November 15, 2019

JF1900: Dealing With The Ups & Downs Of Real Estate & Life #FollowAlongFriday with Trevor and Theo

For this week’s Follow Along Friday, we have a special guest on, Trevor Mcgregor is Joe’s life and business coach, coach to other high level investors, and a high level investor himself. Trevor’s focus with himself and his clients is on our mindset, as his mentor, Tony Robbins, told him: success is 80% mindset and 20% action. Trevor will  give us some insights on how to be strong and mentally prepared for any bumps in the road. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!


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“If you condition yourself incorrectly, you may freak out when things go wrong”


Trevor McGregor Real Estate Background:


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Theo Hicks: Hi, Best Ever listeners, and welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Theo Hicks, I’ll be the host today. It’s Friday, so we’re doing Follow Along Friday, and as you know, usually it’s me and Joe talking about what we learned in the previous week’s interviews, but we’ve got a special edition of Follow Along Friday today, because we have THE Trevor McGregor with us today. Trevor, how’s it going?

Trevor McGregor: It’s going great, Theo. Blessed and grateful to be on the show with you.

Theo Hicks: Absolutely. Best Ever listeners, you know Trevor. He’s been on the podcast countless of times, Joe has talked about him countless of times… But just kind of a high-level introduction before we get into his advice on today’s topic – he’s a master platinum high-performance coach; he’s done over 20,000 coaching calls. He’s actually Joe’s coach -which is why you know who he is – since 2013. He worked with Tony Robbins for over a decade, and his international clients have done over a billion dollars in deals. He himself is a high-level real estate investor.

Since Trevor has not only done deals himself successfully for a long period of time, but also helped others do over a billion dollars, maybe two billion dollars (who really knows…?) and bought lots and lots of deals, he obviously has experience going through the ups and downs of real estate. I wanted to talk to him today because he is a coach, so I know he focuses a lot on mindset, so I wanted to talk to him today on some strategies that you can do right now, today, in order to set yourself up so that you’re able to successfully navigate any problem that comes up, whether it be real estate-related, or health related… And the analogy I wanted to use is — obviously, a fire would be a perfect example of an issue; a fire at your house.

If you wanted to get rid of fire, buying a sprinkler system at that moment in time is not gonna stop that fire from happening. Sure, once the fire is gone, you can put a sprinkler system in place… But ideally, you put a sprinkler system in place when there is no fire, so that once a fire actually comes, the sprinkler system activates, it extinguishes the fire… And obviously, there’s going to be some damage, but you’re able to minimize that damage. So I guess to start off, Trevor, my question to you is what is the mindset equivalent of a sprinkler system?

Trevor McGregor: Well, I love the analogy, Theo. And again, thanks for having me on. I love being on the show. It’s really, really important, because you can’t literally install that sprinkler system as you’re having the freak-out, or as you’re going through the fire, or the journey of whatever is upsetting you. And you’re right, it can be in real estate, it could be in your personal life, it could be in your relationship, it could be in your health, it could be with your children.

For this episode, we’re gonna really talk about how it relates to real estate investors. And again, thank you for the warm intro, because I’ve had a unique perspective, with 20,000 people from around the planet, on what allows them to navigate the freak-out and what allows them to just flow through it… Remembering that out of all chaos comes order. And it all goes back to really thinking about one thing that my mentor Tony Robbins said, that success is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics. That is 80% mindset and 20% action. So if you really think about that and we go back to mindset, what are you doing to condition the mind, so that when the sprinkler system is needed, that fire starts burning, you’ve already got some tools in the toolbox to use to navigate what you need to navigate. Does that resonate with you?

Theo Hicks: Absolutely. So what are some examples of the sprinkler system, things that we can put in place…? And it sounds like what you’re saying is that – just to summarize what you’ve just said – basically we’re trying to condition ourself constantly, so that whenever an issue happens, we just naturally (in the words that you’ve used) flow through the problem, as opposed to if we’ve… Not conditioning yourself is still a form of conditioning, but if you conditioned yourself incorrectly, then you are going to – I like that you used “freak out” in that situation, and at that point who really knows what’s gonna happen. So what can we do to condition ourselves properly?

