I’ve been raising money from private investors for years and we pay our investors a fixed interest rate or a piece of our profits, whichever is bigger.

J. Felber: Sure.

J. Cantwell: And so we had no problem recruiting money for that. Local friends, local family, people who had IRAs and 401ks, that was great. And then I got to the point where it was, well, I have this extra money. A million, couple million of extra capital sitting on the sidelines. And if I don’t put this money in play in a real estate transaction soon, these investors, they’re going to do something else with it.

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: And that’s like a cardinal sin, right? You’re a business, you have access to money, you have to find a way to grow and scale your company. So, I’ll be honest with you, I just kind of reached out to other people in the real estate space, I reached out to people in my mastermind groups, I reached out to guys in the publishing world and other successful business owners and I said, “Who do you know who’s in private equity? Who do you know who knows about the securities laws and the securities world?”

And you know what happened, Josh? Is I stumbled into a great securities lawyer, and I started working with him. And I think I pushed him to his limits, ’cause I asked so many questions and just went as deep as I could. And then I eventually skipped from him to my current securities lawyer. His name’s Joe Carney, and he’s actually located down in the Akron Kent area down by you guys. And Joe really helped me understand everything that needed to go into a private equity offering and all the different opportunities that are out there from crowdfunding, to [red-dee 0:17:38], 506 B, 506 C, Reggae Plus. All the new things that are out there, especially with the Jobs Act of 2011 – 2012.

That is huge for business owners.

J. Felber: Okay.

J. Cantwell: [inaudible 00:17:51] business owners to recruit money from all different kind of places and so many different angles you can go there. So I just kept asking Joe questions and reading and learning about that because I knew if there’s one thing that real estate professionals need is access to capital. And the guy who has the capital is really the guy that’s always going to be popular, that’s always going to be the man. And so, I wanted to be that guy. So I’ve been studying that and perfecting my craft for the last 4 years or so.

J. Felber: Cool. And I know one of the things you’ve even mentioned, too … Couple things was mentors. I mean, you reached out and you had people that you utilized as a mentor, as a coach in some way. And I think that’s one of the similar traits I seem to find with successful entrepreneurs is they’ve either had a mentor or business coach in some way to help them grow and push them to continue to this, move their business foreword. And then crowdfunding, I think one of the new hot things right now is crowdfunding, and I see a lot of businesses utilizing that in some way to … I guess, raise funds for their business.

J. Cantwell: Right. Yeah, so, to your first point, Josh, about mentorship. I just … I’ve grown up with mentors. To me, it was just natural. I never had to be convinced that I should get a mentor, and if I didn’t have one, I should go find one, or if I should pay for one.

J. Felber: Yeah.

J. Cantwell: I’ve always just told myself it was natural to me. I grew up … When I was very young, my dad used to go to Brian Tracey seminars. And he would go see and listen to the University on Wheels. And so, when I was in high school, my dad would drive me to school … We would listen to those old Brian Tracey tapes. And so I just knew when I was 14, 15 … My dad was a successful entrepreneur. He owned an insurance agency and did employee benefits. It was just something I grew up with. So I knew that was part of the thing. So when I got into real estate in 2004 full-time and didn’t know much about it, I was not afraid. And my first full year in real estate, I spent well over $100,000 on my real estate education. Signing up for coaching, signing up for mentoring, going to seminars, learning from people.

To the point, Josh, today where … I’ll have a hard time with my three little kids really committing to a higher level of college education because I learned so much more from seminars and mastermind groups and the Weekend Warrior seminar thing …

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: Than I did from college. So, I think mentors, for sure. Number one, the big piece of it, is they’ve already been there, done that. Number two, they can introduce you to people who, even if they’re not in your niche, can introduce you to have so much of a bigger appreciation of what’s possible. Right?

J. Felber: Yes, for sure.

J. Cantwell: I think those are the two things. Is learning up … You know, I read something just this morning on Facebook. If you have 5 friends who are millionaires, you’re going to be the sixth. If you have 5 friends who are influential, you’re going to be the sixth. You have 5 friends who are idiots or they’re broke or bankrupt, you’re going to be the sixth.

