In this episode, real estate investor Neil Henderson shares his journey from being a defense contractor to becoming a full-time real estate investor. He discusses the challenges he faced along the way, including distractions, analysis paralysis, and the struggle to find a niche. Despite these obstacles, he was able to find his focus in self-storage syndication and partnering with an experienced investor. He also shares how he was able to create enough runway to take a leap of faith and leave his job to pursue his passion for real estate investing. With over $40 million in commercial real estate deals, Neil’s story is inspiring and informative for anyone looking to take control of their financial future. Tune in to learn how he did it and get motivated to take the first step towards your own financial independence.

Key Take Aways

  • Overcoming a lack of time, money, and experience: Neil Henderson shares his journey of utilizing creative strategies such as house hacking, partnering with experienced investors, and starting a podcast to overcome limitations in real estate investing.
  • House hacking as a stepping stone: Neil discusses the power of house hacking and how it helped him build a financial runway, allowing him to take the leap from his W-2 job to a full-time self-storage syndicator.
  • Avoiding shiny object syndrome: Neil emphasizes the importance of staying focused on core investment strategies and not getting distracted by various investment opportunities.
  • Pursuing self-storage syndication: Neil shares his decision to focus on self-storage syndication and highlights the potential benefits of this asset class, particularly during an economic downturn.
  • Quote: “You can get 25, 35% of the way there, and then that allows you to just take a leap and take a bet on yourself.” – Neil Henderson, discussing the power of building a financial runway and taking calculated risks.
  • Partnering for success: Neil highlights the value of partnering with experienced self-storage investors, allowing him to overcome his lack of experience and access lucrative deals.
  • Building a financial runway: Neil shares his strategy of using short-term rental house hacks and long-term rentals to reduce his living expenses, enabling him to pursue his real estate investing goals.
  • Quote: “the real risk is not making a move. When you knew what the outcome was gonna be.” – Clint Harris, emphasizing the importance of taking calculated risks in real estate investing.
  • Networking and education: Neil’s podcast played a crucial role in expanding his knowledge, connecting him with industry experts, and building valuable relationships with experienced investors.
  • Embracing change and taking risks: Neil’s journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring investors, demonstrating that success in real estate investing can be achieved by adapting, learning, and taking calculated risks.

Time Stamps

[00:00] Intro

[02:23] Neil’s background and real estate journey

[04:38] House hacking a townhome across from the beach

[08:15] Overcoming lack of focus and shiny object syndrome

[11:30] Partnering with Erik Hemingway in the self-storage syndication space

[15:47] Neil’s decision to leave his job and move to a new location

[21:30] The importance of networking and learning through the podcast

[25:04] Overcoming a lack of money, time, and experience to invest in real estate

[28:34] Taking calculated risks for greater rewards

[31:22] Clint’s encouragement and highlighting of Neil’s achievements

[33:02] Neil’s excitement for the future and embracing financial insecurity

[34:45] Clint expresses gratitude for Neil’s openness and for sharing his story

[35:52] Outro

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Transcript
Neil Henderson:

How do you overcome a lack of money, time, and experience to invest in real estate? On this week's episode of the Truly Passive Income Podcast, Clint Harris interviews me to find out how I overcame that problem. In this episode, I share my journey from a successful defense contractor to a full-time real estate investor, overcoming shiny object syndrome and analysis paralysis to find my niche in self-storage syndication. I also discuss how I created a financial runway for myself with a short-term rental house hack, investing in cash flowing assets, and how that allowed me to take a calculated risk by leaving my nine to five to pursue my passion full-time. Hello. Welcome to the Truly Passive Income Podcast. I'm Neil.

