Aug. 8, 2022

Irreplaceable Real Estate with John Marsh


 John Marsh is the co-founder of Marsh Collective, a podcast host and serial entrepreneur who helps steward over $1 billion in redemptive real estate in small towns across America. John and his team have created what they call "Irreplaceable Real Estate" and pioneer historic downtowns as a new asset class of real estate. Today, John shares his story!

Transcript

Josh
 Good day, fellow dealmakers. Welcome to the deal scout. We have a returning champion. If you've listened into the other show, uncensored advice for men, you might've heard this guy story. This guy is a, he's really one of the most transparent people I've ever met in my life. I'm pretty wide open in my life, but he has an incredible story about redemption and on today's show, we're gonna plug that in on how he's redeeming real estate, John, welcome back behind the mic, 


 John
 Man. So great to be with you. What an incredible opportunity to get, to meet you and hear more about the work you're doing and to hopefully share with some guys, at least they'll have a few things to put on there, not to dubious after today's interview. 


 Josh
 Yeah. All right. So, if someone wants to hear the full story, the full uncensored and everything about John, we encourage you to, head on over to the uncensored advice for men thing. On the business side, we w we spend all our time talking about personal and life and belief systems and such, but today we're coming to talk about business about all the things you've accomplished. So let's do this. John, let's give a little milestone of where you guys are at and some of the things you've accomplished in business, and then what have you overcome in business? 


 John
 All right. Well, and I do want you to know that we're bigger on the inside than we are on the outside. Okay. On the outside, we now are in 12 places around America, small towns, we're helping steward about 1,000,000,007 in reductive real estate. We're still as committed after 25 years of love and 10 square blocks in our town and doing over 285 properties and starting over 60 businesses to save our tail still as committed today as were 25 years ago. We have authority because we've done it with no outside capital, starting as idiots that were broke. We have empathy because we suffer. We continue to do the work. We're not on a journey where we tell people hollering from the stands, what they ought to be doing. We're down on the field with our pads old, still trying to make a difference in our community, developing, redeeming, working on things and doing sophisticated real estate development with love. 


 Josh
 Now you say, so those are impressive things, right? And, and you've accomplished much, but you've also overcome much. Now you said starting broke. You actually started less than broke share your. 


 John
 Bras gets it in broke and rich kind of something that you have to answer. What that is. I thought about me and my wife, we've been in business almost 30 years together. We were in the four year of our beautiful homeless, just amazing place of standing there. She said, well, these people are doing this and this, I said, baby, they're well off. She said, we're well off. I said, if you say that again, I'm telling you, don't say it again, because she thinks we've won the lottery. I think that we've got so far to go in there. We stand in the same life. Isn't it in our perspective of whether we're rich or broke, isn't it, our perspective, whether we're successful or unsuccessful. Remember our today was PR it's probably somebody else's tomorrow. And this is the John. I dreamed a B that I'm not satisfied with now. 


 Josh
 All right. 


 John
 We, as we go to this yet, when we started our journey, were a million and a half dollars in debt. We had created a business where we built totals. We were buying totaled Toyota land cruisers, Tundras for runners in sequoias. We were rebuilding them getting a rebuilt title and selling them. And we had a salvage yard. Through me being a drug addict and my partner not being wise enough to manage the money, we ended up a million and a half dollars in debt, $99,000 overdrawn. He decided to quit file bankruptcy and took himself and some money and left. There are set million and a half dollars in debt, no assets and $99,000 overdrawn. I'm wondering if I just don't quit. I'd send them of money here and there $150 a week or 200, I'd make doing rock repair on houses. It's like squirting, a squirt bottle and a forest fire. 


 John
 I mean, it's evaporate 40 even gets here. I mean, the payments $15,000 a month, principal and interest before you have to even live. Over time, seven years repenting one check at a time we got back to zero. We were like, yes, zero. We won the lottery. We thought, man, we've never been so free in our life. That's where we started with a $3,300 tax return in the real estate investing business with a crappy little house, with a ping pong table, Florida was bubbled up like a tumor that we got for owner financing, no money down $15,000. If diamond start my $200 a month after the third month. And that's where we started. 


 Josh
 The day you got to broke, you celebrated right. 


