Andrew Abernathey

From Agriculture to Wealth: Andrew Abernathey’s Remarkable Entrepreneurial Ascent in the Storage Industry

David Pere

David Pere: What's up, military millionaires? I'm your host, David Prey, and today we have Yet another exciting episode today. We are bringing to you Andrew Abernathy, who is a wizard of self storage. They have over 250 million worth of storage, either owned under construction or under management. And they are. Just absolutely crushing it across the Southwest portion of the United States. He's a, originally a farmer from North Dakota. And so we're going to talk about going from farm boy to soon to be bajillionaire, billionaire through self storage and kind of the journey there in, and as you can tell by looking at the gentleman, he's not that old. So this is going to be good. Cause this is and we're going to talk about vertical integration, which I love. And if you don't know what that is, you should stay tuned. Cause this would be a good time. So Andrew, welcome to the show, buddy.

Andrew Abernathey: Hey, thank you so much. It's an honor to be on.

David Pere: Absolutely. Why don't you you want to just paint the picture of how you you grew up on a farm, right? And you still have Abernathy farms on your website, but. What's the connect from farming to self storage what's that journey, right? I don't know that those normally go hand in hand.

Andrew Abernathey: Yeah, that's a great question. So basically when I was 10 years old, my dad knew that I was pretty obsessed with business and numbers and finance. And he had me marketing grain on the family farm. I was running combine grain cart, working at the local John Deere dealership, anything to make an extra buck. Save 4, 000 bucks up by the time I was about 13 went into the market after it crashed the recession, had it crashed down and I got pretty lucky timing, went in, then bought some real estate in Bismarck, North Dakota, then the oil boom hit and I was able to make a million dollar profit for myself and one other guy that jumped in with me, an investor, and then after that's when I created Abernathy Holdings and went and raised, today we've raised well over 80 million in capital, that's when it all started back when I was a senior in high school after that first exit and, I started and I started farming though, to answer that question, I started farming in 10th grade with my brother in high school. And then in 2014, so I would have been about a year into college, the Abernathy Holdings was getting, my side hustle from Fort Grand was getting too big. So I had to be, just be a silent partner in the farm and go full time in Abernathy Holdings in the in the real estate business, not yet storage hadn't started at that point yet.

David Pere: Okay. So hang on. The first million dollar exit was as

Andrew Abernathey: a senior. I got a half a million from that, but then I had some other projects, technically I had a million net worth when I was a senior. I got a half million from that deal though. Yeah. I don't know if I had time to talk to girls, but I'm worth more

David Pere: than anybody who

Andrew Abernathey: works at the school.

David Pere: Oh my goodness. All right. So yeah, I appreciate that you at least admitted like the luck of the timing played some role in the stock market, right? It's. Always interesting to me when you get people on the podcast and they're like, I made this perfect decision, perfectly timed. I knew it's eh, okay. But you're like, yeah, this was lucky.

Andrew Abernathey: And then I pivoted into real estate. So pretty cool. And the real estate was pretty lucky too. The oil boom hitting that was pretty fortunate.

David Pere: Absolutely. But you have clearly continued to run with it, which is phenomenal. And so what was it just raw land that you bought with the 80? What did you, what was it that you rolled into?

Andrew Abernathey: So I had 80 grand from the stock market. And then these apartments for 1. 25 million, it was a 16 plex to eight plex buildings, and I was short 300 grand. I went to my buddy's dad. He's a banker in the town of 200. I grew up in three hours from Bismarck and I'm like, Hey, I need 1. 25 million. Here's 80 grand. He's come on, like you need. 300 grand more in a balance sheet, right? Cause I'm like 10th grade. And so that's when I went to someone, I didn't, I couldn't afford a lawyer because the 80 grand I had, I already wrote a contract accepted purchase agreement with 20, 000 hard non refundable. If I couldn't get the loan done, I'm going to lose 25 percent of my net worth at that time. And so I printed off the Warren Buffett 1956 partnership agreement, whited the names out, and that's what I used for my first deal, just because I couldn't afford a lawyer. So that was funny.

