Dave Young – How I Learned to Think About My Thinking (280)

Share this blog:

Dave Young - How I Learned to Think About My Thinking (280)

Dave Young was raised in a little town on Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada, but he always had huge dreams. As a teenager, he became fascinated with Real Estate and bought his first apartment building at age 25. While developing his real estate portfolio, Dave created a real estate technology company to help shift the organized real estate community. A chance phone call in 2013 led to Dave becoming a Regional Partner with upstart custom home building network, Alair Homes. He now serves as a regional partner with Alair Homes in five different locations, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Manitoba, and Eastern Ontario.

In 2021, Dave Young and co-host Duane Johns launched The Builder Nuggets Podcast. Each week they bring together thought leaders to help contractors everywhere build more rewarding businesses. Dave has been married to Terrilynne for 17 years. They have three teenage daughters. The family loves spending summers in Muskoka and escaping to their home in the Exumas, Bahamas during the winter. Dave loves playing hockey, skiing, boating, going on spontaneous adventures, and “thinking about thinking.”

The Builder Nuggets Platform

Dave Young and Duane Johns didn’t simply launch a podcast, but through Builder Nuggets they’ve created a platform to elevate leaders in the custom home-building and remodeling space. Such an industry hasn’t gone through significant changes in the last few hundred years, but Dave believes a big change is coming through massive collaboration. He says, in fact, that “Widespread consolidation has happened in every single industry except custom construction. We’re driving a shift in mindset, led by an emerging group of owners, who share services and business models to create more opportunities and deliver a better experience. Right now, companies are all over the map. It’s a real struggle for organized industry leadership, too. How the heck do you deliver high-level services when you have so many different businesses, models, processes, and tenure? Through Builder Nuggets we’re attracting leaders who are not afraid to share what they know.”

Through the Builder Nuggets Platform, Dave and Duane are bringing together forward-thinking leaders, providing them with systems, processes, training, and an amazing culture to elevate their teams.

And now here’s Dave Young.

Full transcript below

Video on How Dave Young Learned to Think About His Thinking

Visit BuilderNuggets.com to Learn More About Dave’s Latest Business

Discover Alair Homes at AlairHomes.ca

Listen to The Builder Nuggets Podcast

Connect with Dave Young on LinkedIn

Follow Builder Nuggets on Instagram

Get Motivation, Inspiration, and Ideas to Level Up Your Life.

Subscribe to the How’d It Happen Podcast

Want to be the first to know when new episodes are released?  Click here to subscribe

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Howd-It-Happen-Podcast-Listen-on-Apple-Podcasts.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Howd-It-happen-Podcast-List-on-Google-Podcasts.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Howd-It-Happen-Podcast-Listen-on-Stitcher.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Howd-It-Happen-Podcast-Listen-on-Spotify.png

Thank you for being a How’d it Happen listener. Please enter your email address below to subscribe, or subscribe on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you like to listen.

Subscribe to My Newsletter


Write a Podcast Review

Also, podcast reviews are important to iTunes, and the more reviews we receive, the more likely we’ll be able to get this podcast and message in front of more people (something about iTunes algorithms?).  I’d be extremely grateful if you took less than 30 seconds and 5 clicks to rate the podcast and leave a quick review.  Here’s how to do it in less than 30 seconds:

Click on This Link – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/howd-it-happen-podcast/id1441722417

Click on the “Listen on Apple Podcast” Box

Click on “Open iTunes” – You will go directly to the iTunes page for the Podcast

Click on “Ratings and Reviews”

Click on the 5thStar (or whatever one makes the most sense to you 🙂

Podcast with Dave Young. How I Learned to Think About My Thinking.


people, buy, little bit, building, builder, idea, dave, business, thought, home, thinking, mortgage, opportunity, property, real estate, delegate, sell, paid, dwayne, elevate


Dave Young, Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta  00:05

Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the How’d It Happen Podcast. So happy to have you here. And I have an amazing success story for you today. I’ve got Dave Young with me, Dave, welcome to the show.

Dave Young  00:20

Yeah, thanks. I’ve been looking forward to having this time with you, Mike.

Mike Malatesta  00:23

Well, me too, because Dave and I met on what we were introduced by a mutual friend. I believe it was Justin Breen. And we met on his podcast, Builder Nuggets, which is a lot of fun. He does that with his partner, Dwayne Johns. And I was just really intrigued. I think it was the Bahamas thing that really got me, Dave, but, but I was really intrigued, and I’ve been looking forward to having him on the show. So let me tell you a little bit about Dave and why you should be excited that he’s here as well. So Dave grew up in a small town in Ontario, Canada, where he still lives in Ontario, Canada, Georgian, Georgian Bay is the name of the town that he grew up in. But he always had big ideas and dreams. As a teenager, he became fascinated with real estate and bought his first apartment building at age 25. Did you buy anything while you were a teenager?

Dave Young  01:15

No, I didn’t. My younger brother did, actually. And that’s a little bit of a different story. He’s gone on to become an entrepreneur as well. And then my youngest brother also got into into real estate, as well. So it runs in the family.

Mike Malatesta  01:30

Okay. Okay, fair enough. While developing a real estate portfolio, Dave launched a real estate technology company to help shift the organized real estate community. I love that you use the word shift, which is part of my book title. Thank you so much for doing that. A chance phone call in 2013. Like Dave to becoming a regional partner with an upstart custom home building network called Alair Homes. Today, he is the regional partner in five different Alair Homes regions covering North Carolina, South Carolina, Manitoba, and Eastern Ontario. And in 2021, Dave and his co-host, Dwayne Johns, launched the Builder Nuggets Podcast, which I mentioned is a great podcast, you should check that out. Each week they bring together thought leaders to help contractors everywhere build more rewarding businesses. Dave is also a husband father and a part time is Bahamian the right word to describe people from the that live in the Bahamas. Dave is also a husband, father and a part time. Bahamian; is that the right word for someone who lives in the Bahamas?

Dave Young  02:57

Yeah, I don’t get to I don’t get to live there part time but but yeah, Bahamian is the is the right word. I hate that. My official status there is a homeowner. And now business-owner, too.

