SSS #169: 🎉 Happy New Year!


Livin' La Vida Luna y Luca


Happy Birthday, Mommy!

I want to be careful not to make this week's newsletter a bunch of "new year, new me" bullshit.

At the same time, I think it's worth spending *some* time reflecting on the past year & planning for the upcoming one.

At the beginning of 2022, I published a video titled: 4 Habits I'm Quitting in 2022.

No need to (re)watch it...

The 4 habits I wanted to break were:

  • Stop sitting down all day
  • Stop doing things myself
  • Stop being a screen zombie
  • Stop binge eating at night

Let's assess how I did.

On sitting down all day:

I bought a standing desk as soon as we moved into our new apartment back in February. That's been helpful, especially for Zoom calls.

I can't say I use it exclusively (I'm sitting at our dining table as I write this), but it's definitely an improvement from the couch + tv dinner stand combo I was using before.

On doing things myself:

I hired a builder to manage my new construction project. His fee is going to come out to roughly $75,000.

I outsourced the intake of off-market leads on my direct mail efforts. That cost me $6,000 ($500/mo).

I also outsourced the project management of the 2 deals I'm doing in Philly and it came at the cost of splitting the deals 50/50. That will likely "cost" me north of $100,000 between both flips.

As you can see, I could have saved myself A LOT of money if I was simply willing to do the work myself. But I'm not. 🤷🏽‍♂️

I've partnered with or hired people who are 10x better than me at doing "the thing".

On being a screen zombie

I took IG off my phone a few months ago. What a time suck. Their algorithm knows exactly what to feed me to keep me scrolling: LeBron highlights, cute babies, parenting tips, and real estate investing porn.

Twitter has become my latest rabbit hole. I do find it to be a little more productive, however.

I've met a few different real estate investors in the #REtwit community. Some I've invested quite a bit of money in. Let's see how that goes 😬.

On binge eating at night

Hmm... So I'm still eating cereal (cholesterol-friendly Honey Nut Cheerios) every night.

BUT! I use one of Luna's tiny bowls so it's actually a proper single serving (30 grams) instead of like half the box per night.

We also transitioned to a meal service called Factor for dinner. Super clutch for us on the days Dia goes into the city for work.

If you want a free box of Factor - reply to this email and I'll send you a referral link.

I have 4 free boxes to give away so act fast.

Things To Stop Doing in '23

I found identifying and eliminating bad habits more rewarding than trying to start new good habits that likely won't stick.

So in 2023, I'm going to keep the trend going by saying no to:

1) Doing anything that's inconvenient for my kids

2) Any opportunity that detracts me from my #1 financial goal

3) Sending good money after bad

On doing anything that's inconvenient for my kids

So much of my mood is tied to how content my kids are. When they're miserable, I get anxious and stressed. When they're happy, I feel light as a feather.

For example... earlier this year, we went to a party with both kids. The venue was just outside NYC and the event was in the middle of the day.

We sat in traffic for ~2 hours on the way there and both kids missed their nap.

Dia and I ended up not enjoying the event at all because it was just a mess trying to get the kids back on track for the rest of the day.

The following weekend we had another event to go to. We decided to split up. I went with Luna (after her nap). Dia stayed home with Luca so he could get his third nap of the day in. It was a breeze for both of us. Everyone had fun.

We did the same thing for another birthday party the following weekend, but that time Dia went alone with Luna, and I stayed home with Luca. Again, smooth as silk.

I'm a simp for my kids. If it doesn't fit for them, it doesn't fit for me.

We're planning on taking a vacation in a few months and we decided on one location over another because the flight timing was more cooperative with their routine. 🤷🏽‍♂️

On detracting me from my #1 financial goal

This is the first time I'm sharing this publicly, but I am on a journey to generate $1,000/day in completely passive income.

"Completely passive" = Absolutely NONE of my time is required to generate that income. It will come in like clockwork even if I'm dead.

I'm trying to get there by the time I'm 40 (May 9, 2028).

I'm at ~$133/day right now and in 2023 I plan on adding another $100/day.

If I'm presented with an opportunity that gets me closer to that goal, I'm taking it.

If I'm presented with an opportunity that doesn't get me closer to that goal, I'm passing harder than Aaron Rodgers.

On sending good money after bad

I haven't fully decided yet, but I think I'm going to stop my direct mail marketing efforts in 2023.

I spent $32,383.54 in 2022 on direct mail, call centers, a CRM, and education related to finding off-market opportunities.

I made $0.00 😭 off those efforts.

That marketing budget is up from the $19,494.88 I spent in 2021.

But at least the 2021 efforts yielded $64,682 in revenue.

I feel like I spent all of '22 giving back the profit made from '21 efforts.

Aside from the money, there are 3 other reasons why I want to stop my direct mail marketing efforts.

1) All the deals I've done this year have come from relationships I've built. That will continue to be the case in '23.

2) The type of asset I'm marketing to (small multifamily) is not even interesting to me anymore because of the current interest rate environment. With rates so high it's difficult to see positive cashflow.

3) I'm not properly managing my manager. Leads are falling through the cracks. Follow-ups are basically nonexistent. I'm not willing to do the dirty work myself.

New Waves 🌊

It's only day one, but 2023 is looking promising.

I'm getting back into creating video content. I hired an editor for a 90 day trial so we'll see how that goes. I'll be posting one short form video per day starting on or around January 15th.

We're likely going to buy a primary home this year (waited long enough). 😬

Lastly, we just started exploring the idea of spending next winter in Mexico City.

We don't really know what that will look like, but that's most of the fun - figuring it all out!