David Pere: That's hilarious. But what's even cooler to me there is you're a sophomore in high school. You found these apartments and you threw 20 grand down hard for anyone listening. That's, earnest money or whatever that you're not getting back if you don't close on the property for any reason other than something's wrong with the actual property itself that doesn't pencil out. And that's a ballsy ass move for anybody.

Andrew Abernathey: I think it was more stupid at the time. So I don't know what I was doing, but yeah, ballsy for sure.

David Pere: Valid. Okay. Valid. How did you, okay. How did you even get into Wanting to find it apart.

Andrew Abernathey: I was, my family's been in real estate, my family farm started back in 1901, roughly and at the time, again, I was doing anything to make money. I rented my grandparents and my parents machinery. My brother and I hauled it to South Dakota and we're custom combining for a farmer. And when we were driving the equipment back to start farming our stuff in Lancer, we drove through Bismarck on the way. And I saw a for sale sign and, and when I get bored, my mind wanders and I just thought, gosh, I'm family's really in real estate always has been. Maybe I should cash out the stocks and do what is more familiar and I did do some research back in the eighties, like Bismarck when the first oil boom hit in the eighties, Bismarck took off. So I was researching patterns and I realized that this oil boom was started, but Bismarck was sitting there there was nothing going on. So I'm like. Odds are it should follow somewhat the same pattern. So there's a little research in this one compared to the first deal was Oh, I'll put some money in Ford. I don't know what I'm doing.

David Pere: Yeah. But nonetheless, three hours away, you convince a guy to, how did you convince somebody to invest in sophomore in high school, Andrew Abernathy with a million dollars. That's not something that a lot of people are. Like some people struggle to do that, 30 years down the road with a Oh, there's a word for when you have a bunch of certifications behind you, but you know what I'm saying?

Andrew Abernathey: Yeah, they have a rap sheet that can help get her done. And for me. For me, I had to make it a no lose. So a no loss situation for the investor. So when I drew it up and I went to him, I said, Hey, I'll manage it for free. I don't want to carry, any profit on your money. And if we lose any money, my money can be first out. It's I literally made it like you, there's no reason you shouldn't do this. Like I made it a no loss situation for him in theory. Now there was. Risk still for him, but it was pretty diluted.

David Pere: That's awesome.

Andrew Abernathey: I love it. Good thing it worked out. Yeah, for

David Pere: sure. At the end of the day, if you'd lost 80 grand as a sophomore in high school, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

Andrew Abernathey: Start over. And I would have been like everybody else. No money. Yeah.

David Pere: You can be back to normal.

Andrew Abernathey: Yeah. Start over, do it again.

David Pere: Oh my goodness. All right. So you sell the apartment complex. What? Two years later for, it would have been what? 2. 2, 2. 3 ish.

Andrew Abernathey: Yeah, it's about two something. And then we had some equity build, from all the rents and mortgage being paid down, it's about 16 or 18 months. So yeah, we had a million bucks, half was mine. And then at that point I'm like, I really liked this. So I went and spent the money, the 12 or 15 grand. So I spent the 12 to 15 grand and I got a lawyer to drop a private placement memorandum. And I became a legit, fund or company at the time. And I told the lawyer, nevermind yet this time I'm. Just going into college 18, 19 and told the lawyers of how much do you want to raise? I'm like, I don't know, 10 million. And he's just yeah, sure enough. I think it was took me about 15 or 10 months or something like that. I had 10 million more raised. And that was when I had to dropped out of college at that time. It was about a year into college. And I told my brother, I want to be passive. And that's when I went full time into the holdings. And

David Pere: at that time, were you still focused mainly on apartment complexes?

Andrew Abernathey: No, I had an identity crisis at the time. I was like any kid in their early twenties, late teens. I've been a little bit different.

David Pere: I don't know if most of them were a little bit different. This problem, but yeah, I can't remember where you're coming from. Yeah. So from 2000 to just to sum it up the shares in 2012, December were about 37, 000 each and Abernathy holdings, which is roughly the time you could say it started.

