Episode 35 – Bill Allen on The Military Millionaire Podcast
00:00 - 05:00
What's up military millionaires. I'm your host, David Pere. And today we have a super exciting episode about, really, it's about all kinds of stuff.
Bill Allen is a member of our Facebook group. And I reached out to him because I said, Oh, hey, you've got a cool story. And I had no idea who I was reaching out to as far as the value that this guy would bring.
So Bill is a wholesaler and flipper who went from active duty and transitioned into the active reserve and then the reserves in the Navy, and he's doing over 200 deals a year. He's a mastermind coach, and he is just a brilliant, brilliant mind. I had so much fun on this. And not only talking about real estate, talking, mindset and success, and it's huge. I gained so much from this episode. I'm so excited to bring this to you.
Bill Allen is just a genuine awesome guy. If this is your first time listening, thanks for joining the community. The podcast is produced every week for your enjoyment. You can find the show notes at Frommilitarytomillionaire.com/podcast. Now relax and enjoy the show.
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Hey, what's up everybody? It's Dave and I'm here with Bill Allen, a former and I guess still current Navy pilot gone wholesaler flipper and transitioned into the reserves.
Bill's been featured on the BiggerPockets podcast and I had no idea about any of that. I saw him on facebook group was like, Oh, you have a cool story. Let's talk on the podcast and then afterwards realize that Oh, Bill's the real deal. So I'm kind of lucky to have him and I'm super excited about this podcast for you guys.
Bill. Thanks for joining us.
Yeah, absolutely. I'm happy to be here.
Yeah. Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sure. I think you have a military background as well. So I'll kind of start there.
So my dad was in the Navy and I did an ROTC scholarship at Georgia Tech. I was an engineer. So I think I like numbers now. So I got commissioned into the Navy as a pilot. I actually went to grad school at Air Force Base up in Ohio. I got a master's degree in aeronautical engineering and then I went down to flight school.
So I flew helicopters out in San Diego in the fleet. And then I've been a flight instructor off and on for three different times down in Milton, Florida at the bps in Pensacola. I was a test pilot. I got a test pilot as a test pilot out in Pax river for a few years. I went to school in England to get my test pilot certification and then went and did that and then I went FTS as a transition to the active reserves for a couple years. I was supposed to go back to be a department head and we had some kids and I didn't want to go get deployed over and over again. So I went down to Pensacola and I was a flight instructor as an FTS guy.
05:00 - 10:00
Starting real estate business and then after that I kind of came out of active duty. We had a, I have an interesting story about my middle son, he's had a board with a heart defect. So he's had four open heart surgeries in the first six months of his life. And that was the time where I said, it's time for me to focus on my family and in my business and, and leave the Navy. So I am still in the reserves, I fly down a bt 386 as a trainer down in Milton, I got to do 60 days a year down there. So I started a real estate business while I was.
I had a CO, when I was in college at the ROTC unit that he said he bought a house and every one of his duty stations, and he always made money. So that was in like, I don't know, 1999. So I said, Okay, that sounds like a good idea. I'll start doing that.
So I bought my first condo in San Diego 700 square feet, I paid $385,000 for it, it was in 2006. And when I left, I sold it for $295,000. So $200,000 loss. But I use the hack program. So I was lucky enough to have bought it at the right time. And I was able to use the half program to kind of bail me out as the Housing Assistance Program was back during the real estate crash. So if we got forced to be forced to move in and forced to move out at different times, you could use the program to supplement what we lost on the property.
But I didn't give up on real estate then I bought another house in Pensacola right after that, and fixed it up and rented it out. I held that house for a long time. So that was kind of the start of my real estate business.
Now I run a business that we have about, I got about 15 people that work for me, and we do close to 200 deals a year, a couple million dollars in gross profit off the bat. So pretty big, mostly wholesaling and flipping in a few different cities. So that's kind of my long elevator pitch.
I like it.
I always joke because you know that everyone in the military says buy a house at every duty station, I always tell people Well, that depends. Are you asking someone who bought in 2007 or someone who bought in 2011 or 99? And, you know, I always caution, maybe it depends on the markets of San Diego, I'm moving to San Diego right now and that I'm not comfortable enough that the market is any different than it was in O 7, O 8. I mean, there's obviously a lot of differences. But it's higher than it was and at the peak now. I'm like, okay, I don't know, if I want to buy I'm just gonna probably play it safe and see what happens. Because I know what the market looked like in 2010. I don't want to play that game.
Yeah, I always I always tell military guys, if they're, you know, a lot of people now know that I'm a real estate guy. And they come to me and ask me for advice when they move and do. And I think for me, we got to know that we can move really quick, we got to pick up you might, you might have to sell your house a year from now, or two years or three years. And there's not a lot, even if you bought pretty well, it's likely a breakeven concept if you leave, and you have to sell it.
So just look at a couple different exit strategies if you can rent it out and make money and that's what you want to do and be a long distance landlord, that might be a good, a good way to go. But San Diego's a lot of cash flow there. Unless you're maybe doing some B's or something like that. So yeah, I totally agree with you. I'd say, you know, kind of look at your exit strategy in a couple years, with all the fees and everything to resell, it's you're probably going to break even or lose money.
I mean, we just, we bought a house here when we moved to Nashville, two and a half years ago, and we just moved into a new house and I'm selling the one that I bought, and I bought it really well. And I'll probably break even when it's all said and done. It's listed right now.
And the markets have really been really good here in the past couple years in Nashville. So it's just it's just too close to see like big appreciation. We're not appreciating 20-30% a year, so.
