In this episode of Uncommon Convos, Dennis VanDerGinst talks with Robby & Kimi Fender. Robby is the CEO of Yoli and is a co founder along with his wife Kimi.
On this episode of Uncommon Convos Dennis talks with long time friend and entrepreneur, Andy Sallee. He it the epitome of the rags to riches story. Andy came from very humble beginnings living in various trailer parks moving around often when he was young. He has built a amazing real-estate empire and continues to educate himself, attend mastermind events. Andy defines success as having freedom in time. Freedom to come and go as you please and do what you want. The biggest thing he can teach young entrepreneurs is pick one lane and go all in. Spreading yourself too thin will make it hard for you to get good at any one thing.
Full Episode Transcript
We’ve all heard the rags to riches stories. What does it take to make that kind of tale unfold? Hard work? Education? Connections? Skills? Maybe a little bit of luck? Stick around to hear how one man has made it happen and how he continues to do so. Coming up, I talked to my longtime friend, Andy Sallee, our next guest on Uncommon Convos.
Hi, I’m Dennis VanDerGinst. Join me in a series of entertaining and interesting conversations with entertaining and interesting people. We’ll explore various aspects of the human experience and what makes life more fun. This is Uncommon Convos.
Welcome to Uncommon Convos. I’m your host, Dennis VanDerGinst. Before I introduce our guest today, I want to encourage you, as always, to subscribe to, rate and review Uncommon Convos on your favorite podcast platform. It’s completely painless, quick, easy, and free. And when you subscribe, you will automatically be alerted to when new episodes are available. Also, don’t forget, you can learn more about Uncommon Convos, leave comments, suggestions, and watch the video version of our episodes simply by visiting UncommonConvos.com. Lastly, I want to thank our wonderful sponsor, VanDerGinst Law. If you’re injured on the job or due to the wrongdoing of another, VanDerGinst Law would be honored to help. Simply go to vlaw.com for more information. Now, it’s my pleasure to introduce today’s guest. This guy is the epitome of perseverance and hard work, and he has proved that those types of characteristics really can pay off. He’s built an amazing real estate investment empire from very humble beginnings. His degree is definitely from the school of hard knocks, but he’s continued to educate himself by reading, attending Mastermind events, and connecting with mentors on any number of subjects. He strives to improve physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially every single day. On top of all that, I consider him as one of my closest friends, so he’s got that going for him. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to my buddy, Andy Sallee. Andy, thank you for being here.
Thanks for having me on. Hell of an introduction, my man?
Well, you wrote it.
Yeah, right. It’s so weird because we’ve been such close, dear friends for so long, and obviously we started our friendship by you being my mentor and my coach. So it’s crazy, it’s funny.
I appreciate that. And I want to talk about mentorship in a bit. I also mentioned the fact that you have really been involved in Mastermind events, and you just got back from, like, back to back to back events, and I think that’s incredible. And that goes to what I said at the onset. As far as you looking to improve yourself every day, I mentioned that you and I, we both came from humble beginnings. So I want to talk to you about that because, honestly, I can say that of everyone I know, I’ve seen more personal growth and self development from you than anyone else. And coming from those humble beginnings, I think it says a lot. So I want to talk a little bit about your background first and what it was in your background that kind of created that fire inside you to make you want more in and out of life.
Well, that’s an easy answer I think, and a great question. I do come from humble beginnings. I grew up extremely poor. Like a lot of these stories, I mean there’s a thousand rags to riches or a million rags to riches stories. But the challenge was we grew up in trailer parks. But the big challenge was my parents truly believed that if you have wealth, you were going to hell. Like, you cannot have money. The eye of the needle through the camel, you cannot get into heaven. My dad was a pastor, very, very religious. And I just wanted to fight that. I’m obviously a faith person. I believe in God, but I don’t believe that. They don’t build statues after people that live in trailers that don’t go for more. We build hospitals, we give more than we receive at most times. So my humble beginnings helped. I thank God every day. My parents, they just maintained life. They existed, they didn’t evolve, they didn’t get better. But they didn’t want more. They wanted status quo. And that’s okay. I’m not against anybody who just wants to get by or just exist. It just wasn’t for me. My first few jobs was, we’re all chasing something, right? Like for me it was significance. When I remember, I was in junior high, I was selling rocks door to door and I was getting detasseling jobs. I was getting dishwashing jobs, newspapers at four in the morning. But honestly, back then, not to be weird, but it was to fit in at school because I was so poor. And we moved a dozen times between junior high and high school. So we moved, I had to re acclimate to new people and build new relationships constantly. And the hand me down clothes was the biggest challenge. So I got those jobs originally just to buy Reebok. I remember Reebok Shoes and Guess Jeans. Those were huge. But you can hang out with a little bit of the cooler kids. I couldn’t do the sports because I worked at night and worked in the morning, but it was just not significant so much a little bit, but just kind of fitting in and getting along with new people on a regular basis. And yeah, we grew up very, very poor. I lived in mobile homes. We didn’t really ever live in houses. But that’s okay. I take that as a blessing. It pushed me to just want more but also be super grateful and blessed to be more. Just trying to be 1% better every day. I think we all are.
Absolutely. And you know, obviously I want to talk about your success in real estate investing and the things that you’ve done that other people can emulate to try to achieve financial success. But before we talk about that aspect of your life, I want to focus mainly on your kind of overall approach to life. So the first question is, what is success? What does success mean to you?