Andrew Abernathey: From 2014 to 2017 the shares went all the way from the 37 and 12 to about 70,000 in 2017. And that was from random deals. We bought an equipment dealership in Montana. From a third generation family. We had some real estate in Fargo, North Dakota, HUD building, commercial building, we bought, we took controlling interest of an insurance company on the NASDAQ and I got a law change to become a board member of the company when I was 24, because you have to be 30 years or older to be on a board of a public company. So I got an exemption from the state of Alabama. So that was really cool experience. And then that was sold and went private. But anyways, everything was going great, but got my tushy kicked. I don't know if I can swear. Oh yeah in 2017, in 2018 I bought into a helicopter company. And it was a great play. It was publicly traded. It was the largest helicopter, leasing helicopter company in the world. The company had 2 billion in assets. We bought in at a 250 million valuation. We put in. Like 15 or so percent of our portfolio. And then I learned it pretty quick. If you don't have control of something, the who becomes management is out of your control. It got pretty ugly voluntarily went bankrupt. I launched a lawsuit. Against the company. And we did win. So I was a lead plaintiff, really good experience. But when you win a lawsuit, you get pennies on the dollar still, but they did get in trouble. And I was, that was a good feeling. So the point though, is our shares went from 37 to 70, then down to 58, 60 after that loss. And then that's when I learned I need, and that's, I did meet a North Dakota billionaire. He's my partner now. I met him. I cold called him when I was 20. And him and I started to get to know each other when I was 21 ish. He called me back and we started having pie and stuff. So anyways, now fast forward to this point, that Gary, he told me, Andrew, you're good at a lot of things, but you're not great at anything. And that's when I had to reinvent the whole model of Abernathy Holdings.

David Pere: All right, just we'll get to that in a second because that's super profound. But before we do, we're going to dance around something that's not profound at all. Pi. Why? Significance of pi? Is that a big North Dakota thing? Or? Like this is how me and the billionaire got to hang out. Yeah, we just, we would meet up for like pi. I'm like, all

Andrew Abernathey: Yeah, that's a funny story. So I'm laying in bed. I'm like 20, 21. My uncle sends me this article of the richest man in North Dakota and his picture and his story. He became a billionaire from building like hundreds of hotels started with nothing vertical and he just had a sweetest model through Marriott. He like convinced Marriott, like I can handle the clients as good as you. So he was like one of the first in the eighties to like, let Marriott put their name on his buildings. And now they do that for everybody. But anyways, so I called his office in Fargo. I'm just like, Hey, you don't know me from Adam. I grew up five hours from here. I'm just going to college here. But I'd like to meet you. And it was a secretary and she's Oh, I'll call you back. And I'm like, okay, yeah. Good one. So that was it. And then six months later, I get this fall from his call from his Vegas number. And I'm about to say don't ever call me again. It's like a telemarketer. But it was him, Gary, and we talked and he said, let's go to the village in and we met for like breakfast and then had some pie and we just started meeting up weekly and he took me under his wing. Didn't invest at first, but really just took me under his wing. And I don't know why.

David Pere: Because you were a 24 year old kid with the balls to call a billionaire.

Andrew Abernathey: Yeah, maybe that's why. And that ambition.

David Pere: And you'd already done like. You're like, when he's ah, another, just another kid if he gets that many calls he finally calls somebody back. And you're like, yeah, by the way, I've done this already. That, that says something. Oh yeah. It's like the best investment is people. So for some of those guys, it's this is somebody worth investing in. And and then, so that's a really profound. Like it's such a simple statement, but to make sure I don't mess this up, like you're good at a lot of things, but you're not great at anything. I'm just a rewarding of the Jack of all trades piece, but it goes to, talk about, and I'm a fan of bouncing and having shiny object and the vertical integration side of a business for sure. As are as people talk about it's like bridges, right? If you try to build four bridges at once, you're never going to cross the Canyon, but if you build the first bridge. Then you can build the second, then you can build the third, then you can build the fourth or whatever. And so people are like, wow, this billionaire has all these businesses. That's how to get rich. Most of them made it with one thing and then everything else, they coincides or synergistic. But so you had to reinvent the wheel. Yep. And I'm guessing that's where storage kind of came into the picture.

