Interview with Dave Allred
Dave Allred on Creating a Life by Design with Real Estate Investing
The difference between the people who want financial freedom and those that achieve it is commitment. If you can identify specific goals, break them into manageable steps, and take action, there’s no reason you can’t achieve financial freedom too.
Dave Allred, managing partner of Axia Partners, is a perfect example of how living with intention can launch you forward in business and life.
Dave started as a door-to-door sales rep for a security company and worked his way up to the Regional Vice President of Sales.
While he had built an incredible career, more than anything, he wanted to achieve financial freedom and knew real estate was the vehicle to get him there.
By the time he was 30, Dave had decided to turn his dream into a reality. Over the next 10 years, he built an investment portfolio of more than 1,000 residential units, syndicated more than a dozen deals, and even started a real estate fund.
In this episode, you’ll learn how Dave accomplished it all and created enough passive income to live a life by design. He shares the biggest lessons he’s learned and why having purpose and intentionality behind your financial goals is key to succeeding.
Featured on This Episode: Dave Allred
✅ What he does: Dave Allread is a managing partner at Axia Partners. He built his personal investment portfolio of more than 1,000 residential units while working as a VP of Sales at Vivint Smart Home. After growing his real estate investments as a side hustle, he decided to retire from his corporate job four years ago to go all-in on his real estate investments. He now runs his own real estate fund and is about to launch another.
💬 Words of wisdom: When Dave first began making money, he asked his CPA what their wealthy clients did with their capital. The answer was they all either owned a business, real estate, or both. Dave immediately bought “Real Estate Investing for Dummies,” and began his side hustle investing in real estate.
Key Takeaways with Dave Allred
- Creating financial freedom investing in real estate
- Skills learned in door-to-door sales
- Growth mindset VS fixed mindset
- Why you should retain equity even when you exit
- Lessons learned investing in real estate
- Why purpose and intentionality is the key to success
- Teaching your kids how to succeed in all areas of life
- Dave shares his Lifestyle Design system for freedom, purpose, and success
Dave Allred | Making Your Money Matter With Purpose and Intention
Embrace the valuable early lessons of a door-to-door sales career
“Salesmanship, I believe, is the most profitable, valuable skill in business, followed closely by leadership: the ability to influence others and lead and create change. But I really learned to love and embrace personal development through the door-to-door sales career. [It] teaches you psychology and time management, discipline and interpersonal communication; all these soft skills that are so valuable in today’s market.” – Dave Allred
Check your ego and commit to lifelong learning
“That six inches of real estate between your ears is the most valuable real estate. And anything we can do to improve that, [whether] that’s masterminds, coaching, podcasts or Audible books, whatever it is, those are technicalities. What it comes down to at least for me is always maintaining curiosity. And no matter how many successes you’ve had, always maintain a commitment to being a lifelong student.” – Dave Allred
A growth mindset will allow you to level up
“Tony Robbins says, Life happens for us, not to us. I love that, that mind shift is so powerful. I think a growth mindset is so important. Where we are today is not indicative of our potential. Our potential, our future, is based on our decisions today. It’s such a powerful concept. And if there’s one thing I’d probably want to express to people who are trying to level up, it’s really that growth mindset, because then the natural effect is curiosity. It is wanting to be around other successful people, it’s wanting to learn from other people, it’s really striving to level up.” – Dave Allred
Learn from your mistakes
“I learned so many lessons from that first real estate deal. I’m grateful for it in hindsight. It was a fourplex: I actually found out seven months later that it was zoned as a duplex, because there’s two mother-in-law apartments. They got mad at each other, there was some dispute. The city sent me a letter saying I had to basically evict two of the streams of income to go into a duplex, and then 2008-2009 hit, I lost $60,000 on the disposition of the asset. I literally learned every lesson possible and am so grateful for that early on in my career.” – Dave Allred
Clarity and intentionality aid in achieving goals
“When I was a regional manager, and I traveled around to these teams, I would sit down and do what I call one-on-one performance interviews. I’d ask these guys, Why are you here? What’s your holy cause? What are your goals? What are you fighting for? How can I help you? And I realized that most people don’t really know. They can give you one, quick, knee-jerk reaction: I want a new car, I want a new house. I want to be rich, I want whatever, I want to be successful, but you dive in a layer deeper and [ask] what does that actually mean, be specific. And it gets so ambiguous and fuzzy so fast.” – Dave Allred
Wanting financial freedom isn’t the same as committing to it
“I said, OK, I want true financial freedom. What do I need to do? So I calculated. Step number one, what’s my annual cost of living? And let’s just say it’s $200K as an example. Number two question, what’s my current passive income? Let’s say I have a townhome, or condo, or some dividend stock, or whatever it might be, say it’s $50K a year. Next question is what’s the gap? How much more passive income do I need for financial freedom? In that scenario, it’s $150,000. The next question is, how many years am I willing to commit to achieving this financial freedom? And at that time when I was 30 years old, it was 10 years. And so then you divide that $150,000 a year by 10 years, that’s $15,000 per year. Very digestible, very doable.” – Dave Allred
