Retired Marine Officer Shut Down $100,000 Per Month Business — Here’s Why

May 18, 2018

What if you had a business that was making $100,000 in one month?

BUT, what if this business was failing miserably? 😱

You may have 100,000 in sales but your company is in the red, you are losing money. It is time to make a Pivot! You will have to make some changes to turn things around.

Thankfully this wasn’t my experience, but this was an experience of a close friend of mine.

I recently had breakfast with him to learn more about his story.

My friend is Antonio Centeno - you might know him from Real Men Real Style. He has almost 2 Million subscribers on his YouTube channel.


Be sure to to subscribe to his channel here:



He was also an officer in the Marines. OORAH!

This dude is Legit! 🤵

He knows fashion, but you will know he was a Marine just by his demeanor.

I wanted to share his story because it is an important lesson.

I entered the Marines in 1997 through OCS after college. Most of the men in my family have served in the military. I actually didn’t know what I wanted to do with my philosophy degree - but I knew the Marines would be a good first step.

One thing we learn in the military is that you don’t fail -- you don’t give up.

A Tailored Suit was the first company I founded in 2007. Even through I was making 100,000 a month, my expenses were even higher. I was losing money.

Obstacles are there to stop other people. If you are healthy and relatively young- you may live until your 90s - you have plenty of time to change the world! 🙌

Remember the word Pivot?

You typically hear this word associated with entrepreneurs - but it’s true for all business owners. You may be on the right path in your business but if you face obstacles, you may need to pivot to reach that next level of success. 🤔

All of the sudden you realize you need to make a change.

With Antonio, he was on the right track, but he need to make a change in his business. He was talking about style for men because he felt like that was a great niche that needed to be served. But with his pivot instead of offering custom tailored suits, it was more about educating and offering tools and resources to help men dress for success.

He started with A Tailored Suit - it didn’t quit work out so he pivoted to Real Men Real Style - and has developed a major following.

I didn’t have any huge pivots but I did have a time where my following dropped from 100,000 overnight. This happened after Google made some changes. They did not notify me AT ALL. 😱

I didn’t know why I had a sudden drop or what to do to fix it. I had to make a small pivot and take a look at where I was going.

💡 I thought about why I had started the blog in the first place. That is what inspired me to start my YouTube Channel.

A lot of times people will just quit.

This is where you don’t give up and accept defeat. You analyze where you are and where you want to be and you make a pivot.

It doesn’t happen overnight.

But don’t give up!

Have you had a time in your life where you hat to pivot and make changes?

Share your experience with us in the comments below.

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8 Real Estate Investing Strategies (without actually managing properties)

May 16, 2018

Real estate investing has never been easier.....

We all know that if we want to build wealth, we can’t do it by investing $100 a month into a mutual fund.

Well, yes you will do it over time -- and build wealth in the long run.

💵💵 But, for those that are building wealth a lot quicker; they are doing things differently.


Of all the options I shared, #8 is the one I'm excited about: Fundrise.

It's an online crowdfunding option that allows you to get started for as little as $500.

That's it!

You can read more about Fundrise here:

Or you can open account here:



One of the things you hear most often is people building wealth by investing in real estate.

Real estate investing can be intimidating and risky. I am going to share with you my Top 8 ways to invest in real estate -- without managing properties. 🏘️

➡️ 1. Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) [1:59]

This is kind of like mutual funds - but they track specific markets. They are not actively managed and focus on meeting market averages. Vanguard Real Estate Fund is a popular choice but there are lots of options.

➡️ 2. Real Estate Mutual Funds [6:12]

These have a focus on real estate and work to outpace what the average is. They are actively managed so you can expect some higher fees. But, you should expect a higher return.

➡️ 3. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) [9:03]

A REIT is a company that specializes in real estate. They own and usually operate income-producing real estate. This could include commercial properties ranging from apartments and shopping malls to warehouses and hospitals.

➡️ 4. Invest in a Real Estate Focus Company [12:25]

An example of this type of company would be ReMax. These companies help you buy and sell homes or commercial properties.

➡️ 5. Invest in home construction [12:45]

These companies do not manage properties. An example of this type of company is Pulte Homes. There are hundreds of these companies - I’m sure you can find one in your area.