And most people aren't moving into a teardown ready flip either. So.
Not able to force quite as much appreciation.
Yeah, especially when you're moving when they're with your family and like deploying six months later, it's not the best thing to do to your wife.
I've seen guys that's that's their thing. And I'm like, man, more power to you. I don't think I could ever convince my spouse to do that.
Yeah, absolutely not me and to buy a new construction house here in Pensacola and bars. Part of that for me too. I want to be able to take the key we do this for a living, I don't want to live in it. I've renovated so many houses, I don't need to live through that.
So we took a key and moved into something that was already.
I like it.
So what got you into so you bought a house and your second house and that one kind of worked out.
But what made you decide to wholesale fix and flip was the route that you wanted to go or did you just kind of stumble into it?
10:00 - 15:00
Yeah, so I was buying these rentals. I wanted to be a landlord. My goal was to get 10 rental houses that would cash flow for me at about $10,000 a month.
I thought you know, if I could get like in total, so, you know, somewhere, I was in these, like A class properties, nice neighborhoods houses that I would want to live in because I thought it would be easier to manage those people, I'd do it myself.
So I got to that point, what happened was I was running out of cash. So I would buy a house, I used a lot of the BRRRR method, I guess, before it was coined that so I would use either my some of my cash or raise some money from some other people to buy one at a discount, fix it up and refinance and pull all my money back out.
And so I could only do a couple of those a year. And it worked for me because I was still active duty, right? So I still had my income. And then I remember I was in Maryland, I was at Pax river, and I bought this house that was going to be a rental, fix it up. And my realtor said to me, when we got done, like a good realtor would she wants another commission, right?
She said to me, you know, you could sell this and make a lot of money. And can you hear that dog barking? I’m sorry for that.
Yeah, he's not loud though.
Uh, somebody put in a swing set out back and he's going crazy.
So she said to me, I could sell this and you're gonna make it, you can make some good money. So I said, Okay, let's explore that. We made a little bit nicer finishes and checked it out. And we made like, $45,000 we ended up selling it.
And so for somebody who, you know, making $45,000, all in one shot is pretty exciting, right? And it was, it was something and even though it took six months, I was just talking about this yesterday, even though it took six months. You don't see it that way, right?
It's a check that it all comes to you at once, I don't do, I didn't divide by six and figure out what my monthly income was.
It would still be good.
Yeah, it would still be good. You're right.
Especially when you're supplementing and other income, right?
So I saw that and said, Wow, there's something to this. And it's actually pretty exciting to me. So we went out and started looking for another one. And we did one more after that. And at that time, it took me three or four months to find my next project and then another six months to do it.
So it's like once a year for a couple years, while I was still kind of buying a couple rental properties, it typically is one or two rentals a year and then one of those fix and flips. And when we did that next one, what actually changed my mind. So I thought I wanted to be a flipper, I actually joined a mastermind group and I, you know, I paid a fee to get in there and be around some people that think differently and act differently a lot probably like a lot of your listeners and the people that you network with. And it just changed my whole mindset of what's possible.
So what they were doing, and people that were doing 100 deals, 200 deals a year, I didn't think that was possible guys making millions of dollars a year, I wanted to be a millionaire in my lifetime and make a million dollars in my life. And to see people doing that in a year, it just really shocked me. So that's just kind of changed my goals and my mindset and kind of this ceiling that I had, I just kind of blew through this glass ceiling that was I thought maybe making 200 grand a year would be fantastic.
And so that's really what changed kind of what I was doing, and just seeing that as possible. And I started marketing for my own own deals as a flipper. And what happened was, I was spending all this money on marketing, and I wasn't producing all the properties that I wanted to flip. And I saw a need for it in the marketplace, I started complaining that other people were paying too much for deals, instead of saying, Hey, you know, I can go find properties and actually help these people, you know, if they're gonna pay more than me, all I gotta do is find a property that I can pay a little bit less for, and they'll pay a little bit more for and there's a spread there that I can take advantage of.
So started building that model and, you know, testing it, figuring it out and just kind of organically grew from there into a pretty big business.
Yeah, 200 deals a year is quite substantial.
So out of curiosity, I know. And I listened to it in the BiggerPockets podcast about your website, and I looked at it the other day, and it still looks clean.
Is that a main source of lead gen for you? Or what kind of like what's your favorite way to? Or is there a most effective way for you to generate these leads?
Yeah, so to answer the first question about the website, I thought that was the case, I thought, you know, in listening to everything that I had heard up to that point that organic traffic was the best way to go, it's so cheap, it's free. So I thought I would build a website and if so, if anybody listens to that podcast, I spent all this time figuring out how to use WordPress and build the site and, and all this stuff. And I thought leads were just gonna come to me, and that wasn't the case.
15:00 - 20:00
So I was trying to do some of my own SEO, I suppose at that time in my business. So if you go back probably like three years old, you go back to that. I was spending a lot of time myself trying to figure things out. And do things instead of kind of outsourcing it or hiring people to help me that are professionals and know what they're doing in that space. And I'm the kind of guy that needs that a lot of times, at least I did, then I'm very easy. It's much easier for me to outsource things now, and not have to be the expert on them. But at the time, and I think a lot of us are like that it's type A guys or gals, the people in the military that are probably listening to us, right? They, they gotta figure it out, they want to do it, they want to run it, they want to be the boss.
And so at that time, that was the case, and I put a website out there, I don't think I got a single deal from my website. But it was phenomenal credibility. And it was just whenever I would go somewhere, they could go there. And it shows that we actually have a presence in something. The first couple flips I did were in my own name, I had no business, I had no LLC, I was just going figuring it out. Same with my rentals, all my rentals, were in my own name, too.