Mike Malatesta  03:10

Yeah. Well, I know you’re developing something there. And we’ll get into that. But yeah, so Bahamian is a Bahamian and a Canadian. He loves playing hockey, skiing, boating, going on spontaneous adventures. I do want to explore that and thinking about thinking and I want to explore that as we go along to so you can reach Dave by LinkedIn at his name, Dave Young 13, Dave Young 13. And builder nuggets is all over the social. So that builder nuggets, which is the podcast and the brand that he and Dwayne have together. Instagram. You can get them there. Yeah, they got a website builder nuggets.com. So anyway, you’ll find them. So and you’re called the is for 310 to minus 5582. So pretty close. Pretty close. Pretty close. So Dave, let’s get started here. Why don’t you? Why don’t you tell us how it happened for you?

Dave Young  04:11

Oh, geez, I knew I knew that was a I knew that was coming, Mike. And it’s it’s funny because I started thinking, when I knew you would ask me that. I started thinking that, you know what, for most entrepreneurs, it doesn’t just happen once. It’s constantly happening. We are. I haven’t met too many entrepreneurs who aren’t regularly evolving and reinventing themselves in some in some sort of way. But I can share with you, you know, you touched on it in the intro. I think. I think for me, it started when my When my parents first invested in a duplex and a rental property and a friend of theirs who was a realtor, the local broker in middle and Ontario, where I grew up in on on Georgian Bay. So my dad a duplex, and my mum and dad brought us brought the sons in, I think I was 12 years old at the time. And we and we worked on, you know, little projects around there. And I’m not very handy. So that’ll become part of the story and a little bit when we, when we talked about me being involved with Alair Homes in a construction company, because it’s kind of a funny story. But my parents taught us the fundamentals about real estate investment through, you know, small multifamily properties. And by the time I was 16 years old, I was really intrigued by this, and I thought, Wow, what a great way to, to acquire wealth to build a portfolio to create, I saw it as a as a way to create freedom, even at that, even at that young age, which has become a theme through the rest of what I’ve done in my life. And as part of what Dwayne and I are trying to do for others through both through there and through the the builder Nuggets Podcast, but what I learned from that was that, you know, if you were able to, if you had the courage to go out and put together a deal, come up with some financing, and I saw that if you, if you saved a little bit of money, and you borrowed the rest, you would have opportunity to acquire something amazing in. And with multifamily real estate, it’s one of those things, it’s always a good investment, because people always need a place, a place to live. And it just intrigued me that, you know, you could put a little bit of money down and you could finance the rest of the vendor or through the through the bank. And then if you looked after it, the surplus the cash flow would would cover the pay down of the mortgage, and eventually, you would, you would end up owning this thing. And at the time, you know, you just did it when the when the numbers work, but to look back on it now and how the market is gone, and economic conditions, the escalation on the value is really is really more of a factor now than then the pay down of the debt was, but at the time, I you know, I just looked at it from a fundamental standpoint and, and thought, wow, you know, I should get as much of this as I possibly can. And I was very fortunate when I was, I was 25 I Well, first of all, when I was 24, I bought my first property which was a it was a lakefront property, I bought it power of sale from bank in the middle of well before the ice had melted. And it was a really run-down cottage property, but on a beautiful lake. And right next to where, you know, our own family. Lake House was the lake right next door. And I thought, wow, this is this is an amazing property. And I managed to buy it for $80,000. And I just thought that that was incredible. Now I had taken a risk. It was nobody could even tell where the lot lines were, if it was deep water, shallow water, we weren’t really familiar with that particular part of the lake. But there was an Olympic sized diving tower had been constructed at the shoreline. So it was pretty sure it had good deep water or or litany of lawsuits behind it. And it was a hoarder who had owned it. And I went in and we cleaned it up, cleared it out and had interest right away. So I think I bought it in April, and it sold in August for 120,000. So, 50% more than what I had paid for it. So that actually, that got me excited about this. And I had a little bit of a nest egg, and I went looking for, you know, in our small town 12,000 people at the time, there were a few small, small apartment buildings. And I went around and just had some conversations and I was I had my real estate license at the time, a family, a family friend, who we knew my parents were both in real estate as well. So we knew that this family this other gentleman was part of a group who owned this building. And it happened I was hosting an open house having a barbecue serving up hamburgers to the other agents at this beautiful rural property. And Bernie sat down, and I said to him, Hey, have you ever you know, would you ever consider selling that building? And it was it was a 15 unit walk up apartment building? And he said Well, as a matter of fact, we for tax reasons. It would be a good year for us to sell. We’ve got a group of six owners, and we have different ideas about you know, what should be done. And, and yeah, I think we could do that. So I was very lucky that you know, just by fluke, this timing worked out and I was able to put together a deal with him and I ended up buying that building with $9,000 of my own of my own money. borrowed a little bit from, from my parents. And then the sellers held a mortgage held a second mortgage at 10%. And I assumed a first mortgage at 10 and three eighths. And at the time, that was like, you know, that was high interest. But this was 1990 1995. So rates were starting to come down. So I was rolling the dice a little bit biting off as much as I could chew. But I believe that, you know, the numbers worked. And I moved into the building, I lived in it, I managed it myself, I had a superintendent there who helped me with with some of the stuff but a year and a half later, I think it appraised for 600 and something 1000. And I was able to refinance the entire thing at 7% payout the second, and now it was positive cash flow. And I still I still own that building today. So that gave me the confidence to learn about that. I had so many people tell me, what are you, you know, what are you doing, taking on all this debt? And just about every time I bought a building, I had somebody tell me that and how can you sleep with all of this? How can you sleep with all this debt, but I never once looked at that way, I always saw it as a smart investment. And it’s funny, when you have nothing to lose at the beginning, it’s easy to it’s easy to roll the dice as the as you acquire more and more you start to think about, well, if something really goes wrong, I need to be more concerned about that. But I so I acquired a few more buildings along the way. And having grown up in a small town and come back to it after university. I kind of took my foot off the gas a little bit I left. I left Midland and I had a bunch of friends in the pharmaceutical business that were all living in Toronto where there was lots more fun and I thought, jeez, I gotta get out of here. Other otherwise I, you know, spent my whole life in this town I aside from going away to school, I would love to, I would love to go and start experiencing life in the city and having more fun, and I’d love to traveling, I loved languages, I loved other cultures at that time. So I kind of hit the easy button. And I took a cushy pharmaceutical job because my buddies were doing it and enjoyed that city life, took my foot off the gas and actually regret not continuing to just keep going with my initial ambition. But it’s funny how that happens. Sometimes you get to a certain point, and then you think, Geez, I should be careful or you switch gears, and then it takes a little bit to get back into it. Have you ever had that with you? Mike, we sort of hit a hit a little bit of a ceiling or?

