Episode 126 | Nelson Tressler | Military Millionaire Podcast

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Nelson Tressler on The Military Millionaire Podcast

00:00 - 05:00


Hey, what's up military millionaires. I'm your host, David Pere. And I am here with my wonderful co host Alex Felice, as always, and today we have an exciting episode.

So a recent guest of ours, Lacy reached out to me and basically just had nothing but amazing things to say about this gentleman as a podcast guest. And so we decided to jump on a call we had him on we decided to have him on the show.

Nelson has an incredible story, which we are going to dig into as we proceed. But this is Nelson Tressler, who is the author of the Unlucky Sperm Club, which I love the title of his book, and also the founder CEO of I Got smarter, and just has turned a rough upbringing into a ton of success through not being a victim. And we're gonna dig into some of that today. So I'm excited.

So Nelson, welcome to the show, brother.


Welcome to the military millionaire podcast where we teach service members, veterans and their families how to build wealth through personal finance, entrepreneurship, and real estate investing. I'm your host, David Pere. And together with my co host, Alex Felice. We're here to be your no BS guys along the most important mission, you'll ever embark on your finances.

Roger Vick One Oscar Mike.


Hey, thanks, guys. I appreciate you having me on.


Yeah, absolutely.

Why don't you? Uh, well, you know, we mentioned before, where we should start with this. And you said, we should start with a little bit of your story. And I agree, let's, let's throw some of that out there and tell the audience a little bit of your backstory.


Yeah, I've got quite the origin story.

My mom became pregnant with me when she was 15 years old. While she was pregnant with me, her father, who is the local trash collector in a small town, drove into the town square there, he spotted two police officers, he stuck a gun out the window and opened fire on them, killing one and critically wounding another.

He was eventually captured and brought to stand trial where he was facing the death penalty. And my mom testified at his trial, that the reason that her father had shot and killed that police officer was that the police officer had raped her. And she was now pregnant with his baby, who was me.

And that testimony of my mom's work, the first trial ended in a hung jury, they took the death penalty off the table on the second trial. And my grandfather was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, where he eventually spent the rest of his life more than 40 years behind bars, you know, leaving behind me, my mom is one of 15 children, my mom and the rest of the family in this small town to kind of deal with the circumstances of what he did.

You know, my life from there, you know, I'm the child of a 15 year old. Eventually, at the age of 21, my mom meets a man who, who would become my stepfather, comes to find out he's an alcoholic, and very physically and emotionally abusive to me and my mom on a daily basis.

And so dealing with that lifestyle. Eventually, my mom has four more children. And because of, you know, the circumstances of our house and what's happening in there, a lot of their basic needs fall upon me as the oldest child that kind of takes care of the kids and feeds and wakes up and helps with 2am feedings. But rough, rough childhood, eventually, you know, I'm in the fourth grade. And you know how you when you were in elementary school, you'd get excited to look at your report card to see who your homeroom teacher was the next year, I can remember looking down and looking at my report card and seeing straight F's and the fact that I wasn't going to fifth grade, I was being held back into fourth grade.

You know, next year, you know, at this time, I can't read, I can't write, I can't spell. They placed me into special ed to get the help that I need. Come to find out I have dyslexia. And you know, kind of, you know, that that year of school I missed 60 days or so of school. I don't know the exact number but a lot of schools.

So just I didn't like school because I couldn't read or write and my mom would rather me stay home and help with the kids and go to school anyhow. A few years after that. My stepfather was walking home drunk from a bar, and there was somebody else driving home drunk from that bar, and they ended up hitting and killing him. So it's at this time that my mom knows who's lived a very hard life up to this point. But, you know, losing my stepfather kind of left her without hope. She has five kids on her own. She's dropped out of school in the eighth grade, she's never worked outside of the home. And now, she's really left with no hope. And it's at this time that she decides that she's going to take her own life. And she tries to commit suicide.

05:00 - 10:00


And fortunately, she was not successful. But after she got out of the hospital after attempting suicide, it was then that she decided that she wasn't going to be able to care for all five kids on her own. So that's when our family got split up. And I went to go live with my grandmother who's the wife of the man who shot and killed the police officer. And, you know, like I said, My grandma had 15 children, some of those kids were still living at home in this small three bedroom house. And my grandma, you know, the way she was, you know, she was also raising, you know, four, or five or six other grandchildren at the same time.

But for the first time in my life, you know, I had a stable childhood, you know, there was always food in the refrigerator, you know, the lights always turned on when you hit the switch, and I didn't have to worry about my stepfather coming home and beating me or my mom, or even having to wake up at 2am to take care of babies.

And, and the one role that my grandma had was you were going to go to school, you know, she didn't really care how well you did at school education wasn't a huge priority in our family, but that was probably her only, you know, break from kids was you you're going to school, I'm at least going to get a few hours of me time.

And it was at this time, you know, in seventh grade, or so a counselor from a university came and started talking about all the things that you needed to do in order to get into college. And kind of a bell went off in my head, you know, I thought, you know, what, what if I could graduate from college, and, you know, I would, you know, turn my life around, and, and send it in a different direction than where I was heading.

And you know, whenever you set that goal or tell yourself, you want to do something that is going to be hard and difficult that that voice in the back of your brain starts screaming at you all the reasons that you shouldn't even attempt it. And I remember thinking, you know, Nelson, you're in special ed, you can't read, you can't write, you can't spell, you know, my mom's family of those 15 children, only two of them had ever graduated from high school, none had ever gone to college. And, you know, I'm like, I'll be lucky to graduate high school, let alone go to college. But I started, you know, I started working at school and doing my best to do the things I thought I needed to do to get into college.

