Paul “Paulie” Kazanofski is one of the top real estate investors in the U.S. as well as a highly successful entrepreneur, author, speaker, and TV personality. He has been featured on A & E’s Bid, Build and Design and he has been the subject of a documentary called the 24-hour entrepreneur. Paulie was also a World Champion Kickboxer and he carries that intensity that he had in the ring right over into his work as an entrepreneur as well as when he coaches others on how to become successful real estate investors and entrepreneurs.
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Stefan Aarnio: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the show Respect the Grind with Stefan Aarnio, the show where we interview people who have achieved mastery and freedom through discipline. We interview entrepreneurs, athletes, authors, artists, real estate investors, anyone who has achieved mastery and examined what it took to got there. Today on the show I have one of my favorite people ever, Paul Kazanofski. He is a well known developer, flipper, real estate investor, incredible public speaker, one of my favorite guys. He’s even been on TV a little bit. Paul, welcome to the show, Respect the Grind. Thank you for joining me, buddy. How are you today?
Paul Kazanofski: Pleasure to be here, always excited to talk to you. I don’t know, man. That was a great intro. I wish I was face to face with you, because I’d throw you a hundo, a hundred dollar bill. I’m happy to be here, excited man, blessed in life, and happy to have friends like yourself too, buddy.
Stefan Aarnio: Awesome. Well, I love talking to you, Paul. I phoned you the other day to ask you to be on the show, and you started dropping truth bombs and dropping money right out of your mouth. Great stuff you were saying. I said, “Hey, man. Bottle that up, bring that on the show, I want to show other people.” I’m really happy to have you here.
Paul Kazanofski: Absolutely.
Stefan Aarnio: And Paul –
Paul Kazanofski: Thank you, bro.
Stefan Aarnio: For people who don’t know you at home, can you describe Paul Kazanofski a little bit so that they know you from your own words?
Paul Kazanofski: Yeah. I’m actually Canadian, so all my Canadian people … But I do reside in Nashville, Tennessee. My journey starts off in very humble beginnings, single mom, grew up in the ghetto. I wasn’t a smart guy. I had learning disabilities, things like dyslexia. They coin me the ADD … This was many years ago. I’m a little bit older than the Millennials out there. I love the Millennials, though. Don’t get me wrong. I started humble beginnings and I didn’t know how I was going to get out of the ghetto. I didn’t have mentors, I didn’t have people to watch, I always thought you have to be an actor or be in a rock band or be a fighter, or an athlete or something. I had dreams, obviously. I never did drugs, never did drinking, I didn’t smoke or anything like that. I was very well disciplined. Even though we were poor, my mom grew up in scarcity, communist Yugoslavia, and so she brought us up very strict and taught us a little bit about discipline.
Paul Kazanofski: I got into boxing and playing drums, and all these things, and I thought was going to get me out of the ghetto, and truth be known, it did, and I moved to California illegally, and I had a two-way ticket and a bunch of dreams, got off in 1989, June 6th, in California, and ripped up my return ticket and never went back, and made my life where it is now. I started selling for a company and then I started my own company. It was an audio company and then I got into real estate, because I was making money with this company, and I didn’t want to blow it. I’d watched a lot of people make money and blow it. Started getting some success, got into the real estate business by reading a book, and I literally went and seeked out where the author was. I got him to accept me coming to hang out with him for a day or two. The rest is history. Now I’m flipping houses, we’re building houses from scratch, and we’ve also done a couple of apartment buildings, and we’re looking more into the future to get to the apartment buildings cash flow.
Paul Kazanofski: That’s what we’re looking for now. We’ve done 323 flips from start to finish and 143 wholesale deals. In a nutshell, it’s like … Stephan, you always say, “Respect the grind. That’s where the moneys made,” in the grind, day to day, discipline, go, go, go, so to speak.
Stefan Aarnio: Paul, you’re –
Paul Kazanofski: That’s Paul Kazanofski.
Stefan Aarnio: I love it, man. You are, to me, discipline embodied. You’re a fighter, you workout, you’re telling me you’re doing the juice fasting, you memorize everybody’s name. I came down to hang out with you in Nashville and we got in your car and you drove to, I don’t know, 30 properties or something. You knew where –
Paul Kazanofski: I remember.
Stefan Aarnio: Every single thing was. You lead from the front. Let me ask you this. Robert Green, the author of Mastery and 48 Laws of Power, great book. I don’t know if you read it. He says that master is the blend of creativity and discipline. Do you think that mastery is more creativity or is it more discipline?