Mike Malatesta  12:49

Yeah, I think it’s I mean, it’s, it’s such a, it’s certainly a natural thing. When you sell a business, right, if you’re not prepared for the next thing, at least I found if you’re not prepared for the next thing, when you sell a business, you can very easily get into that take your foot off the gas and be just sort of showing up, but not showing up with any purpose, you know, not showing up with intention. That pharmaceutical job was that in sales day for what?

Dave Young  13:21

Yeah, it was in pharmaceutical sales. And you know, it was it was a fun lifestyle. Because I was in the city I had other friends that were medical sales reps, and it was an exciting time and don’t totally regret it because the lifestyle was fine. I made a lifestyle decision. And I also thought at the time hey with you know, with a pharmaceutical job instead of a instead of a sole proprietor as a realtor, I thought hey, it’ll be a lot easier to qualify for mortgages and loans and getting access to capital because that’s really you know, for a real estate investor that knows what they’re doing. Access to down payment money is really your key to scale to scalability right and whether or not banks will continue to lend to you so I kind of reached had kind of reached a bit of a threshold there anyway and made a lifestyle choice to go have some fun for a bit but it does to your point when you’ve had a success if you if you take your foot off the gas for a bit there is a risk of complacency there were times where I felt Hey, I could I can do this again anytime. And you know, I was doing some fun things at 27 I bought a Ferrari and I had a 29 I bought a I bought a private island on our on our lake and really enjoyed that that time and actually sold the car in order to pay for the renovations like real estate sort of always came first like when it came to investments or fun like your I was always willing to, to roll the dice or give something To acquire a special property or to, to pursue a stronger, more lasting investment.

Mike Malatesta  15:10

It’s funny that you say you took your foot off the gas, and you follow that up by you bought a Ferrari. It’s sort of

Dave Young  15:16

Yeah, yeah. But you know, I was, you know, I was 27 years old. And I thought, okay, now’s the time to do it. Because, you know, as you’re approaching that stage, where you’re thinking about soon I’ll be getting married and having kids, I just thought, like, I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to do this again, because it may not be a priority. And then when the island opportunity came along, again, another bank sale that just happened out of the blue, and I was the first one in on it. And it turned out to be an amazing property. And it was the right call, you know, I sold the car, I use that to improve the property. But my wife, we got married, had our first two daughters got to enjoy that that property before. Before we saw that they were they were quite young. But yeah, it was. It’s hard to look back and say, oh, there’s stuff that I would I wish I had done differently. There are always little things you wish you had done differently. But ultimately, I you know, I can’t totally regret the decision because I had some amazing times there with some, some great friends, interesting people, you know, it was, and when you have things like that and are experiencing that type of camaraderie and and spending time together, you never you never regret that. Yeah.

Mike Malatesta  16:37

Then what’s the point? And regret? Yeah, exactly. there if you were there for a reason, and whatever it was, you got something out of it, maybe something really good, that you weren’t expecting, and then you went back?

Dave Young  16:48

Yeah, that’s a good point, focusing on regret. And, and once in a while, I’ll all moan about stuff like this, or say, Geez, I really wish I had, I really wish I had done this or that. And, and my wife is quick to correct me to say you need to live in the now and be and be happy with what you got. Because Oh, overall, I don’t you know, I don’t regret any of those, any of those things they add to your experience, and it helps you to appreciate what you do have and positivity for me is such an overriding thing that any little bits of negativity creeping in are generally short lived. And, and I find that common in a lot of really successful entrepreneurs, they just put negativity behind them and focus on positivity, because negativity just fuels a lack of response and positivity fuels action. So

Mike Malatesta  17:43

yeah, I always tell myself give you give yourself five minutes, 15 minutes, you know, be, be nice, be sad, be pissed off, be whatever you’re going to be and then put it behind you and move on. Because it’s done, whatever it was, is done, you’re not going to change it not going to make it undone. So you might as well just go forward and make the best of whatever it was. Put it behind you just Yeah, moving forward. Yeah,

Dave Young  18:08

it’s the only the only time it’s ever valuable to you is if you find yourself in a similar circumstance, and you’re calling it as a learning as a learning experience. So you don’t make the same mistake twice. That’s the only time it’s of any value. Or if you’re collaborating with someone, and you’re able to share, like sharing your failures or sharing things that you wish you had done differently. That’s valuable to other people. So if you if you can use it to add value that way, then then it’s worthwhile recalling or spending some time on.

Mike Malatesta  18:39

Yeah, good point. Although the positivity of moving through the negativity is the only thing that gives you a story to tell. Right? If you were just like, Well, yeah, that really sucked and I I’ve hated myself ever since. So what’s the lesson?

Dave Young  18:55

Yeah, let’s talk about that for half an hour. No, no, thanks. Yeah. So no, no one’s interested in your complaining they want to they have no problem hearing about you know, you’re getting knocked down. But unless you get back up there isn’t really a story to tell.

Mike Malatesta  19:10

So for people like me who have not invested the only investment real estate stuff that I’ve really done is stuff that I’ve occupied so in my business, I would buy the buildings for example, but I’ve never done I never earn owned a multifamily. I’ve never done any of those things and for people like me and for people that are listening that are sort of hearing you talk about you know the debt and I mean, you’re talking about the upside right flipping stuff that appreciates 50% And, and then people are reading like this very famous home in LA that was spec house it was going to sell for $500 million. I don’t know if you saw this recently, but it ended up going to auction and selling for 100 A measly $126 million. And of course, everybody who lent money to the developer on a $500 million basis is getting, you know, screwed. So I’m just how do you talk people through? How do you make it? How do you make it safe in your own mind? And how do people make it? How do you how do you advise people to make it safe? So that they understand that there’s that this is worth pursuing? Doing checking out?