Clint Harris:

And I'm Clint. All right, Neil today, as we get started, the last episode, you gave me an opportunity to share my story a little bit about, what led me to where we are now with our, passive investing career in both businesses and real estate and everything that come along with that for me, mostly things that were not passive and hard lessons along the way. So today we're gonna focus a little bit more about your story and what led to you moving across the country now living across the street from the ocean with a beautiful ocean. And a life is a full-time real estate investor and, and truly passive income pursuer. so why don't you tell me a little bit about your background, your early career life, how you got started, and

Neil Henderson:

we'll go from there. Sure. man after listening to your story, Yours feels like such a straight path to me. I know it's not really, but compared to mine it feels like so much more of a straight path. Mine was is definitely not straight by any measure. I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. I was an Air Force brat. My father was a United States Air Force fighter pilot. my mom was a stay-at-home mom up until I was, nine years old, and then she went back to work around that time. Very middle class lifestyle and, we became a little more upper middle class once my mom's career started to take off, she became a television executive in, the Las Vegas market. I, went off to college in Reno, Nevada, the University of Nevada Go Wolf Pack, and, Did not have a successful first year in college. Just let's just leave it at that. I was not ready for college. throughout my academic career, I've always done really, really well in subjects that interest me and really, really poorly if the subject doesn't engage me. And it wasn't until I got my stuff back together and went back to. Reno about three years later and started studying theater, that all of a sudden I started getting great grades. I started getting scholarships. I ended up, getting accepted into a really prestigious acting program in San Francisco called the American Conservatory Theater. Wanted to make a go as an actor. Moved down to Los Angeles in 1995 and, started pursuing, a life in acting, which anybody who's knows anything about acting is a difficult road. I've also often compared it to like playing the lottery for a living. you've gotta get up every day and go out there and buy the lottery ticket, but, your chances of earning a living in it is about as good as winning the lottery.

Clint Harris:

I know you've given me some background on some of the different things that you did along the way just to make ends meet as you're looking for that career to take off as an actor and as that comes together, like at what point along the journey did you start thinking ahead about passive income or, potentially having one day money to invest? Or how did all that formulate who you became?

Neil Henderson:

Yeah I knew nothing about investing, until probably around the time I moved to Los Angeles. And my dad sat me down one day, he gave me a gift, of about $3,000. in a mutual fund it was a Vanguard Index 500. That was where I first became exposed to investing in the stock market. didn't know much more beyond that. as an actor, I acted here and there. nothing extensive, nothing that really made me a lot of money. I mostly, worked as a bartender. I worked in temp jobs, here and there. I worked, on a couple of movie sets and things like that, but I daydreamed a lot about what I would do if I ever got that big paycheck as an actor. and I have a couple of friends that are successful and, you get that million dollar paycheck. Okay. I was told myself the first thing I was not gonna go do is go out there and buy a bunch of toys. I always envisioned that had I gotten that money, I would've invested it. my arithmetic was not sophisticated at the time. I always kind of pictured, okay, if I could get a 10% return in the stock market, I stick a million dollars in the stock market and it's gonna pay me a hundred thousand dollars a year. I wouldn't have to wait tables anymore in order to remain an actor. And then assuming that I would continue to get work as an actor, then that would continue to grow. Now, obviously it's a lot more complicated than that Sure. On the investing side, but that was the first sort of kernel for me of what, truly passive income would do.

Clint Harris:

I know that you mentioned to me previously that a lot of actors over time, they start to make their money through residuals, money that's coming in from work that they've already done and it turns into, "passive income", but it's basically preloaded work that's paying out on the backend. And then you also have mentioned that there were a couple different things that happened in your life that started to steer your thinking in a different direction away from continuing to pursue that career and trying to look at long term solutions. So, tell me about that a little bit.

Neil Henderson:

Well, I mean, I, it was a confluence of events, in around 2001. I had been working at a dot com startup for a couple of years, that I actually enjoyed the work I was doing, but it was not pursuing acting. and I had previously, gotten my security clearance, and because I was doing some, I was actually doing classified voiceover, which is just a weird thing, but it was what I was doing. And then September 11th happens, and like a lot of Americans, I was looking for a way to, maybe contribute to the war effort. and at the same time, the company I was working for the dot com I could see was flaming out. It was not gonna ha didn't have a long la didn't have long legs. The house I was living in Los Angeles was getting sold. I was renting, was getting sold out from underneath me. and this September 11th thing was happening and the value of a security clearance, went through the roof. And I had a job offer, in Las Vegas back in Las Vegas to go essentially work as a defense contractor with the skillsets that I didn't have, but they would allow me to learn on the job because it was easier at the time for them to allow me to come and learn on the job than it was to get someone who had the skills but didn't have the security clearance. it was also around that time, I was over the age of 30. Was not making a lot of money as an actor. And I started having those adulting thoughts like, Hey, it might be nice to own a house someday rather than rent. and so that opportunity came up and I made the move to Las Vegas and started a career in 2003. I started a career as a defense contractor.