I mean, I just didn't know what I didn't know. And it was okay. Like, I don't need to create that structure. And all those things before I go do deals like that action is the most important. So created the website, put myself out there, didn't do anything, no deals from that.
So the predominant lead source that I still get today is direct mail, I started sending postcards in my market there in Pensacola. And we sent, we just sent a little bit more, I think, than everybody else was. And then I just kept reinvesting in my business and just sending more and more. And that's kind of how we grew was, you know, realizing that marketing is the biggest source for us of what we're doing, and the most important thing. So that's where my focus went to was on the marketing side of the business.
So we still get about 80% of our deals from direct mail right now, we do get some websites that you saw, it's funny that you mentioned that because I, I spent like, I don't know, hours and hours and hours on that thing. We just hired a marketing manager, maybe three, maybe six months ago now. And she just redesigned that whole website. So the thing that you see is not what I created, that's so much better.
And when she said it to me, I just said, Oh my gosh, my baby, all this work that I did is gonna be gone. But you did such a better job than I did. It's a lot more kind of like user friendly and interesting. And we think it'll convert better.
So we send a lot of traffic there, though, like we pay to direct traffic there. Now with Google AdWords Pay Per Click type stuff, as well as on our posts. We brand our postcards. So people can go to the site and landing page and see if, if we're the kind of people they want to work with and stuff like that. So.
I think it converts, it's everything that we do in marketing all comes back together. So I might, I might reach somebody with a postcard, but they come to me from the website, or I want to be able to capture them in lots of different places, and just kind of get the brand and the name out there. And, and so they know we're doing really good things, and we can help them. So.
Long winded answer to your question. But now I don't get very much from my website organically still.
I think it's funny, you mentioned doing it all yourself. Because I only just hired my first virtual assistant like a month ago, I struggled with the exact same thing. And everything I've done has been Oh, I think I can add that. And it's the same exact story. I built my WordPress site, I had a buddy look at it. We fiddled with it for a solid year and then I finally had to redesign like a month or two ago. And it's like 10 times better than I ever would have done. Everything converts 10 times better. My email list grows, you know, three or four or five times faster than it was and I'm like, Huh, I was really not good at that I should probably hire stuff out that I know I'm not any good at.
Yeah. And I mean, I'll take it a step further.
Can you think about the opportunity cost depending on what you're driving there and what you're converting and what you're doing with all of your traffic to your site over that year if the conversion was that much higher, what could it have been? I did the same thing with my buyers list. So I was driving my buyers list to that site, my regular site and saying, hey, just sign up on there, like my credibility site. And then when I get. Danny Johnson is a good friend of mine. He runs lead propeller. So I went over to his lead propeller for my buyer stuff. So all of my buyers list are housed on his platform, and it converted the traffic that was landing on that page five to one versus what I was converting on my site.
I mean, that is, I probably over a year of trying to do it myself just lost a ton of revenue by not housing my like my all my wholesale deals and things like that on a professional site like that.
So it's really, at the opportunity cost of this stuff is crazy, but you've got to, you got to do that. Like you've got to go through that you've got to realize it yourself. And you can listen to this podcast, some people are saying I don't know, I'm just gonna keep doing it. I cannot listen to this guy's you've got to figure it out on your own. You'll hear it 10 times. It's like when I guy asked my wife to do something or we just tried to make a decision. And I tell her and somebody else tells her, she always agrees with the other person, right?
So I could tell her five times, we should do it this way, and that some third party comes in and says, says it. And she's like, you know what, we should do it that way. All right.
20:00 - 25:00
So I mean, I think the biggest thing is, if we got to figure out what our time's worth, as business owners, individuals, professionals, all that stuff, so it was a great exercise that I did when, when I got my kind of coach and mentor, the first thing he said to me was write down all the things that you're doing first of all, and then second of all, calculate how much money you made over the last year everything rental income, the flips, that you did your Navy job, all that stuff. And then how many hours did you put into each and put do some math and figure out what your dollar per hour is?
And I did it and, there was right around the time that you recorded that BiggerPockets podcast, probably like $50 an hour, I was right around there. And she said, Okay, well, anything less than $50 an hour, you need to figure out how to stop doing that. And then go do $100 an hour tasks or $200 an hour tasks? And like what are the things that you're not doing that you're spending the time doing something that are $10 an hour stuff, like mowing the grass, for example, or you know, all these little things, these little making phone calls or following up or little tasks that your VA is probably doing for you now, how can you outsource some of those things?
So that was like the first kind of epiphany that I had to be able to actually hire somebody and we look at it as an expense. Now I look at it as an investment. You know, I'll hire somebody to do just about anything for us now as company and personally.
Yeah, yeah, I think that's funny. You mentioned the lawn mowing, because I can remember what book it was in the it's probably a rich dad poor dad book, where he, where they're talking about exactly that, like, Oh, you know, people think rich people are lazy because they, they don't mow their own grass, it's like, no, it's not worth their time to mow their own grass, that the amount of time it takes to mow your yard.
You know, if you're making some of these, you know, some guys make 1000s of dollars an hour, if you do the math that way, why would I mow my yard when I can pay someone a percentage of that and do something more productive? Or spend the time with your family? Because you know, the rest of us don't get to do that as much as we'd like sometimes.