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: So, it’s really about who you associate with. That was a big part of who I am and what I strive to be today. And you and I get to participate in mastermind groups together. It’s fantastic, it’s a huge part, I think, no matter what level somebody’s at to really be a part of a mastermind. The crowdfunding thing, Josh, is amazing. There’s a million different angles we can go with that.

J. Felber: Yeah. And I mean … So say you’re talking to an entrepreneur out there and they trying to figure out … They need to inject some capital in their business. Is crowdfunding the way to go? Or is that more kind of for a startup product? Or what … You know?

J. Cantwell: Yeah. It’s interesting. So, crowdfunding the way most people are thinking of it is still in the donation primary phase where people come up with a product …

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: And for the most part, if you want to fund … Like a Go Fund Me campaign, people are donating money, they’re not necessarily getting equity. That’s this next roll out, this next phase, right?

J. Felber: Okay.

J. Cantwell: But for real estate … And what’s interesting, going back all the way to 1933, 1934 … The Securities Acts of 1933 and 1934, were created because guys like us … I think a guy like us who’s maybe not as honest as us and is a guy who kind of … Back then, was always kind of cutting corners and screwing people over. What would happen back then, and part of the Great Depression was started because guys were selling 100% stakes in their business to multiple people, then were skipping state lines. So if you did it in Ohio, they would then skip to Indiana or skip to Michigan …

J. Felber: Sure.

J. Cantwell: And it was regulated state by state, so they could just move to a different state, sell a 600% stake in their business, and nobody could pursue them. So 1933, 1934, regulation of securities became a national federal thing. And for the past 80 years, they’ve had this 506B offering where you could raise money for any business, including real estate like mine and you could raise money from anybody you wanted, an unlimited amount of money, but you had to raise it from people who you had a prior existing relationship with.

J. Felber: Okay.

J. Cantwell: Not do a general solicitation or an advertisement.

J. Felber: Okay.

J. Cantwell: [inaudible 00:23:09] not solicit the general public. Well, now, in my business in real estate, what’s great is the Jobs Act of 2011 – 2012 now allows for general solicitation. So there’s many different ways using the Jobs Act to legally go out and recruit private equity for a fund or for a business and solicit the general public. Now, there’s one caveat. The caveat to that is you can only accept money from accredited investors.

J. Felber: Sure.

J. Cantwell: And accredited investors is only 9% of the population in the United States. So, if you solicit and put out a bunch of great advertisements or put together great funnels, you’re going to get 10 leads and only 1 out of the 10 are you really going to be able to work with. So you have to know your numbers. You have to know what the conversion rates of your funnels are …

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: And the 1 or 2 investors that you get has to convert and has to be worth it for your business, right? So, for us, that’s what it’s all about. We actually have both the 506B, where we can recruit and raise money we have existing relationships with, and we have a 506C registration which allows us to advertise, but in that case we can only take money from people who are accredited.

J. Felber: Okay. And so, I guess what are the keys of finding the right people? ‘Cause you hear about friends and families and round A and all these different things. What are the keys to really attract people to make an investment in what you’re doing?

J. Cantwell: Yeah, I think, first of all … Number one, if you’re going to be raising private money or private equity of any kind, you have to be able to articulate your opportunity to investors in 30 to 60 seconds.

J. Felber: Okay.

J. Cantwell: You have to be able to tell them what is your business opportunity, and why they should invest in your opportunity in 1 minute or less. For me, I tell people, “We raise private capital from private investors. We recruit money into our private equity fund, and we make investment loans to real estate investors. And we produced double digit fixed returns for our investors because we originate notes and mortgages with fixed double digit returns.” It’s pretty straightforward.

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: Plus, it’s really simple. But you have to be able to articulate that very quickly, in 1 minute or less. I think the second big key is, for investors, you have to be able to articulate why you and your team are the team to get the job done.