Trevor McGregor: Well, I think the first thing – and thank you for that – is to really understand that we’re all in real estate, and things don’t always go in a straight line. Things are gonna happen at your properties, things are gonna happen with your property managers, things are gonna happen with the weather, things are gonna happen with an investor that says maybe is coming into your deal with a large sum of money, and with 48 hours to go they say they just can’t get access to it… So really it all starts with understanding that if you’ve got a belief, or you’ve got a value or a rule that says “Everything is having to be perfect all the time”, you’re really setting yourself up for disappointment… Because again, we really understand and appreciate that a challenge or a problem is the Universe’s way of seeing how defiantly committed you are to getting through it, or over it, or around it, or under it.

So conditioning a high-performance/peak performance mindset in real estate would be no different than a pro hockey player or a pro basketball player, or a pro tennis player, a golfer who knows that sometimes they’re gonna be putting the ball in the hoop and other times they’re gonna be going through a scoring drought, or sometimes they’re gonna get tripped and fall down. But it’s really getting yourself up and dusting yourself off and really remembering that even as a baby learns to walk, and they’re literally pulling themselves up on the coffee table, and they fall, and they tumble over and everything, we don’t go “Oh, that baby is never gonna walk”, we still cheerlead them, we applaud them, we get them to continue to feel it out until eventually they start walking again. Well, that’s the same thing in real estate. If you ever fall down, you’ve gotta  pick yourself up, dust yourself off and really understand that there’s only three things that you need to really remember.

The first thing is that failure is nothing more than really understanding that there really is no failure, there’s only feedback. And it’s an old quote from Napoleon Hill’s Think And Grow Rich book that there is no failure, there’s only feedback, and that as real estate investors we’re gonna be getting a lot of feedback each and every day. So number one, remember there is no failure, there’s only feedback; number two is to really understand that we all go into what we call an emotional home when stuff goes upside down.

Theo, you know those people that always seem to get angry and always stay angry? Well, that’s their emotional home. Some people do sadness, they get sad. Some people beat themselves up. So I invite the listeners to really ask themselves “What’s the dominant emotion you fall into?” or “What’s the emotional home you camp out in anytime things go upside down?” And it’s not that that emotion is good or bad, right or wrong, but you absolutely have to ask yourself “Is staying in this emotion gonna help me or hinder me?” That means if you camp out there for 2, 3, 4, 5 hours, you’re probably cheating yourself out of getting up, getting back on the horse and continuing to ride.

So really ask you to really identify your emotional home and then have the awareness — it’s almost like you’re the observer, looking at yourself and going “Wow, I’m aware that I’m pissed off right now. I’m aware that I’m angry. I’m aware that I’ve just lost some money” or “I’m aware that my occupancy isn’t as high as it needs to be.” But guys, that’s an invitation to go back to “What do I really, really wanna do and where do I need to go from here?” Does that make sense, Theo?

Theo Hicks: Yeah. So you said 1) there’s no failure, only feedback, 2) the emotional home, and then what was the third one?

Trevor McGregor: Well, I didn’t get to it yet.

Theo Hicks: Oh, sorry.

Trevor McGregor: It’s really that that emotional home is just really being aware that we’re human beings, and that emotions are there to serve you. But for you to stay in a negative emotional home for far too long would be like sitting in your own manure. You can get out and move beyond that if you choose to. And the third thing is really all about really going to what we call the three S words. And Theo, you’ve heard of these before; Joe’s talked about them before… It’s where you check in with your State, you check in with your Story, and then you check in with your Strategy.