And, you know, eventually, it took 12 years after I set the goal, it took four different colleges, it took four years in the air force on the GI Bill. But eventually, I became that first person in my family to graduate from college and get that college degree. And that, you know, just blew my mind that, you know, somebody like me, who came from where I came from, you know, set a goal to graduate college, and I actually was able to do it. And that was the time that I really became obsessed with goals and personal development. And, you know, over the last 20 years, I've been, you know, I've done everything I could to go to all the seminars and read all the books and get the magazines and really use goals and personal development to design a life that I couldn't have even imagined, you know, 20 years ago.

And, you know, it's led me here to be talking with you guys about, you know, my life and my successes. So that's kind of the short part of the story. Seems short.


That's the most credit anybody on this show has ever given to college.


Yeah, yeah.

Well, you know, what? It was that first it was that first big goal and you know, it opened my eyes to what else I could do with goals and it also opened my eyes to, for me to realize that I could do hard things because college was super hard for me. And it just kind of put me on that path to realize that if I put my mind to something I could I could get it done.


How old were you when you graduated college?




Yeah, that's actually very common. Are you familiar with the Phoenix metaphor?


It's the kind of bird that goes to the ashes and then comes back up.


Reborn in your own flames? Yeah, it happens people around 20-30 If not, my background isn't similar, but I think that's a very common time for people to have that epiphany like, Oh, hey, I'm in charge of this life thing. I can get something with it.

10:00 - 15:00


Yeah, and I agree with that.

I mean that that's one of the philosophies that I got smarter as we take 100% responsibility for our own success. And, you know, I totally agree with that.


And what insane, like just mean, it was like one turn after the next turn after the next turn, there wasn't really any break in there. It's just a very unique story, for sure.

And the fact that you, I think the thing that stuck out to me, maybe not the most, but how casually you said, you know, like, multiple, you know, there were 15 children, a three bedroom house, and several of them were still living in the house. And that was, like, luxury, like the first stability you had had.

I think that kind of hit home for me, like, you know, people take, I hear people, I mean, shoot, my kids gripe about having to share a bedroom, you know.


Well, yeah, I mean, where I slept every night until maybe 17, when a bedroom opened up was my grandma's bedroom, I rolled out a sleeping bag next to her bed, and on a mattress next to me was a girl cousin that lived with my grandma.

And, you know, I had cousins plopped on couches, and loveseats. And, you know, but, you know, it was, it's totally different. I mean, it was, it was relaxing. And, you know, my grandma was a saint, you know, so, you know, just living without fear. And, and, you know, always having food and all those was just one less thing to worry about.

And what you find is, you know, when you're struggling trying to meet your basic, you know, human needs, you can't focus on anything else. And for the first time, those needs were being met, and I didn't have fear. And then that's when I could start really focusing on where my life was going, and what I wanted to do with it.


These poor people in the whole planet, man, we're so entitled, in this country that like that problem, you express people that, um, you know, a lot of people in America have stability, a lot of people are lucky. And they can focus on things like you say, but it's not the case everywhere. So it's good, though, because it makes you not feel entitled.


Yeah, yeah. You know, and one of the things that, you know, that I talked about, in my book, The Lucky Sperm Club is, you know, I joined the Air Force. And I know a lot of your listeners are military. But you know, what really opened up my eyes. And believe me, I, you know, I felt sorry for myself growing up. And believe me, there were times that I said, Why me, and you know, some of the situations that I had to deal with, and especially I felt like, well, none of this is my fault. You know, I didn't do any of that stuff. And here I am having to deal with it.

But when I was able to go over to, you know, Saudi Arabia, and I saw the way that women were treated over there, and they had veils on their faces, and I remember walking into a convenience store. And there were four or five women in there with robes over their faces. And as soon as they saw me, they sprinted away from me, like I had the plague. And, you know, come to find out that they couldn't be anywhere where there was another man or, you know, heaven forbid, a service member.

And I was able to go to Turkey. And you know, I saw orphans on the street there that were begging for food to survive. I mean, they didn't, they didn't have a home to go to, they didn't have parents to go to, you know, they were on the street begging for food. And if they didn't get food, they would starve to death. And believe me, when I saw those types of things in different countries, you know, that self pity that I kind of had growing up, melted away, and I realized, you know, there's always something no matter what situation you're in. There's always somebody out there praying to be in your exact situation.


Yeah, never go without running water for a couple months. And it's good. I share a lot of that sentiment, like I'm not big on excuses. I'm not big on I'm not big on pity, either. And I'm definitely not big on victimhood.

So. Yeah, I mean, that that whole idea ideology is right in line. I think I like that I'd like you.


Yeah, you know, and that's one of our philosophies that I got smarter at, you know, no excuses, justifications or whining. I mean, it does no good. I mean, you have to get after it. You know, you can't control you know, the storms of the world, but you can absolutely control the way that you set your sail.

And you know, one of my favorite philosophies is you get to give meaning to everything that happens to you and your life. And if you get to give meaning to everything that happens to you, why on earth would you give it a negative meaning, and I know there's some hard things out there that people go through but, you know, if you dig deep enough and get creative enough, I guarantee you'll find something good in every situation that you've, you've lived through.

15:00 - 20:00


I was kind of joking before we started recording, about how sick I was of hearing people blame the year 2020 for all of their problems. And just kind of joking, you know, like, we're talking about the victim mentality. And it's like, Well, okay, well, why didn't you do it in 2019 then if 2020 was so bad, like, what, what makes you say you're gonna do it in 2021? Like, I know, a lot of people I mean, for me, 2020 was one of the better years I've had in a long time, not because of the year that has nothing to do with it, just because I progress over the last, you know, whatever.


If you're buying real estate, or investing in the stock market, 2020 has been the best year you've ever had in your whole life. I’m never complaining to you.


Well, you know what I mean.


Nelson, what did you do after college?


