005: Cash-Flow Investing Secrets with Serial Entrepreneur, Mike Koenigs


Today, I’m speaking with Mike Koenigs. Mike is the CEO and founder of the Superpower Accelerator, a serial entrepreneur, VC, angel investor, podcaster, and 13-time bestselling author. He helps experts create competition-proof, “category of one” brands to help them achieve freedom, simplicity, and elegance in their lives.

Mike’s also the guy who helped me dream up and create the concept for The Lifestyle Investor. As someone who’s had 4 business exits and a deep understanding for how to accelerate growth through the power of teamwork, his wisdom has been invaluable.

In this conversation, we explore the strategies for building low-risk, passive income streams. We also dig into the wins and losses Mike’s experienced throughout his own investing journey, and how he’s been able to break free from the daily grind to pursue a life that most people can only dream of living.

Key Takeaways

  • How to grow your business exponentially using the power of collaboration.
  • Why it’s never too late to start investing.
  • How Mike leveraged Justin’s expertise to find low-risk, owner financed deals with BIG returns!
  • Why you should STOP putting your money into equity-only investments. Mike learned his lesson the hard way, but you don’t have to!
  • Why conventional investing is uncontrollable and unpredictable — and what you should do instead!
  • How to avoid taking massive risks and embrace the JOMO (Joy of Missing Out).
  • What most people don’t realize about the stock market that oftentimes loses them money.
  • How Mike uses freedom of time, money, relationships, and purpose as his guiding principles for living life on his terms.
  • Mike’s secret weapon to improving productivity and mindset.

Tweetables

“I’ve always loved the idea of only working if and when I want to.” - @MikeKoenigs Click To Tweet “Lifestyle investing is about living more and living better.” - @MikeKoenigs Click To Tweet

Resources 

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Connect with Justin Donald

Transcript

Justin Donald: Well, hey, Mike. It is great to have you on the podcast here. I've been really looking forward to this. In fact, you and I, we talked about this quite some time ago. So, I think it's really fun that you're one of the original people that had the desire and the idea for me to really kind of have this platform and here we are. We get a chance to talk about it here today. So, welcome.

 

Mike Koenigs: Thanks. Congratulations. So proud of you and so happy. You're doing so well with it and I will just start out by saying part of the reason why you've been so successful is because you're so disciplined, the same discipline you bring to the investing world, you bring to your platform as well. The fact that you got the book put together and written so fast, this mastermind, your advisory, and all the investments you've been doing, to say my mind is blown is an understatement.

 

Justin Donald: Thanks. I appreciate it. You know, it's nice when you have fun people to collaborate with. And so, when I think about this and I think about how much time you and I have spent just talking, I mean, talking at length on deals and just the ability to communicate ideas and just your creative juices, you've been such a huge support to me on so many levels. And so, it's just so wonderful that we can actually share some time here on this episode.

 

Mike Koenigs: Yeah. Well, the feeling's mutual. I know we'll get into it and I'll talk about how amazed I am with you too. I mean, you've completely changed the way I think about investing and money, and I stopped one behavior, in particular, that was responsible for it wasn't so much losing money. It was not making money and not gaining the leverage that you really are great at. So, I'm all yours so take it away.

 

Justin Donald: Awesome. Well, I think it might be fun, you know, as much as I want to dive into that topic right now, I actually want to hold off because you and I, we met in kind of a really fun, unique circumstance, right? We're hanging out with a mutual friend, Brad Weimert, and we are at his mastermind, we are spending some time in Fiji together, and we had never met each other. Yeah. We've never met each other before. We both share, I mean, literally like probably hundreds of mutual connections. So, it's actually funny that we had never really met in person before.

 

Mike Koenigs: Yeah. It was divine timing for sure and I think we just had that immediate connection and the more I listened to you, the more I said, "Well, here's a guy who's got something special,” and an underutilized knowledge asset that I don't even think you fully saw the potential and possibility and here you are. It's less than a year later when we started working together. Maybe it's getting close to a year now and what an evolution, what a breakthrough. It's just unbelievable.

 

Justin Donald: Well, it's fun when you can team up with people that have different gifts, right? So, I've learned so much from you. You've learned a lot from me and it's just neat where not only can our networks help each other's network, but our knowledge, our wisdom, our expertise that has been years in the making has really been quite a benefit to each other. I just think it's so fun to be able to share gifts that way.

 

Mike Koenigs: Yeah. We should probably give some of them away to our audience today. Shouldn’t we?

