Interview with Brad Weimert
Scaling Beyond a Million with Brad Weimert
Today, I’m speaking with my long-time friend, Brad Weimert. Brad is an adventurer, investor, entrepreneur, and Founder of Easy Pay Direct—a payment gateway touted as the most critical tool on the market to facilitate high-level eCommerce.
What makes Brad’s business so unique is how it manages what bigger processing companies (like PayPal or Stripe) would consider to be “high risk.” While these merchant accounts allow you to get set up quickly, they fail to get to know your business. And the result can lead to holds on money that you legitimately earned—or even worse, closing down your account altogether without notice.
Easy Pay Direct solves this problem by underwriting on the front-end and really getting to know your business and how it operates. Through that unique differentiation, Brad’s company has been able to work with over 30,000 businesses and serves clients like Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, Hal Elrod, Grant Cardone, Frank Kern, and many others.
Seeing the data behind so many companies over the years has given Brad a unique vantage point for what it takes to build a successful business. This experience led to him launching the Beyond a Million podcast—a new show that uncovers the tactics and strategies behind 7, 8, and 9 figure businesses.
In today’s episode, not only do we talk about Brad’s entrepreneurial journey and the new podcast (launching January 20th), but we also dig into his investing experience and the most recent real-estate deal that made him a multimillion-dollar return in only 2 years. That and a whole lot more!
Featured on This Episode: Brad Weimert
✅ What he does: Brad Weimert is an adventurer, investor, entrepreneur, and Founder of Easy Pay Direct—a payment gateway touted as the most critical tool on the market to facilitate high-level eCommerce. He’s also the host of the new podcast, Beyond a Million, which interviews 7, 8, and 9 figure entrepreneur’s to uncover the tactics and strategies behind their success.
💬 Words of wisdom: Deep relationships are built – and thrive – in unique situations.
🔎 Where to find Brad Weimert: Podcast | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
Key Takeaways with Brad Weimert
- Taking radical ownership over how you live your life.
- Being intentional about the people you spend time with.
- The real estate investment that made Brad a multimillion-dollar return in only 2 years.
- The cost segregation tax strategy that helps real estate investors increase cash flow and decrease taxes!
- Easy Pay Direct—the credit card processing company serving “high risk” merchant accounts. Find out why it’s so important to work with a company that REALLY knows your industry!
- The Beyond a Million podcast—tactics and strategies from 7, 8, and 9-figure entrepreneurs. Go listen here!
- What it’s like to run the Grand Canyon (rim-to-rim-to-rim) with a broken foot bone and a sprained ankle—and why your mind is more powerful than you think!
The Beyond a Million Podcast
Brad Weimert Tweetable“Your body will often keep up if your mind will. I think that that's true in lots of areas of life. If you make a decision that you're going to do something, your body or your other behaviors will follow through.” – Brad Weimert Click To Tweet
- Beyond a Million Podcast with Brad Weimert
- Follow Brad Weimert on Podcast | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram
- Easy Pay Direct, founded by Brad Weimert
- Vector Marketing
- Cutco Knives
- Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail
- Principles: Life and Work
- Mike Koenigs
- Front Row Foundation
- Jon Vroman
- John Ruhlin
- Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
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Read the Full Transcript with Brad Weimert
Justin Donald: What’s up, Brad? So glad to have you on the show. This is fun. We’ve talked about this for a while and the day is finally here.
Brad Weimert: It’s good to see you, man. It’s always good to see you.
Justin Donald: Yeah. Well, it’s fun living in the same city. Just moving to Austin has been incredible and it’s great. You know, you and I, we’ve known each other. We’ve been friends for over 20 years. But what’s cool is when you come back to a city, you reconnect with people. You were one of the first people to reach out and just say, “Hey, let’s get some time in the calendar.” And we’ve had such a fun time just diving deep and kind of catching up and learning what’s going on in each other’s lives over the past five years that I’ve lived here. So, I appreciate you for that. And there’s so much that we get a chance to talk about and ideas that we bounce off of each other so I just very much value our friendship.
Brad Weimert: I feel the same way, man. I think that one of the beautiful parts of life is the depth that comes from and the comfort that comes from knowing people for a really long time. And you get to interact in a different way because you know that they know you and they understand you and something about you that probably somebody that’s been in your life for a shorter period of time does not.
Justin Donald: Yeah, and you don’t have to worry about first impressions. That should be said. So, it’s like, “Hey, let me just be who I am authentically.” That’s one thing that you’re great at. You show up as who you are. You don’t pull punches. And it’s a beautiful thing because I know I can feel the authenticity that you have. You don’t sugarcoat things and you don’t say things that you don’t feel or don’t believe or the place that you’re at, you’re just very real with people. And I really appreciate and admire that.
Brad Weimert: Well, love it or hate it. That’s how it’s going to go. And it’s usually going to be one or the other.
Justin Donald: That’s great. Well, you have had such a cool story of success, and it’s a series of successes that you’ve experienced, and I’d love to kind of go back. I mean, we could talk about this huge business that you’ve built with Easy Pay Direct and I want to get into that today. You’ve launched a new podcast. I want to get into that today. But before we talk about the Brad Weimert of now, I’d love to kind of go back and figure out like how did you get this desire to be an entrepreneur, to be an investor, to be so lifestyle-focused and oriented? Because you have one of the coolest lifestyles of anyone I know. You do all the stuff that you want to do, and it’s fantastic. So, that’s why I’m so excited to have you on the show, that and many other reasons. But where this all began?
