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Welcome to episode #95 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this week’s episode I spoke with Joe Evangelisti, an owner of several self-storage businesses.

Top Talking Points

  • How to make money by sharing your knowledge with other people.
  • Improving yourself by doing one thing each week that makes you uncomfortable.
  • How to build a mental armor that will protect you from breaking down in stressful situations.

Resources & Links

Connect With Joe at LegacyBuilder.coach

Find The Books Mentioned on Kindle or Audible

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.

Subscribe to The Morning Upgrade Podcast

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Morning Upgrade Podcast. If you enjoyed my conversation with Joe, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and please leave a review.

Episode Transcript

Announcer 

Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote, where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan 

Hey, Joe, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you? 

Joe

Awesome, Ryan, thanks for having me. 

Ryan

Yeah, I’m excited to have this conversation with you. For my audience of morning upgraders, want to start off by telling them who you are and what you do for a living? Give us a win that’s happening in your life right now?

Joe 

Absolutely. Yeah. My name is Joe Evangelisti and I primarily build self-storage facilities and develop self-storage facilities all over the nation, really, from Texas, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. I also help people get involved in self-storage any way possible, you know, through passive income investments or through syndicated deals, or, as developers, you know, learning how to transition from, from real estate investments in like the single family multifamily space into getting transitioned into self-storage as well. Excellent. And what about a win? Wins, wins this week? Well, we recently have been, I’ve been awesome that we’ve had a couple of amazing events we just got back from Mexico last week, it was a big win for us having some amazing clients out there learning to work on their business and, you know, set some big, big goals for 2022. And we just picked up our ninth facility 10 days ago, two big wins,

Ryan 

You own some storage units, and then you also help others get into that business. Is that right? So, it’s like part coaching and part owning the business?

Joe 

Yeah, we took, yeah, we spent about 12 years doing single-family fixing flips. And we did about 1000 of those over the course of 12 years. And about three, four years ago, we made just a cold transition straight into self-storage, decided I need something that was more scalable, something we could control a little bit easier, and something that, you know, we could build a really highly effective team around. And so I took my team of 40 to 50 people that were doing single family and shrunk it down to 15 with 15 people I’m doing, you know, just about 100x, the numbers that we were doing before, and it’s been incredible. It’s an incredible transition for us.

Ryan 

Wow. So at what point in the business? Did you add the consulting coaching part?

Joe 

I’ve been doing mastermind retreats, coaching, and stuff like that for probably seven, or eight years now. And it’s steadily been transitioned. But in this last two, three months, we’ve added the, what we call the storage Syndicate, which is, you know, essentially, it’s creating a true mastermind that I’m sure you’re familiar with, you know, what a true mastermind, but it’s bringing in people that are already in the business, right? It’s a lot of, you know, I’m bringing my existing development team by existing architects, designers, a high level of contractors that are building these sites from us all over the country, putting them in a room with other developers that we’re doing business with, you know, and as well as you know, people that are new to the business that wants to learn how to get into it, really creating an atmosphere where they can all learn from each other and joint venture together and hopefully do some deals, the ultimate outcome is not not only did we just create a great infrastructure that supports all of their needs, but you know, ultimately, we help them do business. And, you know, we might get involved in 15 or 20% of their deals.

Ryan 

And I’m asking these questions, because I think it’s an interesting concept for everyone listening, like if you own a business, and you’re successful at it, you know, whole other revenue stream, and then just a slew of potential opportunities. Is it helping others do the same? And, plus, I’m a big fan of masterminds. So that’s, that’s really interesting.

Joe 

I 1,000% believe in it. And the reason I did it, and the reason, it’s not a comfortable thing to just go out, go out there and start a mastermind or buy a bunch of people into it, right. But it forces us to expand our network and create resources for people inside of that network. So that the opportunities are, there are endless, you know, people can find deals, they can fund deals, they can find people to help them build their deals, they can answer any question they might have. And you know, ultimately, we all win bigger together.