 

Justin Donald: I definitely think we should. Let's definitely do that. You know, it's interesting because when you take this concept of investing, it can be such a polarizing topic. It can also be a topic where people just feel really insecure because they don't know a lot and it's almost like they disengage or never even engage in the first place because of just a lack of understanding or an ignorance. It's not that tough if you find the right people to surround yourself with and you're the master of that, surrounding yourself with the who, and the who helps with the how.

 

Mike Koenigs: That's right. Yeah. In fact, we should probably mention in reference a great resource right off the bat, which is a book that my good friend, Dr. Ben Hardy wrote called Who Not How with Dan Sullivan, and it's about just that. The big idea is how powerful collaboration is if you take two people and you can create competition-free collaborative zones, and it's not so much leverage, but multiply each other's skill sets and talents. So, I think of it there's leverage and then there's a fulcrum and a fulcrum is what gives you that extra travel, that extra distance and you get two people together, combine the right mindset, the right ideas and magic can happen so fast and it's true alchemy as well. You can turn lead into gold in a matter of minutes, in your case, being able to really when I met you, what I felt was you had this incredible gift that you had developed. It wasn't like someone just handed it to you. You worked hard, studying every imaginable investor. When I asked you, do you have a book? Do you speak? Do you have a course?

 

And you're like, "No, but I'd like to,” and I said, “Well, I think it’s going to be your lucky week.” Also, what happened was, I always told you, you're a great clay because you're one of the most coachable people I've ever met, which, of course, is what anyone who's going to be coached in money needs to be. So, you want to make sure that if you identify a good coach that they're coachable and they have a history of investing in themselves, and a history of implementation, and also a hunger, and you certainly have all of those things. But what made you unique that I see, and I think it’s part of my own skillset, is being able to identify raw talent, finding a good way to package that person. In your case, I mean, we literally invented the term “the concept lifestyle investor” in an afternoon. I think that through my lens, through an investing perspective, what you do that's unique is look through a series of filters, which is not just finding a good deal but being able to combine multiple stacks of to get more of a return, whether it's negotiating a better deal and better terms or what you call sidecar agreements where there's another benefit, another benefit, and another benefit.

 

The same is true in creating a platform with someone, in your case, raw talent, coachability, great skills, and then a topic that everyone should and does want to learn about, which is how do I make more money and build a passive income stream with the least amount of risk? I mean, there isn't a better package than that, especially when you can and do fulfill and deliver on that promise. So, I know that sounds like a big worship Justin moment but I think what I would like everyone to really know and understand is you're never too late to start investing. If you're an investor, you've really got to stay open and have a beginner's brain because right out of nowhere, someone's going to come along with some ideas and some concepts that are subtly nuanced from the mainstream. Being able to combine strategies and knowledge, especially like in your case, expose yourself to hundreds of different authors and investors, and then hybridize that, but it took your unique lens to be able to craft and create something new from that. That, I think, is the beauty of evolutionary thought in business and investing overall. So, those are a lot of ideas but I've been thinking about this for quite some time, especially after having worked with you for the past year or so.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. It's so neat because I've been a practitioner my whole career and I've coached some people periodically over the last decade. There's no doubt about that but really to take all the how-tos like, “Well, how do I do this? How do I do all these things I haven't done?” You've been great in terms of supporting me, making it fun, but it's like, "Oh, it's easy to get it done. Just surround yourself with people that can help you do it,” and you've been one of them and you've had a bunch of resources to others that have just been incredible to work with. And so, whenever anyone says, "Hey, Justin. What's your greatest resource?” I always tell my greatest resource is my network. There's no doubt about that, especially when I have people like you in my network where I'd say you have one of the best networks of anyone I know and it's fun combining them. It's been a blast. I'm really curious. You know, one of the things that I think would be really fun to get into is kind of the evolution let's even just say, from the start of us working together, what are some of the big takeaways that you've learned from the way that I invest and the way that I structure deals, the way that I even just look at it, in general? I think that would be a good starting point.

 

Mike Koenigs: Okay. Yeah, that's a great question. I think one of them is you do look in unusual and non-obvious places. So, one of the things that grabbed my attention, the first time we spoke is I asked you a series of questions about investing. Finally, I said, "Well, give me an example of one of your best investments.” So, we came. I wanted to deconstruct how you think and see if there was a system or a process there. That's just the way I approach conversations and after creating information products and businesses out of ideas for the past 30 years, that's where I begin. I didn't have an agenda necessarily so much as I just wanted to understand and from there, it evolved into, holy cow, I think you're sitting on a beautiful little goldmine here. So, the first answer was you had said while I'd been investing in mobile home parks, and my first thought was, “Ugh, God, I just can't imagine.” I grew up next to a bad mobile home park. So, I had a bad taste in my mouth. It wasn't like out here in San Diego where I drive through the mobile home parks and they're like, "Shoot, this looks awesome.”