So I went into commercial real estate. And, you know, I did that for 20 years, and was successful in that I worked for a top five firm, and was fortunate enough to be the number one producer worldwide several times in the retail division. And that kind of led me into a lot of other opportunities, and got into some other businesses got into the children's daycare centers, which, you know, there's great stories in there about hiring a man to run one of those that turned out to be a child molester on knowingly and dealing with that.

And then was fortunate enough to open up to build one of the largest privately held pet resorts in the country, and was able to exit that business a couple years ago. And then now that's led me to where I am now. You know, starting I got smarter and, and building that business now to help people achieve their goals.


What is the largest pet resort in the United States?

You know, Camp Bow Wow as a franchise, I think, though, they're the biggest. And there's some other big ones out there that are owned by corporations. But we were privately held. And so yeah, it really wasn't the biggest, one of the largest privately held ones before we sold to one of the big, you know, corporations.


Well, where was it located?


Well, we had Vegas, and Phoenix, Peoria, Tempe, you know, just those areas there.


My dog and I did this podcast together. So he was interested. He was curious.


Oh, yeah.


He is always in the background.


That was a journey there, you know, building those because, you know, I had children's daycares. And I had doggy daycares at the same time. And believe it or not, the pet parents were much more neurotic, than the, than the children's parents.

So, you know, we had a lot of people who were going on trips crying in the lobby when they had to leave their dogs and, you know, so dealing with that, and dogs can't talk. So any time anything went wrong. You know, a lot of times people jumped to the deep end of the pole on what happened. So definitely a hard business and lots of interesting stories there.


Out of curiosity. All right.

So you were a commercial broker and clearly a fairly big and successful commercial broker out was that in Vegas, or Where was that? Yeah, very, very successful commercial broker in Vegas. I'm curious why you went to child care and doggy care. That seems like a very interesting outside of real estate slash business to move into after 20 plus years of real estate.


It was during my commercial real estate firm. So, you know, the children's daycares. You know, I would find spaces for tenants who are looking for, you know, places to put their business and so I was exposed to a lot of people out there and this the guy that we ended up getting into bed with, you know, was looking for an investor and me and my father in law invested with him. And we built his, you know, the chain out to six locations, and then come to find out that he was embezzling money, you know, from us through the company and paying all his personal bills and paying his daughter's hundreds of 1000s of dollars and, and eventually, you know, we had to, you know, sue him and I actually had to buy him out to try to save the businesses.

20:00 - 25:00


My father in law was a dentist and he had put all of his retirement into this and was going through kidney failure and, and it was during, you know, 0 eight, 0 nine, you know the worst part of the economy.


Perfect and perfect timing.


Yeah. So that's how we got into that. And then the pet resorts, you know, I had a building that I was trying to lease out that I owned. And it was kind of at the forefront of before these pet resorts and doggy daycares got popular. And somebody talked to me about opening up a doggy daycare, and I thought they were crazy. And I really took the meeting out of entertainment purposes, more than anything, because I'm like, I am not leasing my space to someone who wants to have a doggy daycare, and ever the dealmaker, you know, they did a great job selling it, and I started to research it and realize, hey, this might this might actually catch on and be a good business.

And then she ended up finding another location down the street. And I had, you know, talked myself into it so much so that I'm like, screw it, if she's not gonna do it, I'm gonna open my own up. And, you know, for the next few months, I did all the research and hired a contractor and, you know, built that first one out. And, you know, I talked about this in, in the one lucky sperm club, but it was if it failed, at first, and then my brother in law, who was working with me in real estate, you know, he wanted to be a vet. And eventually he took it over and, you know, turned it into, you know, what it eventually became and, and, you know, we grew it and grew it into different states and, and then ended up accepting it. And that's why I'm able to sit here and talk about goals and personal development with you.


So moral of the story, lease Nelson's building, or he's going to create your business and run you out of business.


Yes, she did. She did go out of business. So, but yeah, that wasn't my, that wasn't my plan. I just, I just loved the business. And it was an old children's daycare building. And, you know, the toys were out there and the shade structures and you know, I could just envision the dogs having so much fun doing that. And I couldn't talk myself out of it as much as I tried to because believe me, it wasn't, it wasn't something that you know, set my life goal to do. But it definitely worked out for us.


If I go and drop the dog off, like I went for Talon for eight days, and I dropped my dog off at the pound or the daycare. Me and him both had an epic meltdown in the lobby. I wasn't wearing one of my pink shirts the other day, you would never have this from me.

But yeah, I can't. Yeah, I'm saying that's good business, because then I can have my dog go to my own place. That sounds, that's a good solution.


Oh, yeah.

Yeah, it was good. And that was part of my thinking. I mean, I'm a dog guy. We have three dogs now. And, you know, we used to take our dogs to the vet's office to the kennel and you know, they'd be locked in that cage for however long you are away and they'd be pissed at you for the next week for locking them up. And you know, and then this was cage free, you know, they got to play and you know, we even offered sweets with TVs and you know, we offered a nighttime belly rub tuck in, you know, service and all of that.

So, I mean, it was definitely not the not the kennel it was it were it some It was..


A doggy Ritz.


Yeah, my dog goes to a VIP pet resort. It's exorbitantly expensive, and worth every penny. But he's still mad when I get home. You're right.


I love that.

All right, so we got super wrapped up in doggy daycare and childcare.


Which would you like better? Do you like to stay or do it or run? Like, what was the difference? Were you doing Real Estate? You're working as a broker, but you're buying as well?


Yeah, I bought for my own portfolio and got involved in deals.

Were you doing something like a retail commercial? Or like we do a lot of multifamily.


Yeah, no, I, I was a retail broker. And so I did all the retail shopping centers and the land that you built shopping centers on and buildings and single tenant stuff.


So actually, this is a good point for our listeners, like, you know, part of the reason why I can do the commercial real estate now is because I spent a lot of time doing commercial underwriting.