Yep, that's it. I mean, I look at it, as you know, that's invaluable time, especially when we're as busy as we are. And we won't get that time back. That hour with my family is worth even more time than my money making an hour right. So yeah, it's important. And that's how I look at it now to everything I say yes. Do I say yes? Say yes to that. It's taking kind of time away from my family or money away from me and my business.
So I always have to think about that.
All right. So you get started. You clearly have grown a lot. I'm curious if I can ask if there's anything in the transition from active to reserves that you thought was interesting or worth noting, because I'm coming up on that decision. I think that's the way I'm leaning. So it's a personal question, I guess. Bu.t
Yeah, are you mean in the business or like just from the military, from the military side of things?
From the military side of things, I'm curious, on the business means more time for you, which is..
Well, I'd say if you have a family, it's definitely a challenge making that transition from active to reserves. So a lot of the things change, like all the TRICARE stuff, and how you like how you go to the doctor and how you're covered personally, and you're not going to the dentist on base anymore, you're going to go find somebody or get a primary care provider, which I still need to by the way, I don't even have a primary care doctor, and I've been in the reserves for two years.
So you're just used to all of these things. And you're depending on where you live to support. So my transition from active to reserves was interesting, because of all of my dependents and spouses, all the deers problems and getting uploaded, and all of that stuff. So my wife would go to the doctor, and it wouldn't be in the medical system.
So it's definitely a challenge to work through. It was kind of nice for me, because I took my tsp that I was saving, and I rolled it all into my self directed 401k. So I was able to, you know, transition that money over and roll it into real estate.
So there's a lot of, you know, things that came along with that. I would say the biggest thing is to talk to somebody who's like in your exact situation that's done it before from like your MLS or your where you are in your career, and try to find out what that transition was like and any gotchas because that was it for me. As well as you go to this class.
There's some VA stuff too. on getting your medical if you've got any problems or issues that have come up during your medical career or your military career in the medical side of things.
Like you know, flying I have a really bad back and I've had a really bad back for a long time. Just flying 1000s and 1000s airplane hours and helicopters and, and these airplanes, ejection seats stuff.
25:00 - 30:00
So it was quite a transition. But I'd say those things, the biggest thing is get with somebody who was kind of in your exact situation and figure it out. Because that was the biggest thing for me, there were some things that I there's no way I could even anticipate it taking so long to get my family in a new system. And we were already here in Nashville.
So going to another base. I'm just so used to the base and Milton, not realizing that we could have just probably gone down the street to some of the reserve depot's or like you know, the National Guard is here and they look at me like we have no idea what to do with you.
So definitely like knowing the right numbers and the people to call and when to do it. So someone has recently been through it, I think it's really important to get with them. But it was pretty seamless. And then figuring out the reserves is hard. Like they do things way differently. Fortunately, I went from active duty to active reserves. So I knew all the jargon and language in the reserve side of things, because I had to manage the reservists in our unit duty. So I did that for two years. And then I was positioned pretty easily.
But I think if your regular active to reserve guide might be a challenge. And then knowing that you have to manage it, there's a mandatory weekend that you have to go to every month and plan around that. That's a challenge too.
Yeah, that'll probably be the adjustment. But I figured the mandatory weekend is probably better than the, you know, 335 days a year that you don't get vacation and you're stuck over seats.
Yeah, it's really, really nice to have that flexibility. I have a great flexural opportunity down in Pensacola to pick the days that I want to go. So there's only four days a year that are set, everything else is up to me to decide when I want to go down there and not.
So it's really, really nice to have that kind of flexibility. So I'm able to control my own schedule, be my own business owner and stuff like that. So I certainly, you know, I got probably a lot of active duty people that follow you and listen to this. And I certainly don't want to push people in the reserves or say it's way better than active duty because I really enjoy it.
I did 15 years of active duty. So it wasn't an easy decision for me to get out of the military at the time that I did so and people look at me like I'm crazy. Almost any time I tell them that because what's another five years well, another five years is a long time for me and all the stuff that was going on with my family and, and what my business was doing and things like that.
So it allowed me to spend more time with my family and kids and focus on you know, what was important to me at the time. So everybody's situation is different. It's not all about the money or anything like that.
The reason I still serve is because I love giving back when I go down there and see those as new you know, ensigns Lieutenant J G's, second lieutenants that it they're the brightest people that we have in our nation right now that are coming to flight school and flying with me, and to see their level of dedication and being out in the real world in the workforce, now, it's way different than what we see in the military.
We expect everybody to be a hypership high achiever. They're not going to pay to break it to you, but the people that come through an interview with me and we've hired some duds in the past and things like that. It's a totally different world. And so when I get frustrated, I love going down to Pensacola and seeing these students just killing it. And you know, I don't know, it makes me feel like the future of our nation is still good.
So I have to make my buddy listen to this because I got a friend who he and I were, you know, Lance corporals and corporals together in Afghanistan in 2010. And now he's a flight school in Pensacola, so.
I don't know what he is. I don't remember what birdie. He just got assigned. But I don't remember what he got. Want to say it was a rotor. So.
Yeah. So okay, so you transition to the reserves? And now you got all this time on your hands? Because obviously, you're not building the million dollar business on the side?
What? I don't know how to ask that question, because there's a lot I'm sure that's happened in the last three years. What do you think was the biggest challenge, I guess, with going full time with the business? Like, was it a really difficult thing to step in? Or did you find that, as you had all this time, you already had so much going on that it was super easy to just fill it and go full force?
Yeah. Well, you know, so I was kind of creating this thing in the background as I was in active duty. So we actually did. The company was doing almost 100 deals a year while I was still active.