Let’s take a look at all three of those, because guys, your state is really your focus. We often say “Where focus goes, energy flows.” So if you’re focused on the problem, you’re gonna absolutely stay in that problem. If you’re focused on a negative emotion and being angry – well, you’re gonna get more of that angry emotion. But if you change your focus to the polar opposite and ask “What is my outcome and what emotion is gonna serve me?” and sometimes that emotion or that word we’re looking for could be determination, sometimes it could be resilience, sometimes it could be where maybe you’ve had an experience before, but the minute you start focusing on the solution, all of that negative emotion starts to dissipate and go away. So the first word is the state management you’re in, and you’ve got to really make sure your focus is on what you want instead of what you don’t want. Does that make sense?

Theo Hicks: Yeah. So if I know, for example, that my emotional home is I get angry, or when something bad happens I just take it out on other people, I’m irritable, things like that. But obviously, I know rationally that that’s not gonna help me…

Trevor McGregor: Correct.

Theo Hicks: So how do I actually change my state in that time? So I’m angry, I realize that I’m angry… Is it something that the realization stops me being angry, or is it just practice… What exactly do I need to do to make sure that I’m not taking out my real estate issues on my kids, or my wife, or something?

Trevor McGregor: That’s it; well, I love the question, and it’s really all about this. When you talk about state manage, it’s learning to discipline your disappointment. I want your listeners to write that down, because if you learn to discipline your disappointment, that means that you’re not going to love your you-know-what. You’re gonna absolutely understand that “You know what – there are highs and lows in real estate. There’s good and there’s bad”, but nothing has meaning until we assign it a meaning. Maybe you needed to learn a lesson, maybe you needed to have a smaller hiccup now to prevent a bigger hiccup the next time you buy a 200-unit building.

So that’s why we always go back to disciplining your disappointment – to really not beat yourself up for it, not to blame or shame, or justify, but to get real with it, and not really dwell on the negative, but say “Even though this has happened, and even though I may not be happy with what has happened, where do I need to put my intention to move beyond it?” That’s the first thing. Otherwise, the wife is gonna get it, or the husband is gonna get it, the kids, the dog, the business partner, and that’s just not fair.

So that’s the first S word. From there, Theo, we go to the second one, and this is the big one. This is the one I really like to talk about with my clients, or if I’m standing on stages around the world, and that is your story. Your story is really your identity. It’s who you are in the moment that that stuff starts happening, because most average people become a victim in that moment. And if you live in a victim story or a victim identity or a victim modality, you’re gonna make choices from that place. Instead, I invite you to get out of being a victim and into what we call being a victor, or victorious. Because we’ve all had times before where we’d had mistakes, but we’ve moved beyond them… Because you’re never really defined by the mistake. And it’s not even you that should be feeling bad about the mistake; the mistake is a mistake, but you shouldn’t get into the habit of blaming, shaming and justifying yourself all the time.

So really the identity piece, the story piece is to really remember that there are other people – even Joe Fairless himself has had to get out of a victim mentality and step into a victor, and give himself a powerful name, like Joe the Warrior, or what’s something that really makes you feel like you’re not in the victim mentality, but in the victor mentality, to start climbing up the mountain again. Does that resonate with you?

Theo Hicks: Yeah, but before we go on to the next one, I’d just like to add something… The victor or victim thing I think is the perfect example… So I’m a victim right now, and my goal would be to always be a victor, or is the goal to be a victor more that I’m being a victim, or is the goal just to be a victor more than I’m being a victor now?

Trevor McGregor: It doesn’t mean that you can’t be a victim. Again, my intention and my question is “How long are you willing to camp out in victimhood?” Most people when they’re just starting out in real estate get really upset when stuff doesn’t go their way, and they literally will sit in victimhood for 2, 3, 4 hours, or even a whole day or even a whole week. Well, again, that doesn’t support anything in terms of us building our empire, or buying the next property, or hiring the new property manager, or whatever.

So the invitation is to go back to a time in your life where you stepped out of being a victim and back into being a victor. Maybe you broke up with your significant other and you felt really bad at the time, but you knew that you were still a great person to go out there and meet new people; you adopted that new story, new identity and you found the love of your life.