Paul Kazanofski: To be honest with you, like I said, I’m not, I never claimed to be a smart guy. There’s so many more smart guys they master what … I believed in discipline and most people that I know, entrepreneurs like us, Stephan, and people listening to this project, you know you don’t have to be a son of a doctor, son of a lawyer, go to Harvard business school or have some type of big degree in … I believe in the discipline. It almost gets boring. You build that plan. You have your vision, you build your plan, and once you have that plan and you figure out how to make money, you work that plan day to day, day to day, and it gets, it almost gets boring, but that’s where the discipline is. I think all of us as humans always have this tendency to go to the path of least resistance. I think everybody would agree with that, but the truth be known is that that path of least resistance also makes people un-wealthy and they don’t … And unmotivated.
Paul Kazanofski: You have to fight that path of least resistance and get discipline. Listen, we all want to sleep in at times, we all don’t want to get on the phones and make the calls, door knock, send out mailers, talk to people, sell, sell, but if you can get that plan and figure out that plan, it becomes systemized to where it does become simplistic and I believe in the discipline. That’s where I believe that most people fail when they’re trying to get to that next level in being an entrepreneur.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, you got to put in the reps, you got to do the laps and the running and the pushups and the situps.
Paul Kazanofski: Oh, my god.
Stefan Aarnio: And the calls and the offers. Talking about discipline –
Paul Kazanofski: It’s like boxing.
Stefan Aarnio: Tell me about it.
Paul Kazanofski: It was like boxing. It’s like you played base, you understand, you played bass guitar, and I played drums for many, many years. You, it’s almost like you are never satisfied with … You have to learn your craft, like when you were learning base or I was learning drums. I’m still learning drums. I’m 49 years old. I’m still learning and working. That’s how being a businessman is. When I was boxing and kickboxing, I was learning my craft day to day, in the gym, sweating, studying, talking to people, working on the small, fine things that got me to the position that I wanted to get to in my respective area that I was practicing. You see what I’m saying?
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, and I love it, because I like to say, “Freedom through discipline.” You can have freedom if you’re disciplined. In real estate … So we’ve got a lot of real estate investors watching the show.
Paul Kazanofski: I love that.
Stefan Aarnio: My following, my list, is a lot of real estate people. Now, what a lot of people don’t understand … I train and I coach people and you train and coach people too. What a lot of people don’t understand is they don’t get the concept of making calls and making offers. Those are the reps in real estate. Now, in real estate, you’re doing a ton of deals, Paul. I think you’re what, 50 flips a year or something?
Paul Kazanofski: Yeah. Last year we did 46 flips and one apartment building. It was 108 unit apartment building in North Carolina, and then we built seven houses from scratch. We developed the land.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow.
Paul Kazanofski: That was my year from January to January, and we had a decent year. It’s getting harder to get deals. You hear it all over the country. At least here in my area and in the United States I know that your real estate market fluctuates up there too. Here it’s very, very strong so we had to really grind a lot harder to achieve what I mentioned that we did last year.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah. Well, I think that Canada and U.S. right now are both at the end of a cycle and we could have a crash soon.
Paul Kazanofski: I agree, I agree.
Stefan Aarnio: Talking about the reps, the reps –
Paul Kazanofski: Yes.
Stefan Aarnio: What kind of calls and offers do you have to make every week to do seven new builds, 46 builds, an apartment block? You guys are crushing every day. Talk about the offers and the calls and the grinding and the reps? That’s what people don’t get, man.
Paul Kazanofski: Yeah. This is the thing no one ever sees. They see the nice cars, they see the nice houses, they see the watches and the nice clothes, and vacations, but where that lifestyle comes from is in the reps. What do we do? We send out mailers, we door knock, we put even MLS, regular multiple listing service on any MLS. Like a lot of people say, “There’s no deals out there. There’s no deals out there on MLS.” That’s not necessarily true. There is less deals, and I agree with some of the people that say that, but we put in offers and we watch the offers, we watch the MLS. We also build relationships with other wholesalers, other people that are going out there and doing what I described us doing, and being a real buyer, being someone with the cash and having the cash and being able to pull the trigger, people come to us. It’s that reputation you build. If you say you’re going to do something and close on Friday, March 17th, you close on March 17th. That travels.
Paul Kazanofski: It’s these type of reps. It’s putting out those mailers, making those phone calls, setting the appointments. I’ll be honest, to do the volume I just said I’m doing and that we did last year, I would say at least 100 offers a month to 125 offers a month. That might sound tight for some people listening out there, and yes, it is. There’s a volume. There’s a way to systemize that. It’s by building other, little soldiers like you and systemizing it. If you think about it, when you look at the number, it might be scary, but if you break down those numbers and the repetition, it’s really about six to seven offers five days a week. You grind those offers and you give incentives to the people around you. I’m not a greedy person. I believe most entrepreneurs are very giving in many ways, not just with money, but with their time, with their effort, to try to get other people to excel in their lives and show them the right path, show them the right way.
