Today on Investing for Freedom, Mike Ayala is joined by a good longtime friend and partner to have a genuine conversation about life and the lessons that they have learned along the way.
Tyler Gunter is the director of operations at Park Place Communities and the owner of Priority Plus Insurance and Financial Group. Mike and Tyler discuss the importance of learning that your value is not derived from your profession and how to find lost purpose. They also share some vital life lessons about maintaining your purpose, consistently setting goals as your life changes, and holding values in yourself and for yourself!
“We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in one year, but we tend to underestimate what we can accomplish in ten.”
- [0:01] Show Introduction
- [0:33] Introducing the Guest
- [0:54] Start of the Podcast
- [1:46] Who Has Had the Greatest Impact on Your Life?
- [4:32] Greatest Impact on Your Success?
- [5:36] Greatest Setback and What Did You Learn from It?
- [10:42] Our Value is Not Derived from Our Profession
- [15:42] We Grow Weary in the Waiting Season
- [17:16] We Are Not Good at Just Being but Sometimes Just Be
- [22:31] Advice You Find that You Share the Most
- [24:11] Advice for the Person Not Where They Want to Be
- [26:30] What Changed for Tyler
- [27:36] What Tyler Does at Park Place Communities
- [28:35] The Purpose and Drive to Go to Work
- [29:47] Having Pride in Your Work
- [32:02] Being an Entrepreneur and Finding Your Purpose
- [33:22] The Difference Between Values and Goals
- [37:48] What Does Freedom Mean to You?
- [38:15] The Freedom You Want is Constantly Changing
- [40:11] What Freedom Do You Protect the Most?
- [46:20] What Ways Have You Used Leverage to Gain Freedom?
- [47:34] What Do You Outsource Now?
- [48:21] Where Were You Then and Where Are You Now?
- [56:10] Closing Thoughts
- [58:19] Connect with Tyler
- [58:45] Outro
Want to Connect with Tyler Gunter?
Website | [https://www.tytheinsuranceguy.net/] Instagram | [https://www.instagram.com/thetylergunter/] LinkedIn | [https://www.linkedin.com/in/tyler-gunter-57176b107/] Priority Plus Insurance | Website [http://www.priorityplusinsurance.com/]
Mike Ayala: Thank you for joining me on the investing for freedom podcast. Today I’ve got a good friend and a guy that I’ve actually spent a lot of time with and we’ve worked together. We’ve done a lot of different things together. I’m really excited to just kind of spend some time having a conversation and get to know Tyler Gunter. So buddy, I thank you for being in the studio and coming on the show.
Tyler Gunter: Thank you. I’m excited to be here. Mike Ayala: So Tyler, you and I met?
Tyler Gunter: Had to be over 10 years ago now at this point, right. We were serving as chamber boards together and it just kind of came together through that organization working on different projects.
Mike Ayala: Yeah. And you were actually managing a radio station at that point in time.
Tyler Gunter: It was, yeah. The family radio station was my focus at the time. It was a re rebuilding restructuring time for us. So that was where I was at. So a lot of fun, spent over 10 years in radio and worked my way up from forward op through high school all the way up to the general manager when I retired from that.
Mike Ayala: It’s pretty cool. Yeah, we’ll definitely get back into that. So four questions that we ask every guest to get the conversation going. Who’s had the greatest impact on your life.
Tyler Gunter: Greatest impact on my life. Off the cuff, I’d say probably my father. He’s as fathers are, he’s always been very supportive, but very cautious too. It’s always been, son, you can do, you can go and do, and you’re going to accomplish anything you want, anything you set your mind to. But then on the backend, as I’ve
taken on some of the larger projects in my life, right, it’s always been kind of, are you sure about this? He’s always been a great sounding board for me. But maybe more importantly is I’ve got to, I got to watch the way he lived his life and the obstacles he had to overcome and go through in time. Looking back, I don’t think there was ever a time where I feel like I didn’t have my mom and dad around as part of my life, but I can vividly recall the sacrifices he’s made so that we had the life that we had. Right. I mean I can remember waking up extra early, like two or three o’clock in the morning, Christmas morning because we had to do presents and we had to do everything because dad took a shift that day probably looking back probably to pay for Christmas. He took that, later on in life he climbed the corporate ladder. He would still do that, but it was so that his guys could be home and have Christmas with their family. So just watching the way that went. But also the losses that he suffered. He climbed a corporate ladder for 20 years and then realized it was the ladder was on the wrong wall. He sacrificed and fought for a company that didn’t even call to let him go. They just killed access to his retirement accounts. That’s how he found out that he’d been let go. So just getting to watch that and realizing what I wanted for me and my family and life and where I didn’t want to go was probably more important than where I wanted to go at that time just watching that. So he’s probably had the biggest impact on how I’ve chosen to live my life with my family, with business, with everything.
Mike Ayala: It’s pretty awesome. I’ve met your dad. He’s an amazing person.
Tyler Gunter: He is. He is a great guy. Probably, well, not the most outwardly good at showing emotion. He’s probably the most caring, giving, loving person on the inside.
Mike Ayala: It might be a lot like you.
Tyler Gunter: Maybe that’s where I’d get some of this.
Mike Ayala: If you can narrow it down to one thing that has had the greatest impact on your success, what would that be?
Tyler Gunter: The one thing that’s had the greatest impact on my success, probably being a constant student, always learning day in and day out hiring mentors, hiring coaches. And I think there’s a big difference between those two. I’ve got a lot of mentors in my life. People who’ve been where I’ve been that are there to bounce ideas off of and seek guidance from. But then on the flip side, always having a coach, someone who again has been down the road is somewhere
where I want to be, but who can hold me accountable. And I think there’s a lot more of that interaction and day to day stuff with that, but the biggest thing is just getting in rooms with other people like minded and where I want to be and constantly learning just day after day, my wife and I have a saying day after day and in every way, we’re getting better and better. And just that continual drive to learn and progress.