Dave Young  20:31

Yeah, that’s a, that’s a good question. And probably a good example. I am, I don’t really do I have, you know, aside from that first one that just sort of happened to be a flip and get me started, that sort of was the nest egg one, I don’t have a lot of experience in flipping properties for me, okay, because they’re so hard to, they’re generally so hard to acquire, you know, especially when you were when I was younger, that I believed in the buy and hold philosophy, like, never sell a building unless you really needed to, to acquire something bigger. So I was always in it for the long term. And when you look at it, from the long term, eventually, it will get paid off. And there’s some fundamentals you put in, you want to cover the downside, the biggest downsides that you need to cover are making sure you have cash reserves for a major repair. And that’s an area where you can where you can get into trouble. But the other area that you need to look out for is mortgage rate changes, and what happens at renewal. So for example, if you, you know, if you’re highly leveraged, and you buy, you know, a million dollar building with an $800,000 mortgage, and it’s at a super low interest rate. And, you know, five years later, you owe 770, or something like that, interest rates have gone way up, your appraised value is probably going to be between eight and 900,000, maybe somewhere there and the bank will lend you 80% of that. So now you’re looking at a mortgage of about $640,000. When you go to renew, and you’re exposed for 770, you have to have that piece covered. So for people who are a little bit more concerned about that type of risk, or for the or for the you know, having funds available for major repairs, then you need to either approach it with a with a higher down payment, like make a little bit bigger and better investments so that your mortgage costs are lower, you’re not exposed to the same risk, you can stockpile a little bit of stockpile a little bit of cash to cover the downside. Obviously, there’s a there’s a threat of vacancies. You know, we’ve been very lucky in the last, especially in Canada, in the last 25 years vacancy rate has been almost all-time lows. Really, really low. So that hasn’t really been an issue and picking the right type of tenants for the type of building that you want to have is important too. Can you hear this dog barking?

Mike Malatesta  23:19

I can hear that. barking? Yes.

Dave Young  23:21

Oh my gosh, it’s it’s part of life part of the life. So I must have a delivery here. I texted the kids who are coming home from school to say, Hey, I’m on I’m on a really cool podcast, please make sure that the dogs are looked after when you get home. But I didn’t tell the Amazon guy, right. So

Mike Malatesta  23:43

the dog will settle down.

Dave Young  23:44

Yeah, thanks. Yeah, thanks for bearing with me, everybody here. So those are those are some of the those are some of the fundamentals and then because down payment capitalists is hard to come by, if you know, and it’s, you can’t always raise it just through your job. When you’re renewing a mortgage. If rates are low, and conditions are good, and you feel good about the profit, the long-term prospects of the property, you can reevaluate have increased, you can renew the mortgage, take a little bit of cash out and reinvest that in your in your next property. So they become mechanisms for growing your portfolio. And I haven’t always been as disciplined as I should. I’ve used those funds before like to refinance to buy other properties that were not revenue generated generating so personal home and stuff like that. But the best investors I know, they treat it rigidly, like a like a business and they make sure that those funds are being reinvested going back into their portfolio and it’s, you know, that it’s probably the best way I know to get rich slow, but to ensure that you’re going to occur acquire wealth and have a valuable asset. Because at the end of the day, you know, if you have something like this paid off in 2025 years, it’s producing cash flow, you still have a valuable asset. It creates a lot, it can create a lot of freedom for you. Now, in getting started, one of the other pieces of advice I would give is on your first one, if you can, if you can do it locally. Manage the first one yourself. It’s likely for most people going to be a single-family home or a duplex or triplex or something, something like that. But if you manage it yourself, and you start to understand, hey, what we call it the PETA factor, the pain-in-the-ass factor? What are the factors around this that, you know, are just take freedom away from me whether it’s calls in the middle of the night, or you know, somebody’s not paying their rent, you know, dumpster bin, you know it, somebody’s putting their trash and your dumpster or there’s, you know, all sorts of stories for crazy stuff that go that goes on. I mean, we’re dealing with humans here and all sorts of stuff can happen. But for people that are considering and especially for really young, like younger people that have the energy and maybe a little bit of extra time to do it, it’s a great way to learn. And it will also help you when it comes time to select a property management company to understand what’s important to you. And, I mean, I’ve got in one of the one of the areas that I have a portfolio of duplexes, I’ve got just an unbelievable property management company that takes care of everything for me. And when I get an email or communication from them, it spells out the problem completely, they’re the first point of contact for everything. So I’m at a stage now where it’s a worthwhile investment, it’s not my highest and best use to manage these things, it’s a worthwhile investment to have a really professional property management company, taking care of it. And there’s varying degrees of that you, you know, you get what you pay for it too, but you really want to research that. So ideally, you know, if you were to draw it up on the chalkboard, it would be get a few learn about it, manage them yourselves, and then when you feel you know, when you’re ready, and it’s a worthwhile investment, invest in having another professional, take over and, and manage that for you. And I think that’s good fundamental advice. And in every in every business is only focused on and we’ve talked about this before, to only focus on the things that you’re good at, and create for, for the things that you’re not good at. Don’t try and work on those, don’t try and improve yourself in those areas, they’re not fulfilling to you, you use that as an opportunity to create an opportunity for somebody else who specializes in, in that. And that’s, you’ve seen it, I’m sure in growing the businesses that you’ve been involved in, when you try and take on too much yourself, you’re more likely to fail or become disenchanted with whatever it is you’re doing. And certainly you’re not building something scalable. You know, that’s an ownership right, there’s get out of the way and put people in who are passionate about those things and have the exact skills to do it. And it transcends any business.

Mike Malatesta  28:23

Okay, well, I appreciate the primer on that. I I think what I heard inside of there too, is that you know, there is so there’s a lot of upside to real estate, but the like any business, it’s not an easy business, right. There’s, there’s, there’s coming up with the money. There’s the financing, of course, but then there’s the management of it. And you said something I thought was very smart. You know, if you get into it, learn how to do that. Because as you get bigger, it’ll help you make better decisions, you’ll be a bit of a better business person, you’ll you’ll know what you’re doing, as opposed to just being like, oh, yeah, I own this three family house. And, you know, yeah, I think that’s really smart. Well,

Dave Young  29:07

it makes it more scalable too. And yeah, the by trying to do it by trying to do it yourself, you’re just limiting yourself so much.

Mike Malatesta  29:23

It let me switch gears here in your bio, we ended with you. You say that you spend time thinking about thinking what does that mean? Yeah, thank you.