 John
 Getting the zero, man. I'm telling you, if you start with zero today, jump up and down. There's something worse than zero that's million and a half lessons. Iraq. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Yeah. Oh man. All right. So yeah. I love your analogies. Like listening to you is like listening to like a storyteller who, it just, it creates your imagination. Throwing $150 had a 15 K a month, negative. It's like squirting a gun out a fire. And, 


 John
 Even the bankers are like, son, what are you doing? File bankruptcy. You're an idiot. I said, I know I'm an idiot. You don't get in these situations less. You're an idiot. But I said, dang, quit. As if it takes me 30 years, I just decided I ain't going to quit. If there's any piece of advice I can give entrepreneurs. If they really want to do it, they want to do deals is don't quit more often than not. We quit it isn't because we failed you. You just can't quit. You have to, you have to be a heart to do this work. Now, some deals you got to know when you got a dead horse and you're putting smelling salts and the new Seidel on the bed, horses ain't working. But, but don't quit trying to build and do good work, meaningful work. Because if, as long as you're doing that, your hearts from me like me, I mean, I told you before, I feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony, there is opportunity everywhere. 


 Josh
 Are you allowed to talk about the book that you're writing? 


 John
 Sure. Yeah. We've so we've really been wrestling this for a long time and we've taken 25 years of experience. I'm trying to put decades into something somebody can consume in a few days. What we're going to do is talk about what if we redeemed this thing called real estate development, what would it look like to build a book on sophisticated real estate development with love? Like, can you make your economics teacher and your son just spilled paint? You're happy with the same deal. It possible to do good and do well? Can we re deem this idea that the real estate developers used to be the heroes of our community? They loved their buildings so much. They put the names on the top of them. Much of the construction they didn't just do for the spreadsheet sake. They did it for love sake. What, what could we do to bring that back? 


 John
 Where, where can we say these historic downtowns that are all over the U S they're the fabric of the U S can we save them or is it impossible now? 


 Josh
 That what the book kind of uncovers of doing that? Cause you're doing that. You started with your hometown and you've done it 12 other places across the us. 


 John
 That's right. We're in small towns as small as 800. It has the largest amount, 190,000 and the largest single portfolio we're working on. That's really active. It's winter Haven, Florida. It's about $250 million and they bought a good portion of 80 blocks. So downtown, 


 Josh
 Yeah, 


 John
 We've got 500 multi-family development going in on scattered sites. It's just incredible. What we're beginning to see a new asset class of real estate being formed of historic downtowns that are thoughtfully curated and cared for like a complex mixed use development. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Do you think that, so you said a well thought of plan, right? For a downtown community. What's been the standard up to now, or what's been some of the issues of why hasn't it worked? Why, why are we seeing these, small little towns, crumbling and not thriving? 


 John
 Well, most of the time it's a ma wrong mindset. First everybody's got 20 plans for their town, but they are done by people who can't swim, trying to pick lifeguards. They'd done the work, they work for fees. They don't work for results. Now we've been doing pushups for 25 years in a little town in Alabama to make it work. With no outside capital, we're always 30 days from trouble. Cause you got to make them payments. We built models that work and they work at any scale. Really. You can start with nothing and do this. I mean, we've done this and we've helped other people do this. That's the first thing is, I mean, with a bad plan, a perfect execution of a bad plan, doesn't work. No plan is a plan. It's just a bad one. Other things is that this is it. It makes sense, but it's not common sense how to do this because what happens is people start loving their town and see a little opportunity. 


 John
 They buy a building here or there and they start a little something, but it takes a different level of intention to look at the whole town buildings you do own and don't own and get them aligned around the vision for making this all come together. I mean, imagine a, a really a new development that's makes you use that you only own part to the property. The other guys do it. They won't just like, you feel like you gotta, hit the ball. Drag, Charlie hit the ball, drag Charlie, pretty soon you want to hit Charlie. You've got all these other people in the city. What I tell people, I said, imagine like this, when you get bad players in your downtown to sunlight, light, somebody pooping in the pool, you're swimming in. He gets on everybody. It's a little difficult to do this. Now. The great thing is when they're so broken that nobody cares and nobody wants it. 


 John
 Now you've got an opportunity. That's where were the first buildings in downtown Oakland. I bought a boat for $13,000. I didn't have the money. They owner financed it, no money down that building three years ago sold for 1,000,003. They did about $600,000 with a breeze. Yes, the greenness buildings and the biggest opportunities are things that currently exist. We call this real estate irreplaceable real estate say, well, why would you call it irreplaceable? I said, because it's built by people who don't live anymore with materials. We don't have anymore with methods we don't do anymore. With entitlements and grandfathering, we can't get any more irreplaceable. When you put that under sophisticated development, frameworks and care, it can be, I mean, our portfolios are amazing, honestly. I mean over time, if you ever want to say something about what over time does just Google the visual of Warren Buffet's net worth at 34 is like worth 30 something, million dollars. 