Brad Weimert: Man, those are good questions. I certainly have kind of told the origin story a lot of times but thinking about lifestyle design specifically is interesting. So, we grew up. Every time I say I grew up, I think about the first scene of The Jerk. You ever seen The Jerk?
Justin Donald: Oh yeah.
Brad Weimert: Where he says, “I was born a young black boy,” always pops in my head. Anyway, I was not born a young black boy but I was born a relative delinquent through most of my youth. So, I got arrested a lot of times in high school for menial nonsense. And then I found a commission-only sales job when I was 18, and that commission-only sales job is where I met you. That was Vector Marketing and Cutco Knives. And that was the beginning of the recognition that I was the one who was responsible for my outcomes. And if I didn’t get my outcome, I was the one to point to, not anybody else. And it was this radical ownership of my course. And I think that ultimately led me to this place of figuring out how to think about what industry I wanted to be in, what projects I wanted to invest in, and did it serve me in the different ways that I want? And that’s a lifelong exploration but I think that commission-only sales where you eat what you kill, so to speak, was the beginning.
Justin Donald: Yeah. It’s interesting. I interviewed Sam Marks and he talked about his kind of troubled past. And he had been arrested however many times, four or five times while he was in college, and went to go on to sell a company for $100 million. And you know, it’s interesting seeing that flip flop story because that is you. You caused a lot of trouble in your younger years. You were definitely a rebel. You like to walk to the beat of your own drum, and there was a certain way that it was and that worked in some instances and circumstances, but others it didn’t. And there were some repercussions. The legal side of things got involved here. So, at what point did you say, “Hey, I can’t keep down this path like this isn’t the way that I want to go. My aspirations are greater than this desire to tell people how it is and how I am?”
Brad Weimert: You know, I think that I don’t think this is unique. I don’t think this is necessarily Tony’s creation but Tony Robbins has a concept of running towards pleasure or running away from pain. And I think that in this case, I just found pleasure in driving an outcome. And I really greatly credit Corey Lilburn, who is a good friend of both of ours and was my first Cutco manager for just managing me well, just encouraging me, and having that positive energy to keep me moving forward. And ultimately that, I found myself excited about growth because I was getting so much positive reinforcement, both from the people around me and, of course, from money, from getting paid, which was a fun shift in my mentality of, “Oh wait, I can just do more and I get more money? This is amazing. This is what I want to do.” And I didn’t have that sense as a child if I just do more and make more. It was sort of you get paid X an hour and do that.
So, I think that running towards pleasure was the beginning of that. And over time, as I had goals year-over-year, it became more and more clear to me that these other things weren’t the best way to facilitate that. And at some point, I realized that one of the best ways to facilitate it was relationships, was building strong relationships that would exist throughout life, regardless of the other things going on. And as times got great or got tough or I went from one industry to the next, or I needed to learn one thing or the next, those relationships would persist. And that was the valuable element. And I think that was like a light bulb moment for me many years ago.
Justin Donald: Yeah. That’s incredible. And it’s great to see what ended up trumping what like relationships and getting ahead ended up trumping, being in control, or flexing yourself to authority. And so, I like that and I’ve seen this evolve in you over the years, the evolution of the type of relationships that you develop. A lot of people are surface level. Anyone that knows you knows you’re not surface level. You don’t even have time for that. Like, you just go deep immediately because what’s the point of just talking about the weather or sports when you can actually get to the core of who someone is and you’re fantastic at that. So, let’s talk about relationships a little bit more because I know you really value them. You take a lot of pride and joy in those that you’ve built. You’ve been friends with so many people for a long time, and I’ve met a lot of your great friends who have become my great friends. And so, what does that look like? You’re very intentional when it comes to relationships and times spent and getting together, and I’d love to hear how you prioritize that, why you prioritize that. What do relationships look like in your world today? How do you keep them front and center?
Brad Weimert: Yeah. You know, it’s tough at times, man. I think that you have to be deliberate in some capacity with – I think it serves you to be deliberate in some capacity when you’re trying to drive an outcome. And for me, there’s a big conversation here around a sort of what you’re looking for in your immediate future and what will serve you in your immediate future versus what will serve you in the long term, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 50 years from now. And for me with relationships, there is a lot of what I look for are values and how people operate, what their internal structure and narrative is and how they view the world, and how they view their work and their family and their life. And I look for the things that inspire me, right? And sometimes those are things that I’m really good at and I can relate to and sometimes there are things that I don’t really relate to at all but I’m impressed by. And they aren’t a part of my life but I’m impressed by. And the dance and the balance is figuring out when to prioritize those things right now versus when to plant the seeds for the future and say, “Hey, this is a person that we don’t have anything to do together financially right now. And quite honestly, it’s inconvenient to carve out time because I feel so overwhelmed and busy.” But, man, there’s something there that I think I can add value to them and they can add value to me. We should spend time together now.