Online Brokers to Buy ETFs, Mutual Funds or Stocks:


TD Ameritrade




Ally Financial


➡️ 6. Hire a property manager [14:22]

You can buy a house, duplex or apartment complex to generate rental income. But who wants the headache of dealing with that? Hire a property manager to take care of all of the details for you.

➡️ 7. Real Estate Notes [16:33]

A private real estate note requires you to lend money to individuals that buy properties and fix them up to flip or rent.

➡️ 8. Online Real Estate Options [17:32]

This is my favorite! You can get into this for about $500 and you can do it all from your computer at home. My favorite company for this right now is Fundrise.

The process is similar to peer-to-peer lending but you are not investing into notes or loaning people money. Instead, you are pooling your funds with others.


🏘Online Real Estate Investing with Fundrise




 🙁 Have you had a failed real estate investment like me?

🤔 Have you ever considered investing in real estate?

Please share in the comments below - and if you are interested in any of these options, please let me know!

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Real Estate Investment Fail (7 Crucial Lessons Learned)

May 14, 2018

If you've been following this YouTube channel you know that I am a Certified Financial Planner.

I help people manage their money and make smart investments decisions. 💸

In other words, I prevent them from losing their butt off of stupid impulsive money making ideas.

There is one investment area that I don't know a lot about and actually had a failed experience with.

So, what was this investment that I failed miserably with?

‼️ It was Real Estate! ‼️

A lot of people want to invest in real estate and it is something you can make a lot of money with.

You can also lose a lot of money!

😞 Although this did not work out for me, I learned some very valuable lessons. I want to share with you 7 things that I learned.

➡️ 1. If it sounds to good to be true -- it probably is!

This could include details of the financing program or the property itself.

➡️ 2. Stick with what you know -vs- what you think you may love.

You will spend a lot of time learning and researching vs spending time on your established income stream.

➡️ 3. True deals are a lot harder to find than you may think.

Don't get me wrong, the deals are out there, but you have to look in different places.

➡️ 4. Never overpay for a property.

Your rental income has to cover your mortgage payment, fees, repairs, etc. and still produce a profit.

➡️ 5. Cash flow is everything!

You are on the hook for this monthly payment for the next 15-30 years.

➡️ 6. Looking for deals in all the wrong places.

You are not going to find the good deals in newspapers or on on craigslist.

➡️ 7. Never let greed control your emotions.

Don't start counting the cash until you've done all your research.

I still don't own any investment properties. But, this was a great learning experience for me.


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My “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” Experience

May 11, 2018

If you've been following the YouTube Channel at all, you know that Rich Dad, Poor Dad had a huge impact on my life.

📕 It was by far one of the most influential books I've read.

But one thing I dind't relaize when I read the book was that it was acutally a foreshadow of what would happen in my own life.

With my own Rich Dad and my own Poor Dad. 👨‍👨‍👦

I just want to share some of my journey with you today.

🎓 I was a financial major in college and became a financial advisor. It started with an internship in a local investment firm, which turned into a part-time job, which then turned into a full-time position.

I started out part time by cold calling and finding people for a top producer in the firm. I was supposed to make calls and find leads that he could close. What ended up happening was I was making the calls, finding the leads, and then closing the deal.

📅 After about a year of this he came to me and told me what a great job I was doing. However, he didn't really need someone to close the leads for him, just find them. He offered me two options for a new postion:

➡️ Option 1 - I could become his Administrative Assistant with a guaranteed salary (12K more than I was currently making).

➡️ Option 2 - Become a Jr. Financial Advisor and find and close my own leads. This position did not have a guaranteed salary as I would only earn based on the deals I closed.

He gave me the weekend to think about it.

🤔 I had a big decision to make!

I decided I need to make a couple of calls. One to my real dad and one to my step dad.

My real dad, who had always worked hard for not a lot of money, advised me to take Option 1 - with a guaranteed salary.

My step dad, who always had a lot of money - but I never really knew what he did, advised me to take Option 2.

He said "Jeff, it sounds like you have already been doing this for a while. You've proven that you can do it and you enjoy it."