 John
 And now he's worth 80 billion. I mean, you talking about it turns up heavy and that's how this real estate Jim's over time. Right? Most of us, our models are short because rrr, it's hard to make good decisions with short-term capital, right? People who are. 


 Josh
 Just say, it's. 


 John
 Hard to make good decisions with short-term capital. I mean, our makes us make short-term decisions and it tries to force us to be extractive developers. Instead of additive developers, we believe the best developers have all add value and don't extract. Thanks. You'd want to see us come and be cheering for most of them are having community events to keep us out. I'm not saying it's always iPad pushed back or that it's hard because people are down on what they're not up on. When you go in, like in my town, finally, I got so tired of people not getting it. I just said, you can be led or you can be drug and LED's better, but I'll drag it. And I just drug them. I didn't need their money. I didn't need their vision. I didn't need them to help me do it. I said, I'm, I can't put up with this anymore. 


 John
 I was young in hindsight, I should have taken the time to tell the story better and to show a family photo where they could see themselves in the family photo. I could have got a lot more support, but I just didn't have the, I didn't have the context to do that. I was high energy, low IQ, powerful combination. 


 Josh
 So you dragged them, 


 John
 Not dragged them. 


 Josh
 Yeah. 25 years of it. You mentioned, and I've heard you say this before. First of all, we need to have like a book called marsh isms or something like that. All of the crazy good stuff that you say stuff, we. 


 John
 Speak bumper sticker. I said, baby, I do speak bumper sticker. I said, but they is. Cause they stick. 


 Josh
 Right. 


 John
 What we want to do, if we want to communicate, we need to make them memorable and portable. And my goal is to add value. I hope people leave and say, my wife's a little better because of that time I spent with you. I can see things a little different. Like you let me borrow your glasses. The prescription helped me see something I didn't see before. To do that again, it has intention. I try to work hard to codify what we've learned, where I can give it to people in such a way that it actually, they can remember it. That's the very same intention I'm talking about putting into your real estate deals. 


 Josh
 Yeah. I like it before we get tactical. Cause I want to get a little tactical. I want to put our pads on and go, like, let's go into a town that nobody wants that boards are up on windows and everybody's saying, Hey, you shouldn't drive in there. Right. You shouldn't go there. Right. Before we go tactical in that, one of the things we mentioned, and you did this all with outside without outside capital. Right. And, and you said before we hit record, you could lack capital or clarity. Right? Could you, could you share that with the audience? Because I think that was an important thing. I want to expand on that and then I want to get tactical with you. 


 John
 Well, when I started, I didn't have capital and I'll see a lot of people who want to do things and don't have capital and they believe if they had the capital, it would work. I think what they most often need is clarity because they have a fuzzy vision. If the promises fuzzy, no price is cheap enough, but the promise is clear. The price is easy. So, I mean, if I came to you with, and I'll give you a dumb example, that doesn't make sense, but let's say I had a piece of land and I've got a lease on this land, say it's a million dollars a year lease for a McDonald's. Do you think capital's going to follow that? 


 Josh
 Yeah, 


 John
 Because it's clear. Right? We make these fuzzy things and ask people to invest their capital, that they can't see what it is. Where am I in this? What can I expect? Clarity brings capital in every city that says would there's not any money there. We always find the money. The money's never been the thing that held us up so far, 25 years, it's always been clarity. And clarity is difficult, right? To say, I mean, if I give you 10 pages to tell me a little something, that's one thing. Tell me in a half a page, tell me in a paragraph, I know you better. You better have it clear. Right? If there's anything I could encourage, the guys that are trying to do deals is get your deal clear and borrow a bunch of wise counsel around you and say, is this clear? Does this make sense? 


 John
 And get it. Crystal clear that an educated 13 year old can understand it. If you do that cap and it's a big, good deal, capital will chase you down and overtake you. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Wow. All right. Let's put on our pads and go into a town where there's boarded up windows, graffiti all over the walls, real estate that needs to be redeemed. As you would say, irreplaceable real estate. Like some people would look at that real estate and say, that's dangerous. I don't want to go there too risky. And you're saying irreplaceable, let's redeem it. Why? Why do you view it that way versus other people let's get tactical? 


 John
 Well, at first I don't, I guess one of the first things we have to convince people is it's not impossible. If it's impossible that place will flourish and be valuable. You can't do anything. It's got to be possible once it's possible, it becomes probable. We just have the gift to take people from impossible to possible because we know what those steps are. There are steps, just simple steps. In, in a lot of people say, well, my town is too far away from anything else. All the factories left. Everybody tells us, you all know some stuff, but boy, you don't know the problems in my town. We start listing all the common ones and they're like, oh, those are the same. It's like, yeah, it's a similar, the big company left the wrong family, owns the cost to renovate them. Isn't worth what we could rent them for who would loan us any money on these? 