I think that, I get that a lot, and that’s a very easy answer to me. Like a lot of people think it’s the big house or Trump or the Lamborghinis or the watches or whatever. It has nothing to do with that. My idea. Now, let me preface this by success. In my teenage years, my 20s, my 30s, and now I’m 46 has evolved and changed. When I was 30 years old, it was just a big house and a cool car, right? I just wanted a Ferrari. And that’s what it was. It was monetary, insignificant things that made me feel significant. Now, those things are a blessing to have, of course, but my 100% answer is freedom. Success to me is time. Time and freedom. I won’t buy an investment that takes much of my time. I won’t invest in anything that I got to show up at. I love to be able to be in freedom. So if I want to spend, I’ve been building this portfolio massively for the epitome of, my original statement was if I wanted to live in Fiji for a year or so, Hawaii is one of my favorite destinations, to live in Maui for a year and not talk to anybody but do four or five emails a month, I can do that. And that is success to me, is just freedom. The freedom to come and go as you please. The freedom to do as you like, live where you want, and kind of live like no one else. So now that’s evolved. Like I said, in my earlier years, I struggled. As you know, Dennis, I had a lot more ego then than I do now. You go through some bumps and bruises, you ride a few bull and bear markets, and the world changes a little bit. But back then, success was the big house and big car and, you know, the country club. And I’m not discrediting any of those. But the real value for me is success is freedom. Freedom, hands down. And I’ll even take a step further just in the last two years I’ve gotten into, as you know, you’ve helped me, with this whole social media thing. And now to take success a step further is how can I duplicate myself a thousand times over? How can I encourage that 28 year old kid or I met with a 21 year old kid I met during last night at the karate? Now, success is freedom, but it’s also how much can I just transfer my knowledge, encourage and mentor? And it doesn’t have to be younger. I mean, a lot of guys are in their 40s that are making good money, but they’re working 70 hours, work weeks, and some of our dear friends are some of those people. So now success is evolving. Not just freedom, because a lot of things I’m doing obviously are for free or I’m not getting paid or I’m just trying to encourage and help others to think differently and not chase a new car. Now, I love it if they do that. I get it. But more of it is being really happy in your day to day life, I would say.
And I don’t know if you’d agree with this or not, but to me what you say is true. The issue of wanting to have that freedom, to do other things, to do the things that you enjoy more. But I also think, and you kind of touched on this when you discussed the fact that you’re now mentoring some people and helping them emulate some of the success that you’ve had. To me, that falls more under the category of legacy. That is something you are going to be remembered for when you’re dead and gone, hopefully many years from now. But the fact that you’ve been able to do for so many people, whether it is mentoring those people or and we’ll talk more about this, but Andy’s Kids and some of the other charitable and community events and efforts you’ve been involved in. Well, I may have mentioned it to you a time or two, but you’re the one that has run with it.
You did more than mention, but that’s okay. You’re very humble. I appreciate that. But you’re right. If we die tomorrow, all we have is our legacy. Obviously, I have no wife and I have no kids. I’ve never been married. I don’t need to create massive wealth. I have most of what I want or need. But the legacy, I’m even in a mastermind called Legacy Wealth. What I want to do is change generations. And how we do that is getting other people to kind of understand our ups and downs and our bull and bear markets and kind of guide them. Whether it be masterminds, I say freedom. But let’s be honest. I just got back from a month of traveling. Did I go like my 25 year old self? That’d be a month on the beach and partying or a month of skydiving or a month of scuba diving. I just spent a month traveling and none of it was like crazy fun. My fun now is like sitting in groups with you or other masterminds of like minded people and chatting on how we can do better, give more, and add more value to everybody we meet and how do we learn from every conversation. So I say freedom, but I’m still just trying to level up everything in my life.
I want to talk about how you get there, to the level of success that you’ve reached and how others can emulate that. But maybe a better way to get to that subject is to talk about what not to do, because I know you and I have made lots of mistakes, and I’m sure you’ll agree that you learn more from your failures most of the time than you do from your successes. It might be a painful lesson, but you learn it nonetheless. So what have been some of your biggest failures and what painful lessons have you learned that have helped guide you to the right track.
A great answer for that, too. I try to be as transparent and humbly honestly as I can, but some of my biggest failures turned out to be my biggest wins. Like when I was younger. Once you get to a level of income, everybody comes to you with investments, as you know. And when you’re younger and you’re making good money, you kind of want to play in every angle. There was a point in my career I had an embroidery franchise here, and Des Moines, had a Radon company here and Des Moines, a flipping business, a rental property business, property management company, roofing company, Michael’s Fun World, Go Cart business. What I’m saying is we tend to jump in and say yes to a lot of things. The biggest thing I could teach young entrepreneurs is pick one lane and go all in. Burn the boats and go all in. Because when you dabble in several different things, it’s hard to get really good at any one thing. And the one thing is usually going to pay you your biggest result or your biggest, largest paycheck, or your one unique ability. I’ve only gone all in on real estate, hand of God, only really, the last three years. The three years when I closed my home improvement company five years ago and completely retired. The downfall that I had was jumping into so many businesses that were all dragging my time and sometimes income. They took my cash to invest into those businesses. But my ego said, I can take the $600,000 business and turn it into 2 million, or, you know, whatever that it is. I focused on smaller businesses, but that was my ego and arrogance to think that I could. But what I really needed to do is focus on my one lane. Like, I feel we all have a bookshelf in our life, right? And what gets us to the promised land and out of Egypt is starting saying no. And the more I say no, the more my trajectory goes up. I really say no to 99% of my things. And I’ll be honest with you, in my 20s and 30s, I say yes to everything. I mean, I had a gumball machine business. If you had bubble gums and vending machines, I buy them. Anything that made money, right? But I should have just stayed in my own lane and don’t stay in an industry too long, like I was in the roofing industry. And that got very challenging and very difficult, and it just burnt me out. Plus, like I said, you had to go in and put 40 hours a week into it. And that’s just not my thing anymore. So really just stay in your own lane. Pick a target, pick an angle, but also don’t pick an industry – I hear this all the time- pick an industry that is not can trajectory, right? Or traject you into the income and levels of net worth that you want. Like, imagine if you were like, I want to make a million dollars a year driving cab. That’s going to be hard. Maybe pick a different industry or pick a different passion. Imagine if your all income was from being a taxi cab driver and Uber came out. That’s a challenge. Unless you bought Uber or started Uber, it’s not going to get you where you want to be. So the biggest thing I would say is stay in your own lane and get really damn good at your own lane. And I messed that all up.