Ryan 

Yeah, sounds great. Let’s pivot to personal development. I’ll probably ask you some other business questions like challenges. Let’s go to his personal element for a minute. Your morning routine. I know you’re traveling right now. But in general, what does that look like?

Joe  

I’m a big proponent of The Miracle Morning. I’m sure that a lot of people read that book years ago, but it changed my life. I mean, I’ve been doing The Miracle Morning now for I don’t even know 5, 6, 7 years, I don’t know when the book came out. But I think I was one of the first people to read it. And I just took action immediately. So I’ve been getting up at 4:15 for a long time. Generally, my morning involves working out getting a sweat in, journaling, meditation, hydration, and planning out the top, what I call the three thrive are the top three things that I’m going to knock out in my day to make me feel successful. And I’d love to get that done as far as knocking it out so that I can get time for my daughter’s, you know, my daughter’s or my world, and I want to make sure that I can have all that done because they get up about you know, 7:15 7:30ish and they’re out the door, so my goal is to have that 45 minutes when they’re up to help them get ready and to talk to them in the morning and have breakfast with them before they left the door. So my routine from 4:15, to 7:15 is to get all those things done and over with so that I’m prepared for my day and I can actually have some presence of mind to spend with my daughters.

Ryan 

That’s a great book that’s started me down the morning routine rabbit hole. I’ve, I’ve since then crafted my own routine, but I’m the same as you. I have daughters too. And I get up before everyone gets up and just get all that stuff done. That’s important to me. And they’re up. I’ve already checked off the boxes as to what’s important to start today. So yeah, I’m on the same page with you. 100%.

Joe 

The amazing part about a routine is like, that when you miss it, you miss it, right? Like it just throws off your whole day.

Ryan 

Oh, you know what? So I’m on like, a month five straight months or six straight of not missing. Actually, I thought through it because we went to Disney last week. And I think there was one day but yeah, most in general, I try not to miss it all. And, you know, we do road trips. And the last one, I think I think I maybe did it one day at the roadshow for two days. And yeah, put me in a funk. I mean, when you’re used to the routines and the habits, and especially when you got a routine that really fuels you and feeds you when you just chop that out, it’s you notice it, at least in my experience? Absolutely. Absolutely. What is their habit, you seem like a pretty habit driven Well, what are their habits do you have that really drive you?

Joe 

I try to come up with the habits that are really going to be most effective for me, right? So obviously eating habits, hydration habits, and effective learning habits, right. So growth is a massive piece for me, I’m always trying to figure out ways to get more uncomfortable. I’m constantly, you know, feeding my brain with audiobooks, YouTube videos, and things that are either data-driven or leadership driven or business driven in some way, shape, or form. That’s a big habit for me is just constantly, you know, listening to something or watching something that’s going to kind of push us to another level, you know, and I tried to make a habit of doing something, at least one thing that’s like super uncomfortable each week, you know, whether that be hiring somebody that you know, kind of makes me uncomfortable, or coming up with a new process or program or project that’s going to make me a little bit outside of my comfort zone. I’m really always trying to drive myself to feel a little bit uncomfortable. Because I firmly believe that to be a great leader, I have to stay in front of the pack. And I can’t ask my people to be innovative and to think outside the box and solve problems if I’m not out there doing the same thing.

Ryan  

Well, why is personal growth so important? In your opinion? I mean, you don’t have to sell me on it. Because it sounds like we’re cut from the same cloth. But if someone’s listening, yeah. And they found my podcast for the first time, they’re kind of starting to dabble in the personal development world. They’re not totally convinced. Like, why is it so important to, you know, just personally?

Joe

I think we’re all here for two to two major reasons growth and contribution. You feel your best whether you admit it or not, like publicly, and I’m not just talking to you, I’m talking to everybody. And I’m talking myself, honestly, it’s like, you feel your best when you grow? Like why do you do uncomfortable things is because when you achieve them, that’s when you feel your best, right? Like when you set out to do something you’ve never done before. And all of a sudden, you’ve been you’re like, holy crap, I didn’t think I could do that. Right. That’s what the human experience is all about. It’s about doing the next level thing it’s about, it’s not about doing it to show off to your friends not about going out. And, you know, achieving that next level. So you can brag about it on social media, it’s about making yourself Self-realization that you could achieve it and that you could do it right. And I think that constantly trying to get to that next level, is what we’re here for. It’s you know, going out there and achieving your dreams. That’s what God put you here for.