A balanced life won’t always be perfectly balanced
“The pursuit of a balanced life is usually going to be a mediocre life, because most people want balance, they want normal. I feel like the price of greatness is imbalance. You’ve got to be willing to have some imbalance, but there needs to be a seasonality to it. Sometimes you go hard, you launch a new business, a new office, a new real estate fund, a new venture, and you’ve got to go all in on it. You need to show up and 10X your energy and your input, but then you make up for that later on, because you might be neglecting friendships, relationships, even time with your kids. So make up with a nice vacation, make up for it when you can. It doesn’t need to be that every day is perfectly balanced, or even every week, but on an annual basis or a monthly basis, it needs to be pretty well balanced.” – Dave Allred
Dave Allred Tweetables“There's a big difference between being committed and wanting. Everybody wants a lot of things, but being committed to a goal is a whole different ballgame.” — Dave Allred Click To Tweet “One of my goals in my own personal life is to always be doing bigger deals than yesterday.” — Dave Allred Click To Tweet
- Axia Partners
- Follow Dave Allread on Instagram | LinkedIn
- Vivint Solar
- Cutco Kitchen Knives
- Tony Robbins
- What It Takes
- Real Estate Investing For Dummies
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Read the Full Transcript with Dave Allred
Justin Donald: Alright, Dave, so good to have you on the show. I’m glad you could make it. We’ve been talking about this for a little while, and it’s always fun when you have mutual friends in common. And I kind of have this rule that is I kind of pay attention to a series of three. If I get a recommendation from three different people totally independent, to me, I kind of take that as a sign. I should probably move forward. And you just had three, actually more than three, but at least three close friends that gave glowing endorsements of you, and I’ve had so much fun getting to know you here these last few months. So, welcome to the show. Thanks for joining.
Dave Allred: Justin, thanks for having me, man. I’m so excited for this podcast. I think you and I have so much in common, and it’s going to be a fun one.
Justin Donald: Yeah, there’s no doubt. I mean, when I look at your life, I mean, you and I have talked offline a bunch. So, like, I know so many similarities that we have, not just in background and growing up in a similar fashion but also just mantras that we live life by, and really having this focus on lifestyle and freedom and investing and personal development and mindset. I mean, we’re going to tackle so much of this, but it’s always fun when I can have someone on the show that is just in lockstep with me on that. And so, you’re very much that way.
But I’d love to just kind of go back in time here because there are unique things that happen to all of us early on in life that kind of help create and steer and define who we are. And you and I had a start in door-to-door sales, which I think can really grow you up fast, can really help you build some character, can really get you used to the word no, and hopefully, not take it personally anymore. So, I’d love to hear your story.
Dave Allred: Yes, so backing up. I grew up in a small town called Manti, Utah. It’s really small, about 2,000 people. And I grew up in a very low-income blue-collar home. We never had a lot to speak of in terms of quality of life or discretionary spending or things like that. In fact, I don’t remember any conversations about investing or finances or business, per se, but I always grew up out, I knew I wanted more in my life. And I remember as a teenager I made a commitment that I was going to do whatever it took to uplevel my life and to win.
And I’m trying to pinpoint where exactly I got that commitment because I have four kids myself and I want to be able to instill that in my children as well. But I’m really grateful for early on in my life, just having that resolute commitment to, hey, I’m going to do whatever it takes and to take a lot of tenacity and really just a lot of work ethic and grinding grit to get after it. And so, it’s been a fun journey. And I know we only have an hour here, so I’ll try to keep a high level, but there’s a lot to talk about.
But as I was going to college, and there was an opportunity to go out and go door-to-door selling security systems in Chicago. And they had a recruiting booth set up and had doughnuts out on the table as I walked to grab a doughnut. And they’re like, hey, tonight, we’re going to have a recruiting meeting at this pizza place and just free pizza. I’m a college student and like free pizza. I got to tell him already I’m winning.
And so, I jumped over this meeting and grasped for the opportunity. And I knew it was going to be hard. I never wanted to be a door sales guy, right? And there’s definitely not anything sexy or glamorous about that type of a job. But I knew there was a learning opportunity, and I knew that I would learn, I would grow from doing something really hard. And so, I jumped into it, I went up to Chicago in my first year. And frankly, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, man. The first week, I sold one account, ended up being a sub-credit score, I just didn’t know what I was doing. And so, they had to come and take out the security system later on, charging back the $200 commission I received, 100 deals. And then the first month was really rough.
And about midway through the summer, I was struggling and I thought about quitting probably every day, actually, honestly, every day, multiple times. And I’d always been pretty successful at things when I put my mind to it. And there’s just so much failure, man. And most of the team had quit. And around that time, one of the owners, the company came out and gave a training on how we could become sales leaders or sales managers next year if we sold a hundred accounts.