Justin Donald: Yeah, that’s great. And by the way, relationships, I talk about this all the time, how relationships are the key to great investments because most of the best investments are going to come from people that you have some sort you’ve built a relationship with. Retail investors typically don’t do that well, and that’s where you’re just kind of picking something off the shelf, right? You know, “Oh, I saw this deal. I know a bunch of people that are in this deal.” Any time I hear like, “Oh, I know a bunch of non-sophisticated or average or retail investors were in this deal,” I’m like, “Okay. I’m going to go the opposite direction.” But you recently had just a fun transaction, so you made an investment. This is a real estate investment, and this was a multimillion-dollar return in a short period of time. And so, I love this component of your life because most people look at you as the entrepreneur or the extreme adventurer or extreme athlete, and we’re going to get into all these things today because there’s so much that makes up who you are, Brad. But I don’t know if a lot of people look at you as the investor and you’ve done very well with your investments over the last number of years and this one specifically. I mean, this is a grand slam, not just a home run. Bases were loaded on this one. I’d love to hear how this happened because this deal I think a lot of people probably would say, “That was risky,” and you would say, “No, not at all like this was very calculated and this was low risk.” And that’s the difference a lot of the time between those that make big returns and those that don’t.
Brad Weimert: Yeah, I agree with you. So, I’ll give you a little wind up to answer that because I think there are parallels in my life all over the place. But my world is about risk assessment and so Easy Pay Direct offers credit card processing for largely e-commerce businesses, but a variety of different types of businesses. And as a whole background of what makes something risky or not in e-commerce relative to us but I think about it all the time. And one of the analogies that I use for people and I’m explaining risk in payments is I say, “Look, when somebody sets up a merchant account for you, what they perceive to be risky is not necessarily the actual inherent risk in your business. It’s a combination between that and their understanding of your business.” And the parallel and the example that I use is if you asked me to invest in a single-family home in Austin, I’d have a pretty good grip on that and I’d say, “Hey, I can tell you, yes, I’ll do this or no, I won’t base on the numbers.” If you said, “Hey, I’ve got a logistics company out of China shipping widgets to the US, do you want to invest in it?” I don’t have any idea how to assess that, and it doesn’t mean that that’s more risky innately. It means that I don’t have the understanding to assess it.
So, in this case, I bought an office building about two years ago, and the office building was governed by an HOA, a community that had other condos. The office is a condo, standalone building but a condo and zoned as business. When I bought it, I bought it for, let’s call it 50% over “market value.” And I did that. And by the way, it sat on the market and people looked at it and nobody bought it. And this was two years ago, right? So, this is just before the pandemic and I did it because it was a part of a three-story building in the center of downtown Austin. And logic told me that in an environment like this, a developer is going to buy this thing out. And even though I’m paying significantly more at some point in the very near future, a developer is going to buy it out. And I’m a big fan of when I do risk assessment, looking at the absolute worst and the absolute best, and then recognizing that neither is likely to happen. So, I don’t need a contingency plan for the absolute worst, right, for the zombie apocalypse. I personally don’t need to or want to but would step it in and I will contingency plan for that. So, my thought was, “Look, this thing’s either going to sell to a developer in a year or the economy is going to turn and it’s going to be another cycle and it’s going to be eight years before I can sell it,” six, seven, eight, whatever. And I was okay with either scenario because I liked the building. My office was going to be in it. It’s fine.
Now, there was no writing on the wall for me that COVID was going to happen. That was a curveball, right? But it was clear as COVID started to resolve itself and we actually understood what it was that things popped back and we got interest again from developers and we got interest from developers to build. Through that process, I just continued to buy into the community and I was scooping things up as quickly as I could any time something popped and aggressively marketing to the community to buy additional units if possible because I saw the writing on the wall. And I think you hit it on the head, which is some people look at that as risky and I would say some people look at that as speculative investment. And I would challenge that frame and say, “When you invest in a certain community, a city, a state, a neighborhood, yes, there is some speculation there but for you to not calculate the projected possible return based on appreciation you’re missing a huge chunk of the equation.” So, you can run your numbers without that but I think you’re missing the point.
Justin Donald: Yeah. There’s no doubt about that. And I think that you recognize you’re in a hot market, so the market’s likely just going to go up. We’ve had a real good history of that over a long period of time. You know, even the financial crisis, the Austin market stayed very strong or at least kind of plateaued. It didn’t dip during that time. And so, I think that’s a great indicator. You got this huge housing demand and limited supply, same thing for buildings in the downtown. So, I think it was a brilliant play. Plus, you needed a place for your office. The last office you were in, that building was being torn down and redeveloped. So, you had to find somewhere. And it was cool because you found this. You got to spend a bunch of cash to like make it look nice. You built it out. You really did a great job making it look like a great place to work, very modern and trendy. And it’s cool because you could feel good pouring those dollars into it because you knew that it was going to appreciate more than what you spend on it. Sometimes people begrudgingly like spend on their business or they spend as little as they can, they go cheap, and you didn’t. You did a good job of making it a really cool spot where you could even entertain on the top floor of it, which was cool. So, give us more details on kind of the deal, how it went down the process, what you’re planning to do with those funds because I think you’re planning to do a 1031 so that you can defer taxes.
