On this episode of Investing for Freedom, Mike is joined by Sergio Altomare. Mike and Sergio discuss self-development and growth, the economy, the importance of taking accountability, and how you must give in order to receive. Enjoy!
“If you do not take action on whatever you’re learning, you’re not going to make mistakes, but you’re also not going to advance.”
FIND | SERGIO ALTOMARE:
0:00 – Intro
0:42 – Sergio tells us how his mother has had the greatest impact on his life
1:51 – Sergio talks about the importance of being curious and how curiosity and asking questions have had a large impact on his success
5:33 – Sergio speaks about how success is related to time spent studying a trade
7:44 – Mike talks about how the best investment you can make is in yourself through education, learning and just expanding your knowledge
9:40 – Sergio speaks about how holding yourself accountable is important for growth
12:05 – Sergio explains a rule he likes to live his life by which is ‘in order to receive you must give’
15:25 – Sergio talks about his greatest setback in life and what he learned from it
19:45 – Sergio states how he has a passion for learning how to do things as fast and efficient, in as few steps as possible
20:31 – Sergio speaks about meditation and being mindful
27:06 – Sergio tells us that in order to make a change, it has to come from a belief in your core
33:16 – You are the people you are closely connected to
36:28 – Sergio speaks about the key to becoming a better person and fitting into a better group
41:10 – Sergio shares some economic knowledge
45:20 – Sergio speaks about a book called How The World Really Works by Adam Jones
48:38 – Sergio talks about his company Hearthfire Holdings. Hearthfire Holdings is all about sharing wealth, RV rentals, and recreation business.
Mike Ayala: Thank you for joining me on the Investing for Freedom podcast. Today, we are in for a treat. We have a good friend of mine, Sergio Altomare on the show and this guy’s background is just so impressive. You know, as we talk about a lot, I met Sergio through, GoBundance obviously one of my favorite organizations for obvious reasons. But every single time we’re at an event or whatever, I just love when Sergio, you know, just interjects his thoughts. And so you guys are in for a treat today, Sergio, thank you for being on the show.
Sergio Altomare: Thanks Mike. Appreciate it. Looking forward there brother.
Mike Ayala: Yeah. It’s going to be great. So there’s four questions that we get into with every guest. I’m going to start off with that and then we’ll just get into some amazing stuff who knows, maybe the questions are going to be amazing. Who has had the greatest impact on your life.
Sergio Altomare: That’s easy. That’s my mother. My mother and I believe should be going into sainthood when she passes. My mother Italian immigrant, she’s 86 years old. Even to this day, I’m 45 when I talk to her, she’s always checking to see how I’m doing. She’s been an inspiration, the most giving kindest person I’ve ever met. And I am not just saying that because she’s my mother. I mean, she’s raised not just only her kids. I have two older sisters. She’s helped raise my nephews, my niece, countless of her nieces and nephews, a tireless worker, never complains, creative, happy no matter what the situation is. So she’s always been my inspiration and motivation for everything I do.
Mike Ayala: Wow. That’s amazing. Have you told her that?
Sergio Altomare: Yep. I tell her any chance I get.
Mike Ayala: That’s cool. If you could narrow it down to one thing that has had the greatest impact on your success, what would that be?
Sergio Altomare: For me, it’s really been being curious and asking questions. I’ve always been a curious child, and, in some cases, you know, dangerous, like kind of experimenting with things, but I’ve never been afraid to ask questions no matter how stupid they may sound. And I’ve had an insatiable appetite for learning. I find that any day you don’t learn something new is a wasted day. And so I start the day with, you know, reading whether it be through my RSS feeds, I subscribe to Feedly with countless resources. So I can digest content at an insane pace books, audible, podcasts, conversations, you, it there’s so much information to be gleaned from this world and not just learning it, but also implementing and testing out our own personal limits and my personal limits. So that’s been my success is really just not being afraid to fail, learning as much as possible, then implementing whatever I can.
Mike Ayala: You know, as I’m sitting here, listening to that answer that you gave number one, I’m inspired. And I think sometimes when we hear an answer like that, you know, I’ve heard something like that before and just kind of like, oh yeah, that’s a great answer, but I don’t know why, but it hit me today when I’m listening to you say this, like the difference, there’s that saying that I’m thinking of right now, I think it was Jim Rowan. And he said the difference of who you are today and who you’re going to be 20 years from now can be found in the quality of the books you read. And so we hear this, but I don’t know why, but when you’re saying this today, like I’m literally picturing the opposite and how many people are just sitting on their couch. They get home from work and they just stopped learning. And as you’re saying that, I mean, I really think that you just pointed out something that might be, you know, one of the greatest nuggets in life when I see people like you that are successful and continuing to find more success in life. I think that’s the thing that really differentiates. So I appreciate you sharing that, number one. But there’s another side of that too that just kind of like, I saw that, you know, how many people have just stopped learning. Why do you think that is?