Mike Ayala: What was your greatest setback and what did you learn from it?
Tyler Gunter: My greatest setback was actually not too long ago. I retired early in life. I was very fortunate in that aspect, but that’s also easily my biggest setback in life. Everything in life is a blessing and a curse. The blessing in my life was that we made some financial decisions along the way that allowed us to retire from a day to day operation just a few years ago. But what happened was I sold a
business. I aligned myself with that business. That’s who I was, and I sold it and we moved to Arizona and we thought we were going to have this great time
relaxing. And what ended up happening was I lost purpose in life. I lost drive. I lost my self-worth. There was a time where my wife was encouraging me like, Hey, you need to go do something. You’ve got to get out of the house. You can’t sit around. You and I used to have the joke. You’d call me up like, Hey, what are you doing? And we’d laugh like sitting on the couch, watching Netflix, right. And there’s so much, there’s so much that I lost because I didn’t have a purpose in getting up every morning. I showed up to, my wife and I, we were looking at a house together. We’re going to go to our house, and I dropped the kids off at school and I was meeting her there and I showed up, I hadn’t shaved in probably a couple of weeks, I was in my pajamas still, literally, as we’re looking at this home that we might potentially want to buy one day. I can remember the look on her face was just like, what? Who are you? Who are you anymore? And so I lost a lot of who I was. She was encouraging me to go out and maybe just find a part time job. And I didn’t even think I had value enough to get a job. I was like, well, I could go pump gas. I don’t know what I could have done. I was circling back trying to figure out what value I could bring to anybody at that point at somewhere along the line.
Mike Ayala: Was it really what value you can bring or was it more not getting committed into something too deep?
Tyler Gunter: Well, there’s both of that, right. I didn’t necessarily want another 8 to 10 the pressures of everything, but at that same time, I didn’t know if, this was a serious internal struggle for me. I didn’t know if I had a value. I don’t want to say I got depressed, but I just got lost. I got like this little black hole for a little bit. So
that was a challenge. But understanding that and coming through it, that was a big part of it playing, okay you don’t have to brand yourself with something. You don’t have to be the end or be all to something else, but you do have to have a purpose. You have to have a reason to wake up every morning and go do and taking your kids to school and coming home is not it.
Mike Ayala: Yeah. Mutual friend of ours, Seth Mosley, I heard him say one time and we’ll get back into this in a little bit. Cause I went through the same thing you did in 2014 when I sold my first company, I often say it was the best and worst day of my life. Because that’s what we’re trained. Like we’re trained to go to school, go to college, get a job, work till you’re 70. And then there’s this idea of retirement.
Tyler Gunter: Way off in the distance.
Mike Ayala: Yeah. And then the next best level of revelation is, Oh, I can retire young retire rich. But the real thing, and this is why I spent so much time talking about this at investing for freedom. What do you really want? Why do you want it? What are you going to do to get it measure results and adjust? Because it’s a lifelong process. And it doesn’t matter, I had heard some statistics the other day, about how many times, so back in the day it was, the average person would change jobs 2.3 times in their entire life, jobs. Like actual job.
Tyler Gunter: 40, 60 years’ worth of employment at two and a half places.
Mike Ayala: Now the average person changes careers, like 4.7 times throughout their life or something like that. That doesn’t count how many times they go to different jobs. I’ve kind of seen this trend in my own life about every, and I think it accelerates as I get older too. But about 10 years is like a good, I mean, that’s a good solid run. And there’s that saying that, we tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in one year, but we tend to underestimate what we can do in 10. So you are bringing up some really great things that I want to make sure we circle back on, but I went through the same thing in 2014 best and worst day of my life. And it’s because we’ve achieved that, you retired. That’s the goal.
Tyler Gunter: Then what?
Mike Ayala: Yeah. So you kind of lose that sense of purpose. So I don’t want to wax over this. So what did you learn from that? I know you kind of touched on it already, but I want to go a little deeper on that.
Tyler Gunter: Well, I learned that your value is not derived from your profession. I learned that stagnation creates regression and that scared me. When we talk about every day getting better and better and education and moving forward, that all just stopped for me. So you kind of talked about it a little bit. There’s this vision that’s ingrained in us for so long about retirement, that this is, you work so hard, especially traditionally, you worked so hard to get to your golden years where you can enjoy all of everything you’ve built up. And unfortunately in our golden years, we’re not in the health and wellness that we were in our younger years. But in my younger years, I thought I was like, we’re going to be traveling all the time. We’re going to be doing all kinds of great things. My kids are still in school. We had a brand-new baby that we had to focus on. We’ve got some health issues with our kids that we have to resolve and things like that. So we got tied back a little bit, but what I realized in all and all, be careful what you wish for, because you might get it. I wanted to retire young and retire early. And when I got it, I realized I got, I did exactly what my dad did. I got to a place and realized that I had my ladder on the wrong wall. That’s not really what I wanted in life. I want a purpose. I want to wake up and I want to build teams. Like, I love that part of it. I love empowering people and getting them to where they want to go. I want to create. I have to have something that I can be working on and doing, something that excites me. Retirement is not just this blanket thing where you work and then you don’t work. Retirement is getting to a place where you want to be and doing what you want to do. And so what I had to realize in this time of regression is where do I want to be? What do I want to be doing? And how long do I want to do it for? And like you said, maybe it’s six months, maybe it’s 10 years, maybe it’s 20 years. Maybe you find something that you just every day becomes, wow, I can’t believe I get to do this. And so that’s my biggest lesson. I was like, it’s not static. It’s not one thing. And we used to talk about this all the time. Dot, dot dot. So what, it changed. Maybe today, this is what the passion is. And tomorrow something comes up and it’s like, man, okay, great. Let’s do it.
