We all have a passion for certain things, but we don’t know how to use them. We have talents we want to be discovered, but we lack ways to show them to the world. Join Jen Du Plessis and Jerome Myers as they delve into earning money by finding your passion in life. Jerome Myers is the founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of DreamCatchers and The Myers Development Group. He talks about the professional experiences in the transition that he encountered and how he faced the agony and struggles. He also discusses monetizing your talents and gifts and then offering them to the world. Join in and learn how to find your passion and experience a sense of fulfillment for self-development and empowerment.
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Finding Your Passion And Creating The Life That You Desire With Jerome Myers
Our guest is Jerome Myers. I’m delighted to have you, Jerome. I wanted to introduce you so that everybody knows. Jerome left Corporate America to guide people to leading lives of significance by focusing first on living a centered life. Often, these people are already in positions of leadership but feel that they are very alone. I certainly can understand that. As a result, Jerome creates opportunities for these apex performers to connect with each other so that they can develop solutions to their toughest challenges. I am excited to have you.
I want to hang out with the coolest kids in school. Jen, you are the coolest kid in school. No question.
Thank you very much. Jerome, tell us about this transition that you had. You were in Corporate America. You were a leader but maybe you felt alone and you said, “Enough is enough. I’ve got to go do something else. I’m being pulled and compelled to do something else.” Tell us about that transition that happened for you. What did it feel like at that time? What did you have enough of?
I wish it was that poetic. It’s like I had this other calling. What happened was a phone call at 4:45 on December 24th of 2015. It went something like this, “Jerome, we’ve been going back and forth for about three weeks on whether or not we’re going to lay the folks off on your team. We’ve decided that we’re going to lay them off.” I was like, “You can’t possibly mean that. We went from 2 employees to 175 over the course of eight months. We did $6 million in profit in 2015 and $20 million top line. There’s no way that we’re not going to have a place for these people in the New Year.” He’s like, “Jerome, I’m not going to argue with you about this. It’s 4:59. I’m getting ready to go enjoy my holiday with my family. I’ll talk to you next year.” The agony and the weight of being the person that was going to lay off about 75 folks for the first time started to weigh on me.
I didn’t sleep and eat for that period. I stopped celebrating the holidays because, in the back of my mind, I knew that people were getting laid off somewhere, even if it wasn’t in my direction. Even though somebody else made me do it, it was still my choice. I would never do this. I promised myself that I would never do it again. I went through the process. We got out of it. I come to the group that’s left afterwards and was like, “It’s my fault. We did this. We did that. We won’t ever have to go through this again.” We start going through the year. Things are going great. We’re highly profitable again. There’s another phone call. It’s two days before Thanksgiving this time. I’m standing in front of the room and I’m saying, “Don’t spend all your money on Black Friday. I’m not sure what’s going to happen. There’s a bunch of things up in the air.” It was at that point where I was like, “I’m not doing this anymore.” I decided that I was going to exit. I was going to leave Corporate America. I was going to turn my back on what I’d spent a long time building. I decided that I was going to bet on myself.
If I could do $20 million in revenue for somebody else, then what could I do for myself? Could I do $200,000 or $2 million? What could I create for myself? I went on that path. I thought I was going to buy an apartment building. That didn’t work out. There will be a recurring story in my life of things not going exactly as planned. Eventually, we did get into apartments. We’ve built a pretty large portfolio and spent a bunch of time helping other people figure out how to get the same thing done. From my perspective, the goal is for people to get away from the work they’re not passionate about and get into the things that fulfill them, things that make them excited to get up. A lot of times we choose not to do it. It was in my case as well. They don’t always pay well or at least we don’t see a way to make them pay well. What if you could set up a business where you got recurring revenue coming in and it made you independent or free from having to go through that W2 just because it gives you the money that you want to get?People should not go backward. It would be best if you always continued to accelerate and elevate. Click To Tweet
I always say that sometimes when you’re climbing the ladder of success, when you get to the top, you realize you were on the wrong ladder. That’s what happens sometimes. We get on some type of path. It is usually not the first job out of college but the 2nd or 3rd job out of college. Everybody gets out of college and tries to take the job they studied for, then they realized, “I don’t like this.” They meander around a little bit and find the right thing. They climb this ladder only to find out, “I’m not as happy as I thought I was going to be here. Maybe this is the wrong ladder. Let me crawl back down, look around and see what other types of opportunities there are that I would be excited to go to.” That’s a great story about helping people find their passion and being fulfilled. It’s everything that I talk about all the time. It’s fulfillment. I can’t imagine being in the position that you were in. I’ve had to let people go. Not just lay off but fire people.
