On this episode of Investing for Freedom, Mike talks to a new friend of his, Casanova Brooks. Mike and Casanova discuss a range of topics from the importance of relationships to how social media can be a powerful tool, and much more.
Hi there! It’s a pleasure to have you here. My name is Casanova Brooks and I’m the founder and CEO of DreamNation Academy. You’re probably wondering how I got to where I am right now (which is obviously why you’re reading this. . .), so let me tell you this: Everything that I am now is a far cry from how life was for me just a few years past. And if you haven’t heard my story yet, you probably won’t believe what I’m going to be telling you next.
There was a time when my life hit rock bottom. The best year of my life was the worst I’ve ever lived through. Nothing could have been more ironic than that. In just that one year, I lost my house, I lost my job, and I even lost my mom. To say that nothing seemed to be going my way is an understatement.
Until one day, I decided I have had enough. I decided it was time to take control of my life and live it by my design. I knew I had to do something about what was happening—anything. For the sake of my family. And so that day, I jumped right into the real estate business with virtually no experience and no money in my pocket — only my dream and determination to keep me going.
0:00 – Intro
2:35 – Mike asks who has had the greatest impact on Casanova’s life
4:10 – Casanova explains that Jay-Z, Will Smith, and Kevin Hart have been inspirations
7:20 – Exposure has had the greatest impact on Casanova’s life
9:51 – The first time you’re exposed to something, it’s going to feel overwhelming, but you need to be able to process it and then teach it to someone else
11:37 – What fuels Casanova is helping people and being able to spread positive energy
22:55 – Relationships are the true currency of all success, and successful people get to where they are through forming good relationships
29:42 – People do business with people they trust
34:38 – Mike asks how Casanova lives out these values everyday
39:00 – Casanova explains that it is important to ask yourself “who are you?”
44:57 – Casanova elaborates on how he’s very strategic with relationships
55:50 – Casanova talks about social media as Mike claims businesses and investors often are missing the boat on this
1:01:40 – Mike asks for the piece of advice that Casanova finds himself giving the most
Mike Ayala: Thank you for joining me on the Investing for Freedom podcast. Today is going to be an amazing episode because we’ve got a guest and a friend who’s I’ve just met in the last few months, but I just feel such a great connection to him. And every time we have a conversation, I just feel so uplifted and blessed. And when you guys, when you guys listen to this episode, you’re going to feel what I’m saying, but also go dig in a little bit deeper because you’re going to see that he’s the same guy always. I’ve seen him in videos. I’ve seen him in personal conversations. I’ve seen him, I was on his podcast. It’s always the same and its always high energy and I’m just excited to have him. And here’s a little side note. So, I was in Pinehurst, which, you know, some of you may know, and I had gotten there, and everybody kept saying, Casanova is going to be here. Casanova’s going to be here like at a certain time. And I’m like, who’s Casanova? Like, and then Casanova shows up and I get to know him. And I’m like, this is why everybody was so excited that Casanova was coming. Because he’s just a relationship guy. And so, hey brother, I appreciate you being on the show. Tell the audience, hi.
Casanova Brooks: Man. Hello. I am blessed and I’m honored to be here. I’m excited for this conversation. And I remember this was what, two weeks ago when Julie first saw that you were coming onto my podcast, because she could see my schedule and she’s like, Oh, you’re going to have Mike on. And I was like, yeah, I can’t wait for that conversation. And so now we get to double down on it. Obviously, when you came onto my show, it was so many gems that was dropped. And so, my goal is just to have that reciprocity and return the favor to you and your audience.
Mike Ayala: Well, I appreciate it. And what I’m really excited for our audience about is, you know, a lot of people come on and we tell the stories about success and investing in how they found their freedom, but you are a genius at relationships. And so I’m really excited to get into that because at the end of the day, I mean, if you don’t have transactions with people, which is just truly relationships, I mean, a lot of times I don’t even care if it’s the other end of Amazon or an online business, there’s a person on the other end of that transaction. And you are a genius at building relationships. So, I’m super excited to get into that. But before we do, let’s go through the questions. So, Casanova who’s had the greatest impact on your life?
Casanova Brooks: Wow. I thought about that. I really did, I would say two people really coming to mind and the two people who are the reason why I’m here today. And that’s my mom and my grandma. So, both of them, they had vital parts of my life. My mom gave me the heart and the soul. My grandma did the same thing, but she also gave me more of that disciplinarian factor. And so, both of those women, strong women, they both definitely had the greatest impact on my life. If it’s people that I did not know. I would say Jay Z and the only reason why I say that is because we’ve been able to watch his growth right over the last 15 years where he went from a $100,000 to now be in a billionaire. So that’s something that, I mean, you think bill Gates, you think Warren buffet there’s just, there was so long of a time span that they were doing their compound effect. But with Jay Z, I remember when I was young and I’m seeing him with the big chains on and the yachts and everything, and now you see him and he’s in Barbados or whatever, and he’s got a fishermen hat on and it’s like, what? But it just shows you the maturity that he’s had. So, from an outside looking in, it’s definitely been Jay Z from the people who’ve directly touch me. I would definitely say my mom and grandma.
Mike Ayala: Nice. This is not part of the questions, but it’s got me thinking about it. So, a mutual friend/mentor for me Chris Harter asked me a few weeks ago. He said, if you could meet anyone and I don’t mean just, you know, shake their hand or get their autograph, if you could meet anyone and actually have a relationship with them, who would that be? And so, I’m curious, who would that be for you?
Casanova Brooks: Wow. There’s so many people that I get inspiration from every single day. It’s very hard for me to say that I would have to throw up a coin toss, but I would say it’s, I would have to go really deep on it. The first person that does come to my mind is Jay Z. But two other people that really come to my mind is Will Smith and Kevin Hart. Kevin Hart, because I feel like, I’m like, you know, I’m a little guy with a lot of energy. I love relationships. I love to inspire people. I feel like Kevin Hart’s done that. Will Smith, because he’s definitely been the OG for many of us. I mean, he’s been a chameleon and we’ve watched his growth as well. And it’s never been about the money that I’ve gotten from Will Smith, right? Like you don’t look at Will Smith for business purposes, you look at Will Smith because that’s the inspiration, that’s the heart. And you can just feel his soul. So, you feel the authenticity, right? Even going back to his first shows, but then Jay Z is because I felt like he’s done it in his own way. And I think we’re all unique individuals and none of us really want to conform. We get into that mindset that we have to conform because from such a young age, we have to go to school. We got to get a good job. We’re looking for security, right. And so many different lanes. But Jay Z has been able to maneuver in a world of like the kid from Marcy projects up in New York. To then owning, you know, a part of the basketball team, which is the Nets and the Barclay center, to then having record labels. And so, he’s just done so many things. So, I think it would be those three. And for me, again, I’m strategic with everything that I do. So, there’s just one person, I would have to figure out how I could turn it into a domino effect. So, like, which of the three that if I built relationships with them would then get me to the other two. So, I would feel like I got the best of all three worlds. So that’s, I would have to be strategic with it because you only get one shot.
Mike Ayala: Yeah. Yeah, totally. Well, this is probably a long shot, but if any of our listeners can connect him with any one of those three, please do it. Cause I would vouch for Casanova and well then heck maybe, if we connected him, then he’d bring us along.
Casanova Brooks: Oh yeah, right. Absolutely. We do a live podcast. Everybody could come, we set it up and eventually we will get there. It’s funny because my goals and, you know, to talk about this and everybody’s going into 2021. And my goal is, two have my top three people that I want on the show in 2021 is Will Smith, Kevin Hart and Mel Robbins. And so, I got connections already to two of the three, like solid connections, but obviously relationships, they take time, right. People, when they put your name out on to someone like that, any of those calibers, right. Then, you know, you got to really have a deep relationship with that person. And then they got to know. So, I appreciate you saying you were a vouch for me. And if anyone does know any of those three people, right and they feel like they can make it happen, the conversation is going to be magnificent.