 

Some of them are sitting right on the ocean or in Mission Bay, for example. It's like, “Oh, my God, this is great,” but you talked about what made them attractive and I think one of the things that you did, and here's the example is I said, “Okay. So, how does one of these things work?” And you talked about, “Well, they're very frequently owned by an individual. A lot of them, the people have reached a point, they're close to retirement age, and this is their retirement.” So, they've got to find a way to get out of here. Then you subsequently talked about how the deals you're able to do is come up with a down payment and then a payment program where it was owner-financed and I was like, "Okay, that's great, owner financing,” low risk, something where your credit wouldn't get damaged. You just lose the asset if he couldn't pay for some reason. Because you're a different mind, you'd be able to go in and spot what could be some non-obvious upgrades that an owner who'd been there 20 or 30 years either never did or it never dawned on them so you could do those right away. That'd be low cost enabling you to immediately increase the prices and then create new opportunities inside that asset.

 

So, those are some of the rule sets, creating new opportunities. How do you increase the price? How do you get owner financing? How do you keep it low risk? Once you've built some cash flow and increase the value, then you can go and refinance it and immediately pull some equity out which you can go and do somewhere else. So, that's a really, really interesting stack that I hadn't learned these things before and to someone who's an experienced investor might be, but then you would go out and find different assets to invest in that have a very different characteristic, again, reducing or eliminating the risk. That extra money would enable you to get into a next-level investment that might be a higher level, commercial real-estate opportunity, or a software business, or in your case, being able to do an Orangetheory or, again, you had so many unique and interesting things. Then, just in conversation, I remember when we started collaborating and just imagining together, I said, “Well, Justin,” and we talked a little bit about advising and coaching people whether it be one-on-one or a group basis.

 

I said, “Well if you had a group together, that could give you even more leverage. If you had an investor who would do one-on-one with you where you could charge a lot of money for, that would give you access and enable you to, again, gain access to even bigger deals because if you've got a group environment, well, suddenly you've got 25 or 50 investors that you could pull together resources.” So, I think what really became interesting is where there were just multiple points of leverage, not just in investing itself, but in building an ecosystem. If you fast forward to now where you're building a platform with the podcast and the book, that's going to give you even greater access, even greater value and you're building a legend for yourself. So, I know I probably went off on way too many directions here but I think that there's a lot of nuance, there's a lot of power here, when people start seeing all the potential and possibilities.

 

Justin Donald: That's awesome. By the way, I love the tangents. You can take it wherever you want to take it. That's what's so fun about this. For the listeners, we talked about this before we started recording but I think it'd be great to share like Mike literally just broke his collarbone and is on air with us right now fighting through some crazy pain and discomfort. I mean, that right there…

 

Mike Koenigs: As long as I don’t move.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah, right? That right there is like a testament to who you are and like you didn't want to reschedule this because you've been looking forward to us collaborating, and so that means the world to me. I just think it's great that you're so on point and so purposeful with the people in your life and in your network. It's so cool.

 

Mike Koenigs: Well, you're important to me and duty is the classic line, the show must go on. So, all I got to do is just not move. It's just a matter of just pivoting. Just don't turn or twist that body. It is incredible how fundamentally, I always thought of the collarbone as it's like, yeah, it's kind of like a throwaway thing. You hear about someone, a collarbone, it's like no big deal. It maintains the structural integrity of your frame, and when that thing is cracked, and there's nothing you can do about it really other than restrict movement. So, this thing if you move around, you can feel it kind of crinkle and crackle, and it hurts. Yesterday, I was just taking off my shirt and I moved wrong, and I just about fainted and sweat was pouring off my face. I turned gray and my wife got terrified. She's like, "What is going on?” And at that point, I didn't know for sure that it was broken so I went and got an X-ray. So, it was like I was on the trail, I fell down off my bike and just landed on a pile of rocks. That was basically what happened.

 

So, anyway, another tangent, but important lesson about how important all the pieces are. So, if we create a metaphor here with investing, the more framework you have and understand the structural integrity, you can build an amazing, amazing building with leverage and with relationship and connection with all these different things. That, again, is a gift that you've developed that I'm very, very in awe of.

 

Justin Donald: Well, thank you. Thanks a lot. You started the call off today with kind of a cliffhanger like there's something I want to share that I learned that I put into effect right out of the gates. I'm curious what that is. Actually, I'm pretty sure I know what it is but I'm curious to hear today how you would summarize that because we've talked about it before.