The angst that I have over doing that for one person, I can’t imagine how compounded that might be for you. When we talk about people’s health, that’s something that we don’t think about either. All of that anxiety will show up years later for all of us. I know you do a lot of investing in real estate too. This is why you’re on this particular show. I’m trying to share with my audience the fact that we are in lending, we’re in real estate as realtors, but there’s so much more that we could be doing. We are so focused on just the loan, the house, the buyer and the seller and not the passive income options that we have available for us. Let’s talk about your Myers Method, and how you help people make that transition either from a mindset and/or from the mindset and the tactical piece of that as well.
The Myers Method is more tied to investing in multifamily. The red pill is very much mindset and figuring out the center of life. We can go down both paths because I can make them pretty compelling.
Let’s talk about the red pill first. For those of you that are reading, Jerome has a shirt on that says, “I took the red pill.” We all know this is for the matrix but not everybody understands the story so you have to start from the beginning.
The 1999 movie, The Matrix, the first one was a documentary. It wasn’t a sci-fi flick. The main character, Neo, is presented with an option by his guide, Morpheus, to pick a red or blue pill. The blue pill will allow him to wake up from the dream that he thinks that he’s in and continue to live the life that he’s been living. If you think about being in a red, a monotonous life where you come in and do the thing, people don’t appreciate your contribution, and maybe you got this thing on the side that pays a little bit but it’s not something you feel like you can live off of, that’s what the blue pill life is. There’s the red pill where you get to pull back the veil and see how things are working and the programming that’s been embedded in you. You may not even realize you’re running off of that program. It’s putting you in a place where you’re just a servant or a slave to the overall system.
Neo took the red pill. Although this line is never mentioned in the movie, it’s one that I’ve tied my life to. We were coming up with our framework for coaching and helping these apex performers get to the next level. I spend the majority of my time bouncing around the country and talking to these individuals because most of them end up lonely. What I found was that it’s easy for us to think that the world’s going to change and we don’t have to do anything. That’s why you have to take the red pill. It starts within and then it radiates out. We start with self-image and our self-esteem. The whole goal here is to keep promises to ourselves. If you can keep promises to yourself, that shows that you’re accountable and we can keep walking down that path of building more confidence because we took action and we got the result that we desire and then pouring back into that and taking more action. Eventually, you create this flywheel that feeds itself.
From there, we move to relationships. In relationships, what happens is when people are the source or the top of the food chain, people come to take from them. They don’t come in to give. There’s not mutual benefit outside of you may be want to be a generous person. What we encourage folks to do is figure out how to make the relationships mutually beneficial. A relationship only being one way is not healthy by definition. What we want people to do is to get those deposits. I’m the guinea pig on this. I had a bunch of one-way relationships. I ended up being completely empty. I was looking for a source. Eventually what happens is you go and try to find the illegitimate source for your legitimate needs if you don’t force the folks that are interacting with you to create mutual benefit.
When you fix your self-image and your relationships, then naturally you’re going to be seen as a leader in your workplace. People are going to come to you because you’re the person who has the influence. You have the connections because you’re a person of character. That typically allows you to earn more. It also allows you to take a moral stance on things and align your work with your morals and values. This gives you more freedom. That starts to become rewarding and fulfilling. Those three things, self-image, relationship, and work are the source of all of our stress. If we can fix those, then we’re ready to move to the next level, which is level four of the red pill which is health. We destroy our health trying to numb the pain of the stress. While people think they can compartmentalize it, there’s no way that if your life is in shambles that you’re going to be healthy. It doesn’t work because you’ve got to take the edge off. Few of us can experience life in fullness if we’re overstressed and don’t have a healthy way of coping with it. From health, we move up to prosperity. Prosperity is after health. If you have prosperity before your health, you’ll spend all your prosperity on your health. I don’t want people to go backwards. I want them to continue to accelerate as they elevate.