 John
 There's no good businesses down the tat the towns moved outside of town in the suburbs. We're too far from a major city. Heard it. It say they get to the place. There's no more possibility. Right? When we come in and do say, well, what if this, what if we had one of the best barbecue places in America, it is kind of a shack, but it's the best. It won a James Beard award in your little town of 300. Yeah. People are coming. 


 Josh
 People are coming. 


 John
 I mean, town of 3,500, we got restaurants do a million and a half million seven in a town of 3000. If you've got to McDonald's in your town, you got over a million dollar a year restaurant, but you just don't have that mom and pops. Do you see, or to me, so what we have to do is show them, there's already commerce and business. Normally taking place. What they need first is clarity of vision. Because if you don't know who you are, you'll try to be somebody else. And for real estate, that's dangerous. Did you make a five foot tall guy trying to dunk. 


 Josh
 Ain't happening, 


 John
 Right? I mean, you can have all the heart you won't, but you had gotten the vertical stuff going. If you're a five foot tall deal, you'd better pick a different deal. The Duncan. Many towns miss that, but we don't have a model to your, if we go into town, two things I have to have always, as far as models, I have to have great food and beverage and I have to have overnight stay. I don't have a model that works without that. 'cause I can't get you to come to a town that don't have a good food at the best food. They got their subway and you can't stay overnight. You ain't coming to much. 


 Josh
 Do they need to, we just got a, a big Hilton downtown Ocala, right? Like it was a big deal for us. It's pretty cool. We have, there's rash, there's other motels and hotels and such, but we got one downtown in our little downtown starting to really blossom. It's really doing good. Could it, does it have to be one of these big chains? Could it be these mom and pops? Can it be that. 


 John
 Based something simple thought model I've seen to give you an idea of the simplicity look in, oh, was looking, trying to think of known about prince. It's a small hotel called the gun runner. It's a nine room hotel or something. Very, very small. And, and it's, it's just a little hotel in a little town that's being revitalized. Some I can say, make, think about this. If you have your, if you and your spouse or your girlfriend or whatever, whoever can go to a place and have a great dinner and stay overnight. I have to worry about driving. Has some great drinks, great food or a great experience and do I mean, that's like a minimum Bible playing, right? An overnight stay. I go there. We have dinner on Friday night. We hang out and do some stuff on Saturday morning and drive home Saturday afternoon. 


 Josh
 Yeah. 


 John
 Yeah. That's a stark. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Yeah. 


 John
 Now what we know is we need that food and beverage to be iconic. It has to be authentic and iconic. Now it doesn't have to be fine dining, but it needs to be iconic and authentic. I'll tell you, so imagine that you had the, one of the best, all beef, hot dog, places in the region, that's iconic, but nobody drives for ordinary. I mean, you didn't never go to a town and say, man, I had this amazing experience in this town and what was it called? It was called Ruby Tuesdays. Nobody's going to say that because their goal is to disappoint us at a right we'll stand. People want, but how many times have you heard the story? This a hole in the wall place? But man, right. 


 Josh
 I heard that last night on a call at nine 30, were doing a group call asked for the best clam chowder in Boston. The guys had this little hole in the wall. That's exactly what he said. 


 John
 So do you see what I'm saying? People are longing to experience. I conic uniqueness. They won't authenticity. If you'll be who you are and be the best that people will drive for how we can get people to drive up to one gas tank away for amazing they'll drive an hour for upper average, because there's just not even a lot of that. You have to figure that piece out, which to our suffering and please listeners don't think I want to do this. We still have to launch iconic restaurants and towns to save them. We do. I hate it, but we have to do it. I don't know what else to do cause I really don't have another plan. I mean, we cure right people in, but a lot of times it's our we'll take and the investor we're working with or patron, we call it, we'll have a space. 


 John
 He'll know like we're working in momentous, Illinois right now, which is a little town an hour south of a Chicago town of 3,500. We've got a patron there. Somebody that loves that town. They have a factory with 3000 people working for them in a town of 3,500. 


 Josh
 Wow. 