Mike Ayala: I love that dot dot dot, so what? It changed, it is so good., one of our people are going to get tired of me saying this, but Barry [13:34 inaudible] is a mutual mentor of ours. And he always says, get off your can do what you can and can the rest. It’s just like, the reason why I just share that so much is it’s just, it’s I know it’s simple, but it’s so profound too. You’re not a tree. Just get up and do something. Or like he says, get up, get off your can do what you can, can the rest, that’s what you did. You literally pulled yourself up off the couch and went and made some changes. And you snapped out of it quick.
Tyler Gunter: It was fast. And I think a lot of that has to do with, because you instantly come back to what you love. And so coming back from that, I was like, Oh, okay. I do have value. It came back to me and I realized I’m like, okay, I can contribute. I can learn. There’s things here that I don’t know yet. That’s exciting.
Mike Ayala: It’s so good. There was nothing on the external, that was all internal.
Tyler Gunter: It was all internal. Absolutely all internal. And it was, nobody in my world was telling me I couldn’t do something, or I couldn’t, it’s all here. And that’s hard. That’s hard to overcome that by yourself. You were there for me and those, I can remember pacing back and forth in front of my office, many phone calls with you, just, we were discussing some of this. You went through it, like you said back when you filled your first business, these realizations and how do we get past that? You’re going to have somebody in your life that you can bounce those things off of. My wife is that way for me too.
But sometimes you need to hear it from outside the house, right?
Mike Ayala: Well, it’s easy like when this is the familiarity, right? Like sometimes you just need somebody to, it’s easy when you hear it every day or you see it every day. That’s where, I mean, we can grow familiar as friends or, even students have mentors. Like we can get familiar with that mentor, but even more so with a spouse, I think like, need somebody. Because their mentoring could easily come across as nagging or pushing you down or whatever. And I’m not saying that that’s what it is. But sometimes you need that outside. I never finished my thought on Seth Mosley. And I was starting to say that in 2014, I sold my business and went into the same place and said it was the best and worst day in my life. And I heard him say, I literally have it written in the front of a journal that I actually keep on my desk because it’s a journal that I had when I was in the real estate guys mastermind. And there was so much that was changing in my life then and so fast that that journal is like one of my most valuable journals. But on the front page of that journal, this was so impactful to me that I wrote it on the front page. Seth Mosley said we grow weary in the waiting season. And that just, when I heard that, I was just like, wow, that was so impactful to me because sometimes we’re in periods of transition or that waiting season that you were in and we’re not good at waiting.
Tyler Gunter: No, no. Especially for active minds, active bodies, not active.
I mean, we talk about this later too, but I’m not on a health journey, right. I want to be, but I don’t have the strong enough why yet, but active body is in getting up and doing something every day in active mind. I think the worst thing for it is
stagnation. Because it wants to work. It wants to go; it wants to solve problems. We’re genetically made to solve problems. And when you don’t put a problem in front of us, it’s a tailspin. You just slowly go backwards. And the longer you do that, go weary in the waiting. The longer we’re going to do that, the worse that black hole is going to get the bigger it is, the harder, the suck it’s going to be bringing you down into it.
Mike Ayala: So little contrarian point there, and I don’t disagree with what you just said. But do you think that maybe sort of, just back to that statement, we grow weary in the waiting season. We are designed to solve problems. I get that, we’re designed to problem solve, but this is that caveman brain, right? Like we’re always about to die. We’re not good at just being. And so I think when Seth Mosley said that about, we grow weary in the waiting season, there’s periods of time where we need to just be, I am not talking about for years at time. Like laying on the couch. I remember, and you’ll remember this too, but when I sold the company and that I was looking for what was next and I’m growing weary in this waiting season, and then this opportunity comes in front of me to buy back a certain division of my previous company. Actually, I didn’t even have to buy it back. I just had to take
it. Here have it. And I remember vividly Kara saying, I just don’t think it’s a good idea, but you do whatever you want. And I’m like, well, how much do you think it’s not a good idea? Like she’s like just whatever, do whatever you want. And so I took that company back and within a few months, I think I find myself, I met the real estate guys. I met my current partner. I joined this mastermind. And I literally remember just sitting at this event with Kara, you actually sent me the link to syndication, the real estate guy syndication event. And it was like a week away. And so we just, we jumped [18:50 inaudible], yeah, we got on a plane, Kara and I flew to Phoenix and went through this two-day event, which was amazing.
But I remember sitting through the inner circle, I’ll call it a pitch. It’s not really a pitch. They’re just offering the inner circle. And I remember Kara telling me, you got to do this. And it was a big financial commitment. And I remember going to breakfast with her the next day. And I said, the only way that I can do this is if I find somebody to run design concepts, which was the construction company. And so we like restructured everything and we hired Jen at the time from the chamber. But here’s my point in this. I grew weary in the waiting season and I jumped back into something that I should have never been involved in. And I ended up actually giving that business away to a subcontractor who just continued to rent my building. So it was basically like here, you can have this, just keep paying me
rent. Because I grew weary in the waiting season. So the reason why I’m bringing that up though, is like, we’re not very good at just being. So there’s the other side of that. I’m not saying just be stagnant. Do you call it stagnation?
Tyler Gunter: Yeah. Stagnation and I don’t know, maybe in that moment, you saw something you’re like, well, I could do this. And you and I are really good at seeing big visions.
Mike Ayala: Well, it’s either Netflix or just take back this business.
Tyler Gunter: I ran out of Netflix. It was over. So then what? Yeah, do I just take this back? Cause you can see the potential. But is that the best use of your potential in that moment and who knows? Looking back, probably not in that moment. But it served a purpose too.
Mike Ayala: It chose to teach me a lesson.