Paul Kazanofski: It’s when you give back and empower your people that you systematically pick to do these little tasks for you. I call them little with … I’m not saying it’s little, but it’s a little task once you systemize it. Seven to even sometimes ten offers a day, some days are more … You make a lot more connection and some days are a little bit where you’re not making this much connection. Don’t get discouraged. You still have to do those, a small baby steps and those reps that we talk about. It’s like when you’re losing weight. Sometimes you get to a sticking point. You don’t want to quit there. You want to work harder. You want to do more reps. Sometimes we’ll put in ten offers in a day, but on a consistent basis I would say five to seven offers a day, good offers where you evaluate them, put them in, and build those relationships, because that will help you do that kind of volume.
Stefan Aarnio: Paul, that’s tremendous. I’m so happy you said that stuff, because –
Paul Kazanofski: Thanks, bro.
Stefan Aarnio: When I’m training people I want them to do a minimum … And these are part-time guys, minimum 50 calls, ten offers a week, minimum, to be a player.
Paul Kazanofski: Yeah, and I like that. Actually, that is a good goal for a newer person coming into your office. Look, it, sometimes it feels like it’s overwhelming. I work the phones myself sometimes when we don’t have a line in inventory, and I’ll do it in front of my guys. I’ll teach them. I’ll empower them. I’m not one of these guys that tell you to get underneath the house and not get underneath the house myself. I’ll get on the phones in front of my guys and I’ll show them how to sell. Let me tell you, Stefan and I were talking about selling. It’s not a taboo word. A lot of people look at selling, “Oh, I’m not good at sales. I’m not a salesperson.” You don’t have to be a salesperson with maybe the dynamics of a Stefan Aarnio or a Paul Kazanofski, but you do it in your own way and you don’t tell your own mind that you can’t sell or get on the phones or you can’t close someone. You will get better. Don’t get discouraged. You a have to do those reps.
Paul Kazanofski: Everybody in the world has to sell. I always say, “The best people who sell themselves or sell a product that they believe in, or sell themselves to get a house, for instance, they’re always selling.” I met my wife at a Starbucks and I don’t even drink coffee, and I sold her on me. I told her how great and wonderful I was. Just kidding, but you know …
Stefan Aarnio: While we were … I did a Facebook live last night, you were talking about, about dating.
Paul Kazanofski: Yes.
Stefan Aarnio: Versus real estate acquisitions and how work in the MLS and work in online dating are the same. Now, you told me how you met your wife. What was the line you used when you met your wife? Because you’re a dynamic salesman, dynamic negotiator. Tell me how that went, because people at home they’re going to learn from Paul Kazanofski.
Paul Kazanofski: They’re going to … You guys could use this. Look, when I sell, okay, I’m not achieving sales guy, trying to be sales-y. I’m myself. I got in there and put my heart and soul into it and I was at a Starbucks. I had a meeting on 29th Avenue here in downtown in Nashville, many, many years ago. I walk into a Starbucks to get really a soda, a soda pop, a drink. There was nothing around there. There was this Starbucks. I walk in and I see this cute girl with a red jacket on. She’s reading a book and her eyes meet my eyes and we smile at each other. I go about my business, go get the soda. I’m walking out and something tells me, something … I don’t know what it was. You talk about pulling the trigger and being an entrepreneur and being able to do things that no one’s willing to do to get success. I thought in my head, “I’m going to go talk to this girl.”
Paul Kazanofski: I didn’t know what I was going to tell her. We talk about sales. I didn’t know what I was going to say. I started walking towards her. Then, I walked up to her and I said, “Excuse me, I know you look busy there. I’m going to an important meeting and I need a woman’s opinion on something.” She looked at me like of course she would look at any other guy. I said, “No, no. It’s serious. I swear. I’m not trying to be funny or nothing. I need a woman’s opinion on something. It’s a very important meeting.” She goes, “All right. I’ll try to help you.” She’s smiling. I said, “What do you rate me on a scale of nine to ten?” She started laughing and she goes, “Oh my god, I’ve never heard this one.” I’m like, “Believe me, I’ve never heard this one either.” She goes, “I give you an 11, because one point for originality.” I said, “Well, we’ve established one thing. You don’t need glasses. Your eyes are good.”
Paul Kazanofski: We started talking and the rest is history. Today is her birthday, actually, and we’ve been together for 11 years now. We have a great marriage, she’s supportive. I tell a lot of entrepreneurs, “If you want to do something, especially if you’re a guy and you have a wife or a girlfriend and they’re not believing in you, it’s probably your fault, because you’re sleeping in, you’re not doing the necessarily boot to ground so to speak, like going to see houses and doing whatever business you choose to do, and getting up early, maybe working on a Saturday, sometimes Sunday. When you first start out, let me tell you, my first four years in this business, I could tell you, I didn’t take a vacation and I really didn’t take a day off. If you want people to believe in you, or if it’s a spouse or a girlfriend or a boyfriend, if your an entrepreneur and you want your husband or boyfriend to stand by you, you’ve got to show them the passion. You’ve got to show them that you are going to win, you’re going to win your perspective business that you want to do.”