That’s so funny you said that because a girlfriend of mine who is a financial advisor contributed to David Bach’s book. If you know The Automatic Millionaire, there’s a version for women, Smart Women Finish Rich. She says very much what you said and I’ll paraphrase, “People waste their health trying to create wealth and then later, they waste their wealth trying to keep their health.” It’s very much the same way. I see it all the time with people. I love that you got health and then prosperity and not, “Let’s go get the numbers and the goals, and sacrifice everything else on the way.”
The thing with health is that’s your only true wealth. You can’t enjoy your money if you’re sickly. Out of that abundance, the prosperity level, which is level 5, we move to level 6, which we think is the top level and that’s significant. We believe that the people on the airplane are right. You need to put your mask on first. If you think about everything that we talked about, it’s focused inwardly. Now that you’re full and you have an overflow, out of that overflow, you give to others your time, talent and treasures. You can give that as freely as you can. If you’re not worried about making money because you’re already prosperous, it’s pretty easy for you to dedicate some time or for you to give away that talent that you have that you would normally charge for. You don’t need to monetize it because that part is already taken care of. You don’t have the drudgery that comes with it when you give something that you don’t want to give. The red pill is self-image, relationship, work, health, prosperity and significance.
Jerome, you don’t know me quite well yet but we’re getting there. I have another podcast called Success to Significance: Life After Breaking Through Glass Ceilings for this very same reason. I believe that in your life, you learn, you earn and then you return. This is what getting to significance is all about. It’s making an impact on others around you. It’s making an impact on your own personal life. It’s so important for people to understand that there is a sequence that needs to happen in order to have true success and happiness. Success doesn’t have to be monetary. It could be whatever success looks like for people. Success because I’m doing enough business so I can spend time with my family, that’s a success, rather than doing all kinds of business and not having any of that, family, relationships, etc.
I love that you’re doing that kind of work. Thank you for doing that. People are awakened. They say, “What else is there for me out there then?” How do you guide people into finding what their passion is so that they could leave their job if that’s what they wanted to do, and then move into finding this passion if it were compartmentalized that they wanted a different role? The second part of that is how do you make that passion find its way into passive income as a side gig?When you fix your self-image and relationships, you're naturally going to be seen as a leader in your workplace. Click To Tweet
I don’t know that it will always be passive. A lot of times we have to figure out what is monetizable from our talents and gifts. This is where most people struggle because they’re like, “I didn’t go to school for this thing. I’ve been working on this for the past ten years. This is all I know how to do.” What do you do that makes you happy? What is it that you do that you don’t get paid for but you’re good at like super talented? If a person can answer that question, then we pull on that thread and figure out who they can serve by applying that talent to a specific problem that people are willing to pay for to go away. It’s all about the person that you’re serving. If you can make a problem for them go away, people will give you money for it.
What is the gift that you have that is so easy for you and others are saying, “That’s so hard?” All of us have something that we can do that’s a piece of cake for us. What’s that for you?
I’m the how guy. I’m the person who helps people figure out how to do it. A lot of people know what they want to do. Some know why but the how is the hard part for most. I’ve got a background in engineering and business. I’m good at strategy. Not just putting something on paper but the execution of that actual strategy. People get lost. I call it going into the desert. For the nomads, for the people who want something different, they have to walk out of the jungle, where there are plenty of fruits, shades, water and abundance. They need to get from the jungle to the next oasis in the desert and then eventually, they reached their paradise but if you aren’t willing to keep going when you’re scared that you’re going to run out of water, you’re scared that the heat’s going to burn your skin or whatever else, then you’ll turn around and you go back into the jungle. The jungle is the proverbial matrix where you’re comfortable you have enough but you don’t experience the bliss. I’ve learned from wandering around in the desert for a while and then eventually, finding my paradise that there is no amount of comfort worth giving up the freedom. Once you experienced freedom, you can’t go back.
I want to talk about your investing. It’s funny you said that. My son always wanted to be an entrepreneur because we are. He graduated from UVA, the University of Virginia in the comm school, top in his business class and that type of thing. He said, “I want to be an entrepreneur.” I said, “First, I want you to go to work.” He said, “I don’t want to because I want to be an entrepreneur.” This is my take on it. The thing about being an entrepreneur is that if you go and be an entrepreneur, you can always say, “If it doesn’t work out, I’ll just go get a job.” If you have a job and you want to be an entrepreneur, you’ll do anything not to go back to that job. That’s where that passion and drive comes from. “I’m not going back there. I’m not doing it. I’ll do anything to stay away from what I already know is not good.” That’s the same analogy that you were speaking about too.
Let’s talk about multifamily. Where did it start? Especially in mortgage and real estate, when people hear multifamily, many of them think of apartment buildings right away. They don’t think about 2, 3, 4 and 5-unit. They think big units. Grant Cardone is doing $50 million apartment buildings. He’s got a whole buyer’s club that’s involved in it, which is cool. What he’s doing is crowdfunding for this $50 million thing. Those are big projects. You have to understand what you’re doing to invest in those types of things. Let’s talk about where they get started.
We call it getting tuna in the boat. For me, it started with a 23-unit apartment building behind the Timber Mart in Richmond, Virginia. There are a lot of educators who will say, “Go syndicate. Go buy a 100-unit deal. It’s all the rage. In one deal, you make more than you’ve made in your job over the past year. You’ll get all the tax benefits.” They think they’re selling the empty bag of goods. I don’t think most people have ever operated a business to think that you’re just going to go take down something so large with no experience, no capital, no credit, none of these things. If it sounds too good to be true, a lot of times it is. You have to check the source and understand what they get out of you believing whatever they’re showing you.
If the idea is to sell you a coaching program for $30,000, $40,000, $50,000, I know one lady that spent $100,000 in coaching, then they’re going to tell you you’re going to make $250,000 or $300,000 in acquisition fee. With that said, I encourage people to start smaller as you would do with anything else, whether you’re buying something using a residential loan or you go straight into commercial because you find somebody who has experience. By the way, every investor is overcoming four things. It’s knowledge, deal flow, experience and capital. People go to the capital first because they think, “I’m going to buy something so I need money.” You worry about the capital less, especially in multifamily. You start with knowledge. Get a foundational body of knowledge as you would with anything else.
For the folks who are in the mortgage industry, they have to take a test to be able to do it and get their license. You need to understand that knowledge to do that successfully. Find somebody who’s going to give you that body of knowledge. I’m not talking about a weekend bootcamp. Trying to apply all of that stuff that you learn over the course of three days over your journey is not going to sink in. It’s not going to be meaty for you. Find somebody who’s going to give you some knowledge over an extended amount of time and then start looking for deals. Apply that knowledge that you have against a bunch of different leads. Some of those will be deals or something where you can make money. I pick leads and deals because they have the same letters but they’re very different things. Leads are things that are never going to make you money. Deals, you can make money on and you’re investing. People will sell you something where you can’t make money on it because it puts more money in their pocket. The one thing about the HUD is it’s a zero-sum game. You either get a credit for it or you write a check for it.
Experience, this was the part where I got stuck, Jen. When I walked out, I thought I was just going to go borrow $1 million to go buy a building. I went to one bank and they said, “We’re not going to give you that.” I was like, “What do you mean? I got a credit score. I got some cash in the bank. Of course, you are.” He was like, “No, we’re not.” I was like, “You are ludicrous and crazy. I’m going to go talk to the bank down the street.” I did that ten times and I finally realized that they weren’t not going to give me $1 million.
We moved forward. I started fixing and flipping then I came back because while I was sitting on the stoop of a $90,000 rehab, guys, don’t do $90,000 rehabs, I had somebody pull up and they wanted to see the property. We walked through and he’s like, “This is amazing.” He gets ready to walk out. He said, “Do you know anything about that building in Churchill?” I was like, “Which one?” “The one behind the Timber Mart.” “I tried to buy that.” “You did?” “Yes, but I need to get it figured out. They said I needed to have experience.” He’s like, “I’m getting ready to make an offer on it. ” I was like, “You’re the first that I’ve been looking for. You must have experience if you’re making an offer on the project.” He said, “We own a few things.” I was like, “Please, don’t leave me out.” “What are you going to bring to the table?” “I don’t know but please don’t leave me out.”
We did that 2 or 3 more times. He shook his head in frustration, walked down the stairs and left. This was on a Wednesday. I knew by Friday he was going to call me and say, “We got the deal.” He didn’t call. I thought, “Maybe Monday. He needed a weekend to get it done.” No call. The next Friday came and went, nothing. I was like, “I miss my opportunity.” I tell that story because what’s important for the readers to pull from that if they didn’t get it already is you have to be able to articulate the value that you bring to the marketplace.
I had a certification in project management. I ran a decent-sized business. There were plenty of things that I could bring to the table. I had some money in the bank but I didn’t say that so he didn’t know why he needed to partner with me. We romanticized this concept of getting in business but if you put it on the level that you should, which is a marriage with a predefined exit, then you begin to understand the gravity of the ask that you’re making of people when you say, “I’d like to partner with you.”And a lot of times, we choose not to let go because we do not believe in ourselves. Click To Tweet
Bringing it back full circle, a buddy of mine that I used to do some hard money lending on, Jen, I know you’ve been involved in that game a little bit. I used to lend him some money and he said, “I got the opportunity to be a contractor on this project.” “What project?” “The one we talked about 4 or 5 months ago.” I told him, “The only way I’d be comfortable doing the deal is if you were a partner in it.” That got me back to the table. That’s how we did our first deal. There was a press release that happened. On the backside of that press release, my phone started ringing. It was the banks. They wanted to know what we’re going to do once we got done with the property. Where are we going to refinance it? Have we selected a lender? I didn’t know any more than I already knew before then. It’s the same business plan but different partners, which led to a different experience for me because we’d done it.
Back to the four things which are deal, flow, experience and capital, if you got a deal, you need somebody with experience because the banks are looking for proven operators. They want to make sure that it doesn’t default. This isn’t a widget where you buy it. I got my little notebook here. I buy my notebook and then sell it for a little bit more than what I paid for it. I’ve got to make the building make more money. That’s how it works.
Partnering is a good way to do it because that’s something that we’ve had to do. We have experienced in one area, they have experienced in another. They may have the capital. The deal of the century comes around every week. Sometimes you bought the deal of the century last week and so you’re low on capital this week. You have to have not just capital partners and experience partners but all kinds of partners that could come in and help you with that deal of the century. You bought this 22-unit property and the rest is history. You’re moving on into other things. Your coaching is about helping people identify the six steps that we talked about, and then moving into investing in multifamily units.
The prosperity piece is the way that they create their freedom. If my goal is to help you exit, I want to show you how to create a subscription model so that you have recurring income on a monthly basis with some lumps along the way to build up your savings and give you capital that you can invest in other places. In addition to making sure that you are elevating yourself to the person you need to be to run an enterprise of that size. If you’re making $50,000, $60,000 or $100,000 a year and you’re trying to run a business that’s doing a few million dollars a year, you’re not the person you need to be to run that business yet.
You’ve got to grow, improve and forget the $50,000 or $60,000. How much are you keeping on the backside of that? If you’re not keeping any of it, then how can you expect your business to do well? It’s not. Cash is like air. If your business runs out of cash, it dies. If you don’t have air, you die. You got to figure out how to be able to generate the revenue. What I’ve learned through talking to a ton of people is most folks don’t know how to make money outside of their day job. My thought is if you can own a piece of property and somebody pays you for the use of it, that makes a lot of sense. By the way, let’s insert a professional property manager so that you don’t have to deal with the phone calls from the tenants when the toilets crashed.