Tyler Gunter: Yeah, some of them we’re learning every day. You said something too about your wife, isn’t that you said, you said, she pointed out, you need to be a part of this. Isn’t it amazing how much they see in us that we don’t always see? This common thread in my life for the last couple years. Just self-value, self-worth. You and I have talked about this a lot, but did I accidentally get successful? Am I successful despite of myself, any of this stuff? So I lean really, really heavily on my wife. She’s my, she’s the best partner I ever could imagine. Because she sees in me what I don’t see and she’s there in those moments. Her gut is so on point always, she’s there in those moments, much like maybe Kara is for you to say, you need to be a part of this. I’m on this new venture. Tamara looked at me and says, you need to be, you need to do this. You are right, I do. I do. I need to be there.
Mike Ayala: I think that’s the key in not growing weary in the waiting season. And that’s kind of, there’s that middle ground. That’s actually, that’s a great middle ground there because we’re not good at waiting and they’re very good at waiting. I’m not taking away from their intuition at all, but we’re so like just driven and moving and we’re looking, we’re out hunting for opportunity. Rather than being in the weightings, there’s nothing wrong with the waiting season. This was the point that I was really wanting to drive home. There’s nothing wrong with the waiting season. We just grow weary and tired because we’ve lost our value during that time. So again, I’m not talking about two years, three years, five years, but sometimes we just need to be too. We need to learn how to slow down and just be. And that’s really hard for guys like us and girls.
Tyler Gunter: Sure, absolutely. Just anybody have this similar mindset.
Mike Ayala: What is the piece of advice you find yourself sharing the most?
Tyler Gunter: It might be hard to narrow down. Most recently it’s been, I alluded to it earlier too with be careful what you wish for. Every blessing is also a curse. And there’s so much to that. I use marriage or partnership with my wife here. And the blessing is I’m no longer only responsible for myself. It’s a wonderful feeling. The curse is I’m no longer only responsible for myself. Kids, kids are some of the most, in my personal opinion, some of the best blessings given to us in life, it’s also the most terrifying responsibility I’ve ever had in front of me. Business is the same way. Business brings us tremendous blessings. I couldn’t do anything that I do today without my companies. But on that flip side, I’ve got a lot of people relying on me making the right decisions. Not only employees and team members, but I’ve got people’s whose livelihoods are homes depend on me making breaks. You don’t get to live in your house if I make a stupid decision and lose it. Everything in life is a blessing and a curse and you got to be really clear and really careful about what you want in life and what the cost is, because everything comes at a cost.
Mike Ayala: So Ty, we talked about the Netflix scenario and losing the purpose and being on the couch. So what advice do you have for the person that’s not where they want to be, maybe they’re working in a job or a career. Maybe they’re retired, they’ve lost their passion.
Tyler Gunter: Yeah. You need to, as our friend Barry would say, get off your can, do which can and can the rest. You need to get out, you need to seek the advice of those who are close to you and find out the things that make you tick. Cause you can’t see it. I didn’t, I couldn’t see it. I was in a real tough spot. I reached out to you. You were one of my close advisors, obviously my wife, but you have to be cautious there. Cause how that’s delivered and where you’re at in life with them too. I trust my wife implicitly. She shared great advice, but you need to, you need to find people who you’ve interacted with closely. You and I worked together for a lot of years. You know me very well. We’ve discussed a lot of our common interests. I’ve shared a lot of my goals with you, things like that. And we used to joke, I think we talked about this a little bit. We used to joke; you’d call me up. Hey, what are you doing? And I was sitting on my couch watching Netflix and you’d almost call me on that bullshit. You’d be like, Hey, when are you going to get a real job? What are you going to do? When are you going to do something else?
Mike Ayala: Because I wanted you to come work with me.
Tyler Gunter: Which ultimately that’s what came of it. But you get out, you have to trust the relationships you have, and you have to almost force honesty from the people who are closest to you because more often than not, we don’t want to hurt people. So we don’t always give them the feedback that they need to hear. So you got to be very selective about who you ask, but you have to demand of them that they’re going to tell you the truth and not just what they think you want to
hear. And then you have to get off your ass and go start doing something.
Mike Ayala: Tony Robbins says where focus goes, energy flows. So what changed in you?
Tyler Gunter: What changed for me was I finally realized that I needed, I was stagnant. I was going backward. I was regressing. And I realized that I needed a challenge in my life. I realized that I had to get out there and start doing what I loved, which was building teams, which was solving problems, which was getting in and into the weeds of something and starting to disassemble it and rebuild it and recreate it. So you called me up several times, but one in particular and you called me up and you said, Hey, you ready to come to work yet? And I think, I looked at Tamara and I said, Mike wants to know if I want to come to work yet. She said, yes. And that’s where I was at too. I said, yeah, yeah, I’m ready. I’m ready for another challenge. I’m ready for more opportunities and new adventures. And I was tired of, I was tired of being where I was at.
Mike Ayala: So for our guests that don’t know you, you have rental properties. You have an insurance agency that basically runs itself.
Tyler Gunter: Great team, great team of people.
Mike Ayala: You’ve got a great amount of passive income. As you’ve said several times. Like you’ve literally retired. That’s why you found yourself on the couch. So why would a guy like you, why would you be working with our company? First off, tell us what you do for us.
Tyler Gunter: Yeah, I’m in charge of all of the operations for park place communities. My handle, the 35, the operations of the 35 communities that we operate in all 13 States. I handle the construction company for all of our in house remodels and turns and making, making homes like new. I’m in charge of all the processes and the team here corporate and getting them on the same page, rowing the same
direction, doing what we need to do. So that’s my task here with park place communities with you and Andrew.
Mike Ayala: So why does a guy who’s retired and has the passive income and retired young and retired rich, what drives you to go to work with in different group?