Well, I think you learned that lesson quicker than I did. I still have a hard time saying no.
Right, we all do.
But on the flip side, I anticipated this was going to be a topic that we would discuss. The issue, real estate is, I think, traditionally, especially for a savvy investor like you, is a great source of passive income, and it’s typically fairly stable. But then you do have times when it’s not so much like in 2008. And now we’re kind of seeing some similarities now.
We’re in recession now.
There are some people, I think, like yourself, that can actually benefit from that. And I always think of It’s a Wonderful Life when he’s talking to Mr. Potter and they’re talking about the Great Depression and how Mr. Potter saved the entire city and Jimmy Stewart’s character saved the Bailey Building and Loan. And that’s because they didn’t panic, and everybody else was selling and getting rid of everything, and they were buying. And I think that that’s something that someone like you and other savvy investors can and will benefit from. But there are times when real estate can be fragile as well, so, if that’s your lane or regardless of what your lane is, and I get what you’re saying and why you’re saying it, but isn’t it good to also diversify in case you have those types of things come up?
I love that, and I hear that a lot. In my earlier days, I was told and taught that a lot. Diversify diversify. And I think diversification is great for most people. And I think whatever lane you are, that you pick, and whatever the time or the interest rates and fear, like, if everybody’s going left, I’m going right. If everybody’s not buying, I’m buying. If everybody’s buying, I’m not buying. 2008 was my best year in my career, best ever, because I was mentally prepared for it. I was capitalized for it. I was leveraged appropriately for it. When pandemic hit, amazing things happened. So I actually don’t believe in diversification, but let me take that back. That’s me. I don’t do the stock market. I don’t throw darts at a board. I don’t give money to a money manager. I don’t have a financial advisor. Now I have a CFO that advises me on every deal. But even in real estate, there’s different avenues. Remember I did house flipping, I flipped 1000 houses. I had apartments in my 30s, I had 900 apartments. Now I have 31 centers. But I have medical, I have industrial, I have farmland, I have office buildings, I have retail strip centers. My niche is medical buildings now. So I guess that’s my diversification. I have different avenues of real estate. Like in my legacy wealth, they’re all in, one of my coaches is all apartments, apartments, apartments. But see, now that’s his mentality. My mentality is, yes, I want to diversify but in my own bucket, which is real estate. So I will have, I have a few hundred apartments today, apartments. And so what I’m saying is, for me to build, say, a billion dollar portfolio, I don’t want a billion in single family homes or strip malls or medical. I want a little piece of everything. And that’s my diversification. Like, I think mutual funds and 401K is the worst investment you could ever do, and I won’t ever do those. But my diversification is inside my box. I’m not saying everybody go real estate. I don’t care what you do. I don’t care if you’re selling brooms or sell pencils or sell lear jets and you’re making money. You want to stick it in something safe, secure. Because with real estate, what you got to do, you got to borrow money, you got to manage an asset, you still got to manage people. There’s still something involved there. Right? So I’m not saying everybody jump into real estate. It’s just something I’m passionate about. It’s my thing. I love it, and I know every inch of it. Not every inch, I know alot.
Yes, no, you absolutely do. And like you said, you are diversified within that lane. And I get that. Yeah, in your category, you talked about that. And I want to revisit that a little bit. The fact that if I recall, just by hanging with you and also reading some of the articles in preparation for talking to you today, you started primarily with single family homes when you were investing, and then that evolved into multifamily, like apartment buildings and things like that, eventually more into commercial. And as you mentioned, your legacy type investments are the medical.
Now we’re medical. 20 year leases.
Kind of recession proof. Yeah, absolutely right.
University of Iowa, we don’t have to communicate a lot, right? University of Iowa, Genesis, Trinity Hospital, UnityPoint, they’re pretty low maintenance people, but I mean, they have billion dollar balance sheets. So you don’t start there. You don’t get there overnight.
No, you had to work your way up to the point where you’re getting the lending and you’re getting the credibility for these people to rent from you, knowing you’re going to take care of them and they’re going to take care of you.
But what’s the problem with and I know you said you have some apartment buildings. Now tell us. This is for the novice who is just starting to, let’s say, invest in real estate, and they want to go out and they want to flip a house or two. Maybe they want to buy a couple of small single family homes to rent. What are the risks with single family units that led you to move on?