Maybe you were in a job that wasn’t serving you and you were a victim to it, but you knew that staying in a victim mentality isn’t gonna help that job, so you literally say “Who do I need to be and how do I need to show up to climb out of this and step into the highest and best version of me?” And we’ve all done it before. We’ve all done something called crossing the river before. And that river might be flowing fast, it might be deep, but again, if you stay on the side of the river you don’t wanna be on, you’re really cheating yourself from getting to the other side. And that’s why I always say that your state, which is your focus, and your story that is your identity are things that you’re always gonna need to call upon to move beyond the problem field. Does that resonate?

Theo Hicks: Yeah. For example the people who think the world are gonna end tomorrow will have built a pack, so once the crap hits the fan, they grab their little pack, and everything that they need to survive the situation is in that pack, and they leave… So this question is about how to remember all these things. So would you recommend that I have some sort of anti-freak-out pack, so that once something bad happens, I can open up this little booklet that says “Okay, here’s what you need to do: Story, State, Strategy.” Okay, I need to figure out what my emotional home is, I need to remember that feedback is only failure. I guess my question is — because you deal with this stuff all the time…

Trevor McGregor: Yeah.

Theo Hicks: …how does someone that’s hearing this for the first time, and then they go through a problem tomorrow, what would you recommend specifically that they do, so that when the times comes they remember all these things, and they don’t instantaneously go back to their old behaviors?

Trevor McGregor: Yeah, I think that there’s a few different things I’ll speak to for that. First of all, State, Story, Strategy. They all start with the letter S; you should write it on a post-it note, stick it in your office, or stick it in your car, or put it up where you can see it, because at the end of the day, those three little words are gonna make a huge difference in how you show up. So that’s number one.

Number two is go back to really understand that we’re all programmed to have ANTs. That stands for Automatic Negative Thoughts. But that’s what most average people do. The human brain has roughly 60,000 thoughts a day, Theo. And did you know that roughly 75% of those thoughts are negative? And that’s conscious thoughts, that’s subconscious thoughts… So you’ve gotta really understand that when these ANTs come up, those ANTs are an invitation for you to then drawn upon the three S words – State, Story, Strategy – which is focus, identity, and then doing something; the third S is the strategy, where you do something that helps you get out of the situation and take action towards the resolution. And if you think about it again, in Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill has another great quote where he says this, Theo, that every adversity brings with it the seed of opportunity. I’ll say that again – every adversity brings with it the seed of opportunity. What does that mean? Well, it means that anytime something bad happens to us, let’s say in real estate, there might just be a silver lining around the dark cloud. That is it might be something that you needed to give your time, your energy or your attention to, to fix it before it manifested into an even bigger problem.

That’s why oftentimes I’ve conditioned my mind and my clients’ minds to get curious, and say “What am I meant to learn from this adversity? Is it true that maybe I can make even something better out of this?” It’s like that old, dark rain cloud. If you guys are outside and you’re having a picnic with your family and there’s dark clouds and it’s raining, I guarantee that the sun is behind those clouds. And if you look at the edges of those clouds, there is a silver lining. And at some point the rain will stop, the sun will come out, and you’re gonna have an amazing picnic, but only if you own your state, your story and your strategy. Does that resonate?

Theo Hicks: Yeah, that makes sense. So to specifically answer the question, it’s more along the lines of State, Story, Strategy – have that on a post-it note, basically. If you do wanna remember these things, have them on post-it notes. I’ve got post-it notes with my to-do things, but you need to be constantly reminded of these things when you’re first starting out, because as these ANTs come up, since you’re used to not having any sort of defense mechanism against these ANTs, you’re just gonna do whatever you’ve typically been doing… But obviously, someone just hearing it for the first time – you’re not gonna be able to be Trevor McGregor-style State, Story, Strategy, “Alright, I’m out of my victimhood status in ten seconds”, or whatever… I’m assuming the goal would also be to get better and better at this, practice-practice-practice…

Trevor McGregor: It really is. It’s really a conscious conditioning right now where you’ve gotta say “Now, what did coach Trevor say to do? Alright, he said to really discipline my disappointment, understand that this too shall pass, and then really step into those three S words of checking in with my focus, my identity and what I’m gonna do to resolve it. State, Story, Strategy.”

