August 5, 2019

JF1795: Sales Skills, How To Grow A Podcast, & Overcoming An Identity Crisis #FollowAlongFriday with Theo and Joe


Follow Along Friday will feature some of the best things that the guys learned last week. They’ll be covering a lot about sales skills and emotional intelligence. These tips are coming from both the interviews, as well as a lot of personal insights from Joe. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!


Best Ever Tweet:

“You’re not going to create a successful podcast in a month”


Free Document:

Evicting a tenant can be painful, costing as much as $10,000 in court costs and legal fees, and take as long as four weeks to complete.

TransUnion SmartMove’s online tenant screening solution can help you quickly understand if you’re getting a reliable tenant, which can help you avoid potential problems such as non-payment and evictions.  For a limited time, listeners of this podcast are invited to try SmartMove tenant screening for 25% off.

Go to and enter code FAIRLESS for 25% off your next screening.


Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast, where we only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff.

We’ve got Follow Along Friday today, Theo Hicks with us… And we’re gonna be talking about lessons learned — he did some interviews last week for the show; he’s gonna be talking about lessons learned. Let’s go ahead and get right into it, my friend.

Theo Hicks: Alright, let’s do it. I’ve got lessons learned from two interviews. It should be two lessons, might turn into four; we’ll see. I usually talk a lot on these, whenever it’s my turn to talk about interviews, I’ve realized that the past couple of weeks.

So one person I interviewed – Travis Chappell. He’s a sales consultant, real estate investor, and he considers himself a professional connector because of his podcast, which is called “Build your network”, and is a top 25 business podcast.

We broke the conversation down into two sections. One was talking about his direct sales experience, and the other one about the podcast.

For direct sales, it was interesting… I can relate, because I was in direct sales; a little bit different than his. He was doing door-to-door sales, so he was going door-knocking, door-to-door, selling — I can’t remember exactly what he was selling but something interesting that he mentioned about the skillset that he learned from doing these door-to-door sales was emotional intelligence. He called it a crash course in EQ.

He said one major thing that he learned through his door-to-door selling experience is that when you talk to people, they’re not going to actually say out loud what they are thinking… At least not right away. And when they don’t do that, you need to learn how to understand what people are saying through non-verbal communication. Their body language, how they’re looking at you, where they’re looking, things like that.

I was asking questions, “How do you learn how to read people’s nonverbal communication?” and really the only way to do it is to do it. To actually put in the reps. We talked about it metaphoric to working out. Let’s say I want to become a world-class bench presser. Well, I could read all the books in the world, all the blogs in the world, listen to all the podcasts in the world about how to become a world-class bench presser, and it’s going to help, but I’m not gonna become a world-class bench presser unless I put in the actual reps in the gym.

Same thing for learning how to read people non-verbally, as well as really anything in life. It’s important to read about nonverbal communication, as Travis was talking about, but it’s even more important to actually go out there and put in the reps. He would talk to 25+ people every single day, and doing that for years, he learned how to just instantaneously read someone non-verbally, even if they’re saying something completely different.

Joe Fairless: This is something that I think I can add my two cents in, that will be helpful for the Best Ever listeners… Because I consider myself very good at emotional intelligence. It’s something that comes naturally to me, where I can pick up on things that are subtle nuances whenever I’m speaking to people, if I’m in-person or over the phone… Probably because of the sheer number of conversations I’ve had. I’ve interviewed more real estate investors than anyone else in the entire world… But then also it’s just a gift that I’ve had throughout my life.

I went to a conference this past weekend – Michael Blanc’s conference; I was speaking at that conference. And at conferences, at meetups, typically you’re going to have a chance to observe this dynamic, where people are talking, one person’s more interested in the conversation than the other, or the conversation has run its course, but one person doesn’t know the conversation has run its course, and the other person is trying to get out of the conversation, but won’t announce “Hey, I’ve gotta bounce.”