Sergio Altomare: I think, to me I look at it as our brain is the biggest and I don’t know how scientifically accurate this is. But our brain is I look at it as a muscle. And the more you use it, I mean, it’s cognitively, there’s scientific fact behind it, right. You’re either going to nurture your mind or you’re going to, you know, waste it away. And so it’s about, you know, it’s the equivalent of physical exercise and going to the gym and doing all that. And you can see the results, right. But at the end of the day, when you’re continuously feeding your mind new information and not just your mind, your senses, right? Whether it’s touch, smell, taste, you know, what you hear as you consume all of that, it changes, it creates different contexts around the world. So for me, it’s a matter of how do I learn as much as possible and each topic. And there are some things that I gravitate towards and some that I, you know, could care less about if you will, but I’m always going to be curious about. But I think for most people don’t realize that the capacity of our minds, right? I mean, the capacity of our minds is tremendous. When you look at pictures of the most successful person, you know, regardless of, you know, business, athletics or whatever, the difference between that individual and the next person is really how much time that they’ve spent studying their trade. You know if it’s, and I’m fascinated, and I study elite in all things. Whether it’s, you know, Tom Brady, Tiger Woods in his heyday, you know, Muhammad Ali you know, Mark Cuban, Bill Gates, pick whatever in whatever area that you aspire to be and learn what they’re doing. And in most cases, what they’re doing is they’re continuously learning more about their craft. And so for me I’m what we would probably call a Jack of all trades master of none, but what I’m a master of is learning. And to me you know, a lot of people just, you know, they’ll pick up a book and they’ll read it. That was a great book, but what did you do with it? Did you act on the information? And if you act on the information, now you can contextualize what you just learned. And for us in business, it’s somebody says, hey, if you do X, Y, Z, then you know, this happens and you only learn that by doing, so you take the information, learn it, study it, and believe in it. And once you believe that information is accurate and then you act on it, magical shit happens. And that’s the part that is like, if you experienced it, it’s addicting, right. It’s knowledge paired with action is addicting to generate more and more and more of it. And I think there’s a gap that a lot of people have that just don’t take knowledge to the next level or their appetite for that knowledge may stop. Me, I consume anything from anybody. And I just love to, I mean, my brain is a sponge.
Mike Ayala: Wow. I appreciate you sharing that. I feel like you just gave us, like, and I know it sounds simple about learning, but I feel like you just, you know, I’ve said this so many times you know, people will say, Hey, I’ve got a $1,000 or $5,000 to invest in. What should I invest in? I’m like in yourself, like in learning in knowledge because you know, the people that have $100,000 or a million dollars to invest or whatever, they became avid learners, they just became skilled at their trade, whatever it is. I feel like we’ve lost some of that. Even like the importance of I’m a plumber by trade. A lot of people don’t know that, I went to a four-year trade-school spent four years in the field. And, you know, when I became a journeyman plumber, it’s because I had 4,000 hours and then did become a master plumber, you got to have 10,000 hours. And I think we’ve lost, you know, everybody’s thinking about getting rich quick and how to learn, you know, and by the way, I think technology and AI and all that is important, and we can collapse timeframes, but at the same time, I think we’ve quit really becoming avid learners as you point out.
Sergio Altomare: Yeah. And I think it’s the, and I look, think of it as being an active learner. And it’s like, okay, well you learn a subject and then, you know, test it out. And didn’t go the way you thought it was. I think for a lot of folks it’s really just a matter of you know, not having enough success with implementing what you’ve learned or not taking it as a step ahead or to the next step. You talk about investing in yourself and I want, you know, just like we talked about earlier, you hear a book it’s bought. It’s not okay, I’ll add that to my notes. And to some people, they feel like the act of writing it down is somehow magically going to manifest into some knowledge. Well, no, you write it down, then you got to look it up. You got to buy it. It’s got to come in the mail, you got to read it. I mean, there’s a lot of steps. And so for a lot of people that just like, they don’t get past step number two. And it’s like holding yourself accountable. Because at the end of the day, it’s when you put your head down is like, have I given myself the best effort, have I really done that? I mean, there’s a lot of people that are very good at telling you what to do and how to do it. And then you’re like, you’re watching them or observing them from a distance. You’re like, you’re not practicing what you’re talking about. So for me, it’s like, if I’m confident that what I’m saying, I’m doing and I’m acting on, then I’m just holding myself accountable. And what you do is your business. So I think that’s, you know, just the most powerful force out there.
Mike Ayala: You know, as you’re saying all that too, I think you know, even just back to the practicality of, like, you mentioned a book, I buy the book. I think we owe it. I’m so fortunate to be around people like you every day. I think we owe it to those people that are around us that share insight, wisdom. You know, you’re not asking, earlier you were sharing wisdom with me. You weren’t asking me to necessarily pay you for your time. Or even there’s no excuses today because all this is free. If you’re listening to this right now, it’s free. Like I have to pay to produce this show. And so those people that are sitting on the couch and, you know they never get ahead. And, you know, I just love the learning conversation but taking it to the next step. You’re an active learner. I love the way you said that. And I think we owe it to people like you when I get around you and you share wisdom with me, if I take that wisdom and I just throw it on the ground and not do anything with it, you’re not going to get very far in life. And Sergio is not going to hang out with me and impart wisdom to me for very long, if I just spit or step all over the stuff that you teach me. The way you’re saying things is just got me looking at a whole different perspective on why people, usually we’re just talking about like keys to success, but I’m like seeing, I’m seeing what you’re saying through a different lens today, for some reason, I normally don’t, but I see why people are not being successful because they’re literally stepping all over the wisdom that you give them for free. There’s just no excuse today.
Sergio Altomare: Yeah. And, and going back to, so something that I’ve been fortunate enough to have my entire life is, there’s a big rule that I’ve lived by. And in order to receive, you must give, right. It’s not the other way around. A lot of people live life by believing that, Hey, I didn’t get anything from this person. Why should I give? But my mother has always done is give without expecting something in return, but there is something that I expect in return. I expect the satisfaction and I expect the confidence that tells me that I’ve given what I can to whoever. I mean, I average about, I don’t know, three to five calls with just random GoBundance guys, the GoBros every week. And for that, it’s like, you know, a lot of, Hey, can I pick your brain about X, Y, and Z? Absolutely. Because at the end of the day, I’m building up a, a level of enabling receiving that, you know, is indispensable. And the way that it manifests is in so many different ways. I mean, it’s just like, you know, you know that, you know, somebody says, Hey, will you contribute to XYZ calls? I believe in XYZ calls, done. Right, done. I give, I gave, I gave, I gave, and then all of a sudden it just starts raining. And it starts raining goodness. It starts raining knowledge. And then, and so it’s kind of like it’s not, it’s as close to magic as you can get. And it’s like, you know, if you’re depending on what kind of books and stuff that you end up being very much into spirituality you know, Buddhism, meditation, and all of that. And it’s like the art of allowing, right. And it’s allowing yourself to receive, but in order to do that, you have to put yourself out there. I mean, it’s in every religion, it’s in every, it’s everywhere. But unless you really believe that there’s something missing. So the way you do that, that’s the way I live it. And it’s gotten me this far in life and we’ll see where it takes me.
Mike Ayala: Man, Sergio is bringing the fire today. I love it. You know, as you’re saying that, like I’ve often said like, and I 100% agree with everything you just said. Like, I just don’t believe you can outgive the universe or God or whatever you want to call it. I just don’t believe that. And you know, so many people are so stingy, I’ve literally seen it like this for years. I’m a big Hunter. I love hunting. And you know, we go out in the desert, the wild, in the mountains and we’ll find these watering holes where the animals drink. And it’s interesting because when water is not flowing in and out of those, they’re nasty, dirty mud holes. But then you see like a crystal clear, like Lake Tahoe type, you know, mountain Lake, and you got clear water flowing in, you got Clearwater flowing out. Like that’s just beautiful. And I’ve often seen giving that same way. Like if you want muddy, dirty, nasty water, like, you know, let it flow in, but just keep everything there. But if you want pure, clean, beautiful life, like you got to keep it flowing in and flowing out. And I think the way you pointed that out is just so awesome. And I can literally, like, I don’t even know your mom, but like, I can feel your mom, just this conversation is amazing. It’s beautiful.
Sergio Altomare: Awesome. Awesome.
Mike Ayala: What was your greatest setback and what did you learn from it?
Sergio Altomare: So for me it was, I didn’t realize it was a setback at the time. So, I grew up through the ranks working at the federal reserve in technology. There was a time where I was probably in my mid to late thirties and my director’s job became available. And it’s a national position. I worked for a group representing the bank supervision department for information technology across the entire federal reserve. And it was a high-profile position. And I applied for the job. I mean, I was getting congratulated. People were assuming that it was going to be my role just because it was, it seemed like it was a natural fit and I didn’t get the job. And I was pretty surprised about that. But in the conversation, I had with my boss at the time it was, it came down to, well, it’s a very high profile job and you don’t have a, it wasn’t said this way, but do you ever consider, you know, going back to school and getting your degree and I said, well, I mean, now that you put it that way, right. So I didn’t get the job, but what I did was I got a fire lit on to me that I said, that will be the last time not having a college degree has ever held against me. And within two weeks I was registered to Drexel University, went back to school nights, weekends. I was traveling a lot. I did online hybrid learning, you know, Saturday classes. Seven years later, I got that degree sitting on the wall and graduated with a 3.9 GPA, many of the classes that I had to take, I could have taught. But it was one of those things that it was a, it was less of a challenge from, you know, my boss at the time, but more of kind, you know, the gauntlet has been challenged. And I just said that it was a strong enough message that it just motivated me to go back to school. And I felt like I owed it to myself because I wasn’t exactly the best student in high school. I learned more about going to, you know, the park and drinking forties and cutting class than I actually did in school. I will say that I learned systems and specifically how to beat systems than I actually got education. So I felt like I owed it to myself. I owed it to my mother to become a better student. Now, granted I had established the career. I was in a different mindset. I was older. I was more mature. I could handle that. And that just like, you know, from that point on, it was, you know, the day that I graduated, my father was still alive. You know, he had just come out of a coma after, you know, some big health battles. And it really gave me a lot of strength. And just being able to say, you know, what? You could achieve whatever you want. So it was, it was kind of a little fire. It was like a pilot light if you will. And you know, from there, at the time it seemed like a setback. I was upset about it. I was distraught, but I probably wouldn’t be here talking to you if it wasn’t for that.
Mike Ayala: Wow, that’s amazing. I love when you were talking about, you know, primarily learning to beat the system, I was just having a conversation with a guy yesterday that basically said he was a hacker. Like he’s just, he’s been so successful because he learned how to hack, like find shortcuts everywhere. And he almost, he didn’t say he was lazy, but that’s like the way that I was hearing it. So it’s interesting that you talk about like, primarily just learning how to beat the system. It’s pretty interesting.
Sergio Altomare: Well, and to the point of you know, one of my positions, one of my minor or, my degree is in computing and security technology. I got a CISSP certification for anybody who’s in information Security knows that. So I’ve studied hackers, I’ve done all that. And I’ve always considered, most people would not think of me as lazy. But I have a passion for learning how to do something as fast and efficient and as few steps as possible. And it translates across everything I do. So I always say, I am lazy. I will spend more time, 10 hours upfront to, on something that will take an hour, if I can get it done in 10 minutes going forward, because I know I’m going to need to do it more and more. So for me, that was always about what is the maximum effort that I need to put in to get the maximum result without having to go above and beyond that. So it translates into everything I do. So I can totally appreciate that perspective for sure.
Mike Ayala: Totally. Yeah. I love it. What is the piece of advice you find yourself sharing the most?
Sergio Altomare: The piece of advice that I find myself sharing the most I think a lot of it comes down to meditating and being mindful. I find that there is, I wouldn’t even call it a hack. I would call it productivity magic and being able to, and for those that may not be familiar of what meditation actually is about, it’s about training your breath and slowing down your senses to be able to absorb more. And so when you do that and you get your mindset around harnessing that power and get really good at it, and I’ve spent close to 20 years in my meditation practice, it gives you that extra edge to really take and practice what you’re learning, going back to what we talked about. That is something that I share a lot and a lot of it comes down to just acting, you know, you get an idea you’re going to, it’s a known, it’s guaranteed that you’re going to make a mistake in whatever you do, right? Guaranteed. You’re not going to go out and rob a bank to make millions, right? But in the path to doing that, you’re going to make mistakes. So if you do not take action on whatever you’re learning, you’re not going to make mistakes, but you’re also not going to advance either. So it’s a combination of getting your mind right. Making sure that your mind is working for you and not against you, and then acting on what you’re learning.
Mike Ayala: I’m like seeing this thread, and this is so valuable. Like I actually want to go back and listen to this and this is the 100% truth. I don’t go back and listen to a lot of my episodes. But I want to go back and listen to this because I’m seeing like a, I’m seeing a trend of what you’re talking about here from like learning and, you know, being curious and asking questions. And then like, you’re just talking about meditating. And, you know, even when you were talking about learning, you said something about you know, learning what you really want. And I think I’m just getting such a reverse image of the guy that’s the opposite of what you’re talking about, which I normally don’t do. But as I’m listening to this when you’re talking about meditating, there’s so many people I’m seeing and feeling this, that don’t spend enough time figuring out what they actually really want. And so then therefore they’re not learning and they’re not being curious, and they’re not spending the time meditating. And even when you were talking about you know, you didn’t say being lazy, but figuring out how to maximize, you know, figuring out how to maximize something with the shortest amount of time possible. There’s a thread that I think you have mastered. And just like listening to you a little bit, that I think is something that I really want to point out. And again, I’m going to go back and listen to it. I think a lot of people find themselves 50, 60, 70 years old, and they didn’t spend enough time learning and really meditating and finding out who they really are and what they really want. And we get to the end of our life. And we find out that we did all this and didn’t even do what we want to do. And so I appreciate number one, obviously, you sharing it, but number two, who you show up as, because like I’m feeling what you’re saying, it’s crazy.
Sergio Altomare: Well, you know, I mean, a lot of it comes down to what I’ve learned in my years is, I try to, and I’ve studied a lot of psychology. And the reason being is my father was manic-depressive. He had, you know, schizophrenic, he had a lot of mental issues. And when I was younger, I didn’t understand that. And I was taken in this psychiatrist office and that kind of thing. And so when my early, in my mid-twenties I went through my own little battle with anxiety, you know, a little bit of a, I would call it more of a mild anxiety disorder, some panic in there as well. And so going back and forth, the doctors, it was being poked and prodded. They were looking for something to be able to say, okay, you got XYZ. I thought I was sick. I mean, if anybody’s ever seen, analyze this movie where DeNiro’s a mobster and he’s having panic attacks, and he goes to the doctor and the doctor says, well, I think you just had a panic attack. Panic? Do I look like a guy that panics, he said, I just had like five heart attacks this week. Because that’s, if you’ve ever had an anxiety attack or panic attack, that’s what it feels like. And it’s kind of like, you’re losing control. And after going back and forth to the doctors for, you know, months, they were like I think you need to go see a psychologist. Psychologist? What the hell are you talking about? It’s like, there’s something wrong here. And I went to the psychologist and I went for a few sessions and he started studying me and started saying, well, I’m observing that you’re breathing shallow. And I’m believing I’m like, is this really mental? And I started reading some books and as I’m like picking up on this, like, Holy shit, this is something that is in me. That’s something that I can control. And so going back to you introduced me to something that I need to know for my own sake. I’m all in, right? And so for me, I landed on meditation as my solution. I didn’t want to get into the drugs and the antidepressant. I don’t want to get into all that. I wasn’t going to be my father. So for me, it was about, I’m not going to go down that road. I’m going to figure this out myself. And so I was living on my own at the time. And so I kind of dedicated a room to meditation. I got into DVDs. In fact, the first DVD that I ever bought on, I actually just found that it’s 20 years old. You know, beginner’s guide to meditation. I forgot what it was. Cause people keep asking me how I got into it. And I’m like, it was a DVD. I forgot what it was. And I actually spent some time trying to figure it out. And I found it. And I remember taking my laptop into my room and every single night for an hour going through the entire DVD. And I got to the point where I understood what I was doing. So that fostered a mentality to me. And I’ve since studied, like, you know, spiritual gurus and try and understand what the thought process is. And what I landed on is in order for you to make a change or want something in life, it has to come from belief. You have to believe, and I’m not talking about like just saying, Hey, I believe in X, Y, and Z, it’s got to be belief to your core, right? To where it’s as plain as you know, this microphone is black. I believe that. So for me, if I’m going to get into something new that is going to help me, then I will study it to the point where I believe that’s the case. And you know, one of the things I’m doing right now is keto diet, right? I’m not going to just say Google keto diet and all of a sudden, just start following it. A lot of people make that mistake, because they, Google’s listening to me. So if you’re going to get into something it’s very important in order to be successful, to believe in what you’re doing. So like when we talk about meditation, I read countless books. And even to this day, I’ll find something new because it just reinforces belief. So if you want to reinforce a belief, then you figure out how do I do that. And it starts with books. And then you take concepts that you read in the book and your research the book, and you research the concepts. And as you engrain that belief, now you’re going to be far more successful in whatever you do. So that is a, that’s a missing piece that a lot of people have in trying to achieve anything, whether it’s losing weight, whether it’s getting cholesterol. And oftentimes you got to be able to look at every single side of a subject and then formulate your own opinion or your own belief. And that’s when you can be successful. So to me, that all ties into it. And the deeper that I believe in a cause nothing’s going to stand in the way of me achieving it, because I believe it. And if you believe in the power of the law of attraction and manifesting things, I don’t believe that like, take GoBundance for example it found me, right. I mean, I had to be at the right place, the right time, the right level of growth that I believed that I was going to find my tribe and find the people that I needed to be around. And that’s what happened. So said, I guess that’s a long-winded way of answering a question, I don’t know what was.
Mike Ayala: Well, that was amazing, actually. And I love the way that you said that at the end, that GoBundance found you. Because I don’t know that I’ve ever said this about anything else, but when people ask me, you know, how’d you get into GoBundance and I’m like, well, when GoBundance found me, and it’s interesting that you put it that way I was at a place, and this was like 2019, where, like, I was just going through a lot of change. I’d done a lot of coaching. I was just finishing up with two years of Dan Sullivan in strategic coach. And I told my wife, I said, you know, I really want to find an organization that just helps me become a better version of me, like a better human. And so I was looking for something. And then she actually, because of how Hal Elrod and David Osborne, she’s an avid Hal Elrod fan has been for years miracle morning, you know, just loves him. So she connected me with GoBundance. But what I have often said is that GoBundance found me because what I was actually looking for, and I didn’t realize it then, but my, you know, my dad was he was an alcoholic. He was a drug addict, never kept a job, abusive, all that. And what I realized that year, like I was just going through some deep work on myself. And what I realized that year is I, I’ve never had an issue building deep, authentic relationships with women. And I don’t mean that from like a dating perspective, whether it was my mom or my grandma, or my wife or whatever, like I could connect deeply with women, but I had a real barrier, and this is going to sound crazy. But I had a real barrier to connecting with men. Like I had a hard time building, authentic relationships with men. And so GoBundance found me and I set a goal that year, Sergio of building four authentic relationships, one per quarter, that was like on my one sheet. And I’ve got hundreds. Like you talk about having three, four, five calls every week with the GoBundance guys, like what an amazing, you know, organization. And it’s not something that you can make up. And so the way you said that, though, GoBundance found you, GoBundance found me. And there’s a part of and I don’t know that I’ve ever said this out loud, but as I’m sitting here thinking about it, like there’s a, there’s a part of me that GoBundance saved because I don’t know, you know, and I don’t know, maybe I would’ve found it somewhere else, but the reality is like the level of guys, this is not a pitch for GoBundance, but the level of guys that are in GoBundance is just phenomenal and it’s not something you can make up. It’s just an amazing group of people.
Sergio Altomare: And I’m a firm believer. I mean, it’s scientific fact we’re energy beings, right? We’re energy beings. And if you picture us, like, as magnets, right? I mean, you’re, depending on the, you know, bad people, hang out with bad people, hang out with bad people and that kind of thing. So if I never, although I grew up with a group of guys that were, had strong values, strong family values that were brought, you know, that were instilled from their families from an overall taking things to a next level, it took me her, or being connected with GoBundance. And it was that pull. And so when we’re in that room, right. I mean, in all honesty, when I first went to a Breckinridge and I looked at the agenda, the first thing I thought about is, Holy shit, the session start at four in the afternoon, go to 10 o’clock at night. Am I going to be able to stay awake? Well, I didn’t sleep the whole week because the amount of energy was just like, Holy crap. And to me, you know, when I look at it is when I’m connecting with guys like yourself, I mean, I’m leaving like amped to, like, you just hit me with a shot of adrenaline, because it gives me the confidence and being in the room with these guys and just even through the screen, the curiosity and success, and just, you know, being able to absorb that energy, it almost feels like I’m stealing. I mean, just like, you know, just plugging in to all these outlets and just taking in all this energy. And it’s so empowering, and it is the whole, you know, you are the people that you are closely connected to, and you know, if something’s amiss, make a change. I mean, that’s what you have to do, find your tribe, find those people connect. And yeah. And it’s awesome. It’s freaking awesome.
Mike Ayala: I love you know, how you, it’s all tied back together, but I loved your answer to the question number four, and just thinking back to this, and you kind of just said this, but the Jim Rohn quote, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and just tying this all back together, you’re talking about becoming a better human and meditation and, you know, reading and learning. And it’s very apparent that you’ve done a lot of work on yourself. And so Jim Rowan says, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And so we get around groups like GoBundance, and, you know, everybody’s, it’s kind of common and cliche. Everybody’s looking for, you know, leveling up their average. Like, I need to find five new people to make my life better, but I’d love to get your thoughts on this. I’ve been saying, this hit me a couple of years ago. We always say that, you know, I need to find five better friends. I need to level up my average, but I started asking myself the question, who do I have to become in order for those five people to allow me into their group. Because they’re thinking the same thing. We’re thinking like they’re going to become the average of, you know, whoever they let in to. And so when we’re talking about becoming a better person, learning, meditation I’ve become more intentional about how I show up to when you’re talking about plugging into other guys. Like, that’s not just something that I remember being around guys like, we talked about Ken McElroy earlier, but every time I’m with Ken, it’s like, he’s the Energizer bunny. And I’m like, was this guy just born with like the next level of adrenaline that’s just running all the time. And I think the answer to that is no, I’ve met a few people in my life and I’m surrounded by a bunch of them now that I just, I used to just think that some people were born with some kind of next-level energy. And I don’t think that’s the case. So what are your thoughts on that? Is that part of your practice?
Sergio Altomare: No, not at all. I mean, in terms of being born with that is that is, I feel like my energy levels and where you know, the new levels that I need to discover are very much still materialized. And what I mean by that is I was always, you know, go have a cheesesteak and, you know, for lunch and in the afternoon being a meeting and kind of like, you know, those and often, you know, and just go in a happy hour and that kind of thing. And as I’ve been focusing on two things, one is developing my knowledge and what my core function is. And now that’s like a business leader and knowing that there’s a level of responsibility that comes with that. So I’m elevating my view of my responsibility. And so now I’m finding that I need to be the best version of myself. So I need to get a good night’s sleep. There’s a lot of, I have a broader responsibility and it’s about taking care of the parts of my life that I’m not, that are easy to neglect. When it comes to business, we’re all good at that, right? GoBundance guys are, you know, you put together a webinar on making a ton of money and X, Y, Z, and you’re going to get a hundred people to show up. You put together something on you know, how to reach your feminine side, or just something hypothetically like that. You’d be lucky to get a couple guys, right? Because at the end of the day, we’re going to gravitate to what we’re strongest at. So my focus is now is to look at myself and just say, where are my weakest at. And my weakest parts of me are as much as I can feel like I’m a good husband. I’m not as strong of a husband as I am as a businessman. I’m a, as much as I feel like I’m a strong, I’m a, I’m a good father. I’m a better businessman. I’m better, you know when IT, that’s what I’m going to gravitate to. So for me, it’s about focusing, finding those weak spots. Even if I don’t feel like, Hey, I’m a great guy, right? I don’t need to do that. But as I improve on all of the other aspects of my life, the ancillary benefit is the part that I’m not focusing on. So it’s kind of like the golf swing, right? The harder you swing, ain’t going to make the ball go farther. In some cases, it’s just letting go. It’s releasing. So part of what I’m learning in my meditation practice, and I pull out all the stops, I mean, you could see of my meditation stuff here. I mean, I’ve got an author, I’ve got mineral stones. I got my cushions. I keep upping that. I keep increasing my game there because I want to take my you know, the deep work to new levels. And I think at the end of the day, it comes down to, in order to, it goes back to the art of receiving the law of attraction. In some cases, it’s not, how do I go into this room, but how do I remove the barriers to let me go into the room. What are those personal things that are holding me back? And what I’ve learned is, you know, I don’t know what it’s like to be a billionaire, right. You I’m a millionaire, that’s like nowadays, so is everybody right? It’s relative. So now I’m like, how do I get to that next level lifestyle? And, and I’ve been doing a lot of work there and just saying, okay, well, I need somebody to do, give me help around the house with doing stuff that I don’t want to do. Right. I know that need to be done, but I can’t do it. And so it’s about act as if right. And kind of fostering that if you’re in division boards and that kind of thing have a vision board, and just like whatever you can do to manifest what you need to do. And if you’re not in the circles you need to be. And if you’re not getting the inspiration, the energy, the motivation, whatever it is to take things to another level, then a lot of it is not how do I do this, but what do I let go? How do I rid of my ego? How do I you know, contribute to whatever group? I mean, a lot of it is about contributing and all of that. So it’s a practice because we’re never going to be perfect at it. And it’s just continuously poking, prodding and tweaking.
Mike Ayala: I love it. You know, you alluded to this, but you’re a, you’re a bad-ass when it comes to like business and when we haven’t even, we haven’t even, we haven’t even talked about it yet. Like, so I want to give your number one, I appreciate you just like going raw with us. And cause like you said, I mean, you know, you throw a webinar out and everybody’s showing up, but you start talking about how to become a better human and just becoming a better version of yourself. And, you know, I think a lot of times people don’t get to hear that. And so I appreciate, I didn’t know we were going here today, so I’m like super excited about that, but I want to do you the honor of you know, I don’t we’ve got probably five or 10 minutes left. You’ve got an interesting background. You’re one of the smartest guys that I know when it comes to the economy and gold and silver and Fiat currencies and the federal reserve. I’ve spent a lot of time with Ed Griffin, the guy that wrote the creature from Jekyll Island. So I’ve got kind of like a tinfoil hat-wearing guy a little bit, but just tell us whatever you want to tell us. I mean, you came from the federal reserve, you understand economics. I want to make sure we touch on this too. You have a fund, you’re investing in real estate, all kind of stuff. So what do you want us to know?
Sergio Altomare: I think where, you know, I’m a very big proponent of, I mean, we talked about learning and knowledge and whatever and I like to take a big picture view and, you know, dive in deep and come in and out and just try and find patterns of things. And I use Feedly, RSS aggregator. So RSS aggregator is real simple syndication. Most news sites have probably all of them had an RSS feed, right. Which is basically you can use an RSS aggregator to kind of tie in RSS feeds from whatever sources. And I subscribed to hundreds of them. And I’ve had this RSS listing for, for many years. And it goes from everything from CNN, Fox news, zero hedge, you name the source, right. And it brings it all together. And what I’m able to do is quickly in a chronological order of when data information and headlines were released, able to pick up on the headlines, right on any given day, if somebody, you know, some celebrity passed away, you’re going to know it real quick. Soon as you open up the app, you’re going to scroll, and you see it. It’s kind of like a, a Twitter type of thing, except for actual articles and whatnot. I’m a big believer in, in order for me to protect my household and provide for my household that I don’t want to be a one-trick pony. I believe in investing in as many things that can produce a return as possible within that, next to gambling, right. Gambling is a whole another story. So in believing, in all of that, you have to look at the economy, you have to look at your personal household. So it’s understanding what’s real and what’s not right. Everything out there is for-profit. Hate to say it COVID is an industry, right. COVID and everything that’s happened over the last year, there have been it’s been one of the, probably the largest consolidation and transfer of wealth in the history of the world and people that are allowed, what do you mean by that, whatever. It’s about knowing how the economy actually works and, and who are those providers, but you know how the function of the currency works? The function of the currency is basically right now, it’s printed out of thin air. And then we can get into a lot of different things, but you look at the history of Fiat currency versus backed currency. Backed currency means that you know, gold and silver, the reason why that was a strong currency and it is actually written into the constitution. But we won’t go there is because it takes physical labor to actually produce gold and silver, which means that the ability to produce a currency, if that’s backed by that is naturally limited by human involvement, human labor to produce that. Well, if you’ll read history from World War II and funding World War II, and just kind of the fact that, you know, and you’ve read all of the laws that have passed since then, it’s been a, the currency economy has been centralized in the banking world. The banking sector has been around a long time. And a lot of what we see in terms of economy is controlled not by the central bank, by the banks that manipulate is, might be the right word, that the central banking think thought process. All that to say is I’m a firm believer in diversifying your investments. Don’t believe in not believing what you hear, protecting your own investing in business, investing in currency. The more diversified you are, the more you can withstand economic turmoil. You don’t have all your eggs in one basket. There’s a lot of information out there. There’s one book that I actually read in sociology called how the world really works by Adam Jones, I think is the name of the book. And basically, it’s a brilliant book. It’s 12 books in one, because each chapter of this book is a kind of a Cliff Notes of a much larger book. One of which is the creature from Jekyll Island. So when you read this book end to end, you start to learn the entire, how the pieces of our world are put together everything from the war on drugs you know, foreign policy, central banking, health industry, whatever. And you learn that. What I would say is we don’t live in a true free market capitalist society. We live in a crony capitalist society. And what that just basically means is that our laws, rules, and regulations are influenced more by the folks in DC and the lobbyists that are there to promote their own industry, whether it’s agriculture, pharmaceuticals, you name it. So it’s not conspiracy theorist theory if we can prove all of this stuff exists. So if you can deny that lobbyists exists. Then you know, you’re in a different world than I am. So if you look at the global influence that’s all there. You’re just learning the rules of the game. When you learn the rules of the game, you don’t try and change the game per se. I don’t have that level of influence. Hopefully one day we’ll get together and we will, but at this level, you’re learning the game. And then you’re trying to understand, okay, how do I play this game? So I don’t get killed in the process, but I can still provide for my family and which case then that just, you know, you learn economic cycles, you learn you know, cross functions of how money works, how business works. So on and so forth. I don’t know how valuable that was. I know I went on a lot of different topics there.