And at that point, something switched for me. And the light switch flipped on. I was, okay, this could become a real opportunity career to help other people. I could build something for longevity. And I kind of doubled down, put my head down, went to work, and ended up selling 120 accounts. And it was a successful summer. I made $31,000, which for me at that time was incredible. I think it was more than my parents had ever made. And it was incredible for me.
And I came back still in college and I bought an Isuzu Rodeo. And I thought it was the coolest thing ever of the chrome rim package on it. And I’m just balling down there with my Isuzu Rodeo. But I came back next year and management team on the top, first your team and the company, and then went on to be a regional manager and regional vice president for eight years. And then imagine 121 sales teams, thousands of sales reps across the country in 42 states, and that company went public for multi-billion valuation and an opportunity to jump over with sister company, Vivint Solar, and go help brand the California market, did that for two years, loved it. Also, a multibillion-dollar exit for that company.
But the whole time I was investing in real estate as a side hustle, and I just grew that portfolio and I really became passionate about the real estate space. And so, in 2017, about four years ago, I retired from door sales and went full-time into real estate.
Justin Donald: That’s awesome. I mean, what an incredible story. By the way, side note, the first car I ever learned to drive on was an Isuzu Trooper. That’s what my mom had at the time. And I can assure you, for anyone that never did this, learning to drive on a stick shift is not as easy as learning to drive on an automatic. So, that’s my experience with Isuzu. We have that car for a long time. It’s an awesome vehicle. So, cool that you had your Isuzu Rodeo. When I think about…
Dave Allred: Kind of cool. We’re really cool.
Justin Donald: I like it. When I think about what you went through and the door-to-door sales, like, I know what it was like for me. I sold newspaper subscriptions door to door like you. I was horrible. I mean, I had an abysmal first start. I mean, I couldn’t sell anything to save my life, and I took no personally, and it was a really rough start for me. But I noticed that a lot of people quit around me, like it’s the retention in door-to-door sales is not great.
But it was interesting for you, it’s like all you needed was a bigger picture. You needed a vision for something more. It wasn’t like, hey, you just need to get a sale. It was, hey, think about 100 sales and what that looks like, and here’s how you’d be rewarded. It’s almost like you need the challenge, like you’re having your own challenges, but maybe the challenge isn’t big enough. But I’m curious what the turnover is for something like the door-to-door security with Vivint because I know a lot of people quit that, and to be able to make it through not just successfully, but then to be able to make it to the next level is your small percentage there.
Dave Allred: Yeah, it depends on the companies and whatnot, but I would say on average, it’s at least a 50% attrition year one, right? And then once you come back as an experienced sales rep, then it’s obviously a lot higher, but it’s a lot of turnovers, it really is. But I think most guys are going to understand it, it’s going to be hard. And understanding that it’s not going to be easy, you can get a lot of rejection, a lot of failure. I’ll say this, Justin, I’m actually so grateful that I did that job. I learned so much about really becoming comfortable, being uncomfortable. And I think that alone is such a valuable skill set.
Nowadays, people want immediate gratification, right? So, that idea of delayed gratification, where you have to pay the price, they call it love of the harvest, and you don’t see that reward until way down the road. That’s what I’m trying to instill in my children now, as well as like, we live in an age where people want it now. They want the dopamine hit. They want the immediate results. But just delayed gratification by itself, is such a powerful tool.
But looking back at that, I’m so grateful. You learn so much from that and you learn leadership, salesmanship, which, by the way, salesmanship, I believe, is the most profitable, valuable skill in business, followed closely by leadership, the ability to influence others and lead and create change. But personal development, I really learned to love and embrace personal development through the door-to-door sales career. And it teaches you psychology and time management and discipline and interpersonal communication, all these soft skills that are so valuable in today’s market.
But just one last thought there is it’s fun to look back, though, at my life and my career, and like, what if I would have quit mid-summer and I probably made like five grand at that point in mid-summer, right? And I would have left with my tail between my legs and I quit on this. And so, I’m really grateful that I was able to at least have the mental fortitude to get through that and not quit. So, grab your listeners listening, I mean, it’s interesting. I feel like in life, where we really get to, is just an accumulation of the decision we made along the way. And it’s fun to look back and say, okay, like the decision matrix of why did I make that decision? And how would that have altered my life trajectory if I wouldn’t have gone in this direction?
Justin Donald: Yeah. It reminds me of my experience when I worked with Cutco, and I really just didn’t apply myself at the beginning. I had other things I was doing, I was having fun, I was making enough to get by. And by the way, I made enough to make more than my friends. But that also isn’t saying a lot when you have the ability to be good in a sales position, and you’re just not really working that hard. I mean, I just desired too much to have fun and go hang out all the time.
And so, I quit my job and I was like, “Alright, I’m done with knives and I’m going to go do something else.” And this was my second summer, I was pretty lazy and I didn’t want to put in the work. And the interesting thing is I went and I worked another job, and it was horrible. I worked at a car wash, and that car wash, like it rained the first day and then the second, I mean, literally, like, I couldn’t work because I couldn’t, actually, no one was coming, right? And you make mostly tips. I was like, “What am I thinking? What am I even doing?”