 

Mike Koenigs: Yeah. We sure have. So, prior to meeting you, because I'm a serial entrepreneur, I've had a lot of businesses and I know a lot of serial entrepreneurs and I am an easy, yes, I have been in the past anyway to startups. And so, going back 20 years ago or so, that's when I really started having some real money around me when I sold my first business digital cafe and since then built and sold a couple more. I had some cash. So, first of all, I'm married to a very financially conservative person who is a high factfinder and she loves sitting on cash. Now, me on the other hand, I don't mind taking risks and I also have a strong degree of vision, and I know how to get something from point A to point B. So, when I meet what looks like a really interesting deal and if it's someone I've known for a long time, they're like, “Hey, you can throw $50,000 or $100,000 into this deal and it's a startup business,” yeah, I did a whole bunch of those, probably about 20 of them.

 

When I look back, Vivian and I were talking about whatever the next thing would be and she goes, “I want you to just think for a moment about how many of these deals you're invested in.” And before I give away the answer, I'm going to turn to you, which as soon as we started working together and I saw how you thought and how you do your deals and structure them and look for all kinds of things, not to mention that one of the big key secrets is even when someone presents you with an offer and it's like it's all on a piece of paper and they’re writing, “You've got room and the ability to negotiate at any time for any reason,” things can change. You gather some information, it's like, “Nah, this isn't right.” What you may have been getting, let's say you get $100 worth of value for $50, there might be a way to get $500 worth of value for $25 if you negotiate properly, not to mention some of the additional kickers that you have in your toolbox. And so, I hadn't thought through as many of those before, as you have. And because I've done the kinds of work and deals I've done, I just didn't think that way. So, that was a new exposure and a lot of that is documented in the book now. But for me specifically, one thing that I didn't think of but I do now is I had invested and put cash into a whole bunch of startups to the tune of in the seven figures and above range, and really what most of them are, I've got one that's been out there for 15 years now. Okay. So, that basically meant I loaned someone, I gave someone an interest-free loan with zero risk for eternity. Now, the good news is the business is still going but they haven't had an exit opportunity, a liquidation event.

 

When I go through my list of what that, again, I don't know what I put into that particular business, let's say whether it was $50,000 or $100,000, but even if I had it in a 6% compounded interest-bearing account or something, it'd be worth a lot more than it is right now because who knows? Then I've had a few one that was very high profile that went bankrupt during the pandemic and some other very high profile investments that I've made that just haven't had a liquidation event, and they should have years ago, but there's always something that pops up. So, contrast that with your thinking, which is one of the typical investment types is take your investment, negotiate as much protection as you can to reduce the risk, negotiate better terms, and then find a way to generate cash flow as quickly as possible, and then get your principal back after a couple of years and retains some equity, for example. So, if I would have had the mental fortitude at the time and the know-how, what I would have said is, “Hey, I don't do equity investments, but I do cash flow investments.”

 

So, what I'd be willing to talk to you about is an interest-based loan, that's backed up with some kind of a guarantee. Again, in your case, you might negotiate an asset guarantee or even a personal guarantee, which to some people, they either wouldn't think of that or they wouldn't have the courage to ask. That's something that I've observed for you. It's just business as usual. I've been around a lot of investors as well and I think a lot of them have a very linear mindset, a linear way of thinking. You walk in with a gigantic bag full of strategies that get stacked on top of each other and that I think is my big takeaway. So, the number one big takeaway to directly answer the question is equity-only investments are something I never do any longer. I've got to have some additional kickers and some protection in there to make it make sense.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. I think that's great. I love that takeaway. Just for clarifying sake, because you had said 0% risk and I know you didn't mean that, but basically when you invest in equity, that's a 0% interest loan that is high risk that likely won't pay off for years and it may never pay off. Actually, the odds are really good it will never pay off. The irony, Mike, and by the way, you're no slouch investor like you are savvy, you have done very well in many of your investments. Obviously, there's a section that you haven't done as well in but you've done well in other areas. So, you're no slouch. So, it's actually neat to see some of these takeaways that you've had because most people this is their go-to. So, like the number one go-to for most people is, "Let's go to the stock market and invest there for the long haul,” and then whenever someone wants to diversify, it's like, "Oh, let's invest in this company via equity. We'll do a seed round or we'll do something.” Again, the likelihood of it working out is not great. There's a time and a place, in my opinion, for those investments but I don't think that it should come before having all of your expenses, your living expenses covered. I think you should first focus on having assets that produce enough income to live the life that you desire to live and then from there, diversify into those riskier assets.