J. Felber: Ah, okay.

J. Cantwell: Why are you qualified, not just to get the money and have a great business model … But why is your team the team, or why are you the person to scale and grow the business? Right? So, no matter what niche you’re in, you have to be able to convince that person that you’re the guy, you’re the gal, or we’re the executive team that’s going to take this thing to the next level. That’s a big part of it. And then, the third piece … ‘Cause it’s not really about the offer, Josh. It’s not really … People are getting offers everyday to invest in businesses. They’re getting offers everyday to get double digit returns.

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: So why are you the guy, why is your business the business to invest in in 1 minute or less? Why is you and your team the thing to invest in in 1 minute or less? And then the third piece is when … How fast are they going to get their principle back?

J. Felber: Ah, right.

J. Cantwell: Right?

J. Felber: Yup.

J. Cantwell: ‘Cause in this age, it’s not always about how much am I going to make.

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: It’s about, when am I going to get my principle back? And then people want to basically play with house money. They want to play with house money meaning … Let’s say they invest a half million dollars in your business. When are they going to get the half million back? And then the equity they leave in your business, that’s the house money that they’re playing with.

J. Felber: Right, okay.

J. Cantwell: If you can structure an offer where you can say, “Here’s what we do in a minute or less. Here’s why you should trust me and my executive team in a minute or less. And here’s where you’re going to get your principle back.” So then you’re playing with house money. That’s gives you a really good opportunity to get your foot in the door and potentially get an investment.

J. Felber: Got you. That makes sense. And I think for the audience, especially with a lot of people who’ve watched Shark Tank and stuff, so they see the shark on there. They ask, “Hey, how fast am I going to get my money back?” You hear Robert and Kevin, those are their questions all the time. Cuban doesn’t really care, so …

J. Cantwell: Yeah.

J. Felber: He just puts it in, “All right. Let’s just make some money and grow something cool.”

J. Cantwell: You know what’s interesting, too, Josh? Is the international investor, the non-US investor …

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: That’s even more prevalent, what I’ve found. ‘Cause I’ve worked with investors from …

J. Felber: Oh, wow.

J. Cantwell: The South East Asia markets and the …

J. Felber: Sure.

J. Cantwell: The Western European markets and the Australian markets. That’s always their first question. In the US, it seems like, “What am I going to get in interest?”

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: ‘Cause we’re kind of used to things going well.

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: We’re a little bit spoiled. It’s like, I know I’m going to get my principle back, so how much interest am I going to earn? How much profit, how much equity?

J. Felber: Sure.

J. Cantwell: Investors from all the world, the other parts, they’re not used to things going so well. They’re not used to things going as well as we are in the US. So their first question is always, when and how quickly will I get my principle back? And how quickly can I play with house money?

J. Felber: Awesome. No, that definitely makes sense. Tell me, I guess, two business success strategies that have worked really well for you over the years.

J. Cantwell: Yeah, I think … Josh, you know, the number one thing that I would do … That’s probably made me successful is being able to understand what I can say no to.

J. Felber: Right, okay.

J. Cantwell: Because I think when you’re … To a certain level of success, it’s not whether you’re going to have opportunity come across your desk. It’s … You say yes to and what you say no to. And I think I’ve learned, over the past couple years especially, to ask even more difficult question to ask even more insightful questions. Not be so excited about every opportunity that across my desk, and not to spread myself too thin.

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: We just had this conversation with my team on Friday about, what are we going to get rid of? What are we going to stop doing? Because I felt like my executive team was getting a little bit too thin, and we were getting away from some of our core. Right?

J. Felber: Yeah.

J. Cantwell: So that would be number one is, what are you going to get rid of? What are you going to stop doing? Don’t be so excited about jumping into anything. Focus on just one or two really cool … Really important things that are impactful. Second business strategy, for me, which is … This is … Might sound very basic, but what I do in business has to have balance and it has to work within my family structure. Being an entrepreneur provides and creates pressures on a family, on a marriage, on kids, on family relationships that you just don’t see …

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: In any part of the world. And I’ve learned … I’ve been married for 10 years, and my wife and I have had wild conversations about business and what works and what doesn’t work. But, for me, what works in my business has to work inside of my family.