While both offered good, sound advice. I decided to go with Option 2 - because I knew I could do it and be successful. It also felt like the best career decision for me.

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10 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read 📚 (for massive success)

May 9, 2018

I often get asked what books had the biggest impact on me becoming a successful entrepreneur.

There are SOOOOO many but I was able to reduce it to my TOP 10.

The books are listed below or you can see the complete list here:


1️⃣Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki [4:11]


In the early stages of wanting to become successful in business, I didn’t really know what to read. I didn’t have a mentor at that time. But when I picked up this book I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. I read this book in a couple of days, it was that good. The big thing for me is that there are other options out there. He had his dad and his friends dad telling him different things or ways to become successful. This really was a pivotal moment for me.

2️⃣Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey [6:50]


I read this book in the first couple of years of becoming a financial advisor. I liked the reference to baby steps and the process that was presented. I was already teaching my clients some of these same steps. It was nice to be able to refer them to the book and to discover some of the additional steps.

3️⃣The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach [10:03]


This book resonated with me because I read it while I was deployed in Iraq. It was another that I read in a few days. My biggest takeaway was setting up auto investments and to automatically pay yourself. It teaches the concept of identifying areas in your life where you are spending/wasting money on the things that don’t really matter to you.

4️⃣Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk [14:24]


If you don’t know Gary Vee’s history before he was all over social media, he was on Wine Library TV. Basically he drank different wines and shared his opinion about them. But what made the show was that he was so energetic and passionate about anything that he talked about. He was willing to take risks and put himself out there doing something different. He teaches you to ‘cash in’ on your passion.

5️⃣4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss [17:05]


Tim Ferriss brought his A game in this book when talking about strategies. Tim gives some real life examples of how to cash in on your passion. He also teaches you how to outsource the stuff on your plate that keeps you overwhelmed. The things that prevent you from getting to the fun parts of life. I was so motivated I hired my first virtual assistant to fix pictures for me.

6️⃣$100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau [22:41]


Similar to the 4-Hour Work Week, Chris doesn’t call it the cash flow muse - instead he refers to i as micro business. He’s talking about the side hustle. Chris gives information for starting a side hustle and gives great examples of people that have done this in different ways.

7️⃣The Millionaire Messenger by Brendan Burchard [24:49]


How do you monetize your expertise? Brandon introduces his 6 Profit PIllars which works as a step-by-step guide to make this happen. It made it really each for me to work through the process.

8️⃣Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod [27:48]


You’ll hate me for this one if you are a night owl! I used to stay up until 1 -2 am working and hustling. After this book I changed to getting up early like 5 am, sometimes 4. By getting up early I am able to complete a morning routine that puts me ahead of the game.

9️⃣Expert Secrets by Russel Brunson [31:01]


Russell created a software program called Clickfunnels. It is a program that is used to set up sales funnels quickly and easily, like with the click of a mouse. Russell lays out a blueprint for you in his book Expert Secrets to help you develop a business.

🔟Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt [33:28]


Michael Hyatt is one of my mentors and I love this book. I am a huge ‘goal’ person. Michael talks about goals in a very different way. He recommends to first reflect on what you have already accomplished and the things that you have. Then you move to the next step of setting goals for the things that you want to accomplish. This book offers a great framework for how to set goals so they are achievable.


Watch Now:

Best 5 Minutes To Start Your Day (Five Minute Journal Review)

May 8, 2018

I am a big fan of journaling, especially the Five Minute Journal. 📖

I started incorporating journaling into my morning about 2 years ago.

The thing I like about journaling is that it primes my day.

I love the gratitude focus. It is so important to focus on the things that we have rather than the things that we don't have.

Each week will start out with a quote or weekly challenge. Just something to get you inspired or to do something you haven't done in a while.

📱 One that I really liked was reaching out to a friend you haven't spoken to in a while. Just a phone call or to reconnect with someone that you haven't in a while.

What's cool about the 5 Minute Journal is that they have a version for kids.

I ordered some for my kids and they just arrived in the mail today. I am excited to share this with my kids. I want them to start journaling each morning before school.