Dave Young  29:34

Yeah, it’s, it’s something that I learned from Dan Sullivan, actually from strategic coach who’s my business coach, I’m in I’m in his, um, his, in his program and I, I discovered through you know, reading a number of books and EOS traction, Gino Whitman’s being one of them. I started learning about the difference between the visionary and the integrator and what my strengths were what I liked to do. And I found myself often like, you know, if you look at my Clifton Strengths score, it’s like, ideation, future, futuristic strategy, all those sorts of things are all related to thinking. So I like problem solving, I like new things, I like shifting an industry or creating something that nobody else has done before from a from a business standpoint. So I became intrigued with that, I was tortured by it for a long time. Because I didn’t know what to do about it. So I found myself having all these ideas, I would be excited, I would tell these ideas to people. And then they would get sick of hearing them because I wasn’t doing anything about it. And you start to feel like a bit of a fraud. Some people call it imposter syndrome, where you really feel you have these ideas, and you think, wow, these are great. And then you get frustrated, because you don’t know which ones to do, you aren’t sure you might do, you might know a little bit about how to get started. But when you do, they don’t have much momentum, because as a visionary, I’m not good at implementation, I can only take it to the idea stage, get it going create the vision and the mission and the idea behind it. And that’s, that’s important, but you have to be you have to be able to recognize that and be able to communicate it. So when I when I talked about thinking about thinking it’s like learning how to not reprogram myself, but learning what my strengths are learning how to strategize, learning how to communicate learning how other people think, so that they can receive your communication so that they can be inspired by you. Because my I feel now like I understand my role better. Now my role. You know, Justin brain would call this year you know, your superpower, right? But my highest and best use is generating new ideas, communicating these ideas to solve a large problem or to solve a business problem. And to have other people inspired and engaged to do that, to execute on that. And when you’re only having the ideas talking about them, I think of a song by the tragedy, or the lions, like no one’s interested in something you didn’t do. And I actually had somebody close to me one time I started telling them about an idea. And they said, no, no, don’t tell me I don’t I don’t want to hear. I don’t want to hear another one of the things that you’re not going to do. And that’s a that’s a punch in the guts. But it’s also you know, if you take the time to reflect on what that means, and somebody is not telling you this, somebody that’s close to you is not telling you this, you know, to be mean? They, it was a natural response where, where they’re like, hey, you know, I took it as a little bit of a wakeup call to why am I not doing anything about why am I not doing anything about this? What what’s going on? So a couple things go through your head, it’s like, wow, have I fallen in love with my ideas? And in thinking about these ideas? Does that give me enough of an endorphin rush? The fantasy itself that it you know, releases some dopamine or some chemical in my brain like a hit? Where it’s like, I’m not taking action? Is that the reason? Why am I falling in love with my ideas and not doing something about it? So I started thinking and digging into that, and I got a lot of help from through reading, reading books, and like I said, the attraction book by Gino Wickman, where he talks about the value, how the integrator values the visionary, and how the visionary about use the integrator, and I started to realize that what was missing was these types of relationships. And then along the time I’m discovering this, Dan Sullivan and Ben Hardy come up with the who not how book that digs into, hey, you know, we’ve been taught all of our lives that you know, you got to work on your weaknesses and do all these things and spend time and energy there. And I realized that that’s what I was feeling ashamed of that there’s a bunch of things that I felt like I was a failure on outwardly, everything looked great people thought you know, you successfully doing these things, but I didn’t feel like I was living up to my true potential because I had these other things I wanted to do and didn’t know how to do them. And on one of them, it was a real estate technology. Online platform. I had this idea. I tried to take it to market I did too much of it. I tried to do too much of it on my own. I didn’t have trusted people To help me with people weren’t getting my ideas, I thought I had it sold and then it didn’t. It didn’t the deal didn’t end up taking. And ultimately, you would, you could easily call it a failure. Now, entrepreneurs generally don’t like to use the word failure, because you just see it as an opportunity for what did I learn from that and takeaway, at the time, I didn’t recognize the things that I had done wrong, I just thought the rest of the world didn’t get it, or it was ahead of the time ahead of the time. And sometimes maybe those things are true. But the reality is, is you didn’t have the right people engaged, that knew what they were doing that relates out experts on those five or six other aspects that needed to get done to make a project like that work, you just took it all on your own. And then it becomes, then it feels like a failure. But if you learn from it, it it wasn’t, it took me a while to learn from it, I think I was in denial about it. But you know, in reading those books, to not how seeing the dynamic and recognizing, hey, this is what I have been doing wrong. And in who not how they talk about Dan and Ben, talk about four different freedoms, like the, what you’re trying to achieve with the business. And that’s freedom of relationship, freedom of time, freedom of purpose, and freedom of money. And I won’t dig into all of those, but freedom of relationship is basically, you know, being able to, you know, choose your clients based on clients that value you and to align with your core values and stuff like that, being able to spend your time with people that value you that you value. And having the freedom to do that never having to take on a client never having to take on an employee never having to take on a partner that you don’t truly want to. So it’s like a be the buyer mindset. And I when I dug into this, about the freedom of relationship, what came back to me was the most important freedom there is freedom of a relationship with yourself before you can be a value to anybody else. Before you can be truly happy. You need to understand yourself and you need to dig into it and add in Colby. So the Colby score in the Colby index Clifton Strengths. When I started thinking about my own thinking, and I had some people encouraging me to say dig into this stuff and take these things and learn about yourself. That’s where I learned, okay, this is why I suck at these other things. They’re so unfulfilling to me and get them off your plate. Dan talks about procrastination as wisdom, there are signs that you should not be doing something, either you’re getting a horrible result, or you’re putting it off. And he talks about procrastination being wisdom, I think of it more as enlightenment. If you find yourself procrastinating on something, and you’re then recognize it and the light bulb goes off, it’s like, why am I not doing this? Why am I pushing this? Most people will say how do I get this done? You know, from what I’m learning in, through my coaching here is? Who do I need to find to do this because there’s somebody out there, this is an opportunity, this is an opportunity for? And stop thinking about it in terms of I need to do it or I need to improve? Or how am I going to you know, how am I going to solve it just find that go out and find somebody who’s world class at it. Yeah, that buys into your core values and your vision and lists them? Because rewarding them to do it will be far more valuable to you. Then then you trying to do it yourself?