And so, I went back to this job that I had been super lazy at with Cutco. I had made virtually no money the whole summer. And then in the last five weeks of the summer, I was like, “Why don’t I just go all out, see what happens?” And really, it was going all out for two weeks. And then that went really well, I ended up making nine grand in two weeks as a college kid. And then I finished up really strong. I ended up earning $30,000 that summer in those five weeks. And I was like, “Holy cow, where did this come from? Why have I been so lazy?” And it was that. It was like this decision to just do it. It really had less to do with the skills because you can pick those up over time. And it was more like having the mental discipline to just play the numbers game and to make the calls, do the appointments, like just get the law of numbers to be on your side. If you have enough opportunity to close people, you’re going to close people with at least a decent closing script, right?
And so, it’s cool seeing you have that and seeing the shift, but it wasn’t a skill set shift as much as it was a mental shift, in my opinion. That’s what it sounds like to me. And I may be projecting because, for me, that’s exactly what it was. And then once I got good at it, it was like, ooh, I just want to get better now at the skill set stuff, right? Because you want to do the things that you’re good at.
Dave Allred: The one thing I’ve learned, I’m four years old now, is mindset’s everything. I mean, it really is. Our limiting belief systems are so powerful. I was not aware of them. We all have these blind spots and the stories we tell ourselves. When I was 20, I was proud of what I was doing. But when I was 30, I looked back at being 20. Man, I was playing so small. When I was 30, I was managing all these teams and having success, and I was really proud of it. But now at 40, looking back, I’m like, man, I was playing small. I could have been doing so much more. And I hope that when I’m 50, looking back at 40, I say, “Hey man, you could have been doing a lot more.”
And I think that mindset, that six inches of real estate between your ears is the most valuable real estate, and anything we can do to improve that, whether that’s masterminds or coaching or podcasts or audible books, whatever it is, those are technicalities. I think really, what it comes down to, at least for me, is just always maintaining curiosity. And no matter how much success you’ve had, always maintaining a commitment to being a lifelong student and that requires being coachable. And honestly, it takes checking your ego at the door. And one of my guiding principles in my personal life is to always operate with humble confidence. And I like that expression, humble confidence, because you’re humble enough to learn and be coachable and have curiosity, at the same time, you’re confident enough to be able to be bold and aggressive and to make moves when you need to make those moves.
Justin Donald: Yeah, for sure. And I mean, I love even just the conversation around curiosity because as long as you’re curious, you’re willing to learn. But the moment you cut that off, then you’re cutting off your potential. And I run into a lot of people that think that they know it all. And I hope to never be that person. I think my natural default is curiosity anyway. I don’t have to work hard at that because I just am, for whatever reason, compelled to learn anything and everything about what all the world has to offer. But the moment you’ve arrived, that is a detriment to you and everyone around you. Now…
Dave Allred: So, I was going to ask a question. So, when we talk about curiosity and being teachable and coachable or not, to me, that all comes down to having a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset, right? And so, call it an abundance mentality versus a scarcity mentality. So, a fixed mindset is obviously that is a, hey, I am where I am, it is what it is. I am where I am in my life. It’s other people’s fault. I can’t really change this. It is what it is. And most people, unfortunately, stay in that space. And I think it’s because it’s more comfortable, right?
But when you take the ownership or responsibility of that, hey, I am where I am in my life because of my decisions, and where I am tomorrow is 100% in my control. I’m in the driver’s seat here. It’s really empowering. Tony Robbins says, “Life happens for us, not to us.” I love that. That mind shift right there is so powerful. And so, I think a growth mindset is so important. Where we are today is not indicative of our potential. Our potential is really, our future is based on our decisions today. And so, it’s such a powerful concept. And there’s one thing I’d probably want to express to people who are trying to uplevel. It’s really that growth mindset because then the natural effect is curiosity. It is wanting to be around other successful people. It is wanting to learn from other people. It’s really striving to uplevel.
Justin Donald: Yeah, you hit the nail on the head without a doubt. And by the way, I’m a huge Tony Robbins proponent and fan. I’ve been to every program that he’s ever created, and I’m just thrilled with the knowledge that I’ve been able to glean from him. I’m real curious talking about like having arrived, what did it feel like having this company that you were in early on that you had stock in go public and all of a sudden, this stock becomes– you had very little compared to the total amount once it’s a public company. Obviously, there’s some sort of a hold. You probably can’t sell it for, like six months or something that’s generally par for the course. But what was that like when that turned into a reality for you?
Dave Allred: I was incredible. It was fun to see it finally pay off after all those years, right? I mean the commissions, the income, and really, the relationships along the way were so valuable for them to be able to actually earn equity in the company. And I’ll keep this kind of high level. But in 2012, we had Goldman Sachs as our partner. They exited and were replaced by Blackstone. And so, at that point, we had a pretty significant liquidity event and we were paid out. I elected to actually roll that forward in Class B shares with Blackstar, a new equity partner, which is a big gamble on my part. But I believed in the company, I believed in where we were headed to, we had a really strong culture.