 John
 A billion dollar company. And they can't there. They drive in and drive out cause the town's dead. Well, they want to open an iconic, amazing restaurant. What we're trying to do is to take a building. He has a historic bank on the corner and he sent us three different couples to interview in our town, which we call it's a two day best fit. We take them through a series to prove, should you bet on them? Well, we've got a couple we believe now that open a unique he's from Italy, an Italian restaurant, and we've curated the deal now and we're putting it together and we'll launch it. We'll help them build that. The build all the backend systems, process, the franchise system for the disenfranchised, put it all together and launch it and run it with 20 training wheels with them 90 days. Every time we've done that, there's been some incredible results. 


 John
 You ask, well, how does that matter? Well, first is catalytic a million and a half dollar restaurant like that town of 3,500. I was telling you about Kentucky, Stanford, Kentucky. Yeah. We helped our patron there. A restaurant that's open five days, six days a week for breakfast and lunch. Two of those for dinner, not open on Sunday, doing 1,000,002 a year, seeing 8,000 people a month. No alcohol, dry county. Again, this is an example of a power. I said, nothing can draw as much people to a 2000 square foot space except a meth lab. And they're against the law. So, so we build traffic by building these iconic food and beverage expressions and people love them. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Yeah. 


 Josh
 All right. One of the things you mentioned when you guys do this event where you take a look at people, right? You'll you'll interview a bunch of different people and you say, alright, investor patron. That's the group. What makes them stand out and no offense to other people, but what are some things for like definitely not them, but definitely them when it comes to investing in people. 


 John
 Well, let's raise back up one sec. As we have to take the mindset of the person we're working with the patron and they've got specific things. They won't like some patrons say, Hey, I want somebody who has this like faith. My says, Hey, I want somebody who is authentic to this community. I only want them to be from our region and not from out of town or some say, there's different framings. We call them non-negotiables that everybody gives us. Once we frame that, then the people portion, we run them through a series of asking them questions about their competencies and getting them to write their competencies. Because if not, if you don't, you can't manage what you don't measure. I learned this from a little story about fishes and loaves. It was a story where there's a little boy with a sack lunch. They took that sack lunch. 


 John
 They evaluated, it counted the number, blessed. It broke it, multiplied it. I said, well, I guess measure, manage multiplies, old story. I took that and said, okay, in our business. We'll get them to, how are you at back of the house? How are you in front of the house? How are you at accounting? How are you at marketing? How are you at overall hospitality? In creating experience, when they give us their number and then we can work through the series of questions we have. Now we know how to see they are because they give themselves a nine and we give them a three. There's a pretty large gap in that. The key to being deceived that you don't know it, right. If I asked you or you just leave it, you dealt with no, I was like, what'd, ? People, first thing, if they're clear about whether they're deceived about their gifts or not, number two is if they don't have the gifts, can they, can we partner for, or hire the gifts? 


 John
 Like 90% of the time we get gifted with the gifted, with a hospitality, no business sense. 


 Josh
 Yeah. 


 John
 We've got to have somebody watch that because 60% of the business is business, not food. 


 Josh
 Yeah. 


 John
 So we have to work through that. The last thing is their commitment to owning and stewarding it because more than likely our real estate investor either wants to continue to own the real estate and reap the rewards out of their collaboration in the food, or they don't want to own it at all. We've got to figure out if that person meets those desires. We look at a deal, we look at the restaurant P and L first, and we don't Pasch ourselves. How much can they pay? We ask, I mean, how much should they pay? We ask ourselves how much can they pay? It's a different question. Okay. What we want to do is get our business to break even as quick as possible, cause that's surviving. We want to share proportionately for our investment risk in their throbbing. In the restaurant business as a whole, the first million, there's about 10% margin than a normal restaurant make a hundred grand. 


 John
 It could do real good at a million dollars. There's about 25 in the second million average in about 35 or 40 in the third. Now, where do you think we want them. 


 Josh
 Third mil. 


 John
 Right? We'll take our rent and maybe we make our base rents cheap and we'll get 5% of gross to the one point and then seven and then nine and maybe 12, because we want them to flourish and pay us from the overflow, not pay us out of their existence. We aligned with them in a unique way. We remember that a dollar of operating income and a dollar of real estate Brits has a different dollar. 


 Josh
 Explain that. 


 John
 Well as operating income, just look trying to buy an operating business and you may pay three to five times revenue look at a cap rate on a piece of real estate, just got great real estate and you may pay many, many times more. We prefer as investors, what we want just to raise that net operating income of that real estate and then have it in such a way that we get a great cap rate on it. That's where great money comes from. That's exponential dollars. 


 Josh
 Exponential dose. 