Mike Malatesta  38:54

Yeah, and let me let me distill that if I can. So this this whole I love what you said about you know, no one’s interested in something you didn’t do. Yeah. But a lot of times, I think in distilling down what you said, I think a lot of times, you know, people that have a lot of ideas are scared about the how part of it. Right? So it’s a great idea, but then you look and you say well, how am I actually going to do that I don’t even know how to get started. So the great idea gets either just talked about or it gets packed away. Because you don’t have an integrator say in EOS world Yes, can take the idea and not just run with it make it happen. But they could also say to you this is not going to work. And here are the reasons why so in either case, the idea is liberated from you. And someone is working on the how part of it right. Like can we make this work? Can’t we make this work? That I think a lot I know for me for a long time. I would just hold on to those things because I wanted to do them myself, you know? Yeah, I couldn’t do them myself, Dave. I I just I thought that was what may be making would make me a failure if I couldn’t bring it to fruition. But

Dave Young  40:08

I call it I call it the visionaries curse, right? Because you, you have this vision, and then you have this idea. And part of what goes through your mind is, other people aren’t getting it. So other people aren’t getting it. So they don’t understand the idea that that can happen sometimes too, and or other people don’t believe in it. And it may be because you’re not communicating it properly, then it’s like, well, even if they do get it, I don’t think they could do these pieces as well as I could, which is what kind of where you’re going where it’s like, I need to do it myself, but then you’re afraid of failing, or not getting the result that you want. The other thing that happens is, it can be overwhelming, right? So it’s not just one person that you need for your big idea. It’s, you know, I need I need somebody raising capital, I need somebody who’s going to do the marketing and branding. And it just becomes overwhelming. You don’t need blacks. Yeah, right. You know, you don’t know where to start. But the good news on this and Justin, Justin, because he specializes in connections will, will endorse this as well. But if your it only takes one who it only takes one who to unlock the rest of them. So again, instead of thinking I have to be the one to find how am I going to find all these people who’s going to find all these people for me. So if you’re a visionary, and Justin had this happen in his business with Mark Fujiwara in building epic network, he found that one who was connected somebody who has experience doing that, who is connected to all the other people. So that that’s the other route to go is when you find somebody and finding them is still hard. You know, you need to you need to have connections, but you you will you meet somebody and you’re like, wow, this person is connected to financial people has a marketing team already has a development team, share it with them, and then say, how would you do it. But the first step is being able to clarify your vision and communicate your idea in a way that other people can understand and get excited about. Because if you can’t do that, if it’s this big, complex thing that you’re talking obscurely about, nobody’s going to know what the heck you’re talking about. So there are tools out there. In Strategic Coach, there’s one called an impact filter, where you map out your idea, you know, there’s different segments where you’re communicating, what is the value of this thing? What is the purpose of it? What are the things that need to happen? What does success look like? Mapping out? Eight, eight things that that need to occur eight challenges that that you need to accomplish? And how would the world be changed? What problem does it solve questions like that, that you are forced as a, as a, as a visionary, who probably uses too many words, most of the time, you’re forced to put this into nuggets that somebody else can easily digest and see, and you hand it over to them? Oh, the first thing that happens is you look at it. And you and you use it as a sales tool to yourself, like when you see it mapped out like that? Do I still like this idea? Have I got it? Have I got it refined? Does this idea make sense? Yeah. Are you convinced, are you convinced, so the first person you have to sell is yourself, then you only really need to have one other person buy in that can help you with all the other stuff. But in an ideal scenario, you have a few people, or maybe it’s your team, and you have a new idea. And you already have a business, it’s just a tweak on something or a new product, you’re going to launch a new service, you’re going to introduce anyone to get buy in from your team. So is the person who developed this idea. And it doesn’t have to be you. It could be another visionary or somebody else on your team that has a good idea and uses this and sits down with the group and says, All right, we’re going to take a look at this idea today. And they are seeing in a format that they can understand you give it to them, they provide commentary on it, they can ask questions, give input, and then once you have it refined and they and they understand it, they can take it back and start working on it and then you just have to it’s almost like tweaking a flywheel after that you just get out of the way. They come back and do check ins and it’s minor adjustments here and there. But the main purpose of the idea is the spirit of the idea the essence of it is captured and likely improved to some degree and if if your team has made improvements and weighed in on certain aspects of it, you’re probably going to have buy in as well. My wife always says if you want buy and you need to have weigh-in, so

Mike Malatesta  44:59

you know it’s funny before the who not how book came out long before I was having a conversation with someone sort of about this right finding people who could help you to get things done. And I explained it and the person said, Oh, delegation, and I was like, oh, yeah, kinda. Yeah. But then, but then I, but then I was looking at that wrong because delegation, just the word infers that you have control over someone, and that they are part of your organization. You can’t delegate to a stranger, for example.

Dave Young  45:32


Mike Malatesta  45:33

This is more about collaboration. It’s like, Who do I know that isn’t being paid by me right now that I could reach out to and say, I’ve got this idea? Can you help me? Or can you put me in touch with people who can help me? So it’s just it’s just a much wider? Yeah, then delegation, I can.

