Life Behind the Highlight Real

Ep 32: The Fuel From Failure with Nick Dreher

June 06, 2022 Sarah Huffman & William Huffman Season 1 Episode 32
Ep 32: The Fuel From Failure with Nick Dreher
Life Behind the Highlight Real
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Life Behind the Highlight Real
Ep 32: The Fuel From Failure with Nick Dreher
Jun 06, 2022 Season 1 Episode 32
Sarah Huffman & William Huffman

Nick is not a man afraid to jump in feet first and figure things out along the way. 

It began at a young age when he started his own collection agency with a few friends. He also met, and eventually married his high school sweetheart.

Afterwards he went the safe route, landing a steady corporate job, which was fine until his job was eliminated. 

Now with a small family and a need to survive, he pivoted and went to work in the mortgage industry.

Things took off quickly.

Quickly to the point he was making $50 grand a month. Huge turn in his life. 

Then the market shifted. And that's when he realized his first mistake. He wasn't a student of his own business. 

He filed for bankruptcy, and once again, had to figure things out. 

Nick's story is a story of failure. But failure as fuel he used to rebuild a life. 

Not just rebuilding a business, but rebuilding a person and a life. 

Nick Dreher has a book for real estate agents that teaches common sense methods to success. 

 Find it here:

Magical Quotes:

"The best way to find success is to create and define your happiness, and determine what it is you can do to achieve that, that they'll pay you to do. "

"The core service provided by a real estate agent is clarity, empathy, and help."

"The wonderful thing about being older is not having the expectation that you think you know everything."

Show Notes Transcript

Nick is not a man afraid to jump in feet first and figure things out along the way. 

It began at a young age when he started his own collection agency with a few friends. He also met, and eventually married his high school sweetheart.

Afterwards he went the safe route, landing a steady corporate job, which was fine until his job was eliminated. 

Now with a small family and a need to survive, he pivoted and went to work in the mortgage industry.

Things took off quickly.

Quickly to the point he was making $50 grand a month. Huge turn in his life. 

Then the market shifted. And that's when he realized his first mistake. He wasn't a student of his own business. 

He filed for bankruptcy, and once again, had to figure things out. 

Nick's story is a story of failure. But failure as fuel he used to rebuild a life. 

Not just rebuilding a business, but rebuilding a person and a life. 

Nick Dreher has a book for real estate agents that teaches common sense methods to success. 

 Find it here:

Magical Quotes:

"The best way to find success is to create and define your happiness, and determine what it is you can do to achieve that, that they'll pay you to do. "

"The core service provided by a real estate agent is clarity, empathy, and help."

"The wonderful thing about being older is not having the expectation that you think you know everything."

William Huffman  0:00  
Hey everybody, William here and Sarah. And we just need to let you know that we are licensed real estate agents in the state of Minnesota with REMAX results, a good life group. And that's our little disclaimer. Everybody, here today we're gonna talk with Nick, and we might talk about a little wrestling. We might talk about, I don't know, Dairy Queen, and you know, bankruptcy. It all happens.

Nick Dreher  0:24  
The wonderful, wonderful thing about being is not having the expectation that you think you know everything. Yeah, it's so much simpler when you can say, I don't know, but I'm willing to learn.

Accouncer  0:35  
Welcome to Life behind the highlight reel. The podcast that takes things beyond the curated life we all see online. Join hosts Sarah and William Huffman as they dive in with their friends to talk about the good and the hard things that come with a real not perfect life behind the highlight reel.

William Huffman  0:56  
Everybody, William here add Sara, Ed. Jory. And Nick All right, who crushed it. And podcast.

Sarah Huffman  1:05  
I knew you were gonna say that crushed it that I was gonna say crushed it. No.

William Huffman  1:09  
podcast. Yeah. Because it was as good. I mean, you can't, you can't improve on Perfect. Well, I'm really excited for today's podcast, because we get to the point and actually talk to the guests.

Sarah Huffman  1:20  
Our fans need to know Nick, they demand

William Huffman  1:23  
to know Nick. So is it nick or Nicholas? Oh, it's Nick for most people. Okay, now is your is now the, I won't call it I'll call you Nick. Because that's your name. I'm a firm believer in Nick. But I have a friend His name is Nick. But his real name is Nicholas. And I like to call me like Nicholas and he loves it. He doesn't I think that like

Jorie  1:43  
it's so weird. I feel like now I'm gonna be like well yeah,

William Huffman  1:47  
that's fine. You can call

Nick Dreher  1:49  
me what you want. Really? I'm not you know, I mean most people call me Nick. My mom Nicholas okay when you're in trouble Yeah, right like the you know, or the I went to Catholic grade school.

Sarah Huffman  2:03  
Oh, there we go. Yeah, I

Nick Dreher  2:04  
got that a lot nickel a lot of Nicholas's but no, I you know, people, you know, I like pet names. I think pet names confer a sense of familiarity. So I like pet names people call

William Huffman  2:17  
me big papa pump. See.

Jorie  2:18  
Oh, my I didn't know who those people are. But is that nobody

Unknown Speaker  2:24  
from now on? Pop up pump on here where?

Jorie  2:27  
Yeah, I would write that down. This is weird. That's

William Huffman  2:29  
from WWE. Pub, a poem. He was a part of the degeneration X. I have not. I know that I used to like wrestling a lot.

Sarah Huffman  2:39  
You know I am that does not surprise me. Oh, yeah. All right. Okay, so now we have Nick Regulus on our puppet

William Huffman  2:47  
pool big. Please, please. Let's so we I totally regret saying no at this point.

Nick Dreher  2:53  
No, you don't. This is gonna stick forever. Yeah, it's not. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  2:56  
So well, why don't you meet Nick?

William Huffman  3:00  
Oh, man. Well, let's first start off by finding out who Nick is. And Ryan grew up and stuff and then we'll talk about that. So tell us like, Where were you born? Where do you go to school? We're back grow up. Did you go to college? All that stuff.

Nick Dreher  3:12  
All right. Well, how much time do we have today? Here? Yeah. No, I'll give you the truncated version. So I grew up on the east side of St. Paul for like, my formative years. Just before high school, we bought a piece of land in Wyoming, Minnesota, North of Forest Lake. And we

William Huffman  3:31  
that's a transition. Yeah, yeah. That's

Sarah Huffman  3:33  
a big transition. Yeah. You're going from, uh, east side to the north side. Yeah, yeah.

Nick Dreher  3:40  
That's why I love Big Poppa pump. Yeah. But but it was it was, it was interesting, because you go through a lot of transitions at that point in your life, right, where you're, where you're kind of formative years you spent with all these people. And all of a sudden, right before you go to high school, you transition to a new high school. So that was rough. But at the same time, I think it offered me an opportunity that I probably didn't understand at the time to get familiar with being uncomfortable, right. And so,

Sarah Huffman  4:08  
like, east side, St. Paul, urban, urban, and back when you were went to Wyoming Minnesota, that is not urban, rural, rural. Wow, what made the move?

Nick Dreher  4:20  
Um, I think my parents wanted land. I think they wanted to get out of the city. And they wanted a few acres. And, you know, at the time, 35 minutes away didn't seem that far, or, you know, 35 minutes seemed far, but it was still doable. Now, 35 minutes is people are very comfortable with that sort of easy.