Tyler Gunter: Purpose, and drive. It’s what I’m genetically made to do. I want to, I want to get in, I want to fix things and I want to win flat out. I want to win. I want to win. I’m driven by accomplishing things. Which I don’t talk about a lot. I don’t, I want to, when I’m done with something to step back and almost admire it, like, wow, I did that. When I built my property maintenance company. That was a big moment for me when I stepped back. And I was like, wow. I started that in the middle of December 31st, negative nine degrees outside the worst possible time, snow covered mountains. And within two and a half years had a business that was turnkey that I could sell. That was a big deal for me to be able to take it from scratch to fine Polish and be able to walk away.
Mike Ayala: What do you think, obviously you’ve got an appetite for risk, or at least you’re not scared for it. So back to your dad, you were talking about, your dad and his path. Do you think that that’s who you are because of what you saw, or do you get that from somewhere else? Cause I think a lot of times like my mom, my mom is very entrepreneurial. I see a lot of me and her and a lot of her in me. So did you get that from grandpa or where?
Tyler Gunter: That’s an interesting question. I don’t that I’ve ever looked at it that way. I think this is going to sound cheesy [30:27 inaudible]. I was in marching band in high school. And that same level of pride that came from competitive marching band is what I feel when I’m doing this stuff here. Now whether I had that, you know what? I had that as a kid, too, I had that as a kid, everything I did, I wanted to be the best at. Whether it was racing our bikes down the street with the neighborhood kids, I had to be in the lead. I had to be the guy that was doing, and I had to have that drive. If I had my lemonade stand on the corner and the guy across from me did something, and then I went to the store and I bought sodas and I was on sodas too. And I had cookies and I had to level it up and do it. So I don’t know where that comes from. I know that my parents have never discouraged it though. I don’t know that they encouraged it, but I know for a fact they’ve never, ever discouraged it.
Mike Ayala: Yeah. It’s such an interesting thing to watch too, because I think
some of this goes back to, and I’m not saying that every single person out there is entrepreneurial. We have people that are listening to this show right now, and they’re happy being an employee. They’re challenged in their job. They have their purpose there. That’s what I kind of wanted to point out. I mean, you’re a w2 employee right now. You’re just tapping to be a very successful one. Who’s part of something bigger than himself.
Tyler Gunter: I’m enjoying it. And it’s something I can win at.
Mike Ayala: I’m not saying that everybody’s entrepreneurial, but at the same time, if your purpose, if you’re not finding purpose in what you’re doing, what do you say to that person?
Tyler Gunter: You got to make some changes. You’ve got to make some changes. And I want to, I kind of want to go back a little bit, cause I don’t know that there’s necessarily a distinction between being entrepreneurial and being an employee if you’re building something. To me, entrepreneurial-ism I know it’s business ownership. [32:26 inaudible] But you can be an entrepreneur under somebody too.
Mike Ayala: There’s a term for it. It’s called intrepreneur.
Tyler Gunter: There you go. It’s an intrepreneur. I’m here doing what I love. I’m building something. The key there is, I’m doing what I love. It’s not I’m doing this because this is what society says I have to do, which is something I fell into the rut of. Like I have to do it on my own because it’s me. No, just get up and do what you love. There’s a backside to that. You do more of what you love, and the money will fall. Well, not always, right. I mean, if I love to sit on the couch and watch Netflix, we’d be having a very different conversation.
Mike Ayala: I love to hang out with my kids, but that doesn’t make me money. Tyler Gunter: It doesn’t necessarily make me any money. It makes me a better
person, but not going to bring home a check to take care of the mortgage.
Mike Ayala: Totally. So it’s good stuff. So there’s something that you triggered in my mind earlier. And I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, there’s values, and then there’s goals. And I think a lot of times we have these certain goals that we’ve set, and this is why adjusting is important. But I think you were talking about health and how you haven’t set goals around health or making health a priority.
Tyler Gunter: I haven’t found a strong enough why for my health goals yet. On a surface level, I have it. I want to be around for my kids longer. I want to be active in their life. I want to, but for whatever reason, that’s not enough to get me off my Keester to go to the gym. It’s not enough to get me to stop eating the Twizzlers.
Mike Ayala: That’s where I think the values and goals the differentiation is. So like when you were sitting on the couch, watching Netflix, you may have had a goal to make money, but you’ve got that, it’s passive. But you didn’t value, you had lost your value. I mean you weren’t valuing your own time. You weren’t valuing your own worth.
Tyler Gunter: Not at all.
Mike Ayala: And so even when it comes to health, like I’ve just been thinking about this a lot. So I wanted to banter about it a little bit, but long-term health, do you value being around your children long-term?
Tyler Gunter: I do. I do, not only my children, but my children’s children and I want to be there for that. I was blessed to have great grandparents in my life up until just two years ago. I was blessed to have great, great grandparents in my life up until only three years ago. I want to be the great, great grandparent that’s actively involved in my kids and my grandkids and my great grandkids lives. I think part of that problem is it seems so far out there too, that it’s not an active now kind of thing. So I got to find a way to make that, how is now relevant to 80 years from now. 90 years from now.
Mike Ayala: Well, you can’t set a goal to live for 70 years, right?
Tyler Gunter: No, you can have a dream. And for me, like I want to be 120 at a minimum. And then I want to fall flat dead running, whatever it is. But yeah, you can’t set a goal. It’s out of our hands. We don’t get a choice in that moment.
Mike Ayala: But it’s like FM Alexander said, right, this is what I’m talking about with values and goals. People don’t decide their futures. They decide their habits and their habits determine their futures. That living to 80 and being around your grandchildren is a value, waking up every day with purpose and getting off the couches,
It’s a value really. And if it’s not value driven, you got to set goals around those values. And right now, just so you’re back to work, you’re fired up every day?
Tyler Gunter: I am. I get up, I get in and get to work. And I’m loving that and getting moving. But I’m not physically active.
Mike Ayala: Well, and I wasn’t really, I wasn’t really harping on your health. I just wanted to bring back the values.