Paul Kazanofski: That’s what I showed my wife every day. She saw me every day grind and respect the grind. It’s not just a saying, it’s a lifestyle. You have to respect it, because that’s where the beautiful thrive comes from. You have your dream, you have your hustle, and we talked about the hustle. Then, you get to the thrive. That thrive is a beautiful place, but you can’t get there without the pain and the hard work and the dedication and the passion to get you there. It’s not easy, but it’s a beautiful place when you get to the other side of the pain of it. Does that make sense?
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Stefan Aarnio: I love what you’re saying, Paul. We talked about this briefly on the phone yesterday.
Paul Kazanofski: Yes.
Stefan Aarnio: Or a couple days ago, and you were saying … You said something that I love, I’m floored by it. There’s so many people out there, especially men. I talk to a lot of men. My audience is 85% men, and the men always say, “I want to do real estate. I want to be a real estate investor, I want to be an entrepreneur, my wife won’t let me have it, I’ve got to talk to my wife.” I always say to them, “Dude, it’s because you’re not successful in what you’re doing, and if you were, if you were the man, if you were the leader like she wants. She wants you to be the man, be the leader, she would say, ‘Hunny, do whatever you want.'”
Paul Kazanofski: Yeah. My, I’ll be honest with you. My wife does never, does never throw up roadblocks in my business at all. She’s very supportive. I earned that respect. If you want to be a man, you have to be a man. You wan to be a leader, you have to be a leader. You have to lead your family, you have to lead your family at the office, because those people are my family. I have to lead my contractors, my subcontractors, my crew members, my project managers. I lead everyone and I do it with vigor. I don’t do it with, “Yeah, if you want to get that done,” whatever. I do it with passion and vision. I paint the vision daily. I paint the vision daily with everybody around me. That’s, if you’re listening and you’re feeling me and my words, and I’m coming from my heart and not some kind of book. I’m not a book smart guy, I don’t read, I don’t read fast, I’m dyslexic, like I said at the top of the show.
Paul Kazanofski: I lead my example. I self educated myself. Now I do love reading and I really work on my craft. We talked about that. In order for you to have the support that you need to be an entrepreneur, you have to paint that vision, you have to be the leader. Don’t, hey, don’t pussyfoot around. Be real. Grab your stones and say, “Look, we’re going to do this and we all have to be on the same page. You’re going to watch me get up on Saturday at 5:00 in the morning and evaluate houses. We’re going to go look at houses on Sunday. The family’s going to rally around our success. We’re not going to go out and frivolously spend, because we need to take that money and put it back into the business.” When you want a great girlfriend or a great wife, or you want respect, you must respect yourself first, first. If you respect yourself and you give that work ethic, and people around you cannot help but follow you and want to be a part of something.
Paul Kazanofski: I, most of the people in my business, I hand picked and I empowered them. They’re intrepreneurs. They’re entrepreneurs within my business and I give them that leeway to make mistakes and to try different things, because I’m constantly pushing them to the next level. That’s called leadership. That’s called loyalty. That’s called integrity and character. You want to have that respect, you have to have all these qualities and you have to have the passion and the vision, the vision to paint to each and every person in their lane, because everybody is worth something in your business and in your family, and your wife or your husband, or whoever the entrepreneur is. Thre’s people and players in place, and it’s up to you to get them to the next level and push them. If they don’t want to come along and you’re not doing … Or you are doing all this stuff, I should say, and somebody is the poison, rotten apple, you have to make that hard decision. You have to cut some workers or if, even if you have your wife working in your business and she doesn’t believe, you have to say, “Hunny, I love you, but I cannot have you working in my business. People around are watching us not be on the same page.”
Paul Kazanofski: Those are my tidbits on success. There’s no such thing as a self-made man. There is no such thing. It takes team, it takes effort, it takes empowering, it takes discipline, it takes all of the things we are talking about here on this podcast. Does that make sense, buddy?
Stefan Aarnio: I love it, Paul. Again, you’re dropping major, major truth bombs here for people at home. I love what you were talking about with vision and leadership. Those two words are buzz words. People hear leadership, they hear vision –
Paul Kazanofski: Of course.
Stefan Aarnio: I used to look at guys like John Maxwell, I’m sure you’ve heard of him, he’s a leadership –
Paul Kazanofski: Yes.
Stefan Aarnio: “I’d say leadership, what is that?” For the people at home, how do you build leaders? Leaders are the key to building a company. I’ve met your team. Your guys are fantastic. You guys got great energy.
Paul Kazanofski: Thank you.
Stefan Aarnio: Your guys start doing pushups in the middle of the day. I’ve seen it. I see you guys doing that. You guys do pushups, you love each other, you’re like a family. How do you build those leaders in your organization for people trying to grow their companies?