William Huffman  4:37  
Yep, that's changed. I think just the last, gosh, four to six years realistically. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  4:45  
Well, I remember when we were first showing houses in Zimmerman, and we thought that was like the end of the

William Huffman  4:50  
Yeah, like there was nothing nor like it was determine. Then Canada and then polar bears

Jorie  4:56  
when we bought our maple grove house. David wanted to look in St. Michael's Six years ago, and I was like, oh, no, that is so far so far away. Now I'm there. Now

Nick Dreher  5:05  
you're there. Yeah. Well, I think that there are a few things that changed. One is property values, right? It made it so that you could accept driving a little bit further. And that became a part of our psyche, right is that listen, if you want, if you want affordability, there's an opportunity with rural areas or areas that aren't as close. And I kind of like my drive. Now I get 35 minutes on the front end, or the back end of my day, to decompress. I used to make a lot of phone calls during that time. I don't anymore. I use it. Yeah. Silence self self development. So it's either by yourself thinking about, you know, projecting your day and identifying that or, at the end of the day, it's projecting who I want to be when I get home. Instead of coming in hot phone calls, 35 minutes I come in, I don't get any time to decompress. I don't get any time to consider how I need to be present for my family. So I like the drive because it allows me to find that center point that I can then go in and be dad or in the morning, I can come in and be what they need me to be when I get there. Instead of that, you know, 30 minutes that a lot of people might take to drink their coffee in their office and get acclimated to the day. I'm already acclimated and ready to rock because I've been focused in that time, like 35 minutes, depending on where it had to be.

William Huffman  6:14  
Okay, well, we're skipping way ahead. We don't even know about high school or anything yet. No, no, we don't even know who the hell you are. And your turnover drop. Drop, like these knowledge bombs and stuff, which I appreciate. Keep going alright,

Nick Dreher  6:28  
so I married my high school sweetheart. We met in high school. We worked at the Dairy Queen together in Wyoming Minnesota. Oh my god. No, you did I have pictures.

William Huffman  6:38  
I have pictures. See, this is why I didn't want to skip and I did not know this. This is amazing.

Sarah Huffman  6:42  
So do you know how to do that? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker  6:44  
I can. I can get that I can do so you can make the squirrel

William Huffman  6:46  
on the cone. Okay. Okay. Were you there when they started the upside down thing, or? That was that was much after you there Right. Yeah. Okay.

Nick Dreher  6:53  
I don't think I would have done that. Very well. There. Yeah. It would have been messy. Yeah. No, yeah. So we met in high school and we worked together at the DQ we made cones and and so we been together ever

Sarah Huffman  7:06  
since ever since ever since. Okay, so it's your Dairy Queen order. So well. Okay,

Nick Dreher  7:10  
so where we live in Wyoming? They're really two restaurants three with McDonald's. So we usually still get ice cream from there. I still don't eat there a whole lot but do their chicken strip. Oh,

William Huffman  7:23  
absolutely. Not you this is the this is the next question. What's the dipping sauce?

Unknown Speaker  7:28  
The greater the gravy. That's America.

Jorie  7:31  
Let's see to get an extra side. You got honey? Buffalo sauce?

William Huffman  7:34  
No, no, you got to gravies Yeah, you get to grade one for the toast one

Jorie  7:38  
for the chicken stress and one for the price.

William Huffman  7:42  
You get to the fries. That's okay. Because the fries are hit and miss.

Sarah Huffman  7:45  
Okay, but it's true. What's your ice cream order at the Dairy Queen? Okay, so I have to

William Huffman  7:49  
Okay, so there's different times is the hard hitting content I

Nick Dreher  7:52  
really want to get when I feel differently about myself. So if I feel good I looked in the mirror. I felt good. We're getting a medium m&m Blizzard. Okay. Oh. m&m old school. Like that's just just m&ms Hold it down. Yes, it's m&ms and they put the chocolate sauce in there. And it's incredible. If I'm feeling like you know, maybe I just need a break on something right. Then I get a cherry start kiss, because there's only 90 calories.

Sarah Huffman  8:15  
What's the cherry circus

William Huffman  8:16  
and why does it even exist? This is not cool. It's like a popsicle. Oh,

Nick Dreher  8:20  
yeah. No. Except, yeah, except it looks like a. It almost looks like a like a Hi Fi. Oh, okay. Yes. It's a star, I guess. Yeah. It's

William Huffman  8:28  
like a star star. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Should

Unknown Speaker  8:32  
definitely use this. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  8:34  
This is. This is remedied. Yeah. High level. Okay.

William Huffman  8:37  
This is what we love. high school sweethearts

Sarah Huffman  8:39  
with your wife? Yes. high school sweetheart. And when did you get married?

Unknown Speaker  8:43  
We got married in an actually. It'll be 21 years on Thursday. Gradually Nice. So April 20. Continuously?

William Huffman  8:51  
Yeah. Okay, that's a question. We know some people who have not continuously been married.

Nick Dreher  8:55  
Now. Ours was continuous. Thankfully. Not saying that. There isn't some difficulties. I mean, marriage is tough no matter what marriage is even more tough when you marry your high school sweetheart, and you haven't had the opportunity to grow and really define yourself as an adult. So now you're defining yourself with an adult with somebody else at the same time.

William Huffman  9:13  
Yeah, it sounds like a nightmare. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, good job.

Unknown Speaker  9:16  
Yeah, it for us. It worked.

Jorie  9:17  
We not easy.

Nick Dreher  9:18  
Yeah, we tell our girls, this isn't something I don't want you to imagine that this is the way that your life is gonna go. I don't want to give you the expectation that that's gonna happen. It worked for us. And because it worked for us. We've been able to create a relatively good life and because we were learning at the same time, I always had somebody to to work with and to, you know, not that we always understand each other or always have understood each other. But we because we started together. I think we were we together we're more committed to our story. So we we did what you're supposed to do, right? I went to high school. I went to college. I thought

William Huffman  9:57  
what's the what's the mascot up there in Forest Lake. It's the rain. Ranger heightened Rangers

Nick Dreher  10:02  
waiting for that except the Rangers. Yeah, they've they've kind of dumbed it down a little bit the Ranger doesn't get to, to carry guns anymore. That's not appropriate in schools. So the Ranger is more like a, you know, like a like a sad cowboy but But it's okay, here we

William Huffman  10:18  
are. I went to I went to nerdy Ranger as in like Mr. Cool running through the forest ranger. Yeah, like, that's okay.

Sarah Huffman  10:25  
You lost me? Yeah. Where'd you go to college.

Nick Dreher  10:28  
So I got out of high school and I was going to be a police officer. And I always wanted to be a police officer. Little did I know that they have to follow a lot of rules. And I'm not super good with rules. And so I did my time between century a local community college and then Metro State. And then I decided that I didn't want to be a police officer. I did all the work. I went to all the classes, I did the skills training. And then I just knew that I did a few ride alongs. And he just found that I couldn't imagine spending every single day the rest of my life doing this, it just didn't. So then you pivot. Right. And that's where my story probably gets. More interesting for the topic today is I pivoted right away into real estate and mortgage.

William Huffman  11:15  
Oh, I apologize. We might not talk about real estate at all.

Nick Dreher  11:18  
Well, that's good. Because yeah, I can just tell you about what I went through. And maybe we shouldn't talk about No, yeah. No, I I was lucky. You know, I, I had gotten laid off. So after I did the college thing for being a police officer, I decided that I wanted to maybe go to law school or something like that, okay, again, didn't want to do that. I started working in a law firm, and I started doing collections. And I found that I liked it. I liked that I could control my schedule. I liked that I could control my income to some degree. And so we just, we just, I just went for it. Right. I got out. I worked for you know, I worked for a local broadcasting big broadcasting company. So at that moment, I thought I'd done everything I was supposed to do, quote unquote, supposed to do. Right? Go to college check. Yep, check, check. Right.

William Huffman  12:05  
Are you married at this time?

Nick Dreher  12:06  
Yes. We got married. So we got married in a one. So three years, four years after I graduated high school.

William Huffman  12:14  
Okay, yeah, you'd have been 2122. Yep, yep, exactly.