What you’re talking about is The Rich Dad, Poor Dad graph. Being on the left side and being on the right side of the graph, the quadrant. Being the employee, being the sole proprietor, which is what most loan officers and real estate agents play in. Most of our sole proprietors because they’re paid a commission. The left side of the quadrant is the business owner and entrepreneur. A lot of people say, “I’m an entrepreneur,” but they aren’t because they’re a business owner or a sole proprietor. The goal is to get to that entrepreneurial and hiring a manager. A lot of people say, “I’m not hiring a manager because that’s more money out of my pocket.” That’s how you get to entrepreneurship. It’s what do you do with that time that you’re not spending dealing with the tenants? What do you do at that time to manifest more opportunities for yourself? It’s not resting on your laurels but to manifest more opportunities for yourself, then you can rest on your laurels. I don’t even like saying, “Then you can,” because I’m an advocate of living your legacy while you’re building it. There is a wish of back and forth you have to do.
There are a lot of people that run into the investor quadrant very early and are premature. True wealth is created as a business owner. You then spend the profits off of the business into investments that create revenue for you that you don’t have to show up for. That piece right there, I could get on a soapbox and preach for a long time. Whenever somebody’s giving you the information, even me and Jen, what do we stand to gain by giving you this paradigm? For me, it’s probably nothing because I’m telling you the blueprint on how to get the thing done. The fact of the matter is people who tell you, “Put your money in the 401(k),” are telling you that so they can manage the money for you.
I don’t have any money in 401(k). I don’t believe in it. Isn’t that interesting that you’re saying that? My purpose for the last several years in this show is to provide information for people to be able to make their own decisions. Also, to get more resources and information so they can be educated on making their own decision about how they want to have their business or their practice move. You have been inspirational. Thank you so much for being here with us. What would you like to leave our group with?
If they want to learn more about our approach to multifamily investing, I would love for them to hop over to JeromeMyers.co and grab our four-step guide to getting into multifamily investing. It gives you that step-by-step process that will allow you to create revenue outside of your day job. Most folks only think that they can do single-family homes. There’s a whole lot of difference in approach between a single-family home and doing a $50 million deal like my man, Uncle GC.
He’s got seven of them going, not just one. It’s crazy. He’s using OPM. That’s the thing. He’s using crowdfunding and other people’s money to make these things happen. Thank you again, Jerome. It’s been a pleasure talking with you. Thank you so much for your insight on the Myer’s Method that I now understand, also multifamily and how to start working in that. What I encourage everyone who’s reading to do is reread this and take notes. Make sure that you’re taking and putting these things into action. As I always say, stop talking, take action and then you will get the results. You have to execute on everything that you’re reading. Find that one thing that you want to talk about. Maybe it’s contacting a real estate agent that works in multifamily or contacting a loan officer who works in multifamily and does multifamily financing so that you can learn more about that. As usual, please give us a great rating and write us a great review so that we can continue to serve you for years to come. Jerome, thank you so much for joining us.
Thank you for having me, Jen. I’m so grateful to be here.
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- Success to Significance: Life After Breaking Through Glass Ceilings
- The Rich Dad, Poor Dad
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About Jerome Myers
Jerome Myers is the preeminent authority of dream realization. A believer that dreams can, and should be real, Jerome left corporate America when he realized that his role offered financial gain, but little significance. He is the founder and head coach of Myers Methods and has been featured in Black Enterprise, Business Insider and numerous podcasts.
After building a highly profitable division of a fortune 550 company, Jerome decided to leave the rat race to get away from what seemed to be the endless slew of layoffs. He has developed a system for exiting corporate America and creating a life of impact.
Today, he and his company help other apex performers find their calling and live every day on purpose by harnessing the power of his model for a Centered Life, what he calls “the Red Pill”. Jerome and his firms can guide any individual from a monotonous uninspiring existence to a life of fulfillment and impact.
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