On that related note, Tim Ferriss talks about a way to get out of a conversation and talk to other people by simply saying “Hey, I’ve gotta run, but are you gonna be around for the rest of the conference? I’d love to continue to meet up with you or talk to you.” That way it doesn’t feel like it’s an ending, it’s just “to be continued.” So there’s one tip for you if you’re trying to get out of the conversation, or if you’ve gotta go to the bathroom. “Are you gonna be around for the rest of the conference? If so, great. Let’s continue to connect.”

But the tip I have for how to really identify if you’re picking up on the cues or not from someone else, is to put less emphasis on ourself when we’re talking to people and put more emphasis on the other person. It sounds kind of obvious, but I don’t think a lot of people do that.

For example, this past weekend I was at the conference, and I get a decent amount of people coming up to me and talking, and I really enjoy it. But then at the end of the conference, whenever Colleen, my wife – and we actually had our daughter, a nine-month-old, with us – we were looking to leave, there were a bunch of people who kept coming up. And if the people towards the end of that were picking up on my nonverbal cues – I’m starting to wipe my face, and itch, and twitch, and stuff – they would have identified “Hey, I think he’s needing to bounce.” And I could have used that example, the tip I said earlier, “Hey, are you gonna be around?”, but we were actually leaving for the conference, so I needed to try and end the conversation; eventually, I just kind of had to interrupt them during their conversation with me, like “Hey, I really enjoy getting to know you, but we’ve gotta go.”

So in order to hone this skill set, my opinion – it’s simply being more self-aware. And how do we become more self-aware? Well, whenever we approach conversations with people, we intentionally (we have to have intention with this) put more emphasis on them than we are ourselves or the stories that we’re telling. Even if we’re really excited to get some message out, or our background about where we came from, or a deal that we’ve got, still check in with them through eye contact; not necessarily asking “Hey, how are you doing? Are you enjoying my story?”, but check in with them with eye contact, and just notice, just mentally notice what’s their interest level. Because if they’re checked out or if they’re starting to twitch, or sway, or maybe look around the room, then you might not have as receptive of an audience, so you’ll need to pivot or you’ll need to change your approach… Or you’ll need to wrap it up.

That can tie to your bottom line as a business professional, because ultimately people remember how things end with you. And there’s studies on this, there’s a book – I forget the book, but it talks about a doctor who does colonoscopies, and they did studies on this; people who get colonoscopies, if you give them an intense amount of pain, like major, intense, big-time pain during the middle of the colonoscopy, but then taper it off towards the end, they’re gonna have a better perception of the experience than if you give someone a little bit of pain towards the middle, but then just slightly more towards the end… Because they’re gonna remember how it ended more painful than it began. And same with conversations, same with deals with your investors, same with anything that you do in business. It’s a psychological mechanism — not mechanism, but it’s a psychological trait that most of us have, where we’ll remember most of our experience about the end, but it’s kind of tough to remember during the middle and beginning stages of stuff. It’s just how it works.

So when you’re having a conversation with someone, check in with them, because regardless of how much rapport you’ve built up with them from the beginning and the middle, if you’re losing them towards the end then it’s gonna not be as good of an experience with them.

Theo Hicks: Yeah, that’s a lot of great advice. There’s one thing to add – I guess another specific thing you can pull from that is if you go to a conference and you wanna talk to a speaker, do it at the beginning or the middle of the conference, don’t wait until it’s over.

Joe Fairless: Yeah. And Tim Ferriss — apparently, I’m on a Tim Ferriss kick here on today’s episode… But Tim Ferriss talks about when you are at a conference, instead of going up to have a conversation with the speaker, go up and give them a handwritten note or something, that they can slip in their pocket. Say “Hey, I know you’re busy, you’ve got a long line. I appreciate what you do. Here’s a note for you. Feel free to read it whenever. I hope you enjoy the rest of the conference.” That’s a way to stand out, and your likelihood of having that person follow up with you afterwards is much higher than if you had just approached them and had the conversation with them… Because it’s tough to remember who’s background ties to who, and who you should follow  up with, who you shouldn’t… So give them that handwritten note.