Andrew Abernathey: Yeah, that's a long way of saying that. Otherwise I'm just going to continue to be like,

David Pere: wait, how did we do what?

Andrew Abernathey: Yeah, hold on, I'm lost. Yeah, the whole story was to get to the storage And you're correct. Wealth is built on something and it's preserved on many a lot of billionaires, majority of them are like a Warren Buffett, actually even Warren Buffett, he really didn't have that many investments for most of his life. Like now he's got 80 to 90 subsidiaries, but that is from accumulation. And most of those have been compounded and brought in over the past. A couple decades. So anyways, yeah, Gary said, that profound statement. And I am, I'm good with constructive criticism and I took it like I took it serious. And that's when I went to the drawing board after our pie. And I said, okay what do I want to do? And I thought I like real estate. Every time I've done good at the businesses, cause we've been in a few operating companies, as I've told you. But every time I did real estate, they were even better. It just, it always worked. And so I said what kind of real estate? So then I was, I went all the way down to assisted living and self storage. And I decided to pick self storage because it's simple like farming. There's no tenants and toilets and all this crazy stuff. But the other thing that I liked and what Gary was intrigued by, I said, Gary, for the, this was in 17, for the first time in storage history. The Marriott of storage the public and the extra space in the cube, their sparks, they're starting to do third party management. They will put their name on our building. We can own it just like you did with Marriott in 1982. And also at the time, 95 percent of storage is Ma and Pa owned. There is a huge consolidation wave coming and I don't think we need to be in the forefront of it. So Gary got jacked. He's we jumped on his plane, went up to California, Salt Lake City, met with extra space and public. He came with me. And on the flight back, he said, Andrew, this is your billion dollar idea. So that was the start of it. So I sold everything off and put the cash in a pile and went nuts and built a team.

David Pere: Okay. There we go. I was going to say, I went nuts. He did that. That's, that's super cool to have somebody who's as invested as that and can, help you help point you at Hey, this is. A great idea. Yep. That's some real clarity and that's phenomenal.

Andrew Abernathey: Felt good.

David Pere: Yeah. Yeah.

Andrew Abernathey: And then he did it best. It, cause it was after one of them was done. I was in Vegas and with him sitting there and I said, I blacked out. It's like when you ask your wife to marry you blackout, I said something like Gary, I'm ready. I feel like, blah, blah, blah. And he's okay, how about we go 50 50 and everything you do? And I'm like, deal. He is our partner in every facility. Him and I are on the bank loans. We talk pretty much daily now and it has been, honestly, pinch me. I'm dreaming. I just, it's what an honor.

David Pere: Yeah. Yeah. That's really cool. It certainly helps with the key principle side of things, and you gotta get a loan done. Yeah, this guy's got your, got you covered on the personal financial statement.

Andrew Abernathey: Especially now. ' cause it's tough to get money now. So that sets us apart in these markets.

David Pere: Yeah, for sure. Okay. So you decide you're doing this, you go all in. What does that look like? You said you built a team, but obviously it was not like I bought 250 million. That was this, six months ago and here we are.

Andrew Abernathey: So we only develop ground up we build in major cities. We have a five step strict criteria. We need, 80 to 100, 000 people, three mile radius, 80 to 100, 000 household income, vehicles per day, rental rates. We use the brands. So like right now, public storage is our main one. We own the property. And then we also created the verticals. So I wrote on a whiteboard, okay, we need a construction company. We need a garage door dealership. We need a land acquisition team. We need an entitlement team, right? Made all the things. And then I said, okay, I'm a big passion guy. So we already had an equipment dealership. So we kept that because we rent our own equipment when we're doing construction. So I had a guy already hired president and I look for passion when I go to a table and I throw equipment out, which who turns their heads and is jacked. So I had that guy and then I got introduced to another guy that does the same thing with storage. He's been in it for 15 years looking for this opportunity to go full time all in. But this guy like lives and dreams storage. I'm like, perfect. You're there found a construction. Company and manager, same thing, loves it, been doing it for 40 years. And we just accumulated this team. And I'm a Warren Buffett model of, I don't, I'm not a micromanager. I like to delegate and I create silos and then they all work together. So built the team up. We did one to start got the model tested, figured out what was good and what was bad about it. And then we just went crazy. Our land guys find a new site every couple of weeks. The goal is to open a new facility every single month in 2025, and that's going to be about a quarter billion a year annually in development. And we don't sell, we keep them. So this is portfolio is just growing behind us.