Nick Dreher  12:17  
And so. So we got married, and then we just kind of started to settle into what are we going to do? You know, like, and I knew early on, because I did some collection work in high school, I bought a collection agency or I started a collection agency with some friends in high school in high school. Just before we were graduating, we'd already been working for a couple of law firms. Because they paid good, right. Okay. So on the outside, I remember the sign said $12 An hour plus bonus. And this was in 1998. And I'm like, all in I'm like, okay, yeah, let's let's go to work. And I found that there was that sort of opened my eyes to things that I didn't know existed, right? Like, when we're, when we're children, there are a number of positions that are geared towards what you think you're, I'm going to be a police officer. I'm going to be a fireman. I'm going to be an attorney. I'm going to be a doctor or a nurse how to be a teacher. Right? Yeah, hit them all. Yeah. Or I'm going to be a professional athlete, which ends 40 pounds overweight, and a real estate agent. But but

William Huffman  13:22  
that yeah, that was the I was totally a pro athlete. Yes. No, but no. What

Sarah Huffman  13:25  
what did you want to be when you were a kid? marine biologist?

Nick Dreher  13:28  
See, I think some people wanted that seemed like, way more work. No, my wife wanted to be a marine bio.

William Huffman  13:34  
Yeah, yeah. Until I realized how scary the ocean is. Yeah, yeah. It's soup. It's monster soup. It's scary. No, no, what

Jorie  13:42  
came first land creatures or sea creatures,

William Huffman  13:44  
sea creatures came first, you know, don't you do? That's just ridiculous. Moving chicken or

Nick Dreher  13:50  
the egg or the chicken or the egg? No. So I you know, so I was given an opportunity to get involved in our business very early.

William Huffman  13:58  
So hold on all that all that online? Yep. You started a collection business? Yes. And high school. Most people don't realize how easy it is to buy debt. Yes. So tell us a little bit about that.

Nick Dreher  14:10  
Well, the fun thing about I think the fun thing about being an entrepreneurs is it's finding unique ways to make money. And one of those ways was buying debt. So what maybe the rest of your audience doesn't know is that there are clearing houses at the time, it was a little bit more difficult because we didn't have the internet the way we have the internet today. But we could go in and buy debt. So say bought it for 10 cents on the dollar. And I'm not buying one singular debt, right? I'm buying a brick a package of debt. That is currently either half of its being serviced, you know, a quarter of it, or maybe none of it. Maybe it's all already been written off. And that determines the value of the paper that it's written on. And then you determine what that value is to you. What is the likelihood of me being able to collect it? Well, the nice thing I realized that being young is that you could say I can go to work every day. I could work for dairy queen or I could work for any number of other businesses at that time. And to be fair, I probably could have made decent money. But what I couldn't do is control my time. I'm young, I want to have fun, I want to hang out. I don't want to do what I've always done, right? I didn't want to go work for somebody, the way I had been working for somebody forever. I wanted to be able to get out. And I wanted to be able to enjoy my time. And I knew that I wasn't great at working for other people. And so we myself and two other guys got together and said, Okay, how do we do this? Let's, let's start a company called capital city recoveries. We are St. Paul kids. And and so that's that kind of started the idea that you couldn't do fun things that were different from what other people were doing. And so we did that for for a couple years through college where we were able to make some money and still do collections. And then what is that value? What is the value of that. So as you mentioned about selling debt, it's fun, because you could buy $60,000 in debt for 60 bucks, or you know, or 600 bucks. And then you could attempt to collect that or attempt to liquidate some of it. And you could sell the debt back. So let's say you bought it for 10 cents on the dollar. And I doesn't matter what I collected, but whatever I didn't collect goes back into that brick. And I can then sell it back for eight cents on the dollar. So only lost two cents on the dollar for the business I bought, but I ended up bringing in 4.7 cents on that. So I made a profit of 2.7 cents per dollar. And so we did that. The thing is, I think I was probably still convinced that I was supposed to get a real job one day. And so as soon as I had an opportunity to get a real job, I have a real job air quotes for those of you that can't see me. Yeah. And so after, after, you know, after I decided that, you know, we got married we were we'd gotten she'd gotten pregnant with our first pretty much on our honeymoon. I don't know how that works.

William Huffman  16:59  
Science, Science scientists all that work science. Thank

Nick Dreher  17:02  
God, there's some explanation. Yeah, I don't know any more than that. Would you say about Big Poppa pump? Yeah.

William Huffman  17:12  
That felt right.

Unknown Speaker  17:15  
So this is gonna get cut to

William Huffman  17:17  
Oh, no, no, this is getting settled. Yeah. We actually add more in later. See, this is good.

Nick Dreher  17:23  
Yeah. No. And then it was it was, you know, I think as an early parent, I was like, oh my god, I just have to get to work. And I have to do and I'm So how old

William Huffman  17:33  
were you when your first child was born? 23. And she is now in college. Right? Correct. Yeah. Okay. Correct. Because she's the one you just had to go rescue the other day got in Rochester. Okay, cool. glad everything worked out there. But yeah,

Unknown Speaker  17:46  
yes. But yeah, she's my oldest she got to be a deer.

William Huffman  17:49  
Yeah. It's better to be a deer. Or a dab, right? Yeah. Yeah. All right, Dad, I'm

Nick Dreher  17:54  
gonna leave an event after, after we've been having a good night to drive all the way to. But I did get to save her. So that was, yes. You know, it's you don't get that you don't get those same opportunities as your children get older.

William Huffman  18:05  
So 23 first child's born, got to quote unquote, get a real job. What does that mean? So

Nick Dreher  18:13  
I have a job where you go to work every single day from 730 until 430, you answer to a boss. And that is supposed to be and we all know the lead up to this, right that's supposed to be safe, secure, you're supposed to guarantee that you did all the right things. And now I can go and have a great life. And I just get to go to the job every day and I get to pay my bills and I get happiness. This is the American Dream security. Right? It's all it's all fake. We all know that.

William Huffman  18:37  
We keep it PG 13. So we can say shit, we're good. Yeah, we just try not to drop you off. It's all bullshit. Drop

Sarah Huffman  18:43  
the F bomb then we turn explicit or being here. Yeah,

Nick Dreher  18:48  
I mean, I can go either way. If we're being honest. I'm good with it. No, but I it was it was it was in that moment, right where? After 911 The company had worked for it cut a really great puzzle. They cut all the cutters entire department. 109 of us. Again, it was a it was a local firm, but they're a big company. And

William Huffman  19:10  
just the broadcasting thing. Yeah. Okay. Yeah.

Nick Dreher  19:13  
I don't suppose it matters. If we put it on here. It's Hubbard broadcasting. So Channel Five channel 45. Okay. 1500 45

William Huffman  19:18  
That's yeah. Oh, well.

Nick Dreher  19:23  
Now that my wife is 45 I sent it to her like that sometimes. But it was it was in that moment that they're pulling you back to this room, right? And in this room, they're going to tell you that you've been laid off my wife is seven months pregnant. And I you know, you're too young to realize or to you lack the wisdom to understand what's happening. Again, everything I was supposed to do. I held up my end of the bargain and now I'm without a job and without insurance and my wife is so from that moment.

William Huffman  19:57  
Everything's fine, right Jerry? Everything's fine. I don't like that. Yeah.