I’m glad you asked that. So my very first investment was a $60,000 home in Moline, Illinois. And it just happened to be my parents house because my parents had never really, not really paid their bills or taxes or mortgages or credit. That’s not their thing, right. So they come to me for that. So anyway, that was their first house. So I bought their house from them and I rented it. The problem with that, and that challenge is you have one roof, you got one driveway, you got one tenant. So my first deal was a single family home, and then a year later, the lady moved out, and I’m like, I’m making 200 a month in cash flow, where you go from 200 a month positive to 500 negative in a blink of an eye. Now, if you can spread that risk to say, my next deal was a duplex and then a four plex and then a six plex and then a 35 plex. So the diversification back to that topic is there like, I had 174 single family homes and we had negative cash flow, 55,000 a month. That was ten years ago. I wouldn’t have hundreds of single family homes now just because the risk is larger, because you have each individual tenant, you have one $8,000 furnace or one roof for $15,000 each cash flow for three years. So today’s world, I honestly have done the education, I’ve done the mapping, I’ve done in Masterminds, for a novice investor, flip a couple of houses, great. I love that it’s going to take your time, energy, but it’s just like a side hustle. So I understand that. But honestly, I would invest in yourself first and join a simple Mastermind or go to an event and get in with some, likeminded, people that are thinking like you. I had a guy come in from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Friday that went to dinner with, he’s 21 years old, and he just bought a $2 million deal. Why? Because he went to one event and he met three other guys that think and talk like him, and they bought a large asset and they pooled a couple of bucks, each guy and did it together. I like that better. It’s just getting in with a group or today’s world, I’ve never done it, but people are doing syndication where they go out and raise money to buy the deal. They find the deal. As you know, if the deal is that good, the money will be attracted. It will work. If a young guy brought me a crazy good deal and he says I want a $50,000 assignment fee or give me a piece of equity, I would look at it. So the money finds the deals. So flipping is an avenue. But I really like the multifamily just because it depends on the age and the liquidity and the net worth of the person that’s jumping in at novice. But at zero, yes, you can flip a couple of houses or you can wholesale a deal or you can get into partnerships or get into raising capital. There’s many avenues. 20 years ago it was just a flip. If you wanted to make an extra 20, 30 grand or whatever. You flip a house, right? In today’s world, that realm is a little more difficult, it’s a little more challenging and it can be capital intensive. You know, one flip may you may have to put 10 grand down and maybe put 20,000 into the remodel. There’s other things, so there’s different avenues. But I think the biggest thing is invest in yourself and go to something you can get around a bunch of like-minded, people. And I didn’t do that when I was younger. I wish I would have.
Now we have Masterminds and we have all these wonderful seminars and things like that available to teach us how to do great things and to network and all of the above. Back when you started, there weren’t things like that.
No. I was 28 years old.
And I don’t remember if it was you or our mutual friend Matt, but I know somebody, and maybe it was neither of you, but someone that I know that was doing really well in real estate investing, had learned all that they knew at the time from late night television programming. Where buy real estate no money down. Now we know Dean Graziosi and I think Dean was the one who might have been responsible for Matt learning.
He got me and Matt both at our first Mastermind, to be honest. That was twelve years ago. And he said, all right, you guys want to flip houses and you want to sell them to me, right? We’re like? Yeah. Cool. We can do that. We can do the nitty gritty. Like we had a lot of crews and whatnot. And he said, OK, if we’re going to do business, you have to level up yourself, which was joined this Mastermind called Strategic Coach with Dan Sullivan. It was twelve years ago. I had dinner with my coach a month and a half ago, I think in Chicago, Chad Johnson. But anyway, it was a $25,000 a year commitment and you had to fly to Canada every 90 days for one 8-hour day. So every 90 days, 8 hours, and I got 25 grand and I got to go there. That seems crazy, but we wanted to flip houses and sell packages of houses. So it was kind of like what he was demanding that we did. And oh, my God, game changer. I stayed in that Mastermind until five years ago. I mean, I was in that Mastermind for seven years, and I joined to the next level, which was 50,000 a year, and then there’s 100,000 a year. So you evolve up. But yeah, they didn’t really have it, man. We didn’t have YouTube or this Facebook thing or this Instagram thing. Crazy.
I remember, the one that I remember from way back when I was in school was Carlton Sheets.
Oh, Carlton Sheets. No money down. I bought all those tapes. A lot of people got really rich on those tapes. I bought them. I didn’t follow them a ton. And you got to really dive in. Whoever you’re studying, you got to follow it. That’s the reason Matt won that contest. And Matt’s credit to Dean was like, I’m doing a course, and whoever can buy and sell, I think it was like five houses a month for three months in a row, and Matt did that, and he got the dinner with Dean. I’m fortunate enough that I was able to meet Dean through Matt, so thank God for that. And then we flipped a lot of houses. But yeah, Masterminds and just likeminded, people I mean, I was fortunate enough that I got to know you at an early age, but really, really going to sitting at the bar and watching sports every day from 4pm to 8 and drinking beer with your buddies is not going to get you to the next level. Right? We all want to complain about the government or the politics or whoever’s screwing whoever, but getting into groups of, likeminded, people that were all like, hey, what was the greatest thing you did this quarter? What was the worst thing you did? Stuff like that.
And that leads me to I warned you I was going to bring this up. One of the articles that recently came out where they were talking about Andy Sallee’s Five Lessons of Learning or something along those lines. And you’re right, it really wasn’t five, but they somehow categorized it into five.
Yeah, you know how those guys do the articles.
Yeah, but the lessons were important. And so the first one was the issue of this leveraging the power of guidance. And you were talking about mentorship.
Yeah, it’s the power of proximity. It’s exactly why I joined Tony Robbins’s platinum partnership. It’s just, if you can get around these types of people, think of how much, like, if I’m sitting at a dinner party and some young 21 year old drives all the way from Milwaukee to have dinner with me, I’m going to give him as much darn advice as I can give him, right. Because I want him to skip the hurdles, skip the screw ups that I’ve done. I’m trying not to say bad words.
Don’t mess up where I’ve messed up. When I went left, I can tell you go right. Don’t do this, do that. You want to help younger people, I want to help younger people. The only difference between me and that 25 year old kid is I’m on chapter five and he’s on chapter two. I believe in what they were originally talking about, too, was just my I created, like, my Five F’s, and it’s just I put my Faith first. Family, Finance, Fitness, whatever it may be that you’re thinking of that you put in your category, focus on those and go all in. And I do think if you get a chance to grab a dinner that is with somebody that’s a higher level than you, you do it. And Dean used to say that all the time. If I call you, can you grab dinner in Chicago in 3 hours and you got a packed day, you change your day and you go. And I think people got to realize that sometimes. There’s an opportunity to jump on it, silly.
Yeah, well, I get that, and you’re great at that, but there are a lot of people who are listening or watching who are intimidated by the idea of approaching someone that they think is so much more experienced and successful. What do you tell them?
Yeah. And I got a story about that on a negative that I wish because I’m learning as we go too. I’m trying to be better and learn every day, but a lot of that revolves around confidence. A good story on that is Dean Graziosi calls me and Matt this was ten years ago, and he goes, hey, I want you guys to go spend a week on Necker Island with Richard Branson, and we’re just going to hang out with him. Spend a week. We’re going to take a jet down there. And it was like $50,000 or $100,000, I don’t remember. But immediately I remember when I got the text message, it was fear. I was so scared. Why am I going to hang out with a billionaire? I don’t want to talk to a billionaire. I’m uncomfortable. I don’t deserve that. I don’t want to spend the $50 or $100,000 for that week. I had it, but I didn’t want to spend it. Right? We’re in saving mode at that time of my life and living very, on less, but I had it. I could have done it, and it was fear. I didn’t have the guts to spend a week on Necker Island with Richard Branson. Now, fast forward a decade. Dean is best friends with Richard, and they have done hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of business. And me and Matt didn’t go because we’re scaredy cats, and we didn’t go because of fear. But if we would have just had the confidence, I would be friends with that guy today. And that’s one of the big regrets of my life, that we didn’t have the guts. And now I guess, I think that’s why I say yes to a lot of things when it comes to my lane. And like-minded, people like my Charleston trip was just a guy in my Mastermind. I want you to fly out to spend a couple of days getting to know everybody in the group. And let’s just have cigars and dinners and golf and talk business. And there are some wealthy people in that group, but a lot of it’s just confidence in yourself and willing to sit and listen and learn from these guys and just a little bit of guts I think it takes. I still get scared to talk to people of high net worth and high wealth. You probably don’t, but I do. It makes me nervous. I come from very poor background, but confidence is key, and I love it. To be honest with you, I was in Charleston, and a young guy had heard who I was or something and came up and struck a conversation, and I spent 30 minutes talking to him. I didn’t know him from Adam. I’ll never see him again in my life. But I was honored by that, and I wanted to add value for him having the guts to do what he did. Because I’ll be honest, when I was 25, I didn’t have those guts.
Well, and a guy, whether he’s 25 or he’s 75 or whatever, if they don’t have the same life experience, they don’t have the same level of financial success, it can continue to be intimidating. But the other issue, and I’m not sure how you get past this is like, you’re talking about taking advantage of these opportunities at Masterminds or being encouraged to go meet the Richard Bransons of the world or whatever. Some people don’t have those types of resources you had. You just didn’t use it. So what do you say to somebody who really wants to climb that ladder but they don’t have the resources? Maybe they’ve got the confidence. Where do they go to network? Where do they go to find mentors?
Well, here’s the crazy thing. I think wealth is so much easier today than it was 20 years ago. I mean, I’m not giving massive credit to social media, but I’m reachable. You’re reachable. A lot of these names we’re mentioning are reachable. If you don’t have the financial resources. I still get 100 to 200 messages a week on my social media. You can still reach out to these people and get into their circle, someway. Somehow, you got to grab their attention. But first, we all got audible. I read a book a week, no matter what. The last three years, I haven’t missed. Study and work on yourself. So if you get that opportunity to sit in front of that Andy or that Dennis, you’re knowledgeable in the category that you want to go. And you asked some good questions because we’re going to remember good questions and we’re going to notice good answers. And I think anyone could do that. No matter if you have $0 in the bank or $100 million, it doesn’t matter. So, yes, it takes confidence, but with social media and everything we got going on, you can get to anyone and you can get their attention. I really believe that if you want to meet somebody or get somewhere. But a lot of it, too, is just like-minded groups, because a lot of times your circle expands and those people know another person, another person, and it just evolves like a domino effect. And proximity is power.
Yeah. And I’m going to shift gears a little bit because you had mentioned reading a book every week, and I know that Rich Dad, Poor dad was kind of a turning point for you. So what was it about that book, like, for an entrepreneur, whether they’re in real estate or not. But what other books would you also suggest?