And so Nelson's story is similar for people wanting to open a business, like you got to get close to these things and see how they work when you're doing commercial retail sales. I mean, you see businesses come in, you see probably a lot of their business plans, you know, the lending is gonna line up, you know, the transaction window from start to finish.

And then when they sell, they usually call you the same broker to do the sale, generally. So that's a really good point for listeners, like if you want to learn how to do this stuff, you know, you can start on the employment side, to kind of get in. That's how I deal with banking. And so I really liked that because I was wondering how you went from commercial real estate to this business but on, like they weren't that they weren't separate it might sound as if you're doing retail businesses and then like, I'll just go start a retail business.

25:00 - 30:00


Yeah, and I mean, I was, I was actually I was I worked my way through college washing windows, you know, and a lot of my clients were retail clients, you know, beauty salons and all that. So I kind of had that in mind, but yeah, I mean, if you want to do something, you have to rub shoulders with the people that are already in the industry. And, and that, you know, I attribute a lot of the things that I got into is because I was exposed to him, I was dealing with business owners who were starting businesses, and I saw everything that kind of went into it.

And, and, you know, I definitely knew real estate, I knew what made a great site, and you know, what sites were losers. And I knew what sites, you know, businesses would do good at certain sites. So, you know, I was doing all that and getting paid and kind of getting that education. And then eventually, I could go in and do it myself.

And, you know, I started small too, you know, you try to sell a person or a group, a shopping center. And almost without exception, one of the questions would be, well, would you put your own money into this? And you know, that that was one of my things is I wouldn't try to sell something that I wouldn't buy myself if I could. And so I could always say yes, and a lot of those investors would say, Well, great, you know, how much money do you have to put in this? And, you know, in the beginning, you know, maybe I had 1000, maybe I had $10,000 to put into it, and they would, they would have me put that money in to prove that, you know, I would stand behind it.

And so I started to be able to get into deals like that, you know, really small at first, and then you know, more later, and then eventually I was out there looking for my own deals and buying them myself.


What's up military millionaires, I wanted to briefly talk about a service I offer that a whole lot of people don't seem to know about. And I guess that's a failure on my part for not having discussed it enough.

So look, finding a realtor that understands investing and or the VA loan or both, is not always the easiest thing in the world and finding a lender, same thing. So what I have started doing is I've built a well, I have a large network, but I've started to compile it all together finally, as a legitimate Excel document driven, location driven list for you guys, essentially.

So what it is, is basically just my way of helping connect you with a realtor or a lender that I know personally and have vetted and talk to and understand that they're not gonna screw you. And what I do is, like, for example, I had a market where I had two or three agents that I all said the same person as the connection said, Hey, man, you know, I trust I know all of these, let me know what you think. And they are also the same agent, and same thing.

So what I've done is if there's multiple agents in the same market, I choose the best one, and that's who I'm going to hook you up with. But the whole point of this is just to help ensure that you get connected to the best agents.

So if that is something that you would like, just go to the website, go to Frommilitarytomillionaire.com/VA-realtor/, or just reach out to me on Instagram or Facebook, whatever, I'll send you the link, or you can find it on the resources page, the website, but look, all it is is a way to help connect you with an agent who's gonna hook you up.

No, I don't charge a fee for you know, I don't charge a fee for the agent. It's just a way to hook you guys up at the end of the day as a buyer, you're not going to pay for a realtor anyway. So it's magic, you might as well use one.

As far as VA lenders, I've got a really good one that I work with. I know very well, there's several others that are pretty good. And I'll probably try to steer you away from some companies that I just don't think are very reputable or have been very helpful.

So you know if this is a service that sounds good to you for free 99 then reach out and if not, then enjoy the show right now.


I love this story because I was, I wouldn't know my intelligence, but I generally hate brokers in general.


Everybody hates brokers, man, they're necessary... Nobody wants to, no one wants a broker until they need a broker. And then when a broker brings him a deal, they still hate them and think that they didn't need them. So Believe me, I know it 100%


But I got a broker to fund my deal.


Well, well my complaint, well, it's more like this. I don't like it that brokers don't they don't have skin in the game. So I love that you're like yeah, I'll say that deal and I'll put something, something. I'll put some skin in the game. I love that.


Well I got to the point where I was asking like, Hey, is there any room in this deal and a lot of times people were doing these tickets, you know, tenants in common where they were going out and getting a bunch of investors.

So you know, I hooked up with a few of those guys and we're bringing them good deals and and I was throwing my money in with them and you know the the more money that I had to throw in there, if I love the deal I was putting I was putting as much in as they would let me put in and I even had owners say oh yeah, yeah, we don't have that much.

So yeah, that worked out Well for me, and it got my foot in the door, and I was able to, you know, benefit on a smaller scale, but at least I was able to benefit because they allowed me to throw a few bucks in the pot.

30:00 - 35:00


Yeah, but now you're making a return, you're building relationships, you're learning the business, you know, and you're, and you're putting a good name for yourself. Because again, it's like, Okay, he's got, he's got some skin in the game. So I love that, that's a good strategy.


So I got asked by a buddy six months ago to write an offer on a nine unit here in San Diego. And one of the major selling points for me decided to work with him on the deal and kind of I was gonna run kind of to help him out with the operation side of things, was that his broker was gonna front like 50k, I think into the deal. And that was immediate, I was like, oh, if your broker is so sold on this deal at our asking our offer price that he's already said, he's gonna throw money in like, to me, that's, that's huge on so many levels.

I mean, that just makes me trust the deal for one. But I mean, you know, obviously, if the broker is involved, like, if he's interests are aligned with you, and he's investing with you, he's not gonna, you don't have to worry about anything going, not in your favor during the process. So it's pretty cool. Pretty cool. I like that for sure.


