Every now and then, you’ll hear someone say, “It’s all in the mind,” and in a sense, they’re right. Steven Pesavento believes that, to level up your mindset, you need to surround yourself with people who are better than you. He is the Host of The Investor Mindset Podcast, and President of VonFinch Capital. This episode, he tells the story of how he’s able to live the life he wants to live as he aims to inspire. Learn how he made out of state investments work to his favor and why having no background real estate isn’t a problem. Know the benefits of constantly challenging yourself in order to be better and start harnessing the power of thoughts and beliefs to start building the life you want to live.
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
Level up Your Investing, Level Up Your Mindset with Steven Pesavento
I am super excited to bring another amazing guest on the show. His name is Steven Pesavento. He’s the host of The Investor Mindset Podcast. He’s an active investor who flipped over 200 homes within his first three years in the business. Based out of Denver, he manages teams out of state and is an expert at finding and funding deals. Through his top-rated podcasts and private membership community, he brings together real estate investors focused on growing their business and their lives, uniting around the belief that investing in yourself leads to the biggest ROI. Through modeling others, he was able to escape the corporate grind of management consulting by focusing on building better beliefs, better habits, and taking better action. I’m super excited to have you on the show. Welcome to the show. How are you?
I am doing amazing. It’s great to be here and thank you so much for doing what you do. For all the audience, I’m grateful that you are here. I’m Steven Pesavento of The Investor Mindset Podcast. It’s awesome to be able to have a medium like this and be able to reach many people who have big dreams and big goals and be able to learn, “How do I build the life that I want? How do I build that financial freedom so that I can spend every day working when I want to and not have to if I don’t?”
How did you get started investing in real estate?
My story is similar to a lot of people. I started being educated when I was young. I read Rich Dad Poor Dad when I was seventeen, but it took nearly ten years before I bought my first property. My first real estate purchase was not my home. I hadn’t bought my home until I had done over 100 deals and over 100 flips or wholesales, which is wild for a lot of people to think about. If I take one step back, I was working in management consulting. I was doing work where I was making good money and making an impact on these businesses, but I wasn’t finding that passion. I’m a big believer that you got to do things that add value to the world, but you can find a way to be passionate about it. Real estate was that thing that kept coming back up.
I couldn’t seem to get rid of this feeling that I’ve got to do something in real estate, but I kept having these limiting beliefs. I kept having these thoughts that kept saying, “You don’t have enough money. You don’t have the right background. Your family doesn’t have the right background. You don’t know anybody who does real estate. Why would you think that you can go and do this?” At some level, everybody has those thoughts. What was amazing for me is I had those and I kept having these false starts. I made many different offers over many different years on properties and things didn’t work out.Build that financial freedom so that you can spend every day working when you want to and not have to if you don't. Click To Tweet
Finally, I had this moment where I had this spiritual experience. I ended up clearing out a lot of this doubt and set me back on the right path. After that, I fired all my clients. I went full time into real estate. That first year I did over 75 flips out of state, specifically in the Raleigh-Durham area and back in Minneapolis. I was living in Southern California at the time. I love SoCal, living on the beach. I now live in Denver. I want to take advantage of the mountains. I’m always a traveler trying to get back and forth between the two.
Your early strategy was fixing and flipping properties. You were doing it out of state. How did you manage all these different teams that were out of state? Were you flying to these places regularly?
At the core, the reason I got into real estate is that I wanted to build the lifestyle that I desired. I wanted to build the ability to know that I had the security of income coming in every single month. That real estate was creating not only a passive income but was also creating generational wealth and building my net worth. I got into flipping because that’s one of the best ways if I can go and do the work on these properties as far as finding the deals, managing the people, not swinging the hammer. If I can create that income, then I can invest it into passive deals. What I ended up finding out was that I quickly started building this massive business, but I wasn’t building the portfolio that I desired.
After three years of building a super successful business doing lots and lots of deals, raising tens of millions of dollars in capital, I essentially did what I did at the beginning. I shut the majority of that business down. I still do some single-family, but I focused primarily on going out and finding large multifamily and large commercial deals that have the economies of scale. Going back to your original question, while I was getting started, I was in hustle mode. I was a young guy. I was making good money in my corporate job but before I left, I was managing all these digital marketing campaigns. I’m making good money while living a good life but I wasn’t getting rich. I thought, “I’m going to go dive in 100% into real estate to go and create this income.”