Nick Dreher  20:02  
Like, no. Yeah. And I went home that night. And it was it was a few months after 911 that they did come to the conclusion that they were going to cut this department. And they were fantastic to us from the standpoint of, of severance and packaging put together, they were awesome. But it's still meant that I didn't have a job. Yeah. And going in as a new family. And then also believing some unrealistic things about parenting and about fatherhood and about families. And you're a young kid and young guy, and you believe that there was, you know, you believe all these things that you think about the world are true, when in reality, they're probably not. Yeah, you know. And so in that moment, I felt, you know, defeated. What it what it allowed me to do was, was I had to contact somebody that knew me and said, Hey, I understand that you've been let go from your position, would you be interested in working in mortgages? And I was like, I don't know. Perfect time. Here we go. Yes. And I was like, I remember. I mean, I remember working. I remember the first weekend I went to work for them. I met them on a Tuesday, they hired me at an olive garden. Right over here. They hired me at an olive garden. And what did you eat? And I was still get the same thing. Soup salad and breadsticks. Zupa there it

William Huffman  21:23  
is. Okay. Yeah. We, when we bring up restaurants, we need to know what you order it that's important. It's

Nick Dreher  21:29  
for lunch. I mean, if it's gonna be later, you can have the vino. And then you can like do some shrimp scampi. But if it's for lunch, you got to just respect your time. And you got to get in and out. So yeah, I had that. They offered me the job. On Saturday, I went to work for them Saturday, and they posted ads in the paper to make the phone ring and the phone rang. And I got there at 730. Right. And nobody else was nobody else showed up. I had no idea what I was doing. Except there was a stack of applications. And the phone just kept ringing. So I just kept filling them out, filling them out, filling them out first day that I was in the mortgage business. I did 17 loan apps. So I was like, what, what like, what is going on? I was like, and no one showed up and everything is fine. Everything's fine. Everything's fine. So I call the guy that hired me and go, Hey, Eric. I think I took 17 amps, the phone rings off the hook. And he goes, Oh, Craig and Mark are there and I go Cricket Cricket marker in here. And he goes, You're the only one there I go. Yeah. And he goes, How do you know how to quote rates? And I go, because it's set it on a whiteboard that this was the race for the day? And he goes, Okay, good. Start good start not sure if that's gonna. And I was just like, okay, and but it found its way to work out if there

William Huffman  22:37  
was there was this before after your 20 hour mortgage class? Oh, this

Nick Dreher  22:41  
was the we didn't have mortgage classes at the time. There was no, there was no at the time that I started in. So that would have been to me, it would have been so that would have been? Oh, 2102. So it would have been 20 years ago that that fall that I took the job in mortgage,

William Huffman  22:58  
there was no requirements to become a mortgage officer.

Sarah Huffman  23:00  
None of that happened after 2008. It did. It did.

William Huffman  23:03  
And it's now it's only 20 hours. But compared to time, 90 real estate Ooh. But

Unknown Speaker  23:07  
at the time, there was none.

William Huffman  23:09  
That isn't say I have a friend who was a felon. His name's Nate. And it makes so much sense to me now that how he was a mortgage broker during that time. Yep. Because I'm like, How the hell did you can

Sarah Huffman  23:20  
just put out like a generic name like that, because people could think,

Unknown Speaker  23:24  
well, it's you, Nate, whoever Nate is.

William Huffman  23:27  
If you're listening to this, it's probably not you because I don't know if Nate's still in around Plus,

Unknown Speaker  23:33  
he's listening in prison. Yeah, he's

William Huffman  23:34  
that's a good possibility.

Nick Dreher  23:36  
The thing I think that happened in the early part of, of the mortgage, the mortgage brokering is that it was the Wild Wild West, it was a wide open opportunity for people just to go crazy. The things that we were selling the mortgage backed securities, the things that were happening, we've all seen The Big Short, that's what I worked for what I would consider to be a core group of people who, whose intentions were to just do a lot of rate and term refinances. We didn't do a whole lot of BC paper, meaning we weren't writing a lot of under, you know, we weren't writing people that were already struggling. It didn't doesn't mean that it didn't happen. But I also found really quickly for me that I didn't love. I didn't love the mortgage part of it. I like being able to help people doing it during the refinances was fantastic. Because I got that that person to person conversation, I got that opportunity to really be involved. But as we got busier and as it became less about refinances and more about, you know, purchase business, it started to shift for me so, so to shift, we had some access to some pretty big projects in the Twin Cities to be their mortgage. And we started sitting in there like developments.

William Huffman  24:53  
Yeah, okay. It's like new home construction, condos, stuff like that. Okay.

Unknown Speaker  24:57  
So what we did was we started to get really serious With a few people about sitting in the model, in this particular one, it was an 81 unit condo 81 unit condo building with 30,000 square feet of retail space. It was one of the first in our area to do a mixed. So you'd have retail, but you'd also have some office and then you'd have these condos right these, like about Yeah, and it was brand new, and they were going towards the idea was that it was it would be it was right off at 24th in Chicago, right where all the hospitals are. So you'd have a gentrification, if you will, of that area, and you'd be able to drive it in. So we started, actually, what's what's really funny, as somebody that we know, through the association, was currently running the project. And she did, they did a fantastic job, but it just wasn't moving. And I was there all the time. And the owner at the time, the developer said, Why don't you get your real estate license, you've sold eight of these yourself. I listened to you talk to people, you get licensed. So I got licensed, started my own brokerage promptly lost about $85,000. Because what year is this? This would have been Oh, this would have been oh five that we did that. Oh, your timing

William Huffman  26:05  
is so beautiful, right? You're doing great, right? Good job, buddy. Just

Nick Dreher  26:09  
just just setting that that. Oh, yeah, we're gonna get placed this Yeah, shouldn't go up. And then it

William Huffman  26:14  
didn't nobody, nobody will. Some people knew. I just I don't want to derail you. But your story. I just read a stat this morning that in 2002, through 2007, they were doing about 320 to $350 billion dollars a year in subprime mortgages, that 620 and below credit score, according to what subprime is, if I read that correctly, today, they're doing about 40 billion, just just in comparison, because there's still FHA products that would identify the 80, which is really good, because some people really need to get into a home. But that's just a fantastic stat that I saw that it was for years and years and years, they did over one and a half trillion dollars in subprime with like new underwriting guidelines, but blah, blah, blah, here and there. Okay, so 2005, you made a fantastic decision to lose $85,000 to start a brokerage. Good job.

Nick Dreher  27:07  
Yes. Yeah. i One of the things that I would say is in lieu of a, an Ivy League education, entrepreneurs get a real real life. Yeah. Like, example of, of taking chances and doing work. So you lose money sometimes, right? Because you make what you would consider to be, you know, I've taken into consideration all of the components, right, here's the equation, at least as I see it, and then move. That's not it. Right? What I think I

William Huffman  27:37  
what I think 85,000 is actually not not that's pretty cheap.

Nick Dreher  27:41  
It was actually four of us each put in at five and we lost all of that. Yeah. Right. So each of us put in at five apiece. And the thing is, is there were a few things that happened. And this is where my I think, for me, real learning happened, right, is that we had the best of intentions, we had people who were willing to work hard, right? But we didn't have the right information. And the information was is that a lot of times there is there are two components that are important in our business or important in any business, right, which is the excitement to do it. Right. But then the knowing the information that you have is correct, knowing that that the research you've done is pulled this to this point. Otherwise, you're making decisions blind. And at that point, I was a young kid who'd had a wildly successful start to my career, right. 17 units on my first day, my first month, I closed more than my first my first month from the time that we started closings, right, because you figure about 30 days. So in that first 30 days, I went from making, I don't know, let's say 45 or 50. Before that to where I was making 45 or 50 a month. You know, I was young, I was arrogant to the reality that that at the time, everything felt awesome. Oh, you were Superman, right? Yeah. I'm like, I walk into the room and tell him my dad, you know, he worked at Medtronic for 35 years. Why would you do that?

William Huffman  29:05  
Why would you want that? Yeah. Why are you so silly? Why do you have this job? Yeah,

Nick Dreher  29:08  
when I have this, and then the market shifted. Right. And we hadn't done I had done none of the things I should have done. I didn't learn the things I should have learned. I didn't learn how to prospect I didn't learn how to I learned how to order take like a like a waitress or server or waiter waitress. And I was really good at that. But that wasn't enough to up and

William Huffman  29:33  
are attending when you say market shift. What do you mean? Well,

Nick Dreher  29:36  
I mean that I mean that initially, you had you had an ebb and a flow to business. Right. So let's get let's use refinances. In early part of my career. The rates have dropped from eight, eight and a half, seven, seven and a half, six, six and a half. All of a sudden we're high fives and that means that people are saving money. And so for me, that was a cycle in and of itself, right that I was too naive, too young. To understand is that we're just printing our own money. And this is good. And this is this means I'm successful. And that's not the truth. That wasn't the truth. That wasn't we were. We were definitely working hard. We were definitely making money. But we were also not. We weren't, we were not a student of our own business. We weren't learning anything. Right phone rang, I picked it up as quickly as I could have gave them a rate as quickly as I could. I didn't learn how to sell it. Right. Not that you had anything that you were supposed to be selling, per se. But I needed to learn things. So when when that shifted, the whole market started to shift, you could start seeing cracks in it. I think that the where I was selling, you know, where my the base of my business was in a Noca or Blaine or Andover, all the way up. That was the first corridor that really saw a significant shift, because a lot of those people were framers drywallers excavating chains. Yeah, yeah. And so when they started losing a job here, a job there, it started to have a direct impact as to what we were doing. I exited the mortgage business, I sold my shares to my partner at the time and focused in after we lost the real estate firm. I'll tell you why we lost it. Worldwide, worldwide mortgage by world what No, realist, sorry, worldwide mortgage and investment real estate.