Brad Weimert: Yeah. Well, there’s a lot there. I’ll give you a couple of other details on the acquisition of other units in the community, which is that, one, I had to buy them cash because of the environment that we’re in, in Austin. So, the first one that popped up and that hit the market, I had alerts set for the building on the MLS and the first one that popped up was listed for 545. I made a full-price offer in six minutes from it hitting the market because I got the alert immediately. We were ready to go, six minutes. And the realtor said, “Okay.” Well, it was Friday and they said, “Well, we’re just going to see how the weekend goes.” And I was like, “Oh sh*t. I wish you wouldn’t. You’re getting your asking price, just take the asking price and let’s go.” And we tried to push a little to no avail. Monday, I had to modify the terms, and Monday night I got the offer accepted at 720 cash 6-day close. No contingencies. So, that’s what had to happen to get it done. And then I financed out of it afterwards and it’s fine but I feel grateful to have the ability to make those moves quickly. But I bought another like that also but I think the big lesson was, again, I was in this position where I was “overpaying” for those.
But I knew two things. So, again, looking at the worst case and the best case, one, I knew that on the exit, the likely exit on this thing, it was all good. I have such a big margin, it wouldn’t matter. And, two, even if the exit didn’t happen for five years and I just sat on it and held it, the bleed on that still would be fine and provide a ridiculous return when it sold. So, running the math on it and looking at the worst-case scenario, it being vacant and not being able to rent it, and then also stepping in from that and saying, “Okay. Well, I’m going to rent it. I’m going to rent it for cheap.” What do the numbers look like one versus the other? And am I okay with both of those? So, I think that that was a big part of the math of the initial acquisitions. The 1031 then, of course, the question of what you called out was what do you do when you sell these things? And you’re faced with capital gains tax or rolling them into another real estate project through a 1031 exchange. And there are nuances to that.
Yeah, there’s a big question but there’s definitely one of the, I think, what I can say about that right now is one of the deals that I got into immediately came from a good friend that quite honestly only would have happened from a good friend. And he said, “Look, I’m really heavy in commercial real estate right now. I’d like to get out of having such a heavy position in commercial real estate. You can buy into one of my newer commercial real estate properties for X and participate in the cost segregation for 2021”. And so, immediately after the sale, immediately after, we inked a deal to move some of that money into this commercial real estate deal and took the cost segregation for the 2021 year to reduce taxes really heavily, which is a huge deal.
Justin Donald: So, that’s a brilliant plan, and I’d love to just call this out to our audience here because one of the best things that you can do if you’re looking to mitigate taxes in a legal way, in a way that the IRS says, “Hey, we want you to do these things because when you buy real estate or when you buy housing or when you buy businesses, that is good for the economy and so we want to give you perks in doing that.” And so, a lot of people look at the tax code as like, “Oh, it’s the list of all the things you can’t do.” When in reality, it’s a list of all the things you can do, should do, and it’s what the IRS wants you to do so they incentivize you to do it. And so, let’s talk about cost seg for a moment. It’s cost segregation. So, what you’re doing is you’re basically creating a study. When you buy real estate, you get depreciation and you get it over a period of time and each type of building is different. A commercial building versus let’s say a mobile home park, I think one is 27.5 years. A mobile home park is 15 years. So, you’re already on an accelerated depreciation schedule, which is just money that you get to deduct. It’s just basically saying, “Hey, what you own is becoming older and isn’t worth as much or is falling apart a little bit. It’s not as new and shiny, and so we’re going to let you reduce your taxable income because of that.” And with the cost segregation, you can do these studies where you package it into one year, the year that you buy it, and you get that full depreciation or you can take as much of that depreciation as you need to offset your income, especially if you have the status of being an active real estate investor, right? Or…
Brad Weimert: Professional.
Justin Donald: Yeah. An active real estate professional. Thank you. And so, what then happens is you can offset active income with passive income. Otherwise, if it’s just passive income, you’re capped at like $3,000 or something.
Brad Weimert: You got it.
Justin Donald: Yeah. It’s just an incredible opportunity. And like you, I did the same thing this past year where I was able to do cost segregation. I was able to take all of my active income and reduce that down because of the depreciation and so brilliant job there.
Brad Weimert: Well, so this is the way that I think about it and you’ve said this, this might just be different words, but the way that I think about it is let’s say that you have a building that is a $5 million building. The cost segregation component is segregating what portion of that $5 million is going to depreciate over time. And in the case of a commercial building, at some point, you’re going to have to redo the facade, let’s say a retail center. You’re going to have to redo the facade. You’re going to have to redo electrical. You’re going to have to update the building, the parking lot, etcetera. And so, the study, the cost segregation study goes in and says, “Hey, what percentage of the building can we actually say is going to depreciate like this?” And they say like Justin said, “Okay, maybe it’s 15 years that it will take to depreciate that segment of the building.” You have the choice of doing the depreciation equally over the course of 15 years, or you can accelerate that depreciation and take the entire depreciation in the first year and that entire depreciation amount if you are deemed to be a real estate professional, which means that you spend 750 hours a year on real estate investment, which is 15 hours a week-ish, then you can take that against your active income.