Ryan 

Yeah, 100% agree. I like Ed Mylead and I think Brian Johnson and a couple of others talk about the gap. Like you’re where you are now, and, and what the version 2.0 of yourself could look like, but like, what that gap is, how big is that gap. And that’s like, what drives me is trying to close that gap. And it’s for me, it’s like a never ending journey because I’m far from perfect. And my wife and kids could probably give you many examples of that. But, uh, but I’m constantly striving to get that 1% better. And it’s, I think you’re right, I think I think most humans are driven by just achieving and growing and seeing what’s possible, you know?

Joe 

I think it’s a definition of being a great leader is constantly trying to strive to do something, you know, the next level from where you’re at now, whatever that is, and it’s not, you know, I think I think a lot of people mistake that for, you know, again, comparing themselves to somebody else, like my next level and your next role are two different things. I don’t, you know, comparing myself to you is completely meaningless. comparing myself to what I did yesterday, is what’s important.

Ryan  

Yes, great point. Great point. All right, let’s swing back to business. I want to know about challenges. Your biggest challenge that you’ve faced in the business, and then how you overcame it, like whatever comes to mind first, and that biggest challenge?

Joe 

Yeah, I mean, look, we face that today. There’s not a challenge, I don’t think, in real estate that we haven’t faced multiple times. If not, I mean, we’re constantly being thrown. You know, my investors, I think when I when I think about this question, you know, we’re constantly talking to new investors, right? And they say they say to you, like, what’s the biggest risk? And I say to them, we’re developing real estate. Like, everything is a risk, right materials are going up, labor is going up, you know, shortages of things time. I mean, weather conditions, you know, everything is a risk, our job is to solve problems each and every single day, right? Every day we wake up, we get punched in the face, every single day. And every single day, we take that punch, we get back up, we do it again. And so problem-solving is just the nature of the beast, I think the thing that a lot of people don’t realize is they’re constantly struggling for success like they want a million dollar success, or $100,000 a month success, but what they’re not doing is getting punched in the face hard enough, right? They’re not taking risks that are equivalent to the success level that they want, without solving problems that are equivalent to the success level they want. And so I’m not trying to not answer your question. I will. But you know, the point is that I think that our issues are equivalent to what we want out of life. You know, I have uncovered 500-gallon underground oil tanks in million-dollar new construction properties, right, I have, you know, run into high-level phase two issues. And when we had 150 grand an escrow on our project, we’ve had all kinds of you name it, we’ve probably run into the issue. The question is, what are you going to do about it?

Ryan

That is the question, what and how do you handle yourself personally? Or what have you done to put yourself obviously, the personal development stuff, but any bugs, and anything that comes to mind in terms of problem-solving and handling those types of challenges?

Joe 

Yeah, it’s funny, I was coaching on this, like, literally yesterday, one of my coaching clients, I do what’s called mental armor, and what that looks like, and when I try not to spend 20 minutes on this because I know it’s a short show, but my morning routine is a massive piece of that, because what we want to do is we want to be proactive about our day instead of reactive. And what I find is most people live their life reactively, meaning they roll out of bed, and what’s the first thing they do, they pick up their phone, they check their Gmail, right. And I tell people like nothing positive is ever you’ve never opened your Gmail and been like, Oh, my, somebody sent me $100,000 It’s amazing. This is like, you’ve never been absolutely elated by what happened inside of your email. Okay, but the exact opposite is true. If you can spend the first three hours of your morning preparing yourself for war, putting on your armor, if you can, like literally just think about like you’re putting on, you know, your your battle gear every morning, and that is your meditation, that is your gratitude. That is your date of getting a good sweat in that is hydrating, that is thinking about the things positively that you’re going to impact the day with. Thinking about the conversations you’re going to have with high-level people, thinking about how you’re going to move the needle closer to your goals, journaling about it, laying it all out, being proactive about how you’re going to attack your day, every day, right? Then, when you get to the office, and an hour goes by 10 o’clock happens and someone calls and says there’s an underground tank, it’s 500 gallons, and we’re not sure if it’s going to cause an EPA nightmare. You’re less likely to react by going, Oh, my God, this guy’s fall, and everything’s gonna We’re all gonna die. Right? You take a minute, and you and you and you think first about what you’re grateful for your presence of mind. You solve problems slower, or you think through them. Okay, what’s the next step? Who do I need to talk to? How do we handle this situation? What is the best case scenario? What is the worst-case scenario? And so when we have this mental armor in place, we’re more proactive about how to solve problems and less reactive to freaking out every time, a big or small problem gets put in front of us. And so what happens is, we’re more productive throughout our entire day into our entire week, rather than being reactive to every single fire that gets started.