Paul Kazanofski: Great question, buddy. The way I do it, honestly, is by leading by example. That’s number one. We touched upon that a little earlier. One thing is I encourage them to be better people themselves. I encourage them to read. I encourage them to go to seminars. I encourage them to get coaching not just by me, but other people, because sometimes getting the coaching from the same person … It’s like when you have a kid and you’re trying to get him to do something, sometimes he needs to hear it from his uncle or somebody else other than the same voice. I constantly push them out of their comfort zone and I watch, and I don’t micromanage that much. I help, but I don’t micromanage. I let them stumble, I let them fail forward, and when they make a mistake, we talk about it and try to find out why. “Why did you make the mistake? Why did that happen?” And not tear into someone without respect. I love to respect people. Now, if someone’s disrespecting me, I’m also a man, and I’m going to put my arm down.
Paul Kazanofski: The truth of the matter is when you’re building leaders, you have to let them make their own mistake at times and nurture that and learn by it and push them, get them out of their comfort zone, because most people, they want to go to that comfort zone. We talked about the path of least resistance. You have to get uncomfortable. You hear this and you’ve read this in all of the books and so on and so forth and these are buzz words, like Stefan, you said. The truth of the matter is you got to be real. You got to be real. It’s about being real. You don’t have to sound like everybody else. You have to nurture what their strengths are and build that, and then let them lead. Let them lead. A lot of people want to micromanage and control everything around them. I tell people, I often tell people, “If you have a girlfriend and you’re controlling her and telling her and on and on and on, telling her what to … She’s eventually going to fly away. You’re going to lose that. You’re over-compressing the relationship.”
Paul Kazanofski: That’s what I always say to build a great leaders, don’t compress that relationship. Let it flourish.” You see what I’m saying, buddy?
Stefan Aarnio: I love it. I love it, Paul. You’re touching on relationships, you’re touching on men, you’re touching on women. Now, I think right now there’s a crisis of masculinity in the marketplace. In the Western world, in Canada, in U.S.
Paul Kazanofski: Yes.
Stefan Aarnio: Men are no longer men. On the flip side –
Paul Kazanofski: No.
Stefan Aarnio: Women aren’t women. There’s this men are now women and women are men. There’s this, almost a gender crisis going on where people can’t even figure out [crosstalk 00:30:09] –
Paul Kazanofski: You know what happened?
Stefan Aarnio: What happened?
Paul Kazanofski: Here’s what happened. Yeah, the roles have reversed, because most men stopped being a man. They stopped going out there and winning. You have to win. A woman doesn’t want a man that she could walk all over. She won’t respect you, but at the same time, you have to be a great person too to her. There’s a fine line to everything in life. When you’re teaching people around your company, there’s a fine line. You can’t be a pushover, but also you can’t be one of these guys that cracks a whip every day and be disrespectful to everybody around you. You’re not going to have anybody around you. The women are, honestly, the women band together more now than ever. The men, you guys got to wake up, you guys got to grow some balls and get out there and fight for what you believe in. Don’t be passive and say, “Well, you know what, I’m okay making 35, 45, $55,000.” If you want the dream of being successful and being an entrepreneur and having that freedom to grow and to shape your life and paint a life of greatness, you have to suffer and you have to get out there and you have to be a man.”
Paul Kazanofski: When you see a woman trying to take advantage over that, she might not be the right woman for you, and vise versa. There’s a lot of women that have these overbearing men that are insecure and they cannot really lead. They’re fake, they’re fake by being this masculine, fake guy, immature and insecure. There’s a fine line to everything and you have to be able to find that line. For the men out there, you’ve got to grow some balls. You have to grow some balls. Stop being pussys. If you want to do some … I hear that all the time, “My wife won’t let me do it.” Guess what? You tell her, “Look, hunny, I’m going to prove to you that I’m going to win. When I win, I need your support. Let me go out there and win. Let me kill the deer and bring the meat home. Then, you will change your tune with me. I am going to do this and I’m going to prove to you and everybody that doubts me.”
Paul Kazanofski: You have to have that kind of passion. Let’s face it, being an entrepreneur, no one really gets how we think anyway. Remember, we were the outcasts, we were the people that weren’t supposed to make it, we were the people that were dumb in school, the C students. Guess what? You have to be the warrior out there. You have to take the bull crap that comes at you and file it away and keep moving forward. That means being a man and not allowing somebody to … Guess what? People that are closest to you, sometimes your wives or husbands or moms or dads are the worst people for your dreams. Sometimes then not knowing what your plans are is better for you, because they’re the ones who will crush your dreams faster than anybody around you will. I think, Stefan, Stefan you would agree with that, I’m sure, because we’ve had this conversation before in the past.