David Pere: Yeah. That's monstrous. That's, that's gnarly. And like you said, your IRRs are much better because your costs are a lot lower with I guess you've actually said that before. Started to record.

Andrew Abernathey: Yeah, so to do that math is average IRR blended is about 20%. For just if you were to do retail, there's no verticals. We add about 4%. IRR because of our verticals, which you add that up over a few years on multiple properties.

David Pere: It'll your money old. What I'd have to do the actual math in my head, 36, like every 18 years, that's an additional double on your cash or something like that.

Andrew Abernathey: And it's up front, that 4 percent is before the doors open. So it's all about recycling cash, right? Cause we had to raise over 80 million, but I've been able to retain personally, 32 percent of the company. And the goal is to not have to sell any more shares. So if I don't want to sell shares, I got to recycle the cash. So it's all about, okay, if I outlay 5 million cash for that project, half Gary, half us. So two and a half, get back 600 net of my employees. Now I'm only one nine in before the doors open. That just gets me that much closer to getting it all back. And then it's just a snowball.

David Pere: Yeah. Wow. Yeah. That's super, super cool. And so you, you said you only really buy in like the Arizona, California areas for now. I'd imagine you're probably gonna have to scale. Pass that at some point as you go to three and a half billion goal in the next 10 years. But if you're buying, if you're trying to build a facility every month, quarter million or quarter billion a year in volume, what's your average size for a storage facility? What's the average? That's not a they're not a quick, don't get me wrong. It's erect compared to a lot of things depending on zoning. But they're still like, they're massive facilities. So it's not hey, I put out a house every week or every month. It's a lot, there's a lot that goes into this. You're saying a month, one every month, like what's your normal build time, what's your normal size. I'm curious on how the timeline pencils out on this.

Andrew Abernathey: So to get to that point, you have to have all the divisions ahead of each other. So like our land team is working a year and a half ahead of our construction team, right? Cause the construction team needs to have a bucket. I look at it like buckets. So between the two silos, between the entitlement and acquisition and the construction, there's a bucket. That bucket needs to be filled. And not be empty of entitled shovel ready sites. So that's what the entitlement acquisition team is in charge of. That bucket can never go empty. And then when the construction team, all the supers and PMs are ready they pluck out of that bucket. And the goal is to make sure the bucket doesn't get too full or too low. If it's too full, you got too much non producing assets. It's not income producing. If it gets too little, then you're putting a bottleneck on your goals. So it's about a year and a half there. California's a little longer. Construction's about 10 to 12 months. So to answer your question, yeah, you have to basically have 12 projects simultaneously happening to get to that one a month,

David Pere: man. That's yeah, that's a lot.

Andrew Abernathey: And you have to have 24 sites to 30 sites in the bucket or in entitlement acquisition phase I should say.

David Pere: Yeah. And then, and you've got a deal, this is full commercial, so you've got to deal with your normal all your environmentals and all your actual. It's a little bit more complex, for sure, than a normal build. Although, again, the actual building of the structures don't start really quick. I've seen those things go up fairly quickly. One of my buddies the guy that I mentioned before we talked, he added on doubled his units or whatever, his doors. And his first unit... And, it was pretty cool to watch how quickly they were able to do that once they got it all approved and how, they're filling it out. Like the numbers on it, like storage is a pretty lucrative endeavor clearly because you're able to make a 20, 24 percent IRR on new build, which is not normal for. Most asset classes

Andrew Abernathey: just takes a long time because even once it's open industry standard is three years to stabilization now Our site selection has proven to be awesome because we have a site for example in Goodyear or Gilbert Arizona that opened in December and it's already 70 percent full so we're filling ours in half the time So that really shaves off because if you got a year entitlement a year construction Three years. And you're looking at five to six years as industry standard before you can refi. So really there's a lot of money in the world. There's not much patient money. And that's our, one of our niches too, is we have patient money. We don't do dividends, never have Warren Buffett's. We have people that don't need the money it's for wealth growth. And then we also have the PG and the bank finance that most don't have, especially in markets or times like this.