Well, and brokers have that, you know, that local expert knowledge in, in real estate. So, you know, chances are, you know, depending how savvy of an investor you are, but, you know, chances are that the broker knows the market a lot better than you and knows what type of deals are getting out there. And if that broker is willing to jump in that deal, you can pretty much be assured that, you know, it's a decent deal.


Yep, absolutely.

All right. So talk to us about how I got smarter. That was the next step in this process, I believe what, what's, what is that? And how did that come to fruition?


Yeah, so, like I said, I was able to exit a few businesses, and you get to that point where you want to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. And it's definitely not in me to prop my feet up and, and, you know, sit back and watch sunsets, you know, I always have to be doing something.

And, you know, for the first time, you know, I told you my origin story, but what I had moved to Las Vegas from my hometown, you know, when I joined the Air Force, and I never wanted to talk about those circumstances, again, I mean, it weakened me and, you know, all the heartache and crap that I had to deal with, you know, going through that the only person who knew that story, you know, besides the people in my hometown was my wife. And I told her before I married her, just because I figured she deserved to know, I never told my kids I never told, you know, any of my friends.

But I'm sitting there thinking, Okay, what do I want to do, and I love goals, I love personal development, I used it in all my life, I helped a lot of people with their goals. And I started to think, you know, why did I live this life? Why, why? Why was I born into these circumstances?

And for the first time, I started to think, you know, what, maybe I was, maybe this happened to me, so that I can help other people. And for the first time, that story started to bring me energy, instead of making me weak and, and, you know, taking energy from me, and I, and I started to kind of tell that story and, and use that story, and to help other people finally achieve their goals and, and use what I've been obsessed with for the last 20 years to really build a life that I never could have even imagined.

And so I sat down, and I started to work on the program and worked on it for a year straight, you know, just figuring out everything that I thought would help people achieve goals or help them not, you know, fall off the wagon of achieving goals, because I definitely realized, you know, we don't have a knowledge problem when it comes to achieving our goals, we have an execution problem, we just don't do what we know we're supposed to do. And, you know, so I built this program and then of course, I had to take it to the next level and build an app so that it was easy to use, and people could have it on their phone and people could invite a success partner to help them stay accountable to you know what they said they were gonna do and they could help them and just kind of put it all together and got it out there and just saw the success that people had with it.

And you know, here I am, you know, keep trying to get it out there and trying to have people you know, understand how it can change their lives and how they can be living a drastically different life. And just a few months, you know, if they learn how to set goals and achieve them.


What's the military discount Nelson?

35:00 - 40:00


The military discount, you know, what the apps only $9.99 I mean, when whenever I was designing this thing, I didn't want price to be a problem, I mean, I know there's coaches out there, and there's definitely a place for coaches. But I had executive coaches, they're expensive. And even though I think that the values there, I think there's a lot of people out there that can afford, you know, a couple $100 or $1,000 a month.

In this app, I wanted to make it to where if you wanted to change your life, if you truly wanted to, you know, reach your goals, that it was going to cost you less than, you know, two happy Meals at McDonald's a month. And so I priced it at 9.99. And feel like anybody who wants to, you know, change their lives can do it. Anybody can, you can find that much money in your couch cushions.


I like that.


Ask David, listeners, you can just email David, he'll give you, he'll give you 10 bucks.


It's 10 bucks a month now, you know, 10 bucks a month.


David said it was free for the first month.


Yeah, thanks. Thanks, Alex. That was the goal of this podcast was instead of having a sponsor, I could pay people to listen to the show. That's a great business model.


That's such a good year. It's Christmas.


I'll tell you what, we'll give away the first month. Free.


Oh you see my negotiating skills I have David. Oh, you owe me.


Nelson, I almost want to tell you, we shouldn't do that. Just because I'm never gonna hear the end of Alex talking about how great negotiator is, oh, my goodness, oh, man, that would be awesome. I think our listeners would absolutely love that Nelson. And that's super generous. So we appreciate that.

I will obviously link to all this in the show notes below. So.




And we will not mean, I'll just exit out the entire Alex negotiation piece there. So there's no evidence of that. It'll just be the kindness of your heart.


We'll list it as the Alex discount. So you might want to let that in.


Oh you’re stroking the ego I got to deal with this guy, I got to deal with this guy.


It’s not easy for me either.


I'm gonna replace you. Until I get up here.

All right, so tell us a little bit about the book.


Well, the book, you know, it was a hard book to write. You know, I just started thinking about it with this with this business. And, you know, bringing through a lot of those memories, it is kind of a self help, you know, memoirs slash self help book.

And, you know, it kind of tells the story of my life, it tells, you know, kind of going through the great recession as a commercial real estate broker, and as a business owner, you know, struggling with marriage and kids. And it's, it's really, you know, it's raw, and it's out there, I didn't pull any punches, I didn't try to, you know, make success seem like, it's easy, because I think that's one of the problems is, I think people see somebody who they perceive has some success in life, and they think that it was a smooth ride. And I definitely wanted to be raw, and show people that, hey, it's not easy, but it's absolutely worth it.

So I got into the nitty gritty, you know, all the way from, you know, hiring a child molester, to run my daycares. And dealing with that, and me and my wife, you know, separating for a time. And, you know, the the situations with my family and, and all that went around with that, and, you know, dating the daughter of the man that my grandfather shot that survived on knowingly, and finding that out from her dad when I was over at her house, you know, having, taking taking a date to the dance and having their father follow you to the dance so that you don't pull off the road and raper and then have her make sure that she comes home early and they have to pick her up.

And there is a lot of situations like that, that I kind of get into and, and but at the end of every every chapter, I kind of tell the reader what I learned from it and spin it and give it that positive meaning because a lot of the times and some of the times when I was going through it, I couldn't find the positive meaning.