Clint Harris:

Got it. So at that point in time, you still had very little in the way of real estate or investing experience in general with the exception of a mutual fund that your dad had given you.

Neil Henderson:

Correct.

Clint Harris:

You had very little money and it sounds like you had very little time as you're starting a new career as as well. So what are some of the things that changed your thought process or fast forward a few years? Yeah. Tell us about that development.

Neil Henderson:

Two things. I remember, my good friend a classmate of mine from A.C.T. Named Josh Farrell came to visit me in Las Vegas shortly after, he'd gotten a divorce and he told me about this book that he read and he recommended to me it was called Rich Dad, poor Dad. and I didn't read the book then. It wasn't until years later, but I credit Josh for exposing me to that book. and then the other book that struck a chord with me was, the Four Hour Work Week from Tim Ferris. And the whole idea of lifestyle by design rather than struggling to live a life around, the work that we do in trading your time for money, and also the sort of contract that Americans used to have. and we mentioned this in your podcast, in the previous episode, which is that you and I are growing up outside the pension era. and the whole idea. The sort of contract that, the concept of trading your time for money for, 40 years, 45 years from age 20 to 65, and then, then being able to enjoy the lifestyle that you want for the next 15 to 20 years that you have left in your life during a, a time of declining health. And, just didn't appeal to me. And that what Tim Ferris was talking about, struck a chord with me and I started looking for, ways to generate passive income" that Tim talks about. he talks about, he had a supplement company, he had, information, product, things like that. I started trying to come up with those ideas, not very successfully.

Clint Harris:

So for the first time in your story, we're starting to hear about, with the exception of your father, given you a savings, account. We're starting to hear about some outside influence coming in.

Neil Henderson:

Yes.

Clint Harris:

A friend that tells you, Rich dad, poor dad. it maybe sparks an interest or just a knowing in yourself that you've gotta find something else. And so you reached out and you read, Tim Ferris's book, the Four Hour Work Week. And so some outside influence starts creeping in, starts changing a mindset. I think both of those books are very good at you're observing. Different way of thinking, and

Neil Henderson:

they're good mindset books. I don't think they're great nuts and bolts books.

Clint Harris:

I concur. But sometimes, depending on where you are in your life, maybe that's what you needed right then.

Neil Henderson:

A hundred percent.

Clint Harris:

And you can't get anywhere without the nuts and bolts. But at that point in your life, It was opening a window that maybe you didn't know existed. And I think that for you, from what you've told me, created a slippery slope that led into exploring some different podcasts and real estate meetup groups and things like that. So talk to me about how that led to some of your networking and meetups and things like that, and what influence that had on you.

Neil Henderson:

Well, it's, I really fell into real estate. I absolutely was an accidental real estate investor. in 2013, my wife and I bought a house in Las Vegas at the bottom of the market. Just dumb luck timing. and it had an auxiliary dwelling unit. I had no idea what that was. It just had a little guest cottage at the front of our house, and we set it up as a nice little guest cottage for, friends and families and primarily my in-laws to come and visit. It was basically appointed like a nice little hotel room and that was it. we bought that in June of 2013. Christmas Day, December 2013. My mom hands me an article in the newspaper about this company called Airbnb, And she said, these people are renting out their guest rooms, as short term rentals. and you should look into that and say, yeah, whatever, mom. my mom is one of the smartest business people I've ever met in my entire life. I mean, she has just, and that's all with, a high school education. She never went to college. and, I kind of blew her off for about a month. And then finally after the new year, I was like, all right, fine. What could it hurt? So went out, I took some photos. I'm a photographer. I photographed it, put up a listing on Airbnb. And from February of 2014 until, February of 2020, we had 65% occupancy and that opened my eyes to what real estate could do. And it then, I started looking for ways to expand our short-term rental portfolio. How could I, oh, how could I go big on this? And I started, Googling things and I end up finding an article from a woman named Paula Pant on affordanything.com. she's a very well known single family rental investor. and she had a bunch of single family homes in Atlanta, Georgia that were long-term rentals, and she had converted one to a short-term rental and she was making a comparison on which one made more money versus which one was more work. Short-term rental made more money, but it was also more work. that got me on her website and along the side there was a link to a website called biggerpockets.com, and I clicked on that link and I went down the rabbit hole of real estate Invest.