J. Felber: Sure.

J. Cantwell: And I’ve learned some amazing lessons in the past couple of years that … I think I was in survival mode, coming out of recovering from cancer where I was just trying to make it back.

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: And when I made it back, it was about, “Oh, wow. Look at me. I can make it back. I can be successful at anything.” And then it got to the point where, “No, no, man. Let’s make sure that the opportunities that we select, they work for what I want to do with my health, what I want to do with my fitness. Am I going to have time for that? Am I still going to be able to be the father and the husband that I want to be. And am I going to have the time to think and strategize and be with my team?” I don’t want to be in a business where I just have to hump it and grind it out for 10, 12, 15 hours a day to be successful.

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: I want to be in business where I can think and deploy what I think is going to be worthwhile. And it’s got to work within my family structure, or does not work in business for me.

J. Felber: Definitely, dude. That’s some awesome information. I think, like you said, we have so many opportunities that come across the desk. And even sometimes starting out as a new entrepreneur, you think, “Oh, I got to say yes to everything. Got to say yes to everything.” And it feels like you have to, but setting those boundaries and those guidelines for yourself will help you become … Hit that next level of success faster, I think, as well.

J. Cantwell: Yep. And you know what, Josh? I’ll tell you a funny story, a quick story. When I was recovering and I was coming back from cancer, I was looking for what I was going to do. And I was looking and evaluating all different kind of things. I was even thinking about getting out of the real estate business and looking at some other things. And I was able to find and create offer in my real estate publishing company that took our business from negative cash flow, bleeding … Literally, verge of bankruptcy … One offer to switching that to a multi-million dollar … 4, 5 million dollars a year revenue business within 2 years with one offer.

J. Felber: Wow.

J. Cantwell: ‘Cause that offer spurned off an upsell, another upsell, a cross-sell, and some other opportunities. So it wasn’t really about how many different things I can create, or how many different things I can chase to plug the hole, right? Where all the money was sliding off the bottom ..

J. Felber: Sure.

J. Cantwell: Of my life and my business. It was really about selecting one thing that I thought was congruent with who I was and what I wanted to, and what was good for my family. And being passionate about that one offer. And that one thing, because we were passionate about it and we chased it and we chased it and we chase it, it literally help me completely write the course of my financial life and create balance in my personal life. Gave me a lot of confidence, and it was really one thing. So I got rid of all the other 10 or 20 or 30 opportunities, I picked one, I chased it day and night for a couple of years. It completely changed my life for the future, and then it launched me into the private equity space as well.

J. Felber: Awesome. All right, man. Last question is, what’s one piece of technology you can’t live without?

J. Cantwell: Oh, great question. So, one piece of technology we can’t live without … This might sound very basic, but we use a base camp tool for planning in our business …

J. Felber: Okay.

J. Cantwell: Our publishing company. We use base camp for all different kind of things there, and it allows all of our business to plug in. It allows my marketing team to plug in with projects and funnels. It allows my operations team to plug in and see everything that’s going on. Whereas before, I used to rely on a lot of conversation back and forth, what’s going on between …

J. Felber: Right.

J. Cantwell: Work and ops and finance and accounting. So I think, for some people, it’s as simple as adopting one piece of software. And for us, it’s just basic business planning and department management, calendar management that we can’t live without. We’re not super tech savvy, but that one tool helps quite a bit.

J. Felber: Keeps everything running smooth.

J. Cantwell: That’s right, you got it.

J. Felber: Cool. Well, Josh, it’s been an honor to have you on Making Bank today and sharing your insights and your struggles and your successes and everything. And so, thanks again for coming on Making Bank.

J. Cantwell: I appreciate it, Josh. Thanks so much for having me on. I appreciate it a lot.

J. Felber: I am Josh Felber. You are watching Making Bank. Get out and be extraordinary.