Tyler Gunter: Yeah. And you’ve got to, you make a great point. I mean, we have to make choices today that will impact the future. Not set a goal, great case in point. I set a goal. We talked about, I set a goal to be retired early. I didn’t know what that looked like, I didn’t know how that was going to come to be, but then you start doing things to get to that point. You start reading different books, you start surrounding yourself by different people. You start hiring coaches and mentors, depending on which direction you’re heading. And then eventually that becomes the reality. And so maybe that’s where it starts. And maybe this, maybe I’m just in the beginning of my journey for health right now. I’ve put it out there where I want to be. I put it out there why I want to be there. Now it’s maybe these incremental baby steps of just saying, okay, well, take this little step one little bit at a time every day and I’ll get there. I don’t know how; I don’t know what it looks like. I don’t think I’ll be a bodybuilder, but maybe it’s new. Maybe I read up on it. Maybe I start hanging out with you. And I have a mutual friend who’s been inviting me to the gym for several weeks now. And I keep putting them off. Maybe, maybe I just need to say, yeah, man, I’ll be there. When are we going? What are we doing?
Mike Ayala: What does freedom mean to you?
Tyler Gunter: Freedom to me is choice. Being able to choose where I’m at, what I want to be doing. Freedom to me is being flexible, being available not having dictation as to where I’m supposed to be, what I’m supposed to be doing at any given time.
Mike Ayala: I Like it. When did you realize you did not have the freedom you wanted, or does it always change?
Tyler Gunter: That’s interesting. I don’t, I mean, I’ve found elements of freedom, but I don’t think I’m, maybe this is my mindset of always having further goals. I don’t know that I’ve ever achieved the freedom that I want to have. For me, it’s probably ever changing. It’s growing, it grows like we grow. You get to a point and then you realize that there’s more to go, there’s avenues of life of that I didn’t even know and understand because it wasn’t even a part of my world at the time. So, I mean, I would, freedom to me at this point would be hopping on the private
jet and going and landing on my ranch in Colorado for a few weeks to go enjoy the mountains. But man, I’ve never, I’ve never really thought of, I’ve never really thought of it in that context.
Mike Ayala: You and I used to ask each other, the question we pondered this for like a year and a half.
Tyler Gunter: When’s enough is enough.
Mike Ayala: And the reality is probably never because, and this is, it’s got such a negative connotation out there because so many people think, Oh, you’re never satisfied and you’re never happy and you’re never fulfilled. And that’s not necessarily the truth.
Tyler Gunter: We struggled with this for, like you said, like at least a couple years where we’re like, Oh man, you’re right. Maybe we’re being greedy. Maybe we want too much. Well it comes down at what cost. And we were starting to associate negativity with that growth. But on the flip side, if I’m genetically encoded to continue to grow and drive and push what happens to you when enough becomes enough.
Mike Ayala: You lay on a couch and get depressed and watch Netflix. Because you don’t have a purpose. It’s not really about things. It’s about driving purpose. So when’s enough is enough? I like it. What freedom do you protect more than others? I E time, money, or do they all play together for you?
Tyler Gunter: My family, my time with my family. I almost lost my whole family. Man, sorry. You know, this, we had a very, very difficult first pregnancy with my twins. I have a boy and a girl, three, eight years old, they are our twins. My wife has some health issues with blood sodding. And when the twins were 10 weeks in gestation, my wife started bleeding and it was terrifying. I mean, hours in the ER feels like months of just waiting and waiting and waiting. And she was put on extreme bedrest at one point, our OB told us to just get up, to live life and let nature take its course. And that’s not how we are to core. And thank God we had an amazing midwife at the time that encouraged us to give our babies the best opportunity that they could possibly have. And that meant a lot sacrifice. That meant Tamara had to leave her job. This is actually a lot of the drive, why we started getting into investing the way we did and the speed at which we did it, but she had to leave her job. She was on extreme bedrest. She could get out of bed for five minutes a day. That includes going to the bathroom. That includes any
showering. So she’d showered two or three times a week, max and I’d literally be there with my phone saying, Hey, you got two minutes left. Drove her crazy. We built a kitchen in the bedroom so that she could just literally reach over and grab something. And so we did that for a while and it worked, it was great. She had placenta previa, where the placenta pulls off of the uterine wall. It healed itself as the twins grew smashed it back up against the wall. But then at 32 weeks, 31 weeks is what it was 31 and a half weeks, which is two months premature. She started having regular contractions and we went into the ER and we were told that she’s in active labor and they were doing everything they could to stop it, but the community we were in while they have a lot of great facilities, they did not have the means to handle a two months premature baby, let alone two. And so we were, Tamara was life flown to a nearby hospital in salt Lake city. I got in the car and drove that night to get there. She actually was in active labor for over a week. And when that time came that we couldn’t stop anything anymore, we couldn’t slow it down. It was time to go. They rushed her into the emergency room for an emergency C section. And I can still, you and Kara came to visit too. And you’ll know what I’m talking about when you’re sitting there and you can still see the machines, you hear them right. You’ve got the babies everywhere. And so she’s on the operating room table, and I’m looking up at this monitor and I’m watching her heart rate, drop, come back, drop, come back. Her oxygen levels go away. And this intern anesthesiologist who’s on the phone, every 45 seconds with his instructor saying, okay, she’s doing this now what do I need to do? Because they were packed. This was an emergency. This is not something they’d planned. So he’s in there doing everything he can.
And thank God.
Mike Ayala: Getting trained on the phone.
Tyler Gunter: Yeah. But thank God for him he was there. But in that moment, I almost lost my wife, my two kids. I hadn’t even met him yet. I talked to him for months, but I’d never met him yet. And I can remember my son coming out and screaming and all it was okay dad get a picture. And then they passed him through a window, and he was gone. And then my daughter came out and she wasn’t crying. And they said, dad, quick picture took it. And she was gone. And I don’t, I didn’t know if she was okay. Didn’t know if she was alive. And then my wife started going into all kinds of craziness and everything else. And I’m just sitting there in this moment. I’m like, I don’t have any control over any of this. I have nothing. There’s nothing I can do to help her. There’s nothing I could do to help my kids. And so knowing how close and how easy it is to lose them, I mean, that’s a split second. I was from my happiest moment in my life. I’m going to be a dad. I
get to hold my kids today, to where’d my family go in a split second. So there’s nothing in life now that will take me away from my time with them. I protect that very, very heavily. Cause I don’t know how much time I get with them.