 

By the way, I call the stock market a risky asset because it's unpredictable. For the long haul, it's probably fine. Most people though, they don't do it for the long haul. They invest and then when it tanks, they pull money out, and then when it shoots up, they put more money in because we're creatures of emotion and we just do it wrong. We don't time it right. And so, that's why I see most people doing and most people that are in the stock market have their money in qualified plans so they don't have access to them. Nine out of 10 times they don't have them self-directed and like you might have cash in there, but it's not serving you in cash flow today because you can't receive it. So, it's almost like it doesn't exist. You can count it in your net worth but I don't even think you should count it in your net worth because it's not moving you towards what you want today.

 

Mike Koenigs: Yeah. You're absolutely right. I look at that and I do dabble in the stock market just because there are certain things that I feel I've got an affinity to and a buzz with and the same thing like this year, I did something that I was like we had an overseas client and he paid with Bitcoin, for example, because doing a wire transfer is complicated overseas. The great news is, as of right now, if you've been paying attention to Bitcoin, it's just skyrocketing. It's close to its peak again. So, that payment, which I just left in the account, it's doubled in value, just shy of doubled in value and I'm really happy about that. Now, if I had any regret at all, but again, you can't invest and be driven by regrets. You've got to invest driven by discipline and sticking to your guns, but also applying some hard formulas, but some of the other things that I invested in, and not huge volume but some where the businesses that I like and I use. So, it's Apple, it's Peloton, it's Zoom. Again, if I looked at and I admitted to a regret, it's like, "Shoot, I wish I would have bought 500 times more Zoom stock than I did because it's worth 5X what I paid for it.

 

But the truth of the matter is even those are subject to, I mean, you're one social media takedown, one bad news report away, and if there's one thing that we know about the world we live in now, and I hate to use the term, but we are surrounded with fake news and a false reality and an absolutely, there is no journalistic integrity that exists any longer. So, someone with an ax to grind can take down a company by lying and there isn't any real consequence for doing that if it's done in a manipulative, tricky way. You could cancel a lot of CEO for something they said or did 15 or 20 years ago. Going back to why is that relevant, germane to this conversation is because I think being in some stock market makes sense. Bitcoin is speculative as hell. I couldn't with a straight face say, “Hey, I think it's a great idea.” It's not. No one still really understands it. Not really. So, what actually has long-term value? Well, people always need a place to live and they need to eat, and they will always spend money on entertainment. So, those are three things. And so, the real question is can you get creative there? And also, always invest in a way of making money if you can find a way of supporting and make money, venture or effort as well?

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. By the way, for the record, I invest in the stock market periodically. I've got some long-term positions. During this pandemic, I have most certainly gone in and out just based on timing that makes sense to me but the big thing for me is to have all of your exposure in one area to have all of your net worth in the stock market is pretty extreme. And so, I have a small percentage allocated to it just like I have a small percentage allocated to a number of different things and I think that that's kind of a good way to look at it. I want the majority of my wealth exposed in an area that I personally have more control that I understand that I have expertise, but that I have control, true control. I think when money's tied up in a qualified plan, you do not have control.

 

Mike Koenigs: You do not. Yeah. You got to have access. That's again, in my wife's case, Vivian is very much about rainy day and having access to that cash and some of that is deeply embedded in her DNA. She's the daughter of Holocaust-surviving Jews. Her parents were Holocaust survivors and they came here with nothing after having everything taken from them. Her father came from a wealthy family in Yugoslavia and everyone was taken off to the ovens in the trains and then they managed to escape and get here with nothing, and he never got his legs under him again. So, for her, that deep-embedded programming is don't trust systems you can't control and keep dry powder around, I guess, is the term that's used these days. It’s be prepared. I'm incredibly grateful for that because based on my personality type, I would have taken a whole bunch of stupid risks like I have, but a lot more of them in equity investments that probably never would have turned around, not because they weren't good ideas and they weren't good people. It's just because it's the nature of the deal.

 

Going back to what you look at is where is there a cash flow opportunity? Where can I gain leverage? Where can I provide value? And that goes to the other side. You don't just put money in. You provide value in terms of finding additional ways to maybe prep that business for an exit or helping them whether it's from a marketing management or whatever perspective because you've been there and done that as well. Being once removed is a hard skillset to have given the fact that most of us are raised where we get paid a wage to perform a doing task. Then if we're lucky and maybe let's say going to college or got the proper mentorship, get paid to do a knowing task, but very few of us ever evolve into beings where we get paid for who we are, not what we do or what we know and are able to find true leverage as well, and have the discipline to be prepared and protected in good times and in bad and by not being overly leveraged for example or whatever it is, because it's easy to get greedy.

 

I think if there's one thing that I'm a little bit older than you now that I've learned over the past few years is I'm just not greedy. I don't need to make a whole bunch all at once. I'd rather have a little bit consistently and have the knowledge control than to take big crazy risks. It's not that I'm risk-averse. It's I'm crazy-averse. I'm just not greedy like I would have been. I mean, I know I'd lose control if the right kind of thing got presented and the right emotional triggers got activated. I'd rather just be like I'm happy waiting this one out, watching that, or taking time and being a little more diversified.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. My wife calls it so everyone's heard of FOMO, fear of missing out. My wife has JOMO, the joy of missing out, and I think it's a real good balance. Right?

 

Mike Koenigs: That is ballsy and smart. It’s beautiful. So, very interesting. Very interesting. By the way, I'm just taking just as a matter of course. I wanted to glance over at my stock portfolio here. Despite all the crazy, it's doing just fine. There's nothing bad here but I'm always nervous because the truth of the matter is I don't really know anything about any of these companies. You don't know. What's value? There's just too many variables, far too many variables. Anyway, keep on going. I'm super curious what else is buzzing around in your head right now.

 

Justin Donald: Well, sure. I mean, a couple of thoughts. Number one is a lot of people don't understand the stock market that if you have a dip, and then it kind of rebalances back out, they feel like, “Oh, I'm back to even,” but you're not. If the stock market dips 20% and then comes back 20%, that means you lost money and most people don't get that. That's a really important concept when it comes to investing. You talked about how Vivian is a big fan of dry powder and I think that it's really good to have cash that you have easy access to that, in the event that you need it, I like having six months saved up. Start with three months. Get to six months. Get to a year. But it doesn't have to sit in cash. It could sit in cash alternatives. It can sit in high-interest type of accounts with plenty of liquidity. And so, those are unique options as well because as more money gets printed which is happening right now, the supply of money expands, well, not only are you devaluing and debasing the dollar but if you have that money invested in assets, the supply on the assets expands. So, it's a great hedge and that's something always to consider.

 

Now, with that thought in mind, I'm curious when you think about lifestyle investing, what does that mean to you, Mike? What does being a lifestyle investor actually mean when you kind of get your head around it?

 

Mike Koenigs: Yeah. Well, so I'll paint a little picture of something that I'm fascinated with. In fact, I'll even say I fantasize about right now, both Vivian and I, is when the pandemic happened as an example, and I was thinking about this long before, but I've always loved the idea of only working if and when I want to. I think everyone dreams of that. So, Dan Sullivan talks about the four freedoms, which are freedom of time, money, relationship, and purpose. When I sold my last business, I took time off and I really savored it because I worked my butt off for 30 years and did hard time. It was like really, really worth it and then along the way had cancer, which took a notch out of my belt too. What I'd say some near misses with my marriage where I wasn't present. We'd be on vacation but I wasn't on vacation. I was on my phone and it felt like at any given time, the whole kingdom was going to fall apart, and the Emperor had no clothes. And so, to me, what lifestyle investing would mean is having some relatively hands-free investments that are producing income with little or no engagement or interaction. So, that would be level one.

 

Level two, as you would describe as well, which is having all of your expenses covered. Now, some of that, it comes down to what your lifestyle looks like. So, I know, for me, personally, because I don't have, I mean, you've been at my home and our beach place before our condo. I don't live in a crazy expensive environment. We could have upgraded multiple times but we chose not to because I love the idea. I love the idea of just not having the have-to in there. I also know what it's like to be a business owner and literally potentially lose all of my income. But having said that, like I don't think I could burn $50,000 a month if I tried. So, to me, a $25,000 a month lifestyle is way more than enough. So, if you were going to take that and multiply it by 12, and then figure taxes and everything else in there, let's call it a $400,000-a-year income would be, again, more than enough and easily do it in a quarter. I can remember years ago when I used to dream of making $5,000 a month and how I'd have plenty left over, but again, it's all a matter of what your perspective is.

 

So, one of the things that I imagine doing that that we sort of fantasize about is getting like a class C camper. Now, their son's 18, just going on the road for three to six months doing shows, can conduct business as usual. Now, with Elon Musk’s Starlink just about ready to deploy, you could technically live almost anywhere and solar technology is good enough, you can boondock it and still conduct regular business. And that, to me, is the idea of a great lifestyle or moving to a different country every half year or so, but not having to be back in any one place. So, it is, it really is. It's freedom of time picking when and where, freedom of relationship because building deep meaningful relationships is very important to us, and then obviously, it's money. Not having to think about or worry about the money and more importantly, not tapping your principal. You want to be throwing off cash flow that you can live on and not worry about it or not care about or not think about it. To you, it's sort of like if I feel like X tonight, I'm going to. If some new doodad captures my attention and I want it, I can stroke a check and it doesn't matter.