David Pere: Yeah, that's a really good point. For sure. It's not necessarily that it's cost prohibitive because the returns are there. It's time prohibitive. Most people are not going to take the time to be like, Oh yeah, storage. That sounds like the best thing to build it in five years, I'll be able to start making money and or three years, I'll be able to start making money after I put this capital in and by year five, I might be able to refinance out my capital and do it again. Like the world's slowest burr.

Andrew Abernathey: It's, that's a hard thing. Yeah. And the, yeah, the 20 to 24 percent blended IRR that's blended for the five years. It's not like you can just go a year in, like you gotta, you're committed. Like it's not a, Oh, I'm a year and I'm going to cash out my 24 percent return. No, it's a, that's a blended return. You gotta, you're committed.

David Pere: Yeah, absolutely. All right. So we've got the vertical integration, the story that the outline and you guys are. Not so like you said, quarter billion a year, Joel is three and a half billion by 2032. Talk to me though, about the Abernathy foundation. I know I see that and I'm looking at it and this is actually pretty cool because what you guys support I don't know if you've noticed an uptick from this yet, but the sound of freedom just came out. And I'm, it's been cool. This is a cause that I get behind. And it's cool to see people rallying behind that now. So..

Andrew Abernathey: No, I appreciate that. It's a passion project. I actually made a trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand in January and saw firsthand and met some of our partners. The biggest thing for us is, I've learned that giving money efficiently and effectively is just as hard as making money efficiently and effectively. You can give a dollar to anybody. But how do you do it efficiently? So what we've done is we find partners across 40 different countries and we invest in them, right? So if they don't, for example, they don't know how to raise money. We'll send them the materials and teach them how to raise money. Or if we need a house built, we'll hire someone local. So every dollar we've donated on average turns into 9 and 73 cents. So there's an ROI it's multiplied to give back. And we all know there's 50 million people in trafficking throughout the world and 13 million of them are kids. So it's going there and actually doing that trip and standing in the red light district and seeing kids literally living in that fear, like not just hearing about it, but actually living it was. That's a real moment for me and lit a huge fire. So we have done this thing called on the side of Abernethy because Abernethy Foundation is really just a conduit. I bring in people that are really good at making money, but don't have the time to give. And I've created a team there, just like I've created a team for the for profit business to do this effectively and efficiently. I don't take a dime. Abernethy Holdings is simply a conduit to try to help fight this great fight. And so we, there's another thing that we partner with called calling guardians. And what that really is companies, they sign up and they do a dollar per day per employee to go to the fight and the company will match it. So it's cool. So most companies are like, Hey, if you want to donate money, let us know, maybe we'll match it. No, this is the company says we're going to donate a dollar every day. When you come to work, you can match us if you want, but we're doing it regardless. And that's, you wake up, you come to work you're fighting the fight. So I always say on these podcasts, I say, whenever I do it, I'll do it right now. If 200 people sign up on this podcast, employees, 200 employees. For any amount of companies, I will personally match it to go to the fight. Every size, about a 48, 000 commitment on my end right now.

David Pere: That's phenomenal.

Andrew Abernathey: So I do that on every podcast.

David Pere: That's super cool. And yeah, again, I love the mission and I love the, ah, it's awesome.