 John
 Especially when you're doing it in a community that every thing you raises the tide of everything else, every property we have that successful as a self-fulfilling property, prophecy of the value of all the other property we have. Cause they're all connected. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Got 12 of them, including your own hometown. What's the big vision for you, right? You say, you said something about vision earlier about, it was an investment with vision. You might, I might have to circle back around in my notes in a second, but what's your big vision? 


 John
 I I'm really, I'm not totally done developing that right now. I'm in the question is now I know I can go a long way. I mean, I can make as much money as I want to make when in a lot of ways, cause I have the principles, okay. Now I may run into problems and the deprecation hitting the ventilation and I have to circle back, but I know how to make money. Now the question is how much of my life am I willing to sell for it? What for what we're asking is my wife. I said, baby, man, look how much more we can get more we can do. She said, just tell me what the Moore's for. If you'll tell me what the Moore's for, then we'll talk about the more, but everything I say yes to now, I'm saying no to something. I'm a new granddad. 


 John
 I got two grandchildren, four and one, I want to spend time with them. I still think my wife's hot and want to be with her. Our kids are out of the house. Now I get both of their time. They have plus mine. I'm in the, just lavishing it on zone. I don't know how much I want to write checks with my life for this that's one question. So is there a financial finish line? I believe that's one of the hardest things ever. My first mentor grew up in a middle village with a high school education and help build the largest real estate company in the world. He helped build century 21. When I met him, I thought, and every time you meet a rich scrap, you think, oh man, with their money, they can help me. I am done. I met a rich guy. I thought they'd give me some of that money, like crazy. 


 John
 It's kinda like, he told me, he said, John, let me taste. It, treat you like my son. I said, well, what's that mean? He said, I'm not giving you any money. He said, I tell you what I'll do. I'll teach you everything. I know. For 20 something years, he's been faithful to do that. What it personally, he taught me, he had me answer three questions, which I think is important for number one. How much is enough? Number two, what are you going to do when you get enough? Number three, now that you got this great living plan, what you're giving plan. For me, how much is enough, took a long time because I thought, dude, I ain't got $500 more. I mean, I need more. Yeah. That number, which I call, there's, there's basic income comfortable. While, and I very seldom meet people who have a have clarity of, wow, I know my wild number. 


 John
 Okay. I, we know what it takes us to live the life we want to live in the most extravagant way. We want to live in give. That's a lot giving 40 or 50% of my wild lifestyle is in mine is generosity. Because I believe if you ain't given why you're living, you ain't knowing where it's going. One thing about it, most people are financially constipated. They take it in, don't put it out there, sick and greed can only have us. If we don't give giving us the best antidote, no matter what your belief system, degreed, true generosity breaks greed over your life. You got to have how much is enough and what I would encourage you to do there is try to think net worth, but also think cashflow. Yeah. Two things and ask yourself that question. What made it so difficult? I'd never could get through it. 


 John
 Just looking at the numbers. What it really forced me to do is how do I want to live? My tell me five months and I couldn't answer the question. My mentor finally said, okay, let me tell you what you do. Sit down and share. We'll walk you through this exercise. Say close your eyes. I did get calm. He said, now this you wake up. It's the best day of your life. You're looking at the ceiling. What what's it? What color is it? Painting? What kind of material you look over? What kind of sheets who you next to? If you roll over and step out of the bed, what does your feet look like? What, what kind of carpet or flooring or that? He just took me through the best day of my life. In once you do that, you begin to get an idea of how you want to live. 


 John
 You reverse Sidney engineered into what you need to have. Once you get that, then you have to understand, you have to have a system pass that because once I got to what that number was that didn't take too long to get to. Honestly, it really did. You got to ask yourself, okay, well, what are you gonna do when you get enough money? My one of my mentors got lots and lots of money's all gap. I asked him, I said, what is it? Cause I don't know what this feels like. What's it feel like that'd be totally debt free and money just pouring in faster. You can spend it millions and millions and millions of dollars a month or whatever they said, well, it's being in Mexico and you got a pocket full of pesos and you're heading home tomorrow. You're going to spend them all. 


 John
 He just pull them out and say, how much you get one of those? I mean, these, he sent it loses its meaning in that same way. He said, you begin to ask yourself different questions. For me, once we got to where weren't just trying to strive to survive. My goal is to leave a legacy on the hearts of men and not just in sticks and bricks. I can do that the rest of my life. 


 Josh
 I feel that, and in my entrepreneurial journey, man, I I've had my butt whooped. I've been bankrupt, been on food stamps. I've been in venture capital or private equity one day. Then, back on a moving truck or selling roofs door to door. Right. So I've had my, my tailwinds. Yeah. I've had a lot of jobs buddy. 