 

Then purpose as well, which is work is one thing, but maybe you want to pursue something you're deeply passionate about that has nothing to do with any of this. And it could be as simple as I just feel like reading the entire Dune series or diving into Shakespeare and reading every piece of Shakespeare for whatever it is. It's like it doesn't have to have value and importance outside of your head while maintaining a great health and deep meaningful relationship with my spouse. Those are the key things that popped into my head. So, it's not a simple formula but I think everyone can relate to it on some level. But I love the idea of sitting on a lake and fishing every day. I just love to look at fish, be around water, and it's important to me. At the same time, you want to have a business and something you're passionate about to provide value for other people as well and maybe write books or in the case of both of us having podcasts. It's delightful.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. That's such a cool answer, Mike. I love hearing that. I love hearing what you're passionate about. I love hearing when you dial things back and you just get to like what's the most important thing is it’s relationship with your spouse, your children. It's having purpose and meaning in your life and contributing in a way where, A, you feel filled up, but, B, you can fill other people up. I just think that that's so amazing. I know that you've had a tremendous amount of success in your personal and professional life. I mean, you've overcome cancer, you have been resilient through many different businesses, you've had several exits. I believe you had four different business exits and you have advised countless other entrepreneurs and companies. And so, you've just had a great track record and a great let's call it professional life to put it plainly. I'm curious what you're working on right now that's most exciting to you.

 

Mike Koenigs: Well, so one of them is this movement towards a new level of freedom. For example, Vivian and I we’re in Bend Oregon and then Portland, and then in Tucson, Arizona last week. So, we went on a little trip. We picked up our son who had been away and living in the woods for 80 days. I don't know if you and I have had a chance to talk about that. He did something called NOLS.edu, came back a different human being. It's awesome. Highly recommend that. It's a rite of passage. So, I'm really invested in the family unit and the intimacy I have with my wife. We've got a better relationship now than we have in our 20 years together, which is I'm proud of that. My son as well. He knows who I am. I know who he is. We've got a great relationship and he's ready for his next journey in life post-high school. From a business perspective, I've got two podcasts. I love doing what we did together, which is working with collaborative, imaginative, coachable clients who are interested in building their platforms.

 

Something that you and I haven't had a chance to talk about yet but I am toying with right now is something called cold email and cold connection technologies, which basically means like, for example, for you, if you and I sat down, we can search through a database with 220 million contacts in it, and identify certain types, and then get their data, and then we have to find creative ways how do we connect with them and introduce ourselves in a way that's non-offensive and interesting? And so, I've got a few ideas on that specifically for you with you, especially when your book is released but then there's any number of techniques and strategies to make that happen. And so, I love coming up with creative technology marketing ways to create a connection and get someone to raise their hand and say, “I've been looking for someone just like you. How do we start working together?” I love that line. And then the other thing that I'm fascinated by right now, and again, I don't know how much of this you and I have talked about, but not long ago, I went up and I've been doing stem cell treatments, but also peptide treatments, which there is a variety of peptides that are really, really good for the body and help with healing, etcetera.

 

But there's also something called NAD, which you got to look it up. It's NAD, intravenous. I can't remember exactly what it stands for. It's hard to describe, but they combine this with multivitamins, glutathione, and/or something called alpha-lipoic acid, but it activates your mitochondria and like the next day your brain is so clear. You're so detoxed. Every part of your body, your skin, your brain, even your eyesight, and your hearing, you actually notice an improvement in all your senses. So, I've been making time to do that weekly. And so, what I found is you can definitely increase and improve your productivity and your mindset by giving yourself that extra gap. So, my goal is to be twice as productive, and work four days a week and have three-day weekends, and then ideally take I think in a perfect world, it'd be nice to take a week off a month. I don't know how long you can be away comfortably without things kind of drifting apart. Again, it depends on your business, right? But the nature of mine is its relationship-oriented. I've got to be really working closely like with people like you. So, staying in contact is important and I don't really need or want to be away like two or three months at a time necessarily. I want to be present and I want that collaborative ecosystem that's a byproduct of the kind of work we do.

 

Justin Donald: Well, you have most certainly built an amazing life and I love how the first thing you said when I asked you this question was you cared about your quality of relationship with your wife and with your son and getting that quality time and that that was first and foremost. I think money just pales in comparison to having great relationships and people learn that over time. That's why people on their dying bed never say anything about how much more money they wish they had. They just wish that they had done better with relationships. The thing that matters is not the stuff and the accumulation. It's the relationships with people that they love and respect and care about most.

