Being around other people who are on the same path as you are is a phenomenal way to generate ideas.
Shawn was born and raised on a farm. He raised cattle, chicken, ducks, pigs, you name it and he had it. His family also grew tobacco for numerous years. He decided that he didn’t want to be a farmer when he grew up so he did what any person would do.. he went to college in his hometown. He got a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
His life revolves around being outdoors, growing ourselves, helping others, and most important to him – family and friends. He spends a lot of time hiking. His most recent backpacking trip was to Pictured Rocks on Lake Superior.
After buying a few rental properties in Michigan, he decided to move to Atlanta, Georgia to build a real estate business helping people get out of tough situations. His goal to is help people get out of troublesome properties.
Where did the idea for Breyer Home Buyers come from?
Breyer Home Buyers was pretty simple. We wanted to brand our business with our name to make sure that people knew we were a family owned business. We also wanted them to know what we specialized in just from hearing our name so we chose ‘home buyers.’
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
6 – 8 AM: When I wake up, I write down my goals, meditate, and read a business or self development book.
8 – 10 AM: I work on SEO content for our website, whether that’s content creation, videos, outreach, guest posting, studying, etc.
10 AM – 12 PM: Following up with leads, setting appointments with homeowners, cold calling, outbound marketing.
12 – 1:30 PM: Lunch and workout
2 – 5 PM: Going on appointments at homeowners’ homes to see if buying their house would be a good fit for our investment model.
How do you bring ideas to life?
My ideas are usually generated out of laziness, which is how I build a lot of my systems. If I have to perform a tasks that’s too repetitive or I dislike doing that task, I’ll brainstorm with the team to see how we can reduce or eliminate that process to make it easier and free up more time.
I also read a ton of books. Business and self development (mindset) books generate an enormous amount of ideas that we can implement to improve the business and, therefore, our lives through simplicity.
Being around other people who are on the same path as you are is a phenomenal way to generate ideas. I regularly go to group get togethers with people whose goals align with mine and we help each other generate solutions to our problems and train each other on aspects of our business that we are learning about.
What’s one trend that excites you?
For the industry that I’m in, marketing is archaic, so being online has really only come into play in the last 2-3 years. Building out SEO to optimize my reach online is a really exciting trend for our team. While most investors focus on direct mail, focusing on outbound marketing produces prospects that are interested in our services roughly 10% of the time, and we pay ~$5,800 for marketing to get a single deal in today’s market. If you flip that, leads that we organically get online are about 95% motivated to work with us and the cost per deal is roughly $200. That’s a massive difference in work lifestyle and net profits. It really changes the entire business model for us moving forward.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Reading the same business book with my wife. We get to pull out nuggets from the books that we can get excited about and implement together. It really helps our business, our growth, and our relationship.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To focus on informal education sooner with applied action. I have always been entrepreneurial in spirit, but have never really known how to apply action to my desires, leading to multiple failed attempts throughout my adolescence at starting a business. I could have found something to channel my enthusiasm a lot sooner than I did (almost a decade). I think I would’ve been so much further ahead than I am right now.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
For me, investing in real estate is the safest investment I can make. My whole family is really for the safety that the media has pushed onto our society. So me cashing out my 401k and savings to buy rental properties and start a real estate company was really against what they believe in and they have given my a lot a heckling over the last few years for it.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Avoid shiny object syndrome. If you look out 3 years from now and imagine where you want to be in your life and you decide on a solid plan of action to get to that goal, stick with it. Everyone has their own path, and if you change up (reset) your path every 3-6 months for the next hottest idea that someone has put out to get to your goal then you’ll find yourself three years down the road in the exact same position, wishing that you hadn’t chased other opportunities the whole time. Stick with what’s boring, consistent, and proven.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Developing processes. We are about to take a repetitive task and develop a process or system for it, document it with text or video, and pass that off to other people to perform those tasks for us. This shift in thinking has allowed us to free up a lot more time to do things that we actually enjoy within our business.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When we first got into wholesaling, we bought into a coaching program for $5k. We had the money, but it stretched us kind of tight financially. We were also living with some family at the time, so it wasn’t a real big deal – I knew I could make the money back regardless. We began our outbound marketing to find homeowners that wanted to sell their homes. We were spending about $1,200 / month in these operations. The month after we got the coaching program, one of our rentals got hit with a city inspection to verify that they were inhabitable. We had to replace a roof and a furnace, costing us about $9,200 total. Remember that we just spent $5k on the program and $1,200 on outbound marketing. We were $15,400 in the hole. I didn’t want to give up on the outbound marketing because I would’ve felt like I was a failure. So we kept at it for three months until we consistently were going negative every month. We had to cancel all of our services and fire our cold caller who was helping us. It felt pretty cruddy to get right into it and hit such a road block so quickly. However, I kept my website that we had and started focusing on SEO to bring in leads (it was the only thing I could afford). Now we consistently get deals from our website and we have turned our financial situation around.
I can admit that I really wanted to quit when I hit that roadblock, but knew that that’s where everyone else was quitting and that keeping my head up would make me successful. It’s always a matter of when, not if.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Starting a machine shop. Pretty basic, but I am an engineer by education and finding a great, heck even a halfway decent, machine shop was one of the largest struggles we ever had at any company that I worked for. If you could develop great systems and a great sales team, you could dominate your niche fairly easy.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Buying the book Traction by Gino Wickman. This was ~$15, but it helped streamline our business is taught us how to scale up the business by building a solid foundation that can sustain growth.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Investor Carrot. It’s our website service. It helps us crush our inbound marketing system that we have and it’s super easy to use.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero. This book is sick for developing a mindset to receive abundance in your life. There’s a lot of underlying beliefs that we don’t realize we have that were programmed into us by our parents. Shifting your mindset to that of abundance is the quickest way to growth financially.
What is your favorite quote?
“Take massive imperfect action.” – Tom Krol
Most people hide behind education, saying that they need to learn just a little bit more before they do something when in reality, they are hiding in their comfort zone.
- Most people hide behind education, saying that they need to learn just a little bit more before they do something when in reality, they are hiding in their comfort zone
- Traction taught us how to scale up the business by building a solid foundation that can sustain growth.
- If you change up (reset) your path every 3-6 months for the next hottest idea that someone has put out to get to your goal then you’ll find yourself three years down the road in the exact same position, wishing that you hadn’t chased other opportunities the whole time.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.