As a business owner, confidence is your most important skill.
Without it, you will make sloppy decisions and your team and your business will suffer.
But the reverse is also true:
Your confidence seeps through your company culture and skyrockets your bottom line.
In this episode, Michael Jimenez from xChange.loans joins me to reveal how to build bulletproof confidence, so you can enjoy effortless scaling.
Show highlights include:
To connect with Michael Jimenez, please visit: https://xchange.loans/
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You're listening to the REI Marketing Nerds podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of AdWords Nerds, a high tech digital agency focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you, get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition and live a freer, more awesome life. And now your host Dan Barrett.
(00:39): Hey guys, welcome back. You're listening to the second part of last week's episode. Let's jump back in. I am curious though, so it's this thing you said right at the end where you said you saw the opportunity, you said, I'm the guy, right. And somebody's gonna be the guy that might as Well be. That's Right. I am. I'm curious, man. You have a lot of confidence, right? And you're not logically self-confident where you're like, I could do anything. Watch me lift this car over my head and then you just get crushed or whatever you, like you said, you are capping your downside, you're making rational risk analyses and taking smart, making smart decisions. But you obviously have that confidence in yourself and your abilities. Is that something that you feel like you've always had? Does that come from when you were a kid? Does that come from your professional life? Where does that come from?
(01:29): Wow, that's another great question. Yeah, no, there's no way. I had the confidence built in. I didn't born
(02:20): Now I do, I trained jiu jitsu and stuff. And I'll tell you what that going through that experience myself was very, that built my initial, I guess you say confidence. It's like, Hey, I'm good at I'm, you don't have to be good at something when you first start, but if you want to be good at it, you put in the work, you surround yourself with people who challenge you and can help guide you. And you can do better than average. You can do better than average. And the only thing worse than failing and my mindset, the only thing worse than failing is never trying, especially now that we're a founder and I found myself in that position, Hey, this is what leadership is in corporate America and especially in our industry where most folks, especially in a sales role or brokerage role, they're just focused on themselves and their immediate team and making more cash, becoming thought leaders or creating a brand or forming your own startup.
(03:17): They're usually paid, they're pretty well to keep their blinders on and just focus on their business model, their team and things like that. So one thing I learned from about leadership in corporate America and then, which I think was sort of motivating to me through training jiu jitsu and through running our own division at auction, was when you bring these other people on board and you help build them up their career, their experience, their confidence in your own way. So that's another reason why I went and did this. Cause I just wanted to test myself that can I build a profitable company? So the answer is yes. Also, that hard part of getting wrong, I got it wrong the first three times,
(04:31): Yeah, I love the story about getting into wrestling, which I think is one of all the sports that kids play in school is probably the one that teaches you the fastest, what failure feels like because it is not much, much. I did jujitsu for a couple years and really enjoyed it and I would always say the thing that jujitsu did better than any other Marshall and I'd ever tried was they were like, Hey, you think you can do that thing I just taught you? Try to do on that guy over there and he's not gonna let you though. And then you just realize like, oh, I can't do that thing at all, right? I can do it in a very specific situation where everybody else is gonna go along with me, but the second somebody decides that they don't want to do that, I can't make it happen anymore.
(05:18): So you learn so quickly, Hey, if it doesn't work, you gotta try something else. So I love that you did. That kinda leads me to something that I was curious about. Typically before someone comes on the podcast, we do a short meeting, you get to know each other a little bit. And we talked a little bit about values and I wanted to ask you about your values because of all the people that I've asked that question to. You seem to have a really clear idea about what your personal values are. And even in that story of doing, getting into the wrestling team and just absolutely being terrible and losing and failing all the time, most people would quit at that point. They'd say like, well, I'm bad at it so I'm out. I'm isn't the thing you stuck through. So what are your personal values and how do they show up for you in this? Your professional life, your personal life or whatever?
(06:10): Yeah, that's a really good question. I'd say at the very top it's that it's the rebel mindset as I think a guy that did a big podcast, I don't want to get into it on London Real, I don't know if you saw that one a while ago. Having that rebel mindset I think is probably the thing that defines myself. My morals and just how I look at things. It's not that I necessarily don't being told what to do or I'm just, I'm not anti-authoritarian, but it's like what makes me me and what am I gonna do different? And am I just going to accept the world as someone lays it out for me? It's funny, I was watching some Steve Jobs last night. I like watching those YouTube videos I saw where he basically is giving his pitch at his investor summit or whatever you wanna call it, his release or his launch for the iPhone.
(07:03): And it's funny, he's just up there in his turtleneck, in his jeans, no belt, new balance shoes, like, hey, hey, I'm gonna revolutionize the email phone and the director online directory and operating systems and applications all with this little device. And he said something too, he says a lot of great things. One of the things I think he says, stay naive. Hey, if I didn't know how hard founding and starting and running and growing a tech firm was, would've never done it. Also, the world is created by people who are no better than you. So it's like go give your shot. So in that whole perspective, especially like you said, going back to it, if you're doing good in corporate and commercial real estate, finance or sales, it's very hard to buck the trend and go do your own thing. So I have a rebel mindset.