I think it is important for them to focus on the things they are grateful for and the things they can do to make their day great.

In the evening we can reflect on our day together and journal about the great things that happened in our days or the things we could have done better. 🤔

👪 I love that we can use the 5 Minute Journal as a tool to connect as a family.

Watch Now:

Best Short-Term Investment Options (for high return 🚀)

April 26, 2018

⁉️ Does this sound familiar:

You've got some money sitting around in cash and you want to invest it and make a decent return.


💭 you don't want to tie up your money too long
💭 you don't want to lose it

Are there opportunities that even exist in today's low interest environment for short-term investing?

There are a ton of you that are in this same situation with money sitting in cash- but you don't know what you options are.

Today I am going to talk about this very topic in response to a reader question I received.

💻 My reader, Tien asked "What is the best thing to do with my money for short-term grown when I still want accessibility?"

I offered a few tips for Tien:

✳️ Even with low interest rates, keep enough in savings for emergencies
✳️ Don't be tempted by short-term growth
✳️ Peer-to-peer lending is not a short-term investment
✳️ Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) - They are low cost and offer a variety of options. Keep an emphasis on short-term bond ETFs in the 1-3 year range.

You can get all the detailed information on each of these options in the video. 😉

➡️ You can start your Betterment account here:

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My Lending Club Investment Review (what I did wrong 😭)

April 17, 2018

This video shows you all of my LendingClub accounts and what I did wrong and how I plan to fix it with my new LendingClub account.

Get started with LendingClub here:


Do you really want to loan money to family or friends and risk having them not pay you back? 😲

What if you could loan your money to a stranger instead (and make interest)? 🤔🤷

➡️ That is what peer-to-peer lending is all about.

One of the largest peer-to-peer platforms is LendingClub. In this video I will show you how you can use this platform as an additional investing tool.

Lending Club is an online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform that takes the banker out of banking.

Investors lend money directly to borrowers through the website, enabling both to benefit from the rate of interest established for each loan.

And just as important, the entire transaction happens online, eliminating the need for sometimes embarrassing face-to-face meetings common with bank loans. 😳

It’s a win-win as both the investor and the borrower benefit from the LendingClub process.

➡️ There are two ways to invest with LendingClub.

Manual investing is where you browse available loans and choose which ones you’ll invest in one at a time.

💻 But you can also use automated investing in which you set investment criteria, and notes are selected automatically based on that criteria.

⁉️ Like any investment there are some risks.

It’s important to realize investments held through LendingClub are not bank assets, and as such they are not insured by the FDIC.

Individual loans can go into default, and if they do, you will lose that portion of your investment.

In addition, a missed payment by a borrower means you will not get the payment on that loan in that particular month.

LendingClub does use “best practices” to collect payments from delinquent borrowers, but some will default nonetheless.

You can also hold LendingClub investments as part of an individual retirement account (IRA).

You can do this through a LendingClub self-directed IRA. LendingClub will pay the annual IRA fee if you open the account with a minimum of $5,000 and keep that balance level for a minimum of 12 months.

Read more about LendingClub on my blog here:

Learn more about peer to peer lending here:

➡️ Get started with LendingClub here:

Disclosure: I receive compensation from LendingClub for anyone that signs up through my affiliate links.

The results shown here are specific to my personal accounts and may not be representative of the experience of other LendingClub investors and are not a guarantee or indication of anyone else’s performance or results.

Watch Now:

How to Invest: Top 9 Ways to Invest $10,000 💰(real life strategies)

April 13, 2018

Do you remember the first time you wrote a check for $100?

What about your first $1,000 check? I bet you weren't wondering how to invest $1,000 dollars then, were you? Even better, your first $10,000 check?

The first time I wrote a check for $10,000 was to pay off my student loan debt. That was, by far, the best check I ever wrote!

For me the choice was clear, but where to put an extra $10,000 isn't always an easy decision. I'm here to help! Here are 9 great ideas on how to smartly invest $10,000.


▶︎1. Stock Market (5:26)

If you want to put your money into a virtual autopilot situation, a robo-advisor may be exactly what you’re looking for.

What is a robo-advisor? It’s an online investment management platform, often referred to as a robo advisor, because everything is handled automatically for you.

✅Open an Account at Betterment here:

▶︎2. Buying Individual Stocks (9:19)

You can open an online discount brokerage account through companies like TD Ameritrade and Ally Financial.

✅TD Ameritrade

✅Ally Financial


▶︎3. Tax-free goodness - Roth IRA (11:42)

You can only put $5,500 in for yourself, but you could also put in $5,500 for your spouse.

Learn more about how to become a Roth IRA Millionaire here:


▶︎4. Peer to Peer Lending (12:13)

If you prefer fixed income investments to equities, peer-to-peer lending offers an opportunity to earn interest rates that are well above average.

There are various peer-to-peer lending sites on the web already, the two I recommend are Lending Club and Prosper.

Open an an account with Lending Club here:


Prosper here:



▶︎5. Real Estate (14:14)

Real estate is an excellent investment, no doubt about it. But $10,000 isn’t enough to make a down payment on the purchase of an investment property these days but that doesn’t mean that you can't invest in real estate.

🏡If you don't want to manage properties and still make money from real estate, check out Fundrise:

▶︎6. Annuity (20:55)

You guys know I am not crazy about annuities 😆, but there are some instances where they are the better choice. If you are 5-10 years away from retirement, this may be the perfect opportunity for you to invest in some safe retirement opportunities.

▶︎7. Invest in a Business (23:15)

This is yet another example of investing in yourself. By starting your own business, you put yourself in a position to take maximum advantage of your knowledge, skills and abilities.

Thanks to the Internet, it’s very possible to start your own business with just a few thousand dollars.

▶︎8. Coaching Programs (26:46)

When we think of investing, we generally think of putting money into assets with the hope of getting a return on the investment. Anything that you can do to improve your knowledge and skills – that will either enable you to live better, or to earn more money – is a true investment.

One of the ways to do this is to put some of your money into coaching programs.

▶︎9. Cryptocurrency (30:14) Yes I finally did it- I invested some money in Bitcoin.

Give a couple of these a try and see if they'll work for you!

Get all the details on the blog here:

★☆★Resources Mentioned In The Video★☆★

🤝Peer to Peer Lending Options:

Lending Club


🏢Online Real Estate Options:


📈Get Started Investing Options:


TD Ameritrade

Ally Financial

Watch Now:

You’re Making The Worst Mistake of Your Career

April 4, 2018

Today I want to talk to you about failure.

🛑 Not YOUR failure.

🛑 Not MY failure.

I'm talking about when someone else tells you that you are going to fail.

I worked for 5 years with a finacial investment firm. It was a great position and I enjoyed my job. I got really close to one of my mentors. I valued his advice and thought of him as a father figure.

Then the company sold and I felt that I needed to move on. I decided to start a firm with some of my fellow co-workers. Everyone told me I was making a bad decision.

Even my trusted mentor. ⁉️ They actually told me that it was the worst decision of my life. That this wouldn't work out and I would fail.

How do you deal with this kind of feedback?

How do you know that you are making the right decision? I felt in my gut and my heart 💓 that I was doing the right thing, but was that enough?

👂 I listened to what they had to say - but I didn't let if affect my decision.

If you find yourself in this position, where someone you trust and look up to makes these kinds of comments to you -

I want you to ask yourself three questions (and I talk about these questions in more detail on the video):

1. Where are they coming from? (Are they thinking of you and your strengths?)
2. What if they're right? (what's the worst that could happen?)
3. What if they're wrong? (what if you don't take this opportunity?)

It is hard when someone you trust and respect tells you that you are making a bad choice, that you will fail. Part of you feels like you may be letting them down if you follow through.

🤔 Another part wonders why they don't have confidence in your abilities.

Don't let that self-doubt creep in just because someone else questions you.

I didn't and it turns out they were wrong and I am glad I didn't let their self-doubt decide my future!

★☆★ Want More Good Financial Cents? ★☆★

💻 Check out my blog here:

Listen to my podcast here:


Pick up my best selling book, Soldier of Finance, here:


Connect with me on Twitter:

My most favorite inspiration T-shirt line, Compete Every Day:


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