Clint Harris:

Sure. A lot of us have a similar experience. That was obviously the big workhorse in terms of social media networking, and especially podcasts and things like that. I know that you got plugged in with some of the local meetups in Vegas with some guys that ended up being some pretty big, heavy hitters and doing some big things. Talk to me about. The power of networking the way it was. Then you and I go to several real estate meetups here. Talk to me about the power of that and then the danger of distractions that can possibly come along with that.

Neil Henderson:

Sure. I mean, when you're, when you first discover real estate investing, it's, I've described it as like being at a buffet of choices and the tyranny of choice. some people call shiny object syndrome. and, that's all over the place. and my poor family had to listen to all this, oh my God, this week I was talking about, lease options sandwiches and house flipping and short-term rentals, self-storage, apartments, small multifamily, syndications, all that. There are 1,000,001 ways to make money in real estate, and there's a million ways to lose million real estate. and I feel like I explored them all. the problem that I was running into was that I was attracted to strategies that both did not fit my location. Las Vegas is a very difficult market to make anything work at the time, except for house flipping and maybe large multi-family at the time. But I had no concept of getting into that. I got really interested in small multi-family. small multi-family doesn't work in Las Vegas. They're in terrible locations. You don't wanna invest in small multi-family in Las Vegas, Nevada. I also, discovered real estate right at a time where my wife and I had just had our first child, our first and only child. So I was a new parent. I had a very busy job that was keeping me, very tied down in windowless rooms. And, we also, Didn't have great credit and didn't have a whole lot of money. So in order to invest in real estate, you need time, experience, or money. I had no way to get more time and money was gonna take a while to clear that up. So I had to look for ways to get experience. So I started going to meetups. And most meetups, you'll go to real estate meetups and a lot of times it's your experience the same as mine. It's a lot of tire kickers, a lot of people looking to get into house flipping or get into single family rentals or get into short-term rentals. I met some great people at those, meetups, but ultimately I ended up at one on Sunday mornings. It was just Sunday morning coffee, with my good friend Alex Felice, and guys like, Ryan Pinetta, who was in that group. Young, hungry house flipper at the time. Now a big, big, real estate star and I enjoyed that more than I did the meetups because it was just networking. and we could all just get up and talk and talk about what we were doing, what we're having problems with. And somebody would lot of times would have an answer or they could direct you to an answer.

Clint Harris:

would you say that at that point in time, the trajectory of how fast you were learning and how more involved you were getting in, pursuing a life of passive income that it. Sped up free cuz that's what happened with me on a personal level. The more I started connecting and going to local meetups, that's what led to sharing because everyone out there knows something that I don't. That led to a lot of the articles that I was putting out in different real estate forums and that's what connected you and I. It's what connected me with probably another 20 or 30 people that I consider to be good friends and investors and things like that. For me. The networking side of things really. I went from being kind of pushed into real estate by the drive for the life that I wanted to being pulled into it from a network of people that were having success and knew more than I did. Is that kind of what you experienced?

Neil Henderson:

A hundred percent. one of the, my favorite quotes of all time is that you are the average of the five people you hang out with most and as an actor, I was not hanging out with those kinds of people, As a defense contractor, I wasn't hanging out with those kind of people. and it wasn't until I started hanging around with people who had the same mindset as I do. Real estate investors we think they're everywhere, once you are one, but they aren't. And there's a lot of people who don't understand. the power of this type of investing. and it wasn't until I started being around those people who were pursuing it, like I was, some of them more successful, some of them less successful, but all with the same mindset of they wanted to get to the point where they could stop trading their time for money. and that networking and just that being around those. was really why I've been successful.

Clint Harris:

So let's talk about that a little bit. we're well into this interview at this point. Let's remind people while we're talking here. In the last couple years, you've been involved in over 40 million of commercial real estate acquisitions, as a partner and on various levels, different projects across the Southeast other places as well. You went from the person you just described who's just getting sucked into this and networking and things like that but you didn't have time, you didn't have money. And without those things it's really hard to get experience. So one of the things that I thought was very creative is the way that you used a little bit of time that you had to leverage other people's experience. And the way that you did that was with, your wife Brittany and you creating the Road to Family Freedom podcast. I thought that was a very unique solution to a complex problem of I don't have much time. I don't have much money, I don't have any experience, and without time and money I can't get the experience. So that was a way that you used other people's experience and leverage their past failures and successes to kind of springboard you. So talk to me about that process. What led to you starting that?