Andrew Abernathey: Yeah, it's, it is awesome. It's drums. I got goosebumps. It's a. It it really does mean a lot and it's greater than any dollar made. Yeah my, my sister's a doctor. One's a teacher. My brother's a farmer. I believe you're put on this planet to use your talent to do good. And for me, I'm good at making money, but it's just. To go and do good with it. Just like my sister changes minds and health and food and every other sibling of ours. So

David Pere: I to say changes her mind on what she wants to do all the time, but I got what you're thinking of. You're good at building, making money for sure, but there's also something else there that, we haven't actually touched on and I want to just briefly hit on before we bring this interview to a close and that is. You mentioned it even for the Abernathy Foundation that you built a team. So you've mentioned... You're good at making money, which, okay, yes you did that, stock market first apartment complex, everything else. But I think what's more impressive is for anyone who's running a business or has done anything at scale, especially with construction involved to know what you're able to pull off right now. Anybody can see that takes a pretty incredible team outlay, like you mentioned the different silos, but like a lot of people can't build a What, what were some of the things that were pivotal for you in learning how to, was it being around mentors or their specific books that you were just like, do you run off EOS? I'm just curious, like how in the world do you quickly, cause it was pretty quick relatively build that team in multiple different companies at the, like simultaneously talking to each other. Most people don't scale vertically at once.

Andrew Abernathey: Yeah. Yeah, it was a lot of, that's a good question. I think a lot of it is mentorship. I've always been a curious person since 10 years old and a lot of books. Traction, obviously you read that book. That's a great book. And shoe dog, it's about the Nike story. I love, the men who built America and I can go on forever. Like I literally daily am listening or watching a show or a book about somebody that's done it. And then obviously the firsthand experience with Gary. And I look for rhythms. I look for things that rhyme and every single one of them, these companies were not built on two hands and actually working on the business, not in the business is the most important thing I had to learn. Coming from the farm, you worked in it and on it, but mostly in it. So I had to learn how to work on it and not feel weird about that. So yeah, my talent is bringing great people together, making sure they get paid very well. The best ROI is in your people. I love giving equity away and and letting them do their job and be a cheerleader. And that's what I'm good at. And I'm good at that because I've honed that talent because I knew I had to be good at it to do what I want to create. I've always wanted to build a billion dollar business and I could not do it any other way from my research. And that's my thoughts anyway.

David Pere: No, I think you're spot on. Yeah. You absolutely need a team to do any of that. And I think that's, I think that's really, yeah, that's solid. Yeah. The mentorship piece plays a huge role. All solid books. I appreciate that. All right. What have we missed? We've been chatting for 40 minutes now.

Andrew Abernathey: Yeah. The most important thing, I was like, I have a beautiful wife of seven years and I've got three boys, five and under, I'm so proud of, those are things that sometimes you get rolling on all this, but that is my core. That's my center. That's my. That's my life. And I do all this for all of us and it's a lot of fun. It's a lot of fun.

David Pere: That is definitely, I did miss that in the intro. And

Andrew Abernathey: that's okay. Yeah. I, at the end I always bring, I just something I just, I'm so proud of. That's my biggest prize. That's awesome.

David Pere: That is, and good luck with you having five boys that all want to, go buy stocks when they're. 10 and go take on the world.

Andrew Abernathey: We do a lot of lemonade stands at our house.

David Pere: Oh, I'm sure. I know. I was just talking to my son about that. Two days ago, he had a slushie, or like a fro, whatever the, like snow cone is, and it had melted all the way down. He's I'm going to make these and sell them when I get a little older. And I was like, you could do that right now. You'd probably be better off right now. Cause you're still

Andrew Abernathey: Door to door.

David Pere: When you're like 12, rather than like lemonade stand, people are much less likely, I think, to stop than

Andrew Abernathey: when you're 18. You're like, who the hell is that creep?

David Pere: Quarter, quarter for a glass of lemonade. Oh yeah. That's nice.

Andrew Abernathey: Oh, I love it.

David Pere: Where can people get ahold of you? Obviously this is a. I'd imagine you've got a website for the PPM and where would you like people to be able to reach out and find you for more information to follow along with your wild ride that you're on, which is just super cool.

Andrew Abernathey: Thank you. Yeah. I got it. So I got Andrew Abernathy. com is a personal page and that kind of links you to everything. Abernathyholdingco. com is in there. You can follow that link to our company. We have a foundation page. And then I'm also on the social medias, Andrew J Abernathy on Facebook and LinkedIn and. And and Instagram. Jump in. I always love sharing family and business and just the real life stuff. I'm not. The whole look at my Ferrari stuff. I drive a Jeep with a cracked window, so it's just, it's more about the journey and the fun, like building stuff. So...