(07:58): I would say number one, in terms of morals and values, it goes with, it closely aligns with American traditional American conservative values as well as libertarian values, as well as Christian values or the ethos of the New Testament and the Old Testament too. So I'm big on liberty, economic prosperity, freedom, and liberty. And that's sort of why I got into what I doing, what I do. And then just morals, same as it ever was, the 10 Commandments do unto others, the golden rule, things like that. But I, I'd say above all else, I have a rebel mindset that's not necessarily, I just saw trying to think outside the box, which I think every good entrepreneur, if you don't have a rebel mindset and you don't have a winner take all, never going to quit attitude, I don't think it's tough out there, especially we're bootstrapped. So leaving that all aside, a very comfortable life to buck the trend and pursue my own vision. I think those are really the only things that got us to this point. Cause it's very easy to give up, go back to a nice cush desk job, right? Well, Yeah, you get the corporate card back, right?
(11:06): Yeah, that's a really good question. I mean, that is the really the million dollar question. What I've learned, especially, so I didn't know anything about marketing, starting a brand, starting a firm. And since we started, I think we first started back in 2015, our first three years we struggled running a lending firm, a consultancy firm, and an origination firm as well. And then we got into this cuz someone came and reached out to us cuz we had a rep for, at that time, LinkedIn and video. People were just starting to use video for marketing within the real estate industry. Obviously not Super Bowl commercials or anything like that. But yeah, we'd, number one thing I learned, try new things. Do not be afraid to try new things. And it's like, yo, every day you, you're waking up and you're putting yourself out there no matter how you slice it.
(12:01): The question is does anybody, does anybody quite frankly give a shit? Is anybody hearing the message that you're putting out there? And then the three Rs, is it relatable? Is it repeatable? Is it reachable? Are you reaching the people with a relatable, repeatable message? I think that distilling marketing down to that I think is really at the core. To me it is. And I'm still learning more about that every day. We just got done some really great work with the branding expert. It was funny, we're a really great guy. We're gonna continue to work with him. And he did the same thing, worked in for large Fortune 500 companies, was very successful. Went off, did his own thing as building his own brand as an expert consultancy to help folks like us. One thing he mentioned, he's like, I don't usually take on assignments if these folks haven't been in business for more than five years.
(12:54): You guys have only been running exchange loans for about two and a half years. It's like, let me tell you, you guys are doing so many things so much better than the majority of folks I see out there with over a hundred or a thousand employees, et cetera, and big budgets. I think we've been able to do that just because I've been focusing on those three Rs and now we're kind of going back through, now that we have our, I guess you could say our launch product, we were operating out of MVP and single player mode for a very long time. Excel now that we have our launch product and we really understood who our customers, that's another thing, you get this message, you come up with your idea, your business model, you create that message, relatability, it has to resonate with your audience. You have to know your customer and what resonates with them, what problems does your product or service solve, and how do you relate to them as well? So I've, that's really the focus at how I look at things now. And I'm very happy that I went through and tried all this on my own. Failed, oh man, I sent out some bad emails.
(14:06): Well look, there was a Marketers Anonymous. Yeah, marketing Anonymous. I would probably need to do, I don't know if I would do all 12 steps, but I, I'd probably put me down for at least eight
(14:51): Yeah, it's not quite as bad as being slammed into a high school wrestling map, but it's up there. But yeah, it's like there's no better classroom in the universe. You gotta actually get the reps in. I mean, it just strikes me as, yeah, again, we're sort of coming back to your personal strengths and how they inform your whole journey through today. Being Chief Experience email@example.com and really doing this new thing. It's about putting yourself out there and being okay with failure, but then learning from that and getting better as a result. I mean, it's such a powerful loop. So I'm curious, I know this about you because you told it to me earlier that you are a comic book fan. You like comics and comic book characters. Yeah. Okay. So I'm gonna ask you, what is your favorite comic book character and why? And I have my answer. I wanna know yours
(15:49): Without a doubt as Batman. And the reason why I love Batman so much, I think why everybody who loves Batman, he has such, obviously he's not too relatable. The fact that he's a billionaire, orphan, world's greatest detective, all this thing, the thing that he relates to everybody with is the fact that he is just a man. He's not a superhero. He doesn't have super, super powers and he's a master at, I mean, figuring things out. I mean, that's what a detective does, puts the piece of the puzzles together and figure things out. And he's very strong. And moralistically, I don't know, not only, I sound like such a nerd right now. Not only I want this in the show, look, I will edit this out if it goes longer than the rest of the show put together. But it's okay.
