International investor and developer, business owner, entrepreneur and lender Michael Cobb may be doing big things in life now, but he started out small. In fact, he grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, where he learned from his father about the rewards of working hard and keeping busy. What opened his views on the world, however, was that he got to do a lot of international travel in his childhood. That didn’t make him fit in with his peers, and as he entered his teen years he knew that small town life wasn’t for him. Later, as he entered the adult workforce, he learned two more impressive character traits. One was to work smarter; the other was to serve others. Mike was headed toward “lawyering,” but ended up in sales.
This choice suited him; he would use his sales skills and people skills later to help individuals from North America invest in properties in Central and South America. This all started after a vacation to a beautiful island country called Belize. Mike fell in love with the area and purchased two condos on Ambergris Caye (in Belize). He kept going back until one day he realized that something was missing. It was financing. There was no easy way for people from North America to invest in properties in Belize without paying the full amount. He came up with a way that would allow down payments and terms. He became a problem solver on a grand scale! Of course, this is just one of Michael Cobb’s accomplishments. It’s amazing that he remains so humble. This is a powerful episode you won’t want to miss! LISTEN NOW
On this episode of Cash Flow Diary, J interviews Michael Cobb, who helps North Americans acquire property in Central and South America, and assists developers to resolve cash flow. If you’ve ever wanted to know about investing offshore, then this is the podcast for you!
04:06 Michael’s origin story
17:36 Lady Luck and risk taking
20:26 Taming chaos
21:24 Becoming an entrepreneur
23:18 Working for yourself
28:54 Free one-on-one breakthrough session / J’s episode insight
32:04 Buying a resort in foreclosure
34:58 Unique serving proposition
38:08 Del Webb and the community business model
45:15 Finding a problem and creating a solution
47:08 Informal boards
40:07 Contacting Michael
52:07 Michael’s advice
Main Questions Asked:
- What is your origin story?
- How did you make the jump to work for yourself?
- Tell us about your real estate.
- What do you say to the person who wants to become an entrepreneur?
Key Lessons Learned:
- If you help enough people to get what they want, you can have what you want.
- Everywhere there’s a problem, there’s a way to take that problem and turn it into something that solves a problem for somebody else.
- Instead of a unique ‘selling’ proposition, think of a unique ‘serving’ proposition.
- Often, we are inspired with an idea and want to do something about it, but we don’t even know how to recognize the opportunity.
Entrepreneurship, Luck and Chaos
- The harder you work, the luckier you get.
- Hard work is preparation for the ‘knock on the door’ from Lady Luck.
- Entrepreneurship with faith is the ability to wade into the unknown, take risks, and have the sense that you have the resources and creativity (between yourself and your network) to get to the other side.
- J’s definition of L.U.C.K. (Laboring Under Correct Knowledge.)
- Tame chaos, and turn it into a solution for consumers.
- Just because you were educated in something that was relevant at one time doesn’t mean you can count on it for the entirety of your life.
- It takes 10,000 hours to become a master at something, but it’s up to you how long it takes to achieve those hours.
- Most entrepreneurs don’t know everything all of the time. The idea we think we have isn’t exactly the idea that comes to fruition.
The Community Business Model
1) People want a warm retirement.
2) People want community (friends, neighbors, and activities).
3) People want to live in the different environments (location, geography, climate, and scenery).
- Essentially, Michael brought an existing solution to a community that didn’t know it existed.
Forming Informal Boards
- Find a group of retired business executives, and buy them lunch or dinner four times a year.
- Retired guys are easy to get, as they are usually bored and looking for something to do (plus their wives want them out of the house).
- Listen to what they say, and recognize the value of their 30,000 ft perspective.
- Don’t let what you don’t know stop you from taking the action you know you should do today.
Advice on Entrepreneurship
- Courage, faith, and persistence is what you most need, and avoid ‘analysis to paralysis.’
- Ultimately you ‘just do it,’ which takes more courage than you think (and not the absence of fear).
- Courage is the action of continuing on despite fear.
- Assume entrepreneurship will be twice as difficult, take twice as long, and cost twice as much as imagined so allow yourself lots of margins of error.
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Links to Resources Mentioned
Tom Ziglar (Interview)
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