 

Mike Koenigs: It truly is and I had like there's a couple of people, this is one little add-on, but so yesterday, originally, I was supposed to go spend the day with Darren Hardy. You know who he is. The Compound Effect and former publisher from Success Magazine. He's a buddy of mine. He lives nearby. Unfortunately, I had my accident, so we weren't able to get away but after my X-ray and getting back in the swing of things, I ended up going over and taking a walk with another friend of mine who's a genius, one of the most well-connected people I know and he's really low key. He's not on social. He's one of those people who's the producer behind the producer, or the producer behind the producer behind the producer and he's mentored an enormous number of very, very famous people but we got together yesterday. He paid me the best compliment ever. He said, "Since the pandemic began in March, I haven't been around or with anyone. You're the first person I said yes to.” And I thought, "Well, there's something to be said about having deep meaningful relationships.”

 

I think that really, you said it right. I've been on the edge of death a couple of times and even falling off my bike the other day and cracking my collarbone like, for a moment, I was like, okay, am I all here? Am I conscious? I know what it's like to have a concussion or be knocked silly. I was wearing a helmet. But that pain, I was like, sh*t. I know for sure I broke something. I got up and I was like, “You know what, just the wrong twist, the wrong turn, I could have been paralyzed, could have died, or could have been really badly injured.” I'll tell you, this is a big reminder to just take that time because you do never know, and I know a lot of rich people who've died and they were almost ready to take that time out, almost ready to fill in the blanks here, because they were almost there. The beauty of lifestyle investing and the whole concept behind what you are about and what you stand for is making and creating an ecosystem and an environment personally and professionally that protect you that allow you to live more.

 

That really, if there is a theme that the next time you and I do a creative, deep dive, and come up with some of the messaging for the book promo, and some of the other things that are coming up, I really think that that's something that we want to talk about is what lifestyle investing is about living more. It's about living better and that's what's attractive to me. I've also learned in this process of learning with you and alongside you is how I spent my professional career not thinking like you do, and I have a deep appreciation for that. So, adopting a lifestyle investor mindset is the gateway to that quality of life that I think all of us want but it's giving yourself permission to know that you can actually have it now as long as you're willing to put in the work.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. That's so powerful. Yeah. I love the way that you break it down and simplify it. That's so good. Hey, Mike, if people want to connect with you online, where should they go?

 

Mike Koenigs: All right. Well, the shortcut to my website is PaidForLife.com. It's also my name, MikeKoenigs.com. Then, of course, I've got two podcasts. So, generally speaking, the best way to ever get podcast listeners is for me to recommend that my audience goes to you and vice versa. So, one of them is Capability Amplifier with Dan Sullivan, the great Dan Sullivan from Strategic Coach. The second is called The Big Leap with Gay Hendricks, who is the author of The Big Leap and 37 other books. Really remarkable guy. Both of them are like best friend, brother, father, grandfather, mentors all rolled in one. They're both 76 years old, go figure, and just genius, brilliant men who think powerfully. I admire them and it's just always an honor to be able to collaborate with them as well.

 

Justin Donald: That's so great. Yes, two brilliant people and it's so important that we get people that are more wise, have more life-years than we do that we can learn from and glean from. I know you're great at that and that's something I've been very disciplined about over the years as well. Mike, I just have loved spending time with you here today, as I always do, whenever we get together. I just thoroughly enjoy it. Hey, is there anything else you want to share before we wrap things up here today?

 

Mike Koenigs: Well, there's a couple of goodies and gifts. If you hit my website, I've got a giveaway on there. One of them is how to make your Zoom meetings awesome but I've also got some new content that you'll get access to on selling because I think one of the smartest things you can do is, no matter what business or industry you're in, is learn how to enroll more effectively and charge more money. I know, that's one of the things that we worked on together, which is creating a $250,000 offer, creating a $50,000 offer. When you master your own self-worth and learn how to ask for more and receive more, that means you can work less, and it means you got more available to invest. So, one of the best ways to get your kickstart because if you're like, "Well, I don't have enough money to invest,” is one of your fears, well, that is a skill you can learn. I just did a series of trainings for how to increase and improve your sales that are on my social channels. That would be one big piece of advice and it is a game-changer and a life changer and you can learn the principles in a matter of 15 minutes. So, that would be my other piece of advice. How's that?

 

Justin Donald: So cool. Thank you for sharing, Mike, and thanks so much for your time especially on a day where I know you are in pain. So, thank you for spending it here with us and with me.

 

Mike Koenigs: You’re a pain reliever, not a pain giver so thank you.

 

Justin Donald: I love it. Well, I just want to encourage our listeners to take some sort of action. Focus on taking one step more towards your financial freedom. Get out of your comfort zone and move towards a life that's going to bring passion and joy and really make you a better version of who you desire to become. Thanks for listening and we'll talk soon.

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