Mike Ayala: So definitely the time aspect is the most.
Tyler Gunter: It’s the time, it’s the time. It goes back to the health. I don’t, I can say I’m going to live to be 120 and this is what I want to do. I’ve got a father in law who lives with me now, he’s only 65 years old. He thought he was going to live to be 80 or 92. I don’t know what life means or I don’t know what life looks like for him for the next 10 years. We don’t get a choice. When our time’s up our time’s
up. So I’m not giving that up.
Mike Ayala: Well, it’s such a valuable point too. Cause you talk to so many people that say that they’re working the 12-hour days and seven days a week for their family. When in reality that’s a load of crap because your family doesn’t care, they don’t care how much money you make. They care the time and the memories that you made with them.
Tyler Gunter: Yeah. The reality is you’re working out hard so you can have the house so you can keep up with your friends and you can have the car you want and things. It has nothing to do. I mean, unless you’re working 12 hours, so you can take six months off and go travel the world with your kids. But it’s not right.
Mike Ayala: What’s one way you use leverage to gain more freedom.
Tyler Gunter: Oh man. The many ways, right. If I’ve leveraged relationships with people, bringing partners in, investors, leveraged money. I couldn’t have bought, I bought in one deal I bought a mobile home community and 27 homes. There’s no way I could have just paid cash for that at the time, especially. So I leveraged, I leveraged all my resources, literally all of my resources in that deal. So I leveraged time. You get 24 hours in a day at that. And at that point in my life, 20 hours was utilized for bringing in income and creating income. So what don’t you leverage to get where you’re going? Leverage is a bad word sometimes too. Like people talking about that negative connotation. People think that that’s a bad thing, but you and I leveraged our relationship all the time and not in a negative way. Normally it’s in a positive for both of us.
Mike Ayala: Yeah. Leverage is, it’s like a pulley.
Tyler Gunter: Yeah. It makes everything easier. It’s a tool.
Mike Ayala: What’s one thing you used to do yourself and now pay someone else
to do, to create more freedom that has had the largest impact.
Tyler Gunter: Has had the largest impact. Wow, I was going to go easy and just say like lawn care. Cause I used to do lawn care all the time and it was such a waste, but to have the biggest impact would be, it has to be the operation of the companies. Totally. Right. Cause when we’re starting out and when we were acquired and everything else, right. I’m in there, I’m in it all the time. And then I put somebody in their place.
Mike Ayala: Well, how many employees are at your insurance company?
Tyler Gunter: Six employees right now.
Mike Ayala: Yeah. So I mean, could you do the job of six of them?
Tyler Gunter: No. It’s putting people in the right place to do it. That’s probably the biggest, the biggest thing.
Mike Ayala: I love it. So Ty circling back to the story, almost losing the family, bring me forward on that. You had made a comment during when you were sharing that story that, that’s what drove a lot of the passive income. And so where were you at then and what have you done since then? Like bring us through the journey.
Tyler Gunter: Okay. Yeah. So when we were pregnant with kids, I was a w2 employee, I was working with your team in plumbing, heating air conditioning. And I was living paycheck to paycheck trying to get by, trying to keep up. That’s what I was trying to do with societal norms. And that realization in that moment with almost losing everything that the reality is I figured out what was valuable in life and what wasn’t. And everything that I was working towards suddenly had no value, the house, the vehicles the societal norms, going back to that what very came very clear with my kids. And what became even more clear is that I didn’t want to give up any more time with them than I ever had to. So I started in that moment, working my way into where I didn’t have to put in the time every day to get the time I wanted with my kids.
Mike Ayala: When was that?
Tyler Gunter: That was seven years ago, eight years ago now, eight years ago now and within a year, so this is funny. I actually bought my first, actually bought my first rental property, my first home while my wife was in labor. We literally signed paperwork together while she was in the hospital. And I realized in that moment, I go, okay, one at a time is great, but it’s not going to get me where I want to go fast enough. So within a year I picked up 27 more homes, 33 space mobile home community.
Mike Ayala: Were you looking for a mobile home park for like 10 years?
Tyler Gunter: No, as a matter of fact it was just timing you, it actually been presented to you. But you had just finished a deal and you’re like, this looks nice, but I’m just not, it’s not the right time for me.
Mike Ayala: I didn’t have the guts. Just kidding.
Tyler Gunter: So you set it on my desk, and I looked at it probably for a day and a half and then I was like, I should just call on this. It seemed out of my league at the time, honestly. I looked at, I was like, Oh, that’d be great. But maybe what I did is I called that number out of exercise. I wanted to learn through the process. I didn’t think I was going to buy this community. The problem is I made that call. I got the rest of the information. And then I realized that I couldn’t lose this deal. It was just too good. So went out, put together.
Mike Ayala: You never paid me my finder’s fee on that.
Tyler Gunter: I’ll get you down the road. Right. I put together the documentation. I went out and met with the people I knew, might be interested in being leveraged and just hit the ground and fought and made that deal happen.
Mike Ayala: How much money did you put down?
Tyler Gunter: $5,000, I think or 500. I can’t ever remember. Mike Ayala: What size deal?
Tyler Gunter: $1.1 million deal.