And now the only major caveat here, huge asterisk, is if you sell that property, when you sell that property, you have to recapture the depreciation. So, it can make sense to kick it down the curb if you’re going to resell it in four years. But where it really makes sense is for commercial stuff that you intend to hold onto in perpetuity and intend to hold onto you for your life.
Justin Donald: Yeah, great points. And it’s just a fantastic strategy where, by the way, some people may not need all that depreciation in one year, right? Their active income isn’t that large. Or maybe they have been able to offset most of their passive income. For years and years and years, I didn’t have any earned income. I had no active income. All I had was passive income. So, it’s really easy to basically reduce what it was that I was making just based on the investments and based on the regular schedule of depreciation that I had. And so, I would have a very low effective tax rate because of that because I didn’t have the highest type of taxed income, which is earned income or whatever. Whatever you’re paid, whatever your salary is, your hourly pay, whatever that is, that’s your highest form of taxable income. And so, to be able to avoid that or to have strategies to offset that I think is just wonderful. So, hopefully, that’s a major takeaway and you’ve done a great job of that.
I want to pivot here real quick because I want to talk about Easy Pay Direct a little bit more because really the whole investment opportunity here that you were able to turn around, you made in a two-year period of time a multimillion-dollar profit, and you were able to do that in part because you had this business and you needed to house this business. So, tell us about Easy Pay Direct, and I’m such a huge fan of Easy Pay Direct that probably the simplest way to describe it is that it is a better version of Stripe, right? It is. You know, I’m a huge fan of what you’re doing but it acts the same. It’s a credit card processing company but there are a lot of bells and whistles and perks that you guys have over a major tech company like Stripe. And so, I’d love for you to be able to share and explain that.
Brad Weimert: Yeah. So, I appreciate that. I’ll give you kind of the basic example. Any business owner that’s interacting certainly with consumers has to accept credit cards today. Look, in a lot of ways, it would be great if they didn’t have to pay the fees to accept credit cards but the reality of the moment is that consumers like to use credit cards and they actually buy more when they use credit cards because they’ve got the flow, right? So, there are a thousand options for who you could work with to accept credit cards. There are two fundamental different models. One is like a Stripe or a PayPal. The other are traditional merchant account providers. And I’ll explain the difference. But before I do that, one, if I don’t explain this, people will be like, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” So, as consumers, one of the cool things about credit cards is that anything that you buy at any point in time as a consumer, you can dispute. And so, there’s this security of, “Oh yeah, I can buy from this website because if I don’t get the product, I can just call my credit card company and dispute it.” And you actually have the ability to do that for six months after a purchase for basically any purchase. There are some nuances but let’s call it six months.
The first thing that happens when you do that is the money gets pulled out of the business owner’s bank account and then the business owner needs to fight to get that money back, to prove that that was a legitimate transaction. They did deliver the product or service, et cetera. Here’s the issue. When a consumer disputes a charge, if the business isn’t there anymore, the credit card processing company needs to pay it back. So, if the business files bankruptcy and closes, the bank account goes under, the credit card processor has to pay that back. That is the agreement with Visa and MasterCard. The more sales the business does, combined with the likelihood of dispute and the likelihood of them going out of business, the higher risk it is for a credit card processing company because they’re concerned that there’s going to be a whole bunch of money that they’re going to have to pay back after the business is gone. These refunds and disputes are going to come in after the business has gone. So, Stripe and PayPal, the way that they work is you can set an account up in like 30 seconds. Now, that’s awesome because anybody can do it. But what that means is that they don’t know who you are, what you do, how you operate, what you sell, how you sell it, how you deliver it, if you deliver it. They don’t know anything about you as a business.
So, this concern about your business going under, they haven’t mitigated that risk when they set up your account. So, the only way they can control that risk is by freezing your account and holding your money or just closing your account altogether on the fly with no notice. So, if you google “Stripe held my money or PayPal frozen funds,” you’ll find tens of millions of hits like it is everywhere. So, the alternate approach…
Justin Donald: It happened to me. I’d just point that out.
Brad Weimert: It happened to you.
Justin Donald: It happened to me on each, and it’s not like I have a weird business that could be classified as anything other than education. But both of them froze it for a period of time, and I had to be able to prove what the business did.
Brad Weimert: Yeah. And the challenge is, as you just pointed out, it doesn’t even have to do necessarily with your specific business. It has to do with the industry that you’re in or the marketing model that you use. And in your case, education, you’re both clumped in with people that are amazing in that space and you’re clumped in with people that sell horrible information products. And the reality is education is subjective. So, if Warren Buffett took your course, he would have a different take than me taking your course. Right? It’s subjective. So, the likelihood of dispute is higher in education. So, the alternate approach to managing that risk is doing underwriting on the front end, right? It’s getting to know who you are, what you do, how you operate, what you sell, how you sell it, how you deliver it. And the more that we know, the more comfortable we can be that you’re not going to have a problem in the future. And if we suspect the problem in the future, we can assess it critically before doing something like holding money or closing the account. Right? And that goes back to kind of the beginning of our conversation, which is if we understand it effectively, we can manage the risk differently and we don’t perceive it to be risky where a Stripe or a PayPal would.