Neil Henderson:

I fell into. In the spring of 2017, I had a local Las Vegas real estate investor, and I'm suddenly blanking on his name. It doesn't matter who was like, Hey, I'm going to this real estate conference in Denver called The Best Ever Real Estate Conference being put on by a guy named Joe Fairless. And it's the first ever best ever conference. you should go. It's about commercial real estate investing. I'm like, okay, real estate conference. Sure. Sounds good. So I go to that conference and it just, you've been to it? It's mind blowing. Like it is another level of real estate investor. there's multiple billionaires there. Multi, multiple, multi billionaires, and. and that's first where I got exposed to self-storage and syndication and things like that. And I also got exposed to the power of podcasting is that, as an early real estate investor, I can't tell you that number of times I'm sure I have some of these embarrassing posts on bigger pockets of, Hey, does anybody wanna mentor me on blah, blah, blah. Well, no, that's not the way it works. People are not gonna mentor you, for free. but what I discovered is that, like how often do you have people say, Hey Clint, could I take you out for coffee sometime and pick your brain about short-term rentals?

Clint Harris:

Yeah. Couple times last week.

Neil Henderson:

You're a busy investor, you've got a family, you've got a life. but what I discovered is that, oh, wait a second. I could create a podcast. I could invite these people onto my podcast to give them a platform to talk about what they're doing, but at the same time, I get to sit down to them for an hour and talk about their investing strategy and learn from them one-on-one. And oh, by the way, I then get to provide something of value and I was hooked. I love, I mean, I'm hooked on podcasting now. We're, we started another one and it was from there that I, I started meeting people. I met you. I literally, I found you through a, and we've mentioned this in the last podcast, but I, on there was a bigger pockets post that you put up about how you were selling all of your long-term rentals and investing in short-term rentals and moving to the beach. I was like, oh, that sounds like a perfect guy for the podcast. And I brought you on and we started chatting and one thing led to another, and we don't need to go into detail about how our paths continued to cross, but, That's really it. With podcasting it's a way I didn't have time. I didn't have money, I didn't have experience, so how can I learn? I didn't have any money to pay for a mentor, but I had a little bit of money and I had some experience and knowledge about multimedia and podcasting, how can I leverage that to basically, Provide a platform that allows me and my audience to learn from these really successful investors.

Clint Harris:

Yeah, absolutely. And that's one of the things that immediately, when we first got to talking, before the first, and I, we did several interviews that what jumped out to me is that you turned yourself into a lightning rod for knowledge and for deals and for opportunity and for pitfalls and mistakes and things like that. you turned yourself into a lightning rod to attract positive energy and negative experiences that had potential to save you. A lot of costly mistakes as well from some of the top investors all across the country and in some cases all across the world. And I think that's what we're trying to do here, right, is like there's so much noise and so much out there about different opportunity and honestly different ways that people can spend their time when they're riding in the car or when they're at the gym or anything else. And we're trying to create another one of those small oasis in the desert kind of spots where. there's opportunity and like-minded people in the right place. And the reason I'm doing this is because of, the relationship that you and I struck up originally and then watching. The way that you changed and developed faster than I was at the same period of time, even though I was a very active investor working on a fairly dedicated strategy, I was working hard. But you were developing faster than I was. The only thing that I saw was that you developed clarity over time as to what your path was gonna be. Originally it was shiny object, object syndrome and you talked about the danger of distractions. Specifically when so many options are presented to you, there's a lot of different things you can pursue in that danger of distractions or the shiny object syndrome. it's it can. Cause analysis paralysis in a lot of situations, or it can send you off in a lot of different tangents. And I like to kind of think of it sometimes if you're on an island in the middle of the lake and you got enough wood to build a bridge to shore, but if you start building it five feet this way and then five feet that way and five feet this way, you end up stuck on the same island. So talk to me a little bit about that.