Theo Hicks: Alright, so the next lesson I learned also from Travis Chappelle – as I mentioned, he has a top 25 business podcast, and so a natural question would be “Well, how the heck do I get a top 25 business podcast?” or “How do I create a top podcast?” This is something that we already know; we’re talking about the podcast a lot, but it’s just great to hear it reinforced by someone who actually has a successful podcast… And I know something that me and Joe talked about maybe six months ago, which is instead of thinking about things in terms of months, thing of things in terms of decades, or at least in years. That’s the advice that Travis gave about creating a podcast. You’re not going to create a successful podcast, YouTube channel, thought leadership platform in a month, in two months; maybe not even in six months. It’s going to take years to grow an audience.

He was saying that his number one tip for people who want to start a podcast, start a YouTube channel, is to upfront realize that it’s a five to ten-year play, and not something that’s going to be something that you’re going to get a million dollars or a million viewers in six months. So it’s just kind of reinforcing that… And something that he said that’s very interesting was “Take time now to save time later.” Invest that 2, 3, 5 years into creating your podcast; once the ball is rolling on that, then it’s kind of like — I’m making a graphical with my finger… It’s gonna shoot up. It’s gonna be very slow at first, but then once you’re getting to that point where the ball is rolling, you’ve built up momentum, the results you get – either viewers, or sponsorships, investors, whatever your goal of the podcast is  – are going to increase exponentially, once you’ve put in the time. But it’s not something that’s a gradual increase. It’s going to be slow at first, and then shoot up. So it’s really good to hear that be reinforced by someone who has actually got a pretty popular podcast.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, I wholeheartedly agree. Sound business advice.

Theo Hicks: One other quick thing about the podcast too that was interesting – because a lot of people are probably thinking when they’re starting a podcast, “Well, Joe Fairless is out there making a podcast, so why am I gonna make a podcast if he’s already there with all these viewers?” Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins – you name it; whoever has a successful podcast right now… “Why would I do that?” So it’s kind of coming down to having the impostor syndrome is what Travis mentioned… And one way to get over that is to 1) understand that Tim Ferriss, Joe Fairless, everyone was at the same point you were at at five, six, ten, whatever years ago. Something else is that if you don’t think you have enough knowledge in your mind to do a podcast – which probably isn’t true, but if that’s a roadblock that you have – then just do an interview-based podcast. So interview the experts instead. Rather than it being your expert advice, it’s someone else’s expert advice.

Something else that Travis talks about – and we’ve talked about that on the podcast before – by doing that, you become an expert. You become perceived as an expert, but you also become an expert, because you’re able to curate your own customized education by interviewing the top people in whatever industry you are in.

Joe Fairless: Absolutely.

Theo Hicks: The other interview I did that I wanted to talk about was with Logan Freeman. He was on the podcast before – this was a Skillset Sunday, so the second time… He’s an ex-NFL player with the Oakland Raiders. He transitioned from the NFL to becoming a real estate investor, developer and agent.

Joe Fairless: He’s in Kansas City, right?

Theo Hicks: Yup, Kansas City, Missouri.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, I remember our conversation.

Theo Hicks: A very powerful interview. He mentioned a lot of things that are very inspiring, just because he went through a pretty big identity crisis, and not only with the NFL, but he lost his father as well… And one question I asked him was — because everyone at some point in their life goes through a major or a minor identity crisis; maybe you’re going through one right now… And I asked him “If someone’s going through that right now, what’s the first thing that they need to do in order to take that first step to transitioning into something new?”, and he said something really interesting… He said “Take time to take inventory on what your beliefs, your values (he said limiting beliefs) are, and then pick one of them that you think is the thing that’s holding you back the most and focus on figuring out how to remove that.” So whatever it is – you’ve probably got a million limiting beliefs, or 100 limiting beliefs; find the one that’s the biggest roadblock and then remove that one first… And that’s it.

Joe Fairless: Did he give an example?

Theo Hicks: He didn’t give a particular example.

Joe Fairless: What would be one?