What I realized after doing this, after working so hard is that I could have skipped a step. As long as I have money to invest, then I can put it into these larger assets that end up creating a better return. The problem is when you’re investing out of state and you’re doing a single-family deal or you’re doing these smaller deals, I had to look out of state to get the returns that were going to make sense. In SoCal, things are trading at a three cap or things are only offering a 3%, 5% to 6% return. However, in some of these other secondary markets, I was able to find much better returns.
I’d fly out to North Carolina every three weeks. I had business partners that were on the ground managing the day-to-day. The challenge is when you’re dealing with small assets, I can’t look at every property. I can’t do personal due diligence on every property. I’ve got to trust the team. It’s critical to build a phenomenal team. One of the benefits of going bigger, of dealing with much larger assets is that it makes sense when I’m buying a $20 million building to fly out to that locale, to go and see that. It doesn’t make sense when I’m buying a $200,000 building, especially when I’m doing it ten times a month.
That covers how you play in the real estate space. There was something that I want to pivot back to, which was something that you shared with me in your bio that I found intriguing was that you use your credit card to fund your $1 million revenue business in year one. Can you talk about how you did that? What was the process around doing that?
I’d highly won’t recommend somebody to go and do that unless they have a hardcore belief and they’ve got great mentors and partners. People that they’re working with that have experience. When I was getting started, I didn’t have a lot of cash. I made this decision to go all-in. I ended up renting my house on Airbnb once a month for a week in order to cover all my expenses so that I could hustle to build the business that I built. I knew without a doubt that if I sent enough marketing, if I did the right actions, I would be able to find a deal. By finding a deal, I’d be able to earn the income. By earning that income, I’d be able to build the business that I dreamed of, that I knew was possible.
I was only able to do that because I went out and found other people who are already doing it. I found a way to add so much value to their world that I could get close to them. I had these great mentors. I was part of a phenomenal mastermind. I knew a set process that I believed would work well. When I started, I had spent $1,000 on sending 3,000 letters in California. I only got twelve phone calls and it was right then and there that I realized I needed to look at a different market.
You were sending those 3,000 letters to get deals.Go out and find great coaches. Surrounding yourself with other high performing people that are doing things way above your level. Click To Tweet
I’m sending letters to homeowners with the intention of buying a deal from them. What I realized was that in order to thrive in that market, I would have to spend $10,000 a month to be sure that I’d be able to get a deal well. I looked at another market and I knew that I have a better chance there. The call response rate was good. I did a test and I used some of my cash to do that test. I was seeing those phone calls come in. Most phone calls usually lead to me being able to buy a deal and therefore being able to invest in that property. Once I had proven that it would work, not once I have proven that I could buy a house, but that I was getting the leads that I needed, then I put my credit card down on the table. Within those first three months, I had spent about $25,000 to $30,000 on marketing that ends up leading to me buying a deal.
That first deal took 2 to 3 months from when I started doing direct mail. I had got some contracts signed, some properties under contract, and then I had worked out deals with other investors where I could instantly sell those properties and earn that money back. In about six months after starting and working in this new market, I had seen multiple deals come full cycle from sending the letter or doing the cold call all the way to closing. I was able to prove the model. Slowly over that year, I paid back all the credit cards. I got the cashback out. Things worked out well but it was a huge risk because if it didn’t work out, then I would be sitting on something with huge interest rates. It was 0% financing. I knew I had twelve months, and I was going to find a way, and I was 100% committed. That’s essentially how I funded my business out of pocket
Going out and raising money from other people who are working full-time jobs, who are busy doing what they’re professionally the best at. I call them power players. They saw what I was doing. They saw the track record of my partner. They were like, “This person is a massive hustler. He’s going to find a way to make it work. He’s partnered with somebody with 10, 20 years of experience doing the business. Let’s invest in.” I’ve never not returned a dollar to investors. Even when we’ve lost money on deals, we’ve always paid the investors the returns that we projected. The core of our business is how do you go out and find a way to add value to everybody in the deal? That’s essentially how we funded our business.
Your podcast and your platform is called The Investor Mindset. You touched on it in the beginning, but it feels to me that mindset has been super powerful in terms of how you have been able to achieve what has happened in your life. It appears that not all the things that you tried worked. What advice do you give to people who are thinking like, “I don’t think I’m like Steven, I don’t think I can do this?” What do you say to them?