Easy. I would think this. So my key people that I love, obviously Robert Kiyosaki. Now, I know Robert. I mean, I read his book, 28 years old. He changed my life. Sharon Lechter actually wrote the book, and I thanked her up and down. This is just the epitome of high level thinkers and high level people. I’m like, you changed my life. I read that book at 28, and, you know, I left the company I was working for and started my own, and my life just went on a different path. And she is the most humble, kind person. Sharon Lechter was like, no, you did it. I just provided the ideas and the tools. So sometimes it’s crazy when you meet your heroes, and I’ve met a lot of them so far, and they’re just like, I’m here to help and evolve. And just give you a couple of little nuggets and a couple of little tools, but you decide what you do from there. I love Tony Robbins. Obviously. Tony Robbins is bomb diggity to me. Dean Graziosi, anything he writes, anything he says, writes, does, YouTubes, I follow everything to a T. Tony, Dean, you know, Grant Cardone, I spent a lot of time and money with him. He shows us the life, right? The jets, the billion dollars and all that. But he has a wealth of knowledge, and I think he shares a ton. My new favorite guy is Ed Mylett. Ed Mylett is the MAXOUT guy. He’s the one more, the one more rep, the one more deal, the one more phone call, and he’s an inspiration. He’s fantastic. I love him. Mark Evans DM is another author that’s in one of my Masterminds. Great dude Tim Bratz, My Legacy Wealth. But there’s so many. I mean, the list is so deep, but those are some of my best ones, but Robert Kiyosaki stuff is all still awesome. I really love what they do there.
And that is something that you do religiously. Listen to audiobooks and make sure you get thru..
Never used you, man, that’s just the last three years. But if you start reading a book a week, you will change, I promise you.
Yeah, no, I love the fact that you do that. I love the fact that you’ve been, like I said, more than anyone I know, improving every facet of your life and improving yourself. And I want to talk a little bit about, this is Andy Salee, core being. From the outside looking in, there are a lot of people in the past that would say, oh, there’s Andy, driving a flashy car, living in this beautiful house, wearing these fancy clothes, doing a bit of partyin’ and a bit of, let’s just call it dating. Let’s call it dating. And they think he’s rash, he’s arrogant, he’s pretentious. And by the way, I’m not excluding myself from being a target at that time in my life, as well. But what they don’t see, and I’m here to say this to everybody, they don’t see the hard work, they don’t see the thoughtful business planning, they don’t see the generous nature with friends and family, the guy who gives back to his community, to charity in so many ways, and frankly, also the spiritual Andy. And you touched on this for a moment, but how important is faith and your relationship to God or whatever being that you follow? How important is that? And what do you do to nourish that relationship?
Well, that’s funny you ask that, because I start every day with faith. I’m obviously a Christian. My home church is a block down the road here at Calvary Church. Tim Bowman is my pastor. And I’m not a saint. I’m not at all. Anything you’ve done wrong, I’ve probably done worse. Yeah. So I’m not saying that. I am a lot better now because I do have so much coaching. I have a love coach that I spend 5000-6000 a month on, and she’s worth every damn penny. But anyway, the faith, it starts with that. Like my faith, family, finance, fitness, it starts with faith. Because I honestly what people don’t realize is the sleepless nights, the days you couldn’t make payroll, the days you have no idea. Like, I remember having a million dollar a year marketing budget, where to put it, and I was throwing darts at a board. The sleepless nights and the payroll and the cash and the deal, if it’s going to work. I mean, look, apartment building down the street, I tried to flip and I lost almost $2 million on that deal. The arrogance back then, I think God just, like, centers us a lot. He says, hey, silly, slow down, chill out. You got a good plan and have a little faith. Because sometimes you do have to have a little faith. And I tell you, I’ve been blessed so much beyond belief. And I think of it, my parents raised me great. I’ve given back a lot of financial return between my foundation and writing checks, which you got me into that originally. Remember, you and I went to every darn charity event in the Quad Cities and beyond, and we outbid everybody and everything. We had the largest on everything, and we did everything, and we’ve continued that. And I think God rewards you for those things because we weren’t giving it to be cool. We really were, we had a dinner and we talked, we just want to give more to our community. I love this community. I think the Quad Cities is amazing, but it all starts in the faith. When I’m in the Quad Cities, me and my brother went to church on Sunday, so when I’m in town, I’d go every Sunday. But obviously you don’t have to go to church at all. I don’t care if you can never go, ever. I’m a big fan of Joel Osteen, so I try to watch him two to three times a week. That’s a half hour of my life. Right. I read the Bible through and through last year. I’m not as good at that lately, but I should get back at that. But Joel is great, but anything I need, I can get from that. Or talking to my brother, who was a pastor, Stephen, and going to church. But every morning and every night, it starts pretty much on my knees and ends on my knees. And when I was into having a good time and partying a lot more and dating nine women at a time, I wasn’t doing all that. So now I don’t have that time. I’m not wasting my time on stupidness. I’m focusing on a better me.
Yeah, well, and that begs the question we have to address that, your love life, because I know you’ve got no problem attracting women, but we’ve had discussions over the years. The concerns that you have when you’ve attained a certain level of success is, are they interested in you or what they think…
Or my resume.
Yeah, your resume, the money that you might have, et cetera. You’ve told friends, and you’ve even posted on social media recently, that you want to find someone. So what is it that you’re looking for? What’s that the perfect potential spouse going to look like?
I thought we were talking business? And charity, philanthropy. I did not know this was coming up. No, I get it. Yeah. You didn’t give me any ideas what we’d be chatting about. Obviously, I’m looking for the love of my life. I mean, I have been for years, but I tended to date younger women back in the day. I don’t really do that as much anymore. But it is a challenge. We’re in a small community of a half a million people. It is a challenge. Obviously, the lifestyle that I live is pretty outlandish and I live an open book. I live pretty transparent, pretty vulnerable. But pretty much on social media, all of my successes, all my wins, my losses, my failures, my everything is out in the public. So it does sometimes attract the wrong type of girl. But I’m just looking for a, like-minded, partner that’s amazing, beautiful, fun, wants to travel the world, kind of has that laptop lifestyle that I have that we can kind of go on a whim and be in Chicago tomorrow or Quad Cities or maybe Scottsdale on the weekend or whatever. Freedom. But also more than that, just the drive and the passion.
And like I said, I don’t care if they’re a school teacher, I want them to be the best school teacher. I don’t care if they’re whatever, just have a passion to be the best at it, you know? They want to constantly be leveling up, because if I’m constantly going to be trying to be better 1% per day and my partner just wants to play video games every day or work 4 hours a day and go to the bar or whatever. It’s just not going to mesh. I need somebody very driven, very passionate, and I don’t care if they cut hair, I don’t care if they serve cheeseburgers. That doesn’t matter to me. Whatever they are, I want them to be the best at and whatever the passion is, it doesn’t matter. I mean, I just want to encourage them to be the best at what they want to do and them to encourage me. And this is going to sound weird for a lot of men of power and of wealth. I don’t want somebody to tells me what I want to hear. And I’ve had that for 20 years. I’ll be honest with you. All the girls, they tell me what I want to hear. They tell me I’m pretty. I want to be told I’m pretty. Now, I want to be told when I’m right. I want to be told when I’m wrong. I want to be told when I’m slacking off a little. I want to be told I could do better and told, hey, let’s get away and we need a vacation. You know what I mean? You want that like what you have. We all want that. And it doesn’t happen overnight. And it’s challenging and I’m going at that very slow. I want it. But I’ll be very particular, obviously, who I do decide to finally date.
Now, I’m going to mentor you one more time. I can’t mentor you much anymore. Yeah, well, you have just done so well. But I’ll give you one piece of advice which has served me extremely well of late, and that is never say never. Always be open. Under a lot of similar circumstances. Some people may have after a divorce said it’s never going to happen again or a bad relationship, it’s never going to happen again. I at least understood myself well enough to know that I can’t do that. I have to be open to the possibilities because you don’t know what you’re passing up if you don’t allow yourself to be open. And that served me well, because I have now ended up with just an amazing woman who is definitely way out of my league. Absolutely certain.
That’s so sweet. Does she ever have a bad day or not a big smile, ever happen?
Well, she can pretend every once in a while. Hey, I want to go back, because we just kind of glossed over and I think it’s important that we talk a little bit more about Andy’s Kids and what you’re doing there. So for those who are not familiar, tell us a little bit more about that.
So a couple of years ago and this just goes back to our faith and our giving and just our legacy, right? If you make a bunch of money, at the end of the day, are they going to really remember that you ordered the new Bugatti? Who gives a shit, right? But what we will remember is the people that we affected. And that’s, a couple of years ago, that’s when I decided. So I created my own foundation. Just called Andy’s Kids. And I called it Andy’s Kids just because I was very poor as a kid. And we’re trying to, like, give cool shoes and clothes to young kids. But right now, mainly, we’re just feeding about 50 to 70 families a day, mainly on Davenport side. So I created that foundation because I just want to give back. And that was a big thing, too, dude. Not kidding you. You cannot outgive God. I promise everybody. You cannot outgive God. I have never given away as much money to charity and philanthropy than I ever in my lifetime until the last 24 months. May be 36, but really the last 24. But it’s amazing. And I’m not doing it for the rewards. But what I can tell you is not just cutting a check, but, like, going to the center on Davenport where every week I was going and serving pizzas. We’d have about 50, 60 people, and I’d pick up pizzas, or I did Chick-fil-a or whatever it was, McDonald’s cheeseburgers, one day it was Burger King . Whatever it was, it wasn’t just buying the food or the writing checks to your foundation, because I have not accepted, we’re accepted through the IRS. Everything’s handled there. I can accept cash if I wanted to and give it out as I chose, but I’ve never taken one penny. And through the pandemic, I funded our people on payroll because we couldn’t help, we couldn’t have people just come in and volunteer. But what I will tell you,this, it has given me so much by sitting and talking to these guys that literally live under the bridge, dude. And it’s the stories. I’ve met pimps, I’ve met whores. I’ve met prostitutes. Heroin addicts. I mean, crack. Well, here’s the thing. Like, one guy just lost his job and his health insurance wouldn’t pay for a heart attack. Then alcohol led to something else. And I won’t go into the details, but they never make a decision…When I sat there that first day, I can remember like it was yesterday. They never wake up and go, I’m going to be a heroin addict. I’m going to be a prostitute. I’m going to live under a bridge. They don’t do that. It’s like one little thing leads to… And I guess I thank God for that because one little decision can lead to so many bad decisions that you could be living at the top of Trump Tower or under the bridge at 74. It’s just a couple of decisions in either direction, would you agree? In life. So that has been, thank God you got me into it. And then I went all in just the last few years, and I swear I have been blessed. And not just money. Money is great, but we have money. Relationships get better. Your friendships, your kinships, your mentors, your mentees, all has been blessed, I think, because not just writing checks, but sitting with these people and serving and listening to their stories. Like that one guy I talked to you about, just medical, how does medical, but it can happen. A divorce was another one. I’ve never been married so I don’t understand that. But there’s a lot on these people’s shoulders. It’s crazy.
Like you said, there but for the grace of God go I. And that is, harkening back to what we started to talk about at the beginning here. That’s legacy to me, right? Doing that type of thing. I have no kids either.
You should have a ton. I think you should have twenty. Go adopt a football team.
Not that I know of. There you go. But regardless of that, if you’re an ambitious person and you want to do well, you want to make a mark, there are ways you can do it, whether you have progeny or not. So your legacy can be doing good for the community, doing good for charity, and you’re doing that right now. One last thing before…
Well, and to step back on that real quick, just a little quick story. One of the foundations that you got me involved with was over twelve years ago, Make-A-Wish. And this young kid was dying of a brain tumor. He was eleven years old and he wanted to ride in a Lamborghini. I was on the board with Make-A-Wish, because of you. We went to an event. I’m with this kid last night. This was twelve years ago. He had one year left to live. Now he is 21 years old, makes about $50,000 a year. Lost 50 lbs. He does karate twice a day. Twice a day. I’m so proud of him. Bought a new Jeep Wrangler all on his own dime, making good money. He’s a full-time student at college. He’s 21. I’m so proud of him. He’s reading a damn book a week because of Make-A-Wish twelve years ago. And now I’m coaching him. We meet once a month, but just you know how good that feels. Good. You know the feeling.
Well, the pupil has become the master. I mean, you are the mentor. That’s what you definitely long for, and that’s great.
Well, I think also we’re thinking legacy, and as we’re getting older, the one guy I never want to meet, like, on my deathbed, you know, the one person I don’t want to meet is the guy I could have been. I always say that every morning. The only guy I don’t want to meet on my deathbed, Ed has taught me that, is the guy I could have been. Could I have done that one extra rep for fitness, or that one extra phone call or one extra kid? I want to meet that guy and go, Man, I’ve been chasing you, and I’m right there next to you, the guy I could have been. And I didn’t realize that until the last few years.
And we’ve touched on so many different things having to do with your spirituality and improving mentally and financially. And we talked about physically, you’re doing karate. You’re really into your fitness. You’re doing everything that you can improve just about every aspect of your life. It’s funny, too, because you mentioned the fact that you didn’t have time to do kind of the regular sports. And from the years that I’ve known you, it’s always been kind of a running gag that Andy doesn’t know a football from a baseball type of thing.
I should get my man card rejected. Dennis does everything, and I’m like, how many quarters are in a baseball game? I guess they’re innings, whatever. I don’t know.
But the thing that people should know is he’s into the adventure sports. Like, he mentioned sky diving and scuba diving and motorcycles and all that type of thing. So you get your man card back for that.
There you go. I can fly about nine different airplanes, too. So that’s pretty cool. Being a pilot’s fun.
Exactly. So there you go. One serious question before, we’re going to play a little bit of a game. Okay. But the serious question is, how do you want to be remembered years from now when you pass from this earth?
Oh, I would say 100% the person that added value to everybody he met. Simple as that. And I really want to add value to everyone I meet.
Okay, well, now you’re going to add value by playing this game with me.
Oh, boy, I’m scared.
It’s called, Would You Rather? And I only save it for certain guests under certain circumstances.
Okay. So would you rather smell like horrible body odor for a year or have terrible acne for six months?
Neither one of those are fun, but I would take the acne.
Okay. Would you rather your partner cry uncontrollably anytime they see you naked or laugh uncontrollably?
Huh. Cry. Laughing would give me insecurities
Of course. Would you rather always have a mullet haircut or a ponytail?
Oh, my God. I would say a ponytail. Where are you getting these?
Okay. Would you rather be physically stronger than everyone on Earth, or would you rather have the ability to fly?
Ability to fly. That was easy.
Me, too. Okay, I like this one. Would you rather have five half sized clones of yourself or one double sized clone of yourself? So five half Andys or one double Andy?
Five half. They’ll get more. Done.
There you go. And last one. Would you rather date a girl who won’t stop talking or a girl who won’t stop texting?
Won’t stop texting.
Yeah. Okay. That makes sense to me. Okay. This is a silly thing to do. Anyway, I want to thank you, Andy, in all seriousness, for being here. It’s always fun to talk to friends on the podcast. It’s also somewhat difficult because there are a lot of things that, when we’re talking, are just natural. And I presume that everyone knows what we’re talking about, and obviously that’s not the case. But thank you so much for making the time. I appreciate it. I also want to thank the audience for joining us today. Again, I want to remind you all to please subscribe to, rate and review Uncommon Convos on your favorite podcast platform and visit UncommonConvos.com to watch the video version of this and every episode. I also would like to remind you all, check out our other podcast, Legal Squeaks, where you can learn about the latest legal and consumer news that might affect your life. And you can learn more about that at LegalSqueaks.com. And lastly, I want to thank, once again, our sponsor, VanDerGinst Law. If you’ve been injured anywhere in the nation, VanDerGinst Law would be honored to help. Check VanDerGinst Law out at vlaw.com. Everyone have a great day. Stay safe and love you all.
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