David Pere: some of these storage facilities are beautiful, by the way.

Andrew Abernathey: Yeah. Thank you.

David Pere: Oh, I didn't even think to ask. And now I'm looking is most of your stuff is internal corridor.

Andrew Abernathey: Yeah. Most of it. So each one's about 16 million, each project 15 to 16, and they're about 800 to a thousand units each, about a hundred to 130, 000 gross feet. And we fit them all in about three acres. So we're very efficient on dirt. Again, I'm a nerd. We talked about that from the start. I have it down to the science or the team does. And I love talking with them about it.

David Pere: Yeah, no, this looks, this is solid. These are beautiful. This is really cool. Thank you. I look forward to following the journey and I really appreciate you coming on the show to share your story, brother. This has been, there's been a lot of fun.

Andrew Abernathey: Thank you. It has been an honor. This has been so much fun.


Andrew Abernathey at the Military Millionaire Podcast

Episode: 223


Andrew Abernathey


If you're feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by the constant juggling act of trying to build a real estate business while serving in the military, only to see your efforts fall short and not yield the desired results, then you are not alone! It can be incredibly challenging to balance the demands of military service with the demands of entrepreneurship, leaving you feeling stuck and discouraged. But don't despair, there are strategies and insights available to help you successfully navigate this unique path and achieve your business goals while serving your country.


Meet Andrew Abernathey, a North Dakota farm boy turned entrepreneur. His journey from farming to success is inspiring. With a strong agricultural foundation, Andrew's business and finance skills blossomed early. He ventured into real estate and the stock market, owning an apartment complex and becoming a major player in a Nasdaq-listed insurance company. His climb culminated in leading a multimillion-dollar storage business, showcasing his entrepreneurial talent.


What You’ll Learn from Andrew Abernathey:


  • How did Andrew Abernathey transition from agriculture to create a multi-million-dollar storage business?
  • What is the significance of leveraging your individual strengths and assembling a strong team to achieve success?
  • How important is networking and forming strategic partnerships in achieving success in business?
  • Why should you consider entering the self-storage investment industry as your next entrepreneurial endeavor?
  • And so much more!




00:01:25 – Early Business Ventures

00:04:50 – First Real Estate Deal

00:08:11 – Growing Abernathy Holdings

00:10:31 – Learning from Losses

00:13:07 – Gary's Influence

00:14:34 – Focus on One Thing

00:16:12 – Partnership with Gary

00:19:12 – Building a Team

00:22:06 – Scaling and Timeline

00:26:38 – Passion for Making a Difference

00:27:06 – Investing in Partners

00:28:12 – Calling Guardians

00:30:00 – Building an Effective Team

00:32:45 – Family as the Core


Favorite Quote:

“The best ROI is in your people. I love giving equity away and letting them do their job and be a cheerleader. And that's what I'm good at.” – Andrew Abernathey


How to Connect:

Explore his personal website at to dive deeper into his story and insights.

Visit the company website,, to discover the business ventures that have led to his success.

Engage with him on Facebook at for updates and discussions.

Get a glimpse of his journey on Instagram by following him at

Connect with Andrew through these platforms to gain valuable insights, follow his endeavors, and join in on the entrepreneurial journey.




Snag a FREE copy of my book, and get connected to the Military Millionaire community on all of your favorite platforms:

Join The War Room Mastermind (no, not Andrew Tate's knockoff), the only mastermind exclusively for service members and veterans striving to achieve financial freedom:


Recommended books and tools:





My name is David Pere, I am an active duty Marine, and have realized that service members and the working class use the phrase “I don't get paid enough” entirely too often. The reality is that most often our financial situation is self-inflicted. After having success with real estate investing, I started From Military to Millionaire to teach personal finance and real estate investing to service members and the working class. As a result, I have helped many of my readers increase their savings gap, and increase their chances of achieving financial freedom!

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