William Huffman  31:24  
That's what it was called. Yeah, it

Unknown Speaker  31:25  
was a ridiculous.

William Huffman  31:28  
Worldwide. It's an hos Yes. Yes. Yeah. From step brothers. Moving on. Yeah. I love you so much. Worldwide, one more time, prestige world. We'll see her live. But what was your company?

Nick Dreher  31:47  
worldwide? So there were three different companies, but worldwide mortgage investment in real estate. So that was a world worldwide mortgage investment real estate? WNW mer? Yeah. Anyhow, imagine we can put that in at the time. Nobody was really thinking about these things. It was a bad bet. For us. It was a really arrogant bet. Right? We have Yeah, guys, we can do this. Right. And we're gonna name it worldwide. Maybe not? Yeah, maybe we could have named it like, you know, North Metro, we could have done a lot of time. You could

William Huffman  32:17  
have even said a Noca mortgage company. And people have been like, boom, boom.

Nick Dreher  32:21  
Yeah. And worldwide. They're like, what? I'm so sorry. I don't do business and your urgent 25.

Sarah Huffman  32:28  
Mr. Worldwide? Yeah, that's the worldwide I know.

William Huffman  32:34  
What it is, right, the 302? That's pretty good. Yeah.

Nick Dreher  32:37  
No, but it wasn't one of those moments where it did teach me a lot and allowed me to pivot. So I saw the foreclosure crisis, I saw the short sale crisis through and I started to see opportunities to reframe what we do in our business. And this is where I really started to get excited and that I'd had the experience of up and downs I've had the experience of being successful and being and failing. I've had this the the, the experience of making wild amounts of money and then having to go and tell my dad, I needed a check. And after I had insulted him about, you know, broke about that at Medtronic for 35 years. Yeah, you know, at the time, I found out again, my arrogance, my, the, my lack of understanding of the real world. So he cut me a check for five grand never said anything about it never looked me and never looked at me. And when I told you so or you should have done this, he just cut me a check and allowed us to pay our bills. And we filed bankruptcy. I had to file bankruptcy. And that's something I talk a lot about in in everything I've done since was demystifying and D shaming, the process of unraveling finances. I didn't go out and I didn't you know, I didn't have wild credit card debt. And I really don't care where people's debt comes from. I've done again, though, I learned again, though, that doing what you're supposed to do didn't always mean that the outcome was prescribed. It didn't look like that. And so, you know, here I was 25 years old, I've got $3 million in an investment portion in real estate rental portfolio. I'm invested in LLC and other buildings with the 3 million was mine. I have two I have two companies that I'm running. And then I'm still going to work every day right? I'm going to sell real estate. I had a lawn care company that we did that that I did you know that stuff and then we had more of a property maintenance property management company that we're running and all of a sudden and really honestly you guys it was for those that are listening to this or remember is it was it when you look back you can you can see where things started to crack but at the time, I had no experience anything other than a good market, which kind of makes this conversation today. More interesting. Yeah, yeah. Like think had been so good for so long. I always made money all the sudden, literally you guys, it was like I couldn't make money. The people that were living my rentals couldn't make money. They weren't making money they were being laid off. And all the sudden, all of the things that I thought that I had done to guarantee myself this, you know, early retirement, were gone. It was gone. And I remember sitting, I remember one file,

William Huffman  35:24  
statistically, you're doing all the right things. You're getting rentals, you have doors, you're diversified. You know, you're you're you're, you're diversified, all in real estate. But I mean, you're, you're in real estate. Right, the great moneymaker every you know, always put money in real estate. And just kidding. Just kidding. Yeah, suck it tobacco ski. Yeah,

Nick Dreher  35:45  
just kidding, you know. But what I think what I think taught us, for me, that really changed it for me was that the ebb and flow to our lives and our businesses is nobody said it was going to be simple. And wanting it to be simple means that you are avoiding the hard things, right? And you're avoiding those moments that you can learn. You guys, we all know this. Anybody? Can anybody, anybody can get licensed in real estate. Anybody can. Yeah. And they do. There's a reason why the success rate in our business is usually so stinky. And it's because people don't understand what they have to do. And they're not willing to see the there's always going to be risk. So what what some of this learned that I learned in my transition in this was I did 37, short sales. All right, right before I had to file bankruptcy myself. Because no, I'm sorry, vice versa, filed bankruptcy, knowing that they had to go back to work. So the day after that they discharged me. So two things happen that that that were traumatic one is one of the loans on my bankruptcy would not get discharged. Because the person that had written the loan had used a false income document that I'd never seen before. Never in my life, it was approved. The lucky thing is I had all the notes, the email notes, because I'd kept them because I was unsure of how they were they were doing this, but they wouldn't do it. So even though I had the data, even though I could show them that it was somebody who worked for their bank at the time, they just the judges said we're just not going to discharge it. So the morning after my my discharge, I'm still sitting on $250,000 in debt. I have no income. And I remember getting out of bed and I put my feet on the floor. And I said, Alright, I guess this is today. I guess this is today, but I'm not dead. I'm scared. I thought that this I mean filing bankruptcy, especially at that time and losing it was shameful. Bankruptcy no matter who you are, is shameful, even though the reality is is it's it's a it's a it's a business vehicle. That's what it really tool. It's a tool it is. And I started telling people that afterwards, I was far better at doing my job, in short sales, being able to talk to people about what it felt like to fail. And what it felt like to feel the shame of having to go and say listen, I, I I legitimately thought, when I sign this paperwork that this was going to work

William Huffman  38:11  
is I just want to and maybe you feel this way. But just listening to your story, which I didn't know most of this. I just knew you as the guy that I shout out across the room and make a horrible joke about like, you're a good dude, right? Like, I like you, I appreciate you. I feel like you finally have learned what this business is about at this time. Just it's about being a person. It's about not necessarily making the money. If you're good at this job, that's what happens, but being relatable and empathetic and knowing that they might be going through some shit. And you had to go through that shit in order to relate to them. Correct. I mean, I feel like this is the first time you've actually learned, oh, my God, I'm not invaluable. I'm not Superman. I just had my ass handed to me. Now I want to try and help other people. And I still gotta put food on the table.

Sarah Huffman  39:05  
Well, I think to just from our experience, like with what we've gone through, it's like, okay, we've made the path now. And at the time when we were going through this, I didn't know who to look to for any advice. There's no, there's not like that, like, oh, they went through something tough. Maybe I can call them like nothing was spoken of.

William Huffman  39:24  
No, there's no director that says, hey, you feel like you're a piece of crap. Don't worry. You can call these people because they will judge you. Correct.

Sarah Huffman  39:30  
And it's and I think that's why we've been more vocal in the last well, year, nine months and like putting it out there. Because it's I want like no willingness to like, we want to be like a resource. Yes, it doesn't mean we can solve it. But it just means Hey, you're gonna make it through. You just have to take it one day at a time one step at a time. One breath at a time. Yep. But you're still here fighting for it.