(16:32): So I also played some Dungeons and Dragons back in the eighties and Yes, which is very me Too very, Which is, at the time, it was very anti-Christian as well. Cause I grew up for a few years in a Christian school,
(17:29): Wow. Well I am absolutely going to Google this book and get way into it because I'm also a big Batman fan. I would say my, not necessarily the comic book character I've read the most, which would probably be Batman or Spiderman or whatever. But as an adult, the character that I always identified the most with was Ironman, right? Because Ironman very similarly, the power isn't the suit, the power is his brain, right? You could drop Tony Stark in the desert and two days later he is gonna fly out in a plane made of twigs and coconuts and stuff. That's his superpower. So to me it's always been applying yourself in that way is what makes superheroes really, really powerful. And not throwing shade on Superman or whatever. I love a good Superman. I've got the absolute copy of All Star Superman, which one of my favorite comics of all time. Oh yeah, I love Superman. But Superman's the ideal. He's the Uber mench, but you relate to characters like Batman and Tony Stark, so I love that. I promise will not out you
(18:36): Anymore as a fan as well. I'm a big Ironman fan as well. I think that if you look at the two characters, they're extremely similar, right? Yeah. Except Tony has this rock, this Playboy lifestyle. He does philanthropy, so does Bruce Wayne, but he's in the shadows, whereas Stark loves being in the line like cast. Yeah, Tony Stark's still partying a lot, I won't lie. As a nerd, that appealed to me too. So I was like, yeah, why not? I don't bats probably more like my actual mood most of the time, but I like recent Tony Stark. So, alright, we're coming up on time. I gotta start to wrap this up. There's so much stuff I wanna talk about, and particularly if you're an investor and you're listening to this, you really need to go over to exchange, do loans. Again, it's the letter X, so X change.loans, go and check it out because they're doing really, really interesting things. But I did wanna talk a little bit about personal development because that again is a thread that winds its way through everything that you do. We talked about this sort of pattern of, hey, I'm gonna put myself out there, I'm gonna fail, I'm gonna get better over time. I know I can get to where I wanna be. So I am curious what for you has been one of the most powerful things that you've done for your personal development, let's say over the last five years. Because obviously you've got your time in wrestling and your time in corporate American and stuff, but just looking back the last five years, what's a habit or a book or a person or something that you have really leaned on to help you get to where you're at right now?
(20:09): Yeah, that's a great question. Especially the last five years. Well, I'm 40, I'll be 41 soon, but ever since hitting thirties, life has totally flipped upside down. I had my daughter, I went and started this company and now it's like, and through that, and this is a great segue into answering the question more directly through that process in my thirties, it's like, you know, come out in your forties like holy shit, the leader now, right? Yeah. And that happened to me like training in jujitsu. I got my brown belt two years ago. Everyone's coming to me, ask me for questions. Now I call myself a founder in, people wanna talk to me, and we're a thought leader in loan sales and things like that. So the things that I found, so what I rely on, number one, I like to read, there's not a whole lot of things in the human experience that they are very unique and different and one of a kind to other people have experienced them before. So if I wanna read about business or what I'm doing, I can go look and read about what others have done before me in terms of morality and when am I dealing with my life and spirituality. Only one book for me. So I don't know, and I don't care if that offends anyone, unfortunately,
(21:27): I don't think anybody is Gonna, And I grew up as Christian, so I'm a bit more familiar with it than I guess most who are picking up for the first time. So going back and reading the entire Bible as a grown man, having been through some experiences of life and in my late thirties and early forties, now reading it totally different than one, it has totally different meaning and it offers me a lot of insight. And most important, it gives me patience. Never being in a rush to make a decision or feeling pressured or feeling busy. If you're feeling that, then something else is typically wrong. So doing that and then just who can I rely on in terms of people that you can just chat to and go to in confidence, whether you're having a personal professional or some kind of spiritual issue, or I rely very heavily on my co-founder, Andre, on Chris, I can chat with them just about anything.
(22:24): And then having good friends and good family and other colleagues you can rely on when you need help or you need to pick me up or you need some good advice. So that's what I look for. I look to read from other people in similar instances. I like to go to the Bible too. I think you can pull out anything there. There's something relative to exactly what you're going through. And in the good old book, thousands of years of knowledge distill and just a few chapters
(23:30): I am all over LinkedIn? So LinkedIn is in terms of social media, that is the top of the mountain that I want to be king of for own sales. So we'll be hitting LinkedIn harder a bit here in the next few months as we launch and get the final tick on the product just right. All right, so this is definitely, if you are listening to this, you should go onto LinkedIn and search for Michael Jimenez. Then it's spelled j I m E n E z. That correct? That's perfect. All right. Michael Jimenez. Dude, thank you so much for doing this, man. This was a blast. I think the stuff you guys are doing in exchange do loans is absolutely fascinating. I cannot wait to follow your journey. Thank you so much for coming on the show, man, and I really appreciate It. Thanks for having me. This has been very insightful, to say the least. I definitely, it's tough, and I'm sure you talked a lot of founders. It's tough out there as a founder, you think that you're the first guy with this problem, but we are not alone. And this helps sort of prove it. It's like everybody else has gone through this
(24:42): I hope you had fun listening to that interview. I certainly had a lot of fun doing it. Hey, if you are listening to this podcast, I would love if you could take a moment to leave a review or a comment wherever you downloaded this episode. It would really help me out. I read every single one. I love getting the feedback and it helps other people find the show. It really means a lot to me. It means a lot to me that you take the time to listen to this every week. I'm putting a lot of effort into making this show the best that it can possibly be. So let me know what you think, good, bad, or indifferent. Let me have it. As always, I really appreciate you showing up and I will see you next week. Cheers.
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