Dave Young  45:59

Absolutely, I’m so glad you brought this up, because the EOS people would punish me for this. Because they don’t like to change to change anything. It’s such a good system. But we have, you know, in the Eos system, it’s called delegate and elevate. So you go through a list of the things that you you know, you want to delegate over to somebody else. And you’re right, there’s a stigma to the word delegate, it’s almost like, when I’ve talked about this before, it feels like passing the buck that’s like you’re taking the crap off your plate and giving it to somebody else. But you if you’re able to look at it from a different perspective. And you realize, well, no, these things can be opportunities, like I just discussed a little bit earlier. But we did a subtle flip, we call it elevate in the businesses that I work with, we call it elevate and delegate. And when you look at it that way, and you say, Alright, these are the things that I want to get off my plate. Maybe there’s somebody who can already do it, who’s already skilled at it. But before you make before you hand something over to somebody, you have to be able to make an investment in them and elevate them so that they can successfully perform that task. Now, if they’re already good at it, and they’re getting a new task and adding more value, then they are being elevated, their position is elevated by having this thing there. So it’s really reframing it and looking at these as opportunities to elevate somebody, and then and then delegate to them. To your other point about you know, when you’re reaching out to somebody, as a collaborator instead, because I understand what you’re saying about the element of authority or the perception of authority when we’re delegating means that you have the power to make them do it, right. So it’s got that sort of unsavory feel to it to some extent. But when you’re reaching out to somebody to say, hey, I want to I want to collaborate on something, because it’s an opportunity for them, you’re reaching out to them, probably because it’s in their wheelhouse. And that’s something that they get paid to do. Yeah, already. But it brings up an interesting thing, which is vulnerability. And as a visionary or as a leader, or, you know, as a human, or collaborator. Vulnerability is such a powerful thing. Because if you feel like you have everything figured out, and you’re not communicating, you only communicate to people that everything is fine. You know, things are great. Yeah, businesses, businesses good. Or, you know, how’s this issue going, and you’re always fine, or you’re always the smartest guy in the room. It’s funny, Dwayne and I are going to do a podcast this afternoon, just the two of us called the dumbest guy in the room. Which is actually a better spot to be. But a funny thing happens with humans, when somebody is talking, and they have it, and they don’t need any help. Nobody rallies around them. I mean, it’s done, the box is checked, there’s no further action required. And oftentimes, you’ll find it’s the same people who are, are, are saying that everything’s fine, even when you know that it’s not. But even when you know that it’s not, very few people on the team are going to want to jump in to help that person that says that they have an are talking about it all the time. So a real power as a real gift, as a leader or a collaborator is to be vulnerable and to be able to say, all right, and I was on I was on a guy named Trent Clark’s podcast earlier this week. And he says he he’s just flips it by calling it a challenge and don’t say I have a problem because people don’t want to hear about problems that that’s no fun. But if you start talking about it in terms of, hey, I have a challenge. And this is what I’m trying to achieve. How would you do it? You would be surprised at how many people rally around a problem. Challenge, a promise When it’s framed as a challenge, and when somebody is has the courage to be vulnerable and to ask for help, and it’s one of the most important things an entrepreneur, an entrepreneur or a teammate can do is to ask for help. Now, you need to be trying, you need to be putting in the effort when you ask otherwise, you won’t get you won’t get the support because people don’t want to, I don’t want to see their energy being poured into a colander like a sieve and have it be wasted. But as humans, we have a lot of empathy when somebody is valuing our inputs and doing something with them. We don’t have empathy, when they don’t value our inputs. And we don’t want to we don’t want to give more to them. We’re not really tolerant of them. And I learned this because I thought I was a highly empathetic person. And I scored middle of the road on the Clifton Strengths score. And I thought I can’t believe it. Empathy is one of my core values, but I realized I’ve selective empathy. For people who you know, aren’t using the things that you’re doing with them in achieving, you want to stop doing it, you no longer have a level of relatability to them. So again, that’s kind of back to the thinking about thinking the things that have been going on in my head, where I’m learning from some of the top coaches in the world and books and interacting with other entrepreneurs, like your yourself, what went through our heads, when we got there, and what are the things that we need to do different and if those are things that are we’re experiencing, then those are things that other people are experiencing as well. And if we’re going to lead them on a team and allow them to lead us, then we need to be mindful of them and respectful of them. And and, you know, so helpful to know somebody else’s Colby scores or their strengths are where, where they where it’s valuable to them to spend their time so that, again, as a leader, you can focus them into those direction, that direction and create opportunities right in their wheelhouse. And when that happens, I’m fortunate I’ve got a team that has gone through this, and I’ve had a lot of people help me with it. We’ve got a team, when I look at when I look around, it’s like everybody is firing on all cylinders, and is fine. It frees me up to think about thinking to think about big picture things, new opportunities. And today for them. That’s like, Dave, what are you working on? Well, I think we can make this happen, then they’re like, that sounds great. That’s fun. And when the little things are coming in, or the the stuff I’m not good at, they want to take it off my plate, I have team meetings where they say you should not be touching that let us take that we got that. And they have autonomy then to and that, to me is amazing motivator for people because they can get to put their own stamp on things and really feel where they’re adding value to the to the team equation.

Mike Malatesta  52:54

So we got really deep into thinking about thinking, yeah, and then got derailed. Yeah. All these things. No, that’s great. I just, we’ve sort of run out of time to talk about the work that you’re doing with builder nuggets. And because I really want to dig into that because there’s you know, what, basically what you’re doing is you’re taking the the custom home building universe, you’re teaching people how to be better business people, and how to create value for their businesses in, in a very fragmented, fragmented industry where a lot of people, including like, the builder of my home, when they’re ready to retire, for example, I don’t know what there’s no, good, there’s no value to the business, right? And you want to make sure that I create a business that has value to it. So what maybe, maybe I could have you come back, or you and Dwayne come back. And we could really dig into that, because I think there are so many industries that are similar. And I think you came. Yeah, right. We’ve