Nick Dreher  39:54  
Well, let's let's let's ask ourselves. What is it that a real estate agent a good real estate agent does As I mean, in the past, you could say, you know, the Venn diagram, we make a couple of circles, and what's that key in the middle? Right? The truth is, is that a lot of that has been taken away from us over the last 20 years. And and, and we could, I could talk about that all day long. But that's boring. What we could really talk about is the fact of the matter that that comes to the core. The core service provided by a real estate agent, right? The core service, in my opinion is, is clarity and empathy and help, right is understanding you. Some people can't do that unless they've failed, right? Yeah, it's hard to understand where people are, if you've yourself never had to go, Wait a minute. Holy shit. That was a misstep and not on maybe not even Holy shit, maybe a whole lot of other words that we're not gonna say today. But you feel alone. And I think what this enabled me to do was to say, Listen, what is my job? What? Why do I love this real estate? Why do I love being a buyer's agent? Because I was at first right? Not just because at the time, there really wasn't a separation between the two, right? Much. I just knew I loved working with buyers. I know my personality profile. I know what is sustainable. Now I know more about it. And all of us do now. Right? We also have there are more conversations about shame. There are more conversations about failure. We always see, you know, we talked a little bit about this, the night that we had the the event for NA rep Yeah. In that understanding what is you know, what else is happening around us? Right, understanding that we're not alone. And understanding that the cross pollination of ideas is an important part of it. And I think that after coming out of bankruptcy, I learned that one, I'm not alone to that, that that experience could help people navigate that moment with less shame and with less fear. And with less shaman with less fear, their ability to pivot and to rebound from that was better. And so when I started meeting with people that were coming out of short sales, or going into short sales, I started taking away right away, I stopped calling myself a realtor for a while and started calling myself What did I call myself at the time, it was like a short sale expert or something that didn't work because, and then I just had a counselor, I was a short sale counselor. And the reason was, is that people needed to know who they should talk to.

William Huffman  42:21  
And some people might not know what a short sale is. And a short sale is when you can no longer afford your home. And if you were to put it on the market, it's worth significant it's worth less than what you owe on the property. Now to some people that might be like, what does that even mean? But it was a very serious thing where people lost 24% or more of their value. So on a $200,000 home, your home is now worth 124 48 $164,000 $154,000. And it's worth 200,000

Sarah Huffman  42:55  
I can give you my personal example of my condo, I bought it for 160,003 years later, when I was being relocated for work. They came in and appraised it at 91,000. Yeah, yeah. And we still own it. It's still not worth 150,000 deal isn't worth 160,000. Yeah. But like that is that is how short sales like that at the time, I didn't even know like I was just like, well, I guess I'm gonna get a renter. You know, like, that's the route I went.

Nick Dreher  43:27  
I mean, and my problem was, is that I mean, the of the units I had. Some of them we had a respite facility for Alzheimer's patients. And the house was big, the mortgage was big, we had pivoted using some of the money that we took out of that we'd use for a couple other businesses and other purchases. And when the respite care facility, came back to us and said, Hey, I know we have a nine year lease on this. I know that you guys went in and did all this work to make it ATA accessible and to you know, I know that and he wasn't he just said we hit our funding has been pulled. And I was like, wow, okay, great. So now I thought I had a business model that was that was destructable because right there yeah. And then an AKA county because all of a sudden, it was based on a taxable income or taxable properties properties had been going up for so long. Now they're going down. Taxable values had to change tax collections changed and their ability to fund programs like this changed. And so all the sudden thought of that I have five years in right I'm five years into this lease, I four years left, everything was going fine. And now I have a $500,000 property that's been in the Noca that has been retrofitted for ATA and for Alzheimer's very specific, right? I'm not going to be able to sell that to a single family again, no, I'm not and and so we we did whatever we could we tried to list it and list and and so so there's there's a Good story here is that in the basement of this property was a pool table. It is the only thing that I got out of that house. And since that was a commercial deal we did. That's the one that had the income inflation. And because of that, I own a $258,000 pool table.

William Huffman  45:20  
Wow, you still have it? Yeah. Forever and ever. Amen.

Nick Dreher  45:24  
Right? This thing, I'm married to it now as a second relationship.

Jorie  45:28  
I was just gonna say give it to your daughter for wedding. Yeah. Like this is

William Huffman  45:32  
this is now a family. I'm not gonna buy you a house. But here's a pool.

Nick Dreher  45:36  
This is why you couldn't go to a a an Ivy League school. Yeah. To go to what how do you get to

Sarah Huffman  45:42  
these experiences, like you saw your dad work in this 35 year old 35 year job, you're very stable. Your kids have seen you choose a different path. How old? Are they now? And like, how is this impacted them? Do you think as they're growing up and choosing what they want to do? And before we get into that,

William Huffman  45:59  
I want to hear all about that. We're going to have to bring you back for part two, because we haven't even got to the point where we've met Yes, we haven't even gotten they're not even there yet. So I want to hear what you said. Because this is a great way to wrap part one up here. And then we'll get into our questions. So yeah,

Nick Dreher  46:14  
so So here's what I'll say. And I love that question. Because I think that this is where, where we're where we're growing now as as professionals is, I always tell the girls that there is no security, it doesn't matter where you go, right doesn't matter if you have a real job in which you went to four years or eight years of school, nothing in our world, you can control most of it, control what you can control. So I think that the differences is that my girls have seen a far less traditional work life balance for me. And I think that that has created opportunities for them to say, Okay, I think I took away some of the fear of of being an entrepreneur, but I think at the same time, what they don't realize, and again, this goes back to how society and how school works, which is conform, conform, conform. And what we're all saying now is disrupt, disrupt, disrupt. So we teach our kids to conform, because it's simple, but then we we berate them for being the same, right? Once they get to. Why did you want that? So with my girls, I tried to be very, very open with the conversation open with the ideas of being an entrepreneur or in the trappings trappings isn't the word maybe that that come along with that, right the things that are done pitfalls, the it is the pitfalls, and the, the and the the the you know, some of the biggest things that I think we love is, I like to be able to determine what I do and when to do it. I get up earlier now that I would have gotten up if I worked a real

William Huffman  47:48  
job. Entrepreneurs are the only ones that work 4080 hours a week to avoid 40

Nick Dreher  47:52  
hours. Right. And we love it. Yeah, it at least most of the time. We love it. And so with the girls, I keep telling them that the best way for you to find success is one to create and define your happiness. And then to determine what it is that you can do to achieve that, that they'll pay you to do. Or that you yourself can create revenue. But I think for kids, I think that it's it's fake until they can start to see it on the road. Right? Absolutely. And it doesn't matter that age. Right? Is that age 15 when you're when your daughter is starts nannying or is that is that 25 When they realize that, okay, the safe way isn't any safer, really. And now I want to think of something different. That's why so many kids have on the offspring of real estate. All their kids are like, do you ever you're gonna be a real estate agent, like your dad or your mom? No, never ever know, by 28. They're, they're in real estate, right? And I can think of so many instances where this is true. Their whole time. They're like, Hell, no, we're never going to do that. Yeah, I would chop off my arm, I'm getting a real job. I wouldn't wait a minute. Now I can make real money, I can determine my own time, I get to go to the gym in the morning and I get to drive a nice car and I get to be around people and experience part of the joy of them buying or selling. Okay, wait, I'll take that job, as opposed to, you know, going and singing. And again, it's not for everybody. But I think the children of real estate industry professionals, whether it's mortgage should have title or can maybe not so much title, mortgage insurance, mortgage insurance and real estate is that it does give you something that other I mean, you know, even real estate agents that continuously perform below the line still can make $70,000 a year, just performing a few sales. That's amazing, right? It also sets the bar real low, but it does give us an opportunity in which nobody else has. And if you think about it, right. If you think about open door, you think about all these other disruptors, the only thing they're really trying to disrupt is your income. That's it. That's the only thing because real estate is the last bastion for true entrepreneurialism for The masses, right? There are 1.4 million real estate agents, we can all agree that at least point four of those aren't great. Maybe another point four that are okay. And the rest are people we probably be okay doing business with, right? But the truth is, is that, that, that truth of it being the last bastion for entrepreneurship is real to me, because this offers us, you could have screwed up in high school, right? You could have gone to college for the wrong degree, right? But you can still in real estate, create your own business, your own service model, your own client base your own income, right, you can really, really do these things. And they change your life.