Theo Hicks: Well, we can just go back to the podcast example about growing a podcast, and you’re thinking that “Okay, I wanna start a podcast, but my reason why I’m not starting a podcast is because Joe Fairless is already out there, and they have all the viewers, so why would I waste my time doing a podcast if 1) I don’t have the expertise, plus why wouldn’t someone just go to Joe?” Well, that’s probably a huge limiting belief that you have, that you can’t be a Joe Fairless, or you can’t be a Tim Ferriss. So if you remove that limiting belief – and the best way to obviously do that is what we mentioned, is to interview other people on your podcast. If you’re not the expert, then just interview someone else who is the expert. That’s what you did, that’s what a lot of successful podcasters do.

It’s not about just identifying it and saying “Alright, I’ve figured it out. Alright, Theo, remove the limiting belief.” It’s not that easy; you have to actually do something to overcome that. In this case, if you’ve got impostor syndrome as your limiting belief, then the way to overcome that is to actually go out there and interview people instead. It’s not gonna be easy, but that’s essentially what you need to do if you truly want to grow a podcast and get over that issue that you have.

Another example that he gave as well, that I’m thinking of right now – this is another thing I wanted to talk about [unintelligible [00:16:51].24] is about goal-setting. So when he took inventory on his goals, he realized that a goal that he had set was actually holding him back from scaling his business. The example is his goal for the year was stability for his family, financial stability. So by focusing on financial stability, he was missing opportunities that would allow him to move his business forward, and it kind of blinded him to other opportunities that were maybe not as stable, maybe a little bit more risky… He didn’t give any specific examples of this, because we were at the end of the podcast, but… I thought that was interesting, because a lot of people talk about their goal being financial independence, financial stability, but what happens after that – or is that something that’s potentially holding you back from achieving financial independence, by focusing on just being stable and just hitting this one number? Grant Cardone talks about it, 10x-ing things… I’m sure Tony Robbins has a similar concept as well…

I thought that was really interesting. That’s why it’s important to take inventory on your goals, he said. Because if you set your goal for a year and don’t look at it ever again, then you’re not going to be able to realize if that’s actually holding you back. So if you have a goal that’s actually holding you back from scaling, then you wanna identify that sooner rather than later. So taking inventory in your goals each quarter or each month is better than doing it each year, or every five years, or I guess never doing it at all… Because you really don’t know if something’s working unless you are taking the time to think about it… And it could just take an hour, a recorder, just to evaluate “Alright, so my goal is stability. What have I been doing to get stability? Is there anything else that I’ve missed? Any opportunity costs from this particular goal?”

Joe Fairless: That’s exactly right; that’s what I was gonna mention, you just stole the words out of my mouth… It’s identifying what are the opportunity costs as a result of me focusing efforts on this? Because there’s always opportunity costs. You decide you wanna go to the grocery store – well there’s an opportunity cost; it’s what you could be spending your time doing while you go to the grocery store. You decide you want to get it delivered instead; well, there’s an opportunity cost because maybe that’s not quite as healthy as buying food from the grocery store. Anything we do in life, any action we take, there’s an action that we could have taken in its place, and that could send us on a different trajectory. So just being aware of that…

Personally, I go over my goals… I have a column — they’re actually to the left of me, and on my vision board in front of me… I call them categories of improvement; and I do that — let’s see… I created my list for this year on December 28th, 2018, so right before the new year, and then I do a check-in around July, and I’ve already done that for this year. I’ve done that the last two years.

So I have categories of improvement. I’ve got personal – body, diet, relationship, personal development, fun – and then I’ve got professional: revenue goals, launching our book that we’re writing together, giving away a certain amount of money to non-profits every year, that sort of stuff. And just check in on the quantifiable progress of them in the July time period, six months after, and see what (if anything) should I revise, or maybe consolidate. Maybe there’s a lead domino. I know that if we perform on our current portfolio and we really focus on that, then everything else will be taken care of, because I’ll have more time to do other things, because our business is doing so well. So it’s also identifying what is the lead domino, what has implications on everything else.