Mike Ayala: That’s a story for another day. It was a home run, and all this came from your drive and desire to…
Tyler Gunter: To spend more time with my family. Yeah, absolutely. Keep going. Yeah, sure. So did that, and then realized that I’d be able to retire, but I wouldn’t be able to continue growing. And so I stayed with your team for a while you transitioned at that time, that was 2014. [51:56 inaudible] I did, not too much longer. And in that transition realized that, maybe it was time for me to transition too. And so I started talking to another friend of mine and we came up with this harebrained idea that we could wash windows and that would be enough for us to keep growing and do it. And I had the security of the, the investments that I had made already. But I thought I could wash windows, spend some time with family life would be good. And so in December we created that company worked really hard inside it. Six months later, we got to a point where my partner and I realized that this wasn’t going to support both of us. And he had a brand-new baby on the way to, and had some different, his direction changed too. So bought him out. And at that time I took the initiative to go all in again and bring in more staff, bringing in more things, go out and do what I was good at, which was selling and, and get more contracts of long-term day in, day out kind of stuff, and built this company up to the point where I was able to make it turnkey. And then I sold it for, I can’t remember the exact 160 times my initial investment. Something crazy. So did that.
Mike Ayala: And I think I found your buyer.
Tyler Gunter: You did bring. We’re getting a common thread here.
It’s coming. It’s coming. It’s coming down the road later.
Mike Ayala: So you sold that business.
Tyler Gunter: Sold that business while we were building that business, my wife’s background is insurance. And just, it’s funny how these things come together. You put something out there and then it explodes normally. And it shows up in ways that you couldn’t even imagine. Yeah. So Tamara and I were laughing and joking. I said, John, I think I’ll get my life insurance. There’s some great tools out there that people could use. I want to bring it to them. And so we went to Reno for a training and we’re driving back, and I’ll just do my head. I’m like, you know what? In the next four years, we’re going to have an office. We’re going to have property and casually, which is auto and home insurances. We’re going to, we’re going to be expanded. We’re going to have a team. We’re going to be doing all these great things. And she goes, well, you know, I still have all my licenses. And I’m like, Oh
man, we’re doing this now. Like I got excited and I came home, and I sat down, I think it’s really important to have the right team. I sat down with my accountant and was kind of just running through this idea with him. What are we doing? Where are we going? And he says, you know, I might know somebody and it’s somebody you’ve done business with before. And this goes back to relationships.
Mike Ayala: And it wasn’t me.
Tyler Gunter: It wasn’t you this time, but you introduced me to him originally. So this person was looking to sell his insurance office probably in the next four years. And I met with him and said, Hey, I want to do this in like six months. And again, I didn’t have any, I didn’t have any money or anything. I decoded to go out and had to go out and find it. I had to go out and make it work and bought an insurance company. And we’ve slowly been expanding that ever since as well. It’s afforded me, It’s funny because you look back and you think you work so hard and you did all this stuff, but it’s such a short gap in time. I was intentionally out of balance for a very short period of time. Whereas normally you get unbalanced for a long period of time, like we are just talking about you are 12 hours a day, six days a week sometimes two, cause you think you’re doing this for your family. And then you spend four years in your retirement with them while they’re taking care of you and then you die. And it sounds terrible, but that’s a lot of what happens. I mean, my father-in-law retired six months ago. It was a forced retirement. I hope we have a long time with him, but the reality is in his health, we, we may not. So he’s that guy. And so I was intentionally unbalanced for a few years in spurts so that I could have all the time I want with my family now.
Mike Ayala: Such an amazing story. And it’s been fun to watch. The one thing that I’d like to point out, I think Ty and I are a good example. So many people are scared of partnerships and working with friends and doing business with friends, etc., etc. And the thing that I want to say is it’s like anything else. I mean, if you keep the boundaries straight and everybody’s got open and honest communication and everything else. I mean, I think we’re a great example of you can work together and be friends and you can be partners and be friends and you can call each other out on your bullshit and still be friends.
Tyler Gunter: Right. And it’s not always easy. Right. You and I have had some pretty serious conversations and then it’s done. Anywhere we go get a beer. We go hang out. Right. It’s okay. It’s all right. That’s if we were the same people, we wouldn’t work well together. Right. Right. We got those, those kind of tensions are going to be there, but it’s possible if you set the boundaries and you respect the
people that you’re partnered with.
Mike Ayala: And I would say that’s the same in any relationship, whether it’s, parenting or whether it’s husband and wife, whether it’s business. But I wanted to point that out because you know, I’ve learned a ton working with you over the years and just watching your journey has been fun. I appreciate you, just being candid with us and sharing the story of the family and pulling that together at the end, what you’ve done. Cause that was amazing. Watching that eight years ago, it feels like 20 years ago.
Tyler Gunter: Yeah. You look back, you’re like, wow, is that only, it’s only been this long.
Mike Ayala: Yeah. That was a tough time. But you know, so many, so many of our best things that happened to us in life come from those times. And you know, I think the thing for the listeners that we really just point out, I mean, whatever it is at whatever level they’re at that passive income you said the time freedom with your family, figure out what’s the most important to you. Maybe it’s time, maybe it’s money, maybe it’s possessions. It doesn’t matter. That’s your thing. And that’s why it’s that formula. You decide what you really want. You decide why you want it. You decide what you’re going to do to get it. We can help with tools to measure. So I appreciate you being candid and just sharing. It’s amazing what you’ve done in eight years. And I just can’t thank you enough for just sharing all that with us.
Tyler Gunter: Thank you. And thanks for making me cry on your show. Mike Ayala: If people want to get in touch with you, how do they find you?
Tyler Gunter: Oh man, bestest way to go is probably just a social media. Get me on Instagram at the Tyler Gunter.
Mike Ayala: In Facebook.
Tyler Gunter: Yeah. Facebook. I am there too. I think I’m just Tyler Gunter it on Facebook, but yeah, we share a lot of great tidbits wisdom. I share a lot with my family and the adventures going on and so hit me up.
Mike Ayala: Nice. I appreciate your time, man. All right. [Outro]
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