Dave Young  53:58

talked about this came from one before and yeah, if to tee that up a little bit. Yeah, that’s exactly the reason why Dwayne, and I started the podcast. So I had the opportunity, you know, didn’t finish my story. We went from real estate and I got into some real estate technology stuff and then ultimately, I got a phone call out of the blue one day I heard about this exciting new business model of a company they were using, you know, they happen to be using a franchise model in order to be able to do it and a franchise sales rep had called me up and said hey, you got to hear about hear about this and I knew him from something else. He said you got to hear about this. This is the best franchise you know, idea I’ve ever heard of and it’s going to change an industry and I’m going to break my golden rule not to get involved. I really want to get involved and I’m like okay, okay, man, like, what is it and he says it’s a custom home building franchise, and I’m like, right away. I’m like, Yeah, right. I’m not handy. I you know, the joke in my house is the best tool in the toolbox is the checkbook, I can start a project and almost rarely do I finish one, I’m great at demo, maybe a little bit of rough framing, but if I get down into any detail work, it’s like, so painful for me. So you know, I said, No, no, I’m out and, and he proceeded to tell me a few reasons why I should consider it and I’m pretty open minded and I, I, I agreed to a 30 minute phone call with the CEO of Alair Homes, Blair McDaniel, really young, you know, passionate guy, really smart. And he shared with me, you know, his vision. And so I agreed to this 30 minute call, we spent two hours and 45 minutes. And in one phone call, I knew I was going to do it. And he saw the opportunity to take the most fractured industry that there is right now. So millions of builders, right? Hundreds, hundreds of 1000s in North American Canada, probably close to a million. Not sure the exact numbers all using different business models, different procedures, different systems and stuff. Yeah, everything, everything is all over the map these one off, right, and everybody’s trying to figure it out themselves. And Blair had looked at all these other industries and said, well, the real estate, the mom and pops, they all got together now there’s these big networks where you know, they work, they have consolidated services, where, you know, you can plug into stuff and stop trying to figure it all out yourself. And, and he took a year off, and went talk to other franchise CEOs. And a whole bunch of people told him he was crazy, but he decided that he was going to do it anyway. And so I was very fortunate to get to get that phone call to get this opportunity. scared the crap out of me, because part of what I had to do was start a franchise on my own before I was allowed to, you know, unlock the regional rights of what I was doing my job became was going to be to, to find the additional builders, like existing builders, that we could plug into this model and elevate them. But first, I had to start a construction company. So I did that and actually ended up starting two different locations brought in did the first you know, manage the first project by myself. Luckily, I had good trades, and, uh, you know, good people on site that helped me bumble through that and had a, you know, a raving fan client. So it worked. I attracted a friend who became my, the first project manager than the general manager than an equity partner, and now he owns, he owns the two locations with another business partner that completely bought me out. I’ve exited that altogether. But that was really scary for me to go through having not really, I’ve been exposed to it through the real estate industry and renovating a few things. But to really start from scratch, and just outside of Toronto, and a pretty competitive marketplace was super daunting. And I didn’t do everything perfectly, for sure. But I never would have been able to do it. There’s all that infrastructure and support and guidance and mentorship. So from that, had the opportunity grew, we opened up offices in Manitoba, had the opportunity to expand into the US. And that’s where I met Dwayne. And, you know, five years after that, we’re thinking, Okay, look at all the things that we’ve learned, through this experience through this collab, this massive mastermind of collaboration and all these different things and having hundreds of people working on these same problems together, how do we take that to the rest of the industry, and we thought we were going to be the ones like predominantly sharing everything, and we came up with the podcast to help create freedom and to elevate other builders. And what we realized is when we went out and started to have other experts will like you, for example, on our show, all the nuggets that started to come in, were things like, nobody knows everything, and you realize you can’t do it all yourself. So the, the show became a platform to not only share what we had learned, but to learn so much more and it’s attracted other high level business coaches that we’re collaborating with, and we’re able to put that back down and deliver that experience and those nuggets to the people that we coach individually, but it’s very fulfilling to know that every week people are listening to the show and putting those things in into their business. But yeah, Dwayne and I would be happy to come on and just talk about you know, How we want, like we see a layer has having started this with us, you know, this shift and have it’s Blair’s vision of consolidation. And we just see builder nuggets as an opportunity to continue with that same core mission and, and value too. But to also attract more and bring more people into that mission of growing the industry and creating opportunity because the industry hasn’t been very attractive to the next generation for a long time. And like you said a little bit earlier, one of the gut wrenching things is you see people work 40 5060 years on their business, or in their business, and have nothing to show for it. And we’re seeing shifts now, where we have business owners that are buying out other business owners like there are 1000s 10s of 1000s, probably hundreds of 1000s of builders that are in their late 50s to 70s, who don’t have an exit strategy. And we’re working on well, how do we how do we change that? How do we help them get things into their business? Or how do we create super builders that can come in and work with them and then acquire them and do a phased buyout? So that’s exciting, too. So we can definitely, definitely, yeah,

Mike Malatesta  1:01:25

let’s do that. Let’s dig in on that. Because now, my landscapers have started doing the doing the blowing. And so, I mean, I guess I don’t,

Dave Young  1:01:34

I don’t hear it at all. Okay, all my kids, my kids come home. And despite telling everybody Hey, Dad’s on a podcast today, keep the dogs away. Like they’re outside running in the yard. And I hear the TV on in the other room. Sorry. So we know this working from home stuff has its has its advantages and disadvantages. But yeah, I will happily collaborate with you. Because yeah, it’s like, like you said, you’re, what you’re working on in your, you know, the industry you are in is very similar to what we’re experiencing here. And a lot of people get stuck in the mindset and not being able to know what to do next. And we’ve had people tell us, hey, you should have called it business nuggets instead of builder nuggets. Because this isn’t just for builders, this is for any small business owner. So compare notes and talk shop together would be great. And I know, Dwayne, would love to make an appearance here with you as well.

Mike Malatesta  1:02:29

Yeah. Well, let’s do it. Dave, thanks so much for being on the show today. Thank you for exploring and thinking about thinking, which is something that I just was fascinated by. I appreciate that. And congratulations on all the things you’ve done. And yeah, let’s come back, we’ll do a builder nugget thing. And we’ll really dig into how to make your business more valuable. Yeah. Because that’s what we’re in this for, you know, it’s the worst thing. Like it’s well, maybe going bankrupt is worse. But the worst thing is like spending all your whole life building something really special. And then at the end, you sell your tools. Well, here. Yeah, your stuff.

Dave Young  1:03:04

Yeah, yeah. It’s yeah, what the appraiser tells you how much your truck and your trailer and everything are worth and that’s your nest egg. Right. So, so yeah, that that is really tough, that’s for sure. But I’ll just leave on this. On this. One last note, if if you’re creating a don’t just focus on creating a valuable business for yourself. We’ve switched in our, in our thinking to calling it a rewarding business. Create a rewarding business, Dwayne and I’ll dig into this with you. But if you create a rewarding business, it’s rewarding to your clients. It’s rewarding to your any third-party providers that are working with you, but it’s also rewarding to your team. And the most rewarding businesses will attract the best teammates and those teammates are likely the ones that are going to make your experience the most rewarding as well. So it’s a key word that we focus on. When we’re doing that we can touch on next time.

Mike Malatesta  1:04:10

Okay, that’s very rewarding way to end. Thank you. Hey,

Dave Young  1:04:13

thanks. Nice shift.

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

Leave a Replay

About Me

I help entrepreneurs get unstuck, take back their power, achieve their life objectives, and create the futures they want.

Listen to the Podcast

Get My Weekly Newsletter

Recent Posts

Sign up for My Newsletter

By signing up you will get the weekly “Inspire & Activate Greatness Blog” every Thursday.

%d bloggers like this: