Brandon Green was raised in a mining town in Wyoming, and in 1999 moved to Washington, DC with no money, no prospects, and no college degree. When he started, he was making 20 thousand dollars a year and didn’t know what he wanted to do. Then with the help of some courses and mentors and a lot of trial and error, he was able to find his footing as an entrepreneur and build the systems he needed to thrive and grow. When he first moved to DC, he couldn’t afford an apartment and slept in a rundown 1991 Chevy Cavalier. Today, he’s the owner of several successful businesses, and co-founder of one of the top real estate brokerages in America.
Brandon Green is best known as co-founder of Keller Williams Capital Properties, named Best Employer (Washington Post), one of the Fastest Growing Companies in America (Inc. Magazine) one of the Fastest-Growing Inner City Businesses (Fortune Magazine), and ranking among the top 0.2% of brokerages nationwide (Wall Street Journal). Brandon grew the organization to eight locations, with sales now exceeding $2 billion annually, earning him a spot on the Inc. 5000 honor roll.
Over the past 20 years, Brandon has brought his message of reinvention to more than 1 million people across the United States, Canada, and Europe.
He is an on-the-ground leader, delivering clear insight for professionals looking to increase effectiveness and navigate change during these challenging times.
In addition to founding and growing one of the nation’s most successful real estate organizations, Brandon is the founder and CEO of Chapter2Ventures, helping real estate entrepreneurs build sustainable wealth for themselves through learning experiences and impact investments. The robust holding company operates several high-impact businesses in the United States, including a financial literacy initiative, investment fund, and luxury hotel brand.
Where did the idea for Chapter2Ventures come from?
It was a 3 year process of personal reflection to find my passion again and intersect that with what I think the market will respond to. I did a lot of listening and now I’m doing a lot of testing as we form and reform the specifics of what we are doing. I also wanted to make sure whatever I did next was big enough to sustain many many people for at least a decade.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I’m in and out of multiple projects which I really like. My day starts at 6, gym at 7, then mediation and prep. I aim to be at my desk by 9 or at an appointment off site by 10. I’m pretty intense throughout the day until about 7pm. Once in a while I’m still pushing out responses from the day until 8. I generally work a few hours on the weekend for more long form writing, creative thinking and prep for the upcoming week.
How do you bring ideas to life?
By thinking, who can do this? Who wants to do this? For whom is this idea a great opportunity? And then connecting them with the idea, giving them some execution ideas, and letting them go. My follow up is how can I support.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I love that 1/3 of people under 40 are challenging the status quo of their job. We are reforming “normal” and that requires a lot of people who would not normally seek change to do so. I believe we will see great benefit from this in the coming decade.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I learned early the importance of managing my inbox to less than 30 emails. This helps me be very responsive to my team and my customers. I’m not perfect of course, but I’m pretty on top of it with my system that I first learned from Getting Things Done by David Allen. High recommend.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t worry be happy. Just kidding. But not really. I was very anxious about outcomes when I was younger and did not have enough faith that my actions, which were pretty aligned with my long term goals, would eventually support them. If only I had more patience with myself.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
You can have it all. Life isn’t about compromise. At least not in the way you think about it.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Focus on building the skill set of managing people. Early. Without it, the ceiling of achievement is low and you’ll hit it abruptly. I did.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Hiring talented people and not being afraid to pay them very well. It’s kind of obvious, but the reality is we entrepreneurs can get really concerned about adding salary to the payroll. Legitimately so. In my experience there is a huge different in capability when you go up in salary expectations by 20%.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When I first started hiring people I hired people because I needed help doing things I thought were too menial or not enjoyable for me. Those activities were, in my mind, worth less than what I was doing. That is absolutely the wrong way to look at it. The goal is to find someone who is excited about and sees opportunity in the things you’re not able or willing or interested in doing. That’s a very cool thing and to be celebrated. Everyone plays a critical role on the team and being grateful for and remembering that is the right way to treat people.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’ll give you two. A handyman business. Nearly every market needs a tech-enabled home handyman. And, a company that can help streamline the rezoning process for homeowners and developers. It’s difficult and expensive and the process is incredibly obscure and benefits incumbent players. I can see software really disrupting this space at a hyper local level.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Upgrades to first class. Often not much more than $100 (domestic). My productivity is so much better in first, and my energy isn’t effected as much. It’s worth the investment.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Mailchimp. Helps us manage our various email campaigns and target audiences for various projects.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I’m reading and really like Stacey Abrams Lead from the Outside. It’s a leadership book that really hits on the business and political dynamics facing us in the 21st century and an approach about what do to about them.
What is your favorite quote?
“All is well.” Said by a lot of very wise and smart people during difficult times.
- Hire talented people and don’t be afraid to pay them very well.
- Focus on building the skill set of managing people. Early.
- Take care of yourself. Burnout is real and self-care isn’t selfish, it’s a requirement for successful entrepreneurs.
- Be more patient with yourself. You should be enjoying the journey. If you’re not, it is time to either rethink WHAT you’re doing or HOW you’re doing it.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.