So I was out, I was hiring and building a team on the side. So I basically had to look kind of like I had almost two full time jobs, then I'd put in time in the morning before going to fly and then I'd put in time in the afternoon and in the evening, pretty much each day and then all the weekends.
30:00 - 35:00
So I feel like what it did for me was it allowed me to focus on some of the things that I was neglecting a lot more, and I never look at, I never look at getting more time as needing to fill it up. So hopefully, none of you think like that, because Just because we have more time doesn't mean we need to fill it. Because if we, if we just fill it with junk, we're gonna go back to those $12 an hour tasks and $20 an hour tasks. So I really want to make sure that I'm kind of blocking timeout.
So what it did allow me to do was not work early mornings from like, 5am to 8am, and then not, and be able to be present at night and actually sit down with my wife, instead of locking myself in a, in an office for once we put our son's to bed, that I would just go to the office for another three hours to catch up and every weekend going on appointments and stuff like that.
So I think, you know, the biggest challenge, I think, and like maybe having as much free time is just that, like just thinking that you need to fill it. If you're if you're growing a business, then then there's a, you know, focus on those high level tasks, those things that need to get done. And the biggest recommendation I can give all of you guys is focus on money making tasks, like, what will we always do is we either do what we think we're really good at, or what we're what we'd like to do. And we always push off those things that may be uncomfortable, or that we're not really good at, but we know need to be done. And those are the big, some of those could be the big money making tasks.
So when I look at stuff now and I say, if I'm going to do this, what, what's the outcome of this going to be? Like? Is this going to make us that much more money? And should we focus on it? And is it really worth, you know, the $500,000 an hour guy? Or is it worth the 12, 15, 18 $20 an hour person. So I think that's important.
And I don't know, I don't really, I don't really, I'm the kind of guy who's gonna work regardless, like, I gotta work, I'm not gonna sit on the couch and watch TV, I'm not gonna, I mean, I'll go to the beach for a week and relax, but I'm not going to do it every day in my life, right? I don't think retirement is probably going to happen for me, I'll find some stuff to do, that excites me that I enjoy. But now it's it for me, it's a little bit less about, you know, doing something that makes me a ton of money, but maybe doing something that makes more of an impact.
So I think there's just kind of different stages, depending on where you are. But if you're in that, like grind right now and you're active, and then you've been in, you can either get out of military or you find a lot of time on your hands or you take I mean, I would take leave for a week to help to build my business take leave for a week to train a new sales rep that was going in houses to make offers for us.
So you know, I couldn't do that full time, right. So I'd have to take a week off and, and go train to train her at the time. So I think the biggest challenge for me was just that not trying to fill it with just junk, like filling it with actual money making high level tasks. And when we look at things like that, we should look at that all the time.
You know, why am I doing this? What's it going to do for me, my business, my family is going to grow? So that's it for me. I don't I still don't I don't, I still work quite a bit. I have a CEO now. He's been with me for a little over a year. So he runs the company. So my real estate company, I'll probably put like three hours a week in it. So, it's pretty nice. I make less money, but I have a lot more time to do what I want. So.
More dollars an hour.
40 hours a week.
Yeah, yeah, true. Absolutely. Definitely. But you know, I still, I still put in 30-40 hours a week, every week, sometimes more, depending on what I'm doing. And you know, what else I'm trying to start creating now it's about doing other stuff.
Yeah. It's exciting, though, to be at that point. And I'm glad I asked that question, although I worded it poorly. Because I think the dollar per hour. And that's a very easy trap to get in. I'm in a situation right now, where, you know, I have some monetization done with the platform, but mostly still the real estate side. But I spent so much time on this, this platform building a community. And I will find myself going wow, you know, I did all this stuff this week.
And sorry, I don't really know what's up with me. Clearly it's time to wake up. Forgot, I have a six o'clock alarm that even though I wake up at four every day, I will edit that noise out.
So I find that sometimes I'll get to the end of a week, and I did all this stuff for you know, YouTube and articles and media and all that stuff is useful to get attention. But I forgot to analyze any deals, or you know, I have been kicking myself lately. I'm like, wow, you know, neglected to do this and like, I just wasted an entire week doing stuff that I'm sure it will make a difference eventually, but it's not what I need to be doing all the time. So.
Yeah, I think the big thing for that is, you know, if you're we use scorecards in the business a lot. So, you know, what do we do this week? How did our numbers go this kind of key performance indicators on the scorecards and, and really making sure that that's your focus, like if you're reporting on that or looking at it all the time, then you know that you're going to do it, I think, you know, I think what you're doing is great. First of all, I mean, when you're building a community and a podcast and putting information out there and things like that, that stuff's important, I mean, the impact that we make, I think is even more important than the money we make.
35:00 - 40:00
So, and maybe I'm just at a different point in my life, that's true. But the thing that's always been important for me, I always want to look at something about like, what else can I do for others? And how can we, you know, do they, so the community that we're building and the podcasts that are being created, like, Don't downplay that, because that stuff is really important for, you know, kind of the legacy and what we're doing and why we're doing it, because it made and maybe at this time, that there could have been a more important task for you then then making offers and things like that. But I will definitely, definitely challenge you on that, like make offers, do the things that are going to make you money and grow, grow yourself and your business and your family financially.
But, like those kinds of things, I look at those as almost, it's really hard to put a price on that stuff. Because if you just changed the life of one person, and there, they listened to this, and they say, you know what, I'm gonna, I'm just gonna do that. I wasn't I was, I've been thinking about it for a long time, but on the fence, and just hearing that one thing changed me, and I'm gonna go do it, it could change the life for that person. And you will probably never know that. But we got to know that that's possible and true. Because just that one decision that I made back then to take a leap and jump into this group, and you know, pay this money and do whatever I did. That was probably, I can define almost every change after that, from that one decision. And that came from a podcast.
So had I not been listening to podcasts had I not done that we wouldn't be talking right now, we'd be in a much different place than I am. So.
So anyway, you can't put $1 on like building a community and putting out information and stuff like that. I don't think so.
You’re probably right.
I got a guy, I can trace everything to one moment. And the guy doesn't even know. In fact, I'm probably gonna try to hunt him down while I'm home on leave next month and grab coffee with a movie like, hey, by the way, I know we're friends on Facebook, and I know you see all of this. But you handing me Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and telling me that I needed to read it, whether it was on Audible or not, is where all of this came from. And I just want to say thanks.
Do that I'm telling you right now, that will be more powerful than if you send that guy a $10,000 check. Like there's nothing, there's not a price that you can put on something like that. And it and we all need to get better at that. I know I do. But I'll tell you, I'll send a card to somebody and just say, Hey, you know what you've, you've shaped who I am and what I'm doing right now. And I just want to say thanks. So like, the more that we can do stuff like that the better. So I'm sure that guys walking around have no idea. And it would be huge for him to hear that whether it's in writing or in person in person even better. So.
All right. Well, I got a couple questions. I normally like to ask people and then I won't waste too much of your I say weekend because tomorrow's the 96 for me, which is one of the luxuries of active duty. But we all know I'm not taking Friday off.
I have a 96 every weekend. So it's all good.
I always ask if an E one, E two or you know, an 18 to 20 year old youngster, you know, was walking up to you asking you for advice about real estate, finance, whatever, what would be the one thing that you would feel you just had to tell them?
Yeah, so I think the biggest thing is, is really talking to them about the difference between assets and liabilities. In my experience, I came in as an officer. And so, you know, my paycheck was a little bit bigger than the E one's paycheck, but they always drove a lot nicer cars than me. I don't know how, but it's probably, you know, up to their eyes in debt, and not having a penny in the bank just like almost the majority of every other American out there. We don't have any money in our bank accounts when we get debt up to the hill.
So I would say it's just to start thinking differently about money. And you mentioned Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I think for somebody who doesn't know anything about money, it's a great book to pick up and just start getting that early mindset, right.
But think differently about money and and don't, you know, think about assets and liabilities. So real estate is a great way to go where you can kind of leverage an asset you know, with debt, and your really nice fast car is not the best way to go. That is a major depreciating asset the day you buy it off, drive it off the lot.
And then saving like, look, I think I got to where I was with money about the mindset that my dad instilled in me in creating and building an IRA, making sure that I put my money in there. Even when I even when I didn't want to and just automatically putting stuff away for whatever it is whether it's the stock market, real estate business, something starts with just automatic transfers out of your account. Like get it out your paycheck before you see it and spend it. And I'll tell you what you can live off of a lot less than you think you can live off of.
So my friends may have called me cheap, but I was probably saving like 60% of my salary when I was in the military and I was single. So when I was active duty and I was a lieutenant, I still lived off of like an O one salary. When I was a Lieutenant Commander, I was living off O one salary, just don't go spend the difference. That's what we do. We make more money, and we spend more money, just trying to keep up with the Joneses.
40:00 - 45:00
So I'm not saying be cheap. But I think you know, saving money and thinking about money differently and start you know, start working towards your retirement that's a that's the most important thing for me is to figure out how to grow my assets tax advantaged, how to you know, invest in retirement accounts, self directed, IRAs, 401 K's things like that.
So that's my advice, don't spend all your money, save more than you make, live on less than you think you can live off of. And be smart, you know, and educate yourself. So I think stuff like this, like podcasts like this, or any type of education event you can go to or anything, it's going to be powerful and invest in yourself. Like what High School Library and borrow library books go by our library book. It's free. Like I do all my books, I was so cheap, I used to go to the library. So I still do. I still have a library card, we go right down the street. So I can show my kids where you can rent DVDs there for free. Do you know that?
They add up quick, I have a buddy who so I do audible and my buddy will buy the hardcover book every time he finishes a book on Audible just so he has it in his bookshelf, which, which I get that's it's kind of cool to have it in your background. But I was like, man, if I was to do that today, I need to drop like three grand two grand on books. And that Yeah, I'm glad I see it that way. Because if I'd been buying the book all along, I wouldn't have ever thought about the DVDs I have sitting in the house, I think how much audio Blu as a young Marine.
I got like 600 DVDs.
You don't want to do the math.
Now I have access to all digitally obscene.
Yeah, don't even watch them anymore.
Awesome. And I will say that as a command financial specialist, I can tell you how most of those guys have nice cars. And you don't want to know it's super bad. I've seen guys lose security clearances over their charger..
So what is one thing you wish the military have talked to you about real estate or finances? And I preface that by saying I know, it's not necessarily their job, but.
What do I think that they wish they taught me?
I wish that there was something like this that was there, you know, like a maybe some sort of program or event that we could go to and kind of band together and help people with this. So I think there's a lot of like small communities or people that want to do things like this and are trying to do it. But a lot of times it's you think that like I can't do it. So probably some probably something that they could create for our junior enlisted people, and maybe even our junior officers to talk about some, some different ways to invest, whether that be in real estate or outside of real estate, but like how to use how to use your money.