And so, in hindsight, that was such a smart play there because it ended up, went public. And so, just last year, that basically launched, it was about a 12x on the return on that reinvestment. And so, it was a ballsy move for sure, and I just kept it on play. But it was fine, man. It is pretty incredible to be able to see that. When the company started out, it was a little tiny office space on State Street with three offices and this did become a juggernaut, multibillion-dollar company. And really, the amount of value that’s created versus tens of thousands of people has been such an incredible experience to watch and learn from that.
Justin Donald: That’s awesome. It’s cool that you have that experience. And here’s the thing with that is first and foremost, whenever people ask me, “Hey Justin, what should I do here? Should I keep some equity in?” My goal is to always take profits as soon as you can. So, you’re actually taking money off the table and that you’re replenishing your investment dollars. But I also recommend to always keep some equity, keep some upside. And then my advice when it comes to private equity is these guys are no dummies. So, if they want to buy a piece of your company, they’re doing it because they can see a massive return and they don’t buy companies that are not cash flow positive, trending really well.
And so, I’ve had a number of people over the years that I have coached and encouraged that when they had the opportunity to exit, not to take all their money, to leave at least some of it for the upside, and without fail, I mean, the percentage of times that it pays off is such a high percentage because these companies know what they’re doing. They’ve got the best analysts, they’ve got teams of people that are just great. You don’t bet against Blackstone, right? Or in your case, was it BlackRock?
Dave Allred: Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, man.
Justin Donald: So, you don’t bet it against Blackstone. In fact, I read Stephen Schwarzman’s book What It Takes, which is a great read. He’s an incredible guy. The irony actually is that the company, so Blackstone is the largest alternative asset manager, and then BlackRock is the largest asset manager. So, BlackRock actually came from Blackstone. And so, just through a little disagreement between those two heads that founded the company, they couldn’t kind of wrap their minds around something, otherwise, that could have been an even greater powerhouse. But two of the largest companies in the US kind of started under the same roof. And I think that it’s an interesting thing, and I don’t bet against the smart money.
Dave Allred: Yeah, I agree with you. And to clarify, I did take some chips off the table, just reinvested a lot of it. Because for me, personally, I’m a real estate guy, like I learned a long time ago. When I first started to make some money, I asked my CPA. I said, “Hey, now what are your wealthy clients doing with their capital?” And he said, “They all either own businesses or real estate or both.” And that made sense to me like, okay, I’m going to figure out this real estate game. So, that was a long time ago, it was 2006. And so, I literally went and bought a book, Investing in Real Estate for Dummies, like those black and yellow books.
Justin Donald: Oh yeah, I know exactly what it is. I’ve read that one.
Dave Allred: Googled realtor. Found a realtor builder. Later I found out it was her first time ever doing a transaction. I forgot to ask that question like what your experience is, right? That at closing table, closed on a fourplex, and I signed everything. She reaches over and said, “Hey, Dave, thank you for my first deal.” I hope they never disclose that one. And actually, I learned so many lessons from that first real estate deal. I’m grateful for it in hindsight but it was a fourplex. I actually found out seven months later that it was actually zoned as a duplex because there are two mother-in-law apartments. They got mad at each other, some dispute. Called the city. So, the city sent me a letter saying I had to basically evict two of these streams of income so it went to a duplex. And then 2008, 2009 hit, lost $60,000 on the disposition of the asset. Literally learned every lesson I possibly now know. And so, grateful for that early on in my career. And from there, I just scaled the business with a lot of fourplexes. I ended up about 24 fourplexes over the years. And one of my goals in my own personal life is to always be doing bigger deals than yesterday. It’s a kind of motto. And so, in my door selling industry, I was a rep then a manager then a regional MVP.
You know, my real estate portfolio was two townhomes, condos, a fourplex, or it was a duplex probably, and then multiple fourplexes and then a twelve-plex then larger multifamily. And then jumping into syndications where you pull money together to do bigger deals. And done over a dozen syndications and really enjoyed that, creating value for other people, especially for a lot of the guys in the door-to-door space that want passive. Then they create active income but they really need passive income and the tax benefits of real estate. And so, being able to remove those barriers of entries and create value for my friends and have several hundred capital partners now and be able to create value for has been really, really fun. And so, then from these syndications, the next level has been the real estate fund. I’ve always wanted to run my own fund. And so, we launched that back in February earlier this year and that’s been awesome. Such a fun experience, oversubscribed quickly, and about to launch fund number two here shortly. But if I could, Justin, I just want to share one thing kind of going back a little bit, and we talked about kind of the early start here. You know, I think that one of the things that I’m really grateful for my life is having clarity and intentionality in how I operate.