What I say to them is what I say to myself. That’s doubt creeping in. It’s a belief that you’ve had that you’ve repeated over and over again and it’s gotten stronger. It’s like doing reps in the gym, those muscles get stronger, but when you stop allowing yourself to say that over and over again, you’re going to let that belief get weak. You might even be able to break through and change that belief. One of the big things is that for me, going out and finding great coaches, surrounding myself with other high performing people, people who are doing things way above my level. Even right now after doing 200 deals, I try not to hang out, with people who aren’t also high achievers. I love to mentor and coach, but one of the key pieces of that is these people have to be committed to their success more than I’m committed to their success.
I try to put myself around people who are also high achievers so that I feel I’ve got that pull. I can see that these people can do it. I know that I can do it. What it comes down to is understanding that at first, it’s going to be scary. You’re going to have doubts. You’re going to be in this place where, “I don’t think I can do it.” That’s normal. Everybody has that. Some people act like they don’t have it. Some people are able to put it aside. The reason why I launched a podcast called The Investor Mindset is because I believe at the core. When you understand how to harness the power of thoughts and beliefs in the right way, you start taking the right actions, you start seeing the right results and you start living the life that you want to live.
One hundred percent of that comes down to the way that you think. If you can listen to great podcasts like The Investor Mindset, which we’ve got phenomenal authors. I’ve spoken with a lot of them, Chris Voss, Bob Burg, Joe Fairless, Rod Khalif, many people that are high achievers and by listening to the way that they think, and then applying some of those thoughts in your own life, you can start to see some of the same results that they have gotten. If you’re feeling like, “I don’t know if I can do this.” The first thing I would do is change the people you’re hanging out with. Figure out what is the sum of the five people that you spend the most time with. How can you add a couple of people to that that make you feel uncomfortable so that you can challenge yourself to grow?
The second thing is I would highly recommend investing in a coach. I’m not pitching you on working with me. What I am pitching you on though is the power of when you pay for something and you prioritize it. Most importantly, when you’re paying for something, a coach from the outside can see a perspective that you can’t see. Every single week I’m working with my coach. I have multiple coaches for different areas of my life. Those people, just like if I was a top-tier basketball player, they’re going to see things that I’m doing or thinking that I’m not in alignment with what I want to be thinking or I want to be doing. Those people act as reminders and mirrors so that they can make those changes. Be patient, it takes time to make change happen. It can happen in a second and in an instant, but it often takes time for us to get there.
When we can look at things from a long-term perspective, we can look at the five-year picture of what we’re going to create with real estate and how we’re going to move in that direction. Most importantly, when we make the decision, we cut ourselves off from all other options. When we make that decision to set out on our path, likely one that’s been walked by many others ahead of us and follow in their footsteps. We too can reach that financial freedom that all of us as real estate investors and most of us as entrepreneurs and business people are looking for.
I encourage you, if this resonates with you, please check out The Investor Mindset and check out this awesome five-day program that’s free. It’s a five-day challenge that we put together that helps people step by step over five days. We put together a plan so that they can take action. You can find that at TheInvestorMindset.com/reboot. It’s free. It’s something we put together for our community members because we found a lot of people were having that fear. They weren’t sure, “How do I start taking action and go towards the things that I know matter the most and I care about?”Surround yourself with people that make you feel uncomfortable, so that you can challenge yourself to grow. Click To Tweet
Is there anything else that you think would be good to share with the audience at this point?
After interviewing many people, what I’ve realized is that all of us, whether we’re the top achievers or people who haven’t done much, are still staying in a level of fear. All of us have these feelings. All of us have these fears and a lot of us are letting them hold us back from doing the things we want to do. If you’re thinking about getting into real estate, I encourage you at the end of this interview to ask yourself, what’s one action I can take? If you’re thinking about going on the active side, what’s one person that I can follow? What’s one resource that I can go and execute? What’s the deal that I can review? If you’re on the passive side, how can I get engaged to learn more about these deals? How can I follow in the footsteps of some of these people to go and invest?
Instead of letting fear drive us, step into the light and what’s possible for you and find the way. That doesn’t mean put up $50,000 and invest with somebody. What it does mean is put yourself into their platform, enter your email into their system, work with Lisa and find a way, how can I learn more about this stuff? If you’re interested in learning about working with us, you’re can head over to TheInvestorMindset.com/dealroom and get access to some of the education that we put out. At the end of the day, you’ve got to take action on this stuff for it to work.
That leads me to my last bits of questions here, which are my level up questions. The first one is what are you grateful for in your life?