Stefan Aarnio: Paul, you and me we’re almost, we’re very similar guys, man. You’re 49. I’m 41.
Paul Kazanofski: We are.
Stefan Aarnio: We’re both Cancers. You’re a drummer.
Paul Kazanofski: Yes, we are.
Stefan Aarnio: I’m a bass player. You were a martial artist.
Paul Kazanofski: We’ve got a jam. We’ve got a jam, baby.
Stefan Aarnio: We’ve got a play, man. Come on … Actually, I’ve got to come down to Nashville and we’ll play. That’s what we’ll do. We’ll play, man. We’ve got a lot in common. We’re both street negotiators, we’re both sales guys. I almost look at you as an older version of myself, refined.
Paul Kazanofski: You’re like my little brother. You know why I love you, bro. You know why I love you, bro, because you’re like my little brother. Let me tell you, I’m proud of you and I’ve watched your growth and what you’ve done for so many people, and I know how passionate you are with your students and why you want them to grow and you pushed them. A lot of times we’ve talked about some of your students going, “My wife won’t let me or this and that.” Guess what, man? Listen. To be a man, to want what you want, you have to go through some hell sometimes. You have to get down and dirty and go, “You know what, hunny, I’m doing this. I hope you don’t stop loving me, but I’m doing this.” If you don’t stop loving me, I love myself too, I want to be something more than I am now. I’ve never had a bad relationship in my life. I swear to god. I say that to people. I never had a bad relationship in my life, because I know in the first week if a woman that I’m interested in or she’s interested in me, I know right away if she’s right for me or wrong for me.
Paul Kazanofski: A lot of you people, you don’t read the writing on the wall. You say, “Oh, well, maybe she’ll change. She’ll under … Or he’ll understand or she’ll …” Guess what? The writing is on the wall and there’s somebody out there for you and you have to know how to pick that person, just like you have to know how to pick a project manager or a contractor or how to talk to people. I negotiate all the time. You wrote that book, “Ten Commandments of Negotiations,” which my the way, Stefan, that book is so well written and so great.
Stefan Aarnio: Thank you.
Paul Kazanofski: I read that book twice and I can tell you, it saved me money, and guess what? I’m a great negotiator, but you know what? You have to re-engage your own mind. You have to … This is part of being the man by negotiating. I negotiate with my kids every day, for god’s sake. You’ve got to negotiate.
Stefan Aarnio: I love it.
Paul Kazanofski: You know what I’m saying, buddy?
Stefan Aarnio: Paul, switching gears a little bit, I love the relationships, I love the leadership. I love how you surround yourself with the right people. What is Paul Kazanofki’s obsession above all other things? What are you obsessed with?
Paul Kazanofski: Dude, I am obsessed with real estate. I swear to god, man, this is funny. I’m not even trying to be all smart and cuddle, warm and cuddly with this. I promise you guys out there listening to me, I’m obsessed with this stuff. I do never, I don’t stop. I’m obsessed with it. Guess what? To be successful, you have to be obsessed. When I was a fighter, I was obsessed. I was at the gym every day. I was learning my craft, asking questions, running, eating right, and so on and so forth. When I played drums on a high level, I was studying [inaudible 00:38:18]. I’m obsessed with real estate, so I’m constantly studying apartment buildings, single family homes, areas, what the market is doing, what’s the population, what’s the factory in that area? If that closes down, does all the, does the whole rental market bust out? You have to be passionate and obsessed with it. I’m literally obsessed with real estate. I swear to god, last weekend, 11 hours I was watching YouTube videos on self-help, things like Anthony Robbins, Cardon Stefanarnio, JP Fox, all the people that I respect out there that are doing what they say they’re doing.
Paul Kazanofski: Stefan, you do what you say you’re doing. Paul Kazanofski, this so-called bad guy, does what he does. We do what we say we’re doing. Yeah, we do coach and we speak and we make money doing that, but believe me you, that’s not where I make the bulk of my money. I make the bulk of my money doing what we’re talking about here, being obsessed with real estate, putting in the offers and the repetition and the discipline. Does that make sense, buddy?
Stefan Aarnio: I love it. It’s freedom through discipline. Now Paul, you said something there. We had dinner down in San Diego.
Paul Kazanofski: Yes.
Stefan Aarnio: We had a nice seafood dinner. I think you had chicken. I had scallops. You took me for dinner –
Paul Kazanofski: Yes, I remember that.
Stefan Aarnio: Very generous, man, and I love the conversation we had back then. You were talking about how the bad guy nowadays is actually the good guy, and people say, “Oh, it’s big, bad, Paul Kazanofski and the big, bad capitalist and the big, bad home flipper.” Tell the people at home a little bit how in today’s world the bad guy is actually the good guy.