Neil Henderson:

So you name it. I've experienced those symptoms, shiny object syndrome, analysis paralysis, but I never took my eye off the larger goal. and in some respects, the fact that I couldn't invest when I first discovered real estate probably saved me from some mistakes. I've got friends of mine who just like learned and then just charged off into a strategy and failed. I had to wait. I was, I had those distractions, but I had no real way to actually implement them. so in some respects what I started to do was. I started looking for ways. I, I'm an older, I got into this older I'm an older dad. I didn't have, we didn't have my, our first child until I was 44. I didn't get married until I was 42. It just was, call me a late bloomer, whatever. So the idea of. That you had had and a lot of other investors have, which is you're gonna buy one single family home a year for 10 years and you're gonna have 10 single family homes. Didn't appeal to me all that much and I started looking for a ways to swing for the fences right away. Now there's good parts and bad parts about that. the good part is that it gets you thinking bigger, and it gets you into A niche of real estate where real magic happens. The bad thing is that it is intimidating as all hell, and it can lead to analysis paralysis. and I, I really started at the longer I was at it, the more I started narrowing down on what I wanted to do. I was already doing short-term rentals. I had one, but it was just one unit. It was basically, it was just a house hack. and, Las Vegas is very hostile to short-term rentals, so we couldn't expand there. but I discovered self-storage and at the same time I discovered syndication and I started looking for a way to leverage the skill that I did have, which was just connecting people. and, I ended up meeting my partner now, Erik Hemingway, who is an experienced self storage investor. when I met him, he had two facilities. He was just about to buy his third, and then he bought his fourth about two years ago, and I kept on trying to encourage Erik to syndicate his deals. Now, Erik was smart, he realized he wasn't ready. Now I could have gone off and found somebody else. Who was further along than that and I would've accelerated, would've, I could have, raised capital for them. I could have partnered with them in some respects, but I didn't, something made me stick with Erik. so did that answer the question? How I went from being really distracted. To slowly but surely just narrowing in on a focus that was gonna work for me. The problem was, I was trying to hit home runs.

Clint Harris:

Yeah, I it makes total sense how that happened, but I think the reason it happened is because Of the podcast and your ability to talk to different real estate professionals every week that you were honing in, iron sharpens iron, and you were basically honing in on the strategies, but more importantly, the character, the people, the quality of the deals, and also the quality, the operators as well. And so I think that in that situation, You figure it out over time, okay, this is what I want to do and this is who I'd like to do it with. And you did that without having to make your own mistakes or risk other people's capital on deals that large. So it makes total sense how you did that and how it all came together. And I think it's, again, it's the power of networking and things like that and the ability to use other people's experience at the end of the day, it's exactly what we're talking about. It's a combination of time, experience, and money, and. only had a portion of that, but you partnered with someone else that had what you were lacking and found a way to put it together to do something that as a whole, is greater than the sum of its parts of what you guys could put together there. So talk to me about what you've accomplished, after moving to Carolina Beach, what you've done there and, and what the last year for you has looked like and what the next years look like.

Neil Henderson:

When I finally zeroed in on the strategy that I wanted self-storage syndication, it was incredibly difficult for me to pursue that with the job that I had. Um, I worked in windowless offices. You knew how hard it was to get ahold of me. I couldn't have a cell phone in my office. it was very limited for what I could do. and when Covid hit, my life, like a lot of people's lives, took a sharp. partly, and it's a long story. we, we ended up selling our house. We had a huge amount of equity in our house in Las Vegas, because we had been, I wouldn't do this now, but I had been funneling all those profits from our short-term rental house hack back into paying down our debt, our mortgage on the house, and at the same time, the Vegas housing market was appreciating. And so we sold it and I, when Covid hit, I had, a lot of concerns that the Vegas housing market was gonna crash. Now, I couldn't have been more wrong. I'm still not sad that we sold, because we then were able to take that money off the table and reevaluate what the world was going to do. And at that time, I made the decision I'd been a defense contractor for 18 years and I didn't want to do it anymore, and I didn't wanna live in Las Vegas anymore, and my self storage partner was in Wilmington, North Carolina. I wanted to be closer to them and what they were doing, By then, you and I had connected and I knew that there was short-term rental opportunities in Carolina Beach, and I reached out to you and I said, Hey, I wanna buy a small multi-family in Carolina Beach, that we can possibly use as a house hack someday. And you laughed at me, said something like, get in line,

Clint Harris:

you and everyone else

Neil Henderson:

get in line. and then I said, I'm gonna call you back next week with our budget. And I immediately sat down and called our lender and told him what I wanted to do and I came back to you and said, okay, here's our budget and I've already got approval for the loan and I've got this much money in the bank. And that got your attention.