I am incredibly grateful for the life that I have, for the fact that I’m living, the fact that I get the opportunity to be here every day and to be able to serve my audience, serve my investor, serve my community. Life isn’t guaranteed. I had a close young sibling pass away earlier this year and life changes in a moment. Without getting emotional about it because I can feel myself getting there, I want to let you guys know that we only have so long to live. We got to make sure we’re living our life to the fullest every day. That doesn’t mean go out and party. What it does mean is do the things that are meaningful to you and set yourself up for long life, but live your life at the moment so that you can enjoy what this is all about. I’m grateful that I’ve got that constant reminder to do that myself and to go out and live a life without regrets.
What has attributed to your success and continuous growth?
It is investing in myself. I’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on coaching, mentorship, and training. It’s understanding how I can start believing in myself differently, understanding how can I take these skills, books, learnings, all these lessons, and apply them to go out and do great things. At the core of that is stop being in fear. It’s been incredible to see how that has come together for me.
The last is what do you know now that you wish you knew at the beginning of your journey?
I need to remind myself this every single day because I’m impatient. I want to drive forward and I want to grow. I want to be the biggest investor, help the most people, and make the biggest impact. The thing that I would remind a younger version of myself is that the best things in life take time. What you can accomplish in ten years, you won’t even imagine versus having an overestimate of what you can accomplish in one year. I’d remind myself to enjoy the moment, to be excited about what I’ve already accomplished, the progress that’s been made. Continue to do the right things day in and day out, regardless of whether those results are there. Being reminded that they will come, they always do, and they always have.
If my audience want to get in touch with you, what is the best way they can go about learning more about you and your offerings?Be patient. It takes time to make change happen. Click To Tweet
I encourage you if you’re fans of Instagram, connect with me there. If you’re on LinkedIn, find me. Search my name on both platforms, you’ll find me right away. Head over to TheInvestorMindset.com/reboot and take advantage of that five-day email challenge. It includes a direct one-to-one coaching video for me every single day for five days with a mission attached to each. It is all directed towards getting you to have more clarity, to take more action, and start seeing the results that you want. It’s fun. The feedback that we’ve gotten has been phenomenal and it’s all built around interviewing over 100 phenomenal, high-level investors and taking what they’ve learned and put it into a format that you can run with.
Thank you so much, Steven, for coming on the show. I appreciate it.
Thank you so much for having me and thank you, for reading. I’m grateful to have been able to spend some time with each of you guys here. I do encourage you to reach out and find out more ways that you can keep growing yourself.
It’s such an amazing episode. Steven, thank you so much for coming on the show. I loved the energy of this particular episode. Two things stood out to me that I feel were so good. One was the best things in life take time. Enjoy the moment and make sure that you’re enjoying life as you’re moving along. That speaks to me more than you can imagine. Continuing to stay present and to live in the moment, live now and be happy. Take time to enjoy some of what is going on in your life.
The second was the importance of coaches and being around other people who make you feel uncomfortable. When he said that, I truly could feel it because I have coaching situations where as I get closer to talking and I know it’s time to talk to them, I’m like, “Oh my goodness.” There are many things that I am still working on and places that I want to keep going and growing towards. Being in those environments helps you to grow. It pulls you to your dreams and goals to develop and transform into the person you are meant to be.
The last thing that stood out to me in all of this was the mindset. There are many times when he talks about mindset and things are not going the way you want them to go. Being relentless and not giving up, and continuing to pursue and go after your goals and dreams even in the face of a lot of noes. Pivoting time and time again, listening and having these interviews with all these amazing investors. What constantly comes back is that things don’t always go the way you wanted them to go when you started out. Take the feedback that is given during the process and pivot accordingly. I hope that this episode has inspired you to take action or better yet as his motto here states, “Building better beliefs, better habits, and taking better action.” Keep leveling up and until next time, take care. Bye.
- The Investor Mindset Podcast
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
About Steven Pesavento
Steven Pesavento is a host of The Investor Mindset Podcast and an active investor who’s flipped over 150 homes within his first two years in the business. Based out of Denver, he manages teams out of state and is an expert at finding & funding deals. Through his Top-Rated Podcast and Private Membership Community, he brings together real estate investors focused on growing their business and their lives.
Uniting around the belief that “Investing in yourself leads to the biggest ROI”.
Through modeling others he was able to escape the corporate grind of Management Consulting by focusing on Building Better Beliefs. Better Habits. And Taking Better Action.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join The Level Up REI Podcast Community today: