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The Personal Finance Podcast

From Sweaty Startup to an 8-Figure Net Worth With Nick Huber

In this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we’re going to be talking to Nick Huber about how to build up sweaty startups and self-storage generational wealth.

In this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we're going to be talking to Nick Huber about how to build up sweaty startups and self-storage generational wealth.

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Transcript:

 

On this episode of the personal finance podcast, we're going to talk to Nick Huber about sweaty startups and how to build generational wealth with self storage.

Whoa, what's up everybody. And welcome to the personal finance podcast. I'm your host, Andrew founder of mastermoney. co and today on the personal finance. We're going to be talking to Nick Huber about how to build up sweaty startups and self storage generational wealth. If you guys have any questions, make sure to hit us up on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, at master money co and follow us on Spotify, Apple podcast, or whatever podcast player.

You love listening to this podcast on. And if you want to help out the show, consider leaving a five star rating and review on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player. Now, today we're going to be talking to Nick Huber about a bunch of different topics. And if you never heard of Nick Huber, he is one of my favorite.

Follows on Twitter. But one thing that I love that he talks about is how to start a sweaty startup. And this is a way to kind of build a business when you don't have a ton of cash and, or you can also buy a business if you have this concept down and if you think about this concept. So we're going to be talking about that first, but he also has a massive self storage portfolio and we're going to go through his self storage portfolio, how that got started, how he raised capital and some different things he did with that business.

And we're also going to talk about what he thinks about the current real estate market. And then lastly, we're going to be talking about what wealth means to him and some of the other service based businesses that he has started and the impact of some of those service based businesses. And we will have all those businesses, all the links of his podcast and everything else down in the show notes below so that you can check those out as well.

Nick is a very wise person in the business space. So that's why I wanted to have him on. So without further ado, let's welcome Nick to the personal finance podcast. Nick, welcome to the personal finance podcast. Thanks for having me, Andrew. I'm excited to be here. I am really excited to have you here because you have so many cool insights in so many different areas.

And I kind of want to dive into your origin story and how that worked. But before we do that, I kind of want to talk through some of the things that you talk about as we go through this. So you love to talk about sweaty startups, and I kind of want to talk about that first, and we'll get into your story here.

But in your opinion, what is wrong with that flashy startup model that a lot of people look at? Yeah, I mean, you go down any street in America or especially in a college town and you ask somebody on the side of the road. What is entrepreneurship? What does entrepreneurship mean to you? They're going to start talking about tech crunch and shark tank and new inventions.

And they're going to talk about maybe Elon Musk and people who change the world. People have a new idea and they literally bend the world to fit their will and or what they see their vision for it and simply put. I kind of fell into that trap and I thought, Oh, I want to start a business. I want to make money.

I got to go think of something new. I got to go raise money. I got to, you know, do something different. I got to have a moat. And I realized pretty quickly that it was all, it's all kind of bullshit. Like I'll just say it when I look around my town. And when you look around your town or if I go to any big city in America, I think like who is wealthy in this town, who has complete time freedom, who does what they want to do and who like has frankly a lot of money in the bank.

It's not tech founders who changed the world. It's a bunch of people who run normal businesses. Regular businesses, old fashioned businesses, sweaty startups, and they do common things uncommonly well. So they're not necessarily trying to reinvent the wheel. They're not trying to change the world. They're not trying to, you know, run around Silicon Valley in sweatpants and, you know, they're out and they are doing things that other people do.

And what I learned pretty quickly in this world is that there's no such thing as a new idea. Every single idea has been thought of and talked about and if it's feasible, there's, there's probably a business doing it already. What I like to do is run around the world looking at the way the world is.

Molding and adapting myself instead of trying to change the world to the way I want it to be. I love that thought process because I have so many people like within my network, for example, who are just boring businesses. They own boring businesses and they are some of the wealthiest people that I know and they have so much time.

And most people can look at someone, for example, who owns an AC company and they go out there and they say, Hey, this person, you know, didn't go to college. They don't have the fancy degree, but they actually are probably one of the most wealthy people that you know, if they're running that business correctly.

So can you share some? Examples of these types of businesses and talk about your first business as well. Yeah. So the great thing about business is that when you've been in it for a while and you get good at operating a business and you get a network and you get some cash in your pocket, you start to kind of see outsized opportunities.

You're in a position to see outsized opportunities. And if you're listening to this and you have no business, no network and no capital. Unfortunately, these opportunities are not going to come to you just because you don't have anything that you can bring to the table. I always say, like, I'm getting a little bit off track here, but I always say there's three things you need to have a successful, majorly successful company that gets you serious wealth.

And number one is you need to have an operational, you know, past, you need to know how to do these things. You need some experience, you need to practice and fail and hire and manage and fire, you know, when these people are all moving around. Number two, you need a little bit of cash in your bank account.

Because without cash in your bank account, you can't really run a business the right way with investing in the business and spending money in the business and doing things well. And then lastly, is you need a network. You need to know who you can hire and who you can, you know, sell to and maybe who can invest in your business as well.

So without those three things, you got to will something off the ground. That's pretty boring. And you got to just start to build up those things. The first business you start might not actually be about money. It's about building those three things. I started in the student storage business where you're picking up and delivering.

Students stuff, the worst business in the world where we have 21 year olds or even 18 year olds driving box trucks around major cities and they're part time employees. We did pickup and delivery storage. We got that business to about, you know, a little over 2 million a year of revenue, a couple hundred grand of profit.

And we worked our butts off accumulating those three things that I was telling you about. And another example, like you fast forward to people who are doing it at a little bit higher level. I was playing golf with a guy the other day who his business model was to roll up body shops. And I was like, a body shop, that seems like a really hard business.

Every body shop owner I know, it's kind of like a restaurant. They're tied to it. You know, they have a really kind of a tough deal. And his family was in the body shop business. They had one body shop, and this is kind of an example of an outsized opportunity and how it can kind of come to you when you're in the right place at the right time.

He said, okay, I'm going to open another body shop. He took one of his great managers at his current business. They hired a replacement. He had that one manager that was kind of freed up to go somewhere else. And they said, Hey, where do you want to, you're open to moving to a new town and opening a new shop with me, somebody that he could really trust the network.

That person said, yes. So we called Geico, who is the number one, you know, spender. On body shop repair in the entire country and said, Hey, what city near us? They were in, you know, the Northeast, what city near us are you struggling to find a body shop to do your work? And the guy co reps said, Oh my God, it's really, really stressful in Bolton, Massachusetts.

You know, we can't get anybody, any of the body shops there. They're all pain in the butt. They're all over billing us. We don't trust any of them and we have a ton of demand. So we went there and he bought a body shop, bought a location. The next day, the day after he bought the body shop, Geico started flooding him with business because they had a problem and he could solve the problem.

He did it again. He did it again. He did it again. He became the best friends with Geico, State Farm, Farm Bureau, these auto insurance companies, and they instantly fueled business. All he did was ask them where they had a problem, met another guy on the golf course the next day, or actually. It might've been in the same foursome.

His buddy, he picked up, or uh, he rolled up, uh, u p s and FedEx Delivery routes. Another really hard business. People complain about it all the time. It's just not easy. It's kind of a job for a lot of people who are poor operators. He did the same type thing. He had one really successful route, and then he called u p s and FedEx and said, Hey, look, we have a really good management team.

If there's any struggle or you have any branches of your, your delivery routes, That you need help with call me, like I can take on more and UPS and FedEx, you know, these people own these routes, but as soon as they start to mess up and as soon as there's delivery lags and a bunch of lost packages, UPS and FedEx can take the routes from you.

So there's value if you're operating them really well, if you operate, if you operate them poorly, you can lose them altogether for, you know, it, a suburb right around the corner started a struggle. UPS called and said, Hey, we're about to repossess this route. This franchise is about to become ours. Can you buy it from us for basically pennies on the dollar to come in and just run it and solve it?

And look, they didn't care. It's not UPS's primary business to own these franchises. They want their packages to go out and show up on time. So he bought that one from them, bought another one, bought another one, bought another one, all because Amazon had a problem and FedEx had a problem. And UPS had a problem.

They're delivery routes. We're suffering, he could solve that problem. These are the types of things in business that as momentum hits, it just gets really good. And you find yourself in a situation where you have some outsized advantage, a competitive advantage where time is on your side and you can make serious, serious money.

And I love that outside of the box thinking specifically with the Geico story where he actually called up Geico specifically and said, where are you struggling? And how can I help you solve that problem? And I think that's a huge lesson here. How can you solve problems for people and they could be simple problems, everyday problems that you see all the time.

It doesn't have to be this complex thing of, you know, some internet company is solving some massive problem at scale. You could do some local problems in your area that you see every single day. So I love that. There's a common theme here. I think the common theme that people should take away is that what problem were these folks actually solving?

Were they Operational, you know, masterminds where they could just find incredible talent that works for them. Were they software engineers that were brilliant, the best in the world? No, the answer is no. These people were not the best in the world at anything except really operating. They could hire, they could manage, they could delegate.

If you can delegate and you can build teams and you can hire and fire and manage and solve problems with people, you can make a lot of money in this world. Like there's two ways to make... Really good money. Number one is you get really good at your job. If you're really good at your own job and you can do your job well, you can make great money in this world.

Sometimes a million dollars plus a year. If you're a software engineer at Fang and you're incredible, if you can make other people good at their jobs, there is no limit to the amount of money that you can earn in this world. And I love that. I love that thought process and operations is such a high level skill that if you learn that you can make so much money, is there anything that you did in your life to kind of scale and learn operations so that you can get much better at it?

Or is it just kind of doing it over time? We had a very stressful year in 2013. I got out of college in 2012 and we did a very good job marketing in 2013 because we were scrappy. I'm a natural marketer. We painted these. College campuses with sidewalk chalk. We went under every dorm room door. We've slipped a flyer for our business and we did that in seven cities, spent three months on the ground doing marketing.

And what happened is the business exploded with new customer growth. They went from, you know, 300 of revenue to over a million of revenue in one year. And with that came a tremendous amount of stress. On us on our team, we were understaffed and we didn't have the operational side of the piece yet. And I say, I always say this, that a business has one of two problems.

It's got a people problem, meaning you don't have enough people at your company to service the customers or you have a customer problem. You need more customers. It's always one of the two. And as a business owner, we're just trying to relieve the bottleneck so that one of those two can get better. And then all of a sudden you have a people problem.

You need to make a hire. Then all of a sudden you have a customer problem, need more customers. That business, we had a people problem, operational nightmare. We were running around working like dogs nonstop in these warehouses. We did our first 80, 90, 100 hour weeks. And when that happened, we were complaining.

We were blaming other people. We were blaming our employees. We were blaming the world around us. And it didn't go well. Like when we were saying, Oh, our employees are not that smart. They're not doing a very good job. Like, I cannot believe we're hiring these Ivy league kids to drive trucks around and they're messing up, you know, the simplest thing, labeling these boxes, things like that.

What I realized pretty quickly was that. It was my fault as a business owner when things are going wrong in my business. It is my fault. So my business partner and I, we finally looked at each other and like, what are we doing? Like, this is our company. We are blaming other people for our situation right now.

It's on us. Let's take some ownership over this and let's take hiring and managing into our own hands. We got really serious about, Hey, we know the labor market's tough. The labor market's tough for everybody. How are our competitors staffing up 300 employees? When we can only get 10, they're better at it than we are.

So we got really, really serious about hiring, recruiting. And people think like if you post a job on Indeed, a unicorn is going to walk in the door who wants to work for your business is going to care about you. We learned really quick that in our business where you got to do hard work, moving boxes, um, we had to go out and get into people to work for us.

We had to recruit them just as we recruited customers. So we were marketing to them. We were chasing them. We were doing the things we had to do to get these people in the door to run these businesses. And then I think the second part of that is we really simplified the job that they had to do. We had our driver.

He was answering the phone. He was making the schedules. He was labeling the boxes. He was moving this stuff. He was calling ahead to customers. He had a tablet and he had a list on the back of it with 20 different business functions that he had to remember to do in order. From he literally made the invoice, made the invoice, and it was by size, so we had to figure out how big the boxes were, and it was killing us.

They were making invoices and costing us, you know, tons of money. And what we did was we simplified their job so that they had to drive the truck. They had to change the status on the phone. They did no customer service. They did no invoicing. And when they got done loading the truck, they didn't go back to the warehouse and have to do five or six more jobs to get the boxes back in the location.

They specialized in what they did. They didn't make any schedules. One person on a computer could make all the schedules. Instead of making the invoice, they took a picture of the order and one person on a computer could make a thousand invoices in a day instead of, you know, 20 drivers making, you know, 50 invoices each.

And when we did that, our world opened up. We made more money. We had less stress. And our business started to actually succeed. And I love that concept of figuring out, you know, do you have a people problem or do you have a customer problem and kind of thinking through that process each time you have these issues coming up where you have these bottlenecks.

I think that's a great way to think about it. It's almost black and white. It's 50 50, which direction do you need to go and which direction you need to focus your operational time? One more thing to add on that. I think the average person is, is a very, very poor delegator. They're very bad at telling other people what to do.

And I've spent a lot of time thinking about why, why is everybody such a bad delegator? And it's incredibly unnatural. It's not natural to tell somebody else what to do. And B, we've never had any practice in it, at it in our entire lives. In school, there's never been a teacher ever in the history of the world say, Hey, I want you to write this paper.

But in reality, I just kind of want you to get somebody else to write this paper. And I want you to turn it in for you. There's never been a sports coach that says, Hey, we have this circuit of exercises that we're doing today after practice. I want you to sit over in the corner and get somebody else to do your exercises for you.

In college, the same thing we've met. So we get out of college or we get out of high school, and we have never once delegated somebody else to do one of our jobs. And yet that's what you have to do as a business owner. And then you go into the workforce and in any corporation in America, no boss is going to say.

Hey, um, can you get somebody else to do this thing? I need done at this company. It's just, it doesn't happen. So what you have is a bunch of people who are overworked and delegation is a massive problem in corporate America to everybody who works 70, 80 hours a week. They do it because they're a poor delegator.

Like they could absolutely go to their boss and tell them, Hey, I need somebody else except for doctors and lawyers. And some of these, you know, very high skilled, uh, things it can be delegated. So, um, When you're a business owner trying to grow a business and you have a problem, it's 99 percent that you won't let control go and actually enable your employees and empower your employees to get somebody else to do the work.

It can be done by somebody else 80 percent as well as you can do it. And part of being a business owner is kind of accepting. That 80 percent but understanding that when you get somebody else to do 80 percent you get, you know, 20 hours that week back to go do other things. And that is one of the most valuable things that I learned early on, even in my business career is I just wanted to do everything and I want to do it.

Somebody didn't do it perfectly the exact way I would do it and trying to learn that they, you know, they're going to get 80 percent of the way there. And if you delegate this, you can utilize your time on some of the bigger problems that you need to focus on. So overall, I think that's a huge lesson that a lot of people need to learn.

And I think it's one of the most valuable things that you can definitely learn over that timeframe. mentioned employees and delegating towards employees, but you also in a couple of companies now where you hire other people and their staffing companies and what have you learned along the way? Because sweaty startups are one of the biggest problems you have is finding the right people for your business to work in your business.

And I know your brother owns a lawn care company, which has to be difficult to staff as well. So how do you kind of figure out how to staff people in some of these sweaty startups? There's no scalable approach. People are in a world today where they want software to solve their problems. They want more customers.

They're going to ping their digital marketing guy and say, Hey, up the ad spend on Google. And we'll hope that customers come in. Oh, we need more job postings. Let's go to a brand new job board that has some new access to new customers and some new recruiting pathway. But in reality, if you're running a lawn care company and you need somebody to drive a lawnmower.

You have to find that person where they are. And they're probably not hanging out on Indeed looking for jobs. They're just not. So in the early days of the storage business, I would run around with business cards in my hand everywhere I went, whether it was the Starbucks line, whether it was the Home Depot parking lot.

One of our best hires that we ever made was pushing carts in the Walmart parking lot. He was clean cut. He looked at me in the face and kind of nodded and acknowledged as I was walking by. And he was sprinting around the Walmart parking lot. And I was like, wow, this is weird. Everybody that I see that works at Walmart, they're getting paid by the hour.

They're walking as slow as possible to get all these carts back. Then they're walking over and picking up a piece of trash. I saw this kid, he was pushing 20 carts back to Walmart and he reached down and picked up a piece of trash and jammed it in his back pocket while he was running. So I sat in my car, I was like, well, okay, I need to figure out how much this person's making.

And my trick is always the same. You can steal my trick. I don't like to steal it from the local hardware store. I don't like to recruit from local small businesses, but I have no qualms recruiting from Walmart. I walk up to him and I, and I hand him a business card and say, Hey, my name's Nick. I'm a business owner in town.

We pay 20 an hour for part time and full time work. If you know anybody reach out to me, here's my business card. I own the company. This is what we do. And I never say, Hey, do you want a job? It's always a little bit awkward. I always say, do you know anybody who wants a job? And obviously the first thing that comes to their mind is, wow, I'm making 1295 an hour right now for Walmart.

And this person says they're paying 20. So yeah, that's literally how you can staff a team of 10 plus people for local service businesses. And I love that thought process. I have a friend who owns a business and he found his highest performer in his general manager. Basically, uh, she was waiting his table when he went to Chili's and, um, he just noticed how proficient she was at all, all of these different jobs.

And now she makes like eight, 900, 000 a year working for him because it's a sales role that they have there. Um, but she's just so good at that, that you can find different things like that. So I love those kinds of stories. So you eventually sold your business and I'm sure you glad you did it. Cause you called it earlier, the worst business model in the world.

Um, but what was that process like for you to sell that business? Um, yeah, so we use the profits and proceeds of our moving company to build a self storage facility from the ground up. Um, by the time we were 25 years old in 2015, uh, 14, we had an extra 500 grand sitting in our bank account. And that doesn't happen to a lot of 25 year olds.

And so we're not thinking about what car we can buy or what house we can upgrade to. We're thinking about, Hey, how can we turn this 500 grand into more? Because this business is tough and we're on a, uh, what do you call the thing? The mouse runs around in, right? That's what we were in. And, uh, we basically.

Decided that we're going to get into real estate and we built a self storage facility from the ground up in upstate New York for 2. 9 million all in. We raised about a half a million dollars of investor capital. We put our half a million dollars in there to work and we built it from the ground up. Um, the planning and permitting started in 1415.

We got the building, you know, entitled, started construction in 2016, got it opened in 2017. So from 2014 to 2017, three years, uh, we were just spending money every month and every year and nothing to show for it, but got that building open in 2017 and we hit our stride as far as operations go. And we, uh, we filled that self storage facility up and we realized real quick that, uh, real estate and self storage is a better business when we were still running our student storage business, about 80 percent of our effort went to the student storage business, about 20 percent went to the storage facility.

And a couple years after we built the thing for 2. 9 million, it was worth five and a half million dollars. Um, and we got it reappraised last year for almost 11 million. And we still own that building. We bought out all of our partners. We've, um, we pulled out a couple million dollars from that one building.

As soon as that stuff started to happen, we realized, Hey, we need to get out of this service business and we need to double down on real estate. We need to go buy more buildings. And I love that you kind of went through that process and you You had both businesses at the same time, then you realized, Hey, this is a much better business model for us and what we're skilled at.

And we can really scale up with this business model. So can you talk about your portfolio now and kind of how you structured that portfolio? Yeah. And we got to keep in mind that we're talking in October of 2023 and the real estate market is in a downward spiral. And. And, you know, if I made a list of 100 things that I'm excited about right now, you know, my family, my hobbies, you know, all the businesses that I'm working on, the relationships that I'm making, um, self storage would be right below, probably shaving without shaving cream.

As far as things that I'm excited to talk about, just because it's a really tough business. But yeah, so we own 63 self storage facilities between 2017 and 2022. We bought a hundred million dollars worth of storage. The portfolio is performing really well. Our revenue's up. Our we're, we're in a good spot, but occupancy's down, lending activities down, raising money's down, deal flow, transaction volume is way down.

It's a hard business right now. Um, that's normal. Real estate is meant to be held for years and time is on our side here. Yeah, it's a tough time at the time of this interview. It definitely is. And we're seeing it even on the, you know, the residential side and all the lat stuff that we invest in on our side.

So it's just one of the most tough times. But I think there's a ton of lessons with your story here and kind of how you structured some of these deals and how you kind of went through this process. So what originally made you invest in, say, self storage instead of maybe something like apartment complexes or anything else?

We thought we could get a loan. We thought that maybe since we had a business called Storage Squad and we did pickup and delivery storage for students, maybe we could convince a banker to let us borrow multiple seven figures to build a building. And we were right. It took a lot of work. I had to build an amazing package.

I had to sell 20 bankers to get one to lend us the money for the development. But we just found ourselves in the self storage business right then. And frankly, like we looked around and said, Hey, Where is there a business where there's some meat on the bone operationally to make this thing a little bit better?

And back in 2015, nobody was doing remote management. None of the self storage facilities had websites. None of them were answering their phones and all of them were full and all of their owners were out playing golf or flying around private jets. Um, so I said, Hey, where, where's their business that the competition looks relatively weak that I can compete.

And where is there some dumb people making a lot of money and still to this day, I'm not a very smart person and I've done pretty well in real estate. So I think it's a great business when it comes to that. So no, we looked at it and said, Hey, this is a, this is an area where we can compete. Like we can do a little bit better.

We don't need to reinvent the wheel, but we can do common things. Uncommonly. Well, we can answer the phone. We can put a website together. We can use other people's technology, no massive innovation, but we're just going to turn this business model a little bit forward. Do some remote management. Hire some folks in the Philippines to help us do some things that these other companies are just not doing and it worked like we're running circles around a lot of the competition when it comes to operations.

So when you go out and you look for a new storage facility, maybe right now you're not doing that, but when you have in the past, for example, I know you specifically used to look for like mom and pop shops and then figure out ways to turn them around. So is that part of like your specific criteria that you look for maybe underperforming storage facility so that you can get them at a deal and then you kind of implement all of this technology and all these additional things that you can add to that space?

Yeah. So in 2021, all the storage facilities in America were full because everybody was moving homes. Interest rates were 2%. They could move homes very easily. And they were buying a lot of stuff on Amazon. There's a lot of transaction volume in the real estate business. People were moving offices, people were moving homes, and all that really helps self storage.

So everywhere was full. Nobody was charging enough rents. When your storage facility is full, you're mismanaging it because you should always have five or 10 percent of your units available to rent. If you don't, then you're not charging enough money. So we would simply go in. They'd have a full time staff on the ground.

We would move it to the cloud and we'd use software to rent units. We'd put gates and cameras and automate the storage facility. But then our main driver was we would find true market rent and figure out what people were truly willing to rent a storage unit. And, um, we drive revenue. So yeah, we bought a lot of storage.

We increased the revenue, lowered the expenses, and we have good cash flowing businesses now. And I love that. Cause I love kind of taking over some of those struggling businesses in specific areas and adding some of that technology piece to them. Cause there's so much value add that you can put into there when you do that.

So when you go through this process, what is maybe your long term goals with self storage? Are you, I'm sure you're holding now. And then you're going to see kind of how the market reacts going forward. But what are your long term goals for you and your group? Yeah, I think self storage or just if we just back up to real estate versus small business, I think both of them are amazing.

You know that I'm a massive proponent of small business. I'm dabbling a lot in that as we're going to discuss, but I think businesses, small business, you're always. In a race against the clock, your competitors are getting better. Your opportunities feel like they're fleeting. You got to hustle, you got to hire, you got to drive, you got to go.

And small businesses are amazing because in a year your business can evolve in a way that you never thought possible and it can grow and there's no real limit. There's no upside to small business. Okay, real estate. There's definitely an upside. You only have so much square footage. You can only rent them for so much money and time is on your side.

There's no rush. You're not in a big stressful situation to, Oh my God, I just bought a storage facility. Now I got to go hire seven people and I got a brand new product and I got to worry about my service and I got to revamp my, you know, it's time is on your side. So you look at the most wealthy families in American history, and I'm talking about billion dollar families.

It's a pretty common occurrence that over 50 percent of their net worth is tied up in well managed real estate. So if you can buy good buildings and good locations and you can hold on to them really good things happen over time Like they're we joke in our business that there's a really good three step strategy to get rich in real estate It's like make a lot of money doing something else And we can talk about that.

I don't think real estate is the best place to make your money Buy good buildings in good locations and manage them. Well, that's step two step three is don't die Just live, go do whatever you want to do. And time is on your side. And that's the amazing thing about self storage. So I think there's two ways to do real estate.

There's the way to do real estate where you're trying to buy it. You're trying to add value to it and you're trying to sell it. Transaction costs are huge in real estate. You're paying attorneys, you're paying engineers, you're paying appraisers, you're paying bankers, you're paying. 10, 20 percent of the transactions on both ends to get these things done.

And you find yourself again, that mouse in that ball running and running, and you're in the rat race of doing real estate deals. And then you realize you're only, you're nothing more than, you know, a service. You're a service for the high net worth families who are going to buy your building at the end of your work to make that building better.

You're trading your time and energy for money. Just like every single other business, you're not really in the real estate business. You're in the service business. The way that you get in the real estate business is you buy assets and you hold them for a really long time. That's my goal. So, uh, there's a lot of different ways to do this, but real estate for me is a very long term play on wealth preservation.

It's tax efficient. And again, you hold good assets, you manage them well and wait 20 years. And very rarely can you go wrong with that. Exactly. I completely agree. And I think it's a longterm play for sure. Every single property that I've ever sold, I regretted it. And early on in my career, you know, I saw the, the appreciation and I wanted to take down some of that cash and then realized, you know, later on now it'd be worth so much more, I'd be cash flowing or the longterm.

So I've always regretted that. And I think it's definitely a longterm play for sure. Now I've seen you say that, you know, Twitter, which is now X has played a significant role in, in helping you kind of build out this network and increase funding and find business partners and all these different things.

Can you talk about the power that that has had over some of your. businesses and how you've been able to kind of leverage some of these businesses and including self storage. Yeah, I, um, I have a habit, a natural ability to write. I'm a writer. I think that makes me a better delegator because I can lead my team with the written word.

It's very clear. It's concise. There's a record of it versus calling and talking to people on the phone. But yeah, I, I've always been a writer and I found social media three years ago and I just started. Sharing my thoughts, I honed my copywriting ability. I started being open about the businesses that I'm building, what I'm experiencing as I'm building these businesses.

And, uh, amazing things happen. And now I have 330, 000 followers on Twitter and, um, completely changed my life because I have, it has amplified the big part of, remember those three things that I was talking about, the operational ability, the network, and the capital. It amplified two of them to a degree that I couldn't imagine.

I thought Twitter was a place that people went to argue about Donald Trump and talk about sports teams and complain about their quarterbacks. And yes, 95 percent of Twitter is that, but there's these communities on Twitter around small business and on real estate where real deal makers. And real operators come to learn and to interact and to build their network.

So it is the most valuable country club in the world. If you're in the trenches and you're building. So I just started sharing about, you know, how I build my businesses, what I'm seeing, how I, you know, I was radically open. I was posting profit and loss statements about my self storage facilities. And, um, people came to me who wanted to invest with me, who wanted to partner with me, who wanted to.

Mentor me and get to know me and it changed my life. So, uh, you fast forward to today, we've raised about, you know, 40 plus million dollars of equity to buy self storage facilities and, um, 80 plus percent of that came from my contacts on twitter. And it wasn't that I was. You know, advertising, raising money on Twitter.

It was, I was, uh, just talking openly about my deals and then getting on zoom calls and getting face to face with people who, um, they're big wigs. Absolutely. I love how you built out that network and the different things that you did. And you're like the perfect example of how you can kind of scale some of these businesses with this network and have this network available to you.

And some of my favorite things that you do on there as well is like the tomato thing that you did. And then the, uh, the one where you Pick up, you know, expensive bourbon and you mix it with that or fake, mix it with diet coke, all that stuff. Those are hilarious too. So you have like the perfect combination of having that humor involved in there.

In addition to really providing a ton of value to people to build out that network. So I love that part of it as well. So now you've been involved in a ton of other online businesses, which I'm sure Twitter and or X is a big part of that as well. And you've built out a ton of these different online businesses.

So can you talk about some of those businesses and how many have you started now? Yeah, I have some pretty big goals over the long run. And one of the, one of the things that I've been able to really do three things with Twitter, it's find customers for some of these businesses, been able to find capital partners.

But a big part of it is that I've been able to find people who are really good operators. I've become friends with people who have built companies and they want to build more companies, but they don't necessarily have the distribution or the ability to kind of market and find customers in a given space.

And I have that. So I've been able to partner with the operators and friends of mine and people that I've gotten to know really well on Twitter to build some companies. So we built a web development agency. We built an SEO agency. We built a pay per click marketing agency. We built a cost seg firm. We built a property and casualty insurance firm.

We have two recruiting firms. So we're having a lot of fun. And it's going well so far. Some of these businesses are going to be really big. They already are getting really big, really fast. And um, my goal is to build a kind of a base layer right now of businesses that can fuel my other companies, you know?

So if I start, for example, I started a property and casualty insurance business that I think is going to be really big. It gets its website built by web run, which is my web development company. It gets an SEO package of link building through bold SEO. It gets pay per click marketing through another one.

We recruit talent through another one. So they all really work together. Really well, and my goal is to make them profitable in their own right. And then also just have a suite of businesses that can accelerate other companies. That's my goal, because long term I'll be dabbling and buying and owning parts of other businesses that I want to accelerate and make better as well.

I kind of love how you're doing that. And you're pairing it up with operators who have done it before. And you're really, you know, starting to build some of these strong businesses. It reminds me of one of my mentors who's a billionaire. Now he, he started doing this where he had a healthcare company that grew to.

Go public and all that kind of stuff. But he would solve his own problems inside the company. So say, for example, you know, if somebody, uh, he couldn't find the right accounting for him to kind of run it at the beginning and he just start his own. And then they had all these different businesses within that business.

And so he was just solving his own problems. And it kind of reminds me of what you're doing now, because they all kind of linked together and interlink. So we're going to link up all of those businesses in the show notes below. If you guys want to check those out, I think some of them are really, really cool.

And there's definitely some amazing stuff in it. And if you're a real estate investor, he's got. Some amazing tools there. So make sure you check those out as well. So you have another tweet that you talk about the three levels of wealth. And I love this tweet. This is a great way to kind of think about it.

And a lot of our audience are really interested in building wealth. And you talk about, you know, these three different levels of wealth. Can you talk about those and what you mean by them? Yeah, I think in another big problem with entrepreneurship, if we go back to the very beginning of what we were discussing, people think that they need a billion dollars, the chance of a billion dollar exit to change their life.

And they think, Oh, you know, I'm going to take this shot where there's a 0. 1 percent chance. So one out of a thousand times I'm going to win, but if I win, I'm going to be a billionaire without realizing that the other 99. 9 percent of the time they're going to end up having to go get a job. And that's not a good situation to be in if you want to build long term wealth.

So I think part of this is just setting the bar lower on what you actually need to win. And what does wealth mean? Wealth to me means that I can do what I want to do when I want to do it. I don't have any other grown human, a boss, a partner, whatever, telling me what I have to do. A customer, you know, whatever it might be.

Nobody's telling me what I have to do. I can take a week off. I can go on vacation. I can hang out with my kids. I can start a business. I can go play golf. I can do whatever I want to do to make my life better. That's true wealth. How much money do I need coming in every month to make that happen? I mean, me personally, I spend between 000 a month and I have three kids.

I have a lot of help. I have, they're in schools. They, you know, the vehicles that I need, I have the home that I need. I can do whatever I want to do with my time making 20 grand a month. So 240, 000 a year after tax meant that I could do whatever I wanted to do. I think there's really three levels of wealth.

Number one, you can pay your rent, you can pay for your food, you can go to the grocery store and pick up food without stressing about literally making, being able to pay your bills. Okay, number two is you can go to a restaurant and you can order whatever you want on the menu without looking at the price.

That takes, you know, quite a bit of money to not even worry about it. You're at any restaurant, you can order the 100 steak or you can, you know, do whatever you want to do. And number three is that you can travel. Anywhere you want to travel without worrying about the cost of the hotel or whether or not you're flying first class or flying in the middle of the day, or if it's a straight flight or connection beyond that, beyond those three levels.

Yes, there's massive wealth where you're taking a private jet to Europe. Not talking about that beyond those three levels. Life does not really drastically improve with more money. And I realized that, hey, 20 grand a month gets me to level three. Me and my wife can, we can get the middle of the day straight flight with Delta instead of taking the spirit double connector, you know, at 4 a.

m. When you put it in perspective like that, it just, it makes entrepreneurship feel a lot more approachable. It definitely does. And I think this is a really powerful way to kind of think about money because some people, you know, they try to get to that billionaire status for reasons that just don't make sense because it's kind of like designing your own lifestyle and figuring out what's your lifestyle.

Needs to be, what do you truly value in life? And then making sure that you kind of figure out what the numbers are, and then you can kind of hit those numbers. So I love kind of thinking about it, this, and it's one of those things that I think that you nailed here on this tweet for sure. So this is one of the most amazing, you know, things I love talking about too, is wealth and like what people think about wealth.

And so I think your concept of wealth of being able to do whatever you want, when you want, I think is one of the best things that you can absolutely do. Well, Nick. Thank you so much. This has been absolutely amazing. And I love your stuff. We're going to link up all of your stuff down below, including your Twitter and everything else as well.

But where can people find out more about you talk about your podcasts and everything else as well? Yeah. So I have two podcasts, the Nick Huber show and the sweaty startup. The Nick Huber shows more on real estate and wealth and sweaty startup is about small business and management delegation and starting some of these smaller companies.

I spend a lot of time each week writing my email newsletter. I write on the nitty gritty of hiring, the nitty gritty of delegation, the nitty gritty of real estate tax efficiency. Just if you're interested in entrepreneurship and making serious money over time, my email newsletter is the best way to find me and you can sign up for that at sweatystartup.

com or in the bio. There's a link in the bio of my Twitter, which is At sweaty startup, but yeah, Andrew, I'll look, your mission is similar to mine. I think you're, you're making a huge impact in what you do. I love your show. Love your message. And I just really appreciate you coming on here and giving, giving me a platform to, to spread what I know.

Absolutely. Well, thank you, Nick, so much. We truly appreciate you having on and we, we would love to have you on maybe in the future as well. Let's do it again. Thank you so much. Thank you.

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