I think most people don’t really have – that they lack clarity and intentionality. It’s a big problem right now. And so, when I was a regional manager and I traveled around these teams, I would sit down and do what I call one-on-one performance interviews. I’d ask these guys, “Hey, man, why are you here? What’s your holy cause? What are your goals? What are you fighting for? You know, how can I help you?” And I realize that most people don’t have – they don’t really know. I mean, they can give you a one quick knee-jerk reaction, “I want a new car. I want a new house. I want to be rich. I want whatever. I want to be successful.” But you dive in a layer deeper and like, “Okay. What does that actually mean? Like, be specific.” And it gets so ambiguous and fuzzy so fast. And so, I realize that if we’re going to be doing such a hard job, I wanted to know exactly why I’m doing what I’m doing. And then also, as a leader, I wanted to be able to inspire and motivate my people better. And so, I created this system called Lifestyle Design and it’s about, I want to say 15 years ago, maybe 13 years ago, and it started out with a simple spreadsheet. And it was, “What do I really want in my life?” and it’s evolved over the last, say, 13 years into 10 different sections in a spreadsheet that are the 10 areas that I feel are most important in our lives, to be able to have a meaningful, significant life with purpose. And if you don’t mind if I share a few minutes on this?
Justin Donald: Yeah. I’d love to have you share it. And what’s really exciting for me is like hearing what you’ve come up with because I want to take a few steps back there because I don’t want the listeners and those watching to miss this important point and gloss over the fact that real estate was your side hustle. Then it became your full-time gig like this is what you did, and then you personally bought over 40 doors in single-family rentals, in these fourplexes and you replaced your income. So, you became financially free, financially independent at a young age. And then from there, you syndicated over 1,000 doors via your fund. And so, like when I think about just someone that has really manifested some incredible things in their life, I think about you, a guy who had a corporate gig but it’s different than a true corporate job, but you kind of rose in that company. You were then able to take over a big position in a new up-and-coming solar division. Then while you have this cash, you’re investing in real estate while you’re sitting on this money that is hopefully going to pay off. So, you take some chips off the table when Goldman sells, and then you’re just banking on Blackstone and then Blackstone sells and you’ve got extra capital. But at this point in time, you’ve already been doing real estate. It’s a side hustle. You know how to do it.
So, you take this extra capital and you can really put it to work. And you got to a point where you have over 100 streams of income. And so, I just want to make sure that people are hearing that you’ve been able to create this ideal lifestyle with a focus on your family. But the reason I think you’ve been able to do it is because of your intentionality and because of this lifestyle design that you have like you weren’t looking at one area of your life. You were looking at all these areas of your life and finances were one component of it. And as you got better there, it strengthened the other areas. So, please do share. I just wanted to color in some of that back story so our audience kind of has the full picture because what you did is incredible.
Dave Allred: Justin, thanks, man. I appreciate that compliment. Specifically on the doors we talked about there, let me share that story real fast, and I share this humbly to be able to create value for your listener base. So, when I was 30 years old, I talked about financial freedom for five years and I wanted it but I never committed to it. So, when I was 30 years old, I sat down on a Sunday. I remember it clearly about four hours and I said, “Okay. Hey, I’m going to commit to financial freedom.” And there’s a big difference between being committed and wanting. Everybody wants a lot of things, right? But being committed is a whole different ball game. So, I said, “Okay. I want true financial freedom. What do I need to do?” So, I calculated set number one, what’s my annual income? What’s my annual cost of living? Let’s just say it’s $200,000 as an example. Okay. So, that’s number one. Number two question, what’s my current passive income? Let’s say I have a town hall or a condo or some dividend stock or whatever it might be. Say it’s $50,000 a year. Okay. Next question is what’s the gap? How much more passive income do I need for financial freedom? In that scenario, it’s $150,000.
The next question is how many years am I willing to commit to achieving this financial freedom? And at that time, when I was 30 years old, it was 10 years. And so, then you divide that $150,000 needed by 10 years, that’s $15,000 per year. Very digestible, very doable, right? And so, I said, “Okay. I need $15,000 per year of new passive income. How am I going to do that?” And the answer for me was I needed 40 rental properties by age 40. Very clear, very systematic. I reverse engineered that whole process, made a blueprint, and just committed to it. And every single Sunday, I’d go back and look at my commitment and measure my progress. And I think there’s real power in writing things down real quick. I think that just the simple act of writing down your goal statistically is 42% more likely to hit your goal if it’s written down. I don’t know where that stat came from. I also heard that 67% of stats are made up on the spot. So, the 42% I bet that sounds good. But anyway, so writing it down, what that does is it allows you to track your progress and see incremental improvements and also hold you accountable to what you committed to. So, I wrote that down and start tracking it. And I was able to hit that goal when I was 36 years old so a few years early. And then at that point, I’m like, “You know what? What’s my next goal here?” And I came up with the goal of 1,000 ownership and 1,000 doors by age 40.