And in a lot of cases, the consumer or the business owner doesn’t perceive it as risky. It just seems benign. Like, “No, I’m just selling information. I’m selling education. What are you talking about?” So, fundamentally, Easy Pay Direct leans in the latter camp, right? We want to be able to understand the business and position it appropriately. And now what makes us unique is that not only do we believe that, but we also work with 25 different banks on the back end that allows us to pick the banking partners that really like, in your case, education but maybe they really do not like supplement companies. So, then we have banking partners that really take supplement companies but would never touch a $50,000 mastermind group. And that’s kind of the high level but we’re good at optimizing those things and making sure that people both keep their accounts up and running and also make the most money possible when they’re running their transactions. That’s my rant over.
Justin Donald: That’s awesome. Well, I love getting the backstory and understanding kind of what differentiates your company and, obviously, you guys have incredible customer service. I’m a huge fan. You know, I think the world of what you guys are doing and I think there should be more companies out there that can help entrepreneurs understand this whole process and streamline it for them, you know, help them understand how to get this done because basically what you do is it’s necessary for virtually every business that exists and most businesses get frustrated. By the way, I have the same frustration with the banks because the banks keep the money…
Brad Weimert: Oh yeah.
Justin Donald: …which I think that’s happened to both of us at some point where our dollars have been frozen in our bank account for no reason but just for the fact that they needed some answers. So, you’re guilty until you prove your innocence. It’s absolutely absurd. But we need companies like yours that can do the proper underwriting so that we can do business in the way that we need to do business so that we can collect payment and have access to the funds for transactions and things that we need to do without any issues, without any hiccups.
Brad Weimert: Yeah. No, I totally agree.
Justin Donald: So, let’s have some fun talking about…
Brad Weimert: I like fun.
Justin Donald: Yeah. So, I’m going back and forth. I’m like you’ve got so much fun like adventure stuff, and I want to make sure that we get into that. But before we do, you’ve got a new podcast that is launching, and I’m so excited about it. We’ve been talking about you doing a podcast for like years now, and I’m so thrilled that you have started it. Your studio is incredible. I love it. We’ve done an episode just kind of for fun in your studio and I’m thrilled that you are unveiling this. So, tell everyone about it. What are you doing?
Brad Weimert: Yeah. Well, I think for starters, like you said, I’ve been talking about it for a long time, and part of it is that, as I mentioned earlier, relationships drive everything else in life, period, life and business. So, I just like having interesting conversations with interesting people. The catalyst and the challenge in life is how do you get your personal interests to intersect with your equitable interests? How do you make money doing the stuff that’s fun? And what I realized was that we’ve got this amazing with tens of thousands of businesses come through the EPD pipeline, Easy Pay Direct pipeline, and we only serve a portion of them. And there’s only so often can I say, “Do you want a merchant account? You want a merchant account? How about now, you want a merchant account?” And I’m not doing them service. So, we’re launching a podcast called Beyond a Million, and it’s tactics and strategies from seven, eight, nine-figure entrepreneurs that they’re implementing today once they have an established business. So, what’s working now that wasn’t necessarily working when they were on the climb up to a million in revenue? And it’s focused in sales, marketing, operations, technology, and wealth-building.
So, we’ve had a number of about 20 interviews so far that will launch with some awesome people in a variety of different industries in those categories, sales, marketing, operations, tech, and wealth building. And it’s an opportunity for both me to interact with people that I just am fascinated by and want to learn from, and also get really valuable information in front of business owners that get to hear it from people that are great at what they’re doing. And what’s cool about my position is that we see all the financials in the back end, so we know who’s actually performing and who’s not. And that’s both a really fun thing in my life and a challenging one because privacy is such a big deal and it’s such a big deal for both Easy Pay Direct as a company but just also me as a human. So, there’s always a line to be drawn but what you can be sure of is that the guests that end up on the show know what they’re talking about. I’ll say it like that.
Justin Donald: Yeah. That’s really great that you have that filter and you can say, “Well, I know I’m not going to have this person on the show in this category, but this person’s crushing it. I have the proof that this person’s crushing it. I see their sales every day.” That is a really nice vantage point. You know, it’s funny. One of my friends who I have invested with, I think he’s a brilliant, brilliant guy, he does all this underwriting for all these companies and has structured a lot of senior secured debt because he understands the underlying assets and he can properly collateralize. And so, I remember saying to him, “Hey, with all this underwriting, with all the financial review and docs that you’ve done, you realize that you’ve got a platform to like actually create a really cool investment on the equity side, not just the debt side.” And he’s like, “Oh, yeah, you know, that’s a great thought. I mean, wow.” And so, that’s kind of like a new avenue, a new path because he’s got this information right in front of him and I feel like that’s what you’ve got. And I think you and I, maybe we’ve even talked about this before but you now know these numbers from the standpoint of, A, who should be on my show, B, though, who could use some investment dollars that you might want to invest in and partner with?