 John
 Varying in the story. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Yeah, exactly. There's some interesting things with the net, but when you're striving to survive, it is very hard to have vision and clarity, right? For the dealmakers out there and for the people who've had, kick a few kicks in the teeth and who have experienced, some big wins or maybe some massive losses. What's w what are some of your thoughts on, how did you keep pushing through not quit? Look for hope, see clarity when you were trying to just survive. 


 John
 Well, first I would say just to kind of the people that most like clarity I ever see is people that have a tremendous amount because they've already done everything they knew, and now they're sitting there and go, is this all there is to it as a very old techs, Ecclesiastes days that you can refer to. That'll give you a great story of the richest man in history. But, but it's this thing vision is, has to be, I say that vision is unique and I call it my five B's of vision. I think it works whether you're broke or whether you're loaded at that thing, either one, it works. The reason I believe that is because I've tried it in both. Okay. I believe my first via vision is you need a vessel. Vision has to be carried by a person. You got to realize whatever the vision you have, it's going to press you. 


 John
 It's going to be the fingers and thumbs that squeezes the life out of you and gets the good out of you. That's how you get. If you won't wind, you got to squeeze the great and whatever you squeeze whatever's in there comes out. I recommend you not be full of Kakar or something, because you're going to get squeezed. Know that a vision's going to squeeze you. Number two, it needs to be visual. Okay? The more you document in pictures and words, your vision, the clearer, it will get you document it and then share it, document it, and then share it. Number three, I think it has to be very big. The difference in persuasion and presentation, a presentation makes you say, oh, such a good presentation. Persuasion says last March. And that's what we want. We want something that people say we must, when you share it, your heart and theirs, it's inspiring. 


 John
 Number four. It has to be verbalized clear and concise. Like if you asked me questions about certain things, I thought very deeply about, like, for example, where's my unique gifts. I will say those very clearly and concisely because I've spent a lot of time sanding. I mean, you start with 36 grit paper, then you're going like 80 grit. You're 1 20, 2 40 getting out about 2000 grid. Looks like you're just polishing it. Right. Those of us who are married, God sent into our life as wives, as in husbands, as sandpaper. You got the grit, you'd need it at the season. You're in. The last one, it needs to be Bible. For me, that means it has my faith involved with it. Also in the multitude of wise counselors, there's wisdom, go get them and ask them, is this vision I'm doing Bible. And, and think about this the day. 


 John
 You have hope that moment. I mean, think about, let's say you're broke as can be today. You, you go and you do the lottery thing and you put your numbers here and you, they, your numbers, you think you heard it radio thing. And they were saying all the numbers. I think that's my number. Nothing's changed. 


 Josh
 Yeah. 


 John
 All of a sudden, the whole, it all cleared out for a minute and there's clear skies ahead. We're moving. And all that chains just hope. One thing you and I talked about before I say, there's two people kinds of people we need in our life, lifters and leaners and to grow hope. What I did is got around people who would lift me and not lean on me now, there's people I lean on, but there's people that lean on me. We all need a lift or to lean a ratio, no matter if you're hurting or if you're in the biggest place of abundance in your life, get around people that lift your vision. 


 Josh
 Yeah. No, that's, it's massive. Having someone who believes in you, it was massively important because there was many times where I did not believe in myself. 


 John
 That God, Mr. Martin, I told you about when I was riding in the car with him, I didn't have $500. He said, John, you're going up doing incredible. You will be a world changer. I thought me, I thought, man, somehow, why would someone like him believe in somebody like me? That's the power of it. Right? Those words of encouragement from someone we respect. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Yeah. And, and that as business people, as visionaries, as investors, right? We can look at numbers all day, but looking at people and believing in other people and investing in other people and lifting up other people. That's the true, that's the true mission here, right? Like that's gold. 


 John
 Yeah. It really is an, I believe inside each person is gold. You just got to move some dirt to get there. Some of them got more dirt, but you gotta, if you want to know how to get the best out of people, it's the quality of your questions. The quality of your questions determine the quality of your answers. And one thing, I recommend everybody. I kind of mentor and advise into their life. I said, I have 10 questions. I asked those same 10 questions to everybody that I'm adding mourning to learn from. The reason I encourage people to get to the questions and the reason for three questions, and the reason is this, I think they need to have those because what it allow you to do is everybody. You talk to use a different person, but the same questions. Imagine if one of your questions, like one of my favorite questions is tell me three things to always do in business and three things to never do well, when you give them that question and you ask a hundred people that same question, you're borrowing a hundred perspectives at the same thing. 