Ryan 

I can’t agree more with what you just said, I have a similar experience. Like all the work that I do myself problems come up. I don’t freak out as much as I used to. And none. They don’t feel the stress and the anxiety. But like you said, think slower. I guess I never thought of it that way. It’s really interesting. The way you phrased that.

Joe 

We had this awesome conversation. Last week in Mexico, my jujitsu coach has this quote, he says slow is smooth, and smooth is fast, right? Like when you’re putting a move on somebody or you’re trying to practice a drill, when you practice really slow and you get smooth that something. Next thing you know, you’re so smooth that a move that you can do it fast. And it’s like the move just existed all along. It’s like a natural progression. Right? Well, when you break down problem-solving slowly in your presence of mind and your focus, then you can break down a problem into solvable terms. And that becomes a practice of yours, you become smooth at problem-solving, then you can become fast at problem-solving. But until you become smooth that you can’t become fast. And that starts to resonate with the listeners. Then all of a sudden there’ll be like an aha moment like holy crap. He’s right. You know, it’s the same in jujitsu.

Ryan

Yeah, this is great. I mean, honestly, these 15 minutes flew by and I fully believe with all the advice and wisdom you shared. My audience is gonna be better off. If you’re listening to this episode, I really appreciate everything you shared. I do have one last question for you, though. And we’ll wrap up with you sharing your website or whatever you want to whatever resources you want to share. I can feel your energy, I can feel your zest for life. Sounds like you’ve had a fair amount of success and all that. And I won’t like your personal perspective on the meaning of life like through Joe’s lens, what is the meaning of life?

Joe  

We call on loctite. We call our coaching program, Legacy builder coaching, right? And I think this term legacy gets overused, right, like, you know, what is a legacy? How do we build a legacy to me the meaning of life is that I have this moral obligation to share what I know for the betterment of people around me. And what that means is, yes, I will make a lot of money in my life, because I’m sharing my knowledge, and I’m helping people succeed. But more importantly, I want some kid in 150 years to learn something from his father, who learned something from his great great grandfather that I had a conversation with, who does something better for society, for his community, for the people around him, because of something that we taught, right, like what we can do for society, just because we’re sharing our knowledge, because we’re trying to make an impact. Like, to me that’s legacy. That’s what we’re here for. Right? And it doesn’t necessarily have to be my name on the side of a building. It’s something that that kid actually does because we taught it today, right? Or we put that ball in the motion. And to me, that’s the bigger, that’s the bigger gift. That’s the contribution that we can give to society.

Ryan  

I have to think about the ripple effect, like what we’re doing today, what does it what does the ripple effects, you know, X number of years down the road? So yeah, I love that answer. Well, this has been great. Joe, this is running great. What if people want to reach out to you? Where should we send them?

Joe 

Yeah, they can go to legacybuilder.coach is the main spot and they can just find me on Facebook at Joe Evangelisti.

Ryan

We’ll link that up in the show notes. Well, thanks, Joe. appreciate everyone for listening. 

Joe

Yeah, Ryan. Thanks for having me, brother.

Ryan 

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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