You know, I had some competency, I had some confidence. I had a team, I had my real estate strategy coach, I had my CPA, my team assembled. And so, it was a hairy, audacious goal, which in my opinion, is what we should always have because if it doesn’t stir emotion and gets you a little bit scared, a little bit nervous, but a little bit excited at the same time, that’s not a big enough goal. That’s my personal opinion on it. And so, I can do 1,000 doors at age 40, blueprint it out, reverse-engineer it. I hit that last December when I was 40. I won’t tell you my next goal yet until after I hit it but it has been a fun process. My point there, though, is just the intentionality of not just saying I want this much capital, this much cash flow. There’s got to be so much more purpose and intentionality behind it. So, it’s one thing to have that blueprint but I think the key there or the second key is then tying purpose to your money. Making money matter, right? The more that you put emotion and purpose and passion behind it, how you’re going to give back, you’re going to be able to create quality of life for your kids, have amazing weddings for the kids and experiences, and go snowboarding with your kids when you’re 80 years old or whatever else. Like, those types of things are what really make money matter and I think the more you can tie purpose to it, the easier the money comes to you and the better steward you’ll be over that capital because you understand how it’s going to fast track the outcomes that you really want in your life.
Justin Donald: Oh, it’s powerful. I love it. So, you’re not looking for any accountability here on this new goal? Is that what I’m hearing? You don’t want the whole world to know?
Dave Allred: All right. Well, I’ll say it, I guess. You talked me into it. So, what I want is I want to really create real value for 10 million people. I want to help 1,000 people become millionaires. We just launched the Allred Family Foundation for my children. We’ll talk about that maybe in a few minutes. And with our fund, I want to have a billion dollars of assets under management by 2025. And so, we’re well on our way, launching fund 2 again in the first part of 2022, and really excited about that trajectory. And with that fund, we’ll be able to have some more partners coming in to create value for those partners as well. And I have a lot of other goals, more with getting back to my family and my children, but high level there you go.
Justin Donald: I love it. I appreciate you sharing that. And by the way, I read a study at one point in time that tracked a bunch of Harvard graduates that wrote down their goals versus didn’t. And it was just a very high percentage that achieved exactly what they had written down, which is cool. I also feel that one of the things that help people achieve their goals, in addition to writing it down, is putting it out there in the world to publicly announce so that other people, A, know it and can hold you accountable but, B, can assist you in trying to get there because they now know. They know what’s driving you. And for you, I think it’s great because you don’t need to make more money. You have other goals that are empowering other people along their journey and path with you, and I think that that is admirable. But I know your family is incredibly important to you, and I know that just being intentional with your four kids is really important. So, I’d love to hear some of your thoughts there.
Dave Allred: Yeah. So, family is everything. At the end of the day, my family is my top priority. No question about it. You know, it’s a consistent, you know, for the people on this call that own businesses, we all have this struggle between family and business and it’s a tug of war. I’ve just realized a long time ago that my family is the most important and I’m not going to, you know, it’s a non-negotiable for me. And so, it’s been this ongoing personal development process to figure out how to manage that. And I would just say this high level, I’d say, I’ve come to the realization that the pursuit of a balanced life is usually going to be a mediocre life because most people want balance. They want normal, right? And so, I feel like the price of greatness is imbalance. You’ve got to be willing to have some imbalance, but there needs to be seasonality to it, meaning that sometimes you go hard. You launch a new business, a new office, a new real estate, fund a new venture, and you’ve got to go all-in on it. You need to show up and 10X your energy and your input. But then you make up for that later on because you might be neglecting friendships, relationships, even time with your kids. So, makeup with a nice vacation, makeup for when you can’t. So, it doesn’t need to be every day that is perfectly balanced or even every week but on an annual basis or a monthly basis, it needs to be pretty well-balanced. And that’s kind of my own, my personal opinion on that topic.
You know, with family, there are so many things, man. It’s been so fun being a dad. It’s truly my favorite thing. Absolutely loving almost every part of it. I will say it’s actually probably the hardest thing out of all my business ventures and everything that I’ve done. I think I’m a professional problem solver in business. When it comes to parenting, man, I feel like a noob like a rookie still sometimes. But what I am doing is we – I’ll share a few things real quick. One is we’ve created the Allred Family Guiding Principles, and so we wrote down 10 principles. My kids all chimed in and gave some input. And so, it’s 10 things that we stand for and how we operate as a family. It actually helps parenting so much because instead of if your son comes home and he’s like, “Hey, I want to quit,” like, “Hey, no. Core value guidance number four, Allreds don’t quit, right?” Number six is delayed gratification. You know, it’s these core values that we come up with and it’s been beautiful. It’s been really fun to operate on that. I also hired all four of my children as employees of my real estate company and so I can pay them and teach them. But one is a tax deduction, right, up to 12,000 and something per individual, both a deduction for the business and they don’t have to file a tax return because they’re under that threshold. But also, it teaches them work ethic.