I know there's some of these, I just never feel like the people that are involved are high enough level to really be able to do a budget and some of these things. And I've gone through a lot of that in the past. But really kind of let's let's take it even a step further than that. And maybe some accountability. But I don't know, I think I think we talked about this before. It's the educational system as well as great. Basically, everywhere that we go.
I think it's really important to understand this like finances and your future. It's no one's looking out for you but you, okay, you might unless you have a mentor family member, but like we are responsible for our future. And really understanding that and taking ownership of that, I think is really important.
So I'm glad that I picked up books and read books and talked to people and asked questions instead of just following the sheep, like sheep are gonna go the same way. And I did something way out of the norm. And so I think maybe if either inside or outside the military figure out a way to kind of build a like even a bigger community and maybe in a band or something like that. I don't know. It's interesting, where we're doing some stuff with the military down in Pensacola, but more of like to land philanthropic stuff to return it, we're giving away a house. So fixing it up and giving it away.
Figuring out how to do more stuff like that. I think it'd be good. Some people have approached me, they want to build a community and network and stuff and events and things. I think it would be powerful to open it up or even make it like maybe an optional class to get some points. You kno.
45:00 - 50:00
We should, we'll talk offline after this.
What makes the Bill Allen method of investing unique or successful? Is there anything that you would say is your superpower?
Yeah, I talk, I talk about this all the time, I think people, I think superpower is really important. So like knowing yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, what you're good at and what you're not good at. And it's something I didn't even realize in the beginning. And I was trying to do everything right. And even the stuff that I'm not good at other people are 10 times better than me at. And that's when I realized that my business could be really successful when I surround myself with people who are better than me, in certain areas, and hopefully, eventually, all areas I don't want, I don't be sitting at a conference room table where they're looking at me for the answer. I should be looking at them saying, what do you do? What should we do? What should we do, and then I just have to approve it. And we're getting there. So I think for me, it's like being decisive, and taking really fast action, like just taking action.
And for me, it was I can, I can very quickly and easily take the information that I'm given, and make a decision and stand by it. So I think it works for me as a pilot. So when you're commanding a helicopter and airplane, and you've only got limited information, you got to take everything in, you got to make a decision. And then if it's the right one, great if it's the wrong one, you got to be willing to stand at the end of the long table and tell them why you did that with the information that you have and stick to your guns. And not second guess yourself.
So I find a lot of people are always just kind of like teetering. They're on the fence, they can make a decision. They get all the information, and then they just aren't willing to take that next step. I mean, that's, that's really leadership, right?
So being able to take decisive action with information that I'm giving and then and not be afraid to make the wrong step. Like I've made plenty of mistakes. I just try not to make them twice. So I'd say that, hopefully, that's my superpower, I think. And, you know, I'm not afraid to make mistakes. I'm not afraid to lose money, I'm not afraid to do a deal. It might not be the best thing. It's all a learning experience. So kind of like that mindset of not being not afraid to succeed, either. So some people are what happens? I'm not sure I want to be that person, then. I'm not worthy of that, you know. And so that's interesting, too.
But decision making and taking action. Those are the two things that I think.
Those are huge. And luckily something that I think a lot of service members learn to do somewhat. So maybe not early age, but you know, the military is very key to a bad decision is better than no decision.
I think that's a cool, cool mentality to be able to take with you because it will, it will make you successful. You can't You can't be at the top if you're not willing to make the decision.
Yep, that's right.
What is one resource, book, website, course, podcasts, whatever, that you recommend anyone looking to get started in real estate or finance.
Man, one resource..
I mean, you can list 50 books, if you want, we just might take a while.
So I really love to read, I love to. I love to educate myself. So I think the biggest thing is to figure out where you are and where you're going. So don't read books. Maybe it's more advice than anything, but don't read a book that's 10 miles ahead of you, like, focus on what you need to do now.
So my progression in the real estate business was I was reading the books, and then don't just read the book to read the book, like take action on that book. So I read a ton now. But all I'm trying to do is get one little piece of information out of each book that I can utilize in what I'm doing right now.
So I try to read like, I try to read a book a week, I try to read 50 books this year. I fell short last year, I was 35 I think just because the end of the year got crazy. And I slowed down. But I think it really, if I recommend a book and you go read it, what's gonna happen is it might be the wrong time for you it might be the wrong place, like what I'm reading right now might not be the right thing for you.
But there is probably one book that has changed that I've read a ton lately that has changed kind of the trajectory of how I think and what I do. And it's called Extreme Ownership. And it's I think it's I think it'll nail this kind of military community by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. And they are just so some previous navy seals that have built out a consulting company now for leadership and a lot of what I'm doing and I, we all read that book in my company, even from like the person that makes $10 an hour to me, because there's there's a lot of stuff that talks about like top down and bottom up leadership in there and how how you can lead your leaders. So I think anybody that listens to this could get something out of that for sure. So I love that book.
50:00 - 55:53
But keep in mind like, don't read like I don't know how to go from 5 million to 10 million if you haven't done a deal yet, you know. So really kind of focus on what you need. If look, marketing, sales and operational type leadership books, like those are the three facets of any business, whether it's real estate, or I run a donut shop down the street, I got a market to get people in my door, I gotta sell them on my product. And then I gotta I gotta be sound operationally from the systems and processes and people in leadership and things like that.
So any book that falls into those three, I think, is powerful to read, as well as obviously some mindset and motivation type books, because, you know, that's, that's really important, but they usually fall in all of them.