William Huffman  50:39  
If you put in a shit ton of work. Yep, just want to play

Sarah Huffman  50:44  
well. And I just wanted to put in my two cents on that is I think you'll like the way to 10 exit is really being true to who you are.

Nick Dreher  50:52  
Yes. Well, and let me say this one stuff America. So so this this, we can preface for our next podcast. But one of the things that I've said to you specific to Well, a couple of times, is I genuinely, genuinely appreciate the way that you guys interact. It's very real. One of the things that I find in real estate is that real and fake are close together in our business. Because perception is reality. And the reality is, is people are fake. Right? That's it. I like it. Because I think that one of the things that I realized in for me from for my approach, and also for the type of people I'd rather work with, are the people that I can tell jokes with the people that are gonna yell at me from across the room. Yeah,

William Huffman  51:37  
what do you get out of prison?

Unknown Speaker  51:39  
Right in front of all,

William Huffman  51:40  
I love it so much. I don't know why, but I just love it.

Nick Dreher  51:43  
But it's because of that, that I think that that you've taken, I think you've taken some of the stuffiness away from some of the realtors. And you've said, Listen, this is how it works. This is how it goes, these are the things we're going to do. These are the consistencies we create for our people. And I think for me, the thing that I liked about the most about what I've seen you guys do in the last couple of years is that you are you're committed to being you, you're committed to being real to you, you're committed to being transparent. And that makes a lot of real estate agents, especially those that have been in the business a long time, it makes them uncomfortable, right? Why would you say that? Why are you on social media doing that? Why? You know, well, you got to watch out well, but the truth, the truth is that you've created a business based entirely on you. And that means that people will ask me, especially if I'm out of town at a conference, is there an agent in your market that you would use? And it's funny, because you guys come to mind quite a bit, specifically, because, one, I know that you're going to be honest with me, if you're willing to shout across the room at me even as a joke, right? Yeah, the thing is, you're not afraid to, you're not afraid, right? You don't have that fear. So you're going to be upfront with me the whole time, you're creating transparency, because the loudest room in the room has to be transparent. And so what you did is you created that, and at a time when a lot of the people around us were doing it differently. And and I just I really liked that from the beginning, because it made me feel Wait a minute, I've been in the industry a long time. I know a lot of people, but I I very rarely find somebody that I really truthfully feel connected with. It's not that I don't like these, some of these people, it's not that I don't find value in what they do. But in connecting is unique to the individual. And a lot of what I see in our market or markets across the country are people I wouldn't want to be in business with. Right? You're not transparent about it. You're not You're not giving me the you're not creating an environment in which I can legitimately tell you what I want. Instead, I just have to accept Oh, this is the way that you guys do it. No, I think that that has been a real win from an outside perspective from you guys, is that you are real, you are raw, and the conversations that you have encourage other people to be a part of that. It's kind of like a radio personality, right? I don't care what you listen to in the morning. But if you do listen to something in the morning, chances are you've been listening to it long time. It's a part of your absolutely, you know, right. But you become familiar with those people and their their traits, right, their their, their their idiosyncrasies, and you fall in love with some of those idiosyncrasies, right. Those idiosyncrasies are what make you guys different. There are a lot of real estate agents that can do it really good. They're about here, your numbers here your facts here, your But reality is when people connect with you, all those other things matter less because they know that you're going to take care of them. They know that they have set they found somebody who if it doesn't, if it doesn't make sense for me, you're not going to say Hey, Nick, you should do this because it makes sense. And that I think is the impression you're leaving with people is hey, we care enough to tell you when maybe this isn't the best time for you to do this. And we have the the wisdom and experience of going through some things ourselves, which make us not just empathetic, but make us a wonderful, wonderful resource for you. And that's where the difference is if you've never failed. Congratulations as a real estate agent. If you've never failed, that's awesome. Chances are If you've never failed, I can guess where your businesses Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  55:02  
How isn't to say you haven't done enough yet? No, if not yet trying to

Nick Dreher  55:05  
fail, then you're not you're not working, we say that. But what does that mean? Right? It means that you're gonna continue to try to tweak things until they're so good, or until they're so bad. Yeah, right. You know, I mean, but I like the idea. We mentioned this before. But I like the idea of failure as an indication of what to do, as opposed to the prescribed idea of success in our business of it happens all the time. And you have coaching programs and platforms, and you have people that stand up on stage, and they've never been in that moment, right? You know, their business isn't where it should be. And you look at him and you, I wish that was a little bit different. And when I started looking at it, I wanted to say, here's where I failed. Here's where you can learn from my failure. Here's where you can learn from the reality is that sometimes you do things and you really want them to be awesome. And they fail, no matter the work you put into it. But we'll we'll say this, let's reframe that. It's not really failure, right? I learned, okay. I'm not going to do that, again, I'm not going to over leverage my properties. Again, I'm not going to, I'm not going to hire that kind of person, or I'm going to do a better job of hiring, I'm going to do a better job of researching things. And I think that that what we're facing now is the potential of a market shift. And now all the things that I learned before are becoming more they're becoming more important again, right of what do you do when the market shifts?

William Huffman  56:32  
Why? Oh, hold on. There's a lot of worms there to open up. We're gonna pause it right here. We're gonna talk about your work because well, we have another we have another appointment. That's okay. Let's wait a minute. There's there's a lot like, there's a lot to discuss with that right there. So we need to get your five restaurants. Okay. And then Jerry was scheduled time to come back.

Sarah Huffman  56:56  
All right. So I can't believe I just have to say this our flu? Oh,

Jorie  56:59  
yes. I want to hear more. Oh, we're going to we're going to Well, I would save the five restaurants for part two, do we save her to?

William Huffman  57:07  
So we do? Sorry, he made

Unknown Speaker  57:12  
the decision. Well, and we could also talk about my book next time. Oh,

William Huffman  57:17  
drop that. Yeah. Talk about the book, do the self plug stuff quick. So

Nick Dreher  57:20  
I wrote a book a couple years ago with two other Marshall Saunders and great humans. And the way that book started in mindset methods and metrics, winning as a modern real estate agent. It was the Midwest answer to a lot of the shitty things that coastal cities will come in. And I just saw

William Huffman  57:39  
Michael Doyle, just walk right by and there's Brandon, and there's Brandon.

Nick Dreher  57:42  
But one of the things that we wanted to do, and this is what this is, this will really put a nice bow on this episode. What we wanted to do was we wanted to create a roadmap, a path to success, regardless of where you were in the country. If you live in Beverly Hills, and you sell 10 homes a year and your average sale price is $5 million. That's a great, great business. Yeah, we can't do that in the Midwest in order for us to sell $50 million in real estate. You know, we're looking at 200 Plus homes. Yeah, yeah. And and so what we wanted to sit in at these conferences and listen to these guys in you know, Gucci loafers with no socks on which at the time wasn't a thing. And now everybody's

Jorie  58:27  
I can't I can't I don't I hate it. I hate it. I don't like I'm glad we can all agree on different podcasts. Yeah, okay, please. I don't like

Sarah Huffman  58:34  
that. Like it. If you pulled it off. I would like it.

Jorie  58:37  
And ankle biter khaki pants. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  58:40  
All right. Those aren't those. Sorry. Yeah. Okay.

William Huffman  58:43  
I got, those are fun pants.