I teach them the business of real estate and finance, financial management, and how to invest that capital. If you ask any of my kids if one of them walked in right now and we said, “Hey, what’s the best type of income?” They would say passive income like they know this stuff, man. And they all have a goal of having a fourplex before college. They can pay for their college through their fourplex’s passive income. You know, it’s a race right now who’s going to get their first investment property. My son’s nine. His goal is by age 12. Anyway, it’s super fun. Also, one of my goals right now is to involve my kids with my business. So, I’ll bring them to an investor lunch or to business meetings so they can actually see how we do business. I think that demonstrating is so much more powerful for kids than just teach, than talking, or speaking to them, so actually demonstrating how we do what we do. Also, just up-leveling our family traditions. So, we have ice cream sundae on Sundays. The kids come together. We have ice cream together. Every Tuesday night is Sushi Tuesday with the kids. Thursday nights is a daddy-daughter or father-son date. One kid per month. It’s my favorite. It’s awesome. Every evening from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. is with my kids and that is non-negotiable. I mean, if I’m on a webinar or a zoom call, they’ll be in my office at 8:01, “Dad, we’re doing this. No excuses, right?”
And I do think that with kids, it’s more about quality over quantity and just being present. You know, even if it’s only for an hour a day but if you’re really present, I think it’s enough. It means a lot for them. And then we sliced the Allred Family Foundation. Really fun. It’s a foundation to give back and I let each one of my children choose. They’re all directors on the board of directors, and they all chose their own foundation. You know, one is Operation Underground Railroad. Another one is Wounded Warrior. My dad has Parkinson’s so I chose Parkinson’s Foundation. But we each get to own that and we have our own cause that we’re giving back to, and that’s been a really, really awesome journey on that one. And then there’s a lot of other things that I can share with you but for the sake of time, maybe I’ll leave it at that. You know, we had a chance to, this year too, I had a chance to listen to all three of the top boxers in the history of boxing. So, Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, and La Hoya and every one of them said the same thing at the end, “Okay. You know what I’m really focused on now is up-leveling and developing my children so they can make a real impact in the world.” That was really cool coming from those three guys when they’re so successful they already have a legacy in place and now they focus on their children. And I just want to do that now earlier in my career than later on down the road.
Justin Donald: That’s awesome. I love hearing that story. I love your values. I love that you want to bring people along for the ride, that you’re training and educating your kids up in the world of business so that they can have an opportunity for financial freedom at a younger age than most people. I mean, most people never achieve it, period. But for them to kind of get a leg ahead, not because they’re given anything physically, but because they’re giving something for their mindset, you know, I just think that’s incredible. Where can our audience learn more about you? Where can we find you?
Dave Allred: I’d say I’m definitely most active on social media and Instagram is probably the best place so just shoot me a DM on Instagram. Our website is AxiaPartners.com. Axia is A-X-I-A. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org. And if any of your listeners want to get a copy of my Lifestyle Design, send me a DM. I’m happy to share that with them. You know, it’s not a product, it’s not something that I’ve ever sold or monetized. I have shared with a few friends and people who I care about, and I’ve gotten really good reviews back on that. And we didn’t really get a chance to explain what that was specifically but just real high level on that one is just these 10 areas of life that I feel like that are really important and that’s your mission statement for your life. It’s your health, your time, your business, your finances, experiences, spiritual relationships, and memories. And those are 10 areas that I’ve reverse-engineered the whole process. As an example, chapter one mission statement, so I have a paragraph about what I want in my life. And then I have my own personal 10 guiding principles, my 10 core values, my five non-negotiables, which is really powerful because a lot of people always say what they’re going to do but they don’t say what they’re not willing to do.
And then I even wrote my own eulogy, which is kind of crazy. But if you really want to, you know, so your eulogy is what do you want people to say about your life, your legacy, your friends, family, neighbors, people you care about? How do you want to be remembered? What’s your impact? And so, if anybody is struggling on figuring out like, “What is my purpose, like what is my intentionality?” I would say, actually write down your eulogy. But when you do that, don’t put it in your iPhone notes and share it with your wife and not tell her why you’re sending that eulogy to her. That’s my wife. She’s like, “Dave, what the hell is going on? What’s this all about?” But really powerful exercise there. So, anyway, love this Lifestyle Design. It’s helped me a ton in my life. It helps me to operate with more confidence, be a lot more bold and decisive in how I approach life in general. So, happy to share that with your listener base.
Justin Donald: I love it. I love that you’re willing to make something available that’s really just been for private use. So, thank you very much for that, Dave, and I couldn’t agree more, like some of my keys to success are tracking something very similar, the wheel of life where you have all these different facets, these components of life and really trying to be intentional with each of these areas that really kind of command and dictate the course of your life. And so, I think that’s really cool. I want to thank you for coming on the show. This has been incredible. You are an inspiration to so many and it’s just great to see what you’ve done because when others see the path that you have that you’ve been able to go through, they can mimic that and do the same. And I want to wrap things up the way I do each week, which is this, what’s the one step you can take this week today to move towards financial freedom and a life by design and a life on your terms? Thanks. And we’ll catch you next week.