“I told you so…” (And 2 lessons from a Billionaire)
I hate to say it but “I told you so…”
I’ve been talking about Frank McKinney “Palm Beach Experience” for awhile and telling my friends, Mastermind members and subscribers they had to be there. I had about 10 of you guys take me up on it and for the people there, including me, it truly was life changing.
Yes, that gets thrown around a bit too much – but let me just recap the weekend and give you a few solid take-aways.
First, a quick background. Frank McKinney is truly a Maverick real estate “artist”. He builds 8, 9 and even now 10-figure oceanfront properties for the ultra wealthy on spec (meaning no buyer). Even more amazing is the man is like a modern Robin Hood. He takes many of those profits and channels them to the desperately poor and homeless in Haiti. It’s part of his Caring House Foundation Project.
A couple highlights from the event….
First off, I stayed at Frank’s house in one of his guest cottages, and for some reason I couldn’t sleep. So I ended up awake at 4 AM and decided I’d make a cameo appearance and go for a 5-mile jog with Frank and some of the other crazy attendees who got up that early. I figured this would be the only time Frank would see me awake at that hour unless we passed each other when I was going to bed and he was getting up. This is the guy who just came back from the 135 mile Badwater Ultramarathon. and I probably haven’t run in 5 years. Surprisingly I didn’t even notice the mileage because I was talking business & life with a bunch of people as we were running. Frank videotaped the entire event (including this run) so I have real proof for Missy.
After hitting the showers we all boarded luxury motor coaches to check out Frank’s meager beginnings in real estate investing with his first $50,000 fixer-upper. A lot of people will see someone as successful as Frank McKinney and never believe he started in the exact same place everyone else does…at the beginning. He told us he passed up several deals because he was so scared to part with his “hard earned” money. He was nearly shaking when he pulled the trigger to buy his first house in one of the rougher areas of Palm Beach County.
Then we traveled forward in time and up (significantly) in price touring 3 mansions worth over $75 million. Truthfully, I’ve never been in a house valued at more than probably $7-$8M. It really was something to sit there for a moment and truly visualize yourself being able to afford one of these magnificent properties. In the brief time I’ve known Frank I’ve learned some powerful things from him but during an off-comment I picked up something huge.
Frank said at every house he creates “conversation pieces”.
Now stop and think about that for a second. To me that was profound. A quick example will help here. In one of the homes (actually John Ferber’s who you’ll hear about in a second) we toured there was a floor to ceiling custom fish-tank and the actual bar top was an adjoining tank. You could be sitting there at this bar and watching the tropical fish through your Jack & Coke. Plus, when you were behind the bar it looked like you were walking on water because there was a clear plexi-glass floor with a thin layer of water and a shark head image. I wish I took a picture. It was pretty damn cool! You walk into the house and you have to talk about this feature.[Update: I got pics from one of the other attendees]
It got me thinking about what I could do for Maverick Business Adventures™ that would create conversation pieces. People want to be able to ‘show off’ just a little bit to their friends and get that ego stroke.
Lunch that first day was on the site of Frank’s $135 M spec house. Yes, that means a 10-figure house without a buyer – I have to give the guy credit. In his book (that’s well worth reading) he talks about flexing your risk muscle and strengthening it. He’s done that in spades here. [Side note – you can listen to a special interview I did with Frank here. He talks about this success secret and several others.]
Right next door to his $135 spec house is his current $30 million ‘green home’. Currently the world’s largest green home. If there was any house on this tour that I wanted – my heart had a little flutter for this one. But I’d need to sell a few more ebooks to cover the mortgage on this bad boy. ;)
Here’s a pic of the model in the meantime: (One of the conversation pieces on this house is you can drive into your subterranean garage and there will be a clear wall where you can see into the pool above. Cool!)
The next morning there was a special VIP breakfast with coach Don Shula. Here’s a few moments of his inspiration and a quick pic:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_zgDv9gjiY]
For lunch that day we boarded a yacht to make a 2 ½ hour cruise down the Intracoastal Waterway to arrive at the Governor’s club. That’s where Rich DeVos, co-founder of Amway and owner of the Orlando Magic, shared his insights.
I loved it! He is Frank’s personal mentor and I could see why. I took a few key notes with his presentation. A couple of the biggies for me were:
1. Become the biggest cheerleader in your organization
2. Plan your yearly calendar with family events first
3. Buy a huge yacht and then an island so your family (kids, grandkids) can’t get away and they are ‘forced’ to spend time with you.
I grabbed a quick pic with Mr. DeVos before we had to sprint back to the boat.
On the return trip John Ferber, co-founder of Advertising.com, talked about how he survived and thrived through the dot-com bubble. Oh did I mention the guy sold his business for $500 Million to AOL? Pretty sweet. John and I exchanged cards in the buffet line and he’s definitely got a sense of humor. He named his company “Vandelay Industries”. (Any Seinfeld fans out there get it?)
This was the guy Frank said I had to meet and as luck would have it we ended up sitting right next to each other because my first seat got taken by an attendee’s husband.
I took a few minutes of his presentation to share:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cznJ2mJj8xk] [Side note: I must mention again Frank videotaped the entire event so my little snippets aren’t even close to what was shared there and it’s worth getting the recordings when he makes them available.]
That night all the guests took part in Michael Israel’s “Art in Concert”. Really cool! The guy painted 6 original portraits on the spot with rock music going. I’ve never seen anything like it. The guy is an amazing talent - you can see some video of what he does on his site.
Of course I just had to purchase one of the pieces during the auction especially since it went to a good cause to benefit the Caring House. I called Missy after the auction and used a little “compare/contrast”. Here’s how the conversation went:
Me: “Hi honey – just checking in and letting you know I bought a few things at the auction.”
Missy: “I knew you would.”
Me: “Yeah, I spent $100k. It’s okay though – it all went to charity.”
Missy: “Shut up!”
Me: “Okay. It was $50k.”
Missy: “Right…how much?”
Me: “It was $20k.”
Missy: “Um….I have a charity for you. It’s called Zak & Zoe’s college education.”
She was kidding obviously. I think.
The auction raised over $140,000 for Caring House Project Foundation. And after the auction there was a “Midnight PJs, Pizza & Popcorn” session where attendees and co-host presenters could hang in a casual environment. We left at 1:30 and barely had time to hit last call down the road. Mike Litman was buying shots for the whole bar in honor of me selling my “dot-com” business. I told people it was my ChicksinChickensuits.com site. I said there were a lot of people with weird poultry fetishes.
I was hanging out with Mike and Frank’s brother, Bob, until 3:30 AM. Believe it or not, he was considering going running the next morning….errr….in 1 hour. I told him to count me out! Of course, he didn’t make it up either.
The next morning we finished up with a question and answer session on the beach. It was killing me because 50 feet away was a beach volleyball net – but good thing the guys playing pretty much sucked or I might have been really tempted.
Not sure if Frank will ever do an event like this again – but if he does I’ll be the first one to sign-up. Oh, and if any of you buy the $30M green house I sure hope I get an invite to your party!