Mike Ayala: I’m excited for it. And I know what’s going to happen with, or without them. Yeah.
Casanova Brooks: Without a doubt. It’s only a matter of time. I say that all the time. It’s only a matter of time. It will happen. It’s just, you got to stay consistent. You got to stay persistent.
Mike Ayala: I love it. That’s good. So, if you could narrow it down to one thing that has had the greatest impact on your success, what would that be?
Casanova Brooks: Exposure. Exposure. And the reason why I say exposure is because it’s always allowed me to continue to be a dreamer. And for me growing up South side of Chicago, Inner city boy, my dad was never in my life. My mom and grandma did raise me, and they did a great job from, you know, me still being here and what I’ve been able to accomplish. But it was the same time. Like for me, I was never closed minded on anything. And I was very fortunate that maybe I didn’t have the wrong people on me that suppressed my dreams because my favorite show growing up was always VH1, The fabulous life of, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that show. But it was like MTV’s version of or it was VH1 version of MTV cribs. And so, they would show like Richard Branson and they would show his yacht and his Island and all these big billionaires. And they would talk about how much they paid for these. And so, for me, I didn’t come from a world of that, but it exposed me to knowing that first off, these things are out there, and that person is human, just like I am. So, they accumulated it somehow. And then all of the things that they were able to give back. And so, it was that exposure. And then I think early on when I was 12, 13, I remember I would always go to like forbes.com. And I would find myself looking at like the Forbes list. And I didn’t know what any of this really meant, but it was just that thought of like, man, this guy got, you know, $40 billion or something like that. And so, it just kept me to dreaming. And so, every time that I’ve been exposed to something new, same thing with real estate, I didn’t grow up with anybody in my family owning real estate or investing in real estate. That conversation never happened when I was young. Ownership or relationships, like none of the ships ever happened when I was younger. And so, it wasn’t until I was exposed to different books and rich dad, poor dad and all these other things that it allowed me to know what was possible. And then that always just kept me to dreaming. And so that’s what I would say. Exposure was the one thing that’s allowed me to keep going all the time. Of course, you have to develop resiliency, which we already have, but we have to be able to articulate it to ourselves in a certain way where we gain that conviction because people can tell it to you all day. But if you can’t articulate it to yourself and you can’t be your own cheerleader in these moments, then it’s very tough to keep that momentum going. And so, yeah, I would say boiling it all down to one word is exposure.
Mike Ayala: I like that. You said, if you can’t articulate it to yourself, do you think that that’s when you really understand? Is that what that articulation is that why you said it?
Casanova Brooks: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the first time that you hear something or read something, or you’re exposed to something, it’s going to feel, especially if it’s complex, right. Like the world of real estate and people start, this thing about it, you never heard, you come from anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, wherever you come from poverty. And then all of a sudden people start talking about investing and then they start talking about cash on cash returns, EBITDA, however you want to say it, right. Net gross, all these things and is thrown at you in a seven-minute conversation. You’re like, what? Did he just curse at me? What you just don’t know. So, it’s not, and so you get exposed to it, and then you got to take some time and you got to process it. But then the second step is you got to be able to go and regurgitate it back to someone else and in a sense, teaching it. Because the first time that you’re exposed to it, you’re like, okay, this is dope. This is great. But then afterwards, you’re like, well can I teach this with someone else? Because then you start to understand, do you really understand it at a third-grade level? Because if you understand it as a third-grade level, you can teach it at third grade level. And that’s where a lot of people struggle at. And then after you find your teaching it, and then you get the conviction because other people are like, oh my God, that changed my life. That one little nugget changed my life. I’m so grateful to you. Now You’re like, oh man, like I really do give value out here in this world. So yeah. I definitely think that that was the big thing for me. Like once I had that conviction of, Oh, man, I really do give value in this world. Then it allowed me to keep running at a fast pace. And then the more people that I started to see that I was helping in some capacity, the more that I kept going.
Mike Ayala: Is that what fuels you helping people in some capacity. Cause I just saw like, you said that gets you going like, is that your thing?
Casanova Brooks: Yeah, absolutely. I think the thing that feels me is we all have limiting beliefs in life, right? We all do on some level. You might say Nope. When it comes to investing, I know. But then maybe you might get you on a dance floor and there’s 300 people there and you’re like this is not my thing. And it’s like, yo, but just be you, it doesn’t matter if you got two left feet, right. So, we all have some limiting beliefs somewhere in life. And so, I think for me early on the fact that I wasn’t the tallest, I wasn’t the most handsome, you know, all these things. What I really wanted to do was I was looking for a way that I could feel like at the end of the day, let’s say I wasn’t going to church. And I wasn’t doing everything that society told me is the thing that you got to do. The only thing that I knew that I could go back to my creator or God with at the end of the day and say, listen, everybody who you allowed me to come in contact with while I was on this earth, the green that you created, did I do everything in my power to inflict them with positive energy every time that they came in contact with me? Did I leave everyone better than where they found it, where they first found me? And if the answer is yes, I feel like you got to let me in. Like that’s what I’m going to say. When I get to the pearly Gates and they’re like Casanova why should we let you in right? One, I’ve never committed adultery. I’m not committing any of those things. I don’t kill, nothing. So, then it’s like, okay, well there’s so many other factors. But if I did everything that I could to build a relationship and inflict, leave to all of the people, right. And I don’t mean inflict in a negative way, but I mean, inflict like, because we talk about inflicting pain, but I’m saying inflicting positivity, letting someone else know that their dream is not minuscule. And they can dream big. And so I think that that was the way that at the end of the day, here’s the quote or I guess the thing, the story that was first told to me that allowed me to know that this was a real thing. Warren Buffett was first asked one day. And he was on a panel with some guys like Darren Hardy and some other people. And they said, Warren, how do you know, how did you know when you were successful in life? And he said, that’s a great question. Now, anybody who follows Warren, this has been said that he’s like an, he doesn’t talk about afterlife. He’s a realist. He’s some people would even call him an atheist. Like he just doesn’t talk about all those. He’s very cut and straight to the point. Well, anyway, he said, you’ll never know when you’ve truly been successful in life until you die and people are like, what, like Warren talking about afterlife, like what? And he’s like, and you see how many people come to your funeral? He said, but more importantly, you’ll never know how truly successful you’ve been. And so, you see how many of those people cry at your funeral, because those are the people that you truly had an impact on their lives. And I was like, Whoa. And this is when I very first started in real estate. So, I was hearing this, and I was like, man, like that’s everything right? Like, people don’t care about what you know, or the product that you sell, but what they care is how you make them feel. And can they count on you for accountability, for empathy, but also for moral support and empowerment. So, all of those things were the things that allowed me to know. I didn’t have to be smartest or the strongest or the fastest, but how can I make so many people feel right on a positive level to where they’re like, man, this world’s not going to be the same without him.
Mike Ayala: Wow. So, there’s been all this talk lately about aliens and I’m starting to believe, I think you’re an alien.
Casanova Brooks: My wife Julie would probably agree. But yeah, no, I don’t, it’s just who I am. And I love operating in that mode.
Mike Ayala: So, I have a question on that. I’m kidding about the alien thing, but is this like, are you naturally, is this, or have you worked to show up this way and be so relationship focused, bring the energy you always bring. I haven’t spent a ton of time with you, but every time I’m with you, you’re like this. So, is this something that everybody needs to work on or is this just something that’s kind of natural to you?