But reflection is such a strong thing when you get through it. I mean, one of my favorite, you know, quotes is never be ashamed of a scar. It just lets you know that you were stronger than what tried to kill you or hurt you. And that you know, that's what this book is. It's about Hope it's about inspiration. It's about understanding that you know what, you're not a product of your circumstances, whether you were born in them, or you find yourself in circumstances that you don't like now, that you, all you have to do is start making different choices.

40:00 - 45:00


And, you know, you can start to live a different life, or at least, you know, one choice can send your life in a different direction, and then you keep making those same type choices. And eventually, you'll end up, you know, living a life that you couldn't have even imagined, you know, as I'm doing today.


That's awesome.


Yeah. I mean, it's just, yeah, I'm excited to read it. I think there's a, you've just got a very, I won't say, interesting or unique story, because I don't think those do it justice. But you've done a lot. And you've accomplished a lot of things. And I think that's, I mean, just a testament to what you're saying, right? Like, you set a goal, you stick to it, you're not a not a victim, be resourceful. And it's amazing what you can accomplish over time. Like those actions, just compound.


Yeah, and it does. And it's, you know, it's, it's a matter of just taking that one extra step, you know, every single day. And it's also having that clear vision.

I mean, I think there's so many people out there that don't even know what they want to accomplish, and how in the world can you accomplish something that you don't even know what it is, and they're just so reactive every single day. And that's the great thing with the I got smarter app is, we have what we call a morning ritual. And within five to seven minutes, you know, 10 minutes, Max, you design your entire day, and what you what you need to accomplish for your goals, what your most important thing is, you know, we teach gratitude in there and self help things and you know, how you can help your partner, but within 10 minutes, your entire day is planned, and then the app automatically populates your task list.

So after going through that ritual, all you have to do is sit down and look at your task list. Like Okay, you know what, you know, I have a health goal. And, you know, I'm going to work out for 30 minutes. And now you look there, and you work out for 30 minutes, you check it off, what's next on the list, and what people think that they don't have the time to really do that. Well, that 10 minutes, saves you hours and hours of not knowing what you need to do and not having that crystal clear vision of it. And so many of us who don't know what tasks to do, you feel cloudy all day, and you're kind of scrambling from one fire to the next. And then what ends up happening is you never work on those things that are the most important to you.

And you know, in the I got smarter app, you always know what that is. And you're always working on it. And you get those things checked off. And what you realize is, you have a ton of time leftover at the end of the day to do all the other things that you feel like you'd be missing out on.


How much of this came from the army or the Air Force?

Because for example, I remember when I was a kid, I had all sorts of time to kill, and then to join the army. And it's like 6am to 11pm I'm freaking busy, like super busy and literally no TV. And I was like, man, I just have missed planning my days. Because I didn't have goals. I didn't have any intentionality I never scheduled now, turns out I don't like those things. I like winging it. But that's just that's just my style.

But it was very helpful for me to get that, like, Oh, hey, you're planning your day, you're doing a terrible, terrible job. And so of course, you're not getting it done. Because, you know, you haven't planned it.

So, yeah, sorry. The question was, how much of that? Did you learn from the military?


You know, what, the military had a huge effect on my life. I mean, it gave me It gave me you know, all those standards and values that I was lacking, growing up, it gave me, you know, very, you know, the rules, and, you know, it was everything that I didn't have growing up. And I think that helped me, you know, build some of those values and standards in my life. As I, you know, after I got out of that, you know, it's important to be on time, and it's important to do your best and it's important to be accountable to other people.

And, you know, none of that stuff was important growing up, but you know, after getting out of out of the Air Force, I mean, I knew how important that was, and what a benefit it was that, you know, people could count on you and that you are a person of your word. And, you know, you couldn't just not show up and not do what you said you were going to do and yeah, I think a lot of that bled over into my life post military.


Yeah, yeah. I mean, the military definitely turned my life around. I was a, not that I was anything terrible so much is just that I was very disorganized. And I had no discipline at all.


Are you sure? How much?...

45:00 - 50:00


And then I'm gonna keep talking so that Alex can't get his job.


How long? How long were you in?


Four years. Yeah, I went in. So, the way I got into college was I, you know, I had one college that wanted me to come play football for them. You know, I got in, at the end of my first year, you know, owed 3500 bucks. You know, at this time I'm living with my grandma, she made 40 $800 a year on Social Security. So there was no way I was going to be able to go back to school. And that's when I joined the Air Force, my buddy told me about the GI Bill. And so I selfishly, you know, went in like a, you know, not only you go there, it checked a lot of boxes for me, because one, it showed me how I was going to be able to pay for school. But two, it was my way out of my town to where I had so much baggage and what what, you know, represented so much.

And for the first time when I, you know, when I got into the Air Force, nobody knew what the last name Tressler meant, or, or what I represented, and I could be Nelson nobody and, and it was so liberating, that I really thought to myself, I could be anybody that I want to be now.

And, you know, not not having that ability. You know, when I was in my small town, I think I really took advantage of that. And, and I had, I had a lot of haters, you know, people in my small town, and there was definitely some of that I'm going to show them in what I did. And I think I've gotten away from that now. But early on, that was definitely some motive that I was going to show them that, you know, I was an important person and, and I could succeed no matter what they thought about me.


I think it's a very common theme, especially for enlisted people. It's like a get out of my small town and away from all my family. Yeah, hi. Yes, I might sign up tomorrow.


Arkansas! Woah!


It was like two weeks before I left, and I was gonna join with my buddy, Cory, we're gonna join together, he ended up actually doing it a year later than me. But we're leaving. And we're hanging out at this little store down the street from me, and we're talking to another buddy of ours. And we were talking about joining it. And I was like, yeah, I'm gonna join too. And he's like, I believe Corey is gonna go, I don't think you're gonna go. And I was like, You know what, fuck you, Chris do for what now?