Paul Kazanofski: Nobody, and that’s … I remember that conversation like it was yesterday, buddy. I feel like I’m getting old, Stefan. No, but truth be known, it’s true, because no one wants to talk about money. If you talk about money and you want money, you’re a greedy person. You’re selfish person. No. Like I said, at that dinner, and I say it all the time, in America and in the world now, not just in America, but in the world now, the bad guy is really the good guy, because they coin us the bad guy, because we want more out of life. Let me tell you, and I don’t publicize this that much, but feed 250 families every quarter. I give all the time, my time, my money, I help people and I empower people. Well, guess what? If I was a poor guy, there’s no way I would be able to do that. There’s no way. Guess what? My kids get to watch their father go out there every day and get what he wants. Guess what? He ain’t a bad guy. He’s actually a good gy and in this country the so called good guy, the guy that comes around and says, “Oh, I’m a good guy. I’m the good guy,” he’s the guy you better watch. He’s the guy that’s going to do the reach around and grab your wallet and not ask for permission to grab it.
Paul Kazanofski: Let me tell you, the guy who’s honest, who speaks from the heart, who talks the truth, who’s not afraid to be judged. There’s going to be people out there that judge me. There’s sometimes people that judge me, but you know what, you cannot say one thing, “He’s not at least honest.” I speak from my heart and truth. That’s part of being a leader and that’s part of being what they coin, they out there, the so called people that go to school, get a regular job like mom and dad told them to do, but guess what? Just because they go into a building with a while collar, doesn’t mean that they’re a good guy. You see what I’m saying? Being a entrepreneur, if someone thinks you’re a bad guy or a greedy guy, because you want more … People will always, you will hear people say this, because they say this to me all the time. “Aren’t you happy? You got these houses? You live here. You drive this,” whatever, whatever, and on and on, “And you’ve got this drive. Why do you want more?” “Because I will never stop wanting more, because I have the capabilities of getting there. Somehow, someway I was blessed with this insatiable appetite to be successful. That way I can help other people around me.”
Paul Kazanofski: That sounds like I’m Mother Theresa. I’m not trying to be Mother Theresa. She passed away many, many freaking years ago, but what I am saying is it’s true talk. I take my time out for people all the time. People want to pick away my brain at lunch. I let them and I end up usually paying, for god’s sakes, but it’s okay because you know what? I’m always trying to leave a legacy and not just chase the money, but I’m not afraid to tell people I want money and I’m not afraid to say it here live in front of this podcast. I say it in front of hundreds of people that I’m speaking, but I’m not afraid to tell somebody that I want more out of my life, because I do. That’s honest and that’s real talk from the heart. If people want to say I’m the bad guy, I’ll play the bad guy role, but let me tell you this. Bad guy don’t do drugs, he doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, he doesn’t gamble, I’ve never cheated on my wife, never cheated on a girlfriend, I’ve never cheated on my friends. I’m very loyal and character driven. If I’m the bad guy, I like where I sit as the bad guy. I want more bad guys like me around.
Stefan Aarnio: Well, Paul, what you’re saying there, and I love what you said about the good guy who’s going to give you the reach around and take your wallet. We live in a world now where you’re a leader and leaders make hard decisions and hard times make strong men. You got to be there making the hard decision and it’s the right decision, it’s the good decision, but it’s not comfortable. I love what Steve Jobs says. He says, “If you want to be a leader or if you want to be liked, don’t be a leader. Go sell ice cream. Everyone will love you if you sell ice cream.”
Paul Kazanofski: I remember. I read that. I read that. I read that. Yeah, I read that Steve Jobs said that.
Stefan Aarnio: To the young people out there, Paul, we’ve got to wrap up here in a couple minutes, to the young people out there, what do young people need to succeed nowadays? We got the Millennials, we’ve got all these groups, all these different people. How do young people succeed nowadays?
Paul Kazanofski: I will tell you this. A lot of people talk about the Millennials being lazy, wanting everything. You know what? Most of the guys in my office and my core business are Millennials. You know what? I’m proud of these guys. There’s a lot of Millennials out there that are wise and they are innovators. I love being around young people. It actually keeps me young and so on. Don’t let people think because you’re a younger Millennial that you’re not going to succeed or you’re like everybody else. “Oh, I want a free handout,” and so on and so forth. What I say for young people is, “Get a mentor. Get a coach. Get with somebody who’s actually doing it, but get somebody that you believe in. You don’t have to call me or Stefan. You got to get someone that you believe in.” Now, me personally, anybody who coaches with me or coaches with Stefan, I know they’re in good hands. That’s not me selling here. That’s me being honest.
Paul Kazanofski: When you’re younger, don’t be the smart man. Be the wise man, because a wise man learns from other peoples mistakes. Get with a mentor. Get with a coach. Get with someone who’s doing it and honestly, get away from people that are pulling you down. If it’s other younger people that don’t see eye to eye with what your vision of growth and being an entrepreneur is, then you need to cut them, not because you’re an un-loyal person and not a good person, but because you’ve got to get rid of them, because they will take you down. Get around people that are successful, that want to help you, that give you a hand up. Be energetic and learn and ask questions. I have a kid working for me. His name’s Marcus. Marcus just graduated from the UFC in California. He came out here to flip a house. He flipped a house, he failed miserably. When he was closing the house at the title company, and he’s a Millennial, a very smart Millennial by the way. He said to the, at Foundation Title Company, “I need a mentor. Do you recommend anybody? Who closes the most deals that you know?”
Paul Kazanofski: They gave him my number, and he has enough stones to pick up the phone and called me, and said, told me the truth. Don’t be above and don’t lie and say, “I made 100,000 on my first flip.” He told me the truth and said, “You know what? I failed miserably. I lost money and I know I need somebody like yourself, Paul, to help me.” I said, “What are you doing tomorrow?” You’d be surprised. People that get the success and to get to a certain level, they want to help people around you. For you young guys, don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t be afraid to seek out people that you believe in. Do your due diligence on that person. Just because that person says he does something doesn’t mean he does it. If somebody tells you to over-leverage, over-leverage, over-leverage, and some of these gurus are online and I’ve watched them, “Over-leverage, over-leverage.” What happens when the bottom falls out? What are you going to do then?
Paul Kazanofski: Get that mentally. Get the right person. There’s a happy medium to everything. Now Marcus not only has … We’ve done two flips. I’ve held his hand through them, and he now works with me every day and he makes phone calls, door knocks, does the mailers and gets on the phones, and I’m teaching him the right way to do it and what to say. I love some of the creative assets that he comes up with as a Millennial, because remember, I’m 49 going on 50 in three months. I’m not the computer guy. Remember, I wasn’t the smart guy. I wasn’t the so-called brilliant mind. You know what I got brilliant at? I got brilliant at making some freaking money. Let me tell you something. I’d rather be brilliant at that, than be good, a mathematician and do calculus all day.
Stefan Aarnio: Well, Paul, I love it, man. You’re pure practicality, pure discipline, pure leadership. We’ve got to wrap up here –
Paul Kazanofski: Thanks.
Stefan Aarnio: In a minute. Before we go, Paul, is there any programs –
Paul Kazanofski: Yes.
Stefan Aarnio: Or causes you want to promote for the people at home?
Paul Kazanofski: No, no. I don’t want to promote nothing. This was more for putting out my heart and soul to you guys. I want people to be successful. Believe me, I love it when I hear success stories. I know so many people that get jealous. If you get jealous for peoples success, then you better check yourself. Look in the mirror and see what’s wrong with you. When you see other people succeed, that should motivate you to succeed, instead of be jealous about them. As far as any programs and that, I think honestly, Stefan, I got your program. I know all about your program. You remember when we were at, in San Diego. I told everybody, “Man, this guy’s program’s great.” I believe in you. I’ve seen your growth. When you came out here five years ago, spend time with me for a week and see my operation, and to see you grow and to see your success, man, I am so proud of you. I love you, brother, like brother. You’re like my little brother. I swear. I love you that much.
Paul Kazanofski: I’m so proud of you reaching out and helping the thousands of people that got your products and your tapes and books. I’m proud of you, bro. I talk about you all the time and I feel like I have a small part of watching you grow too, and that excites me and it makes me want to give more. If you’re listening to that, take that to the bank, because that’s where the profits in life begin, because it’s not … We talk about money. We talk about leadership. We talk about goal setting. We talk about a lot of things, but let me tell you, when you have all those things, be a great person and be a loyal and character driven guy on top of it. Stefan, you are that guy, bro.
Stefan Aarnio: Well, thank you, Paul. I really appreciate the interview today. Like you said, it’s your heart. It’s your soul. You are one of the easiest people to interview, because everything you say, man –
Paul Kazanofski: Thank you.
Stefan Aarnio: Is pure gold, pure money. Thank you so much for being on the call today. Anything else you want to say to the people before you wrap up?
Paul Kazanofski: No, thanks. I want to say I believe in people. Get a mentor, get a couch, and do it. Just do it, guys. Don’t be scared. We all get scared. I get scared every day. Just put that fear away and get to it, guys. You can do it. I promise you, this is not rah, rah, Anthony Robins here. This is true. This is from a kid that came from nothing that was supposed to have nothing, and now I enjoy a beautiful life with a great family and a great company and great friendships that I built along the way. You guys could do it too. Do not let fear or anybody with their negativity get in your way. It was a pleasure being a part of this, man. Stefan, again, I appreciate you, brother.
Stefan Aarnio: Thank you, Paul. I appreciate you, brother, and respect that grind. We’ll see you on the next show, buddy.
Paul Kazanofski: You got to love life.
Stefan Aarnio: You got to love life.
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