Casanova Brooks: No, I definitely think that is something that everyone needs to work on. Would I say that it’s natural to me. Yes and no. Again, remember I told you early on in my life, I was looking to figure out how could I identify? And it goes back to if I’m honest, like I had Jack Canfield on my show, right. And Jack Canfield, for those who don’t know, he is author of chicken soup for the soul. Sold over, I want to say 500 million copies when you put all of the different narratives in there, but at least the main book is like 50 million copies. But anyway, I saw a video that he had did, and this was prior to him coming on the show. And he started talking about the reasons why we are, where we are, whether it’s negative or positive. But a lot of the times, the reason why we have these negative mindsets and beliefs is because if we can trace it back to sometime between the age of 3 and 12 years old we had a trauma that happened in our lives, right. And you have to go back and figure out like what that trauma was and make peace with it, for what then, where you could you know, really just move forward. And so, for me, when I look back at it, I think I was, the fact that my dad was never in my life and I’m the only child on my mom’s side. But the last I knew I had 13 brothers and sisters on my dad’s side. So, my dad never did anything to bridge the gap or the relationship. So, I don’t have a relationship with any of them. And so for me, I did, I would be remised if I didn’t say, or I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was kind of always wondering, like, why did my dad not want me, right. Like why, you know, there’s some said that he thought that maybe I wasn’t his child or all these other things, but it was just kind of like what was so bad about me that he never wanted to have even some type of relationship, at least just be a piss poor dad that you just don’t show up. Like, you’re going to say, and there was many a times, like I can remember back where he left me on doorsteps. Not like having me and leaving me, but where my mom would get him on the phone and he’d be like, yo, I’m going to come when I get off work. And I sat there on the doorstep and he never showed up. And so all of these things that allow me to be like, look like I wanted, and I think we all, we all long for connection, that was where you and I was able because when I first got to Pinehurst, for anybody who’s, and this is another gem for people to hear and know. When I first got, it was through Chris harder, right. A mutual friend of ours. Chris was like, hey man, I’m going to Pinehurst with some really high-level guys. I know that you love networking and connecting. So, I think you should come out, but keep in mind, this was the first time I’d ever did anything like this. Like I’ve been to conferences but going there. And it was the most, it was the biggest investment I’ve ever made. And going into something like this, and there was no clear return. It was just all networking. And so, I was like, okay. So, I thought about it. But after I talked to Chris and then I talked to Kyle, I was like, you know what, you know, I’m going to take the risk. I’m going to find my tribe through this. If only I gained one relationship, right. Which I did, and only I gained one relationship, it would all be worth it. So I make this investment and I go, but the reason why I bring this all up is because when I first got there, the reason why I connected with you so easily is because it felt like you, there’s two things that I want people to get out of this. I felt like you put your arm around me early on when I was there. I’m the only black guy there. Just being honest, I’m in Pinehurst, North Carolina, which is the country in the South prior to the election. So, where I didn’t see no Joe Biden signs. And not that I’m even a Joe Biden supporter, but I’m like, Oh my God, like, it’s just so different. But you put your arm around me. And that allowed me to at least feel like I had one friend, if all else went to shit over these next three days. Not to say that it would. But that was the one thing. So I say that because a lot of the times for us, we’re either looking at who’s going to put our arm around us, but we don’t sometimes step out on faith and say, yo, I don’t need anybody else to put their arm around me. I’m going to make that other person feel like they’re wanted and I’m going to make them feel like they’re a part of it, if nothing else. And so, it’s a two-way street. And so, I say that because that was what allowed me in the very moment to feel like I at least had one friend there. Now the whole trip was phenomenal. All of the guys were, but it was that very moment. And so, I say that because it’s getting out of your comfort zone, right. And a lot of times we had that, well, we’re all at a networking event. It could be a real estate investor, or it could be whatever. And you’re just kind of sitting there. And if somebody else that you see is sitting there and they look lonely too, if you just go over and sit next to them and say, Hey, I seen you over sitting by yourself. My name’s Casanova. My name is Mike, whatever that could be all, you need to then open up to someone else that you made their life better. And so, going back to my dad’s story, I think I always looked for connection. And so, the way that it was like, well, what can I provide to someone else? I can’t provide, I’m not six foot eight. So, you know, I can’t provide basketball or whatever it is. I didn’t have any money. So, I couldn’t provide money or buying experiences or whatever else, but what I could provide was my energy. And that was all I wanted. And so, if I knew that, like, if I just gave you good energy and authentic energy and things like that, that I would build a relationship and where would it go? I didn’t know. But that was what I always focused on. And so, can people develop that? Absolutely. Because those are the ways right now, you’re going to go to something you might be in a conference, in a virtual room, right. If you’re working for a corporate job right now, and they have you in these breakout rooms in zoom and you see that one person’s not talking, right. Well then all of a sudden, and there’s different tactics and ways that you do this, but then you speak up and you just say, Hey, you know what? This has been a thoughtful and such a meaningful conversation, but I know that we got a lot of experts on here who maybe haven’t gotten the opportunity to talk yet. And so, Mike, I love your story. I’ve read a little bit about your background, what you can do when you’re just right there on your computer. And I see that you’ve been able to do this and this and this. And I find that fascinating. Would you mind sharing. That opens up the door for somebody else who was maybe not going to say anything, but they’re like, wow! Somebody finds me fascinating. And so that’s the way that you just provided a platform for that person to feel like that they were meaningful in life. And you never know where that relationship is going to go in the end of the day.
Mike Ayala: I’m interested in your take on this. And we’ll get to the other questions, but I was just talking with somebody about this a couple of weeks ago. It actually provides some opportunity for people that wouldn’t normally in a networking setting. You know, they’re not super outgoing. And I think we have to train ourselves in that too. I think it’s a misnomer because a lot of people think I’m an extrovert, but honestly, like I’m not comfortable running up to a group of 10 people and just like, Hey, I’m Mike. And you know that awkward, like you’re trying to get over in the corner and they’re having a conversation and you feel like you’re going to interrupt. But all that being said, with this day and age, even with COVID like, number one, I would argue that it’s easier potentially, as you were just saying to get in there, but it’s more important than ever to, to get in there because it’s hard to be seen in a virtual world. So, what’s your thoughts on that?
Casanova Brooks: Yeah. So, I definitely think that one thing that I’ve always thought, and just in my mind is that relationships is the true currency of all success. And you can’t like, no matter who it is, no matter what level that they’re at, you got to understand that they got there by way of a relationship. And so, you would think about Jeff Bezos. So, let’s use Jeff Bezos and Amazon. The way that he’s been able to build this community of people who love Amazon and they’re using; Amazon have fueled their life right now. And the only reason I say that is because people aren’t going into stores anymore. They’re going Amazon to buy their Christmas presents. So, there were relying on Jeff Bezos and the system that he’s built. So, but it’s not Jeff based. So, tell me, when’s the last time Jeff Bezos talked to anybody about a product that’s going to be sold on Amazon. He doesn’t, but it’s the relationships that he built in the beginning to get the money from his parents to get the bank funding, but also to get the people to believe in his vision and his dream. If you’re struggling right now to build a team, I think the problem is one, you haven’t focused on the relationship, but two, maybe it’s because you’ve never been on a team. So, you don’t know what that looks like. So, you might need to join someone else to see, someone who has, you know, self-servant leadership, or did I say that right? Servant leadership, self-awareness and servant leadership. And so, when you do that, and you get that mentor, and you see what it looks like to what’s the book that Simon Sinek has. It’s called leaders eat last, right? That’s a book by Simon Sinek. And when I read that book, it was so powerful. And so just understanding that relationships will get you in the door for everything, especially if right now you’re either in real estate investing, or you’re thinking about getting into real estate investing. You’re never going to build a major portfolio without the help of a lot of people in your world. And that’s not only investors, but this is talking about contractors. This is talking about bankers. This is talking about appraisers if you’re going to flip houses. This is talking about your realtors. All these people need to make sure that you have credit with them. And so, when you look at what credit is, when I ask people this all the time, it goes into, they tell me something around financial. Like you got good credit means you can pay your bills on time. But I say, if you really think about it, where does the word credit come from? What would you say? Where does the word credit come from?
Mike Ayala: Well, you talked about it. So, I can’t answer it.
Casanova Brooks: Got it. Okay. Yeah. So, credit, I always say, you know, credit comes from credibility, right? Credibility. What is my trust in your ability to make payments over time and on time? And it doesn’t have to be with money. It could be, if you borrow my shoes, it could be, if you borrow my car, it could be, if you said you were going to follow up with me on a deal and you didn’t, there’s so many things, but it’s that trust factor. And so, do you need to be out there in the world building relationships? You absolutely do. Because you’re working on your trust factor every single day, right? Like it was saying that I used, because this is how I first learned it. But it was, it’s not about what you know. It’s about what. But take it even a step further. It’s not about what you know, it’s not about who you know, it’s about what. Who knows you? Who’s willing to put their stamp of approval on your name. So even think about it. You guys were all waiting on me Casanova. But the only reason why I maybe even got there as to be in amongst these high-level elite guys was because Chris put that credibility on my name. And then now all of a sudden, you know, when you drop Chris’s name, people are like, well, who’s this Chris guy. He connected these two guys. He’s connecting guys like that, but it’s that who knows you. If you think about it, if you were like, Hey, you’re interviewing for a job and you say, yeah, I know, you know, Casanova, I know Casanova. And then and then that person says, Oh yeah. And then you come to me and you say, Hey, you know, Mike? And I say, ah, I kind of know Mike. I mean, he seems like, okay guy. Now what’re the chances of you getting hired for that job, right. Or for this, getting this contract. Some people, but I don’t work a job. It doesn’t matter. You’re trying to get people to put a bid out there, you’re trying to land a contract.
Mike Ayala: Like he’s a name-dropper.
Casanova Brooks: And so, it’s probably so-so. If you really crushed the meeting, and you had some intangibles that they were looking for, you might get it. But if they come to me and they say, Hey, you know, Mike? And I say, oh yeah, you, you get an opportunity to get Mike. Mike is that guy. Like, I’ve never seen anybody who works harder. His communication’s always on point his teams. He hustles and he hustles in the right way. If you got an opportunity to get Mike on your team, you got to jump on that. Now what’s the chances of you landing that contract or that job? Very high, right? Because it was the relationship. And it was me knowing you, but it starts with that trust and that credibility of how do you show up every single day? What are your values? Are you living by way of your values? And are you articulating that to people? Because that’s another thing. A lot of people, they know who they are, and they know what they believe, but they don’t articulate it. And if you can’t articulate it, if I don’t, it’s the calming form in business. If I don’t know you, I can’t flow you. I got to know who you are. I got to know what you stand for. And that doesn’t mean you need to be arrogant or boastful. But what that means is when you first meet me and we’re trying to find a connection, I’m going to be more interested than interesting. And so, I’m going to ask you some things about like, you know, what are you passionate about? Do you have any kids, all of these things will get you to open it up to what you truly care about? And then if I can find that connection there where you’re like, yeah, I got three boys. Okay. I got one boy. It might not be the three boys, but it’s at least some type of a connection, you know. And then we’re going from there and I’m building off of it. But at first starts with me listening and I got to be able to get out of my comfort zone because I got to find a way to be more interested than interesting by trying to just Blab to you about who I am.
Mike Ayala: One of my mentors always used to say that you not sharing your story and your strength and what you have to offer does not serve you. And it’s so true. Like, I love way you just said that. So, we were having the conversation back to the credibility. You know, you’re talking about credit. When I was on your podcast, we were talking about my mentor and the three C’s character, collateral and credit, and so many times. And I love to cause you just, you just wove like the credit and the credibility and then the character. But I think so many people focus in on the collateral aspect when it comes to real estate. And I’ve been talking about this a lot lately because collateral is important, but I think it’s the least important of the three. And that’s what I really appreciate about you, the character and that the whole credibility, that’s pretty important.
Casanova Brooks: Oh, it’s, it’s very important. Again, people do business with people who they know like, and trust. There’s nowhere in there where it says people do business with people who got a lot of money. People do business with people who got a big house, right? That’s not what it is. Because at the end of the day, we all are human beings, and we all operate. Even though sometimes we rationalize it by logic. But from the very first moment, for most of us, 95% of us it’s emotion. Do I like this guy in the beginning to even hear his pitch? Do I trust him enough to even allow him to pitch me anything? Because there’s times where our emotion could be like, man, if you have the greatest salesman in the world, again, you don’t know what the backside of his life looks like.
You don’t know if he’s going home to beat his wife or to drink a beer or whatever it is. But what you do know is what your intuition tells you in the beginning. So it’s not about the backside, it’s about the front side, but if you allow someone to talk enough and they tell you the values that they have, and this is something I’ll tell you. So, for me, I developed this thing, and it was talking about values. And I know I brought it up two or three times, but this was something that I had a guest on my podcast. And he talked about, you know, when you talk about your values, you need to be able to articulate them and kind of at least one word, right? So, for me, that word was dream. And so, the first one, when I started to write that out, the first one was develop. Because every single day I feel like we are developing. And I won’t go too deep into these unless you ask me to, but the first one was D, which was my develop. And then the second one for me was R and this was regret. And the whole reason why is because I never want to have to regret. I believe that failure weighs ounces, but regret weighs tons. And so, I never want to look back and say, man, I wish that I would have, right. Because you only get one shot at this thing. The E for me was energy. We already talked about that. I always try to bring positive energy to everything. The A was application. So, application is everything from accountability to just learning, like, how can I apply this to my life? So, everything that I hear, prime example, there was something that went viral probably about six to eight months ago. And it was a quote that said if I didn’t come from a wealthy family, a wealthy family must come from me. And I was like, oh man, that was great. But I wasn’t so much focused on the money. So, for me, I applied it. How could I apply that to my life? So, I switched it up and I said, if I didn’t come from a loving father, a loving father must come from me. So that was everything to me. But again, that was how I could apply this to my life. So, everything that I’m seeing, regardless if you’re in my lane, my industry or not, I’m trying to find ways to make it relevant to me and how I could put that into action. So, application, right. And the last thing was M which is motivate. And I think that we all need some type of motivation in life because that motivation is something that there’s a difference between motivation and inspiration, which is, you know, short-term versus long-term what inspires you, what keeps you going. Motivation is what are they going to hang? But I think that there’s a place for both of them in life, because sometimes we just need that quick win to be able to get up, get going. And then long-term what will keep us going is that inspiration. Because it’s what’s on the inside. So that was the thing for me is the five letters of dream. And so, you ask yourself, what are your five values, that you can put out there and yours could be love. It could be whatever. And that’s what’s allowed me to continue to dream. I got to develop with this dream. I can’t have any regrets. If I got a dream, you got to go after it. Everybody has a dream, but not everybody capitalizes and goes after it because they let those failures, or those fears get in the way of that dream. What type of energy am I showing up with every day? Is it the type of energy that Mike’s going to want to be around? Or when I get an opportunity to go out to Scottsdale again, and I’m like, hey buddy, you want to hang out. And you are like, not today, maybe next time. You know, then I’m like, man, who knows where that conversation could have gone? You know, if I just had better energy, the A, how can I apply the things that you’re doing to my life? And M how can I continue to motivate myself? But at the same time, there might be a time where Mike calls me up and he says, man, I’m just not feeling it, bro. And I got to be able to have a couple quick things that I could do to motivate him, just to get his wheels spinning. I don’t have to be the end all, be all. But if I could just do those couple of things that can motivate him, we all needed in life. We all get motivated by a different factor. No one is immune to it. So, figure out what your values are and how you can apply those to your life. And that’s what I’ve tried to do every day.
Mike Ayala: I love it. So, I have a quick question for you on those. And this is the application piece for our listeners. Is this, how do you, do you look at this every day or at this point in time is it just so ingrained in you, you don’t have to, how do you make sure you’re staying on pace with these values? Would you recommend they work through it and just keep it in front of them every day? How do you live these?
Casanova Brooks: Yeah. So, I think that one that you have to be thinking or talking about it every day. So, in the beginning, I’ll be honest. I was everyday like looking at it, but now they are ingrained. So, I don’t necessarily have to look at it, but that’s just like everything. It’s like a muscle. When you go to the gym and you’re lifting weights in the beginning, right. It’s going to be hard, but after a while, you’re doing 25 reps, depending on what it is. So, let’s just say five, right. To keep it more realistic. But after a while you’re doing five reps at 200 pounds, it’s going to be nothing because you’ve done it so much. So yeah, for me in the beginning, when I first heard that I was like, could I come back and talk about what my values are? What keeps me going every day? And I said that, but then after I wrote it down, I had to be able to go in back. I had to be able to teach them to other people. And so the way that I was trying to do it is because we’re all looking no matter who you are, no matter what success that you have or what, you know, obstacles that you’ve had to overcome, we’re all good seeds in our heart at the end of the day, right. There was something that was said to me on my podcast. And it was phenomenal, but this guy said, he said, you know what, when I was looking at my environment, he’s like the one thing that I had to know is that I was a good seed. I was just in bad soil. And I was like, Whoa. And so, if you think about that, when you take on anyone as a mentee, if you’re already successful, or if anybody else is going to take you on as a mentee, right. Sometimes you just got to articulate that to be like, look, I’m a good seed, right now I’m just in bad soil. And so, I took that, and I ran with it. And I think that that’s something that I’ve tried to tell other people, because when you write out those values and you start to tell it to other people, now you’re going to really comprehend it. And it’s just like, you know, we talk about our belief system all the time. If you look in the word belief in the middle of it is what? Lie, right. L-I-E. And so we often look at a lie as a negative connotation, but at the same time, it could also be that affirmation to where you lie to yourself till you say, I am a homeowner, I am a homeowner. I will be a homeowner by the end of 2021. So, all of those things, you lie to yourself enough. It just depends on; again, what type of soil are you trying to get into? Because sometimes if you’re in the wrong soil, you can’t say that, A, I am a homeowner, but then you’re living around a bunch of people that are smoking weed, drinking, they are renting, they don’t keep a consistent job. You’re just not going to get there. But if you get around other people that are homeowners, that have a family, right, that’s been able to invest in the real estate. And they’ve been able to build their portfolio in the last one year, two years, built off of freedom and having the why behind it. Then you know that at the end of the day, that’s the only thing that you can become. So, then you’re asking yourself, yes, these are who I’m surrounded with, but who do I need to become to be that person? Because I already see what Mike has. If I stay around Mike long enough, there was no way I could go. Mike has already told me he’s not listening to music. He’s riding around and he’s listening to audio books and he’s got all these books behind him. I’m like, okay, so now I’m already challenged to say like, well, Casanova, if you’ve already said that you’re a good seed, you’re in bad soil. Mike’s already allowed you to come jump over into his soil. But yet you’re trying to bring that bad soil over to his soil. Soon enough, he’s about to kick you out. And you got to go back to that bad soil. I don’t want to go back. Cause that’s the whole reason why I jumped into this in the first place. So, who do I need to become? So that’s how I always think about it.
Mike Ayala: I love that. And that’s, you know, we’re so aligned in that because I actually started a journey of expansion and getting out of my bad soil and into good soil. And I love that analogy because it’ll stick with me. But you know, everybody always talks about you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And so we’re always out looking for those five people that have the next level average, but I’ve been asking this question for the last couple of years, like who do I need to become in order for those five people to me in their world? And it doesn’t mean that. And I love the way that you said this too, because the believe and the lie, like it’s so, your values like application, this is so applicable. Like you’re so good at breaking this down, but the application on that, listen, you can’t get in a room with five, they’re not going to let you in there, unless you start becoming a different version of yourself and that isn’t going to happen by sitting on your couch and dreaming about what you need to become. You got to go out there and start becoming that person. And so, I love, if people would just, if people would get what you just said, that would change their lives forever.
Casanova Brooks: Yeah. But it first starts off with asking yourself, who are you? And so, going back to, something I always say as well is like, we all know that pressure bust pipes. But the other part of it is pressure creates diamonds. So, you got to ask yourself when you’re going through a hard time, you ask yourself, Hey, am I a busted pipe? Or am I a beautiful diamond. If you tell yourself that you’re a busted pipe, we got to do a lot more soul searching. You know, but most people, they would like to think that they’re a beautiful diamond. They’re just still stuck in the mud. So, there’s ways to get out of the mud, but first asking yourself, who am I? Because when you see these values, it’s so easy to then affirm it to yourself every single day. And here’s the deal. It goes back to that relationship piece. You can get anything that you want in this world with the right relationships, right. That’s really what it comes down to. The right relationships will open up any door for you. I got opened up and exposed to all of you guys, but nobody knew what I did prior to this. It was just off a relationship that what I had with Chris. And so, and you allow me on your show, right? Like it’s all about the relationship that you have. And that’s how I’ve been able to grow everything that I’ve had. I’ve just not focused on the transaction. I think that was when people were asking me, how in my first year in real estate, I was able to do 46 deals, $8 million in volume in just nine months, brand new to real estate after just coming out losing my mom, my job, my home, all within a matter of two and a half weeks. Like how did I do it? But it was all because I knew that I didn’t know everything about real estate. There was no way I could. So, if I would have sat on the sideline saying, ah, just don’t, I don’t have the knowledge to go do 46 deals in this first year. I would’ve never made it, but it was like, look, I don’t have to know everything. Cause I’ll be honest. One, So I passed the national exam on the first try, but I don’t believe I pass the state. And then I had to go back and take it and then I pass it again. No, the third time is when I passed it. The second time I missed it by one question and then I had to wait and then I had to go back and take it again. I bring that all up to say, in that first year in real estate, how many times do you think people asking me how long it took me to pass the real estate exam to get my license?
Casanova Brooks: Probably none or very few. None. Not one time that anybody still now to this day. Nobody’s like, well, how many times did it take you to get your license before I let you list my property? Like it doesn’t happen. So again, it doesn’t matter where you are. I understood always that my current situation was never going to be my final destination. This was all a book. And at the end of the day, like for me, when we talk about application and believing and all these things, I understood that like, if I’m writing a book right now and I quit at chapter five where I’ve just went through my biggest storm and that book closes up, what has been on my telling people that I want them to feel about me. Oh man, it’s so tragic. You know, it’s so it’s so sad about him, right? But all of a sudden, I keep going and there’s highs and there’s lows. And I understand that after every winter I’m expecting the springtime. So, I’m always staying triple C; cool, calm and collected. I know that joy wouldn’t feel so good if it wasn’t for a little bit of pain. So, I just got to be able to weather the storm. And at the end on my book, when it leaves that I’m on a high note that I can say, look, I didn’t regret anything. I did it with the right integrity. I failed a lot. I tried my hand at things. I was very excited about them. They didn’t work. I didn’t have the right tools. I didn’t have the right systems, but I learned a lot of lessons. And I documented my journey along the way. So, somebody else is not going to have to make the same mistakes that I did if they’d take heed to that advice. And then at the same time, the character and the legacy was still built because here’s what I’ll tell you. It’s just like baseball, right? You can be a hall of Famer with what Batting? 289, depending on, you know, how many runs, how many championships you can be a hall of Famer Batting 289. So that means two, maybe three out of every 10 attempts you won. That’s it. Even in basketball, right? I mean, you can’t shoot 60%, but you can shoot 30% to 40% and you could probably be a hall of Famer depending on how many championships that you win. So, three out of four, out of every 10 times. So, you just got to focus on being consistent. And if you do that, there’s no way you can fail. In my opinion, especially powered by the relationships because people are already going to co-sign everything that you do.
Mike Ayala: That’s so interesting. I want to get your take on this. So, I don’t know, a couple months ago, I’m in a group in gobundance called champions and the CEO of champions. We were in a smaller meeting and he asked me to give my eulogy and I had like a day to prepare it. And I’ve never done this before, but it was an a really powerful exercise for me. And I really struggled with it on day one, because I was writing down all these little bullet points about, you know, like I’m looking the way that I approach this in my mind to begin with, I’m looking down the road, like, you know, 30 years and Mike died and here’s all the things that he accomplished. And he dug Wells for, you know, water and fed poor kids and all this, I don’t even know what I was thinking, but I was really struggling because when I go out 30 years in the future and I try to think of all the things I’m going to accomplish in life, I was really struggling with what would be said at my funeral. But when I came back to, okay, well, what if Mike died tomorrow? I changed my perspective. Instead of looking out 30 years, I said, what if I died tomorrow? What would I want said about me? And it had nothing to do with the plumbing and heating business that I sold and all the real estate that I owned and everything else. It was all about my relationships. And I love, love, love you for this reason, because you’re a master at building relationships. And I want to ask you about this because I do believe that you’re genuine and authentic when it comes to your relationships, but you’re also methodical about it, which is crazy. I don’t, I think a lot of people just take the relationships that come in and out of their lives because they had a little longer conversation at the bank or something, but you’re very strategic about building relationships and I love it. So, can you kind of elaborate on that?
Casanova Brooks: Yeah. Just like you said, I just try to be strategic. I always go in with the end in mind, like, what do I want out of this? You know, whatever is the set outcome, right. So, for me, I’ll give you an example. When I first started up my podcast, I knew that I wanted to interview the highest, you know, the biggest thought leaders and doers and dreamers in the entire world. Like that was what I wanted, and I wanted to be able to build relationships with them. So, when I first started out, like I had to figure out what was going to be my end. And so, like prime example, if anybody who listens to podcasts, heavy and business podcasts, there’s a podcast called Pat Flynn. And his podcast is called smart, passive income. And when I first started out, I was like, man, I want to get Pat Flynn on the show within the first 10 episodes. Well, it didn’t happen. I reached out, we got no response, no nothing. So, it’s like, it is fine. Like I’ll find other ways to reach out to him. So then what I would start to do, and as any time I found a message that resonated with me, I would then show up on his Instagram and then I would comment on it. I would make sure I tagged him in it. And then I would say, check your DMS. And so I probably had to send them somewhere around five or six messages, like video messages on Instagram, and then finally like looked at it and he checked his DMS and he just said, Casanova, thank you so much. I appreciate you. So now it was like, I am at least one step closer because now he knows who I am. He said my name. It’s like, okay, so cool. But then I tried to get him for episode 100. Cause I needed again, you got to figure out strategically, everybody’s trying to get them on their shows and he’s doing shows. So, like I couldn’t just come and say, Hey, be on my podcast. I needed something to where he felt like it was going to give value. And there was real meaning for his time. So, I was like, man, well, what better way to do it than to give them like episode 100. Especially because being honest, he inspired me so much when I even started my podcasts and it was just like, man, you can do this. And I have seen, you know, he was making money, living off of podcasting. So, I’m like, man. So, I gave him all of that information. It goes back to you telling your story. So, I was like, listen, man, Pat, this is, you know, I would love to have you on the show. You’ve inspired me, dah, dah, dah. Then I get a message back from his assistant. And she’s like, sorry, Casanova Pat schedule is just too busy. This is at the beginning of the pandemic. And she’s like Casanova, Pats’ schedule is just too busy. Like I wish we could accommodate, but we can’t. And I’m like, man, whatever. So, then I just keep trucking, right. Like it’ll happen. Things like that. Well then remember George Floyd’s death earlier this year. So, I wound up getting an email from him, because I’m signed up. That’s another nugget, make sure that you’re signed up, makes you know, anybody who was trying to get mentorship from or build a relationship with, if they have thoughts, like connect with them on a personal level, let them know that they’re not putting this information or this content out for nothing like it’s resonating with you. They have meaning, they have value. So anyway, I get an email and I just seen it come through and they’re like for the next couple of days, we’re going to shut down all content, everything in respect to our black content creators, right. To let them know that we side with them. So, I am like, and then I get another email that says, Hey, we want to know from you all, are you a black content creator or entrepreneur? Like, what has this meant for you all? What does it mean to be black or whatever? And so, I am like, so then I responded to it and it was like a little seven-minute video or not video, but audio clip. And then they took that, and they compiled it with like seven other entrepreneurs and they use my story. And so, I got the message, but again, first off, I knew that I was worthy of it. So, we’ll get back to that part. But I knew that I was worthy of it. So, I already envisioned them using it. It was that belief system. So, then I get the email back, Casanova we thought that was so insightful. We love your message. We want to feature you along with the other seven people, dah, dah, dah. So, I’m like, that would be an honor, you know, yes, you guys can definitely do it. And then so yeah, so now boom, he really knows who I am. Then he, all of a sudden comes out and I see that they’re starting up like a founder Academy for SPI smart, passive income, and you can apply for it. And then it’s like 40 bucks a month for you to stay in. This is their subscription service. So, what do I do? Knowing that again I want Pat on the show, I sign up for it. So, I’m like, Oh, okay, cool. Then, so now I’m signed up for it. Then I keep doing like sending them a couple messages. Hey man, I just love what you had to say, dah, dah, dah. So, he’s still seeing me. And then what happens? I think it was like a couple of weeks that go by, now that I’m already in it. And I say, Hey, I’m a member of SPI pro, you know, I’m a founding member. I would still love to get Pat on the show. So then what happens? It’s funny because Grant Cardone was supposed to be on the show like this Monday I want to say, not obviously this Monday, but that Monday. And so, we had followed up like that previous Friday and we were like, Hey, we would love, we want to make sure that Grant is going to be there on Monday. And then his COO responds back, and we’ve had multiple communications. He’s like, Oh my God, Casanova. I’m so sorry with this pandemic and everything, somehow it did not make the calendar. Now Grant’s out of town, so we can’t do it. We’ll do it another time. So, at this moment, I’m kind of like, like I’m super annoyed, but I keep going and I’m just keep pushing through. Well, what happens? The very next day, I get an email from Pat’s team and they’re like, Hey, Casanova we know it’s short notice, but if you have some time tomorrow, Pat would love to come and do the show. And so, boom, we got it. So then Pat comes onto the show. We build a genuine relationship. I mean, we’re talking, everything like that. I bring him on. I’m just telling him how much he’s meant to me and everything. And it’s a great conversation. So then during this time Pat’s like, Hey, I got to get you on my show. Like, this is crazy. And keep in mind, Pat has over 70 million downloads. So, when he says it, I’m like, oh my God, like, this is, that’s so dope. Because I’ll be remised if I wasn’t. Like when you first, when I first started on my podcast, I was like, I knew I wanted to build my audience. Well there’s only two ways. One is either you already have an audience and you’re going to build it out. Or two, you got to go in front of the people who have the audience. So, I knew that eventually I wanted to be able to get on Pats’ show, but there was no way he was ever going to let me on the show without having a relationship with him. Like without him being able to trust me in front of his audience. So, then it was like, man, that’s crazy. So anyway, to shorten up this story, he does the podcast. And then about two weeks later, I didn’t say anything. His team reaches back out and they say, Hey, Casanova, Pat wanted me to reach out to you. We would love to have you on the SPI podcast. So now we did the episode released. And now just as of yesterday, my episode released on his podcast, the title is the most insane journey to becoming an entrepreneur I’ve ever heard, with Casanova Brooks and achieving your dreams. So again, there’s many stories that I have liked that with Dean Graziosi with people. But again, it was all about one, I knew what I wanted, but two, I wasn’t willing to risk who I was to try to get it. So, persistence, consistent, resiliency. But at the same time, understanding that once that opportunity came, I was going to capitalize on it by building a relationship with him. And because I didn’t know if he was ever going to let me on his show. And so, I didn’t know that, but I also knew that like I had to build a relationship first and foremost without looking for anything. So, what did I do? I wanted him to come onto my platform. I wanted to serve him. I wanted to talk and same thing with like you, right when beginning I was like, man, I would love for you to come onto my show. And then you’re like, well, hey man, I would love to do a swap. But even if you wouldn’t have said, I would love to do a swap because your show is so niche that it just, it didn’t matter because I knew that I wanted to serve you and I wanted to get your message out there to more of the world. And so again, that’s where it’s always come from. For me, I’ve always start with the end in mind, but then I figured out strategic ways to do it. It’s just liked the book, the third door by Alex Banayan. And that’s a phenomenal book and I read it after Chris and Joe had recommended it to me. And it was just amazing, but it just let me know. And the concept of the book for anybody who’s wondering, basically the quick concept is, in life it’s just like a nightclub. And so, there’s always two doors that we think about the front door, where the lines all the way around the block. And that’s where everybody, all of the average people are trying to get into, but you might not even make it by the time that the club closes, if it’s really that good of a ride. And then on the side of the building, you have the celebrities, the billionaires, the millionaires, the people who can kind of pay their way in, silver spoon people, it just is what it is. But what you don’t often think about is there’s always a third door. Now, sometimes you might got to go across the street, grab a ladder, put that ladder up against the building, climb up to the third floor, get through the window, come down, finesse the body guard. And then once you get in there, you know, then you’re like, it’s time to party. But there’s always a third door. And so, for me, I’ve just always tried to find that third door. But once you get in, you still got to make an impact for you to be able to stay in or otherwise they’ll put you right out once they find out. So that’s what I’ve tried to.
Mike Ayala: You’ll lower their average. They’re going to kick you out of their circle.
Casanova Brooks: Exactly, exactly what it is. So that’s what I’ve always tried to do, man. I’ve tried to live by that life and I just didn’t necessarily even know how to articulate it until again, going back to in the beginning until I was exposed to it.
Mike Ayala: I want to be respectful of your time. How are you on time?
Casanova Brooks: I’m good. I’m good. As long as you want to go, my brother, I’m here for you.
Mike Ayala: So, a couple more questions. So, I’m thinking about this and I want your, I want your advice on this because I’ve been listening to you and your approach and I’ve been having this conversation lately a lot. And I’m in a lot of different groups with high performing business owners and you know, investors. And so many people out there right now. And I would imagine a lot of my listeners fall into this. They don’t see the value. In fact, I actually hear this said a lot, social media, you know, I stay off social media, it’s inauthentic. Everybody’s just looking for something. I hear all these same conversations. And I was literally on a podcast this morning. And I think, I think 90%, 95% of business owners are missing the boat. And not even just business owners, investors, anybody, because they’re not living their life on social media. And I’m not, in this day you know, we got this battle going on with you know, the social, whatever that show is. And everybody’s saying, I got to get my kids off social media. It’s destroying us. But what I just heard you say is you’re using social media in a way to build authentic relationships. And I feel like people are missing the boat. So, can you talk to us about that a little bit?
Casanova Brooks: Yeah, absolutely. I think you’ve got to find your way in. Understand that social media is just the tool, just like money. We talk about money. Money is they say that money is the root of all evil, right? It’s not, it’s really, the love of money is the root of all evil, but a tool is just what it’s supposed to do. It’s supposed to get you an end result. And so, when you talk about social media, I think the number one thing that people, the reason why they don’t want to use social media is because they don’t like vulnerability. And they think that if they show that they’re vulnerable, that it would show weakness where it really shows strength. It really does to ask somebody, you know, because in life we all want going back to what I said earlier, we all want connection. And so, for me to really connect with you, I have to see you showing the behind the scenes, because if all you show is this real estate. If one, I don’t feel empowered enough to think that I could own real estate, or I don’t feel empowered enough to think that, you know financial freedom was in my lifestyle or that’s something that I could attain over time, then I’m never going to connect with you. But if you’re showing me the masterminding that you’re doing, if you’re showing me the time that you have with your kids, and you’re showing me the why behind why you went through all of your trials while you overcame all of your obstacles, because you say, Hey, look right now, guys, the world’s shut down. But my kids and I are, we’re not worried about it. We’re playing monopoly as you can see. But the whole reason why is because I invested those first 10 years into building this business. I lost a lot of money. I leveraged a lot of things, but what I didn’t lose is my why, I didn’t lose my family. I didn’t lose all these other things. People are going to be like, oh my God, I really resonate with that. So, I think that you have to be willing to be vulnerable, but then also understand that. So, like, again, it goes back to the point, if they don’t know you, they can’t flow you. So, if you think about it, if you’re willing to advertise your life on a billboard or a postcard or in the phone book or whatever it is, because you’re always got to tell a story, right? So how do you get your business out there to the world? You need to have attention. You need to have eyeballs. And so that means that you have to come from one of three areas. You have to be constantly educating. You have to be entertaining or excuse me, or you have to be inspiring. You have to do one of those three things. You got to be funny. You got to motivate somebody, or you got to constantly educate them. And so, think about where are all of your eyeballs, for the most part it’s on social media. Even if you’re, if you’re talking about, I don’t want to share, you can, and there’s so many different avenues of what you can do it on to grow your brand and your authority. If you figure out like, Hey, I don’t mind video, then yeah, you can go video route with Instagram or even Tik Toks if you just want to make like little 15 second videos. Or if you say, nah, that’s not my thing. I’m just a writer. I don’t want to have my face in there. I don’t even really like talking. Okay, well what about blogging? What about Twitter? Just still, there’s a way for you to do it. Or if you say, you know what I love audio. Okay, well then you start a podcast, and you can still bring your audience in that way, right. With your podcast or there’s a new app out there. Which I believe is going to overtake probably just about all of them besides Instagram and it’s called Clubhouse. And Clubhouse, I don’t know if you’ve even heard of it yet, but once you find it, it’s a game changer in the world. It’s all audio. And what it allows for is, it’s a hundred percent audio, but it allows for authentic conversation. And why this is so important is because it’s not about your followers. It’s not about like, there’s, think about it as a conference, you go to a conference and there’s different breakout rooms. Well, you can go to any breakout room on any topic, and then you can just sit in the room and you can listen. And there’s so many high-level people in these rooms. Now, right now it’s only for iOS and Apple. So if you have an iPad or an iPhone, you can get it, but it also has a FOMO feel to it because it’s so exclusive that you need an invite to get in, which is not anybody can get in. So, they give out invites based off of that algorithm. So if you have an invite or if you know somebody that has an invite that they can allow you in, otherwise you just got to go to like www.joinclubhouse.com and then you just sign up and you wait until there’s a spot for you to get in. So, it’s so crazy. But again, just the whole purpose in this is figuring out where your voice can be heard at. And you can do that in so many ways because the contents all out there, right. But if you don’t continuously show up and put out the content, it’s just then all of a sudden people are going to go find it from somewhere else. So, this is why social media is, because it’s not about you, your story, your product is not for you. It’s about innovation and solving a problem for someone else, whether that’s with your story, your product or your service. So where is that someone else? Oh, well, where do they hang out at? I mean, it won’t take you about three seconds to be like, well probably on social media somewhere.
Casanova Brooks: Okay. Well figure out where is your customer and go to where they are. And that’s the easiest way for you to get more deals, build more relationships. And then how do you do it? I’m on here, how do I do it? Well, first off, document your process and show authenticity. Hey guys, this is my first time on here. Let me ask you what have been the most beneficial tips that you all can give me for how do I build relevance in this market, right? Or this platform, or just asking the question. People love to give their advice. People love to give their opinion. Oh my God, Mike, it’s so great to see you on here. Here’s what I would tell you. Make sure you keep uploading to your stories. Make sure you do reels. Make sure you do all these things. If you need any help, I’m here for you.
Mike Ayala: I love it. That’s so awesome. You may have answered this already, but I’m going to ask you, we’re going to skip the third question. I’m going to ask you the fourth. So, what is the piece of advice you find yourself sharing the most?
Casanova Brooks: I find myself sharing a lot of things than most, but I would probably say people ask me what has been my keys to success. And I always say that the three E’s and I kind of did answer it in different parts, but I’ll leave kind of with this, which is energy, environment and exposure. Again, my first thing that I’m always trying to focus on is what’s my energy when I show up, if it’s negative or if it’s positive, trust me, I know that I can give that off to where it’s like, was it a great experience with dealing with me? Because at the end of the day, again, all we really have is the memories of how people made you feel. You don’t remember the cars, like the first car, whether I lost money on it, or whether I didn’t, the credit card, whether you got interest on it or whether you don’t, the student loan, you don’t remember any of that stuff. You just remember how someone made you feel. So, it’s my first energy. The second thing is my environment. Again, we talked about what type soil am I in? If I’m in an environment, constantly uplifts me, then I know that I’m going to be doing a lot better in life. But if I’m in an environment where constantly, I feel like it’s toxic. One thing that I learned is you cannot heal in the same environment that makes you sick, right? You cannot heal in the same environment that makes you sick. So, you have to feel like what is the environment that I’m putting myself in? And the thing that I love about going to conferences or being a startup in any environment, whether it’s a new app that you’re trying or being the first of your family to invest in the real estate or whatever it is, you’re going to find a lot of other people that are there with that same vulnerability. And even if you say again, like I’m only a four, well, you got to understand that there’s other fours running right alongside of you, that’s looking to see what you’ll do to figure out if they’re going to tap out or not. Unfortunately, that’s just the way that life goes. We all need somebody to hold us accountable and run at the same speed as us. And a lot of the times that speed doesn’t have to be outside of your circle. That might be your spouse. My husband is what keeps me going. My wife is what keeps me going, because she’s running right alongside of me. So, remember like the environment’s very important. But the other thing about it is, you find those people in those startup environments that are threes, twos, ones, zeros, and even negative ones. And those are the people that are truly looking at you to know, because Mike didn’t give up that’s what let me know that I had to keep going. I heard his story, I heard his journey, and it was just like, man. And on top of that, you know, I had someone behind me, my son, my daughter, my little brother or sister that was watching me, that was like, Oh, okay. It’s kind of like, you know when you get like, think about it this way, if you get disrespected for the first time and you got your son, you come there and you’re trying to protect your son, think about it as a fight or something. You’re about to go there and you protect your son. And then somebody disrespects you and in the whole crowd is just standing there. And now your son’s like, how’s dad going to respond. So think of it in that sense of like when those times of adversity comes, it doesn’t have to be a fight, but it can be some time of adversity where you’re just looking to break down and cry, your child or your younger brother or sister, your grandchildren, somebody’s looking and they want to see what you’re going to do because that’s going to set the foundation for who they are. So that second one is so powerful and its environment. What’s that environment like around you, that continuously keeps you going? And then the third thing is exposure. And if we have constantly had that exposure, then it’s going to constantly allow us to dream. Once it is expanded, it can never contract back to its original state. So you have to think like I got to continuous to be exposed to me because a lot of the times it’s not what we don’t know, but it’s what we don’t know that we don’t know that hurts us. Because we’re just like, Oh, I don’t know that answer. But if we don’t go out there and seek it, right, to be like, well, what are you guys all doing in this room? All of these other things and asking the questions that again, show us to be vulnerable, but at least we got the information. That’s what allows us to continue to dream and then focus on innovation, which again is the application part of it and executing on these things because then we know that it’s possible because we’ve been exposed and we see that that person has it. So, there’s no way you can tell me that is not possible. So, it’s those three E’s is what has allowed me to really keep going. And that’s the piece of advice that I find myself continuously telling people about.
Mike Ayala: Wow, well, you have shared so much value with us. I’m sure people want to figure out how they can get more, so what’s the best way to find Casanova.
Casanova Brooks: Yeah. So, I’m on all the social media platforms. I’m trying to be a little bit more active on LinkedIn. But my real platform right now is Instagram. I guess some people say that’s where the cool kids are hanging out at least right now. Or if you’re on Clubhouse I would encourage everybody to get on there or find a way because it’s so much knowledge and wisdom and information that I’m such a fan of a big advocate of it and it’s brand new. And then the other thing I would say is the dream nation podcast. So dream nation, www.dreamnation.com is where I would say you can find all of my information, but that dream nation podcast is where I try to hang out because I get to bring on, you know, high-level people just like you, that gives so much wisdom. And again, I wasn’t born with this information. I just learned it from the greats over time. And so, yeah, that’s where you can find me. I’m pretty accessible.
Mike Ayala: Well, I really appreciate your time. And you’ve brought so much value to us. I can’t thank you enough. And how do I get on Clubhouse?
Casanova Brooks: My brother, I just sent out. I just sent out my last invitation. They give me an invitation. Yeah, they give me an invitation. I got you. Otherwise you just go to www.joinclubhouse.com and then sometimes what they’ll do is you might not have an invitation, but they’ll just send everybody like that’s in your contacts. When I get on there in the app, they’ll give me a notification and it’ll say Mike just tried to join. Do you want to let him in? And so, this is exactly what happened with Jim Carter. Cause I told him about it. And then you just see the texts, like he was texting me within 10 minutes. And he’s like, I’m in love. And I mean it’s so yeah, it’s so much information from, no matter what conversation, podcasting, stocks, real estate, development, it is so much information. So, I’m a big advocate of it. I’m not an investor in it, but it’s definitely a platform that has a lot of innovation, great energy. And yeah, it’s something that we all should be on for now.
Mike Ayala: Well, I’ll see you on Clubhouse. I’m going to figure this out.
Casanova Brooks: Oh yeah, absolutely. And yeah, Kara, she’ll go crazy on it. Once you see it, it’s like, you’ll find your time that you’re spending eight, nine hours a day on this app. And I know that can be scary to some people, but what I mean by that is one, you got to have balance, but that’s the level of value and great energy that’s being shared on the app. That you’re almost like I got to hop into these conversations because there’s so many gems that are just being given by high level people. I’m not just talking about guys that are just like, no, because it’s crazy. But when you see it, you’ll understand what I mean. And then probably you’ll come back and do a whole episode on what Clubhouse has done for you and why your listeners need to be on it.
Mike Ayala: I Love it. Well, Hey, I really appreciate your time and energy man. It’s been great.
Casanova Brooks: Absolutely my brother, I appreciate you again. And yeah, if there’s ever any way that I can serve you, your audience, I’m always a message or a text away.
Mike Ayala: Cool. Thank you.
Casanova Brooks: Thank you.