Clint Harris:

It did. And also because you had a willingness. And it's what ended up happening is that sometimes when you can't find a good deal and the market is too hot, that you have to make a good deal. And you guys ended up buying a beautiful townhome. Amazing ocean views from all three levels directly across the street from the ocean, and converting a downstairs unit into a separate, one bedroom, one bath across the street from the ocean, condo unit. And it's beautiful. And you did a great job with that. I'm fast forwarding through a lot of that, but it allows you to live here. And have the vast majority of your house paid for by the income come from the downstairs that you manage it while you focus on your commercial real estate investing and development there.

Neil Henderson:

And I wanna emphasize that I haven't achieved financial independence by any stretch of the imagination, but one thing that people need to keep in mind is there are degrees, Of financial independence. And I had through, the commercial investing that I had done with the deals I had been involved with some of the single family rentals that I'd purchased. and the fact that I was house hacking a town home across from the beach. That my expenses are low what I had done was created enough runway for myself in order to, for me to take a risk on myself, and for me to take that leap. And I, and it remains to be seen, whether or not that will work. There are no guarantees. But I was, had gotten to a, a place. where I was uncomfortable enough, where I was that it, I was okay taking that leap. And I'm now, it's, you and I both know the deals that we have done. It's gonna be years before we're paid. our investors are gonna get paid long before, before we get paid. and you and I both may need to figure out some other income source, maybe advertising on podcasts. I don't know. I'm not expecting that to be an income generator, but the whole idea is, That you can, if you build yourself enough runway, and enough, get enough cash flowing assets, you don't have to get a hundred percent of the way there. You can get 25, 35% of the way there, and then that allows you to just take a leap and take a bet on yourself.

Clint Harris:

Absolutely. Well, the decision got taken away from you because you knew what the rest of your life looked like. If you did nothing. If you stayed there, you know what the rest of your life looks like, and sometimes that's all the motivation that you need. And even though. with the big changes and the drastic move that you've made, don't sell yourself short. You've created an unbelievable amount of value in, in five syndication deals this past year and, 40 million worth of commercial real estate total that you've been a part of since you started investing in commercial real estate over the last couple years. The smartest thing you did was leave the money in the deals, is that you're continuing to let it roll forward and grow exponentially, and it's not going to be long. you'll be able to live off of that, but you're leaving the chips on the table and you're letting it ride. And we all know that there's gonna be more continued opportunities, especially in the next year as we roll into the next looming recession for the next year or two. at the end of the day, you're still on the journey, but I think the proof is certainly evident with what you've been able to do so far that all the gambles that you've taken, yes, you're right. It's risk, but it's calculated risk. And the real risk is not making a. When you knew what the outcome was gonna be. So I'm excited to be on this journey with you and excited to, to continue to watch the progress, and I'm really excited to be documenting this with you so that we can look back on it over the next year or two and see what's developed because of the decisions that you've made.

Neil Henderson:

I don't know where else to go from there. I think you covered it. I think you wrapped it up nicely, which is, I'm more excited for the future than I have ever been in my entire life. and I'm also more financially insecure than I've ever been in my entire life, but it's exciting. there's a much better, reward on the other end of that risk.

Clint Harris:

Absolutely. Neil, thank you for sharing with us. I know that a lot of that is, it's just you've gotta put yourself out there and expose what you've done. And sometimes it's exposing what's coming next. And I know that there's a certain amount of risk that comes along with that, but thank you for sharing that. Thank you for sharing that with the listeners and, uh, look forward to seeing where it goes from here. So thank you for listening.

Neil:

thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Truly Passive Income Podcast. If you liked the show, if you think it would be useful for someone else, the greatest compliment you could give us would be to share the episode with a friend and leave us an honest review wherever you listen to podcasts. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to let us know on Twitter @TrulyPassive and remember, with truly passive income comes freedom of. Place and the freedom to pursue your higher purpose.