Mike Ayala: Well, I think it was very valuable. I’m feeling like we could probably do like five more episodes. I’m going to have to, you know, bring you back and really get into. And again, I appreciate, you know, where this went today. But I also feel like you know, there’s so much more. So how would you feel about coming back at some point?
Sergio Altomare: Absolutely, man, I love it. I mean, this is the kind of thing it’s like, you know, when we get off of the podcast, I’m going to have a call with my CPA. I get to do a lot of things that I’d rather spend talking to you, but that’s, I mean, this kind of stuff is awesome. If it helps one listener, one viewer, whatever, it’s worth it to me, because at the end of the day, like we talked about it’s how much can I contribute to the world? How much can I, I mean, you take a plane, and you fly over even, you know, an area like Arizona and you look at just how meaningless is, probably not the right word, but how inconsequential we are on earth. So to be able to influence the slightest little bit is very rewarding to me.
Mike Ayala: Yeah. That’s such a great point. Do you have like a newsletter? Take a minute and tell us about Hearthfire Holdings. And is there like a place…
Sergio Altomare: So, Hearthfire Holdings started with my wife and I just investing in real estate. It started, the website is www.hfireholdings.com with an S, it started in 2012. We wanted to just take our W2 income and just start diversifying our investments in income property, started with triplex grew into another triplex. Then we started, we had access through our networks of accessing more properties than we had capital to buy. So we were introduced by my wonderful father-in-law on the concept of a real estate syndication. Again, it was like fascinating enough where I bought a library worth of books on syndication, learned how to pull investment dollars together. As you know, structure deals spread the wealth literally and figuratively and really bring in friends and family to invest in properties. Along the way with my IT background, we started a property management company. I didn’t know it at the time. I was just implementing systems to manage our properties that quickly grew and took about 50 units or so. We had our syndication deals going. 2016, my wife quit the day job because we had a baby coming and we knew that having day jobs, night jobs, weekend jobs and the child on the way was not sustainable. 2017 we got to the point where I didn’t realize I had gotten the biggest promotion that I had. I got the, you know, to an executive level at the federal reserve. And I thought that that was going to be the pinnacle of things and I was going to do great things. And I just realized that that’s just the, you know, a lot of folks around conference room tables, pontificating wasn’t rewarding enough for me. I kind of begged them to let me go. So I quit the day job and then 2018 knowing economic cycles. I believed that there was a recession coming because 10 years of growth just is not typical beyond 10 years historically. So we decided to pivot from our multi-family syndications. We sold those off and pivoted to self-storage. And now we have a portfolio of self-storage properties over a hundred thousand net rentable square feet in self-storage about to close. We have syndication open right now probably be funded by the end of the week. And we’re big into self-storage. Now it’s a very good hedge, no matter which way the economy goes, it’s considered recession resisting and I consider Hearthfire Holdings, a brand that is about wealth service and now RV rentals and recreation business that kind of like my little pet project. But we’re all about sharing wealth, love real estate. You know, hard assets is the only sustainable way in a long-term way that has proven to build wealth. So, that’s our model. You could find me on LinkedIn as well. Sergio Altomare, I’m a contributing editor on bigger pockets. Got some articles there and then otherwise, you know, come to our website, you sign up for our mailing lists, promise we don’t do much spamming at all. In fact, we probably got to up our content game, but it’s a lot of fun. We love to, we love what we do. We work hard a lot of hours but that gives us the freedom and lifestyle that we want. My four-year-old girl is Stella, she’s got enough business exposure at this age coming along with us with all that we’re doing. And it’s all for, you know, for her and recognize the natural beauty of life that kids expose us to. So we’re really blessed in so many ways and you know, blessed to know you and be part of so many groups. So life is pretty good.
Mike Ayala: Yeah, that’s amazing. And you know, I’ll second that, we’ll definitely have you back on, but you know, I’m looking at your website right now, www.Hfireholdings.com and there’s plenty of podcasts and everything there, articles and stuff that you can go, you know, find out more about Sergio for sure. And I love what you said there at the end, too. You know, just I guess just some props to you, I’ve met your wife and daughter multiple times, you know, at GoBundance events and everything else. So it’s really cool the life that you guys have built too, you know, you’re doing well, you’re doing good and you’re getting to do it together. So it’s pretty amazing. I just appreciate everything you’ve contributed to us today and just the way you show up, man, it’s an honor to have you.
Sergio Altomare: I appreciate it, man. It’s been an honor to be on and awesome. Thank you for this.