 John
 I remember one man looked me in the eyes. He's just son, beautiful legal documents. That's what his thing was, create beautiful legal documents. And didn't that say a lot? Well, another one I love to ask people is how has failure shaped your life? 


 Josh
 That's a good one. 


 John
 I'll ask them, what have you read that I should read? Who do you know that I should know that one's taken me all over the world. Who's one person, that I should know. And would you introduce me? That's taken me to Venezuela, London and all over meeting, amazing people. It's given me infinite amount of opportunity. One question. Get your questions and ask them consistently. The third thing is document the answers. I've got every answer to those questions with every person I've ever asked. 


 Josh
 Yeah. That's so good. Dude. Let me ask you this question. What is one thing that I should never ever doing business that you had to learn? The hard way? I just sold the question from you, dude. So. 


 John
 No, but there's so many. I mean, I just sit here. It's like, my life is flashing before me. One thing can't make a good deal with a bad guy. I don't care what you think it is. 


 Josh
 I agree. 


 John
 You can always make a, you can make a bad deal with a good guy and that'll work out good. Somehow that one or another one, but you can never make a good deal with a bad character matters. Every great season of my life started with meeting and somebody. And so did every horrible one. 


 Josh
 Yeah. So good. John, we're almost out of time. You and I did. I love talking with you and I appreciate you. Let's do this for fellow dealmakers in the audience and they're going, Hey, actually, I would like to have a chat with you. Maybe have you take a look at my own, my hometown and get some thoughts or maybe it's someone who's like, Hey man, I've got some ideas about this redemptive real estate and how it could tie mission and purpose and passion into a community that also creates PR profits, right? Like I would love to talk with you. What's a good place for people to connect with you. 


 John
 Right now I'm think we, we stayed under the radar. You can connect with me through our website, marsh collective.com or my podcast re-deploy suffocation. So think gentrification redeemed. We said, returning people in places to their intended beauty and glory, those are the two best places. And, and you can reach out through the website if you want to connect with us and talk more to us than our team about what we do. We, we have a passion for what we're doing. We love what we do. We think we've won the lottery. We get up every day, just crazy about what we're getting to do and our prayers front row seats to miracles. I said, I just want 50 yard line seats to miracles. That'd be mine, but I want good seats. Yeah. That's what it's like to redeem real estate and to build a real estate portfolio that is profitable and meaningful. 


 John
 And it's so powerful. I mean, I think God, thank the Lord. I've been born in America and this is, it's so easy. I mean, I've been born india or Bangladesh. It may be hard, but it's easy to here. 


 Josh
 Yeah. All right, next question. You ready, buddy? I come pick you up in my big pickup truck and I take you to an iconic restaurant, your choice, anywhere in the United States, I'll drive, even though gas is almost, diesel six bucks, a gallon I'm driving, where are we going to? Where are we going to go for an iconic deal? 


 John
 We keep going back and I'm still not disappointed. We've been going for 15 years and his Blackberry farms in Maryville, Tennessee, and they've won James Beard for their food and their alcohol program. These guys have some of the best hospitality in America. If not the world, they just love what they do and love, shows up on the plate. We're going to go, we call it culinary Disney world. We're going to go have a fabulous meal. We like going there. 


 Josh
 Cool, cool. Next time we go there treats on me. 


 John
 Awesome. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Sounds good. All right. Let's do this fellow dealmakers as always reach out to our guests. They thanks for being on the show. If what they say, really resonates in your heart and your mind and potentially your wallet, reach out to our guests and say, Hey man, how do I get involved? Maybe you're working on a deal and you want to chat with them about it or ask some advice, reach out to our guests. All their contact information will be in the show notes below. If yourself would like to come on the show and talk about a deal, or maybe you're looking for a deal head on over to the deal. Scout.com. Fill out a quick form. Maybe get you on the show next till then we'll talk to you all on the next step. So see you guys. 

John Marsh Profile Photo

John Marsh

CoFounder

John Marsh is the Co-Founder of Marsh Collective and host of the Redemptification Podcast, serial entrepreneur, consultant, and coach helping steward over $1b in redemptive real estate in 9 small towns (with populations of 800-180k) around America. John and his team create what they call Irreplaceable Real Estate and pioneer historic downtowns as a new asset class of Real Estate.

Over the last 25 years, John and Ashely have guided over 40 startup businesses in various industries, such as Hospitality, Construction, Real Estate Investing, Advertising, and also multiple Restaurants. John and his wife have renovated 220+ buildings within 10 blocks of downtown Opelika to help save their city. Today, John’s current focus is on helping others make generational differences in communities and companies by helping patrons bridge the gap between