Nick Dreher  58:45  
So I was never I just never liked when somebody with a really expensive haircut and a really great suit and a really great pair of Gucci loafers with no socks. I hate it when they got up and told us how to do business. And so we were sitting at a conference and said, How could we change that? How could we make it so that the people that were doing this were more realistic to what was happening? Yep. And that really launched an opportunity for me to use that wisdom that I learned and create one a safe place for failure to a safe place to talk about it. Right? Three, how to overcome that. Right? So a lot of the book mindset methods and metrics, right? So mindset was, how do you get out of bed every day? And then how do you help yourself grow into the person that you were supposed to become? Right? The gifts that you were given? Were not given? By accident, right? We could get the illogical but the truth is, if God gave you a gift, and you're not using that gift, a lot of people feel a lot of people that feel like they don't fit in are using the gift that they were given. I was able to use the gift of one empathy and create him. This is what I think of how I'm you know, the day after I filed bankruptcy, I had to put on my pants again. And I just put them on the same way I'd always put them on with the intention, though, of never being back there. When in reality, as I learned later, is I ended up there because I went balls to the wall, right? I just said, let's go. Yep. All that's not that's not a bad thing. It just in this moment, I didn't give myself enough leverage to say, Okay, there's a way out. So wisdom teaches you take the same risk, there was no safety valve, but give yourself a safety valve. Right? Yeah. And now that you know that I can do that much more powerfully. And I can help people in those moments of saying, Okay, if you're going to do this, this is going to be the outcome potential, you have one of two outcomes. I think that this gave me the opportunity and the ability, and a much bigger audience to have conversations with about success, about failure, about activities about consistency. Wow. Those are the sorts of things that when we started writing the book I got to be really excited about. And I'll say this, the one thing about writing a book that was probably the most transformational for me was Do you really think you can write a book? Like, did do you think that well, at the time, I thought, No. And the culmination of that was, is we finished the writing the book, we finished all the edits? We did the publishing and we did a launch party, the book launch party, and we certainly, yeah, we have a ton of people that jam was a fantastic night. But I said it that night standing on stage was if a kid who, like me barely got out of school, right. And I would have probably argued with you that I wasn't smart, right? Because probably a lot of us ADHD or a DD, right, I could never sit still, I still can't sit still. I wasn't an easy student for teachers. And they all thought, well, you know, I'll end up in a, I had a college professor, a college, my dean. So my guidance counselor essentially said, You should leave college and go get a trade job. And I probably should have because it would have been a lot less headache. But to be fair, there were those moments where people tell told me I couldn't. So I love being told you can't do something or you suck, or you're not smart enough, because now I realize it but at the time. So sitting on stage, when when when we did the book launch, it was it was the culmination of a moment that that meant, you really can't do anything. You literally, you can do anything. But we don't believe that most days, right? Because we're stuck in in the complacency of the day of doing the activities. And we don't think about the fact that why do I want to write a book, I didn't want to write an ego piece that was none of us did, I wanted to write something that people could use. And I wanted to write something that made a real estate agent who just got licensed or was considering getting licensed, feel like they too, could do it, they too, could have an opportunity to change their life, to change their generational wealth with their family, really to change it. And you didn't need to be a certain prescribed student, or you didn't need to have a degree you didn't. You just need to follow these ideas. You needed to check your mindset and be committed to growth and be afraid, you know, be okay being being uncomfortable sometimes. And so for me, that's, that's where my life really started to shift as because I started to understand more about how to leverage my time how to scale the things that I was doing, and how to create passive income by doing things that I was already going to do. Right. And that was different. I mean, you can't 25 year old mean, investing in a real estate firm would not know that, because I didn't, I didn't know Wait a minute, how do we make money? You know? Well, you don't make it from your agents. I'm telling you that much.

William Huffman  1:03:29  
Yeah, brokers, brokers don't make any money. No, this means

Sarah Huffman  1:03:31  
that we've just recently and I'll kind of wrap us up on this. But we'll and I, you know, he's been in business just going into his eighth year, and I'm about five and a half years in, and we can talk back to the first year agent and both of us and think how much ego even though like I don't think we're ego people, but like, how much how much we did based on our ego, versus how we operate now as a business. Yes. And even sometimes it's like, Okay, do we want this because of our ego? Or do we want this because it's right for our business, right? And like, we'll have those conversations and call each other out. Because it's like, there's so much learning when you think you already know it. You don't even know a sliver.

Nick Dreher  1:04:14  
Well, right. And it's I think it's one of those things to where we all the wonderful, wonderful thing about being older is is not having the expectation that you think you know, everything Yeah, it's so much simpler when you can say, I don't know, but I'm willing to learn our I don't know, but let's jump in. When when I when I was a kid, and I when I was a kid when I was in my 20 early 20s We're still kids, right? I feel like a kid sometimes but when when you're in your early 20s I thought I knew everything well. I'm like no works like this. And now I'm like, Okay, no, no, tell me how you think it works or tell me how could work better or let's collaborate on the idea of how it comes to so I you know, guys, I want to thank you for having me today. This is fantastic. I actually actually kind of sought them out at this dinner. So they'll be doing this. But I would love to come back and talk for, I think there's a lot of conversations that we can have. And honestly, I think that as we move into the next, you know, quarter, two quarters, three quarters, the business around us is going to shift a lot. And they're going to be a lot of people who maybe wouldn't have listened to this podcast before. Or maybe they would have listened solely for the entertainment. But I think as we move forward, it's podcasts like this that are happening on a local level and in smaller communities. We're not in LA, right. We're not on the beach. I think that these are, yeah, right. Well, we'll do the next. Okay, I got it. We're doing the next one from Malibu. Pass, but but but okay, not California. Okay, Florida. No, I live in Minnesota.

Jorie  1:05:43  
He's gonna be here in about two minutes. So I mean, yeah, just have full Yeah, full season here. We're fine.

Nick Dreher  1:05:49  
But but I think I'll leave, I'll leave you with this. And I'll leave anybody listening is the people sitting at this table? are proof that failure doesn't end your life? No. It's hard. It sucks. It can be really shameful, or really hurtful. People talk a lot, right? But what it does and what it's given me as a resilience to one help other people, and to be committed to that and not just fakeness, right? Oh, everybody says that they're committed to people. But are you committed to people when it's uncomfortable for you, or when it means something different for the outcome that you had set? Are you really, really focused on the people that you're helping? And that doesn't just mean buyers and sellers, right, that means the entire team of people that have entrusted you guys, and you know what that means for them? Right? They're looking to you to help them bridge the gap when the market shifts. And that's why I think it's important to have that conversation now. I'm not expecting the market. I know you guys aren't expecting the market to fall on its face. There are a lot of reasons why it won't. But that doesn't mean the consumer or your first year, yearling real estate agent isn't wildly wildly concerned right now. That's the change that we get to make now is helping the people bridge that gap, whether you're looking to buy or sell or invest, or whether you're looking to jump into real estate, people always asking me, Nick, how do you choose a brokerage? I don't think that's the question anymore. I think the question now is, what team Am I joining? Who are the people I'm surrounding myself with? doesn't just matter the name on the door? But are these people going in the same direction with me? And are they willing to cross pollinate and ideas are they willing to share? And are they willing to help me avoid the pitfalls that they made? That's where we're going. I think absolutely. Honestly, we have some we have some work to do to continue to help people.

William Huffman  1:07:34  
Roger that. Absolutely. All right. Hard cut off. Part two is coming Part Two is coming. Absolutely love it. And we might have to do like a separate real estate specific heavy topic one. Yes. Because this we want to keep more just life in general. But I it's really hard for you now to talk about real estate has been in your DNA for 21 years. I absolutely love

Unknown Speaker  1:07:55  
what you're talking about whiskey.

William Huffman  1:07:58  
Yes, the delete everything start over favorite whiskey.

Nick Dreher  1:08:02  
That's what we should be asking. Yes. Right now it's Blanton's

William Huffman  1:08:06  
play. Of course it is. Oh bougie Alright, everybody I want to say thank you so much for coming. I love you very much. And as always we out deuces.

Accouncer  1:08:16  
tune in each week. For more in depth conversations about life behind the highlight reel. Follow us on your favorite podcast platform to make sure you never miss an episode. For today's show notes head over to lb