Oh, man.


I like that, though. It's very freeing. It's a very freeing feeling. You're like, Oh, I can take control of a couple of decisions. It's all this, fix all this right up, not fix it, you know, I mean.


Yeah. And, and, you know, I talked about that in my book, too, is, you know, addition by subtraction is, you know, a lot of times, you know, especially in goals, we're out there, always thinking about what more we can do or what more we can have. And a lot of times, you know, in order to get that more, you've got to get rid of some stuff that's either in your life or, you know, so, you know, a lot of times, you know, and especially when you're coming from a scarcity mindset, you know, where I grew up, you know, early on in life, not having enough food, not having heat in the house, not having the lights on, and, you know, not having, you know, tons of stuff, you know, the last thing that you think of is that you need less of anything, I mean, you're focused on getting more and gaining more, and, you know, whenever I joined the Air Force, you know, it was like, I got out of that, and I didn't have all of that, and, and now, all of that, you know, baggage freed up for me to gain the good things in life and the things that I wanted in life, because I no longer had to deal with all that baggage.

So addition, by subtraction, you may have to get rid of something, somebody or you know, some place to, you know, take your life to the level and the destination, you want to go to.


Somebody or some place, you set it, people, they don't want to hear it. But that is it. You got to get rid of some of those people. And you probably got to pack up and move.


Yeah, yeah. I mean, and I think you guys are spot on. I think a lot of people use the military for that. And it's a you know, it's a great avenue to get away from a place that maybe you don't necessarily want to be.

And I don't know many people who have joined the military, who at the end of the day, it wasn't it wasn't a great choice for them. I mean, I think if you go in there with the right mindset and do what you're supposed to do, I find it hard to come out of the military, not a better person and not benefiting from that decision.

50:00 - 56:21


I know a lot of people who didn't stay in because it wasn't for them, but I don't I can't name anybody. I mean, I know there are people, but I can't name anybody off the top of my head who's ever regretted joining the military. Like.


I had a guy I know a guy who got, I think he got off. I don't know if he got an honorable discharge, he got out early. And he hated it. And it was like six or seven years later, he's like, you know what, that was really good for me. I should have done it. I should have been less of a smartass. But what I did get, it actually took some time to like to feel it. But now it's working for me. I wish I didn't squander my time so badly. But even to your point, even the people that are like, Hey, you, you know you got booted..


This is not for me but they don't regret doing it.


Yeah. And even him. Yeah, he was like, Oh, this is probably I probably shouldn't have tightened up a little bit.



All right now. So I got a few questions I asked every guest. The first one is if an E one, E two 18-19 year old was to walk up to you asking you for life advice. What do you think like the one thing that, I guess that you wish you'd known when you were 18?


Dream big.

I mean, I think I think a lot of us, you know, in 18-19 we all know what our potential is. And, and there's some 18-19 years out there that, you know, they think their potential is incredible. And I love that I mean, I've got a son like that, that, you know, the moon is, you know, as far as he's gonna go, but no, dream big. And, and don't ever be ashamed of dreaming big. I think there's a lot of people out there that want to shelter their goals and their dreams, because it makes other people uncomfortable, dream big and go after them. And you know what time is our most precious resource, you don't feel like that at 18-19 years old, you feel like you have your whole life ahead of you. And then what you realize is 50 will be here before you know it. And you know, don't waste a second of it, don't waste, you know, any time use it. You know, it's the great equalizer. Everybody has 24 hours in a day, whether it's the guy on the street with a sign asking for money, or the billionaire climbing into his jet. That's the one great equalizer is time. And that 24 hours, and the life that you're going to live is going to be determined on how you use that 24 hours each and every day.


Yeah, I agree. And I liked the dream big.

Yeah, people are gonna try to talk you down no matter what you do. So go for it.

What's a resource you recommend? Book, course, website, whatever that you would recommend, I guess anybody looking to get into real estate or, or just business in entrepreneurship in general?


You know what, there's this new book, and it's got a great title. It's called the Unlucky Sperm Club. It helps you realize that you're not a victim of your circumstances, but that you are a product of your choices. Selfless plug.

Yeah, you know, what, definitely the lucky sperm club. But a book that I loved was multiple streams of income. And I know it's old because I read that when I first got into real estate. And, you know, that kind of gave me that vision of having these multiple streams of income, you know, through different types of investment. So I love that.

I mean, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a classic, you know, anything from Napoleon Hill. And if you're in sales, you know, anything from you know, Brian Tracy is great with goals. So I've read so many books and love them. I mean, I think getting into you know, listening to books or podcasts in your car would be my number one advice to anybody looking to further themselves and anything is use that time to educate yourself on the things that are important to you.


I agree. Just don't tell Alex what books you read, because he'll just judge you because you haven't read whatever obscene book he created a title for and he thinks he is better than you because of you know..


Then as far as a program, there's this awesome program out there. It's called I got smarter, and it'll help you achieve any goal that you want to set, you know, whether it's business, financial, lifestyle, health. And the great thing is it's only 9.99 a month. And Alex, you got you guys a free month to start. So.


I love that. Yeah, we'll put all the links below for that. And we really appreciate it. And then the final question is just where can people get ahold of you if they want to reach out?

Yeah, you can go to Nelsontressler.com. And everything's there. Then I Got Smarter program and the book the Unlucky Sperm Club. You know, if you're on Facebook, you can join our page Nelson Tressler will we're always putting out great free content to kind of inspire and motivate people. And I'm kind of new to social media. So I'm still trying to kind of figure all that stuff out. I didn't have any social media until about a year ago. So.


Yeah, I like it. You just take pictures of your food.




That's the secret.


Or your dog.