The other thing that I often remind people too is even the world’s best, even people like Elon Musk face challenges, or somebody like Steve Jobs. So you can do something called Character Trait Integration, which is a pretty cool exercise you can think about, where maybe you choose one of those guys, or you choose a role model where you know that they faced adversity, but they’ve found a way to absolutely be committed to move through it; they’re decisive, they’re coachable, they’re resourceful. And Theo, you know this old adage that “If you spot it, you’ve got it.” That means what’s inside Elon Musk for determine, or what’s inside a Steve Jobs for just finding a way, is also inside of you, it’s also inside of me, it’s also inside of Joe. So we can borrow these character traits from people that have gone before us. And it really goes to that old thing by Henry Ford, that if you think you can, you can, and if you think you can’t, you can’t. It’s that simple.

It all starts with the way you think, and the way you think is absolutely gonna condition the way you behave. And as you do this more and more and more every day, every week, every month, every year, that State, Story, Strategy will anchor itself into your autonomic nervous system where you won’t even have to think about it. You’re just gonna go “Okay, this is not to my liking. I’m not gonna lose my shit. I’m absolutely gonna get crystal clear on what I need to focus on, what I need to show up as, and then I need to step into something that moves me beyond this”, and it’s like water off a duck’s back. Does that resonate?

Theo Hicks: Yeah, absolutely. I wanted to make one comment before we close out… [unintelligible [00:20:45].05] were you the one that taught me about the mental board in your head? Was that you?

Trevor McGregor: Yeah, it was.

Theo Hicks: Okay, because I really like that concept, and I actually saw it in a movie once. But basically, for the Best  Ever listeners, the concept is — because you were kind of hinting at that a little bit…

Trevor McGregor: Yeah.

Theo Hicks: …you take people that have traits, characteristics that you want, people that you admire, or people whose lives you wanna live, whatever reason why you picked these people… Basically, pick people, and then you learn about them as much as you can. Then you literally act as if they’re board members, for example. Let’s say my board members — I’ll just use the names that you used: Elon Musk, Napoleon Hill, and then Steve Jobs. Let’s say those are the three guys on my board. So whenever there’s an issue, you literally ask your board what you should do. Based on your understanding of Steve Jobs – maybe you read his biography or something – you know exactly how he solved problems. Maybe you listened to interviews with Elon Musk, so you know how he solves problems. Maybe you’ve read all of Napoleon Hill’s books, so you know how he solves problems.

So you literally ask each of them, in your mind, “What should I do in this situation?”, and if you know them enough and if you’re creative enough, you can literally get a response from those people in your mind. I thought that was a really good strategy, and I wanted to just mention that right now; that’s another tip that you could do as well. Once one of these issues happen, going back to my analogy in the beginning, your sprinkler system could be this mental boardroom of people that when things go wrong, you lock yourself in your office, and depending on the way that you do it, you can think about it, you can write it, you can talk it out loud, whatever you need to do… You could reply as Steve Jobs, or whatever. Obviously, it would take practice, but the whole idea is that, as you mentioned, people have gone through issues before and overcame them, so you can as well. And you can leverage these people who’ve overcome these major issues, to help you overcome what’s most likely objectively a lot smaller than something that Elon Musk has to deal with; he has a problem with a spaceship going up in space where someone might die, whereas for you it’s like “Oh, my toilet’s clogged. What am I gonna do?”

Trevor McGregor: I love that analogy, Theo, and it’s absolutely true. It could be Elon, it could be Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey has faced adversity… There’s a ton of people out there. And again, it begs the question “Are you gonna take extreme ownership over the issue? Are you gonna be defiantly committed to resolving the issue?” And I’ve said it before, you really wanna make this part of the law of familiarity, too. We’re always gonna have challenges, we’re always gonna have problems, we’re always gonna have negative experiences, but I really do believe that when you become familiar with the law of familiarity and the law of polarity (one of my other favorite laws), you can absolutely know that just like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk – they have always found a way to move through it, and so can you.