You know, it could be a really fun strategy but I’m excited for your podcast because like what we’re doing right now, this is such a blasphemy. You and I, we’d go do this over some bourbon or a glass of wine or something. No problem. But it’s fun to kind of like organize it and talk about all these cool things that we’ve kind of had. And by the way, we are due for a celebratory dinner and toast to your amazing investment returns. So, we’ve got to get that on the books. But I love that you can kind of have these celebrations with people each time you get together with them and then you get to learn and grow with them. They get to learn and grow from you. You get to learn and grow from them. It’s incredible. I mean, I love having you on the show because I’m learning so much just about the facets and nuances of your business that I never knew before, which is cool.
Brad Weimert: Totally. And I think that you hit it on the head. We’re going to have these conversations regardless. And one of the cool things about one of the things that I really like about the Beyond a Million framework is I’m focusing it on specifics that every business owner has to deal with. We all have to deal with sales. We all have to deal with marketing and operations in tech and how it all ties together. And if you’re good at what you do, you’re going to have to deal with the wealth component and the tax component. And so, I find like we hit on this a little bit, but what do you need in the moment, right? What is your issue right now? And I was talking to a good friend of mine who asked me if I had read Ray Dalio’s new book, which is The New World Order I think is what it’s called or something, but it’s about macroeconomics. And I’m a huge fan of Principles, which is his first book, huge fan. But I said, “No, I haven’t.” And the reason I haven’t is because I don’t need to digest macroeconomic information at this particular moment. It would be more distracting for me than helpful because I have specific goals for this month, this quarter, this year. What I need to do is keep my head down and feed myself information around the areas that I’m focused on right now.
And so, what I like is like I’ve got these friends and clients that are really good at what they do and in casual conversation like we go have bourbon or wine or a lunch, we’re going to have stuff that’s all over the map, right? We’re going to bounce around and Beyond a Million is a deliberate effort to say, “Okay. Let’s focus on what you’re really good at and let’s drill down on this one thing,” so that listeners can dig into it and say, “No, I need help with sales right now or I need help with marketing right now or operations.” And so, it’s a different approach. And by the way, I love just random miscellaneous conversations in there. It’s impossible to avoid it, right? You’re always going to end up with the navigating all over the place anyway but that’s the effort with it.
Justin Donald: Oh, I love it. That’s going to be so cool. I can see that being one of the best podcasts out there, and I have no doubt that you’ll do an incredible job there. So, very cool. This podcast wouldn’t be complete, though, without talking about some of the cool adventure trips and travel that you like to do. You’re such an adventurer. And you and I, we had this incredible experience with a mastermind event that you hosted in Fiji and I got a chance to go there, brought one of my good friends there as well, Drew, and he’s a big-time entrepreneur out of St. Louis and then you had all these other great people. It’s where I met Mike Koenigs for the first time, which is just an incredible connection we had there. But everyone that was there was amazing. And so, I’d love for you to share some of your fire and passion for travel.
Brad Weimert: Sure. You know, actually a mutual friend, Carl Drew, actually, you know what, you were there when this happened, the story of him telling, but I was at a charity event for the Front Row Foundation, and I think it was 2007. It might have been the first event, one of them, but a whole bunch of our friends were there. You were there, Carl Drew was there, Jon Vroman, obviously, he was putting it on and I’m walking around and for whatever reason, I was having a bus overnight, which, by the way, is one of the least fun ways to do a charity event. So, I’m wandering around sober and having conversations with people and I run to Carl Drew, and Carl is a friend who’s a known adventurer. I mean, this guy has done all sorts of crazy stuff, and I said, “Carl, what’s the next crazy thing you’re doing?” And he said, “Well, I’m going to ride my bicycle from Los Angeles to Boston.” And I laughed at him and I walked away. And I started thinking, “I know how to ride a bicycle. I could totally do that.” Now, mind you, I had never been on a road bike in my life but I knew how to ride a bicycle. This is my logic. So, long and short is a few months later, I borrowed John Ruhlin’s bike. He shipped it to me from Ohio to Michigan at the time, disassembled. I assembled it and started training and ultimately rode from Los Angeles to Boston on a bike.
There’s a long story there and I think amazing stuff happened there but what I found was while I was on that trip, I was itching to get back to business. I was itching to get back to kind of building life, business, wealth. And then I’d get back to building it and I think, man, I need another adventure. And then I’d go on an adventure and then I’d be on the adventure and I think, “I really want to get back to the business side of things.” And it was this push-pull for years, and ultimately I realized that one of the major drivers, one of the things that I was looking for in the adventures was relationships. It was an opportunity to have a unique experience to drive a relationship. And if I can do that with people that are doing similar things to me, i.e., other entrepreneurs, and that’s not exclusive to that, but it’s more likely with other entrepreneurs, man, that’s the win-win, right? That’s the best-case scenario. So, the Fiji thing was born out of that. And by the way, it’s also the relationship with myself, right? It’s an opportunity for me to get to know myself better, depending on the adventure. So, the last one, I think, which is this came up the other day but the last one was a run from one side of the Grand Canyon down and up to the other side and then down and back to the beginning, which people call rim-to-rim-to-rim. And that last two rim is what makes it difficult.