So Extreme Ownership is my final answer. And I think if you read that one, you won't be disappointed. It's just a phenomenal book. And, and I'd recommend the audible book, they read it on Audible, it's way better than reading it. I have both. So when I listen to a book that I absolutely love, and I need over and over again, I buy it, I don't buy every book that I listened to. But if it's really good, I usually buy it. And I usually send a couple dozen people that I really appreciate or think might get something out of it.
I like that answer. That's actually one of my favorite books. And I do the same weird thing where I will listen to like, you know, 30 books a year 40, whatever. And then I'll pick two or three that I really liked. And I'll buy them then what I'll do is I'll like to go through and highlight everything that and then I'll read just the highlights a third time sometimes I need to in fact, never split the difference is one that I need to buy hardcopy.
Oh, yeah, I just listened to that one again, for like the fifth time last week.
I've listened to that one several times. It's saved me a ton of money, and I need to just buy the hard copy. But yeah, Extreme Ownership is definitely one of my favorite books out there. And it makes a huge difference in all aspects of your life, which is great.
If you're gonna be in San Diego, and you want to see Jaco, I'll have an announcement for October of this year, so maybe I'll see you there. So.
Oh, man, let's yes, yes, yes, absolutely. I'll be there.
I actually, you know, I sent Christmas cards to like 10 different people just way out of my league this year that had made a difference, you know, people that whatever, and Jaco was one of them. And he's the only one who wrote me back.
Oh that’s awesome.
Like, I have his card sitting on my desk right here. And I'm like, I will never forget that, that to me, meant, I mean, it's just the guy's a monster. And that makes me it just showed, you know, reinforced for me.
Anyway, before we wrap this up anything you'd like to add parting advice, big ideas?
No, I'd say like, you think that you can reach a level of success or, or anything like anything in your life, whether it's the speed at which you run a mile and a half or two miles or three miles for the Marines, like the number of pull ups that you can do the weight that you can lift the amount of business that you can do all of that stuff, there is so much past that, like you are capping your performance, you are capping your everything that you're doing with the way that you think, and it's all a mind game, I've run a ton of marathons, I know where I hit the wall, and it's not my body, it's my mind. And it's, it's so you, all you need is to figure out how to reset that to a different place. And you can do a ton more.
So I don't know if anybody listens to this and thinks that there's probably dozens of people saying, like, this guy's lying. He's not doing 200 deals. It's fine. You're just in the wrong headspace. Like, you can't even fathom that that's possible. But get around somebody that's doing 500 deals, or 1000 deals a year and easy, right? So it's the whole Roger Bannister format, four minute mile type thing. Just once somebody does it, somebody else can do it. So.
So change your mentality, change your mindset, and you'll change your life. So that's kind of the big picture that I got.
I love it.
All right, Bill, if people want to reach out where's the best way to get ahold of you?
Yeah, you can go, so my company is called Blackjack Real Estate, you can go to Blackjackre.com. And you can fill out a form there, you can see the different people in the company and see what we're doing. Let's see, the biggest thing you know, I run the Tennessee volunteer department like the chairman of Tennessee for this operation Underground Railroad.
So we are focused on freeing kids from sex trafficking and sex slavery and stuff like that. So doing some work there. Sure you can find me on the Google machine. I'm also a coach and kind of mentor a company called seven figure flipping. So those are kind of the places that I hang out. And you can find me at any of those places. I would give out my email, but my assistant would be really pissed if she had to respond to everybody.
I know that I'd be laughing so hard when I.. So when I messaged Bill on Facebook, I was like, Hey, your story sounds cool, you know, I'd love to have you on my show. And really I had no idea that bill was as big as he is. And his response was great cc my assistant and then tell her that I said to cc her, she'll deny you because that's your job. I was like, Bill’s, Bill’s, probably a little bigger than I anticipated. Because that's a player move. That's not a newbie move to have someone to tell. Tell people no.
Yeah, I have a hard time. I have a hard time saying no. So I have a great, great assistant and Nicole who and she's the door person, right? If you can get past Nicole, then then I have the ability to say yes or no. So.
Well, Bill, thank you very much for joining us today. This has been awesome. I know the listeners will enjoy it. And I learned a ton out of this as well. So thank you very much for your time.
Yeah, you're welcome. I had fun.
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Bill Allen is a Navy pilot who transitioned into the reserves and scaled to over 200 deals a year!
Bill was an active duty Navy pilot for 15 years when the lightbulb went off! He transitioned into the reserves and quickly scaled to 15 employees and completing over 200 deals a year! Bill is a wholesaler, flipper, coach, and speaker.
Well known in the fix and flip realm, Bill helps with the well known Flip-hacking live event in San Diego, and loves giving back to the military community!
Bill is also a coach with 7 figure flipping.
His advice to an E-1/E-2 (18/20-year-old) is:
Understand the difference between assets and liabilities. Don’t blow your money on nice cars, save your money for bigger and better things (you can always buy nice cars later)
the resource he recommends is:
marketing, sales, leadership books. Focus on what you need to learn, read a book about it, and then take action based on what the book said!
His big superpower is:
being decisive, and taking fast action!
For more information about their program send an email to: [email protected] Again, that is [email protected]. Tell David and Stu you heard about them through the Military to Millionaire Podcast and they will get you going down the right path.
Join me in the BiggerPockets Pro community! https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/we-recommend-BP-Pro/
Books I recommend
First read: https://amzn.to/2KcTEww
Real Estate Investing: https://amzn.to/2ltPRNm
Real Estate Investing: https://amzn.to/2yxFBNf
Real Estate Investing: https://amzn.to/2IhQ1QI
Building Wealth: https://amzn.to/2ttiwpf