And I’ll just share that before we wrap up – the law of polarity decrees [unintelligible [00:23:30].08] that you can’t have one thing without the polar opposite being available. In fact, I’ll give you some examples to make this easy to understand. You can’t have day without night. You can’t have black without white. You can’t have masculine energy without feminine energy, and you can’t have the North Pole without the South Pole. “So what’s that got to do with anything, Trevor?” Well, the same thing that you can’t have failure without success. And to condition the mind, and to condition the neural networks of the brain – which weighs three pounds, it sits between your two ears, and it’s a bunch of electrical and chemical charges; that’s all that’s going on up there – is to really bring the law of polarity to the three big universal fears that most people have.

The three universal fears that most people have is “If I try, I could fail”, that’s number one. Number two is “People might not like me or they might criticize me negatively”, or number three, “I’m not worthy.” I’m not worthy of buying a 200-unit apartment. I’m not worthy of buying a twelveplex.” It’s that self worth, self wealth and self esteem issue. Well, if we live in those three areas, that’s not gonna help us build a real estate empire. So what I invite the listener to do is to apply the law of polarity to those three things, and here’s how it sounds, Theo… “If I try, I could fail”, and if we go 180 degrees the other way, it becomes “Well, if I try, I could be wildly successful with this real estate purchase.” Or “I could be wildly successful in getting this investor to invest.” That’s the law of possibility.

Let’s go to number two. If the thought is “People might not like me, or they might criticize me, or they might call me crazy for getting into real estate” – well, what if the polar opposite existed, that people love what you’re doing, they’re inspired by what you’re doing. Hell, they’ll even invest in your next deal because of you absolutely showing them the path to freedom. That’s pretty cool.

And then the third one, “I’m not worthy” is a bunch of BS, because if you go to the polarity on that, I’m telling you guys, abundance is your birthright. You have just as much opportunity to go out there and use the greatest wealth vehicle on the planet, which I believe is real estate, just like Joe Fairless has, to go out there and create a ton of impact for the tenants, the communities, the landscapers, the engineers, the roofers, the plumbers, the electricians… Everybody. And as you make that impact, you make a ton of income.

So I’m a  big believer in the law of polarity, that if you ever have that freak-out moment where you feel like you might fail, you feel like you’re gonna be criticized, or you feel like you’re not worth it, apply the law of polarity to it, guys, and I’m telling you, there’s nothing that you can’t do on this planet.

Theo Hicks: I think that’s a good statement to end  with. I’m not even gonna attempt to summarize what we’ve talked about, because we went over so many… So Best Ever listeners, you’re just gonna have to listen to this episode again, and again, and again. As we said, it’s all about conditioning, so if you want to absorb these concepts, you need to hear them, think about them, write about them, and things like that.

Trevor, again, it was great catching up with you, it was great seeing you again. I know that every single person listening to this took something away from this that they hadn’t heard before. I know I did. My main thing actually was the ANTs. I had not heard the acronym before, and you were my coach for a while, and I’d never heard that one… So it’s always good to hear something new. Again, Best Ever listeners, make sure you listen to this podcast again.

Trevor, before I close this out, where can the Best Ever listeners contact you, learn more about you? What’s the main place you wanna send people?

Trevor McGregor: Well, once again, thanks for having me on the show; I really appreciate what you and Joe are doing. You guys are crushing it, and best wishes for continued success. For anyone who wants to reach out to me, there’s two places you can do it. You can find me at my website, Or the easiest way, Theo, is for people to head on over to You can enter in your details, and if you wanna have a 45-minute complimentary session with me to talk more about how to condition your mindset for success, I make that available to the Best Ever listeners.

Theo Hicks: Alright. Best Ever listeners, you’d better take advantage of that. Trevor had better be calling me up and  saying “Theo, I can’t do this. It’s so many people… There’s not enough time in the day.” [laughter] I’m just kidding. Alright, Best Ever listeners, thanks for tuning in. Trevor, thanks again for joining us today. Have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you soon.

Trevor McGregor: Thanks so much.

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