Rim-to-rim is a long hike. Rim-to-rim-to-rim in a day is a pretty intense ultramarathon. So, that was the last one, and I actually did that with an old Cutco guy, Jason Jeffrey, who I did the bike ride with also. And that I think one of the big lessons with that one is a recurring femur problem but when you do long-distance endurance, inevitably, you hit a point where, A, you question why the f*ck you’re doing what you’re doing and, B, whether you should keep going and, C, you get emotionally raw and you end up sort of maybe snapping at people or behaving in ways that you wouldn’t normally. So, this particular run, we had run down, we get up at 3:30 in the morning. We’re in the dark, it’s relatively cold, and we’re running down the Grand Canyon with headlamps on. And we run down and we get to the bottom and we keep going. And about 14 miles into the run, we get to a really narrow passage where there’s just brush on both sides and it’s hitting me in the face. And so, I’ve got my hands up to kind of block my face but through doing that, I stopped looking at the ground. And with one step I landed on something and rolled my ankle. And when I rolled it, the whole weight of my body went into that left foot and it rolled into something sharp, presumably a rock. And I kind of came off that step and hobbled, and in my head, I thought, “Okay. Just run it off. It’s fine.” And a minute passed and two minutes passed and five minutes passed, and I’m with three other guys, so I just keep going but I realize after five that this pain is not going away.
And as it turned out, I had sprained my left ankle and broken a bone in my left foot. But the moment you have a choice, right, in the moment, which is either I just keep going and largely keep my mouth shut about it or I stop. And I had already made the choice ahead of time that I was going to do this and I had not really adequately trained. I mean, I was in relatively good shape to do this. I probably had a 20-mile base or something but this is a 45-mile run. And so, I kept going and 14 miles into the run, I ran up to the other side and kind of paused for about 15 minutes on the north rim. And as I did that, I took out a little compression sleeve that I had in my bag, put it around my left foot, and we rested for 15 minutes. And that was both needed and also very challenging because the leg and the ankle and the foot stiffened up. And as we started to go back down, the team wanted to run fast because they wanted to pick up speed at this point. So, we start running down and I’m running and every single step I’m taking, my foot is struggling to gain traction because it’s loose dirt, loose soil and rock. It’s super steep and we’re on the edge of the rim, quite literally the edge of a cliff, no railing, narrow roads. And for anybody that’s been there, these narrow paths in every step, I’ve got pain and I’ve got this grimace on my face for every step.
And after about a mile or two at arms up a little, I can move it more and it feels a little better but still this really intense pain. And nine miles in from the top rims and I’m probably 32 two miles into the run, it starts to level out and get flattish, flatter. And I realized that if I just land flat with my foot and there’s no angle, no flexion in my ankle, it’s less painful. So, now obsessively looking for this little chunk of land that I can land flat on with my left foot, which by the way, when you’re running for that long, the last thing that you want to do is be obsessive about, neurotic about your foot placement and also landing flat. You roll in your ankle to be able to move fluidly. But I found some relief in that and I think one of the major lessons for me is your body will often keep up if your mind will, but your mind is very often the first one to go and your body does pretty amazing things when you demand that of it. And I think that that’s true in lots of areas of life. If you make a decision that you’re going to do something, your body or your other behaviors will follow through with it.
Justin Donald: Man, that is just an incredible story and experience and just a great takeaway of the power of the mind, the power of your mindset, 40 miles, 40 plus miles running a lot of it at night, half of it with a broken bone and a sprained ankle. You know, I remember reading Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins and thinking, “Gosh, how is this guy running with broken bones?” And you are that. You’re a version of David Goggins. So, I’m bowing down. I’m giving you mad props. It’s just impressive and I know basically the mountains that you’ve summited and some of the other adventures that you’ve done. I know you’re about to depart on a trip to Antarctica. I think most people in the world have never been there. So, that’s so cool. I mean, you are living life. You are a lifestyle investor. It’s an honor and a privilege to have you on the show, to call you a friend, to be able to hang out here on a regular basis, the way that we’re able to. Where can our audience find out more about you?
Brad Weimert: Well, I definitely want to plug BeyondAMil.com. January 20, 2022, we’re launching it and we’re doing a big giveaway for anybody that subscribes to it, giving away a whole bunch of Apple stuff. A MacBook Pro, some iPads, an Apple Watch, all fun stuff to help celebrate the launch of the podcast. And certainly, Easy Pay Direct is easy to find and Brad Weimert on all the social things. Brad Weimert on the social things is a good way to follow my shenanigans and see where my adventure stuff is leading me. That may be the most entertaining of the things, though, I think that I’m pretty optimistic of Beyond a Mill, filling some of that void too because we’ve got some really cool people but it’s definitely business-focused. So, if you want to grow your business, that’s where you go. If you just want to watch me be silly and ambitious and get some motivation and excitement out of it, follow me on social.
Justin Donald: I love it. Thank you so much for spending some time with us here today, Brad. This has been an awesome interview. I knew it would be. I’ve been so looking forward to the time that we get a chance to share at least with my audience just the cool stuff that you’re doing. So, thank you. And I want to close things out today the way that I always do, which is this, take some form of action today, whatever action it may be, one step towards a life of true freedom, financial freedom, financial independence, life on your terms, life by design. So, think about that. What’s the one step you can take today to live a life by design, not by default, and one step closer to financial freedom? Thanks. And we’ll catch you next week.
Brad Weimert: Thanks, man.