Alright, Nelson, thank you so much for joining us today, you've got a very powerful story, but you've accomplished a ton. I don't wanna say in spite of but with that, right. And then, because of that, you've got some very valuable guidance and advice for people. And I know that the book is going to reach a lot of people. I'm excited to get my copy in the mail and read it. And super, super stoked for having had you on the show.

Lacey was right, your great guests. So thank you very, very much for joining us this evening.


Yeah, I appreciate it, guys. Thanks for having me on. And yeah, hopefully, your listeners got a few nuggets out of this. Appreciate it.


Thank you for listening to another episode about my journey From military to millionaire. If you liked it, be sure to visit Frommilitarytomillionaire.com/podcast to subscribe to future podcasts. While you're there, we'd love for you to rate the show. Give us a review on iTunes. Now get out there and take action.

Nelson Tressler quote about meaning in life

Episode: 126

Nelson Tressler

Join your hosts, David Pere and Alex Felice, with their guest Nelson Tressler, as they speak about how a man can succeed, on his own terms, despite struggles on top of struggles. Nelson’s story gives testament to how we don’t always have to end up the way we started, a lesson that many people may take through multiple different ways.

Getting held back in school with dyslexia was one challenge Nelson had to face; finishing college was another thing and a rather hard one for him to do. But after finishing college, Nelson grew the desire to overcome more of whatever life throws at him in his journey of emotional recovery and development; later on, he continued to become a broker, businessman, and author.

In this episode, Nelson imparts a handful of lessons on perception, the mindset your goals need, and what he thinks people can learn from if they want to move on to a better place in their lives – be it physical or mental. Nelson believes that our life is not our circumstances; it is what we do in those circumstances that make our lives.

About Nelson Tressler:

Nelson was born to a teenage mother in rural central Pennsylvania and has never known his biological father. He was the oldest of five children and grew up in poverty under an alcoholic and abusive stepfather.

Nelson lost track of the number of times that he went to bed hungry. Far from an idyllic childhood, Nelson worked on his uncle’s garbage truck during the summer and holidays to help provide for his family. Once Nelson got his driver’s license, a local construction company hired him to work until he graduated from high school.

In high school, Nelson was a three-sport athlete. He still holds several school records and was voted the most athletic member of his senior class. Once he graduated, he went on to play college football at St. Francis University.

After his freshman year of college, it was very evident that he could not afford to continue. He then joined the United States Air Force on the G.I. bill. He trained as an electronic and navigation technician on the E.F.–111 aircraft. Nelson served in Saudi Arabia and Turkey during his four years of military service.

He attended multiple universities during his service and received his associate’s degree. After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, he attended the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. He started a window cleaning business to pay for school and support his young family.

After graduating with a Finance degree from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Nelson went to work for Grubb &; Ellis Commercial real estate. Nelson and his team were the top producing team in the nation on several occasions while working at Grubb & Ellis commercial real estate.

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank later purchased the company. Nelson has consistently been one of the nation’s top-producing brokers, and his team has been the top-producing retail team in the Las Vegas market for an impressive 19 straight years. In 2008, Nelson was named to Las Vegas’ prestigious “40 under 40” list.

He has personally developed commercial projects over $25 million. Additionally, during his 20+ year career, Nelson has brokered deals on behalf of his clients over $750 million.

Nelson has founded several successful businesses, including one of the largest chains of children’s daycare centers in Las Vegas, which he sold for a profit. He is also the founder of one of the nation’s largest privately held pet resorts he recently sold.

Nelson is currently acting as a partner in multiple business ventures ranging from tanning salons and family fun centers to a landscaping rock supplier. He is also involved in numerous real estate ventures, including apartment buildings and commercial real estate developments.

His team continues to be the top retail producing team for Newmark Grubb Knight Frank in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Outline of the episode:

  • [01:11] The backstory that inspired his book: The Unlucky Sperm Club.
  • [06:58] Getting obsessed with achievements and chasing goals.
  • [09:49] Your bane is someone else’s luxury.
  • [11:57] Nelson on his eye-opening experiences in the Air Force.
  • [14:27] A philosophy worthy of hearing.
  • [15:59] Nelson’s professional career after college life.
  • [19:04] Starting a business during the early stages of the pet care service industry.
  • [25:11] Expose yourself to the things you want to get into – how to penetrate markets.
  • [28:36] The type of deals that your broker would throw money in to.
  • [29:59] I Got Smarter: The reason why I was born into these circumstances.
  • [31:49] Where most of the problem lies when we are achieving goals.
  • [35:33] It’s a self-help book – The Unlucky Sperm Club.
  • [37:35] Reflection is such a powerful thing.
  • [39:30] An I Got Smarter App feature: Know what you want to accomplish!
  • [45:59] On Addition by Subtraction: Do we always need to gain?
  • [49:11] What is the greatest equalizer?


Advice to an 18-20-year old:

Dream big, and realize that time is your most valuable resource!


Website:              https://nelsontressler.com/


Linkedin:              https://www.linkedin.com/in/nelson-tressler-75876590

Facebook:           https://www.facebook.com/nelson.tressler.5

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NelsonTressler


The Unlucky Sperm Club by Nelson L. Tressler:



Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki:



Multiple Streams of Income: How to Generate a Lifetime of Unlimited Wealth! by Robert G. Allen:



Follow our journey:


Blog:                      https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/

YouTube:             https://www.youtube.com/c/Frommilitarytomillionaire/

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Rich Dad Poor Dad, Napoleon Hill, Bryan Tracy, Multiple Streams of Income

Real Estate Investing Course: https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/teachable-rei

Recommended books and tools: https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/kit/

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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! – Click here to SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/2Q3EvfE to the channel for more awesome videos!


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David Pere

David Pere

David is an active duty Marine, who devotes his free time to helping service members, veterans, and their families learn how to build wealth through real estate investing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance!

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