Theo Hicks: Yeah. It’s interesting – of that list, a lot of those things don’t seem like they’re necessarily directly related to your real estate investing business, but it all is. Even, for example, you said nutrition. If you’re not eating healthy or you’re not eating enough, then you’re not gonna have the energy or the focus to actually work on your business. Same with working out, [unintelligible [00:20:52].22] sleeping, whatever. Personal life, if you’ve got issues… I can’t remember, I was interviewing someone and they mentioned something along the lines of one of the main reason people fail in business is because they’ve got some personal issue going on. Or the main reason they’re underperforming at work is because of some issue going on at home. So that’s another perfect example of why you need to have relationship goals, personal goals as well.

Joe Fairless: Yeah. I don’t subscribe to the philosophy of “how you do one thing is how you do everything”, because there are certain things I just don’t care about, so I slack off on certain stuff and I put my focus on other things… So I don’t subscribe to that, but I do subscribe to how most things are connected. It’s more about being intentional about your approach; because I think you can slack off in certain things.

For example, I used to be more competitive in sports – in softball, for example. Our softball team is terrible, as you know. You played on our team a couple years… And I used to be really competitive there, but now I realize it’s more about just getting out there and having fun and enjoying the process, and perhaps that’s everything. I don’t slack off, but I have a different mindset… Whereas I wanna enjoy the process in all aspects of life, but I’m much more competitive with business and other things, because it’s not just about enjoying the process, it’s also about making sure that you achieve the desired results.

So I think all the things are certainly connected, but it’s also being conscious and intentional about what you choose to focus on. As long as you have that consciousness, then I think you’re good.

It’s just when you go on autopilot and subconsciously there’s areas that are blind spots for you, that’s where you can get into trouble. That’s where you get into people who try to — Jim Rohn talks about this; I’ve been listening to him a lot recently… He talks about how people try to clean up an organization when they still haven’t even cleaned up their own garage at home. Like, how do you clean up an organization if at home you’re not organized? Same type of thing.

Theo Hicks: Exactly. Alright, so those are the lessons that I learned from the interviews last week. Of course, many more lessons, so make sure you check out those interviews coming out around the October timeframe.

Alright, so this is the last week of the international trivia questions. Last week we had Jason on the podcast and I asked him the trivia question “What country has the highest homeownership rate?” And I think he said Croatia, because I specified it to Eastern Europe, and the answer is actually Romania. 96.4%. That’s by far the highest home ownership rate out of any country in the world.

This week’s question is “What country is home to the most expensive house in the entire world?” And I promise you – just to give you a hint –  when I say the answer, you’re gonna be like “Oh, of course!” [laughs]

Joe Fairless: Okay, what country has the most expensive house in the entire world… I’ll go with Switzerland.

Theo Hicks: Switzerland. So if you want to answer this trivia question, either submit it in the comments of the YouTube video below, or email it to The first person to answer it correctly will receive a copy of the first book.

Then lastly, we’re gonna discuss the free apartment syndication resource of the week. As guys and girls know, we do Syndication School each week (Wednesday and Thursday), where we go over the how-to’s of apartment syndication. For each of those series we give away at least one free document, spreadsheet, template, something that accompanies that episode that’ll help you scale your apartment syndication business.

This week’s highlighted document is from series number seven – we’re actually on series twenty right now – and it is on the power of the apartment syndication brand. Those episodes – I believe it’s a six-part series – start at 1535, and it’s actually three or four free documents for that series. Last week we talked about the branding resources; this week is the company presentation template.

So once you are starting out your company, building your team, you’re going to want to have a presentation that you can use, that tells people not only about your team, but about your business plan. This can be used when you’re having conversations with investors, with team members, with business partners… So make sure you check that out. You can download that for free, either at or in the show notes of this episode.

Joe Fairless: Awesome. Well, thanks everyone. I hope you enjoyed our conversation, and most importantly, got value from it. We’ll talk to you tomorrow.

    Get More CRE Investing Tips Right to Your Inbox

    Get exclusive commercial real estate investing tips from industry experts, tailored for you CRE news, the latest videos, and more - right to your inbox weekly.